Letters to The Editor 11-20-19

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Editor, The Smithfield Times,
For months, a very small but very vocal group of individuals have repeatedly questioned the integrity of the Isle of Wight County School Board. Through public comments and social media, they have attempted to persuade others to believe that we lack honesty, trustworthiness and the ability to follow policy, code and law. When I entered public office, I surely expected that there would be people who disagreed with decisions — that is part of this job. However, I never expected that the essence of my character would be called to the line. It was done not by strangers at a state and national level but rather people who live in my community — and people who, at one point, I might have stopped to chat with in a grocery store.
I believe that I can accurately speak for all of us when I say that this School Board values the qualities of honesty and trustworthiness and that we seek to follow policy, code and law in everything we do. Our love for these schools and our desire to give back in a very unique way is what brings us all to the board room month after month. I will end by first congratulating voters in the Newport District on their ability to fact-check and not allow negative campaigning to triumph. I also want to congratulate Vicky Hulick, not only on her win, but also on the way she handled herself amidst a very revengeful counter campaign. Her parting words to those of us working the polls for her on Election Day were “be kind to everyone.” What a great lesson to continue impressing upon the hearts of all of our students — Kindness DOES matter — even in disagreements and yes, even in politics — kindness matters!
Kirstin Cook

Editor, The Smithfield Times
Once again, the Carrollton Ruritan Club would like to publicly thank everyone who supported our semi-annual fish fry fundraiser on Saturday, Nov 2. We are grateful beyond words for the support shown by our community. We sold just under 700 meals, another new record!
We also deeply appreciate the generosity of our business partners and those individuals whose special purchases and contributions helped in this huge success.
Our fundraising efforts allow us to continue our support of Scout Troop and Cub Pack 36, the Carrollton Library’s summer reading program, and the Food Pantries of Christian Outreach and Rescue Friends, to name a few. With your support, we also are able to provide filled backpacks for elementary school children in need and to provide college scholarships to local students, doing our part for tomorrow’s leaders.
Thanks again for all your support of our work in the community. And please consider coming to our meeting on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Have dinner on us, and see what the Ruritans are all about. Our clubhouse is located at 14138 Norsworthy Drive, Carrollton.
Georgette Phillips

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Editor, The Smithfield Times,
I would like to thank the voters of Surry County for your support in the election on Nov. 5 to serve as your next Commissioner of the Revenue. I have most recently served as master deputy commissioner under the current Commissioner, Deborah J. Nee, and I have worked under her guidance and direction over the past 11 years. As a newly elected constitutional officer, I look forward to serving you, the constituents.
Jonathan F. Judkins
Surry County

Editor, The Smithfield Times,
Article Two of the U.S. Constitution states “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
The current impeachment inquiry by the U.S. House of Representatives against President Trump is focusing on the allegation he tried to bribe and/or extort President Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens in the runup to the 2020 election in exchange for $400 million in foreign aid to Ukraine. The investigation of the Bidens did not occur and the $400 million in aid was subsequently given to Ukraine.Therefore no bribery or extortion occurred.
But did President Trump’s actions meet the test of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”?
Recent impeachment of presidents included Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice relative to the Monice Lewinsky affair. Richard Nixon was impeached as an outgrowth of the Watergate coverup and charged with obstruction of justice, abuse of power and defying subpoenas during the impeachment investigation. The House Judiciary Committee stated that “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” goes beyond crimes to include “behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function of the office and employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or personal gain.”
Going back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the founding fathers decided the phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” provided “flexibility and guidance” in deciding on impeachable offenses, which references 400 years of practice in Great Britain.
Alexander Hamilton stated in the Federalist Papers that ” impeachment is directed at political offenses that proceed from … the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Echoing Hamilton, Justice Joseph Story in 1833 stated “impeachable conduct is often purely political, and that no previous statute is necessary to authorize an impeachment for any official misconduct.”
Therefore, it appears the term “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” refers to officials in high office who commit offenses which violate their oaths of office and can consist of abuse of power. A Harvard Law Review succinctly stated “The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for intentional, evil deeds that drastically subvert the Constitution and involve unforgivable abuse of the presidency–even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws.”
I leave it to the readers to decide if they believe President Trump should be impeached.
Donald Moskowitz
Londonderry NH