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The Columbia County Spotlight shares reader letters in our July 22, 2022, mailbag.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

Betsy Johnson's spiel is hypocritical

It seems that Betsy Johnson's call for "individual responsibility" means for everyone else, but not for her.

After she caused an accident in 2013, she claimed legislative immunity and tried to get the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Many countries and 43 states, including Oregon, have some form of this law, but it was never meant to shield our elected leaders from the consequences of their actions. The purpose, and I find this highly questionable anyway, is as follows:

This immunity protects legislators from punitive executive or judicial action. The intent is to allow lawmakers to work independently and unimpeded by the threat of intervention from the other branches of government in the discharge of their legislative duties.

No class of people should be exempt from following the law. Especially ones that make the laws.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

Unions support NEXT project at Port Westward

Have you ever seen those posters? "Like weekends? Paid vacations? Sick leave? Thank a union!"

They're tongue-in-cheek but also plainly showcase how unions are historically at the forefront of important societal shifts.

It's no surprise, then, that unions across our great state have come together in support of the incredible, green job opportunities associated with the Port Westward renewable diesel facility by NEXT Renewable Fuels.

This project provides family-wage, union-eligible jobs in a burgeoning green economy. It is supported by the Longview-Kelso Building Trades Council, Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Building Trades Council, and the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters among others! Not to mention it's also endorsed by the Democratic Party of Oregon Labor Caucus and also supported by thousands of bipartisan Oregonians across the state.

The NEXT renewable diesel proposal is a cornerstone, long-term investment in sustainable, green opportunities for local workers and its operations will lead to healthier communities and cleaner ecosystems.

It is the right project, at the right time, and in the right area.

More than that, like the unions themselves, it shows that Oregon, and our ambitions to lead the country by invigorating the renewable fuel economy, are on the right side of history.

Join me in supporting this exciting project. Join me on the right side of history.

Mike Bridges

President, Longview/Kelso Building & Construction Trades Council

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