Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Don Lepinsky


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  • Dear Editor: Clarifying Rank Choice Voting (Again)

    DON LEPINSKY|May 8, 2024

    Dear Editor, I have read some opposition views on CI126, CI127, and Rank Choice Voting (RCV) in the Whitehall Ledger recently. One opponent cited Ballotpedia's explanation of RCV to support his opposition view. So, I compared Ballotpedia's explanation to the opponent's letter and found some discrepancies. I believe the author of the most recent letter misinterpreted Ballotpedia's description of RCV. He implied in his letter that voters would have to go to the polls multiple times over a period o...

  • Dear Editor: I Cannot Take the JRCC Seriously

    DON LEPINSKY|May 1, 2024

    Dear Editor, This letter is in response to a letter published in the Whitehall Ledger's April 19, 2024 issue, submitted by the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee (JCRCC). The JCRCC's letter states its opposition to rank-choice voting and ties it to Constitutional Initiatives CI126 and CI127. My intent is to use reliable sources to define the meaning of these initiatives more clearly. If approved by the voters, CI126 would combine the Republican and Democratic primaries into one open...

  • Dear Editor: A Response to Last Week's Letters

    DON LEPINSKY|Feb 28, 2024

    Dear Editor, I read the three letters to the editor in the Ledger's February 21, 2024 publication. The following is a brief response to all three. Jan Lombardi's letter on the increased property tax problem was both informative and right on. The state dropped the ball on addressing this issue, no matter whose fault. It is an example of a political lack of foresight in mitigating issues before they become problems. State government should be proactive in governance, not reactive. Would anyone be...

  • Lepinsky Travels to Chile For Adventures

    DON LEPINSKY, Whitehall Adventurer|Feb 14, 2024

    Montana winters can be harsh. Harsh enough that some of us may desire a brief escape. Traveling south is the usual remedy and for five weeks I did just that. I spent most of this time backpacking through Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina. Needless to say, I experienced a mild yet interesting cultural shock. I arrived in Santiago, Chile's capital, and spent a few days exploring this sprawling city of seven million people before continuing south to Patagonia. The beautiful architecture of...

  • Dear Editor: Not Deterred

    DON LEPINSKY|Nov 1, 2023

    Dear Editor, I recently traveled out of state visiting family returning to find a sign I posted on my property destroyed. The sign, posted along the eastbound lane of I-90, stated "Embrace Democracy - Reject Trumpism." I salvaged a portion of the sign and re-erected it. I am disappointed that there are those who would commit an act of violence in order to suppress First Amendment rights of free speech because they do not agree with opposing views. However, suppressing different opinions is one...

  • Dear Editor: Trumpism is Populism at its Worst

    DON LEPINSKY|Oct 11, 2023

    Dear Editor, I recently attended a talk on Democracy at the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana featuring former congresswoman Liz Cheney and former governor Marc Racicot. Despite the self-inflicted chaos and commotion infecting our nation, their overall message was encouraging. Both speakers thought our country would be able to survive these times of conflict and controversy. However, they added that in order for our Democratic Republic to endure, all of us need to play a part in...

  • Op Ed: Delving Into Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJ 2)

    DON LEPINSKY|Feb 1, 2023

    Montana’s 68th legislature is in session and is considering over 1300 bills to date. Most of us will only take note of a few high-profile bills that will have a direct and immediate impact on our lives. For example, tax relief bills, a couple of which will pass with little opposition. However, there is one bill if passed that could have significant, adverse, and long-term consequences for our state and country. This bill is flying under the radar with little or no attention. I’m referring to Senate Joint Resolution 2, (SJ 2). SJ 2 aims to inv...

  • Dear Editor: Equality, liberty, and justice for all?

    DON LEPINSKY|Dec 14, 2022

    Dear Editor, I recently read an article published by foxnews.com where Florida governor Ron DeSantis slams woke Disney. I also watched a PBS NewsHour segment where Governor DeSantis stated that Florida is where woke goes to die. So, what is woke? Woke may be defined as: “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social injustice)” (Merriam-Webster 2017). Governor DeSantis general counsel, Ryan Newsome, when asked what woke means stated in a recent trial that “It would be the belief that...

  • Dear Editor: Government Needs to Get Off Our Backs

    DON LEPINSKY|Nov 30, 2022

    Dear Editor, Will congress enact more corporate tax cuts now that Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives? Will they extend current corporate tax cuts? How about tax cuts for the rest of us? That’s right, 95% of us do not own stocks and bonds. The bottom 95% of us on the income hierarchy are subject to individual federal tax rates that range from 10% to as high as 37%! What about us? I understand the necessity of paying taxes. Infrastructure, Social Security, Medicare, and the military are some of the necessary p...

  • Dear Editor: Encouraged by the outcome of the midterm elections

    DON LEPINSKY|Nov 16, 2022

    Dear Editor, I am encouraged by the outcome of the midterm elections. Not because all the candidates and ballot issues I voted for succeeded, but because winners and losers alike were, for the most part, gracious and accepted the will of the people. Civility may be making a comeback in politics. In my opinion, Americans chose democracy over autocracy in this election. So, why did a forecasted red wave turn into a red tide? Simply look at candidate quality. Swing voters certainly looked at candidate quality. They may have viewed Democrats as...

  • Dear Editor: The Freedom Convoy

    DON LEPINSKY|Mar 9, 2022

    Dear Editor, The first amendment of the constitution is a beautiful thing! Freedom of speech and religion is as important as the second amendment. Maybe more so. Recently, I observed the Freedom Convoy rolling by Whitehall on I-90 protesting mandatory Covid-19 restrictions. Whether your car has a Biden/Harris bumper sticker, or you are flying a Trump flag, I strongly support our right to free speech, to a point. However, when protests violate the rights of others by burning and looting at one or two BLM demonstrations, deliberately disrupting...

  • Dear Editor: Climate Crisis

    DON LEPINSKY|Feb 2, 2022

    Dear Editor, The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a letter to the editor by a young Republican who stated that an overwhelming majority of young, college-age Republicans are in favor of conservative leadership on climate issues. He is a proponent of legislation that will expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure and promote clean energy technologies, like carbon capture. Access this letter at https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/letters/2022/01/19/letter-young-utah/. Well of course young men and women are for mitigating the climate crisis....

  • Dear Editor: Climate Change

    DON LEPINSKY|Dec 15, 2021

    Dear Editor, The science has been conclusive for decades. The polar ice caps are melting. Sea levels and temperatures are rising. Forest fires, hurricanes, droughts, and flooding are increasing in intensity and frequency. The human-induced climate crisis is real and is escalating out of control. The federal government is not taking the crisis seriously enough. The Democrat mitigation policies and spending included in “Build Back Better” is a positive step, however, would it not be better if congress considered a stand-alone bill mitigating the...

  • Dear Editor: Freedom House

    DON LEPINSKY|Dec 1, 2021

    Dear Editor, Freedom House, a non-profit NGO conducting research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights, recently reported that US democracy is in decline and has been for the last decade. They urgently recommend reforms to reverse this nefarious trend toward authoritarian rule. They listed several reasons for our decline, which, in my opinion, can be summed up to the extreme forces in play on both ends of the political spectrum. The far-left liberals and the ultra-right-wing conservatives, neither of whom understand...

  • Dear Editor: Infrastructure

    Don Lepinsky|May 5, 2021

    Dear Editor, Most of us would agree that we need to invest in our crumbling infrastructure. What we disagree on is defining infrastructure and how to pay for it. A conventional definition, which would include upgrading roads, bridges, rail, airports, clean water and sewage systems is certainly the bare minimum that is needed. However, in a modern and quickly changing world, doing just the bare minimum is not enough to remain competitive with China and the rest of the world. Infrastructure should also include research, development and...

  • Dear Editor - HB 325

    Don Lepinsky|Apr 7, 2021

    Dear Editor, If passed by the voters, HB 325 would amend MCA 3-2-101 to do away with state at large elections for supreme court justices, and provide for elections in newly created separate districts. In my opinion, the bill is severely flawed. The current state at large elections grants citizens the right to vote for all seats on the court. HB 325 significantly erodes voting rights, by restricting individuals to vote for only one seat on the court for the district in which they reside. For this reason alone, this bill should be rejected....