Truth in ads needed
Sen. Martha McSally’s campaign is attacking Mark Kelly for his involvement with World View Enterprises, claiming he “pocketed $15 million” and “ripped off taxpayers,” while “criticizing the PPP program” intended to bring relief to small businesses and “cutting jobs instead of creating jobs.” These attacks are lies. McSally should be ashamed that she approved these false messages.
Mark Kelly was a co-founder of World View Enterprises, which provides mapping and sensing services using high-altitude balloons. In 2016, Pima County invested $15 million to build a facility, which they lease to World View, with the projection that World View would create hundreds of well-paying jobs.
The company was growing until the pandemic this year brought a halt to nonessential businesses like them. World View, as did thousands of businesses, had to lay off many of its employees. They recently reported having 87 salaried employees. Taxpayers were not ripped off; COVID-19 happened.
Kelly has not been an administrator or been involved in the running of the company for over a year. He had nothing to do with the application for PPP funds. He is just one of the investors. He criticized the way PPP was being run, not the existence of the program. Kelly feels the big banks favored the big clients, not the needy small businesses as intended. For example, hotel chains and charter schools applied for funds as if each facility was a separate small business, which is legal but unethical.
A new series of ads claims Kelly “got rich” by being on the board of a “medical transportation” company associated with “surprise billing.” That is misleading. It does cost a lot to have a helicopter or airplane transport a patient, as you would expect. Kelly was on the board of an air-ambulance company based in Scottsdale as a consultant and was paid $20,000 in 2019, not exactly a fortune.
McSally should stop these false attack ads. They damaged her credibility when she used them against Sen.Kyrsten Sinema. Voters deserve the truth from their senators.
Food for thought
During the coming months preceding the nation’s elections in November, I would like to offer some “food for thought” from author Dean Koontz, a writer of varied sorts.
There are many wonderful Koontz tales—most are in the genre of suspense. In one of his most-popular novels, entitled “Watchers,” he writes of heroism at its most basic essence. We can, each of us, be heroic by our choices and actions. Who we choose to elect and lead us on the November ballot is critical to the America and its freedoms we have always cherished, valued, respected and fought to maintain.
Thinking about the upcoming elections and reflecting on what’s happening in major cities around the country wherein Democratic officials are in charge, seeing day after day of civil unrest, rioting and chaos in those streets, pillaging, looting, defacing and destroying, it seems to me important to consider Koontz’s words: “We have in us the ability to ... find dignity as individuals rather than drones in one mass movement or another. We have the ability to love, the need to be loved, and the willingness to put our own lives on the line to protect those we love, and it is in these aspects of ourselves that we can glimpse the face of God. ... I believe that we carry within us a divinely inspired moral imperative to love. ... (Fundamental issues Koontz writes about are) the healing power of love and friendship; the moral superiority of the individual over the workings of the state and large institutions; the relationship of mankind to God; and how we sustain hope in the face of our awareness that all things die.”
Faith. Ask yourself: In what? In whom? And why? Then act upon that belief. Vote.
Health care needs improvement
Now that we are in the homestretch of the presidential campaigns, we are hearing more about Medicare for All and a government public option. But not enough people are made aware of the fact that a public option system would be one of the top three costliest government programs in our country, just after Medicare and Social Security.
How would this government-controlled health insurance system get paid for? It would require a $2,300 payroll tax increase for the average American worker. In exchange, we wouldn’t see improved services, access or quality of care—in fact, quite the opposite. The massive cuts to doctor payments under a public option could lead to more hospital closures—particularly in rural communities where many facilities are already operating in the red—further threatening quality and access to care. To strengthen health care access, we need to continue to improve the system we have now, not start over with a new government-controlled one.