Op/Ed by Tom Davis: Smoking is best left for BBQing

This letter is in response to a couple of comments made by 35th Leg. Dist. Rep. Drew MacEwen as appeared in the August 22 edition of the Shelton-Mason County Journal.

Rep. MacEwan asserts that the country is “due” for a recession and the State should prepare for it by cutting back on spending, and I agree, but only up to a point: a market correction is almost always on the horizon and cutting back on spending is a surefire way to bring it on. A better way to increase reserves in a State with the most regressive taxing system in the nation would be to start cutting back on tax exemptions for timber and other natural resource industries. And never mind them threatening to leave; there’s plenty of money to be made, even with fewer exemptions.   

Rep. MacEwen also asserts that the dearth of affordable housing in the City of Shelton is due to the Growth Management Act and too many government regulations, the usual political punching bags. I won’t spend much time beating that dead horse because the real reason for the housing shortage has little to do with the GMA or regulations; it’s because residents don’t want large urban type developments in their community, and there’s plenty of evidence in the public record to support that view.    

Lastly, Rep. MacEwen tried to explain why he voted against a bill to raise the legal smoking and vaping age to 21. To that point let’s just say that, if ever there was a paragraph in Journalism that best supports why a politician should never try to cover up a bad vote with an irrational explanation it was laid out in the aforementioned interview,  and I quote: ‘He said he voted against raising the legal age for smoking and vaping from 18 to 21 because “it’s a legal product in the country and the state.” He said he would have supported raising the legal age to 19 years old, because that would have put the age beyond High School. But an 18-year old would still be able to buy smoking and vaping products on a Native American reservation, he said.”’

A less convoluted explanation of why a State Representative would vote against a bill designed to curb smoking in a district in which early addiction has been identified as a leading cause of poor public health is simply because that representative cares more about business interests in his district than he does about the welfare of his constituents.

That said, there were several assertions made by Rep. MacEwen that I did agree with, including his support for construction of the veteran tiny homes village and that the purchase of the old Olsen Furniture showroom by Mason County Commissioners limits the opportunity for growth in the downtown business corridor.  

Tom Davis, Shelton