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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

As with so many Americans and Arizonans, I've been paying a lot more attention lately to what's going on with our environment and protections of our public lands. It seems to me that we need to take a close look at the contrast in how our elected representatives view and act on these issues.

The recent assault on the Endangered Species Act is a prime example of how differently members of Congress think and work. While Arizona CD6 Rep. David Schweikert is painfully reducing environmental protections, CD1's Congressman O'Halleran strongly supports HR3195. This is a significant step in protecting the funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Thanks in large part to the LWCF, Tom's district has received over $9.7 million to support conservation at the Grand Canyon and Coconino National Forest. With climate change an increasingly vital issue, with Arizona's water future in peril, with public lands being exploited as private profit windfalls, we need someone in Congress who cares enough to help.

The welfare of the animals that inhabit our lands and live in and around our homes is also of great importance and increasing concern. The esteemed Humane Society Legislative Fund gives Schweikert a dismal 50% rating while O'Halleran has earned a whopping 93%. It speaks to the integrity of Congressman O'Halleran that he advocates for the animals that lack a voice of their own and are not a voting constituency.

The contrast between a representative who works for the best interests of Arizona's families and one who works on behalf of short-term profiteers at the cost of the environment is readily apparent. I will vote for the candidate who will protect our fragile and beautiful environment for future generations and who recognizes the economic importance of protecting our environment. That is why I support Tom O'Halleran for Congress.

Cynthia Gugenberger

Casa Grande

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