I am pleased that the Akron Beacon Journal endorsed Greta Johnson in the Democratic primary in the 35th Ohio House District. I have had the opportunity to get to know Johnson and her priorities and have been impressed with her experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication to the district.

She has spent a great deal of time, weekends and evenings, in our community, reaching out to citizens, community groups and businesses in an effort to learn their issues and concerns.

Johnson has a unique ability to work with civic and community leaders, as well as elected officials. The 35th District’s current representative lacks these skills.

Johnson has the resume and experience to bring integrity and respect back to our House seat. Her dedication to public service as a prosecutor and community advocate will springboard her into the Statehouse as a strong and vocal advocate for Barberton and South Akron, something this district clearly deserves.

As a lifelong resident, union member and former mayor of Barberton, I have not seen anyone with this level of commitment to our district in many years.

Johnson genuinely cares about our community and will work with state leaders to bring opportunities back home.

The current representative simply does not have the credentials to bring positive change. He goes door to door promising results that his abilities cannot deliver. He has not built any credibility in Columbus during his terms.

The 35th District deserves better. With the voters’ support, on May 6, we will do better. I urge the voters of Barberton and South Akron to vote for Greta Johnson for the Ohio House.

Bob Genet

Barberton

Conservatives ?and science

The April 22 story “Poll finds Americans question Big Bang” did not address the question of which Americans distrust science.

Chris Mooney’s 2005 book, The Republican War on Science, asserted that conservatives hate science. They don’t like evolution, global warming, any of that stuff.

Two years ago, Gordon Gauchat of the University of North Carolina wanted to test that thesis.

His findings, based on data from 1974 to 2010 and published in the American Sociological Review, showed that trust in science was relatively stable over that period, except among self-identified conservatives. While conservatives in 1974 started as the group that trusted science the most, they’re now at the bottom of the ranking.

According to Mooney, that is because the “political neutrality of science began to unravel in the 1970s with the emergence of the new right,” conservatives distrustful of science and the intellectual establishment who were religious and devoted to “traditional values” in the face of a modernizing world.

This prompted a backlash against subjects even for which there is broad scientific consensus, such as global warming, evolution and even the origin of the universe.

Mooney’s latest book, The Republican Brain, highlights one of Gauchat’s more distressing findings, which is that this trend is more common among conservatives with higher levels of education.

Conservatives with high school degrees, bachelor’s and graduate degrees experienced greater distrust in science over time.

This is profound because it implies that conservative discontent with science is not attributable to the uneducated but to distrust among educated conservatives. That’s not a good sign for the fate of reality-based decision making.

Mark Ira Kaufman

Silver Lake

Asked and ?answered

On April 14, state Sen. Frank LaRose and his opponent in the Republican primary, Caleb Davenport, were asked by the Ohio Christian Alliance to discuss their positions on how they would represent the people of the 27th Ohio Senate District on radio station WHLO.

Davenport did respond and told the listeners of his conservative, pro-life, pro-growth approach to state government. Sen. LaRose refused the opportunity to tell the people how he would vote.

On April 16, both candidates were asked by the Wayne County TEA Party to attend a candidates night and present their positions.

Again, Davenport attended, presented his conservative positions and answered questions. Again, LaRose refused the opportunity to talk face-to-face with the people he says he wants to represent.

Why would LaRose not want to state his political views in front of the voters?

Could it be because he fears his progressive voting record in the Ohio Senate does not represent the people of the 27th District?

LaRose was elected in a liberal district that had its boundaries changed and now includes Wayne County and parts of Stark and Summit counties.

He is now running in a district where his progressive positions on special rights for some minority groups and harsher penalties for unintentional errors when producing energy would have a negative effect on our religious freedom and economic growth.

LaRose says he is a conservative, but his progressive voting record raises questions about that assertion. Davenport is a true conservative who will honestly represent the people of the 27th District.

On May 6, vote for Caleb Davenport, the true conservative, in the 27th Ohio Senate District.

Craig Curtis

Wooster