Letters to the Editor focus on election issues - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the Editor focus on election issues

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Posted: Friday, November 3, 2006 10:14 pm | Updated: 5:06 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Tribune has received many Letters to the Editor dealing with issues in Tuesday's election. Not all the letters could be printed in the newspaper due to space constraints, so we are posting them online so our readers have a chance to see them all. Letters are separated by topics.

Reagan serves Scottsdale well

The Justice of the Peace in the McDowell Mountain Justice Court (formerly Scottsdale Justice Court) is Michael Reagan. While I have known and worked with Reagan in the business world for several years, I have also come to know him while serving as a volunteer in his court. I have been in a few courts during my past 14 years as a civil traffic hearing officer and can attest to his capabilities as an exceptional jurist. I have watched him conduct hearings and he does so in a very professional manner. His rulings are fair and just, based on the facts presented to him.

Reagan is living proof that you don’t need a law degree to be a good judge. Instead, you need the qualities he possesses — intelligence, common sense and good judgment. I can attest Michael Reagan is worthy of re-election as the McDowell Mountain Precinct Justice of the Peace.

SHERWOOD JOHNSTON III

Scottsdale

We need GOP to protect us

Why, oh, why can’t people see what is happening to our country? Especially here in the Southwest, where we are being invaded by other countries sucking up our resources and leaving the place a disaster. Look what a sorry state Mexico is in. It will only happen here if they get their way. We must have strong leaders with integrity and unfailing patriotism and that is why we unite behind state Rep. Russell Pearce and Sen. Jon Kyl.

TOM AND LINDA PROCTOR

Mesa

Munsil would be innovative

The November election offers Arizona a choice — do we want four more years of the same or do we want a new governor who has the courage of his convictions and a plan for addressing many of our state’s problems? Len Munsil’s plan for Arizona rejects the tried-and-found-wanting “solution” of either ignoring the problems or simply throwing more money at them.

He is proposing practical solutions which recognize the realities of human nature and our state — solutions such as merit pay for teachers, more school choice, responsible thinning of forests, a pro-active approach to illegal immigration, and greater protection of children and abused women. I encourage Tribune readers to vote for change and join me in voting for Len Munsil for governor.

Ken F. Ekstrom

Phoenix

Napolitano didn’t solve funding shortfall

In 2002, Janet Napolitano blaming Republican tax cuts on a deficit caused by a recession. She argued Arizona needed big tax increases to restore spending and balance the state budget. But she did not get her tax increases as governor, and instead enacted more tax cuts. She also added debt to the state budget and increased spending without increasing taxes. So exactly what did Napolitano do to “balance the budget?”

If there was a “structural deficit” in 2002, Napolitano did nothing to fix it, unless you think tax cuts and huge spending increases balance budgets. But isn’t that exactly what President Bush has done with the federal budget? So why do Democrats and media praise Napolitano, while bashing Bush, when both of them cut taxes, increased spending, and took on more debt?

Robert C. Barber Jr.

Phoenix

Verschoor stands up for constituents

I’ve known Sen. Thayer Verschoor, R-Gilbert, for years. He is a good man who fights hard for things that are important to District 22, things like cutting taxes, private property rights and family values. Verschoor stands up for the right thing not the popular thing, whether it’s being pro-life, defending traditional marriage between a man and a woman or protecting our borders. As the chairman of the Senate Transportation committee he fought for more than $300 million to go to accelerating our freeway construction without raising our taxes. He supports our ASU Polytechnic campus at Williams Gateway Airport. He is endorsed by the Arizona Police Association and the Fraternal Order of Police because he is tough on crime and supports getting the police the tools they need to keep our streets safe. I urge voters to re-elect Sen. Thayer Verschoor.

TOM FREESTONE

Mesa

McCain losing his independence

What has happened to John McCain and his Straight Talk Express? He agreed to be Jon Kyl’s honorary campaign chairman. Then, he is silent when Kyl plasters the airwaves with misleading negative ads about Jim Pederson’s support of McCain’s (with Kennedy and others) comprehensive immigration reform. McCain supports J.D. Hayworth for the House, who performs the same hideous slashing.

The Tribune ran a summary of 20 “key votes” in the Senate this year. (Oct. 29) On almost every one, where McCain and Kyl voted opposite ways, Jim Pederson’s position was more similar to McCain’s. Yet, McCain remains silent while Kyl tries to slime Pederson — even while he slimes McCain by implication.

I think Jim Pederson and Harry Mitchell represent the ideal that McCain used to represent. And that is why an unprecedented number of East Valley independents and straight-talking Republicans are casting their ballots for Democrats.

PAUL WEICH

Phoenix

Leaving Iraq is no answer

Americans are understandably concerned about our progress in Iraq. It is tempting to buy into the simplicity of “Lets redeploy our military out of Iraq.” But then what? What will the results be? What should we do then? Running away has costs or is “Let’s get out now and think about what to do later” the best plan?

Will that help the 75 percent of Iraqis that welcome the opportunity for democratic government? Will that end the pattern of irrational Islamic hate and violence against the West that existed years before 9/11? Will that help assure free market assess to Middle East oil which is the life blood of all advanced economies? Will that encourage Iraqis citizens risking their lives to bring freedom to their country? Will that increase or decrease the chance of war against Israel? Will that increase or decrease the odds of more brutal acts of terror the world over?

To date the Democrats have disclosed no real answers to the above questions. Don’t you think we would all benefit from hearing the Democratic answers to the above questions. Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear their plans to defend America from terrorism, before the election?

STEVE HAMMOND

Scottsdale

House candidate didn’t explain enough

As best I can tell, the challenger to Rep. Ward Nichols and Rep. Steve Yarbrough is trying hard not to disclose his position on most issues important to District 21 voters. He is silent on sanctity-of-life issues, won’t criticize his party’s governor for resisting efforts to address illegal immigration, and repeats the standard teacher’s union and ACLU opposition to parents being more able to choose their child’s school.

Would he have broken with his fellow party members and voted for the recent property and income tax cuts? Would he have gone against his party and voted for the sales factor reform which helped bring out district Intel Fab 32? Would he have voted to override the governor’s veto of the bill preventing the government from seizing guns from law-abiding citizens during an emergency?

Time is short. So far the challenger is playing a rope-a-dope with the voters. All that is going to do is get him knocked out.

SCOTT SAUNDERS

Chandler

The ultimate yes-man

Tom Patterson said Sen. Jon Kyl is not just another Bush yes-man. (Opinion 2, Monday). He is right. Jon Kyl is the ultimate yes-man going even further then he is asked. One day after Bush finally publicly acknowledged that there was no connection between Iraq and al-Qaida, Kyl had a big article on the editorial page of one of our local newspapers explaining the connection between Iraq and al-Qaida; he has never denied his false accusations.

Just like Bush he takes no responsibility for divisive mistakes. Time Magazine said Kyl was one of the 10 best senators in Congress. This is one of the 10 best of the 100 worst senators in the history of America. If we were talking about doctors, would you want one of the ten best of the 100 worst doctors in history operating on you? Another factor: 12 years as a senator — whatever happened to term limits to help keep the corruption out of politics? We watched Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska make a fool of himself trying to defend a bridge to nowhere, just an old man that been around too long. We need not young blood or old blood, but just new blood. Contract for America in 1994 said we need term limits — let’s keep them honest.

L.M.LEE

Chandler

Elect Clark to governing board

I am outraged that taxpayer dollars have been abused and misused by the hierarchy of the Maricopa County Community College system! At the very least, the system’s chancellor and the president of Mesa Community College should be fired, if not sued and jailed.

We need some new blood — in the name of Colleen Clark to replace the disgraced Ed Contreras. She is an intelligent young lady who is honest and sincere in wanting to make a difference in the system.

CAL HOLMAN

Former state representative, District 24

Scottsdale

Pederson is scary

I know that it is after the Halloween season, but Jim Pederson’s ads scare me. Recognized by Time as one of the nation’s ten best senators, Jon Kyl has been a terrific senator. It is not easy for a Republican to receive praises from Time. Kyl understands Arizona and its people and the nation as a whole. He knows our problems and our goals and seeks effective legislation to solve these problems and see us safely to these goals. It is a matter of trust. With Kyl in Washington, I can breathe much easier because I know he has our best interests in mind as well as the security of the country. He won’t run when the going gets tough!

Pederson’s ads tell me that he wants to buy the job and just add to our problems and remove the goals. That is scarier than raising taxes, and that is frightening enough! There is one thing about Washington we do not want changed: Sen. Kyl stays!

HARRY SWEENEY

Casa Grande

We need a politician in D.C.

I just want to let you know I support Jon Kyl as I believe him, and that is more than I can say about his opponent. We need a “politician” in government ... a “builder” has no place there at all ... Jim Pederson reminds me of someone that cannot look a person straight in the eye ... I don’t fall for his untruths, as he cannot prove anything he says about Kyl. I am totally for border control, and oppose amnesty in any shape or form! I believe the Republican can do this for the good of Arizona.

CYNTHIA KINGSLEY

Gilbert

Pearce’s opponent should condemn damage

One day last week I placed a yard sign in favor of Rep. Russell Pearce in a yard in the Extension Road area. Today, I got word that someone ripped out the sign and threw rocks at the residence. I called and asked the owner if they wanted another sign. The gentleman, well over 75 and with a wife that is not in the best of health, said that because of this act, he is fearful that if he put up a sign his home might be burned. There is now a climate of fear in that neighborhood. Now I ask Pearce’s opponent if she sanctions this type of behavior? Had it not been for the hatred generated in the political rhetoric, it probably would not have happened. In spite of the distortion portrayed in her campaign rhetoric, Pearce is a devout believer in the Constitution and the principles of freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and liberty. The untruthful negative rhetoric, calling him racist and other equally false things, has apparently encouraged a mob mentality. Small though it may be, it is still wrong; and, she as his opponent should notify her followers that this has got to stop. Silence by her would to me be an admission that she condones what was done.

KENNETH J. BOND

Mesa

The right politicized Jesus

In response to Steve Ball’s letter “Don’t Politicize Jesus” (Oct. 28), may I remind this gentleman that it the Christian fundamentalists who have politicized Jesus and miscued the messages set forth about his teachings?

It is the Christian fundamentalists who were taken advantage of by this administration. May I suggest that all fundamentalists read the book “Tempting Faith: A Inside Story Of Political Seduction” by David Kuo. He served as special assistant to President Bush and deputy director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Politics and religion have recently been the agenda of the Bush administration’s think tank. They captured the hearts of the fundamentalists “hook, line and sinker.” I find this shameful, because the fundamentalist have genuine beliefs which shouldn’t be politicized by the Karl Roves of the world.

So my fellow Christians, be a patriot and vote for the Democratic Party, who will represent all of us.

JOEL DINA O’CONNELL

Tempe

GOP overrun with moderates

The Republican Party, once a bastion of conservatism, has been overrun with moderates who are proving no better than the Democrats at fiscal restraint. After several decades, the Republicans finally regained control of Congress only to bungle it with excessive pork-barrel spending after 9/11. This has put them in jeopardy in the upcoming election.

With regard to spending, people are not now seeing a distinct choice in philosophy between the two parties. The same budget abuse over the next 10 years is a distinct possibility. The big difference, as Democrats have shown us in the past, is that expenditures will more than likely be at a greater rate and taxes will definitely increase if the Democrats regain Congress.

GENE FLATT

Mesa

Protecting a special status

The Protect Marriage Amendment (Proposition 107) has opponents questioning “What does the amendment really protect?” The answer is simple, although opponents are certainly trying to confuse the issue.

The Protect Marriage Amendment is about keeping marriage as a union between one man and one woman. That is the bedrock definition of marriage, and has been for thousands of years. Societies have given marriage special status, imbued with privileges and responsibilities because, through that fundamental union, procreation and rearing of the species becomes an orderly, protected process.

Protecting marriage means keeping the totality of the marriage relationship intact. Allowing the erosion of marriage by counterfeit “unions” distorts the objective of marriage and will undermine, dilute and deconstruct marriage as a basic institution.

The wedge issue of benefits, that opponents of Prop. 107 are using to attack the initiative, is contrived and simply not supported by the facts. There are ample alternatives for those who choose unions outside the norm. However, these unions should not be validated through usurpation of the privileges and benefits of marriage.

In the final analysis, protecting the totality of marriage protects the whole of societal order — even for those who would seek illegitimate gain.

GEORGE GARBELL

Phoenix

Horne experienced, committed

Tom Horne knows first-hand the value of an outstanding public education. He attended schools in New York, when they were arguably the nation’s finest. Two key attributes were high standards measured by rigorous state-administered testing and empowered teachers.

As Arizona superintendent of public instruction, Horne has shown the courage of his convictions. He lets nothing get in the way of a drive for academic excellence. He’s experienced at having to perform and be measured in a competitive private sector environment. He knows the laws, effecting accomplishment without compromising compliance. Arizona will be well-served by Tom Horne’s continuing strong leadership.

STEVE BRECKLEY

Chandler

Kavanagh stands against illegals

Everyday we read in the paper that our hospital emergency rooms are impossibly full. We also read that in some areas our schools are overcrowded. Both the full emergency rooms and the overcrowding in some schools are due in no small part to illegal immigration.

There is one candidate running for the Legislature in District 8 who stands out as a leader in opposition to illegal immigration. That candidate is John Kavanagh.

John hosts a weekly anti-illegal immigration radio show on KFHX and also edits and publishes the anti-illegal immigration Web site www.protectAZborder.com. John outlines his views quite clearly in both of these sites. His approach is logical and thorough: Stop illegal immigration by securing the border now, deny government benefits to illegals, and prosecute businesses that knowingly hire them. These are excellent first steps toward ending the illegal immigration problem.

I hope that you will agree and join me Tuesday in voting for John Kavanagh in District 8.

VINCENT CANNARSA

Fountain Hills

Kavanagh supports small business

I am a small business owner and I supported John Kavanagh when he ran for the Town Council in Fountain Hills because of his pledge to help small businesses succeed. I have been very pleased with the position he has taken on issues to further economic growth.

While on the council Kavanagh fought to keep taxes low and at the state level has pledged to decrease taxes for businesses and individuals. John has been a longtime friend of the chamber of commerce.

John Kavanagh is articulate and intelligent. His record is one of sound judgment. I can recommend him without reservation.

When I go to the polls Tuesday, I will vote for the man who gets things done — John Kavanagh! I encourage everyone to vote for John also!

LINA BELLENIRE

Fountain Hills

Heterosexual unions keep society viable

It is a stark and irrefutable reality that homes with single parents struggle inordinately with the day-to-day responsibilities of raising a family. Without equivocation, many of the societal ills that concern us all can be traced to children who were thrust into adulthood, even at premature ages, without the nurture and discipline that a set of loving parents provide. A father and mother who are committed to each other in marriage, and devoted to their family, unite to give their children the best opportunity to succeed in an ever more hostile environment.

Women and men have unique and complementary characteristics. A partnership of two men, or two women, however loving their relationship, cannot provide to children what an equally loving husband and wife can, Proposition 107 is an effort to prevent those who would dilute the effectiveness of the marriage union by redefining it for alternative purposes. It is not an affront to homosexuals, but a defense of the very fabric that keeps our nation viable from generation to generation.

Now is the time to strengthen the one union, protected by marriage, which is the cornerstone for raising America’s families. My wonderful wife and I will be voting “yes” on Prop. 107.

DR. KARL B. HIATT

Mesa

Land doesn’t need “preserving”

Proposition 106 does nothing but create additional costly bureaucracy and costs to preserve something that doesn’t need “preserving.” If those who live near the so-called “preserve” want to have it for their enjoyment, let them pay for it. Those of us who were in Scottsdale long before the “Johnny-come-latelys,” endured the arrival of these people who ruined our environment, and now they expect the rest of us to provide a place for them to play so they don’t have to drive for a few minutes. Let’s get government out of our lives once and for all. Vote “no” on Prop. 106.

EMERSON EILER

Scottsdale

Saddam trial’s November surprise

I’m not sure how to handicap this one. Saddam Hussein’s verdict and sentencing will be handed down on Sunday, just prior to Tuesday’s elections.

Some feel it will hurt GOP hegemony if a guilty verdict is followed by anything short of the death penalty for Hussein. There is also fear surrounding what any reactionary strikes by “Saddam’s followers” might do to GOP turnout.

Others feel the headlines of Saddam’s verdict filling Sunday talk shows and Monday newspapers nationwide will embolden GOP supporters who may be writing off the election due to the three-year occupation of Iraq, the failure to locate Osama bin Laden, and the long list of GOP scandals which includes Jack Abramoff (bribery), Mark Foley (child exploitation), Tom DeLay (illegal campaign contributions), Randy “Duke” Cunningham (Abramoff), Scooter Libby (Valerie Plame), Bob Ney (Abramhoff), Bill Frist (SEC violations), and others.

Arizona has our own connections to GOP scandals in Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who took money from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Rep. Jim Kolbe, who is linked to the investigations surrounding Mark Foley’s inappropriate conduct with House pages.

While it is impossible to predict how voters in Arizona and across America will respond to Saddam’s verdict, one thing is certain. Republicans and Democrats alike will be betting on a November surprise to win.

JOE THOMAS

Gilbert

Kyl dodges accountability

Shortly after President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq I wrote U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl to let him know that I disagreed with most everything Bush was doing. Kyl eventually answered the letter and informed me that since we could not agree to anything that we didn’t have anything to talk about. I will wager I am not the only taxpayer that Kyl has refused to talk to about issues that they disagree on.

Since I am a taxpayer and pay a portion of his salary we do have things to talk about, but that will not happen because it seems Kyl makes a practice of not engaging in conversation with people who disagree with him. In my view this is Kyl’s way of skirting around accountability for his actions while in the employment of the taxpayers.

But Kyl will talk to you now that he needs your vote, but after the Tuesday election that will change back to the old Kyl way of skirting accountability.

DONALD G. MARTIN

Mesa

Verschoor man for the job

The man for the job is Sen. Thayer Verschoor! A U.S. Army veteran, Thayer Verschoor served with the 82nd Airborne Division. In both the armed services and later in the Arizona Senate, he has demonstrated courage and commitment to principles. As our state senator his leadership skills, experience, integrity and knowledge are well established.

I want our District 22 state senator to be a Republican who supports the conservative values of our district. Thayer Verschoor supports cutting taxes and expanding school choice — unlike his liberal Democrat opponent. He also supports business and has earned endorsements of both the Arizona and the Gilbert Chambers of Commerce. The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers has named him “friend of the taxpayer.” He is tough on crime and has earned endorsements of the police and firefighters.

We must keep Thayer Verschoor as a District 22 state Senator.

MARCIA MARSHALL

Mesa

Prop. 207 bad for everybody

Proposition 207 is bad news for everybody, and is funded with over $800,000 from Howard Rich in New York, who is a wealthy developer ... do we really think a wealthy developer is interested in the rights of individual property owners locally?

Rich’s money has been funneled through a group in Chicago called Americans for Limited Government, which had its non-profit status revoked by the Illinois Secretary of State.

Prop. 207 goes way beyond eminent domain. It will also disrupt everyday, normal zoning measures in cities, counties, environmental, historical, heritage areas, etc. The so-called exemptions are very limited.

Prop. 207 is a way to confuse voters and to manipulate state governments, resulting in more wasted taxpayer money. It is a way for corporations to gain control in governments. It preys on the fears of people and will create a backlog of court cases with or without any grandfathering clauses.

If Prop. 207 is so important, why doesn’t it simply address the one issue of eminent domain, in a clear and concise manner?

KARL WINKLER

Tucson

No military Iraq solution

I don’t know why there is such endless talk about the Iraq situation. The simple answer is: there is no military solution. Are we able to match a soldier for every Muslim extremist? No. The only answer is get out of there. None of the Republican incumbents are going to do that, so vote for the Democrats who all say they will not be an administration rubber-stamp.

CAROLYN MAXON

Scottsdale

Trick pundits, treat yourselves

OK, so it’s Halloween, or is it almost Election Day? They somehow seem equally frightening this year. I mean the prospect of a Democratic sweep ought to scare you straight. Straight out the door and to the polls to stop the madness, silence the prognosticators, and flex some political muscle at a time in our nation’s history when it is most needed.

Go ahead, mute the talking heads and use the editorial page for the dog’s water bowl. In the quiet of your own mind, stop, and reason with yourself, I’m confident that you will come to the only sensible conclusion: I have to vote, and I have to vote for the only party that takes a stand: Republicans.

I know what the Democrats stand against: George Bush. But whether local or national, Democrats seem to have a rough time articulating just what they stand for, or what changes they’ll make to the litany of things they gripe about on a daily basis.

If national security, secure borders, traditional family values, common-sense judges, low taxes, low unemployment, and a record-setting stock market sound good to you, just remember, they have been brought to you by the Republican majority, courtesy of your vote!

In the spirit of the season, just think trick-or-treat: trick the pundits and pull the lever for your Republican candidate. Your treat will be the ongoing sweet success of a wise and thoughtful decision.

WEST A. KENYON

Phoenix

Would props pass if all paid?

Comments from an octogenarian smoker:

• In my 12 years plus residence in Arizona, a number of do-good propositions have passed. Those that required funding usually involved a tax on cigarettes. Assuming statistics are correct, only 20.9 percent of adults smoke. Therefore, 20.9 percent pick up the tab for 79.1 percent of the beneficiaries. If the 79.1 percent were required to pay their fair share most propositions of this nature would quite probably be defeated.

The example cited in your article (“Prop. 203 would aid early education,” Oct. 23), ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton College of Education Preschool, is most probably the Cadillac of all preschool facilities in Arizona. Surely it is an example that cannot be duplicated under any circumstances.

• Your article states the per pack tax will go up to $1.98. If Proposition 201 passes this fall, make that $2.00 a pack. A pack-per-day smoker pays $803 per year, most of which goes to fund propositions. Some of these may have ceased to exist. The caveat to these taxes is once they are applied they never go away regardless of the failure of the intended program. What is the status of all propositions financed by cigarette tax?

• I quit before but missed my old “friend.” He is getting too expensive so I suppose it’s time to part company for good.

ROY H. BROWN

Fountain Hills

Tax offenders for child programs

First of all, no one loves children more than I do, and all the things Proposition 203 would do to benefit children would be great, but to pay for it with an extra 80 cent per pack tax on cigarettes is insane. The people pushing this proposition think they’re aiming at “the big bad tobacco companies,” but they’re wrong. It’s the people who smoke who will bear the entire cost of this proposed new tax. That would be wrong. There’s simply no correlation between the legal activity of smoking and forcing those people to fund such initiatives.

If, on the other hand, an extra tax was added on to the fine for those convicted of DUI, illegal drug use, excessive speeding, child abuse, spousal abuse, robbery, or a host of other ills were up for a vote to benefit children, I would be all for it.

JIM GALPIN

Chandler

Ads turn voter’s stomach

Today I am ashamed of every Republican vote I have ever cast. Watching vicious, unChristian GOP advertising turns my stomach. I will not vote Republican again until the national leadership stops this tactic. Three examples:

• Rush Limbaugh mocking Parkinson’s victim Michael J. Fox.

• Questioning Illinois congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth’s patriotism after she lost both legs in Iraq.

• Inflaming white bigotry against a real Christian, Harold Ford, running for U.S. Senate from Tennessee.

GOP leaders bragged about raising more money than Democrats and then destroying them with massive negative advertising in the last few weeks of the campaign. Based on my reading, they got the money by selling their integrity to big corporate interests.

I appeal to every Republican: Go to the polls and teach GOP leaders that real conservatives don’t tolerate this behavior.

W.D. DOTSON

Show Low

Lucky to live in District 22

I feel fortunate to live in District 22. Sen. Thayer Verschoor and Reps. Andy Biggs and Eddie Farnsworth are three of the best legislators in the state. You may disagree, particularly if you look at taxes as investments and believe the more you raise them the more you’ll be taken care of. If you don’t support choice in education and you think government schools are best for our children, then perhaps you want a change. Maybe you want a controlled economy where the government picks winners and losers. If you support socialized medicine you probably don’t like our guys.

Definitely, if you are opposed to protecting the unborn and opposed to the traditional family then you want a change. I like our guys. It’s not time for a change. Re-elect Thayer Verschoor, Andy Biggs and Eddie Farnsworth.

TERI JOHNSON

Mesa

Incumbents entrenched in broken system

Sen. Jon Kyl and Rep. J.D. Hayworth have become entrenched in a system that does not allow moderate voices to be heard and come together. As incumbents, both are beholden to powerful special interests, which guarantee the funding they depend on to return to Congress. We have a unique opportunity this year to choose someone different. Well-qualified challengers, like Jim Pederson and Harry Mitchell, are on the ballot.

As an unknown, Pederson had no choice but to spend his own money to compete in what can only be called a lopsided game. Who knows when we will have another challenger with the resources to give voters the choice they deserve in an Arizona Senate race?

Mitchell, lacking a personal fortune, has depended on donations from friends and supporters to counter Hayworth’s war chest. I have known Harry Mitchell for 40 years. I support him because he has built a reputation in this community as an honest, experienced, moderate leader, who thinks that government should be about compromise between both parties.

I ask that you reward Harry Mitchell and Jim Pederson with your vote. They have stepped forward against overwhelming odds to give voters a real choice in this election. They offer our only hope for change in Washington DC.

STEVE RAMOS

Mesa

Mitchell works with others

Voters in Congressional District 5 have a unique opportunity to elect a person with the will and the skills to get the job done. Harry Mitchell has a proven record of working across party lines in state and city government. His unassuming low-key persona will be a refreshing change to the blowhard bully we have been so embarrassed to have thrust upon us by redistricting.

The war in Iraq has left little support for our troops in Afghanistan. I have a close friend and a nephew there who are in harm’s way 24/7. Over a month ago, I wrote congressman J.D. Hayworth about their situation and their needs, and what have I heard from him — nothing, not even a courtesy reply, much less an explanation as to why he won’t ask the important questions about why our troops are not receiving sufficient assistance, safety equipment and replacement supplies in Afghanistan. Our nephew has lost seven brothers in arms in Afghanistan, and he has only been there since July 2006.

Unfortunately, Hayworth finds that by fanning the reactionary fires amongst our voters, he can avoid the truth that his backing of President Bush’s failed policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and immigration are resulting in the deaths of our troops and too many innocent people. Enough is enough. Vote for Harry Mitchell!

CECILIA ESQUER

Tempe

This Republican’s switching

I’m a lifelong Republican. For nearly 45 years I’ve lived in Tempe, Mesa or Scottsdale, all cities in the 5th Congressional District.

I’ve voted for incumbent Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., many times. This year I’m voting for Harry Mitchell.

The Bush administration is going down the wrong path. Moderate Republicans like me are fed up. Republican domination of all branches of government isn’t working.

The Iraq war is a quagmire. I supported it because I believed President Bush when he told us why we were going there. Now, we need a plan to get out of the Iraqis’ country. We’re unwelcome occupiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians as well as Coalition troops have died.

Additionally, I strongly oppose Hayworth’s stand on stem cell research. My wife died of leukemia four years ago. Her doctors told me her life could have been saved or extended if she’d had access to embryonic stem cells. I don’t want to see anyone else’s life shortened because of the shortsightedness of my Republican Party.

Harry Mitchell is an honorable man. I urge everyone who is fed up with the status quo to join me in voting for him. Even lifelong Republicans, like me, understand it’s time for a change.

BOB WINKLER

Mesa

Prop. 206 is best choice

Proposition 206 is a reasonable smoking law. It allows smoking in bars, protects small business, allows for choice and creates an even playing field. At the same time, it protects the nonsmoker and children by having the establishment choose to have smoking or not.

We as small business owners need your help at the polls this November to be successful in defeating the other smoking issue. The issue we are really voting on here is a matter of adult choice. The opposition would have us believe that they are concerned about our health, but if they are so concerned then why have they exempted so many different places such as the fraternal organizations like Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Eagles, Elks, Moose, etc., 50 percent of hotel rooms, Indian reservations, smoking in plays, etc. The only thing they forgot is a place where people come to relax and socialize and relive the stress of the day having a drink and a smoke. We all know there are many places where smoking is prohibited. Let those that are so concerned with our health go there.

JOHN DESHETLER

Tucson

Don’t let that happen here

On Oct. 25, the New Jersey Supreme Court struck down that state’s marriage statutes and required recognition of same-sex marriage or its legal equivalent. That action reaffirms the need for Arizonans to vote yes on Proposition 107, the Protect Marriage Amendment.

Opponents of Prop. 107 claim that the amendment does not protect marriage and only takes away benefits. But a Maricopa County Superior Court judge rejected that untruth earlier this year, finding that Prop. 107 has “but one purpose, the protection of marriage by preventing redefinition and extension of official status to marriage substitutes.”

The judge is right. Prop. 107 protects marriage by preserving its unique status in our law. Don’t let what happened in New Jersey be our fate.

JOHN AND REBECCA LESUEUR

MESA

Smaller bars face closure

I own two bars and Proposition 201 doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t do anything to protect the smoker who doing something legally and also is a taxpayer. It doesn’t do a thing for the bar owner who invested a great deal of money into a business that allowed smoking. Not one dime was spent from the taxpayer to buy or invest in this business.

Taxpayers have a choice-they may choose not to enter my business, or they can choose to go somewhere else. There are plenty of businesses that don’t allow smoking. We are not a public place, we are privately owned and while we pay a considerable amount of taxes, we don’t take a single dollar of government money.

I would estimate that greater than 75 percent of our customers smoke. I have seen first-hand in California and have heard about business in New York and Florida: No smoking everywhere will put many smaller bars out of business. No smoking also will direct these smoking customers to Indian casinos close by where people can go to and smoke and drink. Or, it will put these customers out in front of my business when they choose to smoke in the heat or cold.

Next I will hear from the government that I am supposed to supervise these customers who are now standing in front of my business smoking-when, I don’t have the revenue they were spending to provide property security for the area that Prop. 201 proposes to move them to — out onto the street.

Proposition 206 protects everyone’s rights- including the private property rights of business owners.

PHIL MARCUS

Glendale

Ableser fine choice for House

Of the fine slate of Democratic contenders for the state House, I believe Ed Ableser is outstanding! His credentials range from 100 percent ratings from the Sierra Club to board membership for the Boys and Girls Club and Kiwanis, to his highly regarded work with the challenged youth and homeless. His appointment to fill the state Senate seat left by Harry Mitchell afforded him the opportunity to build bi-partisan relationships, while his careful study of all issues was recognized. On Tuesday, join me in voting for Ed Ableser!

BARBARA NEARING

Tempe

Ableser dedicated to area

Over the course of time Edward Ableser has developed a solid foundation of life experiences in which to grow, which can truly represent community service at its very best.

At the core of Ableser’s values are education. Ableser recognizes that education is the single core component where life evolves and creates accomplishment.

I have come to respect that Ableser has been active in the Tempe community for more than 10 years, involving himself as a mental health counselor in our public education system and serving as board member to both Tempe Boys and Girls Club and Kiwanis Club.

Ableser has proven with his brief time serving as our state senator from District 17 that he has the genuine abilities to work with the broad range of members of the Legislature and building coalitions to get the job done.

All across Arizona a new generation of leaders are emerging providing a new brand of leadership and voice. District 17 is truly blessed that Ed Ableser has invested in Arizona, Tempe and south Scottsdale. Hopefully my vote will welcome him to the Arizona House of Representatives.

TIM PALMER

Tempe

Vote only for Hettmansperger

Phil Hettmansperger is our candidate for the Arizona House in District 21. Phil recently retired after 31 years as a public schoolteacher. He has taught history, government and economics, so Phil knows the issues that concern Arizonans, especially education. As a newly retired person, senior citizen issues have a personal meaning to Phil.

Phil Hettmansperger has lived in Chandler for 24 years and has been active in the community. He served on the Chandler Parks and Recreation board, and has chaired or served on budget committees and bond committees for Chandler schools and the city of Chandler. This background will serve Arizona well at the Legislature.

I challenge the voters to investigate the qualifications and backgrounds of the three District 21 House candidates. You will find that Phil Hettmansperger more accurately represents the majority views on the issues than the incumbents. If you agree with me, please vote only for Phil in this election, and let those who disagree vote for their candidate. One of the incumbents will be re-elected. Voting for more than one person will reduce Phil’s probability of being elected.

If you are a Democrat, independent, or moderate Republican, you can help both yourself and Gov. Janet Napolitano by electing Phil Hettmansperger.

JACK PURVIS

Chairman

District 21 Democrats

Mesa

Waters, Robb best choices for Kyrene

I have been following the articles and editorials supporting the various candidates for the Kyrene school board with great interest. I’ve seen the campaign signs and noticed that the teachers endorse both Rae Waters and Ross Robb. This speaks volumes, as teachers are the heart and soul of a school district!

School board members must listen to all views, yet maintain their independence of any special interest group. We need board members who are willing to take the time to study the issues and be involved in education at all levels, from the district to the state and national levels. I want board members who have proven their dedication by their actions.

We need board members who are capable of independent thinking, thoughtful discussion, and respectful decision-making. Both Waters and Robb have proven by their actions that they possess those traits, and care deeply and are willing to work hard to provide quality education for our children. Please join me in voting for them.

LINDA HARDEE

Ahwatukee Foothills

Pederson would set new course in Iraq

When considering candidates for U.S. Senate, there is a choice concerning the Iraq war. Sen. Jon Kyl supports President Bush’s positions on the war. Kyl has courageously called for more troops in Iraq while Pederson’s position is less defined with the goal of turning control of Iraq over to the Iraqi people. The decision should be easy. But everyone voting for Kyl should show the same courage and conviction by enlisting themselves or recruiting their daughter/son or grandchild to serve in Iraq.

It is not fair for our brave and honorable service men and women and their families to experience extended and repeated tours in Iraq. Our nation is grateful for them and their service. But enough is enough. It is time to step up and relieve them. Supporting our troops requires more than a bumper sticker.

If voters are not willing to enlist, if they think the war in Iraq has been mismanaged, if they think the war on terror is bigger than Iraq and has been hurt by Iraq, if they don’t want permanent bases in Iraq, then vote for Jim Pederson, for a change in Washington and for a new direction in the war in Iraq.

LARUA CROWLEY

Scottsdale

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Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at ...

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