As a frequent letter writer to the MT, I avidly peruse the letters each day. On Sept. 13, I was pleased to see that almost all the political letters were incisive and castigated the McCain-Palin campaign on a multiplicity of issues and the spinning of the truth. However, one fact not mentioned was, there are 150 lobbyists as advisers to the McCain campaign. Does that represent change or hypocrisy? — Yale Sacks, Central Point

As a frequent letter writer to the MT, I avidly peruse the letters each day. On Sept. 13, I was pleased to see that almost all the political letters were incisive and castigated the McCain-Palin campaign on a multiplicity of issues and the spinning of the truth. However, one fact not mentioned was, there are 150 lobbyists as advisers to the McCain campaign. Does that represent change or hypocrisy? — Yale Sacks, Central Point

Amid all this hoopla about Sarah Palin, what is stressed more than anything is that she is a "hockey mom" and she has five kids, and she has a career. Guess what takes top priority?

At her Fairbanks, Alaska, homecoming Sept. 10, after she'd been away for a week, she marched down the gangway, hardly took a look at her 4-month-old child, and headed straight for the podium! Don't you think a real mother would stop for a second and at least kiss her baby, or hold it for a minute?

It appears Sarah doesn't want much to do with this "special needs" child — she depends on her daughter for most of the child care. What a hypocrite! — Clarence Zaitz, Rogue River

Gordon Smith is spending a great deal of money on misleading television ads telling us what he thinks about Jeff Merkley but little about his proposals to solve the many problems facing our country.

Jeff Merkley has addressed these issues and will do so as senator from Oregon. He will not to have to reach our to the "other party" as a Democratic senator. Think about that when voting in November. — Frank Hieber, Medford

We recently watched a vice presidential candidate interviewed. Her answers to foreign policy questions came from a script, and when the script ran out there was ... nothing.

When asked if supporting Georgia meant war with Russia, she answered, "Perhaps so." The scary thing about that answer is that it was not a reply in ignorance. It was a scripted reply. From the insane neo-cons who programmed this candidate.

Voting McCain-Palin? There will be war, my friends. — Phil Newton, Murphy

Banks are failing. Families losing homes. Highest deficit in history. Dollar is dropping fast. Unemployment is rising fast. Health insurance companies financially ruin the sick and then black-list them.

Russia and Iran laugh at us. Bin Laden runs free. We cannot turn on Iraq's electricity.

The federal government's growth has exploded under Republicans. The Justice Department breaks laws. Treason, war, torture are the words of the day. Sept. 11 happened on the Republicans' watch.

Palin lies about earmarks, the bridge and her chef. She is under investigation by her own party. She is connected to a group that wants to secede from the union. She tries to ban books. Believes Adam and Eve mingled with dinosaurs.

McCain perversely lies about kindergartners, had cancer twice (cured by federal health care, ironically) and is often confused. If all this is OK with you, then I have a bridge to nowhere for sale. — Wesley Brown, Eagle Point

Voters in state House District 4 have an opportunity to send an outstanding young man to represent them in Salem this fall. Keith Wangle of Central Point brings a rare mix of intelligence, integrity, and independence to public life.

Keith is running as an independent who seeks to move discussion of public policy beyond the red-blue divide, to put behind us the culture wars that politicians of both major parties stir up to distract their followers from the issues that matter. For Keith those issues are jobs, education, and health care. He believes independence from special interests is essential to the process of mindful lawmaking and, unlike his opponent, he accepts no money from special interests.

For leadership on the issues that matter in the Oregon Legislature, District 4 voters can trust Keith Wangle. Check him out at www.votekeith.net. — Jim S. Martin, Ashland

If you are concerned about affordable health care for yourself and your loved ones, I urge you to vote for Lynn Howe for state representative.

Lynn is uniquely qualified to work with others in the Legislature to develop health care plans. She has served as a staff nurse at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. In Detroit, she was an occupational health nurse and administrator, working throughout the state of Michigan. Later she was manager of employee health services for more than 9,000 employees of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. She is especially concerned that Oregonians recognize and meet the health care needs of our children, with 116,000 currently uncovered.

With this kind of experience plus middle school teaching experience, Lynn has the background to do a great job for the citizens of Oregon. How could we possibly have better representation? — E. A. (Don) Seebart, Talent

It's deja vu all over again: It's the economy, stupid! — Phil Nickel, Grants Pass

Sen. Gordon Smith's slimy television ads are getting more negative and insulting to the people of Oregon as his standing in the polls deteriorates.

It turns out that Smith has plenty of real slime to account for. His frozen-food company was recently cited for the fifth time since 1992 for illegally spilling wastewater into the environment. Jeff Merkley, on the other hand, has led the greenest state legislative session in the nation. The session established ambitious renewable energy standards, expanded energy tax credits for businesses, and provided Oregon with a first ever "road map" for reducing toxic pollution of our rivers, streams, and the Pacific Ocean.

We've had enough of Smith's slime. Let's send Jeff Merkley to Washington as our senator to help President Obama create real change we can believe in. — Wayne Slawson, Talent

As a fan of community television, I've watched Pete Belcastro interview folks for years. He is a friendly, credulous man with a talent for asking softball questions.

I recently listened in as he discussed his contest to take Rep. Peter Buckley's seat in Salem. And, frankly, I can't visualize him being anything but a loyal back-bencher to senior Republicans.

Peter Buckley, on the other hand, has been so effective as our legislator that he has in just four years gone from neophyte to Democratic whip. His work with Jeff Merkley on establishing a rainy-day fund, as a leader with Sen. Alan Bates for health care reform and his chairmanship of the Education Committee have served our district well.

It really is no contest, I'm voting again for Peter Buckley. — Nan Trout, Ashland

I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that John McCain had chosen a woman of integrity as his running mate. When I read about Sarah Palin and heard her speak, I liked her even better and I realized we had a winning ticket.

Sarah Palin stands for everything that is important to us Christians, and there is a mighty army of us in this wonderful country. McCain and Palin complement each other.

Palin is like a breath of fresh air which is very needful and refreshing to our country at this time in history. It is my hope that they will be our next president and vice president. — Gordon DeVos, Medford

It is extremely disturbing that the McCain/Palin ticket is suggesting that it is a negative to have one of the finest and most sought-after educations in the world.

When did it become a "bad" thing to have a knowledgeable, literate, diplomatic president? When did shrewd, calculating and "shoot from a helicopter" become the standard for the presidency/vice presidency?

Are we so deadened by lies and fear-mongering that we can't see that this is political theater? I am offended when someone can get cheers by saying she is a "pit-bull in lipstick"!

It will take the best and the brightest among us to turn America around. It will take vision and a willingness to face difficult realities ... and yes, it will take a great analytical, thoughtful and well-educated mind, someone possessing extraordinary leadership skills and diplomacy, not "win-at-all-costs," tactless responses that get headlines but lack civility, compassion or knowledge. — Kathy Young, Medford

Recent MT excerpts "From the forums" focus on the "family values" of Alaska's governor, now Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin.

"Snaketotem" says: "A pregnant 17-year-old (daughter) does not support her claim to be for family values." "Templar" says: "There is a sense of hypocrisy when a parent whose child got pregnant "¦ (stands for family values)."

Is not the best measure of family values the degree to which, in times of testing, the family gives its strength, support and protection to the weak member, the one who needs it the most? Maybe the Palin family is really the paradigm for family values.

Snaketotem and Templar: Come out of the dark anonymity of the forums and into the daylight so we can see who you are, and evaluate the glorious standard that you set for your lives, and by which you judge Sarah Palin. — Pat Patterson, Central Point

Boy, oh boy, Sen. McCain must have made the right choice. Looks like he ticked off every left-wing group in the country.

I applaud him for his choice for vice-president. It is time for a change and he made it. We finally have someone who is not a Washington elite, is pro-life, pro-gun — and maybe things will change.

Let's give her a chance. The men have screwed it up for years, why not let a woman try it. It will be a good change. — John Waldrop, U.S. Marine, Vietnam veteran, Medford

What is the difference between George Bush and Sarah Palin?

Lipstick. — Marilyn Mattheison, Medford