I know Chris Corcoran and I know John Statler. Both are good candidates for Medford City Council Ward 3.

I know Chris Corcoran and I know John Statler. Both are good candidates for Medford City Council Ward 3.

I understand the Mail Tribune has endorsed Mr. Corcoran over incumbent John Statler. It's not clear to me why, as what we don't need is a council that wants to march in lock step with one another.

There seems to be a majority on the council that represents the real estate and business communities. We need individuals like Mr. Statler who bring some independent thinking to the body.

We need thinking outside of these two cultures and John brings this to the council. I realize that he struggles at times as a voice for the neighborhoods, homeless and less fortunate. But we need this voice on the council.

So, please, vote for John Statler and provide some balance on the Medford City Council. — John Hallett, former Medford City Council member, Medford

Answer to Norma Anderson: It's time to take the blinders off, Ms. Anderson, and others. George Bush's first six years, the economy was fine. Consumer confidence was at a high. Then regular gas was $2.19, unemployment was 4.5 percent, Dow Jones record high 14,000-plus and we were buying cars, taking vactions overseas, etc.

In 2006, Americans voted in a Democratic Congress and we got change!

Since then, confidence has fallen, gas is more than $3, unemployment up to 6.5 percent. Home equity dropped by $12 trillion and still dropping, 1 percent of our homes are in foreclosure and climbing. The Dow reached a new low. Trillions of dollars have evaporated from stocks, bonds, etc.

The year 2006 called for change and the Democrats did it. Congress controls these issues, not the president. The president proposes, the Congress imposes.

Now Obama is going to make a change?

How much more change do we think we can stand? — Peggy Millard, Medford

Barack Obama is not a liberal, he's a centrist who intends to bring America together again as one. But compared to the hysterical right, Obama acts like a socialist.

What's perceived as his leftist tendencies is just his desire to restore our democratic principles under the Constitution. We're a nation of the people, not of the wealthy.

The old conservative mentality of so-called independence, of every man fending for himself, of deregulation, of trickle-down economics, has not worked. Look what the past eight years has brought us.

Obama's tax plans are not to take from the rich and give to the poor, but to retool our economy in order to create jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, fund schools, provide for seniors, take care of our veterans and generate opportunity for all.

Obama is not to be feared, he is to be voted for as our next president. — Dennis Rasmussen, Rogue River

While there are many reasons to vote for Obama and not McCain, the overriding reason not to vote for McCain is Sarah Palin.

Do we really want to entrust the potential leadership of this country to someone as inexperienced and naïve as Sarah? Or to someone whose values only are shared by Christian fundamentalists?

Or to someone who has zero concern over our environment? Or to someone who makes divisive statements as to who is more American than others?

We already have had eight years of a disastrous leadership and we cannot afford four more years of the same, or even worse. Sarah has been accused of abuse of power as governor of Alaska. I shudder when I think what she would do as president, or even as vice president of this country. We cannot let this happen! — Jorge Heller, Ashland

1. The art of spite.

2. Promises! Promises! Promises!

3. Nourishment for unearned insatiable expectations? — Ed Wrona, Ashland

Since our country began, our forefathers fought and gave their lives to guarantee Democratic freedoms we enjoy. This year's election is more than electing McCain or Obama, it's choosing to maintain Democracy or choosing a socialistic-based government.

I deal with many small businesses and Obama's tax plan will affect many of them. His plan will force layoffs due to increased taxes and his health-care plan. Socialized medicine is not the answer.

Do you honestly want government to tell you how much money you can make or keep? Do you want to lose freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms? Would you really feel our country is safe from terrorists under Obama?

Big government, higher taxes and more spending is not the answer. Picture Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Frank controlling your purse strings. That scares the heck out of me. Vote smart, vote McCain/Palin. — Robert and Laura Bennett, Eagle Point

Your endorsement of Barack Hussein Obama confirms for me that journalism in 2008 is indeed dead.

Your endorsement ignores his terrorist Bill (bombed the Pentagon) Ayers association.

Your endorsement ignores his razor-thin qualifications for president.

Your endorsement ignores his determination to harm the U.S. economy with his socialist/Marxist philosophy. Witness his "it's good to spread the wealth" comment to Joe the Plumber recently.

Your endorsement ignores the fact the Democratic Party created the current financial fiasco through a corruption of the Community Re-Investment Act passed during the Carter years.

I'm not entirely a fan of McCain but I'll vote for a man who honorably served his country and truly is concerned with preserving and promoting the American dream. — Richard Gyuro, White City

When I think of the qualifications important in a judge, I think of fairness and equal treatment for all, but I also want someone who values their family and understands and is involved in the community. Doug McGeary is the obvious choice for Jackson County Circuit Court judge, position 6.

Our family and Doug's family grew up together in this valley. I've watched Doug grow up here, work here and raise his family here. He carries on a fine family reputation of integrity and commitment to his community and he will make a fine judge. Vote Doug McGeary, Jackson County Circuit Court judge. — Wanda Long, Phoenix, owner/president, Norton Lumber Co.

Who can you trust? Whatever promises the Republicans/Democrats make now, don't mean anything come Jan. 9, if Congress won't pass it.

McCain might have voted 80-90 percent with President Bush, but he disagreed with him also. Did Sen. Obama ever vote with President Bush any time while he was in the Senate? Or did he just say "present" and not vote at all?

Let's look at how many times Sen. Obama voted for his party. Congress controls the goverment. I believe we will be in a world of hurt if the Democrats control Congress and the White House. Vote for John McCain. — Randy Nelson, Central Point

Whether left or right, extremists never should be given the power to govern. But over most of the last eight years, we gave the keys of the federal government to right-wing extremists and now our wonderful country is falling apart.

The right wing governs like their idea of a corporation, planning ahead no further than the next quarterly income statement. Never forget these people said "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq years ago.

The right wing pushes blanket deregulation. First Enron, then they moved to financial markets. You know the results.

The right-wing theme is "I've got mine, to heck with you." Evidently ignoring the eye-of-the-needle parable, they will dismantle programs that saved this country after the Great Depression.

The right-wing agenda: preach responsibility but govern irresponsibly; make government fail; call those who disagree unpatriotic; win elections through fear. Don't let them. This election, vote Democratic! — Dan Van Dyke, Ashland

I just received my Oregon Right To Life voters guide in the mail, which brought to mind this election is more about our morals as a nation rather than the economy.

The economy will come back as it always does, especially if McCain-Palin are elected because we will not be taxed into oblivion. Sen. McCain said, "Whenever the value of one class of persons is not respected, whether they are unborn, handicapped and elderly, the dignity of all mankind is threatened."

Sen. Obama in a press release Jan. 2 said, "I have consistently had a 100 pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL pro-choice America.

Do they support ...

Partial birth abortion? McCain: no; Obama: yes.

Parental involvement laws? McCain: yes; Obama: no.

Taxpayer-funded abortions? McCain: no; Obama: yes.

Roe v. Wade? McCain: no; Obama: yes.

Human cloning? McCain: no; Obama: yes.

Please vote for pro-life candidates. God will honor us for it. — Huntley Barns, Medford

College grads and students: What was/is your purpose for going to college? Higher wages? Better life for you and your families? Finding a cure for all the ills and maladies that face the world?

All worthwhile goals, but have you factored in the tax burden that an Obama presidency would implement? Increase of Social Security tax on unlimited salary, currently capped about $100,000, income tax increase of 15 to 19 percent on anyone making $250,000 or more, including small businesses.

Now is the time to consider what change you really want. A change to Marxism/socialism or do you want to retain the capitalism that has sustained the U.S. for so long? Your choice: redistribution of wealth or to the limits your personal knowledge or ambition can take you.

An Obama presidency will have a lasting effect ... just consider the Supreme Court appointees he will choose. Think about it. — John Feeney, Jacksonville

We must impeach President Bush for some minor crime. He needs to be under impeachment until he leaves office to prevent him from issuing blanket pardons for any of the crimes that were committed by members of his administration while they were selling us on the invasion of Iraq and while they were destroying the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution. — Jim Coyle, Medford

Sen. Obama talks bipartisanship, judgment and change. Let's compare.

Sen. Obama gives a rousing speech but lacks executive experience, is unproven on national security, opposed drilling and on controversial issues votes present. He continually supports tax increases, the wrong medicine for jobs and the economy.

He distorts his extreme partisan record and questionable relationships. His change is expanding Chicago machine politics and redistributing your money.

Sen. McCain puts us first by championing causes irrespective of political consequences. He works across party lines. He warned about Fannie and proposed financial regulation.

His energy plan will provide energy independence, jobs and economic growth. He has a real tax cut for families. He is proven internationally. He and Gov. Palin fight corruption.

During the primary, Sens. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton questioned Barack Obama's readiness and judgment to be president. Nothing's changed since.

The clear choice: Sen. McCain has the judgment and is ready. — Bill Fierke, Central Point

Regarding the election:

I cannot believe that America has fallen so far to the left that any thinking person could consider B.O. as the next leader of this great country.

How is it that all the sleazeballs of Hollywood and Washington, D.C., have come out of the walls in support of this wolf in sheep's clothing?

McCain is not perfect, but he is a patriot, well-qualified to lead this great country!

It could be that America, in its following after other gods, is moving into its demise rapidly and B.O. will be used to bring America down to its collapse.

He is a leftist of the worse kind; you think we have problems now, just wait, should he win, and you will have your own stupidity to blame. — E. Roberts, Medford

It amazes me that the Dems will continue to use this old saw that "they're not going to raise our taxes — they're just going to raise the taxes of business." Is there really anyone around that does not understand that "we" as the end consumer pay the businesses taxes?

Either this happens or the business goes out of business. Even if I believed their propaganda I still would question the thinking behind raising taxes at all right now. And it's not just the taxes but also the "credit" or "rebate" or whatever they intend to call it that will go to the almost 40 percent of the people who don't pay taxes.

Where is this money going to come from? I think from our Social Security reserves. — Thomas Chadwell, Central Point

We just can't afford Jeff Merkley.

At a time when all the polls state that our No.1 concern is the economy, we would do well to vote for candidates who would not increase the tax burden on working Oregonians.

Here's how State Rep. Jeff Merkley voted on the following issues, which affect working Oregonians, not the rich. "No" on property tax relief for seniors (HB 2792). "Yes" on increase in fuel tax (HB 2082). "Yes" — twice — on increasing fishing and hunting license fees (HB 2260). "Yes" to raise vehicle registration and title fees. "Yes" to impose fee hikes on boats. "Yes" to increase license plate fees (HB 2269).

Space doesn't allow me to list the other 14 Merkley tax-increase votes.

I found no instance where Sen. Gordon Smith voted on any bill that would increase costs or taxes on Oregonians.

A vote for Gordon Smith benefits all Oregonians. — Leonard Thornton Sr., Jacksonville