Now we can all understand why members of Congress do not want lobbyists trying to influence their votes. They don't want amateurs interfering with the hundreds of millions of dollars their party leaders will pay for their votes.

Now we can all understand why members of Congress do not want lobbyists trying to influence their votes. They don't want amateurs interfering with the hundreds of millions of dollars their party leaders will pay for their votes.

Let's pray for our country — or have they banned that also? — Gene Rushing, Medford

Whether you are for or against health care reform, buying a senator's vote for $300 million is just wrong. Who gave them permission to spend the taxpayers' money on a bribe? Or, does it matter any more?

If this doesn't open everyone's eyes then nothing will. I've always thought our representatives were responsible to us. If buying votes with public money is OK with the electorate now, our "what's in it for me?" mentality has won out and we are headed down a path we will never recover from. — Cliff Combs, Rogue River

In response to Mark Lewis' letter, "Don't be fooled" on Measures 66 and 67.

We need to vote no on both measures.

Oregon will be the second-highest income tax state in the U.S. at 10.8 percent.

This corporate tax is up to 1 percent on all gross income for 2009 and beyond. A small business owner I know will have to pay $50,000. Then he deducts his expense and pays income tax. He will have to lay off employees or raise his prices. He has to pay corporate tax even if he earns no profit.

These taxes are unnecessary when the state has more than $3.5 billion in reserve.

Why have people unemployed because businesses leave Oregon? Why would business come to Oregon if these measures become law?

Will this tax induce small business operators to relocate or outsource? Why lose more jobs in Oregon?

Vote no on 66 and 67. — Roger King, Eagle Point

It's an eerie feeling to drive past Talent Elementary School on a school day and see no children and no teacher's cars in the parking lot. I want no more school "furloughs," inadequate policing, and increased unemployment in Oregon. That's why I'm voting "yes" on Measures 66 and 67.

If these measures fail, Oregon will lose one billion dollars in revenues. Jobs will be lost as businesses move away from a state in which education, law enforcement and human services are collapsing.

The basic issue is tax fairness.

Since the Great Depression, Oregon businesses have paid a $10 minimum tax.

Measure 67 would simply adjust that for inflation to $150 and tax large corporations 0.1 percent of sales — leaving Oregon with still the lowest business taxes in the West.

Measure 66 would raise taxes on family incomes over $250,000; the rest of us will pay not a penny more. — Wayne Slawson, Talent

I got a kick out of Ralph Temple's guest opinion in your paper on Dec. 16. He takes issue with the Christmas tree as a Christian symbol and it shouldn't be in our schools. I don't recall seeing it identified as a symbol in the Bible or in the churches I've attended.

I'd rather see him take issue with the nude perverts that can still walk Ashland streets in front of our kids and schools. — Don Witt, Eagle Point

I found a bit of irony with the order of breaking news headlines listed on the Mail Tribune Wednesday. First was the "Experiment to test killing barred owl to help spotted owl," followed by "State: 650,000 Oregonians now rely on food stamps."

So let me get this straight. We stop logging to protect the spotted owl, but the spotted owls numbers are still diminishing even without human intervention/logging due to another natural threat so we need to exterminate that threat to achieve that warm/fuzzy feeling? Stop the world/madness and let me get off. — Dan Moore, Medford

I have found that Josephine and Jackson County business owners are getting much more vigilant about service dogs. Unfortunately, some take it to the extreme.

If a service dog is a psychiatric service dog, that dog has to do no more than accompany his/her owner. They are usually trained to steer a person out of an overwhelming situation, but how many people are going to feel comfortable explaining what task the dog performs? Especially to someone who puts forward a judgmental persona, which is not all that unusual. — Carole J. Weisser, Grants Pass