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Make the right choice

Do you want your next president to be skilled in debate (Kerry), or on top of the defeat of terrorism in our United States (Bush)? Do you want your next president to be willing to hand over the fate of our country to the corrupt global nations, or to be able to make a decision based on the fate of our United States?

Do you want a president who has voted in the Senate (when he actually made it to vote) to send our children to war, and then voted against funding their supplies (Kerry)? Do you want a president who says one thing and then, in gibberish, says something else (Kerry)?

How can there be any other choice than the plain-speaking, God-fearing honesty of George W. Bush? Our future and the future of our children and grandchildren depends upon making the right choice, George W. Bush in 2004. ' Nancy Brousseau, Central Point,

Elect Doty

Medford deserves an intelligent, capable, articulate representative in Salem, one who is able to study each proposed piece of legislation and determine its value for Southern Oregon and the whole state. Elect John Doty to the Legislature. ' Jean Maack, Medford

Not about discrimination

Measure 36 is not about discrimination. It is a black-and-white issue of right and wrong. The laws we live by should promote the basic concepts of morality taught in the home, not weaken them. We learn to function properly in society by firmly enforcing the basic principles we inherently know to be right, and our laws should establish boundaries that clearly define what is acceptable behavior, and what is not. If we allow the legal definition of marriage to become indistinct and uncertain, what's next? No rules or limits whatsoever on personal behavior?

Gays and lesbians deserve our love and respect, but they don't need us to condone their actions by lowering the standards of acceptable conduct. Our children need to know that marriage ' legally defined to be between one man and one woman ' is right, and that homosexuality, polygamy, incestuous relationships and other kinds of deviant behavior, are wrong. ' Dan Mundell, Central Point

Fascinating and revealing

I found the following exchange, copied from a transcript of the Bush/Kerry debate, fascinating and revealing. It has nothing to do with foreign policy and everything to do with how these two men view the worth of women.

Kerry: Well, first of all, I appreciate enormously the personal comments the president just made. And I share them with him. I think only if you're doing this ' and he's done it more than I have in terms of the presidency ' can you begin to get a sense of what it means to your families. And it's tough. And so I acknowledge that his daughters ' I've watched them.

Kerry: I've chuckled a few times at some of their comments.

(laughter)

And...

Bush: I'm trying to put a leash on them.

(laughter)

Kerry: Well, I know. I've learned not to do that.

(laughter) ' Leslie B. Lee, Jacksonville

A hunter for Bush

Sportsmen's organizations and their far-left opponents all agree on one thing: John Kerry's record. Kerry may try to talk the talk, but he cannot walk the walk. The fact is that Senator Kerry has received an F from the NRA and a zero from Gun Owners of America while compiling a perfect voting record according to groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Fund for Animals, groups that promote the elimination of hunting!

President Bush is a hunter and an angler and his support for sportsmen is more than just empty words. But the president needs your help to protect the Second Amendment.

This election will be as close as 2000 and every vote is important. As a veteran, a hunter and a fisherman, I encourage you to vote as I will'for Bush-Cheney! ' Delbert Bock, Rogue River

Vote no on 36

Why should the Constitution be amended? Why can't it just remain the same?

I do not care about specific homosexuals, gays or lesbians. If they start targeting a specific sexual orientation, what is going to stop them from targeting religious groups or interracial marriages?

Why can't they leave the Constitution the way it is and leave each state to handle the issue?

Vote no on 36. It is not just about one man and one woman. It is about an individual's freedom in America.

Who will be the next target? Will it be you? ' G. Lopez, White City

Spending and borrowing

Republicans have dominated the Oregon Legislature for 15 years and despite Republican secret plans, we don't fund schools, state police or the health plan and we have horrible unemployment, few available living-wage jobs and the lowest corporate taxes in the country. Hmmm.

Spend-and-borrow neo-cons have owned the federal government for the past four years and we have record fuel costs, — million net lost jobs, low-paying new jobs, huge tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent, more government intrusion, doubling terrorism, thousands killed and wounded in Iraq, constantly flopping reasons for war, hypocritical non-support for soldiers and veterans, a poor economy and disastrous deficits. Need more?

Republicans can regain control of their party, which used to stand for something besides profiteering, by not voting for this band of neo-cons. We must prioritize our country ahead of party loyalty. Follow many other Republicans like Pete McCloskey and vote for Kerry. ' Daniel Davis, veteran for Kerry, Jacksonville

Respect basic rights

Thank you, Mail Tribune, for coming out in opposition to Ballot Measure 36. Marriage is a mutual commitment, a decision for two adults to make for themselves.

I know so many older gay people who did what was expected when they were younger ' they married, had children, then found they could not sustain the lie. Result: Divorce.

I look forward to a future where young people who are gay will be able to realize they have an option. They can share a life together with someone they really love, facing life's challenges together.

Stable relationships contribute to a stable society. Those who respect the basic rights of all Oregonians will vote no on Constitutional Amendment 36. ' Kris York, Medford

Out of range

Let's fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here. On the surface this pithy one-liner sounds good. But think about it ' there are innocent people dying in Iraq for our so-called war on terror. If we are so moral and pro-life how can we justify this action? One only has to look at the last 50 years in Israel to see where Iraq is heading.

Fear should not be our motivation. They don't hate our freedom, they are responding to our lopsided foreign policy.

Some boast of our administration's resolve; I see it as The bravery of being out of range. ' John Dodero, Jacksonville

Voting for Doty

How fortunate for us, the citizens of Jackson County, to have John Doty vying for the office of District 6 representative to the Oregon Legislature.

A man of solid character, John Doty understands Oregon's tax system shouldn't rely so heavily on the individual income taxpayer. He is a dedicated teacher and soccer coach and will adequately fund our children's education.

Most importantly, John Doty respects and honors the day-to-day struggle faced by so very many families in today's tough economy. He will work to help small businesses get the support they need to grow and expand their labor force.

A more community-minded representative to Salem will be hard to come by, and that is why I'll be casting my vote for John Doty on Nov 2. ' Maggie Thompson, Medford

Facts are simple

This is in response to Marilyn Arthur's letterSept. 30.

First off, I would like to point out that not everyone in this country believes there is only one true god. She says we've slain millions of unborn babies, but what about all the thousands of innocent men, women, and children Bush has had murdered because of his foolish insistence on going to Iraq?

The facts of this campaign are simple. We've wasted &

36;200 billion and rising on an unjust war, we lost over 1,000 soldiers, terrorism worldwide is rising, we lost jobs, we lost health coverage, schools across the nation are losing funding and Bush has done nothing.

Vote against zealotry, arrogance, ignorance and deceit. Help put America back in a position of power and respect. ' Craig Stephens, Ashland

Vote for Densmore

Your vote for Sue Densmore will ensure that all decisions are made openly before the public. Sue will not allow our Rogue Valley air quality to be jeopardized. Sue will protect our farm and recreational lands from special interest groups. Sue will bring both her innate intelligence and many years of public service experience to bear upon all the complicated issues that require thorough assessment of all potential impacts. ' Marilyn Briggs, Ashland

Why is it?

Why is it that in this greatest nation on the planet, the only choices that have any chance of being the leader of not only the people of this great nation, but of the free world are John Kerry or George W. Bush? How has it come to this?

I have to think that I am not the only one out there who finds this not only amazing, but also very frustrating. I am a firm believer in exercising the rights we have to vote in every election, but ... ouch! ' Steve Anderson, Medford

Are you happy?

The Republicans were soliciting signatures for Nader. Desperation? If you are happy with betrayal of conservative economic policies, over 1,000 GI deaths, back-door Guard enlistments extended, unconscionable prisoner abuses, massive increases in terrorist recruits, mushrooming worldwide dangers, government lying about the necessity for war, shortchanging our troops with inadequate equipment, veteran care, stuffing Halliburton with millions of dollars for unaccountable bills, alienation of our lifetime allies, destruction of our priceless forests and natural resources to benefit huge corporations who do not pay their fair share of taxes, excessive tax benefits for the wealthiest — percent of our citizens while 45 million go without affordable health care, elderly without prescription drugs while pharmaceutical companies rake in billions, saddling our grandchildren with billions in future debt ' if you like these things, be sure to vote Republican in November and we'll get four more years. ' Milt Goldman, Jacksonville

Elect Alan Bates

Dr. Alan Bates deserves your vote. Thanks to Dr. Bates, Oregon received millions of federal dollars for the Oregon Health Plan. Oregon citizens, like all citizens across the country, are faced with mounting medical and drug costs.

We have the foremost expert on health care in Salem, running a positive campaign for the state Senate seat. Elect Dr. Bates and let someone with your interests at heart represent you. ' Ramie Streng, Ashland

Yes on Measure 37

Under today's laws, the government has the right to confiscate up to 95 percent of your private property without paying you a dime! Wake up, landowners!

Measure 37 protects the rights of the politically weak minority from the majority.

Measure 7 was approved by a majority of the people in the last election and was shot down by the courts. Don't let this happen again.

Vote yes on 37. Let's right the wrong. ' Joe Jarvis, Brookings

Yes on 35

Julia Roberts she ain't. Erin Brockovich, the paid spokeswoman for attorney's organization, afraid of losing their millions in frivolous lawsuits, is sticking her nose back in Oregon politics.

She infers caps on insurance claims are about money for insurance companies. Insurance companies will always have money, as all of us know who have seen our premiums skyrocket.

Her stance against Measure 35 has nothing to do with insurance companies and everything to do with frivolous and outlandish settlements which line the pockets of attorneys while driving physicians out of business and the rest of us scrambling to pay for insurance premiums out of control.

She assumes we will believe her when she lies to us about how caps are unsuccessful in other states. She infers it's all about money and as she deposits her big paycheck for her commercial, I'm sure it is. Erin Brockovich, go home. Yes on 35. ' Alan Garner, Ashland

Voting for Wright

We have known Jim Wright for 40 years, long enough to know the measure of the man. His honesty and integrity go hand in hand with his character.

During the many years we have done business with Jim Wright, we have always found him fair and professional. We are sure Jim will bring these characteristics with him to Salem.

Jim is a long-standing volunteer and community activist. He served on the boards of many local nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross and Asante Health Systems.

We know who Jim Wright is and what he stands for. When he is our next state senator he'll fight for what's right. His fairness and sensibility will help him make bipartisan choices, and do what's best for Southern Oregon and the state.

We urge you to vote for Jim Wright, the right man for senator. ' Noel and Lovella Moore, Central Point

Supporting Smith

I have known C.W. Smith for over 20 years both in his professional capacities in law enforcement and business and also as a friend. Through all of these years I have known him to be a very compassionate person willing to step in and help anyone who had a need. C.W. will look after the county's future not with visions of the past but as someone who will fight for balance between growth and economic prosperity. He knows how to draw on talent from within the community to provide help in making the right decisions for Jackson County. ' Chuck Gates, Medford

Vote yes on 35

The opponents of Measure 35 in their TV ads starring Erin Brockovich state that medical malpractice premiums have gone up in states that have capped malpractice awards for non-economic damages. This is contrary to the Oregon experience and belies their assertion.

In the '80s Oregon faced a medical malpractice crisis similar to the present one. In 1987 the Legislature placed a cap on non-economic damages. The result? Insurance companies came back to the market and insurance premiums quickly fell to half of what they were in 1987.

The choice is this: Do I vote no, hoping for the remote chance that I might someday get millions of dollars in non-economic damages; or vote yes, with the hope that a cap will work again and increase the changes of critical medical care becoming more available. For me it is no contest. Vote yes on Measure 35. ' Gordon W. Dickerson, M.D., Medford

Voting for Esquivel

Sal Esquivel is a strong candidate for Oregon state representative, District 6. Sal grew up in Medford and graduated from Medford High. He has always maintained a strong interest in improving west Medford.

Sal's organizational skills were evident in his leadership of a committee that provided badly needed safe playground equipment at four Medford elementary schools. This project was a huge success! In addition, his experiences on the Medford City Council revealed his ability to work with others while not compromising his principles.

If elected, Sal will work for a strong Oregon educational system. We are voting for Sal Esquivel! ' John and Alice Kovenz, Medford

Vote for Doty

I am concerned by comments made by an Oregon House candidate during last week's League of Women Voters forum on Kids and Families. When asked a question from an audience member on how to stabilize funding for schools, Sal Esquivel dismissed the question and asked for a question with some substance. As a Medford teacher, I find his response offensive.

He also opposes bilingual education programs since, in his opinion, all students, regardless of ethnicity, should be forced to speak only English. I wonder how these children would fare without the guidance and support of these programs. Immersion in a new language is challenging and stressful for students and teachers, and both depend on the support provided by bilingual programs.

We need a representative who thoroughly understands that education is a critical issue in Oregon. This November, I encourage you to vote for Medford teacher John Doty. ' Melissa Cavin, Medford

Vote for Wheeler

I am writing this letter to voice my support for Gary Wheeler for mayor of Medford.

I have been a patient of Gary's for over 15 years and have always found him to be kind and considerate to those he serves through his optometric practice. I do know that he has been very active in many civic groups including the chamber and the Red Cross where he served in leadership roles.

I urge you to vote for this lifelong resident of the valley for Medford mayor on Nov. 2. ' Bill Ross, Medford

A new captain

President George Bush's foreign policies in general, and his war on Iraq in particular, suggest this variation on an historic scene:

The captain of a giant ocean liner in the North Atlantic stands proudly on the bridge of his ship as it sails, full speed ahead, through dangerous waters. The passengers on the deck of the ship are shouting, Iceberg ahead, iceberg ahead!

Many of the captain's subordinate officers are diplomatically, but ever more urgently, advising him, Iceberg ahead, sir. The commanders of other ships nearby radio, Exercise extreme caution, icebergs in the area. The captain remains resolute and steadfast on his collision course with history.

Choose a new captain, please. ' Skip Stokes, Jacksonville

Oregon's war on error

Regarding the war on terror, George W. Bush asks us to vote in favor of two attributes:

1. Clear message.

2. Firm resolve.

I agree with him; therefore my vote goes to John Kerry. Kerry's message? Black-market nuclear materials are a larger and longer-term threat than are the Iraqi Baathists. Kerry's resolve? To work in the real world of international cooperation to find and eliminate such weapons.

On the local front, we have the opportunity to send two energetic and intelligent men to Salem: Alan Bates and Peter Buckley. How refreshing it would be to have a solution-minded team in state government.

No more posturing, closed schools or state trooper cutbacks. Let's call it Oregon's war on error. ' Bryan Frink, Ashland

Basic fairness

Measure 36 will create a double standard in Oregon's Constitution. Heterosexual men and women can be unfaithful, divorce within months or even days, remarry time after time, treat their children like dirt and still receive the blessings of the law. But two homosexuals who honor their lifelong commitment to one another and exemplify responsible parenthood will have no protection. Please consider a no vote on 36 as a matter of basic fairness and equal rights. ' David and Lori Sours, Medford