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Now the U.S. Treasury Department has given $1.64 million dollars to financial institutions serving struggling communities. Jackson and Josephine counties' jobless figures are greater than the national average, but neither received money. It all went to Portland.

This was after the distribution of $88 million in federal funds that were intended for high unemployment and foreclosure counties. Portland did not meet the requirements for this funding, but our elected officials rewrote the rules and awarded the money to Multnomah County, which includes Portland. Could this be because Multnomah County is the largest political power in the state and this means more votes?

When will Salem realize that Oregon is made up of more than Multnomah County and work for our benefit, too? I would like to see decisions made by our officials based on more than what might be politically beneficial to them.

Maybe the State of Jefferson is not such a bad idea. — Anita Willard, Jacksonville

I am a contractor and base my reputation on integrity. I was taught at a young age to be accountable for my mistakes. In my profession, it is imperative to do the job correctly from the conception of the project to guarantee longevity. If you do it wrong and it falls apart, it's completely your responsibility to fix the problem whatever the cost to yourself.

I've been dodging and bouncing through the potholes on Garfield Street for about 10 years. They get filled every year or so but they wash back out every time. Now with the school at one end and the Interstate on-ramp at the other, there's talk of grants to repair said potholes within the next two years. Two years?

My question is, what company did such a poor job of prepping, compacting and pouring the asphalt in that section in the first place? It doesn't take a genius to see that the road was prepared incorrectly in the beginning. How about some accountability from the company that laid this defective piece of roadway? — Jay Spencer, Medford

Alan Bates is not part of the solution, as stated in the Aug. 25 ad by three special interest groups, he is part of Oregon's problem. He is a Democratic legislator who votes to spend and then spend more, regardless of the consequences.

These actions have brought us to the point where the governor had to announce across-the-board cuts in the middle of the biennium. The governor has had to announce these cuts two or three times.

Dr. Bates is one of those politicians who can't say "no" to higher taxes and more spending. Let's get some fiscal responsibility in the Legislature. Vote for Marine Col. Dave Dotterrer, he has some plans for reducing state spending. — Russ Chadick, Ashland