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On Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Democratic National Convention, we heard Bill Clinton repeatedly take credit for the Republicans' economic package that revived our economy in the '90s. He vetoed the package twice before realizing that its passage would help him get re-elected.

Then he told us that Obama's massive debt and spending was merely laying the groundwork for a marvelous recovery in his second term.

Next morning, we were hit between the eyes with reality. The United States had dropped two places in world competitiveness. Last year we were in fifth place, now we're seventh. We were first in 2008.

Add that to another story that hunger in America rose to a record 17.9 million households in 2011, and reality comes painfully into focus.

Lies may recover for the ineptitude, but they can't erase the truth. — Ron Smith, Medford

Jeff Scroggin for Jackson County commissioner has my vote. I was impressed when meeting him at a local house party with his ability to be a coalition-builder who can work with the current commissioners and knows how things work at both the state and federal levels.

His goals as commissioner include economic development, creating family wage jobs, transparent and responsible budgeting, safeguarding taxpayer funds and ensuring that services are maintained, fair and equitable land-use laws, preserving our valley's spectacular natural features and farmland, safety-net social services, helping families get on their feet and enabling frail elders to live in dignity.

Jeff has the energy and enthusiasm that will serve us all well as Jackson County commissioner. Please consider Jeff when voting in November. — Lillian Koppelman, Medford

1. Does anyone remember how Hitler was coddled by the "peace lovers" who helped him almost conquer the world?

Millions died before a strong America and our American military and allies finally defeated the Axis. Maybe you had a loved one lost in that war; we did. We should never forget!

2. Do our enemies "like us" better under our present "appeasement" policies?

3. Is al-Qaida now defeated?

4. Is the present administration's open-arms policy working?

5. Do we really believe that a "learn-on-the-job" president is leading America to peace and prosperity?

Elections do have consequences! — Clinton (Ken) Millard, Medford

Shady Cove will have a vote for a water system this November.

It proposes a bond issue costing each property owner about $1 per thousand of assessed property value. If your house is assessed at $400,000 — mine's at $100,000 — you will pay four times more.

If you live more than 50 feet from the water main, you will be forced to pay an undetermined amount to have water brought to your home past that 50 feet. The city has no idea how much more it will cost you. If you are in Phase 2 of the plan, you don't even have a guarantee that you will get water, but are guaranteed to be taxed for this long before you get it.

A water system should be paid for equally by all. Please vote; just be careful of what you are voting for. — Barbara Holmquist, Shady Cove

The question of who stands to benefit from the Romney-Ryan tax plan is worth asking. It turns out that Las Vegas gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has already contributed $36 million to various candidates in the Republican primary and general elections, has promised to invest not just $100 million more, but "whatever it takes." But why, one might ask. The answer is easy: He stands personally to gain $2.3 billion in tax cuts from the Romney plan.

Many have argued since the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision that there is too much money in politics these days, with the result that our politicians and government seem to be for sale to the highest bidder. The Adelson story confirms our democracy is at risk.

Anyone thinking a President Romney would represent the middle class and not do the bidding of the Sheldon Adelsons of the nation should think again. — Michael Morgan, Ashland

We know about the unacceptable unemployment rate and empathize with unemployed Americans. But what is the solution? Republicans argue for tax cuts for the top 1 percent and tax increases for the middle class to pay for them. They argue it is the 1 percent who create all the jobs.

Economists tell us that high unemployment persists because businesses, sitting on mountains of cash, aren't investing in more production. Production limits exist because current capacity already exceeds what consumers can buy; the middle class doesn't have the money to buy. Increasing middle-class taxes will make matters worse. Cutting taxes for the top 1 percent will not solve this problem. And compounding this problem is that the Republicans block all Democratic proposals that would promote recovery.

The Democratic approach, however, is to give tax breaks to the middle class so we have more money and can increase consumption; this promotes greater production and higher employment. This is economic sanity. — Jean Morgan, Ashland

I would like to thank Douglas Kent for his letter of Sept. 27 and John Ogle for his letter of Sept. 28. These letters say a lot of what I feel.

We should be acting like our country is the most important. We need to get our Nativity scenes back, our crosses back, and be able to say Merry Christmas. I really miss the Christmas programs at the schools.

Our children should be allowed to pray in school without being in trouble for it. We should have the Constitution showing everywhere. We should get our country back with honest people running it. They shouldn't be put in office because they can spend the most money on being elected. That money could be going to our schools and other programs we have lost because of the huge debt we are in.

I would hate to see us lose our great nation. May God bless our nation. — Judy Westcott, Talent

I do not know David Orr. I do know Judge Bloom, before and after his appointment, and have for quite a few years. His appointment to the bench was a major plus in joining our local judges. He is definitely a person of diligence, intelligence, integrity and has a good reputation.

I'm not sure where Mr. Orr is going, but hopefully not to the bench of our Jackson County Circuit Court. My vote is and always will be for Judge Ben Bloom. I urge you to join me in voting for Judge Bloom. — Elsie Wehren, Medford

There are two ways to bet on climate change — get ready for it, or ignore it. So who among our national, state and local candidates is telling you their first and highest priority is getting us ready for climate change? Nobody? Isn't that odd?

Humans possess an insane ability to live in denial. Evidently that ability applies even when they're betting the lives of our children. That is what they are doing, you know. Those who choose to ignore climate change won't pay for their mistake; our children are the ones who will pay.

Therefore, when you choose how to vote this fall, please think about which side of the bet you're taking — voting for those who will prepare us for what's coming, or voting for those who ignore it. — Bruce Harrell, Ashland

It is so good to know that a man of Dick Gordon's integrity is willing to represent Ward 1 on the Medford City Council.

He is diligent in spending hours researching the issues before the city. He's honest and straightforward, willing to tell you the hard truth because he knows that "papering over" something does no one any good in the long run. And when Dick says he's going to do something, he follows through.

City Council members receive no pay, and yet the decisions they make have as much or more impact on our lives than national or state candidates. Thank goodness we have people of CEO caliber like Dick Gordon willing to step up. I urge you to vote for Dick Gordon for City Council, Ward 1. — Sally Densmore, Medford