It has been the mantra of Al Gore/Bill Clinton since the 2000 presidential election that this election was stolen from Mr. Gore in the great state of Florida. I believe that he (Gore) believed he could go back to Florida and partially “right the wrong” (he believes) inflicted on him by the courts of Florida.
He hoped to accomplish this by being instrumental, with the help of Mr. Clinton, in ending Jeb Bush's tenure as governor of the state. He succeeded only in wasting a tremendous amount of personal political capital.
More significantly, he showed that the power and lure of the Clinton/Gore combo is not what it once was and that President Bush is a campaigner to be reckoned with.
The Democratic Party will be able to field many qualified presidential hopefuls in 2004. After Florida 2002, I hope that Mr. Gore will realize he's no longer relevant and just fade from the political scene. He owes this to his party.
Much has already been written about the Nov. 5 election. I am sure much more will follow. Three items were significant.
First, the “memorial service” for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone deeply offended most Americans. The dis-invitation to Vice President Dick Cheney and the booing of Republican senators in attendance did not set well with the electorate. That single event was the turning point of the election, in my opinion.
Second, the disregard for New Jersey election law (endorsed editorially by The Blade) by the Democratic Party of that state also angered thoughtful voters.
Finally, in a bipartisan spirit, the electorate of Arkansas showed the door to their Republican senator in his re-election bid. After he was elected six years ago he dumped his wife and married a young staffer. The electorate did not accept his version of “family values.”
I have never been more proud of the American electorate.
DON E. STATHULIS
National voter turnout Nov. 5 was little more than 39 percent of voting-age citizens. This pathetic showing of “patriotism” is especially poignant after 9/11.
Terrorists don't have to destroy America. We're doing a fine job of it on our own by political suicide.
In the decade from 1991 to 2000, voter turnout has averaged 45 percent of the voting-age population. Combine this with the way campaigns are financed and you have the reasons for Republican gains during the past three decades. I guess Republicans and their billion-dollar corporate funders can gloat about that.
A recent letter from a radical right-winger chided The Blade for allegedly treating the readers like idiots. After the Nov. 5 election, this assessment appears accurate. Voters just elected a government that:
w Fouls your water.
w Increases air pollution in national parks.
w Created a huge federal budget deficit.
w Tried to destroy Social Security via privatization.
w Appoints union-busting judges.
w Wants to declare an oil war unilaterally and without provocation.
Despite the radical right's claim of Republican support from the polls, the facts are that our nation is split on the war issue. This doesn't concern oil industry shills like President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
A war is viewed by this administration as a “positive issue environment” and is very likely a part of Mr. Cheney's secret energy policy.
What a joy it is to read Christopher Borrelli's reviews. It doesn't even matter whether I agree with him, he is always entertaining.
He is witty and he knows his movies. Who could ask for anything more?
According to the Master Settlement Agreement, Ohio's share of the tobacco money will be $9.87 billion through 2025. Of that a small portion is to go to the people who need it the most, the people affected by smoking.
S.B. 192 breaks the money up into 11 funds and allocates yearly revenue, of which a small portion goes to the Department of Health.
Just 5 percent of those funds are to go to a non-entitlement program to help low-income seniors buy medication and oxygen if adversely affected by smoking.
Guess what? Lucas County is getting about $12,000 a year for this program. After two years the program has never been started. Not only have no funds been spent, if a senior does find a way to apply he or she must be at a 100 percent poverty level and sick.
With all of that tobacco money going to build new schools and to police and research, why can't the state give some to those who really need it?
I thoroughly enjoyed Gretchen Mogenson's Nov. 10 article titled “Pipeline to a point man.”
It appears that Rep. Michael Oxley of the Ohio 4th Congressional District wears many hats, blows a lot of smoke, and is beholden to the Wall Street crowd.
It is indeed unfortunate that this article exposing his cozy relationship with the money boys did not appear in other newspapers, especially in the Findlay area. Maybe the people of Hancock County would have reconsidered sending him back to Congress and perhaps would have chosen a fresh, new untainted face in Jim Clark.
When the average main street people in Findlay watch their 401(k) nest eggs and retirement savings diminish, they can always call Mike Oxley, or leave a message on his voice mail until he returns from one of his fact-finding junkets, for answers to their problems.
Thank God I live in Wood County and thank God for Marcy Kaptur.
LEONARD F. PALINSKI
The only constant and consistent element in life is change. Change occurred dramatically in Lucas County on election night with the changing of the guard in the Lucas County Commission office. Sandy Isenberg was voted out of her position as president of the Lucas County commissioners. The highest accolade you can bestow on a politician is that she cared about her constituents and that the majority of the time they were on the right side of the issues. This was Sandy Isenberg's political career.
She cared. She cared about the kids, the seniors, the downtown, and people who worked in her charge.
And she endured in a political environment where we tend to change politicians as we do living room furniture, change just for the sake of change.
We need to take time to say thank you to a lifelong Toledo politician who cared about our community and helped nurture and develop its growth.
The United States has voted for war, nuclear proliferation, record deficit spending, corporate welfare, tax breaks for the rich, increased pollution, global warming, Christian fundamentalism, increased oil dependence, censorship, and the largest expansion of government in history.
We have voted against gun control, safe legal abortions, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the environment, states' rights, the working poor, single parents, and children. Good luck to all of us. We'll need it!
SALLY J. KELLER
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