I read with interest and then with disgust Congressman Mike Oxley's Nov. 14 thank you letter to his constituents. Instead of a gracious sentiment to his supporters, he took the low road and spewed forth a letter laced with contempt for The Blade's in-depth reporting in 2003 concerning Mr. Oxley's history as our elected official.
That "investigative journalism" report was not a hit job. I would challenge Congressman "Ox" (as President Bush playfully refers to him) to explain any errors in it.
Living in Mr. Oxley's district, it is hard to read such truthful reporting in our local newspaper. Mr. Oxley has been a friend only to Big Business. Thank goodness, because he had to reach deeply into their pockets to run against his 28-year-old challenger, Ben Konop. Mr. Oxley had to spend more than $1.6 million this election to beat Mr. Konop, who only spent $150,000.
A 59 percent to 41 win may not matter to Mr. Oxley, but after 22 years in Congress, it indicates that his support is not as strong as it used to be (year 2002 election: 67 percent to 29 percent.)
In Allen County, where Mr. Oxley debated Mr. Konop, Mr. Konop won that county, 24,497 to 22,187! Too bad Mr. Oxley would not debate in Findlay, the town that he calls home. Mr. Oxley's negative attitude and cynicism did not sound like a winning leader to me. He needs to hear more from the Republicans I met on Election Day as a poll watcher, people who wanted more information about his opponent.
Mr. Konop lent an ear to the constituents in Hancock County who have not felt that their district has been represented in their best interests. We will continue to grow, organize, and be heard.
CATHY M. WEYGANDT
On Nov. 14, The Blade published a Readers' Forum letter from my local congressional representative, Michael Oxley.
Actually, it began as a "thank you" to all of us local voters in the 4th District. It went on to become, to put it mildly, a slam at journalists at The Blade. So I now offer The Blade belated congratulations on its recent Pulitzer Prize.
Granted, Toledo is not located within the 4th District, but sometimes more is seen by looking through an outside window.
I would encourage all readers of our paper, The Courier, who were unable to read Mr. Oxley's letter, to visit The Blade's web site. It is easily accessible.
Better yet, I would challenge The Courier to obtain reprint rights. And please add their thoughts.
With the beginning of deer season, we awakened to gunshots close to our home. We live in Bedford Township, in a square mile containing Bedford High School, Bedford Junior High, Enfield Village, condominiums for seniors, the new Francis Family YMCA, and many private homes.
Unfortunately, this isn't Perrysburg, where there are lots of deer, but citizens are protected by their elected officials from being shot at. This is Bedford, where apparently the rights of one group of hunters outweigh the dangers of shooting in populated areas. These are bullets with a kill range of one mile, and our one square mile contains only one tract of private land where the homeowner allows hunting.
Sooner or later, someone will be killed or injured, and perhaps then our officials will take notice. Until then, if your children attend Bedford schools, or you plan on crossing the state line, wear bright orange clothing and hope none of the fools carrying guns have been drinking!
Kudos to both Sarah and Steve Pollick on the Nov. 15 essay, "Sky Walking with Sarah." What a joy it was to share in a small part of the relationship between this father and his daughter. The essay also served as a reminder that despite all of our differences, there are so many more things that bind us together - love of family being one of them. With the holiday season upon us, it is imperative that we keep this in mind. No matter how we feel about each other, because of past problems, moments of misunderstanding, or differing political views, we are connected in so many positive ways.
All one has to do is look for that common bond, that link we all share as human beings, and reach out. Sarah and Steve, thanks for the reminder.
Traditional marriage was a big winner across the country on Election Day, earning impressive support at the ballot box.
Eleven states had marriage-protection amendments on their ballots, and the measures passed in all of them. More than that, they were approved in most cases by supermajorities - as they were in a handful of other states in recent years - proof that Congress did not heed the will of its constituents in voting down the Federal Marriage Amendment last summer.
But the time for cheering may be short-lived. Now it's the judicial branch's turn to weigh in - and it will hardly be surprising if some liberal state judge somewhere turns over every rock in his or her way en route to declaring one of the amendments unconstitutional, usurping the power rightly delegated to the people.
The sole sure-fire way of stripping judicial tyrants of their ability to do this is to amend the federal Constitution through the Marriage Protection Amendment.
RICHARD W. TALLMAN
I, for one, am appalled by the kid glove treatment given to Yasser Arafat by the "mainstream media" upon his timely, but far too late, demise.
For The Blade to editorialize that Mr. Arafat's acts were "annoying and misguided" has to be one of the most understated positions ever printed.
This terrorist thug created the mold that later generations used to cast their vile hatred and supreme disregard for any semblance of civility and respect for human rights and life. Along the way, he looted the purse of the Palestinians, living an opulent lifestyle while those he claimed to represent continued to live in abject poverty. His wife will be living off an annual pension of millions in blood money, while "his" people scratch the ground for mere sustenance.
In light of the uncounted dead, murdered at the hand of this despicable excuse for a human being and his minions, I wonder why he wasn't taken out of the picture years ago. For the U.S. media to fawn over the death of this "statesman" confirms just where their heads are. If anyone deserves to roast in Hell for eternity, your man Yasser surely makes the cut.
BRUCE A. BEATTY
The concern voiced by Democratic supporters over the outcome of the recent election is understandable. However, they are overlooking a bright spot. Lucas County has a Democrat in almost all elected positions. They were elected based on promises not unlike those made by national party leaders (jobs, improved living conditions, social harmony, progressive taxes, improved education, etc.).
So by the next election it is reasonable to assume that Lucas County will be a showcase that demonstrates to the nation the positive results that come from having the Democratic Party in control.
The news that my personal safety, indeed, the safety of my family, my neighborhood, and my town, will be compromised because of budget shortfalls is appalling. The obscene giveaways to Owens-Corning and to Jeep in recent years are the primary cause, in case anyone's forgotten.
Most Toledoans were proud that we kept Jeep. But something is wrong when we can't afford fire and police personnel while Jeep workers think in terms of profit-sharing checks.
JOHN J. SCHMIDT, JR.
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