I am a three-year member of the Republican Central Committee and am very insulted by the story in The Blade on Feb. 17. Committee positions are not just for a neighborhood. We represent the Republican Party as a whole. There are no back room deals; we vote on which candidates to endorse. We don't go out and support only the candidates we like but support all Republican candidates. That is even in the oath of office that we take when being sworn in. We give of our time, effort, and money to help them win.
I'm 26 years old and the Republican Party has reached out to me, but the road goes both ways. If the party doesn't come to you, you can go to it. It also helps if you are already a Republican.
The party of Tom Noe is long gone. So enough already. I have never met the Noes and have no desire to.
All I can say is that just because you voted for former President Ronald Reagan doesn't make you a Republican.
Slashing diesel taxes would help economy
Passing out paltry sums of free money to people will not jump-start the economy - if it even needs jump-starting. The tax-rebate plan is a typical bipartisan, election-year sham. If politicians wanted to make a real difference, they would slash taxes on diesel fuel. I am not a trucker. I am not even in a business that relies directly on transportation. But I can research, read, and figure this out for myself.
Virtually everything in this country moves on diesel. Presently, the average tax per gallon of diesel is about 54 cents. That is about 20 percent more than the tax on gasoline. In some states, it is as high as 69 cents.
Historically, diesel was always considerably less expensive than gasoline. But both the government and the oil companies have realized that if gasoline gets too high, consumers will cut back. The primary user of diesel - the trucking industry - doesn't have that luxury. Nor can it just suck it up and pay more. It passes the extra costs on to its ultimate customers - you and me. The absurd burden of those taxes is reflected in every box of corn flakes you eat, ream of copy paper you use, and even in the underwear you're wearing.
If state and federal politicians would focus on making a difference rather than getting votes, what a wonderful world this could be.
Adopt terminology of regional economy
Almost a year has passed since The Blade's March 4 "Arbitrary borders" editorial. In that year, the global marketplace has become more attractive to us because of the devaluation of the dollar. Trade with Europe and Asia will continue to increase as our region pursues alternative energy products.
The full-page ad in The Blade recently acknowledgd that our region covers 7,500 square miles, but The Blade continues to cut our region in half by referring to it as northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Businesses in Europe and Asia have no idea where our state boundaries are, nor do they care. Since The Blade acknowledges that our arbitrary borders are a hindrance, why not provide the private sector leadership by referring to our region as "Lake Erie West"?
Kucinich is effective Cleveland advocate
Rep. Dennis Kucinich's grass-roots presidential campaign was a source of inspiration for many who long for vision and integrity in American public life. While his uncompromising idealism has led cynics to caricature him as a left-wing vanity candidate, the truth is that he is a man of gravity whose presence in the debates gave voice to the forgotten mainstream of the Democratic Party.
Mr. Kucinich was the only Democratic candidate to oppose the war in Iraq from the start and oppose funding it 100 percent of the time. He was the only candidate to support a universal, single-payer health-care system. He was the only candidate to support canceling the North American Free Trade Agreement and conditioning trade on workers' rights, human rights, and environmental-quality principles. And while other Democrats were banging war drums against Iran, Mr. Kucinich was calling for a new foreign policy doctrine of "strength through peace."
As his focus shifts to his congressional re-election campaign, critics allege that he has taken his district for granted. But the people of Cleveland know this is a lie. Since his election in 1996, Mr. Kucinich has been a tenacious and highly effective advocate for Cleveland. He has successfully fought to reopen shuttered community hospitals and rescue the city's steel industry. And the constituent service provided by his office is second to none.
In running for president, Mr. Kucinich stood up for the practical aspirations of working people throughout this country. The media may not recognize that. But Cleveland will.
Editor's note: The writer is a former consultant for the Kucinich campaign.
Ex-candidate knows good 'people policy'
The Blade scorned the end of Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign as "The ego has landed," a phrase as untrue as it is catchy. Representative Kucinich advocated policies that benefit the many over the few, and he was the only candidate with the backbone to make them more than empty promises.
Several candidates mentioned universal health care but only Mr. Kucinich's plan left nobody out and dramatically reduced costs by ending insurance companies' control of health care.
In addition, he was the only candidate pledging a rapid withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. Through these and other positions, Mr. Kucinich not only proved he knows good "people policy" when he sees it, but knows why it's good policy.
As Cleveland's mayor, he knew the importance of keeping the public electric system from local power brokers who wanted it desperately enough to throw the city into default over its short-term debt. But ask any Clevelander today if they're glad they still own their electric system.
Corporate decision-makers excluded Mr. Kucinich from key debates, the media joked about his veganism, and he ran for president in the only nation that apparently has a height requirement for the office. But it's the folks who pay the bills and fight the wars who are the losers.
Evangelicals were cartoon's real target
A recent contributor to the Readers' Forum took umbrage with a cartoon that recently ran in The Blade (which was done by David Horsey, incidentally, not Kirk Walters). I don't think the cartoon was calling Hillary Clinton the Antichrist. Rather, I think the point of the cartoon was that evangelicals consider her to be the Antichrist.
If anyone should be upset about the cartoon, I would think it should be evangelicals, as the cartoon is a perfect example of typical liberal stereotyping of evangelical Christians (in particular) as being unenlightened, superstitious, group-thinking sheep. Having said that, the letter writer was right on one point, however: it's a cartoon!
Editor's note: The cartoon was attributed incorrectly because of an editing error.
Tuition won't be free for Ohio taxpayers
Gov. Ted Strickland has promised to move thousands of high school seniors into Ohio's public universities, and "tuition for the year will be free."
When politicians start talking about giving something away for free, hide your wallet. Free to a politician means "at great cost" to anyone who works and pays taxes.
Webster Township, Wood County
A story in The Blade on Feb. 14 noted that China is facing higher labor and transportation costs. Why don't we take advantage of this situation by lowering our wages to fight the competition and get some of our manufacturing jobs back in the United States?
After all, isn't half a pie better than no pie?