I read the Dec. 30 story in The Blade about the Noe conduits who were fined by the Federal Elections Commission for their part in the illegal contributions to the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign. When I read that a select few were not fined as much as their counterparts because of "financial hardship," I saw red. If anyone is found guilty of committing an illegal act (despite claims they didn't know it was), the punishment should be equal to that of their co-conspirators/defendants, not reduced because of money troubles.
All of these people, including the 17 individuals who were just admonished, knew exactly what they were doing. Most had been involved for a long time in politics, either in campaigns of their own or working closely with those who did. They hadn't just fallen off the turnip truck.
Joseph Restivo's lawyer said Mr. Restivo believed Tom Noe knew what the regulations were and that Noe would not "lead him into something inappropriate." That sounds laughable. If Mr. Restivo suspected something, all he'd have to do is ask his sister, Bernadette Noe.
I'm not involved in politics but even I know there are limits to what one can contribute to a political campaign. The federal election guidelines are online for anyone to read for themselves. So the fact that "they didn't know" doesn't hold water, and is a slap in the face to every constituent who ever voted in or contributed to a political campaign.
According to the news, there are a number of newspapers in financial trouble, some in danger of bankruptcy. Because of the news media's hatred of President Bush, they couldn't seem to publish anything positive in the news. If they did print a positive item, they would add a "but" at the end and then a negative to counteract the positive.
They have preached doom and gloom and it spread like the plague. People believed the message and things have gone down the drain.
Now the messengers of this plague of doom have been infected with the disease they were spreading and are reaping the harvest of their works. It couldn't happen to a more deserving people.
It was refreshing to read in The Blade's Dec. 21 story, "Clean-coal plan could gain new life," that it is worth rooting for Illinois or another nearby state to get the FutureGen project even if it does not come to Ohio.
While The Blade likened Ohio to the bridesmaid, and not the bride, in terms of FutureGen, Ohio is very likely to do well. Of more than 80 carbon capture-and-storage demonstration and research projects already underway in the United States, six of these are in Ohio, representing an investment exceeding $45 million.
I hope The Blade's readers support these projects in Ohio and across the United States as they offer the opportunity to create jobs and energy while further reducing emissions. We also want to out-compete other nations, with 20 carbon-capture or capture-and-storage projects ongoing in other areas of the globe.
We are encouraging the FutureGen carbon capture and sequestration project to be part of a new economic stimulus package. Yet, while Future Gen is very important, it is not the only party to the wedding of coal-generated power and vastly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. For a list of these and 200 other projects dealing with clean coal technology development, go to www.americaspower.org.
for Clean Coal Electricity
Thanks to Thomas Sowell for his Dec. 18 column. I feel very bad that many are losing their jobs but it didn't take Nostradamus to see this coming. When the auto makers had it good, they did not use their fortunes to compete with foreign auto makers. The Big Three made their bed, and the union leadership went along, leading members to the slaughter. Now they must lay in that bed.
I rarely vote or agree with the Republicans but I must say that I appreciate Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Maybe it's time for those who are losing their jobs to load up some of those gas-hog trucks and move to wherever the Toyota, Nissan, and Honda plants are.
For years, the Big Three executives have had all the signs of this day right in their faces. While taking exorbitant salaries and being bullied into higher wages for workers, they were selling themselves out while the Japanese were laughing and licking their chops.
Now they want the already bursting-at-the-seams government to throw good money after bad at the expense of the rest. No way.
I would be happy with $20 per hour, as would the rest of us who are struggling. But union members wouldn't take a slight pay cut - even temporarily. Maybe the union members should have been forcing management to take pay cuts and invest in the competitiveness they have needed for years to survive.
Why is it that auto workers are the ones asked to make concessions as if they have done something criminal by having fought and voted for what they have?
Why haven't the CEOs been asked to make concessions and give up part of their obscene salaries and other perks that auto workers don't have access to?
Moreover, as for one man speaking for an entire membership of the union before he's even asked them to give a yea or nay vote, what cheek. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettlefinger's arrogance deserves to be knocked down.
As the surviving spouse of a man who died walking into his plant because he would not take retirement even though he was entitled to it (he was too young, only 54), I am a fortunate recipient of a partial pension provided by his automotive industry union. Had he lived to collect his full pension, he would have deserved every penny of it, having from the age of 18 given his loyalty, dedication, and life to his job.
Yes, he, like many others, took as much overtime as was offered - it was that way. Why didn't the companies hire more workers rather than offer all that overtime? It became an accepted way of life for too many families, and that is why so many bought the "toys" that are now for sale on bulletin boards at work or in the want ads because the overtime is gone. We all came to count on those extra dollars and took them for granted.
My point is: stop blaming it all on the auto workers. Stop pointing fingers and find solutions.
When does the buck-passing stop?
A quick suggestion to all local government officials who offer e-mail as a form of communication on their Web sites: reply. Individual e-mail addresses on official Web sites are shown for most county, city, and local government officials. Over the past year I have sent e-mails that include my phone number to many of these government officials. I have been amazed at the number that do not reply.
E-mails were sent several times to each of the Lucas County commissioners over the last year. Only Ben Konop ever replied. He replied even in the late evening, just minutes after my sending him an e-mail. Most other county officials never replied via an e-mail or phone call, including the sheriffs' office and Metroparks to name just two. Locally, Waterville Township trustees answered each of my e-mails very quickly with a personal follow-up or phone call.
To all county and local governmental officials: Don't offer a form of communication such as e-mail on your Web site if you are not going to utilize it. Get with the program and answer your e-mails.
If Joe the Plumber got so burned from being on the world s stage, maybe he should stop tap dancing in the limelight.
PATRICIA L. DONATELLI