I object to the stark headline and provocative tone of your July 25 article "Earmarked for controversy," which lead us to believe that Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) is one of Congress' biggest spenders.
There are plenty of unnecessary earmarks, but it is the job of a representative to make sure some of the nation's budget is equally divided among the states. That Miss Kaptur can obtain funds to help our city's and state's faltering economies and bring needed jobs and a green environment should be cause for praise, not condemnation.
Her years of experience put her in a better position to help us than some Johnny-come-lately candidate.
Too much tea drowns chances
After the House passed the stimulus package, our Republican friends who opposed the stimulus challenged Rep. Marcy Kaptur at least to make sure that Lucas County got its fair share.
Your article pointed out that Miss Kaptur has obtained more than $71 million for our region. So are the Republicans now satisfied? Do they admit that Miss Kaptur deserves to be re-elected? No.
Now they argue, as Republican challenger Rich Iott did, that "voters would probably be happier if the money just stayed here in the first place" and "it is a system that just invites corruption."
Voters should demand that Mr. Iott and those of his ilk provide constructive, creative ideas, rather than constant negativism.
Rep. Paul Hodes (D., N.H.) recently charged that many Republicans are "extremists, obstructionists, lying hypocrites who think you don't have to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, but are holding up help for the neediest."
Mr. Iott, I am afraid, drinks too much tea from the same teapot as Mr. Hodes' Republican friends to be an effective legislator.
Guy T. Barone
Try instead for finance reform
There is nothing nefarious about using a loophole to bring jobs to an economically depressed area ("Iott's plan better than Kaptur's," Readers' Forum, July 25).
To those who say that violates the spirit of federal regulations, I say: Grow up. This is how politics is played, and we have a representative with enough seniority and political savvy to be of real value to this area.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur is the best representative this area has had for a number of years, primarily because she's been in office for 28 years. There is nothing wrong with staying in office as long as the district is well represented, and nobody can dispute that Miss Kaptur does that.
If the letter writer is really concerned about the finances of both parties, he can lobby for true campaign finance reform.
Take a look at Iott's allies
Rich Iott complains about Marcy Kaptur accepting money from special interests.
Yet Citizens Against Government Waste, which he cites, is a corporate political front posing as a grass-roots organization. It has accepted donations from Phillip Morris, Olin Foundation, Merrill Lynch, and Exxon Mobil.
That other so-called grass-roots group, the Tea Party, is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers through their Americans for Prosperity Foundation. They support candidates who lower taxes for billionaires, send your jobs overseas, and destroy your hard-earned Medicare and Social Security benefits.
If you like the sound of that, Ohio, by all means vote for Rich Iott and John Kasich, the Republican gubernatorial candidate.
Why we need national health care
For many years, I have been with my health insurance company. Now I need a power chair to get around.
I have osteoarthritis throughout my body. I have diabetic neuropathy in my legs and hands. When I walk, it is the worst kind of hell. I also have cardiac disease and congestive heart failure. My legs swell up when I am on my feet.
My insurer tells me that as long as I can get around in my apartment with a walker, that is good enough. The company doesn't care if I can get out of my apartment.
Doesn't that sound like it is time for a government takeover of the health-care system?
West Alexis Road
Kohl's response was calming
I shared a positive experience with a number of people at the Kohl's store on Airport Highway when a tornado warning was announced last week.
As soon as I heard the sirens, employees approached shoppers to direct them to the employee lunchroom for safety. Employees mingled among us and provided us with weather updates. They brought us snacks and beverages. The atmosphere in the room was calm and welcoming.
We were told that if we chose to remain until the tornado warning ended, we could purchase items at a 15 percent discount for our "inconvenience."
The manager and staff at Kohl's were incredibly professional. They turned what could have been an anxiety-provoking experience into a memorable evening witnessing others' goodness.
Much spending, few checks at TPS
As voters are asked to support a school levy that most cannot afford, I wonder why the most obvious question has yet to be addressed by the Toledo Board of Education and school unions.
How did the district's deficit become so big before anyone did anything? It would seem that the problem took years to grow, and yet no procedure is in place to prevent it from happening again.
Voters should think twice about supporting a system that has few checks and balances, and a lot of spending.
How sincere is ABLE?
After learning about Advocates for Basic Legal Equality's challenge to Toledo's hiring practices, I have questions ("City weighs action in minority-hiring suit," July 28):
Will ABLE give the city the names and home addresses of your attorneys and activists? Do you lurk in the suburbs behind gated communities and proclaim the need for social change?
Possibly understanding your personal social setting will help others who endure your incessant rantings better feel your pain. I imagine that most of ABLE's activists want social change exclusively in a not-in-my-backyard setting.
A drug deal was consummated in my quiet West Toledo area by a bicycle-riding dealer and a carload of willing buyers. Thank you, ABLE, for making low-income housing available in my neighborhood, while you reside - where?
If ABLE is a legitimate entity, then provide a public listing of your major players' addressees, so we can understand your commitment to social equality. Too much to ask? I'll bet it is.
Robert J. Zuber
Wrong labels for Bell, Finkbeiner
In your July 22 article "Bell tiebreaker over Ariz. law rankles some on city council," Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara described former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner as close to being a dictator and Mayor Mike Bell as close to being a mediator.
Mr. Finkbeiner got a lot done for Toledo, including a new Jeep plant. Mr. Bell is too new to be characterized as "a mediator." He has balanced the city budget, and was an excellent fire chief.
They have shortcomings, but they do what's good for Toledo. Both are as honest as the day is long. I suggest the critics, particularly councilmen, adopt some of their leadership qualities, and perhaps someday they'll be leaders too.