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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2012

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Remapping is against Constitution

The Ohio Supreme Court should declare the state's political redistricting process unconstitutional.

Your Feb. 21 editorial "Remap reform" noted: "The Ohio Constitution requires that legislative districts be compact and contiguous, and that counties and municipalities should not be split unnecessarily to create them."

The Republican majority on the state Apportionment Board ignored that requirement in its redrawing of legislative districts. Had the Democratic Party been in power, the lines would have been redrawn to benefit Democratic areas.

This game of power ping-pong played every 10 years is a travesty for any nation that calls itself a representative democracy. I don't often agree with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, but his description of the current process as partisan and dysfunctional is on target.

However, his memo to House Speaker William Batchelder, urging the General Assembly to act soon to make the process appear less partisan, is alarming. As voters, we should want far more than an appearance of less partisanship. We deserve nonpartisan redistricting in Ohio.

It is time to get rid of the gerrymandering game and demand a nonpartisan redistricting commission. The first step must be finding our current system unconstitutional.

Susan Matz

Homerdale Avenue


Santorum's words may bite him

President Obama would easily defeat Republican Rick Santorum in a race for president. He could make a plausible case, using Mr. Santorum's own words, that Mr. Santorum is a religious zealot who is out of touch with the American mainstream and looks to impose his radical will ("Santorum's religious fanaticism," op-ed column, Feb. 26).

Those would be lies, but Mr. Santorum's statements lend themselves to that kind of spin.

"Satan has set his sights on the United States," Mr. Santorum said in 2008. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush never got that extreme; they prudently spoke of the "evil empire" and "axis of evil," and still took heat from the left.

Mr. Santorum complains that he's targeted by the media because of his religious views. But his comments are a legitimate topic.

Mr. Santorum misunderstands states' rights, saying he would get state governments out of "the education business." The president does not have that power.

If Mr. Santorum gets the Republican nomination, I will support him, as we all should. Mr. Obama must be defeated if freedom is to survive. But I'm not sure whether he will get my vote in the primary.

Michael O'Brien

Bradner, Ohio


Feather-lipped foxes like House

The U.S. House banning itself from insider trading is like foxes telling other foxes they can no longer guard the henhouse, as they smile with feathers clinging to their chops ("House bill bans insider trading by congressmen," Feb. 10).

Lawmakers are revealing that they are guilty of insider trading. Don't regular citizens go to jail for this?

A recent Gallup poll reports that Congress' approval rating is at 10 percent. I am surprised it's that high.

Matthew Golkiewicz

Petersburg, Mich.


Lawmakers must abide by the laws

The good news is that there are going to be controls on robo-calling. The bad news is that politicians have exempted themselves from this invasive scheme. They have been the worst offenders.

I propose that all members of Congress must be fully subject to every law they pass. No exceptions, no exemptions, and a solidly enforceable penalty for each violation.

We should vote out of office every lawmaker who declines to support such a bill. We should vote only for those who endorse the bill. These people will serve us much better than an overwhelming number of those who are now in Congress.

Ned Braunschweiger

Maumee


Plea to candidates: Don't phone home

I want people running for office to stop calling my home phone with their pointless messages.

I know who and what I want to vote for. The constant harassment makes me not want that candidate elected or issue passed.

No one spends millions of dollars to gain a job that pays less than a small-company chief executive officer earns out of altruism. It's about gaining more for themselves and a few close people.

So please, candidates, stop calling my house.

Robert Zuber

Roywood Road


Election must unite Americans

What will determine the future of our country is how we answer the question: Am I my brother's keeper?

Judging by the policies our current crop of conservative leaders and candidates advocate, their answer would be: Yes if he's rich, and no if he's poor. While demanding further tax breaks for the mega-rich, they insist on shredding the safety net meant to protect the casualties of an unjust system.

Their cold-blooded, winner-take-all philosophy has created a shameful caring deficit, which violates the compassionate teachings of authentic Christianity and other world religions that subscribe to the wisdom of the Golden Rule. What ultimately make life worthwhile are human kindness, compassion, and generosity.

But conservatives evidently believe those humane values won't work in the public realm. The resulting rampant greed has created an economic, social, and moral crisis that is poisoning the soul of our nation.

Today, America is divided in a momentous civil war fought on uneven ground, with the overwhelming political power of corporate wealth opposing people power. The fate of our democracy is at stake.

If we vote wisely in November, we can begin to heal the wounded among us and rebuild the caring social covenant that unites "we the people" in the democratic community that once made our country great.

Phyllis Palmer

Lambertville


Writer unfairly criticizes Latta

The writer of the Feb. 19 Readers' Forum letter "Latta's silence unsettling" took Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Latta of Bowling Green unfairly to task. The letter writer said Mr. Latta did not reply to his request for information about businesses that were complaining about regulations that interfere with growth and job creation.

I and fellow members of the Ohio Waste Hauler and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers trade associations have lobbied for change on numerous occasions.

Ohio-based septic haulers are required to comply with health department licensing regulations in each county they operate in. My company has four counties to comply with. Each county has different fees, inspections, reports and education requirements.

Well drillers get one license from the Ohio Department of Heath. Trash haulers have no county or state license requirements.

Over the past 15 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has caused the costs of trucks and their maintenance to skyrocket.

As for Mr. Latta's lack of a reply, he is too busy representing the 5th District and our interests.

M.N. Torok

President N.A.T. Transportation Inc. Bradner, Ohio


Shame on those who failed to help

I was appalled to read about the 86-year-old veteran who has his car hijacked and one of his legs broken in the incident ("Carjacked WWII vet says no one helped," Feb. 26). Many passers-by walked by him as he crawled to a gas station to get help. Shame on them.

I don't understand how people can be so thoughtless. So many people are not acting like human beings.

My prayers go out to that veteran. I also feel sorry for the passers-by. How would they feel if they were in that situation?

Jamie Newton

Morrison Drive



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