Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the Oct. 6 “Twin Pack” questions (an abbreviated version of “Half a Six Pack” and “Six Pack to Go”). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the “gatekeeper” — he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Didn't New Jersey Democrats do the election process a great disservice when, after the deadline to replace candidates had passed, they subbed Frank Lautenberg for scandal-ridden Sen. Robert Torricelli, who was trailing badly in the polls? This is a very dangerous precedent to set. Take a poll before any election and adjust accordingly. Ultimately, you will have stealth candidates who avoid public scrutiny until the 11th hour. As usual, Democrats don't believe in laws, they believe in courts. On one hand, yes they did. The Democrats essentially broke the law with their subbing of Lautenberg. On the other hand, do the Republicans think they can run Forrester against no one? Torricelli should have resigned two weeks earlier, thereby eliminating the legal issue, instead of waiting until he found out he was behind in the polls. There is irony, however, in the Republican complaint about the New Jersey Supreme Court's involvement. They didn't complain when the U.S. Supremes put Bush in the White House. The New Jersey Democrats are so angered by Republican whining that Lautenberg is likely to win easily. Yup, but not surprising. Voting laws never did hold much weight and are abused all the time. Wonder how the New Jersey legislature feels about its “law” being deemed only a “guideline”? Surprised Bill Clinton didn't take up residency in New Jersey. Actually, it's probably not too late — yet. This is one heck of a precedent. They looked just as bad as the Republicans did in Florida.
2) Isn't there a correlation between Ohio Gov. Bob Taft's savviness and the fact that he has never sent a work-related e-mail and does not have a computer on his desk? I read that article with sort of open-mouthed wonder. Hard to imagine any leader today doing things like he does. Not even a computer on his desk? Not even for appearance sake? Strange. I knew there was something about that guy. I couldn't possibly get by anymore without e-mail, for a lot of difference reasons, and I fail to see how you could run the state of Ohio without it, too. I personally see absolutely no correlation. I think any elected official who is not on several listservs doesn't have the pulse of the community. One can very anonymously find out things that would never surface in a Town Hall-type meeting. Anyone who is not using e-mail is not part of the 21st century. No wonder the economy in Ohio is going south (literally). It's too bad the Ohio Democrats could not come up with enough money and a decent candidate to beat Taft. It's amazing how far a family name can get you in politics. If he is the best we can do for a high-tech governor, we will smother in our rust. Is Bob Taft appealing to all those Democrats who are too poor or not interested in owning a computer? Sounds like he's after the anti-computer vote to me. Better call Bill Gates, fast.
I think 5/3 Field will be an antique before any significant restoration will be done downtown. Lots of ideas, but no money. Are we getting near the point of no return? What do you expect? It is Toledo. If they can't collect parking tickets, well, you know the rest. I applaud your stance that President Bush has his priorities misaligned. It certainly has deflected all talk of what's wrong with the economy. … If all this rhetoric is a ploy for success in the November elections, it is wrong. The American people will not forget the real issues, thanks to columnists like you. Keep up the good work. I concur 100 percent with your comments concerning our President and his absolute dedication to starting a war with Iraq. It appears that only a small number of our gutless Democrats are willing to ask serious questions. All are afraid of being called un-American. I don't feel they are emphasizing the fact that to be an all-American, you have to stand up and be counted. I always felt that it's what this country was all about. Regarding your “Fuzzy prioritization” … I've been wondering the very same thing for a long, long time. You're right, the No. 1 priority at one time was getting Osama bin Laden — and then, all of a sudden, the issue of Saddam was dug up again. So what's up with that, as the kids say? Maybe they think they can't get Osama, or he is dead? Is focusing on Saddam being done to divert our attention away from Osama? Too many questions here. Yes, Saddam needs to be dealt with big-time, but so does the other guy!
I was expecting an apology for your profile in courage of Tom Daschle. After Bonior and McDermott travel to Baghdad to trash the president, it should be obvious what the Democratic party is (there's that confusing word again). The road construction project on Monroe Street heading out of downtown has probably set the record for slowness. It will be nice, though, when it is finally completed. Regarding Iraq … things are really a mess: national jitters, no consensus, market dropping, and no one can predict the future. I think one thing is for sure — people who say that this or that will happen if we do this or that are sure to be wrong. Weapons inspectors in Iraq will not work. My big fear is that a war on terrorism with two fronts could unleash a new wave of terrorist attacks on the U.S. Heck, the shooter in Maryland could even give terrorists ideas. Think we have enough new home improvement-type stores in the area? Any bets on how many will not make it? What will we do with the big boxes when it happens? A lot of ugliness is in store (no pun intended). Enjoy your articles, even if I disagree.