I am writing to thank Jonathan Hoffman (Guest Commentary, July 8) for defending the rights of the wealthy and corporations in America to decide who is running our nation through their donations.
Money is free speech, and I am glad Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, the Walton family, Oprah and Charles Koch, among others, have more speech through their financial superiority (and overall superiority) than the unwashed masses Congress is supposed to serve.
Clean Elections allowed a few candidates who aren't already in the pockets of big business a modicum of independence. We can't have that. The wealthy should have more of a say than the rest of us. They have proven they are more worthy by being wealthy.
Thank you for defending democracy from the will of the people, Mr. Hoffman, patriot!
Tex Shelters, aka Joe Callahan
In response to Jonathan Hoffman's Guest Commentary on Clean Elections: Free speech has to do with content. Clean Elections has to do with equalizing the quantity of free speech, to reduce the influence of special interests with deep pockets. So I guess I don't see your point.
We go to great lengths to design and enforce rules in our sporting contests to ensure that neither side has an unfair advantage in obtaining the goal. That way, we know we have a better chance for a legitimate result. We, as humans, seek to have some sense of control and justice in the world. Why should our political arena be exempt?
If the metaphor were football, giving one political candidate three times as much money would be similar to giving one team, unopposed, extra time on the field to score while the other team had to watch from the sidelines. You are right that we can't rid the world of its imperfections, but, c'mon, we are about rules, in every aspect of our lives. You're just being a crybaby because you still want to have extra time to score with no defense on the field.
There are reasons to be dissatisfied with the Obama administration, but not Tom Danehy's reasons (July 1):
• Stimulus money protected both the Tucson Unified School District and the UA from even worse cuts, and helped/forced the Arizona Legislature to fund other state services.
• Hillary Clinton had her shot at health care in 1993, and she blew it. The plan that finally passed is imperfect, but a big improvement, particularly for those currently without insurance.
• Like Michael Steele, Danehy seems to have forgotten that the United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, when Obama was not even a senator, much less president.
• I am no fan of charter schools, but the Obama administration has promulgated a $2,500 tuition tax credit for each of four years of college; raised Pell Grants to $5,500; and brought student loans back under direct Department of Education supervision, no longer subject to predatory private lenders.
• It has yet to be explained how getting angry will improve the situation in the Gulf of Mexico.
This president has come under more hostile scrutiny from those who ought to support him than any I can recall. To the person who says Obama "hasn't done much of anything," think about the equal-pay legislation, reducing nukes, tax credits for renewables, etc. All you have to do is pay attention.
I read with interest "Bump in the Road" (Currents, July 1) about attorney George Curtis and his vendetta against his neighbor and fellow attorney, Brad Holland. It appears that Curtis' view of the First Amendment is that it protects any and all aggressive and obnoxious behaviors under the theory that they are "expressions of free speech."
Well, the great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once said that your right to swing your fist ends at the other fellow's nose. However, Holland seems to have too much class for that.
Regarding Messina, July 15:
As a user of and volunteer in state parks in both Arizona and Oregon, I add a strong positive vote for the use and financial support of publicly funded parks. They are unique places. One plan in Arizona's political-trick bag is to privatize the state parks. If this happens, I fear they would be commercialized and expensive to access, and would lose much of the beauty, and the historical and educational (nature) they have now.
Regarding Guest Commentary, July 15:
Moron. What is needed on the 2,000-mile border is the military armed to the teeth. And the White House to stop kissing up to Mexico.
Regarding "Punches and Politics" (Currents, July 15):
No wonder the media is tanking. Nothing but a bunch of wannabe National Enquirer hacks.