The component of the bailout package section 8 states: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are nonreviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Seven hundred billion taxpayer dollars ungovernable by the people's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power is consolidated into the executive branch, which will spend it as quickly as possible before leaving office. One million monthly salary increases for corporate CEOs.

I don't think we common folk will be getting much help from this scam. Listen to Rep. Brad Sherman explain why the Senate felt forced to vote yes at youtube.com/watch?v=_XgkeTanCGI.

See www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/22/dirty-secret-of-the-bailo_n_128294.html for more explanation of the "bailout." — Elise Thiel, Ashland

A lively election in Shady Cove is lobbing charges of negative versus positive campaigning, so I feel the need to report on something positive that happened here recently.

A serious motorcycle accident occurred on Highway 62 in front of my house Sunday, and I witnessed how our truly professional public safety organizations here came together to resolve a dangerous situation quickly. The Shady Cove police had the traffic snarl under control in a New York second. The Fire District 4 EMTs and fire personnel had three trucks in front of my house within a few minutes. And a Mercy Flights helicopter set down in an adjacent parking lot shortly after.

I have a whole new respect now for what our public safety personnel do here, and I want the entire Rogue Valley to know that some things are very good in Shady Cove. — Jane Hagan, Shady Cove

I subscribe to the Mail Tribune annually since the early 1980s, and have never been motivated to discontinue the paper until today. My spouse and I are Republican and Democrat registered voters and we both found the cartoon on page 8A, Opinion, Oct. 16 to be inexcusably rude and vicious even if it was intended as a joke!

A quick glance at this "cartoon" could give the reader the impression that the Tribune is guilty of religious and racist bigotry. You, the editors, have a right to your opinions about election politics but in this case I believe you went beyond the limits of reasonable (or no) judgment. You should not have printed it! — Laurence Slagle and Peggy Monson, Shady Cove

The Democrats' continuing anger over Iran-Contra is further proof that they resent anyone who opposes the encroachment of communism.

When Franklin Roosevelt allied with the dictator of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin had already murdered approximately 10 million people. Hitler's death toll at that time was about 300.

In Vietnam, it was the communists who benefited when the Democrats withdrew military funding. To this day, two of our nation's most successful commie-fighters, Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon, are at the top of the Democrat's hate list.

If communism is ever to be eradicated, it'll have to be done in spite of the Democrats. — Ron Smith, Medford

On Oct. 13, the MT endorsed Chris Walker for county clerk saying, "She is still learning on the job, but her experience as clerk, combined with more than 12 years in the clerk's office in other positions, clearly makes her the best candidate." I couldn't agree more.

As the retired county clerk with 25 years of experience I can tell you that experience is very important but equally as important is a talented and dedicated staff, personal integrity, hard work and the ability to lead and set a plan of objectives and carry them out.

Chris Walker has all those abilities and I wholeheartedly endorse her to continue as your county clerk. Please give her your serious consideration and vote. — Kathy Beckett, retired Jackson County clerk, Medford

The presidential campaigns of 2008 are the most hilarious and hypocritical election campaigns of the past 40 years. Charges and counter-charges about all the candidates are flying right and left, and most all of them are false.

After the disastrous policies of the last eight years, what the Republicans need to do to win my vote is to convince me that the Republican policy platform created for this election is in any way significantly different from the platforms adopted for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. — Darlene Steffani, Ashland

I have worked on a county board for several years and have observed Chris Walker in action. Chris faces her job with great enthusiasm, commitment to detail and eagerness to learn.

I would entrust Jackson County to Chris to care for our interests and to do us proud as county clerk. I voted for Kathy Beckett many times; now I am proud to move my vote to Chris. — Mary Lee Christensen, Talent

For the past month I have been talking to voters in Medford on behalf of Lynn Howe, who is running for state representative in House District 6, which encompasses most of Medford.

I talked to many who were supportive of Lynn. Imagine my surprise when I saw signs for Sal Esquivel, her opponent, in the lawns of at least three of these same voters. I decided to go back and speak with them again, and, lo and behold, these voters had not given permission to have Esquivel's signs in their yards.

This underscores why I am volunteering for Lynn Howe. Medford deserves a representative with integrity. If you live in Medford, please cast your vote for Lynn Howe! — Jan Bailey, Medford

I hope that those of us who value our culture consciously include libraries — school, public and specialized libraries — as part of the cultural milieu.

Libraries not only archive culture, they share it through various formats (books, films, periodicals, etc.) and venues (story times for children, seasonal programs, art displays) and extend it by providing opportunities that most of us can't afford as individuals.

Without a commitment from the people they serve, most institutions flounder or disappear. There are many ways to support libraries. Become a member of a sponsoring organization (Friends of the Library, Storytelling Guild, Library Foundation). Suggest a title you have read or viewed for the library to purchase, or donate your own copy.

Volunteer at your local branch. Tell decision-makers that you would like to see libraries better funded. And vote — yes for libraries and yes for officials who support them. Please, do what you can. — Patt Colwell, Ashland

It's been said that history forgotten is doomed to repeat itself. Well, it's happening. Again.

The result of three Republican presidents in the 1920s was the stock market crash of 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression. In 1932 Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) became president and came to the rescue. FDR closed all banks, established the FDIC, and established regulations on banks and the stock market.

In the 1980s Republican Presidents Reagan and Bush deactivated stock market regulations and led us to an economic recession in 1989. Again, another Democrat came to the rescue. That was President Bill Clinton. Clinton brought us balanced budgets without a recession and the country prospered once more.

Next came Republican President George W. Bush followed by another Republican recession. Again, another Democrat is on his way to rescuing our country from economic disaster. His name is Barack Obama. — R.J. Morgan, Eagle Point

Do you value your life, the life of your children? If you do, I urge you to not vote for Barack Obama.

Life is a wonderful gift from God, but Obama does not value life, for he supports abortion. Another way of expressing what abortion is, it is the killing of a baby in the mother's womb. How could anyone condone such an atrocious act?

Further, Barack Obama has said one of the first things he would do as president is to repeal the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. That was passed by a bipartisan vote, but he would just ignore the will of the people.

Please think of what is important to you when you vote. — Jeannie Gladson, Medford

The economic crisis has tested our nation and our leaders. Barack Obama is the only candidate for president who has been up to the test.

Obama understands this is a serious challenge, but John McCain has bounced from position to position as the political winds have shifted. Obama has shown that he possesses clearheadedness and a steady hand, two important qualities needed in a president.

In the last debate, he laid out a series of proposals designed to help restore our economy. Among these proposals were tax cuts intended to create new jobs and help states, like Oregon, avoid budget crises.

Obama didn't dwell on the negative. He talked about restoring confidence in our economy and ourselves. With his leadership, we can weather this crisis and emerge a better, more prepared nation for the 21st century. That's why I support Barack Obama. — Edie Berry, Central Point

Sen. Gordon Smith likes to refer to his record of "cooperation" with Sen. Ron Wyden. But their votes cancel each other's much more often than they coincide. This is why Wyden endorses and campaigns for Speaker Jeff Merkley.

Unlike Smith, Merkley and Wyden opposed the "bailout" bill, and instead encouraged a plan to provide funds directly to banks while retaining equity ownership for the taxpayers, not Wall Street special interests.

Merkley and Wyden oppose tax credits for companies that transfer jobs overseas while Smith refused to end tax loopholes for these companies.

They also think big oil makes enough profits already, while Smith voted big oil companies another $18 million in breaks.

Most importantly, Merkley and Wyden opposed the Iraq War quagmire from the beginning.

This state needs two senators who truly work together. Vote for Jeff Merkley! — John Stromberg, Ashland

The recent endorsement of Kate Brown for secretary of state by the Mail Tribune is a real head-scratcher. They said her resumé gives her the edge. Did they actually look at her "resumé"?

In 2005 Brown played political games with a bill that would help protect our children. She finally let part of the bill out of committee, it allowed the state to create a Web site of predatory sex offenders, but she gutted the bill of the "Jessica's Law" language. Finally in 2006 a Jessica's Law was passed in Oregon that toughens punishment for child sex offenders. Before Brown let this bill see the light of day it took many calls and e-mails to her office.

Ms. Brown also is not sure if Oregon needs to require proof of citizenship for voter registration. Has she ever heard of ACORN or Antelope Oregon?

Wow, Kate, impressive resumé. — David Lynch, Medford

I've been in Southern Oregon for 23 years, and have seen many positive changes with Sal Esquivel in that Salem office.

That is why I want to speak out on his behalf to encourage the voters of Jackson County to think long and hard about what we need to have accomplished for our community in the next years.

Will we be satisfied with a government official with no experience or should we demand a proven advocate of our locality? The more you think about what Sal has made happen in Southern Oregon (across party lines at that), I hope you will rise to the occasion for our community and send Sal Esquivel back to Salem.

Just remember children, education, elder care and health care. All Esquivel. — Tamara Strazdas, RN, Medford

As the former mayor of the city of Talent (five terms), it is important for our state representative to support local governments. I have known Pete Belcastro for many years and know of his commitment to local cities and respects the issues they face.

He has moderated many cable TV programs with city officials and has a clear understanding of how state and local governments must work together to make our communities better places to live and work. Best of all, Pete has been involved with several fraternal organizations in the valley and devotes his time, effort and good deeds for other people.

I know Pete to be a man of his word and when he tells you something it is gospel. I hope you will join with me and elect Pete Belcastro to the Oregon Legislature, House District 5. He will be a tireless leader for our community. — Frank Falsarella, former mayor, city of Talent

An important race in the Nov. 4 election features incumbent Sal Esquivel against challenger Lynn Howe.

Esquivel, elected in 2005, received good grades for working across the aisle to benefit his constituents. By his second term his priorities were changing from issues like better schools to cutting taxes for the wealthy. Future issues (if re-elected) include anti-gay rights legislation and the always unpopular 5 percent sales tax. His financial backers include real estate brokers (he is one), developers and related lobbyists and bankers.

Democrat Lynn Howe is his opponent in November. She comes with a 25-year record of nursing and health care administration. She is most knowledgeable about Oregon's health-care problems. She is also a former teacher with extensive business background and has a keen interest in improving our education system.

Vote Esquivel = special interests.

Vote Howe = a voice for the rest of us.

More on Howe at lynnhowestaterep.com. — Dick and Joan Simonson, Medford

The Mail Tribune's endorsement of Lynn Howe for state representative misses two critical factors.

1. Sal Esquivel is seasoned, experienced, and has done an admirable job in the face of majority opposition in the House.

2. Howe, with her two years of "experience" in the valley, is not prepared for the job.

She has shown no recognition of:

A. Four thousand-plus families demoralized and financially damaged by the cessation of timber harvesting.

B. Critical rural issues such as water availability, control of invasive weeds and threatened public safety stemming from a lack of timber thinning.

Many recently retired folks who come from other states with their agendas, attempting to tell us how to manage our local economies and lifestyles, require a couple more years of learning and seasoning. Maybe after a few more years of education, Howe can be qualified for a seat on the City Council. — Warren Merz, Jacksonville

The Ashland mayor's race is a difficult choice for voters. We have some excellent candidates who are asking for our vote and offer their considerable community experience.

For me, I am voting for Steve Hauck. His extensive participation in the civic life in Ashland, including being a City Council member and housing commissioner is a big factor for earning our vote. Steve has been a thoughtful supporter of affordable housing efforts, living wage jobs and open, accountable governance. — Rich Rohde, Ashland

We have some spectacular candidates for public office this year.

I'd like to mention two that I hope we have the good sense to elect.

One is Joe Charter, who I've seen in a variety of roles (no pun on his community theater work) over the years. His intelligence and commitment to resolving issues in a way that meets the needs of conflicting parties are ingredients of a great Circuit Court judge.

Jim Olney would be an outstanding county commissioner. I've occupied that seat before, and Jim's core qualities — genuine interest and respect for a variety of people, courage, a clear, calm vision that extends beyond next Wednesday — suit him perfectly for the job.

We'd be really fortunate to have the public service of these two smart, good men. — Jeff Golden, Ashland

I was disappointed by the Mail Tribune's endorsement of Gordon Smith. I was actually stunned by Tribune's decrying Merkley's "negativity." It was Gordon Smith who initiated the most negative campaign in memory in Oregon.

Smith's attack ads have been filled with innuendos and outright falsehoods. Merkley has responded to this outrageous assault with facts exposing Smith's record. Smith voted around 80 percent with George Bush over the past eight years, supporting a regime that has undermined our world reputation, devastated our economy and lined the pockets of the very rich.

Merkley opposed the war from the beginning whereas Smith's belated opposition to the war comes across like a deathbed conversion instead of sincere conviction. It is Jeff Merkley who deserves the support of all Oregon voters. — Don Morris, Ashland

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