How pathetic. Barack Obama and his apologists in the news media are now out to destroy "Joe the Plumber" with a lead story in last Friday's Mail Tribune. Well, you can say what you want to discredit Joe, but you can't erase the fact that Obama made the statement about raising Joe's taxes for the purpose of "spreading the wealth." Or was it Karl Marx who said that? No, by golly, it was both of them. — Frank J. Vetter, Eagle Point

McCain has a problem. It's not that Joe doesn't have a license. It's not that Joe owes back taxes. It's that when McCain believed Joe was making $250,000 a year, enough to push Joe into a higher bracket under Obama's proposed new tax structure, he portrayed Joe as a typical plumber.

Nationwide, the median plumber's salary is a little over $40,000 a year. You can't be more out of touch from average Americans than that. — Michael Hoyt, Jacksonville

As the election nears, and I read the letters supporting a candidate for mayor of Ashland, I am amazed at the statements about how the candidates know what Ashland needs.

Who would better know the needs of Ashland than someone who was born and raised in Ashland since the days of it being a lumber mill town with mills using wigwam burners. Someone who has served on the City Council, served on many county nonprofit boards and has a master's degree in management. Oh, how the council meetings need managing!

This person is Steve Hauck. He knows how to listen and while he may not agree with you, he allows you to speak your piece and he even listens to what you have to say. If you want a true representative of Ashland, Steve Hauck is the person. — Jerry Hauck, Ashland

I wanted to express my support for Chris Walker, Jackson County clerk.

Born and raised in the Rogue Valley, Chris is empathetic with the citizens of Southern Oregon, sharing their values and concerns. She has worked in the clerk's office for over 12 years, and this past year used her experience to fill the county clerk's position. Her motto of "making sure every vote is counted" isn't simply something she say she will do, it's what she has been doing.

For these reasons she is clearly the best choice. Please cast your ballots in favor of Chris Walker, Jackson County clerk. — James L. Mecham, Medford

Please vote for Colleen Roberts for Jackson County clerk. Its time we get rid of the "business as usual" politicians.

The nonprofit Shady Cove Water District that the voters on Sept. 20, 2005, voted 83 percent to dissolve, was allowed to continue on a filing technicality error.

What is the reason that the current Jackson County Elections Board turned away Shady Cove residents when they tried to file an initiative to dissolve SCWD? This and other irregularities are being looked into by the Elections Division of the Secretary of State. According to the Oregon Department of Revenue the Shady Cove Water District cannot put a lien on your house for nonpayment of their $6-a-month charge since no service has been provided.

We have known and admired her work ethics for over 20 years. Vote for Colleen Roberts for Jackson County clerk. — Mert and Erlene Thomson, Trail

So, you call yourselves "liberals"! Well, maybe you should look up the terminology you claim to stand for.

Liberal means open-minded, broad-minded, moderate, noninterventionist, free-thinking, tolerant, generous. Your group claims to believe in free speech. Does that mean only if I believe as you do?

We have lived here in Jackson County for 21 years. We have displayed our support for candidates by the posting of 4x8 field signs and lawn signs on our own property ever since we moved here. Never, until now, have we had one stolen or defaced, or for that matter, any other vandalism.

Now, stolen from our property, was a 4x8 field sign and a yard sign saying "Oregonians for McCain-Palin."

Are you afraid others may consider voting for them?

So much for open minded liberalism! Vote McCain-Palin for integrity! — Donna Cain, Rogue River

Rep. Sal Esquivel has been one of few in the Oregon Legislature to consider the under-manning of the Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division to be a serious public safety problem.

He has worked tirelessly attempting to provide dedicated funding for OSP. Road blocks are constantly raised but he has not given up the fight.

We need him in the Legislature to support OSP and public safety. He continues with his fight almost as a team of one, because the vast majority of legislators are not concerned with public safety issues. — Lloyd N. Clodfelter, Medford

If you don't know much about County Commissioner C.W. Smith, here's some information you need to know before voting.

He's a lifelong Rogue Valley native, 30-year public servant, current county commissioner, former county sheriff, police chief, town manager, farm manager, and U.S. Air Force veteran. His background includes serving on the Oregon Association of Counties board, O&C Counties Association board, Rural Communities Development Council, Governor's Task Force on Forest Funding and County Payments, Juvenile Advisory Council, Oregon Crime Prevention Association, president of Oregon Sheriff's Association board and founder of the Western Sheriff's Association. That's experience I trust, and it's the experience necessary to serve our community as county commissioner. He's earned my vote. — Sheila Goslin, Eagle Point

Vote for limited government, school vouchers, property rights, low taxes and the ability of the individual to succeed. The greatness of our country is small business; they must not be penalized for success. Obama wants to tax these small businesses to "spread the wealth around."

Let's tap our vast resources of oil and natural gas along with new sources of energy and technology, creating new jobs and prosperity. Let's build nuclear plants, which mean jobs, clean energy and prosperity.

There is stark contrast in the experience the candidates bring to the Oval Office, and the caliber of the associates each has surrounded themselves with in their past. Obama's association with anti-American radicals is very troubling, even more is his vow to pass the "Freedom of Choice Act" that would undo every state law limiting or regulating abortion. Join me and vote McCain! — Becky Malone, Medford

A vote for Pete Belcastro, an Independent, will be a vote for Southern Oregon.

Pete is interested in new green industry for Southern Oregon, not just for Portland. He will work for a sustainable green economy. Living and working here in Southern Oregon, he has the insight into difficult political process that will give us a vote for Southern Oregon.

I am voting for Pete Belcastro, an Independent candidate to Salem as state representative for District 5. You, too, can vote to bring green jobs to our area. — Jim Hibbert, Ashland

Lynn and Jim Howe have proven themselves down at Jackson County's Democratic headquarters. These are people who roll up their sleeves and get involved in every aspect of what's going on, right down to knocking on doors and putting labels on envelopes, standing alongside those of us who volunteer.

This demonstrates to me that, as state representative, Lynn will not only fight for us — she will fight with us.

As a former nurse and health care administrator, Lynn places a high priority on cutting health-care costs and making health care available to all Oregonians. As a mother and former teacher, she places a high priority on the quality of early childhood education in our public schools.

Special interests are not her interests. She represents all of us, because she is one of us.

I urge you to support Lynn Howe for state representative, and to check out her Web site at www.lynnhowestaterep.com. — Stefanie Redfield, Medford

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