Who is this League of Ashland Voters? The actions of this PAC illustrate the deterioration of the political atmosphere in Ashland. (I am not a member or supporter of this League's opposition; I am reacting to what has been thrust at me in the mail.)

First, the league picks a name too close to League of Women Voters of Ashland.

Second, it sends out an attack rag without identifying its writers or supporters. Where is the accountability?

Third, the thrust of the rag is nefarious. It smears Cate Hartzell practically throughout and uses a photo of Pam Vavra that is malicious. It tries to embarrass Peace House. Where is the integrity?

This is negative campaigning to an educated electorate at its embarrassing worst. Does Ashland want this? I hope not.

Would members or supporters of this league please identify yourselves? Or are you also embarrassed by the product mailed out? — Ben Benjamin, Ashland

This country desperately needs a forward-thinking problem solver to repair the serious damage the Bush/Cheney/McCain approach to leadership has caused — failing financial institutions, spiraling national debt, rising unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating environment, unending war.

Barack Obama possesses the intellect, curiosity, judgment, temperament and creativity, along with superb communication skills, to direct this enormous reformation effort. Through the years he's proved his ability to assess and resolve problems, or, when appropriate, to delegate authority to other qualified people, not unqualified cronies.

The coming election presents a critical opportunity for citizens to choose positive change over further decline. Each vote for Obama increases this country's chances to reverse policies devised with a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the American people, policies leading inevitably to nationwide disaster.

Under an Obama presidency, the executive branch would operate within the framework of the Constitution. That alone would be a major step forward. — Marie Arvette, Medford

Your endorsement of Gordon Smith for re-election is insupportable. You ought to have shared some good reasons for it with the electorate instead of whining about how both Smith and Merkely have run negative ads.

Smith is a Bush man and has been a loyal supporter of the Bush-GOP program that has destroyed much of the America of which we used to be proud. Only after the Democratic Party's victories in 2006 did Smith begin to trim his sails, and his conscience, and attempt to sound like a statesman rather than a party hack.

You argue that in the next Senate he will have "relationships and clout a newcomer can't match." But if the Democrats win a clear majority in the Senate, as appears likely, it is Merkley who will have the clout and acceptance necessary to achieve positive goals for Oregon. — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

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