Gordon Smith has been endorsed by The Oregonian, the Mail Tribune and the Statesman Journal because he has experience, power and rapport in the U.S. Senate. And Oregonians benefit from having both parties providing the checks and balances every good law requires.

So don't get caught up in the negative ad rhetoric. Nobody likes the political posturing in this heated race, but who is to blame?

A distracted or disengaged public fans the heat. If the polls showed negative ads ineffective then candidates wouldn't resort to them. — Deborah Eagar, Medford

As a lifelong resident, County Commissioner C.W.Smith knows and cares deeply about the many environmental concerns facing Southern Oregon.

I have known C.W. personally for many years, and he is an outdoorsman through and through. He has always fought for ways that our precious timberlands can be best managed to both protect jobs and also reduce catastrophic forest fires that can destroy our lands. He also knows that water resources are our future, and that without careful management, Jackson County's economy and its environment will not have resiliency to meet the challenges of the future.

C.W. Smith cares about what is best for all of us. Please join me in voting to re-elect C.W. Smith as our county commissioner, position 2. — Gordon Draper, Medford

Sen. Obama's Web site www.FightTheSmears.com contains a handy laundry list of criticisms against him, all denied. His denials don't make the charges untrue. You have a final two weeks to wake up.

Many of the charges against Obama have been verified, and many very recently. Unfortunately, you won't see much discussion of this in the print media or on TV. But it's out there, in legitimate online publications that employ actual investigative journalists to dig out the truth.

The truth is there if you look.

The question is: Do you care about your country enough to look?

If you can't bring yourself to vote for McCain, so be it. But, if you care about your country, you need to take a longer look at Obama. Where, you ask? WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, HillBuzz, and Justia.com are a good start.

If you won't look at proof, shame on you! — Kristin O'Driscoll, Jacksonville

Recently, invalid statements were made by a candidate seeking election to Shady Cove's City Council. Since it's important to know the truth, here are the facts:

First: SC already has natural gas available with Avista Utilities.

Second: SC city officials do want water for citizens, but their efforts are blocked by the lack of finances for this comprehensive, expensive undertaking.

Third: "Shady Cove Water District" isn't part of city government! It's an "independent group" chaired by Jim Collier and has no authority to demand fees from SC citizens, so don't be intimidated!

If you are one of the more than 80 percent of city voters who voted against the water district a year ago, which was reinstated by the Oregon Court of Appeals after a challenge by Jim Collier, please vote for mayoral and council candidates Ron Holthusen, Leith Hayes and Margaret Bradburn, who don't support the water district. — Janet Pierson-Kyle, Shady Cove

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