I have no idea what deal Bates and Dotterrer made, but it seems to me fair that a challenger can hold the votes of an incumbent to the light so we can vote on an informed basis.

It is right that we hold the incumbent accountable for his actions. Anyone who has been victimized by a violent criminal should know that the result of an Alan Bates vote, intended or not, had the effect of putting criminals back on the street, as Helga Thompson notes in the ad on one disastrous result of that vote. — Kevin Wallace, Ashland

It is time for Jackson County and the rest of Oregon to look forward.

We must have county commissioners who have a vision of progress that will bring jobs and investment in this county while preserving a good quality of life. They must understand the needs of the entire community and be able to form coalitions that promote good governance and fiscal responsibility. They must believe in the importance of quality education and training for our young people so that they too can participate in a successful future.

Our commissioners need to seriously attend to the problems and the wonderful assets of Jackson County. Mark Wisnovsky is ready to do so. He has the business experience, local knowledge, dedication and thoughtfulness to serve Jackson County citizens with vitality and energy. He is a breath of fresh air. He has our support. — Karen and Peter Salant, Jacksonville

Al Densmore supports the proposed $14 million water park. Curt Ankerberg opposes the water park.

Al Densmore supports the gift of $14 million in taxpayer dollars to Lithia Motors. Curt Ankerberg opposes the gift of your taxpayer dollars to Lithia Motors.

Al Densmore supports the overpriced $120 million Highway 62 bypass, which will destroy businesses along Highway 62. Curt Ankerberg opposes the current route, and supports a more economical and efficient route on Table Rock Road.

Al Densmore voted to raise your water bill taxes this year, with another increase coming next year. Curt Ankerberg is a fiscal conservative, and will hold the line on tax increases.

Fixed-income senior citizens are being taxed out of house and home by the wasteful spending endorsed by Al Densmore.

Vote for a City Council person who'll be responsive to the needs of all Medford citizens. Vote for Curt Ankerberg for Medford City Council, Ward 1. — Kathryn McCracken, Medford

Sure, anger is all the rage, but reform is more to the point and there Oregon is ahead of the curve.

Salem, under the leadership of Sen. Alan Bates and Rep. Peter Buckley, is reorganizing our health care system, redirecting aid to education and working hard to strengthen the revenue stream needed to support those Oregonians hit hardest by our ongoing recession.

Sen. Ron Wyden has a decade-long record of working across the aisle to create legislative solutions to the nation's jobless recovery. But cooperative Republicans have been few and far between.

Both Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkeley have been leaders in the ongoing efforts to change Senate rules so that a minority of one cannot stop the work of the whole Congress in its tracks.

Now that our ballots have arrived it's time to get serious. Let's not forget that Democrats are the real reformers around here. — Victor W. Rogers, Ashland

I rarely write letters in support of candidates, however I feel it is important for our state to have honest, knowledgeable people working for us and Sal Esquivel is definitely one of those!

He served his country in the military. He understands, as a small-business owner, what it takes to create jobs. His background includes serving on the Medford City Council, which enables him to really know his district.

He truly works as an Oregonian for Oregon, not just as a party person in Salem. He voted no on every "job killer" bill and yes on bills that created jobs. He has been outvoted by those who thought they knew a better way and as anyone can see that simply hasn't worked! We truly need hard-working, honest and dedicated people like Sal! Sal Esquivel has earned my vote! — Sylvia Sullivan, Ashland

I'm surprised Lynn Howe's opponent, Sal Esquivel, thinks it's OK not to pay his taxes on time.

While most citizens may not like to pay taxes, they understand that without them the various services the county provides would be in disarray. The schools already do a balancing act to keep costs down while educating our children, the bus system struggles to maintain too few routes, and cities would be in dire straits. It's hard to understand why Sal Esquivel doesn't "need to blink" about his decision. I'm voting for Lynn Howe. — Carol Palmer, Medford

Medicare's stingy reimbursement rates mean trouble for older Oregonians. More and more providers are telling us, "We can't take any new Medicare patients." There should be pressure on providers to reduce costs, but not through unfairly low reimbursement rates. Now huge cuts are threatened unless the lame-duck Congress acts after the election. It isn't the providers who suffer the most, it's would-be patients on Medicare who, if they can get treatment at all, are shunted off to providers less in demand.

What to do? Well, electing representatives of the "no" party intent on destroying Medicare will only make things worse. We are fortunate to have the option of medical professionals running for office. John Kitzhaber, Alan Bates and Lynn Howe are well aware of the problems in our health-care system, and have innovative, realistic ideas about solving them. They deserve our votes. — Wayne Slawson, Talent

In all his legislative time, Mr. Bates has concentrated on health care, which seems almost the only thing he talks about. We have bigger, more pressing problems that he seems devoid of ideas to solve, including educational shortcomings, private sector unemployment, and overspending by the state.

His opponent, Dave Dotterrer, has proposed reasoned and reasonable ideas in these areas and others of importance. Don't take my word for it: Read what Dave has to say in his mailers and in the voters' pamphlet. If you do, I think you will join me in voting for Dave Dotterrer for state senate. — Bob Fisher, Talent

I am skeptical of Jeff Golden's plan. Twenty years ago when the timber economy shut down, he jumped on the high-tech, tourism and recreation bandwagon. Four years ago he still claimed that saving forests was going to foster a recreation and tourism economy.

Jeff Golden has never been a supporter of the timber industry or the employees. In a 2009 essay to an imaginary Butte Falls logger named "Ray," Golden admitted that those plans hadn't panned out.

This year Golden, with the help of a paid consultant, issued a 21-page "jobs agenda" that jumped on the latest bandwagon, "buy local." The problem is that Golden hasn't really created any local jobs, except his own, or helped run any major job-producing company. It takes more than words to turn ideas into action.

I've been in business. "Sounds good" doesn't equal "let's get it done." Choose wisely. I'm choosing experience, Don Skundrick. — Michael Burrill Sr., Medford

Is it just me or does it seem a very strange coincidence that in the past several days 99 percent of the letters regarding the race between Golden and Skundrick have all been for Golden? Did someone in the Golden camp send a bunch of letters out to people to be sent in all at once?

The editorial page has been looking like a full page ad for Golden. Very strange!

It's a shame that there are so many misinformed people voting this year. Skundrick has proven to be a leader in the business community and will do a great job helping to restore good jobs to the county. We need someone of his character and ability working for and with us. — P. Moran, Medford

I was pleased to be in the audience at the KOBI debate last week between Sen. Ron Wyden and his challenger.

It was clear during the one-hour debate that Ron Wyden knows how to get to work to solve Oregon's and America's problems. He has created jobs, offered an alternative to the health care plan, and is working on the problems in our federal forests and issues in the Klamath Basin.

Ron Wyden has always worked in a bipartisan way and reached effectively across the aisle. He also cares about the rural parts of Oregon like Lakeview, my hometown. Wyden has a record of solving problems.

Please vote for Wyden. — Sue Densmore, Medford

The passion of Jeff Golden's supporters is admirable. All speak of his wonderful ability to talk and write.

But I fail to see any major accomplishments that match his words. Golden talks about a local economy, but the organization that has made the most inroads in helping build a local economy is Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc., which has brought in businesses including Amy's Kitchen and helped businesses like Rogue Creamery and Rogue Valley Microdevices grow and survive.

Don Skundrick has been helping lead SOREDI's efforts for years.

If the "vision" of a strong local economy is going to be more than a plan on paper, we need to elect a candidate who has worked closely with and for organizations — including SOREDI — that have gotten things done. Don Skundrick is a man we can trust with a track record we can see. — John Ydstie, Medford

Jim Huffman wanted to debate Ron Wyden and, after watching the debate on KOBI, my advice to Mr. Huffman is to be careful of what you wish for!

It was clear during the one-hour debate that all Mr. Huffman has to offer is that he is not Ron Wyden. He offered no plan to solve any of Oregon's or America's problems. No plan to create any jobs. No alternative to the current health care plan. No plan to solve the problems in our federal forests or in the Klamath Basin.

Mr. Huffman did say that if elected the first thing he would do is be bipartisan and reach across the aisle. Good idea, Jim. That's exactly what Ron Wyden has always done.

Wyden has a record of solving problems. Mr. Huffman has no record at all.

Vote for Wyden. — Jean E. Maack, Medford

Sharia Law is the Islamic code that prescribes beheading, stoning and tortuous amputations for civil and theological infractions. The proclaimed goal of fundamentalist Muslims is to force this Law of God upon the entire world.

Where do these abominations come from? The Quran? No. These very atrocities are found in the Old Testament of the Bible. The first five books alone are one bloody "jihad" after another, all commanded by "God." (If you don't know this, you've never read the Bible.)

I'm greatly alarmed by the rise of fundamentalist religious groups in this country. Under-educated, "faith"-based politicians like Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle declare they want to return the country to "Old Testament" law. Should that happen, it will be the end of civilization and freedom. If we want to preserve the America of our Founding Fathers, we must never allow ignorance and superstition to rule our land. — Carol Putnam, Central Point

We all hear the rhetoric in the campaigns about jobs — in fact that is the only subject that Ms. Howe seems to be able to talk about.

Well, the time has come for the political bureaucratic games to stop. If you check out Ms. Howe's campaign expenditures, you will find that she has spent over $150,000 on negative campaign mailers, media ads, polling and telephone calls — where? All that money has been spent with Democratic hit firms in Chicago and Washington, D.C. For one that seems so concerned about the local economy, and so concerned with creating jobs locally, it must not have crossed her mind to shop locally! Another lie, Ms. Howe? Sal Esquivel has my vote. — Shelly Brodman, Medford

Jackson County residents have a great opportunity on Nov. 2 to elect an honest, caring and genuine man to help keep our community fiscally sound, and that person is John Rachor!

He has a proven track record on running a multi-million dollar business. He tirelessly give his time and the use of his personal helicopter to find those who are lost, being a member of Search and Rescue.

We are proud to call him our friend, and hope you will join us and cast your vote for John on election day. — John and Glenda Sarratt, Central Point

I met Don Skundrick approximately 43 years ago. I have watched him grow and develop in many areas during the intervening years. He rose in his profession from an entry-level employee to executive status. He volunteered extensively in the community, rising from volunteer to board member to board chair in many organizations, including the Chamber and SOREDI. He has been actively involved in making critical decisions necessary to keep businesses and non-profits viable and healthy in both good and bad economies.

I have worked with Don on several boards, including Southern Oregon Drug Awareness, where he was the driving force behind the "Drugs Don't Work Here" program which made the workplaces in our county safer for all of us.

Don's unwavering respect for people at every level is a quality that will be essential as county commissioner. Please join me in supporting Don Skundrick for county commissioner! — Judy Lininger, Medford

I've had the privilege of serving on the Eagle Point School Board with Dr. Bates.

He works tirelessly, always considering every side of an issue with an open mind. He fights to promote the best options for our children and seniors. Being a small business owner he knows what it takes to make a payroll and make sound business decisions. And his medical expertise will serve us well in finding the best options in all the problems we face in health and insurance issues.

When casting your ballot please do not fall for his opponent's out-of-context, exaggerated ads. They are not worthy of our consideration. As an independent registered Republican I am supporting Alan Bates. We need all his experience. Private business, health care and public service in representing us in Salem. — Fred Thomas, Eagle Point

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