Really have to disagree with your well-below-the-fold placement of the Ted Kennedy death story on Wednesday's front page. Love him or hate him, it was by far the biggest news of the day, and it happened late in the news cycle. The mere indictment (not conviction) of an unfortunate local citizen with celebrity links on disgusting charges doesn't begin to compare in news value. — Bill Powell, Talent

Don Nelson from RGU.com summarized "HR 3200 may not use the word abortion but unless Congress excludes abortion from being defined as an essential benefit, the broadly worded mandatory categories of coverage will be interpreted by courts to include abortion." Consider Roe v. Wade. From 1973 to 1976 the American public funded more than 300,000 abortions.

You offered the amendment adopted by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., as solving the issue of abortion. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee reminds voters that "Lois Capps' pro-life vote-scorecard is 0 for 74. Hmmm. Joe Pits, R-Pa., also offered to make clear that no public funds were to be used for abortion. This vote originally passed as well until Henry Waxman, D-Calif., brought the amendment up for a revote that eventually led to the amendment's failure, 30-29. Why have a bill that needs this amendment?

On June 19, the House Ways and Means Committee announced that a new Obama-run advisory committee will decide which services will be covered. July 2007 at a Planned Parenthood meeting, Obama said, "reproductive care is essential care, basic care." His administration has said that reproductive care includes abortion. Get ready to pay to kill, America. — Gary Reed, Phoenix

We applaud Amy Patton's recent op-ed ("Getting the facts straight on Oregon taxes," Aug. 16) defending the legislative acts that increase the $10 corporate minimum income tax and the marginal tax rate on household income above $250,000. But we note one problem with her assertion that "two-thirds of corporations that do business in Oregon do not claim a profit, and therefore pay only $10 a year." In truth, she is being too generous to corporations.

In tax year 2006, more than 5,100 profitable corporations paid no income taxes beyond the $10 minimum. Indeed, 31 of those had Oregon profits in excess of $1 million, and 216 profitable corporations used tax subsidies — tax credits — to get their liability down to just $10.

The reason why so many profitable corporations in Oregon get away with paying just $10 a year in income taxes is because they exploit the tax loopholes and subsidies their lobbyists have sweet-talked previous lawmakers into passing. Meanwhile, ordinary families and individuals have been forced to pick up the tab.

Oregonians should support the 2009 Legislature's important steps toward a tax system that is fair to middle- and low-income Oregonians and that protects those hardest hit by this recession. — Charles Sheketoff, executive director, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Silverton

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