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Election letters galore: Malone confusion, 100-year storms and women

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Another round of election letters. You will note that there are few if any pro-Romney letters. That's because the few we got are running in the paper this weekend. And that's the truth.


I am dismayed that you are endorsing Steve Troxler for Commissioner of Agriculture. Your assertion that he has performed well on the whole is not true. Troxler is widely known to be a non-advocate for animals in N.C., specifically shelter and puppy mill animals. He does not see a need to end use of the gas chamber, which continues to be a dark secret of so many shelters in our state.  He does not see a need to crack down on puppy mills, either.

Walter Smith is a candidate who will make positive changes for our shelter animals and those suffering in mills. The N&O does a very bad job of reporting puppy mill raids; there have been many in the past year in which sometimes almost 100 animals are seized in horrific conditions.

We are the No. 3 state for companion animal euthanasia. Cracking down on puppy mills would help lessen the number of dogs ending up in shelters.  For animals who have the misfortune of having their lives end in a shelter, the gas chamber is not humane in the least. Isn't NC better than this? Good old boys like Troxler need to GO.

Patricia Nichols


I strongly support Wendy Jacobs for Durham County commissioner. I ask that the citizens of Durham please give Wendy one of your five votes for County Commissioner. I served on the Board of County Commissioners for more than 28 years and got to know Wendy as a former teacher and active Durham Public School parent, neighborhood leader of the New Hope Preserve Campaign and hardworking member of the Durham Planning Commission.

Wendy works hard and does her homework. She is open-minded and fair. She will work for what is in the best interests of the people of Durham. Wendy will be a good steward of the Countys limited financial resources and will be unafraid to make the tough decisions that will need to be made.

Wendy has the skills, knowledge and experience to bring New Leadership to the Board of Commissioners. Please vote for Wendy Jacobs for County Commissioner!

Becky Heron


Thank you for your recent endorsement of Sig Hutchinson, candidate for N.C. Senate. Citizens in Sig’s district are being barraged by the GOP with misleading and negative messages. The facts speak differently, and voters deserve to know the truth.

Sig is an enthusiastic public servant and well-recognized booster for quality of life improvements that generate economic vitality and an attractive location for businesses and residents. His significant efforts have tremendously helped to transform Wake County for the better.

Your Oct. 23 editorial highlighted Sig’s activities on behalf of Raleigh’s parks and greenways system but did not include his larger countywide efforts over many years to encourage local government cooperation and partnership to achieve county open space goals and greenway connectivity. Since 1999, Sig has led the Wake County Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee and provided positive leadership assisting the popular passage of $91 million in county bonds, funding preservation of approximately 4,700 acres of green space.

His leadership has been steady and thoughtful, nurturing a can-do, inclusive and creative atmosphere where the kind of ugly politics we see all too often are non-existent.

Jamie Ramsey
When will John Tedesco learn that the good people of Wake County do not and will not respond to racist strategies and comments by our elected leaders? His latest approach of accusing the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, June Atkinson, of misusing campaign money for placing an ad in a printed banquet program in which all candidates (Republican and Democratic) were invited to advertise is another attempt to create division within our community around the issue of race.

The people of Wake County have already said to Tedesco [Wake school board member and Republican candidate for state superintendent] that we will not allow him and his political ambitions to undo the work of generations of forward-looking citizens to protect the common vision that all people are created equal – black, white and brown.

North Carolinians deserve better than the kind of bullying that comes from those who simply want to divide and conquer our communities based on the color of one’s skin. Regardless of our political diversity, we are a far better people than to fall for such tactics.

Rev. Dr. Nancy E. Petty
Pastor, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church


A brief review of the past four years highlights Republican deceit. As President Obama took his oath of office, Republican leaders plotted to sabotage the economy and blame him so people would vote against him in 2012.

In 2010, Republicans who knew Bushs recession had caused high unemployment blamed Obama and promised to create jobs if elected. Elected on that promise, they immediately began to sabotage the economy. They refused to support Obama's historically successful stimulus plan, even though they had supported one for Bush. They also describe his stimulus plan as wasted money, even though they requested and received some of those funds after stating that they would create jobs.  Interestingly, Romney recently conducted a rally at a business that had received stimulus funding.

In 2011, 12 state legislatures, most of which became Republican-controlled in 2010 (including North Carolina), made severe budget cuts causing 650,000 state-funded layoffs over 70% of the 2011 total. Hoping the public would forget their promises to create jobs, the Republicans blamed the resulting increased unemployment rate on the President. Now they are hoarding over $12 billion because of those job cuts.

President Obama is right; we can't trust Romney and the Republican Party.

Anita Howard


Recently the News & Observer published endorsements for State House candidates, without any mention of the candidates' voting records on women's issues. Tom Murry (District 41) was praised as open-minded, experienced and involved in his community. Yet hes voted twice to eliminate funding for women's health care services, including breast and cervical cancer screenings. His opponent, Jim Messina, has pledged to support women's access to reproductive health care at the General Assembly.

All month Ive been canvassing for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. I've met sweet, hospitable Romney-supporters and outspoken undecideds in their underpants. But I've also met voters who aren't deciding between candidates, they're deciding whether to vote at all. This is especially alarming when the undecided voter is another woman.

The voting booth is one place where we are treated as truly equal to men. It is one place where, as a group, we actually have more power and agency than men, because we are the majority of registered voters. Readers know as well as I do, there are plenty of opportunities to feel powerless. This isn't one of them. Get to the polls, and vote like so many women before us fought to; like citizens of other countries are dying to.

As a voter and woman in North Carolina, I encourage all women to vote. And I urge the News & Observer to consider women's health a priority when making future endorsements.

Honora Gandhi


The "100-year storm " that rolled through some of the most vital areas of our nation this week reminded me that we've actually had two of those in recent memory – the other was four years ago, when our economy nearly melted down. It turned out our seemingly robust economy was built on sand, not rock. Millions were tempted to believe in the illusion that they could afford more more than they really could, and were virtually swept away. They almost carried the rest of us with them.

It is hard to be patient when rebuilding. Putting down a new, solid foundation takes time. President Obama understands this and is committed to it, even though it's neither quick nor flashy. Mitt Romney offers another house, seemingly robust, but built on the sand, built by the same folks who have already shown that their own profit comes before all else, including the good of our country. That's a house we cannot afford. We need to continue to rebuild our economy on a solid foundation, not on illusions.

Steve Cameron


It does not surprise me one bit that Caroline Sullivan has raised a fair amount of money in her effort to be elected to the Wake County Board of Commissioners. She is an incredibly smart, capable and likable person who has worked tirelessly to get the job done.

She was also savvy enough to gather a group of her smart, capable, tireless and very devoted friends to volunteer for her campaign. You imply that her husband has something to do with the funds she has raised for her campaign. I have been in and out of her house at all hours for meetings or to gather yard signs or campaign literature and have seen Richard maybe twice during this whole process. Perhaps colleagues or clients of her husband have given her money, but I promise you it's because they believe in Caroline. Is it so difficult to believe that a woman can be successful because of who SHE is?

I have been at meet and greets and seen how engaged and impressed people (regular Wake County residents) are as Caroline speaks. They then donate to her campaign because they are impressed by her intellect and knowledge of the city budget and what her responsibilities would be as County Commissioner. I also know of a woman who went to a church forum and donated to the campaign online during the event after Caroline's opponent said he believes poverty is a morality issue that could be solved if single mothers would just get married.

Caroline Sullivan knows what it takes to get the lead Wake County into the future and people have donated to her campaign because they are impressed by her and want to see her succeed in her efforts. I have donated money to Caroline's campaign because I know she is very smart, capable, an amazing advocate and, while patient and funny, she doesn't put up with a lot of nonsense.

These are all qualities that would serve her well on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. The people of Wake County would be fortunate to have a person like her representing us all.

Julia Cox


Hurricane Sandy can serve as the litmus test for the "government get off my back" and "I did it all by myself without government interference" tea party Republicans. They need not apply to FEMA for help, as Mitt Romney wants to eliminate that department, or any other federal or state government disaster relief program.

Let's see if these Republicans are true to the tea party convictions or are they just full of hot air and blather. Something tells me not to hold my breath as the tea party Republicans believe that limited government is for everyone else – NOT THEM.

Leon DeBaer


To all those 20-somethings who say they're not voting this time around: You say it won't matter. You say you're disenchanted with the President and his policies. Well, I challenge you to rethink your position and to pick an issue important to you and vote for it. Win or lose, you voted and your voice will be heard.

For me it's civil rights, compassion and inclusion for all Americans.  So Obama gets my vote.  Whether it's the economy, foreign policy, marriage equality or any other issue,  this election offers polar opposite candidates. You've had the great fortune of being born in the USA; don't waste your right to vote.

Wil White


In President Barack Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope Thoughts on Reclaiming The American Dream," Obama wrote the following words: "But those Republicans are not the ones who have driven the debate over the past six years. Instead of the 'compassionate conservatism' that George Bush promised in his 2000 campaign, what has characterized the ideological core of the GOP is absolutism, not conservatism. There is the absolutism of the free market, an ideology of no taxes, no regulation, no safety net - indeed no government beyond what's required to protect private property and provide for national defense."

The Republicans described above are, juxtaposed with another kind of Republican, "In both the House and the Senate, and in state capitals across the country there are those who cling to more traditional conservative virtues of temperance and restraint – men and women who recognize that piling up debt to finance tax cuts for the wealthy is irresponsible, that deficit reduction can't take place on the backs of the poor, that separation of church and state protects the church as well as the state, that conservation and conservatism don't have to conflict, and that foreign policy should be based on facts and not wishful thinking."

The statements above appear in the first chapter of "The Audacity of Hope".

As I re-read my copy of this book, I saw once again the depth of understanding of our two-party system that is a hallmark of our president. Obama is a man brings intellect and compassion to the presidency and I believe that many Americans find these qualities to be reassuring.

In a campaign marked by sound bytes, it is refreshing to know with certainty that our president can and does lead the nation with with authority backed by intellect and compassionate understanding.

Kristina Fowler


As a judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals for the past 17 years, I have been a fair judge, making impartial decisions based on the Constitution and enacted state laws.

I am now the second-most senior judge on the Court of Appeals and the longest-serving woman in the history of the Court.

After graduating from the UNC-Chapel Hill Law School, I represented individuals, businesses, and municipalities in both criminal and civil courts for over 17 years before becoming a judge.

As a fair, impartial and experienced judge, I have been endorsed by 20 former justices on the N.C. Supreme Court and judges on the Court of Appeals. Every endorsing lawyer association in the state has endorsed my re-election, including the NC Association of Women Attorneys, NC Advocates for Justice and NC Defense Lawyers Association. Police, firefighters, State Troopers and the states teachers (NCAE) organizations have endorsed me.

As one of our states most experienced Appellate Court judges who decides all cases before me fairly and impartially based on the laws of our state and the Constitution, I sincerely ask for your vote and support in my re-election to the NC Court of Appeals.

Judge Linda McGee


State Sen. Neal Hunt's campaign ad touts his creating jobs in N.C. But his party's gubernatorial nominee, Pat McCrory, says our state's job situation is awful. Sounds a little like Republican double talk, doesn't it? Apparently Mitt is a good teacher of GOP double talk.

Scott Matthews


Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory has been whining about the private sector being considered adversarial by many citizens. If so, the private sector has earned our enmity. We citizens aren’t against honest profit, but we must demand to know, “Profit at whose expense?”

In the case of power companies like one that previously employed McCrory and that still insists on burning coal upwind of major population centers, they make profit at the expense of citizen health and well-being.

As a previous stroke victim I recently could not attend my Davidson class reunion because I would be downwind of two coal-fired power plants spewing pollution, including PM 2.5 pollution, of which the Archives of Internal Medicine says, “Exposure to PM2.5 levels considered generally safe by the US EPA increase the risk of ischemic stroke onset within hours of exposure.”

If McCrory is elected governor, he will almost certainly appoint an Air Quality Board chosen by North Carolina’s worst air polluters. Citizens will be able to breathe easy, as long as they don’t breathe in. It’s a little tricky at first, but by voting for Dalton, we can truly breathe easy on many fronts.

Zell A. McGee
Chapel Hill


The respected news magazine The Economist recently opined that a vote for Mitt Romney would be a "shot in the dark" due to his many clearly contradictory positions on the issues. New York Times columnist David Brooks now says that Romney may have a better chance of unlocking the grid in Washington because he is a "flexible flip-flopper." That is a shameful position for anyone to take, especially a respected journalist like Brooks.

As a former white collar crime prosecutor, my question to Romney in the court of public opinion is "were you lying then or are you lying now?" Nobody knows except Romney and, frankly, I'm not sure he does.

Donald Grimes

The word religion appears not once but twice in the Constitution. Article VI, paragraph 3 states " . . . but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (Capitalizations are in the original document)

The religious right is doing its best to undermine this restriction by demanding office seekers make clear their affiliation with some religion, preferably Christianity.

It is regrettable there are those today who do not have the Founders understanding of the evils of religion in politics.

Conner Atkeson
Clayton, NC


There is growing evidence that the integrity of the North Carolina judicial system is threatened by a pronounced drift toward politicization. Partisan activists and commentators now frequently celebrate or deplore the makeup of the N.C. Supreme Court  in terms of the individual justices' party affiliations. There are naked calls for "preserving" or "changing" a Democratic or Republican majority within its membership.

In a current television ad, incumbent court member Paul Newby touts his "conservative leadership;" an appeal for votes based on his avowed "conservatism" is a none-too-subtle coded reference to his political affiliation. And since when is "leadership" a quality essential to the exercise of duties reserved to an impartial judiciary?

Accomplishing executive and legislative functions of government  does depend on leadership, but the independent judiciary is not intended to make and implement policies designed to "lead" us in particular directions.

Newby seems to have lost sight of the fact that our courts must stand above the partisan political fray, to dispense justice fairly and impartially, based solely upon the dictates of existing constitutional and statutory prescriptions that bind all citizens – Democrats, Republicans and others, alike. If our courts become instruments for  implementing Democratic or Republican agendas, we are in very deep trouble.

Dick Robinson
Chapel Hill


Even though we have seen an increase in early voting in Wake County, I understand there are still undecided voters among us.  For voters weighing the options, I offer these considerations:

Consider the economic recovery.  Consumer confidence has returned.  The GDP is growing.  Housing starts are up and foreclosures are down.  Unemployment, while lower than the national average in North Carolina, is slowly resolving nationally.

Four years is insufficient time to expect a full recovery from the hole left from the previous administration. No matter which candidate is elected the recovery from this severe recession will continue.  We'll bounce back; we always do and we are on our way.

Consider the social safety net.  We are a rich country and while we must take stock of our priorities and align our spending for the future, we CAN do that fairly with a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases and still afford to act on the constitutional principle to promote the general welfare. The poor, the uninsured, the hungry, our children and our elderly should not bear the greater burden of this correction. Save health care.  Save Medicare.  Save Medicaid.  Save the middle class.

Consider wealth. Who among us has so many cars that a car elevator is required in our garages?  Who among us stores our assets in foreign countries to avoid paying our share of taxes?  Who among us prefers to invest in a cadre of lawyers to explore every loophole, every dodge and trick in the book rather than invest that same money in our national treasure? And who among us with all these advantages would confirm in a national TV interview that this is a fair and equitable tax system which should be preserved?

Consider war.  Measured responses and a steady hand are required to negotiate troubled international waters.  A careful and thoughtful war on our enemies and reflective support of our allies will better ensure the peace we all wish for.  Are we tired of war?  Do we want our forces home?  Do we want to redirect some military dollars homeward?  For solutions to international conflict, do we want more sophisticated strategies than bluster, ultimatums and boots on the ground?

Consider women.  Yesterday's mothers, sisters, daughters fought fierce battles to ensure fairness and freedoms for all the nations women.  They expected gains to remain in place for generations beyond themselves.  But wage fairness and reproductive rights are threatened by some in government who, while they decry Sharia Law (the moral code and religious law of Islam) in Muslim countries, they work to put in place government proscriptions based on their own moral or religious beliefs.  We need a president and a Supreme Court who are committed to protecting the freedoms and rights of women.

Finally, consider integrity.  Do we want a president who lies?  We're not talking a politicians shaving of the truth.  Not even talking political spin. Can we as a nation trust to lead our future a president who with purpose, with ease and with feigned conviction lies to us? When you think about it, really, nothing else matters.

Mary Ann Olsen


Politicians of all persuasions are notorious for stretching the truth. Mitt Romney has consistently done so. Certainly his "no revenue loss" tax cut proposals and his claim to have supported the auto bailouts are fantasies at best, if not out and out total nonsense. But Romney's latest claim that Chrysler Corporation will be eliminating jobs in the U.S. to build Jeeps in China is nothing less than an out and out lie, as confirmed by Chrysler's top executives.

As I see it, this crosses a line and calls into question Romney's basic integrity and thus a minimal qualification to be president of the United States – to play it straight with the American people. Romney fails this basic test.

Howard Partner


David Brooks writes that, if elected, Mitt Romney would observe the core lesson of this campaign: Conservatism loses; moderation wins. Romneys shape-shifting nature would induce him to govern as a center-right moderate.

Ain't gonna happen!  Romney has never shown the backbone to stand up to the tea party and never will.

Undecided voters swayed by Romneys  shape-shifting may mean to vote for moderate reset Romney who now says he agrees with most of President Obama's approaches. But theyll actually be voting for a  self-proclaimed severe conservative who will say anything to get elected.

There are two Romneys, but only one, if elected, will lead America. You may hope its moderate Mitt but do you trust him to stand up to the tea party and act on heretofore unseen core convictions? Youll feel deceived but it will be too late to change your vote: Romney will repeal health care reform, undermine women's reproductive rights, gut the government to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and lead us again into needless war.

Romney wants voters to believe he can erase past positions like shaking an Etch-a-Sketch, but informed voters know his true intentions and won't give him the chance to fulfill them.

Jim Trudeau


Before casting a vote this year, remember the party in control of the legislative branch in North Carolina ran on an economic platform, then proceeded with these steps.

First:  Eliminated checkoff for educators' membership dues. Petty, but largely symbolic.

Second:  Tried to deny funding for women's health care.

Third: Wrote permanent discrimination into the state constitution denying basic rights and freedoms  to a defined group of people.

Fourth: Tried to restrict voting rights using non-existent voter fraud as the justification.

Fifth:  Decided that science was just too inconvenient and tried to legislate it away.

Taken individually, none of these actions raises concerns, but taken together these actions manifest a very disturbing pattern.

To paraphrase a German pastor: When they came for the educators, I remained silent. I was not an educator.  When they came for women, I remained silent. I was not a woman. When they came for gays, I remained silent.  I was not gay. When they for the scientists, I remained silent. I was not a scientist. When they came for me, there was no left to speak.

Is this what we want for North Carolina?

John Hinshaw


It's ironic that two men with nearly the same name are running for public office in our area.  Voters should be aware – it's Chris Malone, candidate for NC House District 35, who admitted to a romance with fellow Wake County school board member Debra Goldman while both were married to other people.

On the other hand, Charles Malone is a fine and upstanding candidate candidate for the U.S. Congress who is fighting an uphill battle against his superPAC funded opponent.

Still confused? Remember, dump Chris Malone from the NC House and support Charles Malone for U.S. Congress.

Tom Rhodes


I will vote for the president because I support his policies during the worst economic disaster and partisan political climate of our life times.  I will vote for the president as a repudiation of the tea party scare tacitics of calling then-candidate Barack Obama a Muslim. I will vote for the president to further diminish the impotent politicians who, in the midst of the Great Recession, could conceive of no greater priority for their constituencies than  the lame attmpt to make Obama a one term president – through their own inaction no less (repeated filibuster does not constitute action).

I will vote for the president as a stand against those enemies of democracy who promote disingenuous voter fraud fears to enact laws that disenfranchise masses of legitimate voters, and who have been lying to and intimidating voters right here in North Carolina! I will vote for the president as my only means of standing against the billionaire Citizens United interests who would wash away flesh and blood citizens' voices in a flood of money. 

I will vote for the president in the hope that reform of Wall Street  will some day prevent the cycle of boom and bust that nearly wrecked our economy.  I will vote for the president because I believe that every American, not just those who have the money and influence to buy them, deserves better representation, health care and education.

Likewise, I will vote for a more civil discourse in our political arena, better representation, better education and improved health care by voting for Democrats in our state races.

Dan  Naber


All women of child bearing age, or those with daughters, granddaughters or nieces of child bearing age, please make your voices heard Tuesday. Your rights are under attack!

Republican candidates up and down the ticket are espousing ideas I thought had died 50 years ago. Many Republican candidates are blatantly ignorant about your bodies yet want to insert themselves into the sanctity of the relationship between you, God, and your doctor. For a party that never stops raging about the evils of government, it's astounding that they want to insert themselves into your most personal decisions.

Forcing women to give birth to babies conceived in the course of a rape because a middle aged male politician says it should be so is beyond belief. Stating that women have some magical power to prevent pregnancy when "legitimately raped" is frighteningly ignorant. Stating that the health of the mother during delivery is never at risk any more is ridiculous!

Yet all of these statements have been made by Republican candidates in this election cycle and all have the full support of the Romney/Ryan ticket. This election and your ability to make decisions about your own body are in your hands. Choose wisely!

Dave Greune


While everyone was focused on issues of the economy and women's rights, no one was paying much attention to each candidates belief about disaster relief. Recent events have brought the importance of that issue to light.

Last year at a Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was asked specifically about whether federal emergency management aid should be cut in light of then-recent devastating Joplin, Mo. tornado.

He argued that such relief should be left up to states, or even better, be privatized.

When asked about the federal role in disaster relief, he said, "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all."

Heaven help us all if the president had gutted FEMA before Hurricane Sandy hit!

Joan Plotnick


I just saw a commercial from one of those new, "don't know where the money comes from" super pacs talking about the deficit under President Obama.  Isn't it funny that under the Republicans, deficits didn't matter, but as soon as Obama took office, they were paramount?  Isn't that one of their biggest complaints, their big sales pitch against Obama?   Commercials showing sad, sad families and saying that we can't afford another 4 years.  

You mean those four years digging out from the Bush years?  

They say it shouldn't have taken this long.  They can say anything.  I saw a clip from Fox News on Jon Stewart from two weeks after Obama was inaugurated, with Fox saying Obama's policies just weren't working!!  After two weeks!  It's just another prepackaged, manufactured, sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors pile.  Try not to buy it.

Mary  McKinney


I strongly endorse the re-election of Judge Wanda Bryant to the N.C. Court of Appeals.  Judge Bryant has given exemplary service on the court since 2001. Few people in law or public service have the depth of experience and a history of protecting the rights and lives of the people of North Carolina as Bryant.

She has dedicated her life to serving the people of North Carolina. Her career includes having served as a prosecutor and as a senior deputy attorney general in North Carolina.   Bryant faced and tackled all criminal matters and worked to protect the public as a prosecutor both in North Carolina and through the Department of Justice.

I know Bryant well.  I can say for sure that she takes her responsibility as a judge and in following the law seriously.  She uses a common sense approach to life and work. She has the highest ethics. She never allows special interests or politics to enter a decision. Those in the legal profession laud her for her integrity and her determination to serve all people of North Carolina honorably.

I urge all voters in North Carolina to vote for Judge Wanda Bryant.

Devon E. White


President Obama inherited a financial avalanche. President Bush started two wars with his ineptitude and tried to pay for them with the American people's credit card. He left office and also left the debt for the next administration for which to deal.

Obama ended one war and has a schedule to end the second. Bush sent in the calvary, Obama got bin Laden with a posse.

Obama created more jobs than Bush lost. The Dow was under 7,000 when Bush left office. It is now over 13,000. Detroit's auto industry was on the ropes. Chrysler is up 80 percent year over year. Under Bush, the dogs of Wall St ran wild (laissez faire) and they sold worthless paper creating the worst recession since the Depression. Obama has instituted Wall Street reform and has kept the dogs in their kennel.

Any questions?

Thomas Ragusa
Wake Forest


Mitt Romney has outsourced his money to the Cayman Islands, his brain to Paul Ryan and the Republican right, and his values to the weather vane.  He cannot be believed.  He cannot be trusted.

Romney is unfit for presidential leadership.

Jerry VanSant
Chapel Hill


Does anyone with even a high school degree still actually believe the president is to blame for the economy? The president of the United States is just the figure head of an organization! President Obama by himself can't control or affect our economy without the approval of Congress! If people want to blame someone for failed stimulus packages and a weak economy, blame Congress, the same institution that allowed former President Bush to start a financially costly war with Afganistan based on lies!!

Stephen Lynn
Willow Spring


The Romney campaign ad about Chrysler was based upon such a large falsehood that Jeep tried to correct the fabrication in a press release. It said the campaign's claim that Jeep will shift Ohio jobs to China was a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats. 

Romney's campaign has no scruples and will say anything it thinks might fool people into voting for him.  A review of the entire campaign shows Romney has been a shape-shifter changing from extreme conservative to a balanced moderate; has changed the large majority of his positions 180 degrees; and now has employed a whopper of a fabrication to try to undermine the Administrations success in saving the auto industry. If this is how Romney has run his campaign, I can't even imagine how he would act as President

Buddy LeTourneau


Mitt Romney's plan is President Bush's plan on steroids: cut taxes for millionaires and run up the debt (the nonpartisan Tax Policy Institute found his plan does not add up). He supports cutting benefits most Americans depend on: Medicare, Medicaid (for nursing homes and the poor and disabled), health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, Social Security, tax deductions like the Child Care Tax Credit, mortgage interest deductions, and investments in education and infrastructure  further hurting the economy.

President Obama's incentives helped green energy companies, resulting in 8% bankruptcies, while Romney’s Bain Capital investments resulted in 22% bankruptcies (he called it harvesting companies and profited, with taxpayers paying for lost pensions and incomes).  Under President Obama, jobs increased 31 straight months, stock values doubled, home values are rebounding, college loan costs were lowered, a consumer watchdog agency was created, along with Wall Street reform to end bailouts, and he pledged to lower taxes on companies that dont send jobs overseas.

Romney is beholden to billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a top campaign contributor, who runs a newspaper in Israel that supports the immediate bombing of Iran.  His approval rating was 34% when he left office as Massachusetts governor.

Heidi Zehnal
Chapel Hill


In 2011, the United States spent $711 billion on military defense. This amount is more than what the next 14 nations combined spent on their militaries, and it equates to 4.7% of our gross domestic product (GDP). It is important to deploy a strong military, but excessive spending in this arena negatively impacts our economy and makes us vulnerable in other ways. Every dollar spent on our military drags down the economy and slows our economic growth.

Carefully reasoned limits on military spending will increase our economic growth. In the 1990s, our economy had a rapid expansion, in part, because the cold war ended and we were able to spend less on defense and focus on industrial production.

Romney has proposed spending an additional $200 billion per year on defense over what the military has requested. If we follow Romney’s inane suggestion, the United States will be spending more than the next 50 countries combined will spend on their military. Our military spending will balloon to about 6% of our GDP. This additional drag on our economy could threaten our position as the world’s greatest economy and will negatively impact our standard of living.

Bill Jensen


Hurricane Sandy’s arrival a week before the election should focus attention on Mitt Romney’s position on global warming and the role of government. His sole reference to global warming in the nomination acceptance speech was the laugh line, “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans [pauses for audience laughter] and to heal the planet.” Hurricane Sandy certainly suggests that the planet needs healing.

With regard to the role of government, Romney summarized his position during the primary debates when he indicated that he favors shutting down the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While he believed it appropriate for the federal government to provide $400 million to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympics, he rejects having the federal government rescue people suffering from a natural disaster.

Michael Caplow
Chapel Hill
An Oct. 23 writer complained about our early voting time frame being too long. However, recent estimates show that undecided voters at this time make up about 5 percent to 7 percent of the estimated voters in the coming 2012 presidential election

That’s not much in this extremely polarized atmosphere composed of one group emphasizing the concept of “fairness” central to a continuing course of certitude vs. another group willing to wrest the “Wahabis” from the West Wing in the worst way.

As a friend of mine commented today, “I wouldn’t care if my candidate committed a major felony between now and Nov 6. I’d still vote for him.” I’m sure this level of certainty flows both ways among those who’ve made their minds up – witness the creepy quiet of the conservative’s response to Mitt’s shift to more moderate positions in the debates. (Grover Norquist is waiting to hand him the pen!)

To the undecided 5 percent to 7 percent, I say, “Fine. Wait until Nov 6. Me, I’ve voted and am glad the opportunity was there to do so.”

Charlie Cawley

There’s been an awful lot of back and forth on the economy leading up to this extremely important election. Many ask, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Manipulating different sets of statistics would allow either side to claim yes or no. However, if you remember the dire circumstances we were in just four years ago, a panic really, we are infinitely better off now.

One can argue that our economy was running well under President Bush for a time, but beneath the surface, the very foundations of the world’s economy were being eroded swiftly and surely while a few at the top were making billions. We all know the ultimate result of free spending, tax cuts, unfunded wars and relaxed regulations on the financial sector; an economic meltdown the likes of which we had not seen since the 1920s-1930s.

Now we have a president who is rebuilding the burnt-down house with a much stronger foundation and more solid walls. Has it happened as fast as everyone would like? No. But it is happening, and it is gaining strength. But Romney and Ryan stand at the ready with lighter fluid and matches in hand.

Dave Greun


There once was a Republican, now virtually extinct, who some would call an Eisenhower Republican. Today’s Republican Party has largely cleansed itself of Eisenhower Republicans and from all that is impure in its radical shift to the right. Eisenhower Republicans most likely vote as if they were moderate Democrats today even though some still claim to be Republican.

Today, the Republican Party is almost completely dominated by an anti-democracy right-wing ideology that alienates rather than embraces the America that I hope for. I don’t wish for the destruction of the Republican Party. I wish for a resurrection of the real Republican Party. Our party has been hijacked by extremism, greed and corruption; traditional Republican ideals have been thrown out.

I can’t predict the outcome of this year’s election but no matter who wins, I hope the Republican Party rediscovers its inner Eisenhower and restores sensibility and rejects the extremes that have corrupted the party and the standards once embraced.

David Moses


With “The return of Mitt,” the moderate David Brooks applauds Romney’s break with the Tea Party Republicans. They’re the ones who have trouble talking the language of compassion. They’re the ones who equate compromise as an act of dishonor. They’re the ones who wish government to leave them alone. Not Romney! He’s the compassionate, compromising leader that will make government more efficient at helping all Americans.

Just words. It’s not the actions of compassion of the corporate raider Bain Romney. It’s not the action of compromise by selecting Paul Ryan, an ideologue, as his running mate. It is not helping all Americans to discount 47 percent of us. What does Romney really believe?

Remember that Romney brags of his business savvy. But truth is not the bottom line; winning is. Romney is a corporate salesman.Given his action history, we can expect a hostile takeover of our government with a fire sale of public assets to the 1 percent. Romney is the poster boy for the 1 percent, whose greed brought the economy crashing. No matter what flip-flop comes from his mouth, Romney’s body language says aggressive phony.

Wally Myers

Thank you for your recent endorsement of Sig Hutchinson, candidate for N.C. Senate. Citizens in Sig’s district are being barraged by the GOP with misleading and negative messages. The facts speak differently, and voters deserve to know the truth.

Sig is an enthusiastic public servant and well-recognized booster for quality of life improvements that generate economic vitality and an attractive location for businesses and residents. His significant efforts have tremendously helped to transform Wake County for the better.

Your Oct. 23 editorial highlighted Sig’s activities on behalf of Raleigh’s parks and greenways system but did not include his larger countywide efforts over many years to encourage local government cooperation and partnership to achieve county open space goals and greenway connectivity. Since 1999, Sig has led the Wake County Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee and provided positive leadership assisting the popular passage of $91 million in county bonds, funding preservation of approximately 4,700 acres of green space.

His leadership has been steady and thoughtful, nurturing a can-do, inclusive and creative atmosphere where the kind of ugly politics we see all too often are non-existent.

Jamie Ramsey


For days I have received up to three calls a day pleading for support of Republican Party candidates. I didn’t listen for their names because I was incensed that so many calls came to my phone and each blocked the name of the caller. Only “Private” was in the Caller ID box. This is wrong, as well as a nuisance, unless the GOP caller is ashamed of being identified. Too bad the callers didn’t know I had voted before the calls came.

Carol Reuss
Chapel Hill

I think it is more important to vote for a president based on what he or she is going to do for the country rather than his or her religious beliefs. Freedom of religion and speech as guaranteed by the Constitution is what has made our country a great place to be. I like that our laws are based on sensibility and what's best for the majority of all people.

My mother voted for Mitt Romney because of his moral beliefs. While I don’t question Romney’s character and heart, I voted for Romney because I most align myself with his vision for America. I am very enthusiastic about what our country can be. I think Romney will work hard to make America a better place to be.

Both President Obama and Romney are Americans. Both are good men. I don’t care what religion they are as long as they remember separation of church and state in making laws since we all have our own views of God. I think it’s enduring that Romney mentions God in his speech; it brings us together under one nation. God is still God no matter what religion he’s found in.

Leila Sinclair

With all the political mudslinging and hijinks we’ve had lately, I’ve never been so happy to see a hurricane story on the front page of The N&O.

Mark Turner


“Videri Quam Esse” – that's Mitt Romney for you – “to seem rather than to be.” Unlike Peter D. Feaver in his Oct. 24 Point of View article (“Romney appears more presidential”), I believe we North Carolinians believe in being real, and believe in it so much that we enshrined realness as our motto: “Esse Quam Videri” – “to be rather than to seem.”

Now we have a man running for president who looks like a president and who says whatever he thinks we want to hear. Romney does not get my vote, for I, like earlier North Carolinians, choose the real over the fake.

Henry H. Walker


In 2004, George W. Bush was re-elected to a second term after having ignored the government’s chronic budget deficit and debt problems and instead recklessly launching both huge (wealthy-favoring) tax cuts and an expensive (funded by borrowing) illegal Iraq War/Occupation. The war had also proved unnecessary because the Bush administration’s pre-war propaganda that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction proved instead to be a mass of lies

When Bush left office, the country was still militarily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan and our economy’s private sector was collapsing into a possible Great Depression – and the taxpayer-owed federal debt had increased another $4.9 trillion. President Obama inherited a situation unseen since President Roosevelt inherited the Great Depression that lasted over a decade.  

Yet, two years later, voters dissatisfied with the inability of business leaders to undo the impacts of their private sector Great Recession, gave Republicans majority control of the House of Representatives aiding their top priority goal: Re-gain the presidency and control of the Senate and House in November, 2012 by politically obstructing all efforts of Obama and congressional Democrats to successfully fulfill their elected obligations. 

Will Republicans achieve their goal and thus be rewarded for their unacceptable and shameful politics?

Richard Huopana

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About the blogger

Burgetta Eplin Wheeler is the associate editor of the Editorial pages, responsible for the Other Opinion page. She occasionally writes editorials. She can be reached at bwheeler@newsobserver.com or 829-4825.