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October 28, 2008

Inbox — Oct. 29, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Corrections, Amendments and Clarifications

In last week’s Election Guide, we erroneously left two District Judge candidates off the Jefferson County ballot: John J. Vandertoll in the 30th District, 2nd Division; and Anne Dedman Watkins in the 30th District, 8th Division.

Also, in the story “Ping-Pong in the weird 37th,” state Sen. Perry Clark is misquoted. His quote should have read: “Individuals should be eccentric a little bit. I guess I’m not the typical politician in the sense that I’m easily approachable. I suppose it makes us interesting.”

LEO regrets the errors. 

Dream Big

Why do we not hold our elected officials more accountable? Why is Frankfort so out of touch? These are questions I pondered before I decided to toss my hat into the proverbial political arena. I began this race for state representative of the 48th District (NE Jefferson County) in February of this year and have since knocked on over 18,000 doors. What I found on those doorsteps is that most people feel like me and share the same frustrations with poor leadership. People are ready to embrace leaders that will move our state in a positive direction. They are scared right now about the future of our Kentucky and our economy. They don’t understand how we can force our teachers to accept a 1 percent raise and then turn around and vote, like my opponent Bob DeWeese did, to give the director of the Legislative Research Commission a 47 percent raise — a raise of $62,000+, about twice what a starting teacher makes.  This sent the wrong message and shows how truly out of touch our “leaders” have become. It’s like the definition of “Political Insanity”:  Keep electing the same people over and over again and expect a different result. This is the year that changes! We need leaders with solutions and vision, not gamesmen (career politicians) who just worry about the next election. I have solutions for OUR Kentucky, and it is OUR Kentucky. Dream Big Kentucky! WE are better than this. I am proud to ask for your vote.

David M. Watson, Candidate, State Representative, 48th District, Louisville

It’s About Time

(Regarding last week’s Guest Commentary by Joe Manning): Finally. I knew I would read something rational in Leo Weekly. I just didn’t realize it would take 18 years.

Dave Case, 
Louisville

Dick or Dan, Graham?

Reading your candidate profiles last week (“Metro Council stroll”), I’d say you’ve got Graham Honaker partly right and partly wrong. He is indeed “upbeat” as you noted. Personally, I like his enthusiasm and his drive. He’s obviously a very brainy guy, too.

But then you added that Honaker physically resembles “a young Dan Quayle.” You’re way off the mark there. Can’t you think of anyone else with reddish hair? I think he looks more like a young Dick Gephardt.

Tom Louderback, Louisville

Too Much To Ask For?

With a huge election just a week away, I want so badly to feel that our country encourages its citizens to learn the issues, learn where candidates stand on those issues and vote accordingly. I want to think that more people could identify a picture of Joe Biden than Paris Hilton. I want to believe that a fair amount of our citizens have the basic resources they need to even have the luxury of thinking about anything other than meeting their basic needs, let alone having time to research politics. I want to believe that there is such a thing as responsible journalism that will not get called out for killing free speech. I want to believe that campaign ads are not using the same marketing techniques that sell a can of soda to sell a candidate. I want to believe that politicians who do not use such marketing techniques in their speeches and ads could stand half a chance against their opponents. I want to believe a fair amount of voters are actually informed by research and discussion and not solely based on how many signs they see on their way to work.

I am voting, and I know who I will be voting for. But the closer we get to Election Day, the more discouraged I become about the priorities in our country. The article “Candidate: The riddle of Bruce Lunsford” (LEO Weekly, Oct. 8) shows how even those who go way out of their way to learn all the facts and processes and analyze the shiny pennies along the way still come away scratching their heads. Imagine how the general population feels.

Erin Fitzgerald, Louisville 

Ditch Mitch

I received two slick brochures the same day from the Republican Party of Kentucky attacking Democratic Senatorial candidate Bruce Lunsford for “living in the lap of luxury,” and for being involved with a “big greed machine: Valor Health Clinic.” The brochure says Lunsford is in the healthcare business “for the money.” The other brochure says “multimillionaire Bruce Lunsford made his money the Wall Street way … profiting at the expense of others.”

I find the brochures quite amusing when I consider the past 24 years of Mitch McConnell’s Senate tenure. McConnell has been all about money. He coined the phrase “money is free speech” and spent the past quarter century raising millions of dollars from rich donors seeking his special favors. I’m sure McConnell is also a multimillionaire who has invested wisely in Wall Street. We, the taxpayers, helped make him very wealthy at our expense. 

Rarely, if ever, does McConnell address Kentucky’s poverty. Big money is what has kept him in power for far too long. This is the year voters must go to the polls on Election Day and vote to replace the super-negative campaigner Mitch McConnell.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Louisville

Real Doctors Indeed

While I understand the thought behind the Oct. 22 Inbox letter “The Real Doctors,” I feel the need to comment about the generalization that breast plastic surgeons are “deforming the natural beauty of individuals in our society.” With this being National Breast Cancer month, it’s important to recognize that not all plastic surgery is elective surgery. Maybe the writer is unfamiliar with the reconstructive surgeries that many of these physicians perform for breast cancer patients, but this is a crucial part of the recovery process for many survivors. 

Eighteen months after the birth of my youngest child, I received a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. After weighing my options, I chose a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction of my right breast. While my cancer surgeon skillfully removed my cancer, my plastic surgeon truly helped to save my life. At a time when I greatly needed support and encouragement, I had a highly skilled surgeon who also truly cared about me and addressed my concerns about recovery, reconstruction and returning to a normal life. For a year, the doctor and his staff helped me through a process that was both emotionally and physically painful, with an extraordinary degree of care, while achieving excellent cosmetic results. In my book, that’s what being a “Real Doctor” truly is.

Deb Reese Hall, Louisville