News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 14, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Oct. 14, 2012


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Pondering conflicts on board positions

In one of the recent editions of the paper, I noted an article, “Unchallenged Lockhart locks up board spot.” Reading down, I noticed the mention of Mel Burks, executive director of Hamilton Center, as an incumbent running for re-election. I then began to wonder, is this or is this not a conflict of interest?

For instance, are there any financial contracts between Hamilton Center and the school corporation? If the corporation does such business with the agency it would seem the director would be in a tenuous position of conflicting interests by being on the School Board.

In reverse, it might be viewed as a similar conflict if the schools superintendent were on the board of Hamilton Center, since in both cases the boards might influence the reviews and compensations for each of the people.

I am sure these folks do what they do in good faith and conscience. It was just a thought.

— John Kuchinskas

Terre Haute

Quality candidate for Vigo council

This election season promises to be historic — nationally and locally.

Rick Burger is running for Vigo County Council at-large. I have known Rick for over 10 years. We have worked together on numerous projects such as Miracle on Seventh Street, City Scape Christmas Lights (downtown), Downtown Block Party and other city and county events.

Rick possesses a generous, positive, and always helpful outlook with anything that is brought to him. He lives “the dream” everyday as a Vigo County resident.

I believe that Rick would make quality decisions sitting on the County Council. His experience sitting on various boards throughout the Wabash Valley has given him valuable knowledge in many areas. He is budget-minded and is fair.

I do believe that his best quality is that he loves the county he lives and works in.

Please do Vigo County a favor. Vote Rick Burger for County Council at-large.

— Barbara Lloyd

Terre Haute

Mourdock is a man you can trust

In reply to a letter by Rob Everhart published Sept. 30:

I would like to ask Rob Everhart why he would write a letter to taint Richard Mourdock’s character predicated entirely on his own personal assumptions? There is nothing to substantiate any of the material he used in his article titled “Why Richard Mourdock fails.” His article was completely devoid of any facts and was made up from just talking points or words taken out of context.

Fact — Mourdock is against Obamacare, that is true. In fact, Rasmussen polls just taken on Sept. 29 -30 indicates that among likely voters 52 percent favor repeal of Obamacare. Why is this? Could it be because it represents the total takeover of our health-care system, which changes the relationship forever between the doctor and patient? I hope down the road that Rob doesn’t need an operation because some bureaucrats in D.C. will be looking at his age to determine if that procedure will be approved. So tell me again why it is wrong to be against Obamacare?

Fact — it is true, Ryan has endorsed Mourdock. Both Mourdock and Ryan want to save Social Security. They do not, as you said in your editorial, want do away with it. They want to save Social Security so seniors who are age 55 and older can keep it and younger people will be given the option of participating in Social Security or signing up for a different plan. Something has to be done or perhaps Rob would prefer we all wait for the train wreck that is inevitably going to happen?

Fact — Mourdock and Ryan do not want to do away with Medicare. They want to protect it so it will not be gutted by Obamacare. There has already been $716 billion taken out of Medicare to fund Obamacare. What happens when all that is left of Medicare is your card?

Fact — Mourdock has not distanced himself from the Tea Party. Having said that, why is the Tea Party viewed with such disdain? It is a group of people who have come together because they believe in the Constitution, limited government and fiscal responsibility. Now why does Rob see this as extreme? I would think extreme would be to keep on spending money we don’t have and borrowing from China and placing this debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Trying to balance our budget appears more rational than radical, don’t you think?

Fact — Richard Mourdock did not support the takeover of GM. What would have happened if the government had not taken over GM? Would GM have gone away? Nope, it would have just been forced to restructure. Since when does the government need to own everything? I guess President Obama wants to do just that because while in Pueblo, Colo., he said the following, “I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.” What happens to capitalism and free markets when business and industry are nationalized? Scary thought.

Fact — Richard Mourdock is a man of good character, a man who is ethical and a person you can trust. He believes in liberty and not a huge centralized type of government that tries to control every aspect of everyone’s life. In addition, how can you possibly accuse someone of being a dictator if that person believes in limited government?

Fact — Richard Mourdock is a person of integrity. He will never turn a deaf ear to what his constituents are saying. He is a person who will read the bill before he votes on it. He is a person of principle, a person you can trust to send to Washington, D.C., knowing without a doubt that he will truly represent “We the People.”

— Kathy Newhart

Terre Haute

Lots at stake this election

We’ve been told by several news sources that Mitt Romney will probably win here in Indiana, and given the state’s history, that appears to be true. But don’t think that there’s no need to vote, as there are equally important elections in November.

First on the list is the Senate seat that the Tea Party opened up by politically assassinating Richard Lugar. The Tea Party favorite, Richard Mourdock, has publicly said if he is elected, he will join the “no compromise” GOP Filibusters in the Senate. He also has publicly said he thinks Social Security is unconstitutional. So it’s clear that Murdock intends to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Then we have Larry Bucshon, who sends phony mailings in an attempt to convince the middle class that he is fighting for them. His voting record shows that he joined GOP party lines and voted against all of Obama’s jobs bills that would have provided an income for thousands of middle class workers. Bucshon is also joining the GOP battle to end Medicaid and privatize Medicare and Social Security, contrary to what his phony mailings say. Does that sound like he’s fighting for the middle class?

On down the election list is Mike Pence, running for governor. Although he hides his agenda behind his folksy, down-home, good ole boy ads, he’ll take up where Mitch Daniels left off. He was a leader in the GOP/Tea Party controlled house that voted no, not only on all of Obama’s jobs bills, but voted no on all of Obama’s bills so Obama wouldn’t get credit for creating jobs and restoring the economy. Pence is a right-wing extremist and he’ll pursue that agenda if elected governor.

Last but certainly not least is the Indiana Legislature. Another writer has previously addressed the importance of this election and I’d like to follow upon it. Because people didn’t consider the 2010 midterm elections important, a lot of people here in Indiana didn’t vote. The GOP went all out and as a result we ended up with a GOP governor and a GOP-dominated and controlled legislature. Given that advantage, they waged war on teachers, cops, firefighters, and the middle class union workers.

Their right-to-work-for-less law that Mitch Daniels publicly promised he’d never support gutted collective bargaining, and dealt a big blow to workers. Their fraudulent voter ID law targets Democratic voters, while one of their own is convicted of voter fraud.

If the GOP is allowed to remain in control of the Indiana Legislature and Mike Pence is elected governor, the right-to-work-for-less and voter ID laws will be followed by more laws that will be passed to eliminate the middle class.

But the GOP isn’t satisfied with having the majority in the Indiana Legislature, they want total uncontested reign. They’re openly campaigning to establish a super majority which will give them absolute, unrestricted power to do anything they want in the Indiana Legislature.

If that happens, the Democratic Party will be exiled from the legislature and will have no role, input or say in any decision-making process. Many of you will be in the situation that brought on the original Tea Party, taxation without representation.

When the right-to-work-for-less law was passed, many of you promised to remember in November. I now urge you to remember who voted for its negative impact on you. If you don’t use your vote to remove them from office and take away their control of you, you’ll embolden them to further decimate you.

— Pam Rogers


Second look at Mitt Romney

Barack Obama I know, but who are you?

John 16:13 tells us the Holy Spirit will lead us in all truth, and show us what is to come. Indeed He does, and has many, many times for me. As we go through this election we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice confirming or rejecting what is put forth as the truth. If you are led by the Spirit of God, you are a son (or daughter) of God.

Warning though, you will be led into some things that may require you to take a second look. Like the article from the New York Times recapping some of Candidate Romney’s history. This is from a Romney speech in 2007:

“I owe a great deal to Americans of Latin American descent,” he said at a dinner in Miami in 2007. “When I was starting my business, (Bain Capitol) I came to Miami to find partners that would believe in me (When Wall Street did not) and that would finance my enterprise. My partners were Ricardo Poma, Miguel Dueñas, Pancho Soler, Frank Kardonski, and Diego Ribadeneira. And they became valued clients. These friends didn’t just help me, they taught me.

“Over the years, these Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital’s May investor meetings, and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital.”

When Romney launched another venture that needed funding — his first presidential campaign — he returned to Miami. This raised some questions for me (and it should for you) including what is the real financing source for his second run at the office?

This also led me to ask myself, “Is Romney beholden to Americans of Latin American descent?”

I ask is he going to create more jobs using “imported from Central America” labor.

Will he show favor to business, jobs that Central America asks for?

I ask is the money from those “loyal Latin America friends” in any way beholden to the illegal drug trade?

Barack Obama I know, but who are you, truthfully?

— Van W. Cottom

Terre Haute

American dream very much alive

One of the very fundamental strengths of the United States has always been that it didn’t matter who your parents were. Your success or failure in life depended on what each individual accomplished. It is the American dream. A recent national news magazine had an article saying America had lost that upward mobility.  

As proof, they cited several studies. One claimed that only 35 percent of the Forbes 400 was born lower or middle class. Another statistic used was that two-thirds of children born into the lowest earning 20 percent of society will remain in the lowest earning 40 percent over their lifetime.

Now call me a glass-half-full sort of optimist, but those numbers are really very good. Over one third of the richest “old money” has been replaced by someone who has risen by their own hard work and initiative.  

The second statistic used is much more positive than the writers imply as well. Of people who start their life in the bottom quintile of American society, one-third make it into the middle quintile or higher. Also, of the remaining two-thirds, an unspecified number, but some portion nonetheless, moves up into the second quintile.  

At the same time, having money is no guarantee. As the figures show, for those who move up, someone has to move down the relative pecking order. There could be a whole host of reasons for this. It may be someone who is doing his best and is increasing income, just not as quickly as others. It may also be the prototypical wastrel who chooses an unproductive life over a productive one.

Every parent wants their children to have a better life than they did. That is only natural. The problem today is the government is trying to guarantee that outcome instead of making each individual earn it.

— Dwayne Owens

Terre Haute