News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Max Jones

March 7, 2008

MAX JONES: Readers speak: Tell us about political factions

(Continued)

TERRE HAUTE — — Bill Carter

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“Absolutely! I want to know who is aligned with whom. If that is not the ‘stuff’ of politics, then what is? Political connections are where deals are made and broken that affect the spending of our tax dollars. These deals result in endorsements from one player to another along the lines of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.’

“Would I love to live in the ideal world where the candidate’s stance on a particular issue was all that mattered? You betcha. Unfortunately, we all know that ain’t the real world.

“Even more importantly, I want to know who’s behind the money. Had the [Tribune-Star’s] in-depth article about Joseph Selliken been printed earlier, I think a lot of people could have made some pretty quick deductions about the political scene this past year. That kind of sway scares me the most. We also know that bull--- walks and money talks.

“I don’t claim an affiliation with any party. If anything, I’m a left-leaning idealist who really, really wants the issues to matter. And I seek out those candidates who seem to be least concerned with connections and most concerned with getting stuff done in the most expedient and efficient manner. Unfortunately, the political machine in this town drums those people out of office pretty fast, if they ever make it in the first place. — Jo Dee Biddle

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“Your March 1 column identifying the factions is just the kind of thing we need your paper to do. As a citizen, I want to know who the leaders are, what their goals are, who they are associated with. I think investigative reporting of politics is one of the primary justifications for the very idea of newspapers. By the nature of their jobs, reporters have to pick and push and turn over rocks and, hopefully, sometimes discover gems. Editors must encourage them.

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