Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Thune asked to sign pledge

To the editor:

I am the co-chair of the South Dakota Coalition Against the privatization of Social Security. We are a non-partisan group of South Dakota workers, teachers, veterans, pensioners, seniors, retirees, firefighters, nurses, and seniors and family advocacy groups. We are a group of average South Dakotans, and our only goal as an organization is to ensure that our elected representatives do not proceed with plans to privatize Social Security.

Social Security is meant to be a guaranteed benefit that is available for all retirees. To invest Social Security in the market is to risk it to the ups and downs of the economy, and the performances of corporations like Enron and WorldCom. Plans to provide social security are ill-conceived and could end up risking the very safety net that the program is meant to insure.

Perhaps the best proof of the dangers of privatization plans has come in the past few months, with the staggering decline in the stock market. Already we know that if Social Security had been invested in the market, billions would have been gone.

Our coalition has asked South Dakota candidates to sign a pledge, promising to oppose plans to privatize Social Security.

Sen. Tim Johnson signed our pledge on the same day we asked him for his support.

John Thune has refused to sign our pledge to protect the seniors of South Dakota.

It is time for John Thune to come clean with his constituents and let South Dakota voters know where he stands. Why has he refused to sign our pledge? As our state's lone member in the House, we count on Thune to protect our guaranteed Social Security benefit, and his vote could potentially determine if these risky privatization plans that jeopardize our guaranteed benefits are pursued.

Please join me in asking John Thune to sign our pledge promising to protect Social Security.

Sincerely,

Gil Koetzle

State Senator,

District 15

Minnehaha County

Thune cares for constituents

To the editor:

As we have entered a period of extreme drought here in South Dakota, I am thankful to have a member of Congress who cares so much for his constituents.

That person is John Thune. Not only has he proposed legislation that would give $6 billion in direct relief to crop and

livestock producers, he has also done it in a way where the government is spending no more than it budgeted in the first place.

Along with that, he has been working with our president and other members of Congress to pass legislation opening CRP and CRP wetlands for grazing, having over 20 counties declared as disaster areas, opening $1.9 million in ECP funds for South Dakota counties, and the creation of a Hay Hotline.

He is a man who cares for us and helps all of us out, without wasting taxpayer money. It makes me proud to know that John Thune is in Washington representing South Dakota.

Justin Bell

Huron

Thune has positive approach

To the editor:

My mom always told me that you should choose your friends carefully because they say a great deal about what kind of person you are. I don't normally get too involved politically, but recent gossiping has made me decide to share my thoughts.

Tim Johnson and his friends (and supporters) have begun to say things about John Thune that are downright mean and completely false. I've heard people question John Thune's leadership ability. I read letters from Johnson's supporters that talk about what terrible people John's volunteers and staffers are. People have even questioned John Thune's family values.

I know John Thune's friends and his family. Some of John's staffers are in my Bible studies. I see one of John's daughters at the youth group I work with. The people he surrounds himself with see Tim Johnson as an opponent, not as an enemy or someone to tear down. John Thune is a man of good solid Christian beliefs. He's back in South Dakota almost every weekend and is a great dad and husband. I've seen the way that people respond to him as a leader. Anyone who would suggest otherwise really doesn't know him or what he stands for.

I don't know Tim Johnson's friends, but I've seen the letters they write and the comments they make. This says more about Tim Johnson than his ads ever could.

Adam Weber

Watertown

Thune must address privatization

To the editor:

I am thoroughly disgusted by John Thune's negitive campaign. His latest negative ad accusing Tim Johnson of wanting to privatize Social Security is a deliberate and knowing falsehood. Thune knows better than anyone that Tim Johnson opposes privatization. Why can't Thune discuss serious issues in an honest way? Why is he so intent on this negitive mudslinging? We need leadership and statesmanship, not fabrications and political maneuvering.

Even worse, when asked where he stands, Thune claims he has "no position" on privatization! Maybe when the president comes here to prop up Thune again, he can ask Thune if he supports his privatization plans, and then South Dakota voters can know the truth. South Dakota voters deserve an answer from Thune, and he is sidestepping the issue and playing politics.

Thune's ad is a lie. He knows it is a lie. It is more dirty politics and it's got to stop.

Brian D. Shephard

Vermillion

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