Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Citizens urged to study Amendment A

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to ask all citizens of voting age to study Constitutional Amendment A or as it has come to be known "The Common Sense Amendment."

"Common Sense" is a initiative that will affect the rights of accused persons in our courts allowing an examination of the validity and applicability of the law by the trial judge or jury.

It will provide defendants in criminal cases with the opportunity to present evidence which now can only be placed before a panel of appellate judges, not to a jury of one's peers. "Common Sense" will improve the justice of our courts and increase the faith which our citizens have in their judicial system.

When you hear arguments against "Common Sense" please remember there things:

When a similar proposal was brought to our State Legislature in 2002 it was not allowed to reach the floor for debate.

"Common Sense" was placed on the ballot with the signatures of 34,000 voters.

It will become our law only if it is supported by a majority in the fall election.

This is our democracy at work.

More information is available at www.CommonSenseJustice.com.us

Ron Leeper

Yankton Area Libertarians

Johnson is proven leader

To the editor:

"A good education is another name for happiness." � Ann Plato.

I, like many of my peers, am in debt. By the time I'm finished with school, I will owe about $25,000. Believe it or not, I consider myself lucky to owe such a small amount.

Over the years I've had several scholarships and some wonderful jobs that have helped reduce the cost of my education.

Providing better financial aid needs to be a priority of the government. Most people would generally agree that debt is a very bad thing. For 10 years after I have finished school I'll be spending approximately $300 a month to pay back my loans. Instead of spending this money in the local economy, saving money for a home, or helping American manufacturers through the purchase of goods, this money will go towards reducing my debt.

Sen. Johnson is working to help college students. A bill that Sen. Johnson authored was signed into law on Feb. 8 of this year. This bill, in addition to ensuring the stability of the federal loan program, will also reduce the amount that recent college graduates pay per year on their loans by reducing the interest rate charged on these loans; some estimates put the average savings at $400 to $600 per year.

If President Bush thought that a one time rebate of $300 would do wonders, imagine the benefit of $600 a year.

While Sen. Johnson has been hard at work my representative has done little to help college students and recent graduates. After looking through John Thune's Web site I was startled to learn that Mr. Thune had not sponsored one piece of legislation dealing with education. For those who would like to look for themselves, you can visit http://johnthune.house.gov/Issues.asp.

Providing low cost access to education is a very import issue, an issue that needs proven leadership. I'd like to urge my fellow South Dakotans to vote for a proven leader.

Please vote for Tim Johnson this November.

Sincerely,

Joshua Smith

Vermillion

Johnson looks out for farmers

To the editor:

Looking at this year's U.S. Senate election, farmers need to vote for Senator Tim Johnson if we want our best interests to be looked out for in Washington, DC.

Over the 41 years I ran my farm northeast of Chancellor, I've seen increased moves by the big meatpackers and giant agri-corporations to ruin fair markets for family farmers in order to either kick us off our land or force us to essentially work for them at low wages. This monopoly-type market abuse has only gotten worse in recent years.

I'm a Republican. But Tim Johnson has been the real fighter for South Dakota farmers � no doubt about that.

Tim passed his ban on packer ownership of livestock through the Senate, even when nobody thought the special interests could be defeated. And when the out-of-state Smithfield corporation attacked Tim, he fought back.

Today, with the House of Representatives continually trying to block his packer ban from ever becoming law, Tim's standing up strong for farmers and keeping it alive.

Tim is also working for drought aid, fighting tooth and nail despite opposition from the White House and House of Representatives. I'm a Republican, but Tim Johnson is the choice for farmers.

Donald Hoogestraat

Chancellor

Truth is top S.D. value

To the editor:

A lot has been said about "values" in the flurry of political ads during the 2002 senate race in South Dakota. Because I keep well-informed, I truly believe that I know what Sen. Johnson's positions are.

Consequently, when I see the material being put out by the South Dakota Republican State Central Committee I can recognize their outright lies and distorted information for what it is. This group apparently has big bucks to spend, because we received large, glossy brochures from them in the mail several times a week in August; and we're still getting them.

No matter how much money might be available for campaign ads, I'd think that it'd be important to be factual and not take someone's words out of context. Some of what the South Dakota Republican State Central Committee presents seems to come close to being slander. One wonders what "values" they are guided by.

I've met the senator, his wife Barbara, and their daughter Kelsey, and they are very nice people. Sen. Johnson was raised and educated in Centerville, Canton, Flandreau and Vermillion, and I have no doubt that he has South Dakota values!

During more than 40 years of public school-teaching in South Dakota I've always emphasized the importance of being honest and showing respect for yourself and others. Being a born and raised South Dakotan, I believe telling the truth is probably right at the top of the list of real South Dakota values!

Sincerely,

Bonnie L. Wirt

Parker

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