Letters Right to disagree is privilege of freedom

To the editor:

Two letters were submitted last week objecting to the information published about campaign expenditures. One letter stated that the information was editorial in nature; rather than newsworthy. The other stated that the article was "objectionable."

Wasn't it B.J. Nesselhuff who introduced a bill that would have required candidates to disclose their financial worth prior to campaign involvement? Isn't campaign finance reform newsworthy? If my memory serves me, the article proved newsworthy in its ability to inform the public about campaign expenditures.

I would like to address the comments made by Ms. Wilson about Mr. Lias and his editorial "potshots." An editor of any newspaper is exactly that; an editor. He or she reserves the right to publish their opinions as Mr. Lias does in "Between the Lines."

I would imagine that Ms. Wilson does not bicker with any paper that denigrates the current administration if that individual is a Republican. So far as a bully pulpit, one needs look no further than an hour north to find a paper that subscribes to a viewpoint mirroring Ms. Wilson's; again of which I am sure Ms. Wilson bears no animosity.

The Plain Talk does provide fair, accurate and equitable coverage of local, regional and national news. So that you may disagree with the editor's stance is the privilege of a free press. His choice to publish your letter is unequivocal proof that he is committed to balanced reporting and community feedback.

Veiled threats of reduced circulation are milquetoast methods of reciprocity. Community papers and businesses should not have to hide their beliefs in fear that customers will boycott their establishments based upon that belief. In doing this, customers denigrate the local businesses, hurt families and continue to condemn the small town business to a slow death. To imply this as a course of action is to say you would not buy from a store if the storeowner held different beliefs than you. Once this occurs, we are headed down the proverbial "slippery slope."

So you don't agree. Good. This is what a democracy is about. Disagreement is healthy and a newspaper should create opinions. Mr. Lias published the "Between the Lines" article as an important piece of opinion designed to inform the public about how current legislation in consideration affects free press.

To say the Plain Talk is a bully pulpit for the Republican Party, then to threaten reduced circulation adheres to the theory I discussed before about support based upon beliefs as a whole. Do the right thing. Voice your opinion, dissent and continue writing to the editor about your disagreement.

After all, how can you publish your dissenting opinion in a newspaper that doesn't exist?

Jim Larsen


Don't forget nation's veterans

To the editor:

After our fighting men and women defeat Saddam Hussein, they'll come back home, and join proud ranks of America's veterans. Interestingly, while they're fighting overseas, the president and his friends in Congress are failing to provide the basic services needed by America's veterans. Under the budget the President proposed to Congress, due to closings and cost increase, 1.6 million veterans will be denied care at VA hospitals and clinics.

Tom Daschle, who is a veteran, has one of the best records in Congress in standing up for America's veterans. He's fighting these cuts, he's fought to keep VA hospitals open across South Dakota, and he led the fight on behalf of veterans exposed to Agent Orange. It's easy for politicians to say they support the troops during a time of war, but supporting the troops also means we'll support them when they return home.

Clark Butler

Combat Navy veteran, WWII

Sioux Falls

MADD chapter needs support

To the editor:

On Tuesday, March 18, I attended an organizational meeting of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) sponsored by Mark Loder, a Vermillion police officer. MADD's mission is "To stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking."

Only six persons, excluding police officers, attended the meeting. To begin a MADD Chapter in Clay County, we need at least 15 committed members. It is the communities responsibility to start the MADD Chapter. If there isn't enough community interest by the end of April the project will be dropped.

During 2001 in Clay County there were two fatalities and seven injuries due to alcohol-related accidents. That is two too many deaths and seven too many injuries.

We must have community support to begin a MADD Chapter in Clay County. We need at least 15 committed members by the end of April or the project will be dropped.

Anyone is eligible to be a member. To sign up to be a MADD member or for more information call Mark Loder at 677-7070 or Marcy Lund at 624-8706.

Marcy Lund


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