Letters Story headline is objectionable

To the editor:

The leading spender in District 17 House Campaign was Judy Clark. Why not state the obvious? Your headline of March 14 is objectionable. Judy Clark spent $4,546.47 more than B.J. Nesselhuf.

Cathy Beard


Editors note: Judy Clark and Joe Reedy were candidates for District 17 Senate in the November 2002 general election.

Keep editorials off front page

To the editor:

Once again, in the last issue, subscribers had to rely on the Legislative View and the Clubs for in-depth reporting of the issues that concern us. The USD Emeritus Club noted that state employees should be alerted to the impact that Resolution 1016 could have on South Dakota Retirement benefits. The resolution, tabled this session, will go to committee this summer. If passed, it will allow the state government to borrow from our retirement funds. Instead of reporting this on the front page of the Plain Talk, David Lias fed us a warmed-over story, headlined "Nesselhuf a leading spender in District 17 House Campaign."

The story was based on campaign finance reports filed in January. That's not news, nor is it surprising that B.J. Nesselhuf received the most campaign contributions. He was the youngest candidate with the most at stake; no wonder he raised the most. Nesselhuf's solid victory attests to voter endorsement of this young legislator who'd proved his effectiveness in his first term. He has continued to handle the office well, showing himself always willing to listen to citizens' concerns and working to preserve and protect our interests.

It is surprising that Judy Clark, the leading spender, was defeated by Joe Reedy, who spent the least of any candidate, but that didn't grab the headline because it would affirm voter approval of Reedy, and that doesn't fit the editor's agenda. Lias reserved his pot shot at Reedy for his editorial headline, "Reedy opposed the public right to know." Only nine of the editorial's 28 paragraphs relate to Reedy. Lias devoted the remaining 18 paragraphs to eight bills considered in the legislative session. Forcing us to read "Between the Lines" for the news is not good journalism.

Subscribers to the Plain Talk expect an accurate and full reporting of the local and state news on the front page, which is not the place for partisan editorials. If Lias continues to use this newspaper as a bully pulpit for the Republican Party, it is very likely that the Plain Talk will become increasingly dependent upon revenues received for printing the kind of public notices that took up almost half of last week's Plain Talk. Subscribers who would like balanced reporting have had more than enough of Lias's biased front-page editorials.


Norma C. Wilson


Do we really need boost in ethanol?

To the editor:

Considering how high the prices are for ethanol and other fuels, it seems strange that at this time there would be discussions (Vermillion's recent Cracker Barrel) of even more taxpayers' support.

If I recall correctly, all those subsidies and tax breaks (by now amounting to several million dollars), were to be provided only to help the ethanol industry get started. But by now we have about 10 plants and more are still planned.

Maybe our area legislators should introduce a law that all

subsidies should cease as soon as the price of ethanol reaches $1.50.

It was also suggested that South Dakota could replace Iraq as a source of fuel. The only problem with that argument is that most studies on ethanol have shown that it takes up to 1 1/2 gallons of oil (in the form of tractor fuel, fertilizer and energy used by the ethanol plants) to produce one gallon of ethanol.

Indeed one might wonder if most of us are not paying higher prices for natural gas due to the fact that the ethanol plants use so much of it.

By the way, nations such as Germany, France and Japan, which fully (100 percent) depend on foreign oil for fuel don't produce any ethanol!

One should also recall that up to 40 South Dakota road projects had to be delayed last year due to the ethanol subsidies. Another issue is pollution.

If I remember correctly, just one (there were others) of our

ethanol plants was fined about $150,000.00 last year.

Considering that Vermillion mothers were collecting signatures not too long ago to study pollution in our city, would we really want to encourage such a plant in our neighborhood? I suspect not.

Benno Wymar

Professor emeritus of Economics


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