'Unusual' request?

To the editor:

I really need someone to explain to me why my request for Senator Tim Johnson to hold some sort of a media event to inform us firsthand of his journey toward recovery must be labeled "unusual." That's what your editor's opinion labeled it anyway on June 14.

I find it intriguing that these opinions were formulated after admittedly not having read any of the writings which contained this "unusual" request. To set the record straight, and so you readers know the real facts, my request was in the May 5 Argus Leader and was printed as a My Voice op-ed piece. With that piece of information, your editor might want to familiarize himself with that of which he opines before he opines.

Two weeks after my op-ed piece the senator's chief of staff had a letter of his own printed in which he asserted that "numerous" photographs and press releases had been issued from his office. Two days later, the Argus printed a picture of Johnson in their paper indicating it was the second photograph that had been released. Two = numerous! You be the judge.

In none of my writing have I stated that the senator will never return to the Senate. If one were to read that which I have written before opining, one wouldn't have to be told the facts after the fact.

I hope the author of the editorial was being sarcastic when he called Sen. Johnson rude. Never have I disputed that Senator Johnson was befallen by a dreadful malady. Discourteous has a negative connotation and it's origin in this matter was from your editor's keyboard, not mine, again sarcastic, I presume.

Calling me paranoid without even bothering to familiarize himself with anything I've said on the topic, and never having met me, is nothing short of name-calling.

Since this whole ordeal began, I have come to expect the same from those whose opinion differs from mine when they have no facts to rebut with. You see Sen, Johnson hasn't communicated with anyone save family, Tony Dean, Stephanie, bigwig Democrats, doctors and his staff since mid-December. If you don't think that strange, so be it. But please, allow me to without the sarcasm and name-calling; we're too mature for that, aren't we?

I am not some hateful, right-wing Conservative. I'm an independent Republican who has voted for Tim Johnson in the past. I'd prefer that he be well. If he is, I'd like to hear from him. It's important. If he isn't, he needs to put South Dakota before the Democratic agenda and do what is noble.

Randy E. Amundson

Sioux Falls

Editor's note: The office of Sen. Tim Johnson has issued a total of seven photographs of the senator on three separate occasions during his recovery following his hospitalization last December. Four photos were issued early in the spring of this year. Since then, media have also received a photo of the senator during a physical therapy session, and two photos of Johnson at work at his Virginia home. The photos are available on the senator's Web site.

A hope for closure

To the editor:

My letter is in regard to the recent charges filed in the 1971 missing girls case. I am a former Vermillion resident. There must be absolute proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, to charge this man with murder. Has DNA testing been done to identify the remains positively? As for the items found in those searches, those could be anything, even animal bones. Is the state going to rely on another prison inmate's testimony, which may be full of inaccuracies and lies? My family and I knew the family of Cheryl Miller very well and I, like their families, would like to see closure in this case.

Cathy Bell

Hastings, NE

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