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Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 04:45 pm

Letters to the Editor 11/02/12

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SUPPORT RAPE VICTIMS
As a rape victim advocate, I want every public official who makes a deplorable, victim-blaming statement to simply say, “I am sorry. I will never say that again.” Whether a person is a dogcatcher, U.S. Senator or the President of the United States, that person is out of touch when they say that pregnancy as a result of rape is part of a sacred plan.

Every one of us should disavow and demand a true apology from any policymaker who is that unfamiliar with and that unsympathetic to the trauma of rape. It isn’t about politics, religion or any other excuse for adding to the trauma of rape victims. It’s about the simple fact that rape victims need support, not scorn.

Polly Poskin, executive director
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Springfield



NO TO ARTICLE XIII
Everyone should vote “no” on the constitutional amendment to Article XIII. Most people probably think this amendment applies only to state and schoolteachers’ pensions, but that is not the case. It applies to “any pension or retirement system of the state, any unit of local government or school district, or agency or instrumentality thereof.” This amendment requires a three-fifths majority to add any benefit, but only a simple majority to remove any benefit. I would think it only fair to require the same majority in either case. Also, paragraph (d) could be interpreted to allow taking away all Cola’s and present insurance coverage which is now protected under the present constitution.

It appears that Gov. Quinn and Speaker Madigan are bound and determined to wreck the retirement systems so they have more money to spend on their pet projects, even though they are the ones primarily responsible for the present crisis.

Tyre W. Rees
Springfield



JUDGE FOR YOURSELF
On Election Day, Nov. 6., Illinois residents will have a chance to vote for a host of government offices including U.S. President and congressional candidates.

Equally important are the judicial elections. The ballot will include men and women seeking both election as a judge and the opportunity to be retained as a judge. Regrettably, many voters do not take the time to learn about judicial candidates in order to make an informed choice. Judges make critical decisions on a daily basis which directly affect all our lives.

Help is at hand. The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) believes it has an obligation to share with the public information about the qualifications of judicial candidates. Who better than the lawyers, who practice alongside candidates for judicial office, to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges? Our ratings can be found at http://www.isba.org/judicialevaluations. We encourage all voters to download these ratings and use them as a reference in the voting booth.

John E. Thies, president
Illinois State Bar Association



SAM’S PICKS
During my campaign for the Democratic nomination for state representative in the new Springfield-Decatur disrict I got to know many candidates.

Two now in really close races stood out over all the rest. David Gill for Congress and Andy Manar for state senator. Both are highly intelligent, know their issues and convey a genuine interest in helping people. Many politicians are arrogant, but not these two.

Gill was not anointed by the powers that be. Never before elected to office, Gill, an emergency room doctor, ran a grass-roots campaign in the primary and won. Gill wants to end the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 that exploded our deficit, and shore up the middle class.

A reformer, Manar cut the size of his county board in Macoupin. His promise to cut wasteful spending isn’t just hot air because he did it in Macoupin. Manar is passionate about moving toward greater equality in education spending because, as he often says, why should a child’s education depend on where they live.

Sam Cahnman
Alderman, Ward 5
Springfield

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