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Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008 12:57 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
I WANT MY VOTE TO COUNT Thomas J. Immel sets a scene that if the states move away from electoral votes to popular votes it would be like pulling a thread, unraveling the makeup of the U.S. Senate and leaving small states ignored and underrepresented [“Letters,” Jan. 31]. He writes, “Presidential candidates in the National Popular Vote scenario will necessarily spend all of their campaigning efforts in major population centers and the largest media markets. Thus the smaller states will be left out in the cold altogether and their electoral votes will be automatically cast for the NPV winner. . . .” I have to question how valuable state loyalty is versus making everyone’s vote truly count. What is wrong with the person who gets the most votes winning the office? I like having my vote count, and it certainly didn’t in 2000. Why couldn’t we find a way to go with the popular vote in the national elections without changing the entire U.S. Senate structure? Something else we have the power to change is how each candidate ends up selling himself to the highest bidder to get elected. That definitely needs to change. Many say our current political system is broken. I don’t think it is broken; it is just that as our society grows and changes so must our political process. Anne Logue

GIVING THE GOP AN ADVANTAGE Contrary to what Thomas J. Immel writes, the National Popular Vote initiative is constitutional. The 12th Amendment says that a state’s electors will be determined in a manner chosen by the legislature. What’s scary is that any state legislature can appoint its own electors, with complete disregard for the popular vote. That’s why we need to abolish the Electoral College. The problem, right now, is that all the states that have joined the NPV effort are Democratic-leaning states, giving the Republicans an unfair advantage in all future elections. Until Republican-leaning or swing states come on board, I think NPV in Illinois should be put on a back burner and the other states that have approved it should suspend implementation. The current situation is unacceptable, and I do not support it. Martin Celnick Springfield
WISHFUL THINKING The election in November will be a repeat of 1980. Many Democrats crossed over and voted for Reagan. There are a lot of Democrats who don’t like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. They’ll cross over and vote Republican. The backing of the Kennedys won’t help Obama because a lot of people don’t like the Kennedys. The fighting between Clinton and Obama isn’t going to help the Democratic Party. They need to stick to the issues. People are turned off by dirty politics. If I were going to pick a winner, I’d pick U.S. Sen. John McCain. Danny Faulkner Springfield
ANOTHER HARD LOOK A recent article, which focuses on hiring practices in Springfield government, raises a concern in my mind about fair play. It reports the Republican aldermen as promoting fiscal restraint in the city [Amanda Robert, “Hard look,” Jan. 31]. They have done so by questioning the need for the mayor’s office to make new job hires in these depressing times. It is difficult for me not to suspect that their effort includes at least a trace of political guile. What they have done is to first recognize three newly filled positions and then publish the names, job titles, and hourly pay of the holders. Taking both steps in my opinion goes beyond the requirements of the matter. One can accept the fact that an administration is fair game for questions about its spending on employment. That officials, however, would publish the names and salaries of the occupants of these jobs at the same time as they act to determine the jobs’ necessity wobbles pretty close to slander. The sight of the jobholders’ names in print within the text of the article mildly implies political shenanigans on their behalf. By its organization the article hints that these new employees are not qualified for the job, that they got hired by virtue of a special relationship with the right people, rather than competence. I consider myself a friend to one of the three persons named, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I know that he has worked with the Chicago police in community affairs for a number of years. As a result, he has expertise working with the homeless and in addition is an experienced office manager. In my opinion the city is fortunate to have his services at the pay level quoted. He is underpaid, since he does a job that frees up a uniformed policeman who would earn more in that post. I believe him far removed from being some political hack, hired because of political identity, as your readers might infer.
Whoever approved the publication of that article should apologize for mentioning names and salaries in the contest between aldermen and the mayor. Robert Crowley Springfield
DON’T MESS WITH THE TRUTH At first I was amused as I read Maurine Richter’s letter about not messing with a woman’s hairdresser, plastic surgeon, or dog groomer [“Letters,” Jan. 31]. As I continued to read, amusement turned to concern. I am an employee of the “west-side grooming business” Richter berated in her letter. The truth be known, the only phone number my employer had for Leslie was a personal cell-phone number. No business could legally or in good conscience freely give such information concerning current or past employees. As for Leslie’s new address, it had not been provided to us. No one at our business was involved in providing misleading information to our clients. The bottom line: Hairdresser, plastic surgeon, and dog groomer aside, you really shouldn’t mess with the truth.
Judy Robertson Springfield
WE DIDN’T DECEIVE ANYBODY I, too, was amused at the letter to Illinois Times written by Maurine Richter. The facts surrounding her allegations are not aligned with her assumptions. During Leslie’s final three months of employment with our business, she told me of her intentions to open her own grooming business. I even offered her my insights and advice for a successful business enterprise. As a business owner and adjunct professor for two local colleges where I teach business management, I felt I could help her avoid some pitfalls associated with a startup business.
Leslie never provided me or my staff with the address or business telephone number of her business. Moreover, as a matter of policy, we do not provide personal information to callers. Our response to clients requesting Leslie’s services was “She is no longer with us, and she has started her own grooming business and it is located somewhere on South Grand, and that is all we know at this time.”
No member of my staff ever deceived any of our clientele with respect to Leslie’s employment with our business. She is an excellent groomer, and we wish her the best of luck in her endeavors. Integrity is the hallmark of any successful business owner, and we take this obligation very seriously. Mark Lipe General Manager Pampered Pet Center
SEARCHING FOR LOST RELATIVES I have been searching for my uncle and aunt who were born in Scotland but went to Illinois in 1921. My uncle’s name is Thomas Davies, born Sept. 18, 1918; my aunt is Mary Ann Davies, born May 26, 1920. Both were born in Philpstoun. Their mother was a widow named Isabella Shaw (née Brown); their father (my grandfather) was Joseph Davies. Isabella and Joseph married in 1918 in Edinburgh. Thomas and Mary Ann may not have known of me, as my late father, their half-brother Alex, was put in an orphanage along with his sister, my Aunt Janet. Alex and Janet were not allowed to go to America with their siblings. Isabella may have stayed at a residence on North Walnut Street in Springfield with her grandfather Thomas Brown. Any information, however small, I would dearly love to have. Do I have any American family living in Illinois? Jean Petrie (Davies) 9 Headwell Ct. Dunfermline, Fife KY12 OLH Scotland, United Kingdom

CLARIFICATION During the race riot of 1908, a mob intending to lynch two Springfield men stole rope and other supplies from a store. A news story last week may have left the incorrect impression that the store’s Jewish owner cooperated with the mob.  
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