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Thursday, April 12, 2012 06:11 am

Letters to the Editor 04/12/12

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Letter writer: “My father died of black lung as did many others, but I choose to remember him as a strong and beautiful man whom I loved with all my heart.”

COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER
Faith, hope and statuary” [by James Krohe Jr., April 5] was an overly tilted and in my case insulting piece of “work.” I admit that I have not personally seen the Washington, D.C., works, but I have seen many pictures and read pieces concerning them. I do not find them to be the utterly terrible works of art as Mr. Krohe Jr. does, but I have seen and dearly love the memorial to miners on the Statehouse lawn.

My father was one hell of a coal miner, Mr. Krohe. He was proud to work a hard day’s work to put food on our table. He came from a long line of coal miners. They were all proud men who I looked up to with love. My father died of black lung as did many others, but I choose to remember him as a strong and beautiful man whom I loved with all my heart. I find Mr Krohe’s remarks to be hurtful and deceitful. Coal miners did a lot more for this country (and still do) than die gasping for air as Mr. Krohe so cruelly put it. To be remembered as such is disrespectful to all of them. I know you said for all the angry readers to put their pens down, but since you chose not to, so do I.

Patricia Penick
Springfield


WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE
Re: “A ferry for the mentally ill,” GUESTWORK by Rick Wade, April 5: The power of language sometimes escapes us. We think we direct it, when it directs us. “The” mentally ill is an example.

The story is plaintively specific. The title, like the generic “the” blacks of previous years, is not.

Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor
Ft Myers, Fla.



BRITT FAN
Keep doing your thing, Britt! A lot of people really enjoy your work, and if the letter writer is “not a fan of” Illinois Times in the first place, you obviously aren’t going to like Chris Britt’s work. Same reason goes for why I don’t watch Fox News.

Sam Frioli



CAHNMAN RETROSPECTIVE
Bruce Rushton’s March 29 article “A lackluster performance by Madigan’s candidate” implied that Alderman Sam Cahnman should have stayed out of the 96th District state representative race, saying if he “hadn’t split the anti-Madigan backlash, [apparent victor Sue] Scherer might well be on the sidelines.” This implication is based on two premises: that the main issue in the 96th district race was Madigan vs. anti-Madigan, and that Alderman Sam Cahnman was not the best man for the job.

The Open Primary was the main issue in the campaign. It set Sam Cahnman distinctly apart from the other four candidates of both parties who all uniformly ignored the issue. It arguably caused Michael Madigan to meddle big-time in what would otherwise have been a ho-hum central Illinois race. It is nave to say that the Rutan case has put patronage out of business as long as Illinois politicians maintain Illinois primary voters’ party preferences as common public knowledge, and Michael Madigan is Illinois’ Emperor of Patronage. Also, Sam Cahnman was the best candidate in this race because he ran in 2006 for the Open Primary, and being unsuccessful then, he ran again in 2012 to champion the same issue. This demonstrates dedication to an issue that is quietly but universally opposed by other Illinois politicians but supported overwhelmingly by the people.

There can be a disconnect between what we need and want and what we vote for. Consistently polls and referenda have shown 75 percent or greater support for the Open Primary statewide, the latest referendum held in Decatur simultaneous with the above race. Decatur citizens voted 75-25 for the Open Primary March 20, while in the same election a majority of Democratic voters in Decatur and elsewhere in the 96th District voted for candidates other than Sam Cahnman, who was the only realistic hope for the Open Primary issue to move ahead in the legislature. This disconnect can be explained by the barrage of negative attack ads from Madigan and Scherer against Cahnman. Some of these ads repeated false statements even after they had been publicly refuted by independent journalists and Cahnman based on public records.

Ordinary Illinoisans of every ethnicity will have fewer good job opportunities in teaching and public employment as long as patronage is alive and well in Illinois, underpinned by the present primary system. Let’s vote for what we want.

Douglas K. Turner
Springfield

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