Senator of Controversy
Regarding the recent public outcry against Senator John McCain's lack of character, he deserved it. Not only has he committed a despicable attack on an innocent young girl (Flashes, June 18), but when McCain should speak up about vital issues in our community, he remains silent. I get it--he only attacks those who are in no position to fight back.

I observed Senator McCain addressing a large group of his constituents when he stated that he didn't realize that the Sumitomo Sitix factory was a problem. That was several months ago. Where is his voice now? It's too busy attacking young people to defend them from the hazards that are threatening them within their own community. He's so busy spewing vicious jokes at the expense of a young woman's feelings that he's blatantly ignoring Sumitomo's emission stacks spewing poisons onto its neighbors.

Senator McCain needs to look in the mirror and see what ugliness within prompted him to make such a vicious comment. Perhaps the next words he utters after a heartfelt apology to Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno will be words in defense of the health and safety of his own community.

Susan Tompkins

Senator McCain likes to appear red, white and blue, but with his recent vicious remarks about Chelsea Clinton, he's finally shown his true colors.

One would like to think that there are a large number of moderate Republicans who found Senator McCain's comment to be just as repugnant as I did, but, considering the relentless witch hunt aimed at the President by members of their own party, I have my doubts.

One has to ask oneself why Senator McCain thought he'd have a receptive audience for such mean-spiritedness: Could it be that the vicious personal attack on a sitting president and his family--ones based on unproven speculation--are unprecedented? Could he correctly have assumed that if the father was fair game, so then is his daughter?

And finally as to the definition of character--Senator McCain surely stands out as a sterling example after this gaffe!

It's not enough for the senator to have merely apologized to Ms. Clinton and Ms. Reno; that is just so much lip service. He needs to do some serious soul searching.

Presidential material? We need as our president someone with the moral fortitude and depth of character to rise above personal smears; one who is not afraid to attack the pressing problems of the nation, not an innocent young woman.

Lesley Pedersen

I was enlightened by Amy Silverman's article "Smoke and Beers" (June 4). And I enjoyed it perhaps because I'm on occasion both a smoker and a drinker. If Senator John McCain's heavy tax on tobacco passes, a black market will undoubtedly light up in the states, as suddenly smokers can't really afford their heavily taxed crutch of choice.

Since the young can get any kind of illicit drug, why wouldn't that include cheaper tobacco? And blue-collar workers will be the most tightly harnessed by the new tax, which will further bloat the federal leviathan, at a time Republicans are supposedly trying to shrink it. Besides national defense and, for a while, the space frenzy, if there was one federal tax-and-spend program that worked in the past 85 years instead of making things worse, perhaps there could be justification for McCain's tax. Let's first get the banks, the government and the insurance companies out of our pockets and our lives. They shuffle paper, corrupt the citizenry, invest in and send jobs to other countries and take their own enormous cut, while we foot the bill. As Barry Goldwater knew, the problem with solutions is usually solutions. As for this national ruling class, like our local Lord Forntroys now attached to the public trough, let such bums and liars cut their teeth on decent jobs.

Mark Zorro

It's time for a changing of the guard in the United States Senate. For you people too ignorant or not informed to see through Senator McCain's attempt to appeal to more voters, his time is up.

Senator McCain has been relatively quiet in the Senate until recently, when his attempt to pass campaign-finance-reform legislation was killed by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and his own party. His current antics with tobacco legislation will follow the same ill fate, but McCain is only trying to moderate himself from the radical right.

One thing is for sure, the senator has created more enemies than friends in Arizona. All one has to do is tune in to the local "far right" talk shows with numerous callers spouting off with their best anti-McCain sentiment. A few months earlier, when state legislator Scott Bundgard attempted to eliminate affirmative action from state programs, McCain attempted to wow minority voters in Arizona by coming out against this. But I'm not fooled!

It's quite obvious that our distinguished senator is making a pathetic attempt to reach out to more voters when he spends more time out of the state than in. Maybe he should worry less about his presidential aspirations than the state that elected him to office. He has a duty to the people of Arizona, not New Hampshire.

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