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Hyde doesn't represent local Republican values

To the Editor:

I read, with some confusion, that Sen. Henry Hyde will be the featured speaker at the annual El Paso County Republican Party Lincoln Dinner on March 2.

My confusion arises from the fervid and virtually unanimous condemnation of President Clinton for his extra-marital affair by conservatives, contrasted by their apparent acceptance of Henry Hyde's self-admitted adultery.

Granted, President Clinton lied about his affair, spurring Hyde and his committee to relentlessly pursue and impeach him. However, Sen. Hyde's unwillingness to admit his adultery until exposed by the media and then dismissing it as "youthful indiscretion" seems to me to lack both candor and contrition and, in my opinion, obviates any credible criticism of Clinton's weaknesses.

Sen. Hyde's appearance at the single most important Republican function of the year, arranged with great personal effort by Rep. Joel Hefley, belies the high moral message nobly enshrined in El Paso County Republican mores.

I can only hope that County Commissioner Betty Beedy and other conservative Republicans who deny Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the honor of recognition because of a suspected moral lapse will, with equal vigor, protest Sen. Hyde's appearance at the Lincoln Dinner because of his admitted and as yet unrepentant tone.

-- Richard Baker
Colorado Springs

A candidate responds

To the Editor:

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to respond to the mistruths Sally Henderson stated about me in a letter to the editor in the Feb. 24 edition of the Independent.

Ms. Anderson is concerned about who will represent State House District 17 in the November election. However, a check with the election office shows no Sally Henderson registered to vote in El Paso County. She either is not registered or she used an alias. I believe that if you want to throw lies from behind your wall of the unknown, then at least have to courage to register before you tell others in your self righteous way how to vote.

First, I am not a member of the John Birch Society. I have gone to a number of their informational meetings and film series. Your attempt to use McCarthyism to smear my reputation will not work. When Joe McCarthy attempted to discredit others through rumor and gossip, it was reprehensible. What do we call it when you do the same? I will not run from my association with this fine Constitutional educational group. If you want to condemn me for that, I will not argue.

Second, your assertion that I've been endorsed by Senator Mary Ellen Epps borders on fantasy. If Senator Epps had endorsed me, I would tell you. Senator Epps and I believe it is the right of the people to choose their representative, not some fellow politician. I have taken my campaign to the homes and neighborhoods of this diverse community, not to the back offices and smoky rooms of those who attempt to pull the strings. I believe in the goodness in the hearts of my fellow citizens, not in the sad accusations of those who dirty themselves with deception.

If Sally or anyone else is interested in truth and a people's campaign for better government, you can contact me at 632-1902, or by e-mail:

-- Steve Hester
Republican candidate, House District 17

Lunch, John?

To the Editor:

Thanks to John Hazlehurst's review of WaterMedia 2000 ("Wondrous Watercolors," Feb. 10), our Pikes Peak Watercolor Society members realize we must have a serious image problem to overcome. "Ladies who Lunch," indeed!

While the diversity of styles within our group does include traditional, transparent "puppies and geraniums," we also have artists who explore the very edge of water-based media on paper. We consider the full range not only valid, but our strength. The goal in all our exhibitions is to have the Colorado Springs community witness a painted statement way before they say, "Hey, this is a watercolor."

Thank you, John for recognizing that essence in your review. We just may have to buy you lunch -- in a most decorous place, of course.

-- Victoria Greene
PPWS President
Colorado Springs

Fertilizing the weeds of selfishness

I am still in disbelief after reading the letter to the editor about "most humans being bad seeds" from Jennifer Waltmon in your Feb. 28 issue. Some people just don't get it.

Ms. Waltmon accuses fellow airline travelers of having "complete disregard for other people and their feelings," and comments that "it's sad to think that so many people in today's society think about only themselves," all because they refused to give up a choice seat for a middle seat so she could sit next to her boyfriend.

Let's do a little soul searching here, Ms. Waltmon. Just who exactly is thinking only of themselves? Have you assumed your reason for wanting that seat was more important than those of the gentlemen you were trying to displace? It appears so, but who gave you that almighty power to judge?

Sure, it would have been a thoughtful gesture to give up a seat. But if those fellows were selfish jerks, than so are you. Good seeds need to be planted. How about planting some yourself instead of fertilizing the weeds.

-- Sue Bigus
Colorado Springs

Why I'm campaigning for John McCain for President

To the Editor:

When I was 12 years old, I remember rushing home from sixth grade in time for President Kennedy's 4 o'clock press conferences. I loved his humor, his repartee, his command of the English language, and the affable easy relationship he enjoyed with the press. When I watched his inaugural address, I remember the warm rush of tingles up my spine when he asked what you can do for your country, when he evoked the ideals of service and duty. Kennedy captured my 12-year-old heart, and his inspiration changed my life.

Camelot ended, followed by the assassinations of the '60s, Vietnam, Watergate, the narcissistic materialism of the '80s, and the moral vacuum of the '90s. I had long since yielded to cynicism. Then it happened again, for the first time in almost 40 years. There it was, that warm tingling up my spine listening to John McCain talk about honor, duty and service to country. I had forgotten what it felt like, had forgotten how much I missed it.

In Pensacola for my son's commissioning as a Navy ensign, I visited the National Aviation Museum where there was a riveting Vietnam POW display with powerful videos narrated by John McCain. In the halls of the Naval Aviation Schools Command, there was a full-wall display of the chain of command. The top picture was the Commander-in-Chief. Whose picture, I thought, do I want looking down at me next year when my son is deployed? Over Christmas, I read McCain's book Faith of My Fathers. Then I read it again, even though 15 other books lay abandoned and half-read by my bedside, shoved aside by the press of too many things to do. By the third reading, I knew I wanted my children, and all of America's children, to have their own Camelot.

My friends on opposite poles of the political spectrum have challenged me. My friends from the right say but McCain's so liberal! To which I respond "nonsense!" This man describes himself as a proud conservative, and he certainly has a long and convincing Congressional voting record to prove it. My friends from the left say but McCain's so conservative! Don't you know, they say, his positions on this and that? Yes, I do know his positions, and I don't agree with some of them. What matters to me more is that I know what McCain thinks. That's a whole lot more than you can say for the rest of these tiresome professional politicians who say what they think people want to hear, who morph to some other persona every time a poll tells them what people are responding to, and who pander every time they speak to a different interest group. Witness Gore at the Apollo Theater. And, by the way, will the real George W. Bush please stand up?

So to my friends on the right I say seize the moment! It's understandable why the Republican establishment tapped Bush so long ago. They thought he could recapture the White House. No one anticipated the McCain phenomenon. However inexplicably it came to be, now it is McCain who can capture the White House and Bush who will lose it yet again. To my friends on the left I say that I have enough belief in the American political system that I do not believe extreme legislation of any kind will ever pass, regardless of who is in the White House.

And to all my friends of whatever persuasion: please, don't let Camelot slip out of our grasp again. A Bush-Gore contest will bring the nastiest mudfest in our nation's history, endless recitations of the same sorry worn-out platitudes from right and left, the triumph of the establishment and the political hacks, and business as usual in Washington. If that happens, I will sadly turn off the television, ignore the circus, grieve for the lost opportunity, and yearn for another chance, someday, to feel that warm tingle again.

All registered Republicans and all registered voters who are unaffiliated can vote for McCain in the March 10 Republican primary in Colorado. If you are independent, and not affiliated with any party, then you can show up at the polls, declare for the Republican Party, and then vote.

-- Sue M. Malone
County Chairman for the Colorado McCain Campaign

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