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Sunday, Nov. 18, 2001

By Staff
Political' ad should have identified who bought it
To the Editor:
Enquiring minds need to know who paid for the unsigned1/4 page "Who's Looking Out for Meridian?" ad which appeared on page A16 of the Oct. 28 edition of The Star.
The context suggested several possible sponsors fat cat Republicans, land "developers" who expect favors if Chip Pickering stays in Congress; chamber of commerce type groups funded in part by taxpayers; or the guy who rides the trains.
We were asked to pressure members of the Mississippi Legislature to support one of the redistricting plans which gives Congressman Pickering an advantage over Congressman Shows when Mississippi drops from five to four congressmen next year.
The various plans differ in how districts are drawn, racial demographic and traditional voting patterns. Each plan seeks to shift these factors to provide one or another candidate with the winning edge. Everything else you have heard and read about congressional redistricting is pure political hogwash.
Hypocrisy and dishonesty need to leave our political discourse. Only cowards and criminals try to hide their identity. Responsible newspapers should never print unsigned political propaganda.
My personal hope is that Meridian will be placed in a district represented by Congressman Taylor. He leads current congressmen in seniority and influence, and his current area during the time he has represented it has witnessed the most dramatic economic growth of any section of Mississippi.
I would love for Meridian to participate in the growth, progress and better paying jobs the Gulf Coast and Hattiesburg have seen during Congressman Taylor's time in Congress.
Regardless of individual wishes, the political reality is that either Congressman Taylor or Congressman Shows is going to represent the Meridian area after next year's election. The unsigned efforts of Republican types to try to save Chip Pickering's bacon may well backfire on Meridian and Lauderdale County.
We should use our heads and welcome the change that is going to improve the lives of the majority of local citizens, rather than cling to the Republicans' agenda.
William Hugh Johnson
Meridian
Rankin Countysets new standard for commitment
to public education
To the Editor:
Rankin county residents just passed a bond issue to build new high schools in Brandon and Richland, and also a science building and a multi-purpose building for another area school. The vote passed with 80.9 percent approval.
Brandon businessman Noel Daniels spearheaded a committee in support of the bond issue. After the vote he said, "This shows that Rankin county is for education." Lauderdale County must be against education. Now Brandon, a community that is rapidly expanding, passes a bond issue along with Tupelo, another fast growing community. And then there is Meridian, whose residents refuse to build new schools or even repair existing ones.
With bond issues passing in communities like Brandon and Tupelo, I think it is obvious that a community's growth and the quality of its schools are directly related.
Michael VanVeckhoven
Meridian
Don't forget seniors in economic stimulus package
To the Editor:
First I want to say I am so proud to have George W. Bush and his lovely wife, Laura, in the White House during this "War on Terrorism." I just swell with pride when I think about them. President Bush is the
Franklin Roosevelt and John Wayne of the senior citizen generation rolled up into one. He is our new hero and I am confident he will lead America through this war.
President Bush can't do everything that needs to be done, however. Our Congress needs to do some constructive thinking about what is best for the country. To start with, Congress should realize that most senior citizens, especially the World War II veterans don't invest in the stock market. These seniors remember the stock market crash in 1929 and are too old to want to risk their savings in the stock market.
The 10 cuts in short term interest rates made by Alan Greenspan in the past year have cut most senior citizens' income by at least one half. Mr. Greenspan has promised to cut them further.
Seniors would like to spend money to help bring the economy back as requested by the administration, if only they had it to spend. They like to eat out and fly to see their children and grandchildren, but most can't afford it.
Congress should eliminate all the income taxes seniors are now paying on their Social Security income, their little pensions (that have eroded badly from inflation) and the low interest they get from their savings. This still wouldn't bring them back to where they were a year ago.
Give the seniors a break for once, especially the veterans. They saved our butts in World War II and wish they were able to do it again now. They won't be living much longer to be a burden on anyone.
Congress won't even have to add a sunset clause to the legislation because the sun will set on our World War II veterans for the last time before too long.
I haven't heard Congress say one word about helping the seniors and this should be remembered come election time. If they don't eliminate these taxes on the seniors in the Economic Stimulus Package, consisting of some $60 billion to $70 billion dollars, every one of them should be voted out of office next election regardless of any party affiliation.
Jack Prather
Mobile, Ala.

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