Reader gives opinion on elections

With less than 365 shopping days until the next election, it’s time to start thinking about electing representatives for offices other than president.

When you look around, it is clear America needs a Congress which won’t be bought. Not only in the sense of campaign financing or contributions, but in the sense that, after “We, the People” elect them, the only input the House and Senate should need from businesses, industries and special interests should come under oath in sworn testimony during open hearings.

So many politicians spend so much money pandering for votes from the general public and then ignore the many needs of the population in favor of the few groups which can provide gifts, trips, favors and the like. Besides, the pay isn’t bad and the lifetime benefits are great! What was the last job you held where you told your boss you gave yourself a raise in a midnight memo? Or got a 100 percent retirement plan you didn’t have to pay into?

Many people think the floodgate of lobbyists was opened by Ulysses S. Grant in the lobby of the Willard Hotel after the Civil War, but that’s only when they received that particular nickname. For as long as there have been political leaders (elected or not) there has been undue influence sought and bought to protect special interests.

Let’s give our elected officials a chance to do their own jobs. Voters should demand lobbyist-free zones. We could start with places called the Capitol and the Rayburn, Dirksen and Russell office buildings.

Both houses of Congress need qualified candidates. We, of course, want them to always make the right decision in every situation and never change their minds. How tough can that be? They’re being given information by professional information givers. It’s not like government officials would give each other information they know wasn’t true. Or wasn’t mostly right. Or was at least correctly spelled (even in the parts they blacked out.)

But the problem goes beyond finding qualified candidates to the elections themselves. I recently read where a precinct in Ohio reported votes for one candidate that exceeded their number of registered voters. They can’t be the only ones.

Even Josef Stalin once said, “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” With electronic voting equipment, fewer and fewer people see the votes actually cast. By contrast, voting for American Idols by cell phone looks like sheer genius, as well as making the phone companies rich.

America needs to set a good example for the world. But not to show them how democracy works because America isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic. The word ‘democracy’ doesn’t appear in our Constitution or our Declaration of Independence, not even once. As Benjamin Franklin is quoted, we have “a republic, if you can keep it.” Remember the words in our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag: “and to the Republic for which it stands”?

The Founders didn’t want too powerful a government and they didn’t want a government controlled only by the general population. If America did, in fact, have a true democracy, George Bush would have lost the 2000 election based on the popular votes alone. Instead, the presidency was won on electoral votes cast, as provided for in the Constitution, a point the president should remember when talking to other world leaders about democracy and constitutions.

The Founders wanted states to be united for America. The emphasis was on the rights of the people and the states they lived in. They did a good job starting from scratch.

We could learn a few lessons by following their commitment to addressing problems of the day by using the timeless document they entrusted to us. It’s up to the citizens of the United States to protect their Constitution, not the other way around. Abraham Lincoln asked us to “think globally, act locally.”

The First State seems as good a locality as any to start restoring our republic.

Joseph Norton

Another quick hit from our local icon

Why were some members of Congress OK with partial-birth abortion but are against waterboarding?

Leo Brady
Ocean View

Organizers thankful for support of others

On behalf of Curves of Selbyville and Carl M. Freeman Companies, we wish to thank everyone involved with the 1st Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Bayside held on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Despite the wet weather, over 125 people came out to support the event and we were able to raise over $8,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The walk was a dream come true for many of us, but it never would have happened without the generous donations of time and money from so many people. We want to thank our area businesses that served as sponsors for the event: Creative Concepts, PNC Bank, Bayside Physical Therapy, Bunting & Murray, Heilman Limousine, Heilman Drywall and Marc Grimes Seacoast Realty.

We also want to thank the Plenty Problems Steel Drum band from Southern Delaware School of the Arts, Superior Signs, Williamsville Deli and Boyden Design for donating their services. We are grateful to the businesses that donated items to the auctions and to the EMTs from Roxanna who came to the event on their own time to insure everyone’s safety.

Thanks to the employees of Carl M. Freeman Companies who helped organize and staff the event; to the Bayside residents who came out in the rain to show their support; and to all our walkers.

And last, but not least, to the Curves of Selbyville members who baked desserts, organized auctions, solicited businesses, and distributed fliers, your help was invaluable. We owe much of our success to you.

Our hats are off to everyone for a job well done! See you next year.

Brenda Granz, owner, Curves of Selbyville
Patti Grimes, vice president, Carl M. Freeman Companies

Women’s Club auction a success

The Women’s Club of the Keenwicks held their annual luncheon and “Chinese auction” at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City. There were over 180 women in attendance.

We raised close to $4,000 for our scholarship fund. Each year, six $1,000 scholarships are awarded to girls graduating from Indian River High School.

Thanks to all the businesses and members who contributed gift certificates and prizes to make this event a huge success.

Carolyn Lowe, publicity chairwoman
Women’s Club of the Keenwicks

Wind rally fills reader’s sails

I was very excited and encouraged by the clean air rally which was held Saturday at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. This rally was held to support the Bluewater Wind Project.

People from Delaware and neighboring states came to show their support for clean, healthy, affordable, renewable power. The high winds only added to the excitement, giving us an example of the amount of wind which could be harvested for clean power.

I salute these folks and implore the PSC to listen to them and to negotiate a satisfactory contract with Bluewater Wind. An off-shore wind farm will be a plus toward a healthier Delaware, a plus toward a cleaner U.S., and a plus toward curbing global warming.

Carol Vasselli
Ocean View

Frankford resident supports Bluewater

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Delaware Public Service Commission and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

I request that the Delaware Public Service Commission take immediate action to ensure that Bluewater Wind has the opportunity to build an offshore wind farm commencing in 2008. The people of Delaware, the governor and a majority of the General Assembly have already directed by law that utility companies like Delmarva Power will provide a percentage of the electricity needs for residential and commercial businesses in Delaware by 2015.

Bluewater Wind has faithfully negotiated with Delmarva Power on behalf of the legislation, the Delaware Public Service Commission, the Office of Management & Budget, the Controller Generals Office, the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control and the people of Delaware. Any further delays by Delmarva Power to proceed with the terms of the legislation and negotiations should be enforced by Delaware court action and subsequent heavy fines on behalf of the people of Delaware.

The residents and commercial businesses of this state will not continue to tolerate inaction on this project, particularly when our state and the nation face an impending global disaster resulting from global warming and climate change in our life time. Action is required now.

Capt. Jeff W. Johnson, U.S. Navy