Choosing candidates in several races
Around Election Day, I get calls asking advice on who should be elected. I guess being an old man has something to do with it, but I try to research the candidates and give the best advice I can. This year I'll be out of town, so I'll share my views through the newspaper.
We have the best state senator and state representative in South Carolina in Sen. Wes Hayes and Rep. Gary Simrill. They both have a passion to do what is right for us.
The York County Council is broken and needs fixing. We have two good men running who can get some common sense back into the council. Chad Williams and Tom Hardin are both experienced businessmen who will help get the council back on the right track.
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In the race for commander in chief, there isn't much to choose from. I think both parties elected the wrong man. So, we are left with choosing the least harmful to the country. Sen. John McCain is the best of the worst. There are several reasons. The No. 1 reason is that it is never good for either party to have complete control over Congress and the presidency. This defeats the checks-and-balances system our forefathers tried to build into our government.
The Democrats control both the House and the Senate now. If one party controls all three branches, laws and judges will be rammed through without anyone to challenge them. Second, there is too much we don't know about McCain's opponent.
We all need to pray for guidance.
Board has made bad decisions
Experience is not always a good thing. I was disappointed the editorial board of The Herald chose to endorse the current school board chairperson, but I must assume the current status of education policy meets their approval. Decisions like spending almost a million dollars for the benefit and use of maybe 100 students; transporting students past one school to attend another miles away wasting costly fuel; duplicating AP and dual credit courses with IB courses that cost the district additional money; adding more and more administrative positions while decreasing classroom teachers.
They may be right. If that is the type of educational leadership Rock Hill wants to continue, the election numbers will decide. Since there is some agenda to keep all discussions secret, the chairperson of the board must be the primary responsible party for all those decisions and more.
Achievement has not improved in the Rock Hill school district under the current board leadership. That can change on Tuesday.
David E. Griffin
Obama represents best of America
I volunteer at the local headquarters for Barack Obama's campaign, making calls and entering data. Sometimes people drop by, mostly to pick up bumper stickers and yard signs, but sometimes with questions. A couple of weeks ago, an elderly lady came in. She said she had never voted for a Republican in her life, but that she was worried that Obama might not really consider himself an American.
I have some understanding of his situation. If I were not so obviously a blue-eyed blonde, and I were running for office, people might have some of the same questions about me. I was not born in the United States, but in a U.S. territory. When I was 9 years old, I had spent almost half of my life abroad, and I spoke English with an accent; in fact, at that time, I spoke Spanish better than I spoke English. I spent most of the turbulent 1960s away from the North American continent, and in fact briefly attended the same school (Punaho) that Obama attended in Hawaii.
But I am an American by birthright and by choice, just as Obama is.
Obama speaks of his mixed heritage with pride, and he should. It is a part of what has made him the person he is today, a person who will be able to bring together the incredibly varied people who make up this country. A mixed heritage does not make him less American than any of the rest of us. In fact, a mixed heritage makes him in many ways the perfect representative of this nation of immigrants of all races and creeds. He can understand the viewpoint of white Americans; after all, his mother is white.
He can understand the viewpoint of black Americans; after all, most people view him as black. He can understand the viewpoint of the immigrant; after all, his father came to this country seeking educational opportunities. He can understand the viewpoint of those of us whose families have been here for generations; after all, the grandparents who raised him are among those whose families have been here for generations.
That this half-Kenyan and all-American man should have been able to earn his way by virtue of his intelligence and hard work to an education at one of the finest universities in this country is a tribute to him. It also is a tribute to a nation -- perhaps the only nation -- in which that is possible. That he is the nominee of a major political party in that country is the realization of the dream of many Americans.
I am incredibly proud to play any small part I can play in his campaign.
Look who's endorsing Barack Obama
It was so heartening to read about Hugo Chavez' endorsement of Barack Obama. His, along with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's endorsement should make us all feel good. And let's not forget the French. They are so big on Obama that the Paris fashion shows are featuring clothes with full images of him. We all want the approval of the French people, don't we?
I'm being a little facetious, I know, but these are facts.
South Carolina will go for McCain, I know, so I'm preaching to the choir, but is there so much hatred for George Bush that we would jeopardize the safety of our country?
Just think before you pull that lever!
Gast is only choice for coroner
While listening to Pete Skidmore's comments on the radio, I remind myself of why this is a trying time in politics. While Skidmore sounds as though he is a well-qualified private investigator, he is not the best candidate for York County coroner.
Skidmore has relinquished himself to the same mudslinging we see every day.
Sabrina Gast is more than qualified to represent this county and its taxpayers in the office of coroner. She has the medical degrees that help identify the cause of death in many cases.
Those who have knowledge of the medical field know that the nurses are the strong base that a good doctor is built on. They do the majority of patient analysis and care. This experience is invaluable to an investigation of death.
Gast has a strong working relationship with law enforcement and the solicitor's office.
Skidmore addressed the issue of the 20-hour class he took in June. Twenty hours of training does not qualify an individual to be coroner. Gast has hundreds of hours of training in forensics science. At the time of this seminar Skidmore addresses, Gast had just been let go as coroner and did not have any idea that she would ever be back in this office.
As far as her employment with other agencies, Gast has a family and has to help support her family. I'm sure Skidmore would have done the same thing.
I hope everyone in York County will look at Gast's qualifications and talk to her in person. You will see as I that she is the person York County needs as coroner.
Paper biased for Obama
Your newspaper has been very biased throughout this campaign in favor of Obama. Well, I happen to be one of those geeks supporting Sen. McCain, and the Oct. 24 cartoon goes over the top as far as bias goes. You seem to forget that there are a lot of Republicans reading your paper. Your paper is supposed to present the news, not try to sway voters how to vote.
Ronald G. Annett
Voters should keep Simrill at home
I read with interest the article in The Herald describing ongoing campaign activity. Gary Simrill takes pride in staying in Rock Hill rather than Columbia during the legislative session. He did make it to Columbia to vote for school vouchers that give public money to private schools and to vote to shift public school funding from property tax to sales tax.
The latter move has injured our local schools as student-pupil ratios creep up. Let's vote for Herb Crump and keep Gary away from Columbia altogether.
ELECTION LETTER DEADLINE
Today is the deadline for letters pertaining to the Nov. 4 election. Letters received after today will not be published.