Disclosure bill tactic to elect Democrats
As usual, the Herald-Leader's editorial board is on the wrong side of an issue. The so-called DISCLOSE Act is nothing more than Washington Democrats trying to protect themselves from criticism before facing the voters. They say this bill is about transparency — but the only thing transparent about it is that it's an attempt to rig the fall elections.
Unlike the 2002 campaign finance reform law which treated everyone equally, this legislation would choose winners and losers. Government unions are exempt from its restrictions. So are unions of government contractors. Other loopholes mean that certain groups favored by the bill's authors — like the NRA and AARP — are exempt. If you're an issue-advocacy group founded for the wrong reason or at the wrong time, the message is loud and clear: Stay silent.
The 2002 campaign finance reform law was passed in March of that year but did not take effect until after the November election so as not to change the rules in mid-stream. The DISCLOSE Act, however, would go into effect in 30 days, turning the playing field for this fall's elections into chaos for pure partisan advantage.
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The 2002 campaign law also provided for expedited judicial review so that any constitutional questions could be resolved by the Supreme Court as soon as possible. The DISCLOSE Act contains no such provision and adds layers of red tape to slow walk the review process so that the public will not have resolution this year and maybe not even in time for the 2012 elections.
The only thing your editorial got right is my long history of fighting for the First Amendment and against any government restrictions on free speech — a fight the ACLU and I have stood together on for many years. Now, to defend our constitutional rights, the ACLU and I stand together to oppose the DISCLOSE Act.
United States senatorWashington, D.C.
Blame for bank crisis
It's sad that congressional candidate Garland "Andy" Barr has complained about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1973. I have heard those same complaints from bankers who do not want to admit, publicly or privately, that the fault for the debacle of September 2008 is of their own making.
Barr should know better; it is obvious that as a law professor he has not read that law. If he did, he would know that CRA did not cause the economic crisis. That law did not apply to Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers, the major players in the debacle, along with AIG. In particular, the law requires that federally insured banks make loans "consistent with the safe and sound operation of such institutions."
What Barr should read is the effect of outright fraud or sheer stupidity by mortgage originators, together with the effects of collateralized debt obligations and debentures. There are plenty of books which clearly explain the effects of those products on the banks, if professor Barr cares to read at all.
James E. Horner
Vice-chairmanCinfed Federal Credit UnionLakeside Park
Unfair to businesses
In November of 2009, locally operated Computers Plus Store opened on Moore Drive. We were recognized by Commerce Lexington, which came to our grand opening. We contacted the Herald-Leader about our new business, the first franchise in Lexington. Apparently your staff wasn't interested.
Fast forward to the July 25 local section. Apple opened a store in Fayette Mall and it's huge news. Now I realize that our store is not Apple. But we are an authorized Apple reseller and repair center, as well as other high-quality brands of computers, yet our opening didn't even warrant a mention in your paper.
It's disappointing that the Herald-Leader fails to see the news value in local entrepreneurs starting new businesses during the height of the recession, but it's a big story when Apple can open a store in the mall.
If you had taken the time to investigate further, you would have found that the Computers Plus Store is owned by a man who is starting his second successful business in Lexington and he brought his brother from Evansville to work with him.
The paper did a huge disservice, not only to Computers Plus, but to other local business people who don't get recognition because we don't have a big name.
Seeing the light
I have never attended a service at Vineyard Community Church. However, I do live about two blocks away from J.R. Ewan School, the proposed new site for the congregation. Upon seeing the reaction of the community to this church, I was enraged. I crafted a scathing response.
Then I read the response of Vineyard Community Church to the initial setbacks of an unwelcoming neighborhood. Instead of anger and self-righteousness, the church answered with the love and grace of Christ. It caused me to rethink my angry perspective.
In a time when the world-wide church is hated for the things they are against, it's so refreshing to see a church being hated for doing good; Christ told us this would happen.
To Vineyard Community Church: Let me be the first to say "welcome to the neighborhood." I applaud your focus on ministries to the poor and marginalized. Thank you for recognizing that income, property value and homeownership do not reflect the true value of a person.
Thank you for taking the teachings of Christ seriously enough to follow them. I am excited to see how your church will change our little corner of Lexington.
Attack on U.S. security
Predictably, like a loyal servant, the Herald-Leader reprinted The Washington Post's hit piece against our national security apparatus, no questions asked. The July 20 article stated, "the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive its effectiveness is impossible to determine."
Do liberals really care about the effectiveness of national security or is this another attempt to support government growth at the expense of private-sector growth? Always willing to attack those things that make America stronger, freer, godlier or more prosperous, the bulk of mainstream media outlets across this nation fall in line and parrot the syndicated liberal "news".
The Post, The New York Times and their puppets would do wonders for their legitimacy if they applied the same litmus test to government health care, banking and public education that they do to private business, Sarah Palin's garbage can, military and national security — the last two admittedly inefficient and bloated.
Imagine what could be accomplished if the mainstream media investigative prowess was used to expose the massive union stranglehold over public education, which has been reduced to an institution of indoctrination in liberalism and historical revisionism, taking precedence over the teaching of real knowledge. Fayette schools Superintendent Stu Silberman might then be able to say "It's about kids" without crossing his fingers behind his back.
Jeff "Mario" Smith
Leaker a patriot
Did the Wiki-leaker commit treason? We are not at war in Afghanistan. We do not have a draft. Roughly one percent of our nation is "at war."
Claims of treason are easy to toss out to the reflexive jingoists because, in their minds, America must not lose. I however, see unjust and unwarranted wars as a loss for America.
I see wasting away the lives of our service men and women as a loss for America. I see wasting a national surplus as a loss for America. I see the extra-legal wiretapping and spying on Americans as a loss for America.
Why we go to war is important. Judicious use of our armed forces is important. When a nation cannot trust its government to tell the truth about why its young men and women are dying, the leaker is a patriot. It's not treason, but the leaker has to face the music and prison time.
When you are dealing with terrorists, rather than nations, you use teams trained in the languages of their targets, and borders be damned. If they're not going to do that, reinstate the draft and get America working.
Jerry M. Chaney II
Oh, woe is Rick
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said he could never "be physically harmful to any woman at any time" yet caused emotional harm towards his wife and children.
He said the ordeal took a toll on him as the Cards were competing for the Big East championship, apparently not thinking about the ordeal created for his family.
Pitino said he "was not sleeping ... was physically and mentally worn out." He seemed to be thinking only of himself.
When you play (not sports), you pay. Shame on him.
What genius assigned John Clay, a sports columnist, to report on the criminal trial of Karen Sypher?
Because Clay makes his living reporting sports, it is more important that he remain in the good graces of University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino than Sypher, convicted of extorting Pitino. Sypher will soon fade from sight, but Kentucky basketball lives on forever and favorable reporting of Pitino at this time may help.
It's "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Someone completely out of sports should report on a criminal trial.
Joann L. Walker