Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form
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RECEIVED Wed., May 18, 2011
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has cast his hat into the list of Republican candidates for president in 2012. I do not regard Mr. Gingrich's attempt very seriously. He is massaging his ego. A former college professor, he is very smart and can express his opinions in a sophisticated manner that is clear and understandable, but Mr. Gingrich is also carrying some baggage, namely the Gary Hart syndrome, and it will cost him any serious considerations as a presidential contender. In some 25 years of viewing the conduct of presidential politics, I still fail to understand their irrational, can-do-as-they-please behavior. The American public simply will not tolerate it. At this point the list of Republican presidential hopefuls is weak and uninspiring. I doubt that they could raise the tens of millions necessary for a serious campaign.
RECEIVED Wed., May 18, 2011
I have a suggestion on how the state can save more than $100,000 per year. The taxpayers have been paying $10,000 per month of rent for Gov. Perry's residence since the mansion burned in 2008. Very few people could afford to live in such a house. Perry should be required to either move to a house that rents for $1,000 per month or pay the difference from his own pocket. The taxpayers should not be expected to pay that much rent while Perry cuts state agency budgets to the bone and balances the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it: public school students, the indigent, and the mentally ill.
RECEIVED Tue., May 17, 2011
Sunday morning, May 15, four different people went out to work together to take down the large campaign signs for the candidates whose political races were over. What we found was scary; almost every large campaign sign north of Lady Bird Lake has been cut down and the T-posts stolen. The hardest part of this is City Council candidates Randi Shade and Kathie Tovo are now in a run-off and someone has vandalized their signs and stolen their T-posts. These signs are all in very heavily trafficked areas. Literally dozens if not hundreds of people drove by and witnessed this vandalism and theft and not one of them called the police. Some of the locations we arrived at still had tire tracks through the morning dew. At every location some thief left the signs laying on the side of the road just waiting for a gust of wind to pick one of them up and blow it out into heavy, fast-moving traffic.
Every elected official in the city of Austin and Travis County should be concerned by these acts of criminal theft and vandalism. Just try to imagine being a candidate and waking up some morning and seeing a news report where someone was injured or killed because one of your campaign signs was cut down and left laying on the side of the road.
As this has grown worse over the last three years, I have started to encourage the candidates to file police reports. Two years ago I started filing police reports. This year I would very much encourage the campaigns of Chris Riley, Laura Morrison, Kris Bailey, Randi Shade, Eric Rangel, Kathie Tovo, and Roger Chan (have I missed anyone?) to all file police reports.
I also want to encourage anyone reading this to call the police if you see someone messing with a large campaign sign. I've talked with the other people who put up and take down these signs. We all agree we would prefer to have to explain to an officer who we are and what we are doing than to see this vandalism and theft continue.
Thanks for letting me vent,
RECEIVED Mon., May 16, 2011
How rude! All I can say is how rude! We attended the fabulous Jackson Browne concert on Friday night at the new Moody Theater. It would have been an outstanding evening … except for the egotistical jerks who believe that whatever is coming out of their mouths is more important than the talent onstage! Yes, I'm referring to you in the mezzanine who couldn't keep quiet long enough to even hear the music! How rude to those around you and how disrespectful to the performer!
[Editor's note: For more, see "Phases & Stages," Music, May 20.]