More letters to the editor

If all those who agree with Ralph Nader on the issues voted for him, two results would follow. First, Nader and the Greens would be assured of surpassing the magic thresholds needed for federal matching funds for the next election and Green ballot status in all fifty states.

Second — what scares the political elites to death — the Democratic Party would be unelectable on the basis of the right-of-Nixon economic program that Clinton-Gore-Liberman and the Democratic Leadership Council stole from the Republicans.

And if the Democrats wouldn't win elections anymore by abolishing welfare, building more prisons and speeding up the death penalty (while forcing the liberals into line by keeping abortion just barely legal) — what then? Well, labor and the African American movement would have to examine their options, whether by forcing their options, whether by forging a coalition with the Greens or by creating their own party.

In short, if you agree with Nader and vote for him you could help break up the political monopoly that has created two right-wing corporate parties in this country. On the other hand, if you agree with Nader and allow your vote to be stolen by Gore, you have no right to complain about the outcome.

If Gore wins, don't get all upset when he acts as the right-wing Democrat he is, not the populist his "working families" drivel cracks him up to be. And if Bush wins (mainly because of a falling stock market caused by the Middle East and oil price jitters), don't go around wailing "how stupid the American people are."

Ralph Nader is the only candidate on the ballot who has the courage to tell the truth about health care, about a corrupted political system, about military spending, about the wealth gap and the destruction of labor rights and about the death penalty. So it's not surprising that he's also the only candidate with the courage to tell the truth about the Middle East — that U.S. support of overwhelming Israeli military power is what has made peace impossible.

If you're pro-peace, pro-social justice, pro-labor or pro-civil rights, the question is this: Do you have the courage to vote for your candidate? —David Finkel, editor of the Detroit-based magazine Against the Current


Jack Lessenberry is up to his old tricks by conflating "Al Bush and George W. Gore" in "Nader, the debates and you," (MT Oct. 11-17). Mr. Lessenberry strongly suggests that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two main presidential candidates.

Maid au contraire, mes freres.

Al Gore is the one who said, "There was no controlling legal authority," after he was caught soliciting, on White House phones, Democratic party campaign contributions. Even Lessenberry, a polemicist who could almost make Fieger and Kevorkian look good, can't remove the slimy stain brought to our nation's executive branch by Clinton and Gore, because it's a historical black mark as ingrained as original sin.

—Martin Yanosek, St. Clair Shores


Your editorial recommending approval of Proposal A, although well intended, does not consider the fact that Proposal A was designed and paid for by interest favorable Oakland County, by the very prestigious law firm of Dykema & Gossett, to be controlled by and located in Oakland County. In fact, the language of Proposal A specifically states that the chair and office will be in Oakland County. The Article of Incorporation for Proposal A gives three votes to Oakland County, three votes for Detroit, and three divided votes to eastern, western, northern and southern Oakland County. This voting arrangement gives carte blanc to political mischief.

Why was it designed this way? Why wasn't Wayne County and Oakland County give three votes each? Who dreamed up this political mischief? The basis of Proposal A, Public Act 292 of 1989, as amended, MCL 124.677, is a legalistic maze. No one can rely on legislation for fairness. Legislation is not about fairness. It's about facts. Legislation open to interpretation, like this one is, favors those who write it.

Detroiters and other districts did not have any input into Proposal A, and like Macomb County and others should reject Proposal A.

Therefor, I urge Detroit and other districts' taxpayers to vote NO on Proposal A. —David Greenidge, Detroit


George Tysh's October 24 editorial claimed that the little guy loses with privately funded arts and urged support of Proposal A. Now, I'm just a poor student, but I hardly feel served by another millage, and these things do add up, no matter how hard proponents try to minimize the individual examples.

And is this money going directly to the starving artists of Detroit as Tysh insinuated? I doubt it — chances are that the bulk of it will be sunk into rotting buildings and curator salaries. Moreover, all of the good art I've seen or heard about lately has been at private venues. Tysh should know — his own arts pages are dominated by small, diverse private galleries displaying stuff that no beaurocrat would dare condone.

I won't bother arguing with Tysh's neo-leftoid ideology, but where the rubber meets the road, or in this case where the paint meets the canvas, the private arts are where it's at for all Michiganders. —Eric Drouillard, Novi


Ann Mullen’s article about Hamtramck politics (“Crazy politics,” MT, Oct. 18-24) could not have been more one-sided and misinformed. It appeared Mullen did nothing but rely upon the opinion of another reporter.

Hamtramck faces possible state intervention due in large part to the financial improprieties of the Zych administration. The auditing firm Plante & Moran identified several aspects of the city’s finances that were “reportable conditions,” which can indicate a violation of law. Much of the $1.5 million in outstanding bills was spent without the permission of the City Council, which is a direct violation of law. Crime has increased every year under Zych, while the number of police has decreased. Hamtramck has never been dirtier and city services never worse. This would not be tolerated in any other city and MT would be one of the first to expose it, but since Zych is an artist, it’s overlooked.

As a former Zych supporter, I can testify that my opposition to him as mayor has nothing to do with where he was born or raised or what flags to fly in Hamtramck. It has everything to do with holding public officials accountable for their actions. —Steven Haag, [email protected], Hamtramck

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