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Letters Nov. 25

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What kind of Democrat? I was shocked to see state Rep. Steven B. Jones, a Democrat from Crittenden County, supporting a Republican candidate in the District 7 Senate race in Washington County. He needs to keep his snotty, meddling nose OUT of races in Northwest Arkansas and he needs to check his loyalty to the Democratic Party. Not only did Jones lend a photo of himself smiling and hugging Sarah Agee, a Republican, for her campaign brochure, he is also quoted in the brochure hyping her campaign. Jones is not so stupid not to know that Agee was running against a Democrat, Sen. Sue Madison of Fayetteville. Maybe it’s time for voters of his district to ask themselves if Jones has really been their ally. He seems to want to consort with Republicans here in Northwest Arkansas and especially Agee, who has said she will NOT support any additional funding for education, meaning no more money for the Delta’s public schools. Maylon T. Rice Fayetteville Name change I was delighted that the National Conference for Community and Justice Walk As One was featured in The Observer column. I must immodestly say, Walk As One was a wonderful event with approximately 1,000 persons participating — all there to celebrate our diversity. The Observer got it just right: NCCJ was founded (in 1927) as the National Conference of Christians and Jews to fight bias, bigotry and racism. We do that through programs that bring people together to learn how racism and bias play out in our lives and how we can each become agents for positive change. However, The Observer needs to know that in the 1990s, we changed our name to the National Conference for Community and Justice. Otherwise, we were excluding others through our name if not through our actions. We did not change our mission, but with our new name, we clearly welcomed ALL Americans to join our fight against hate and misunderstanding. Following an election where we were constantly reminded of our differences, it seems even more important to have a National Conference for Community and Justice. This is a great time to remember how much ALL Americans have in common and to celebrate that. Ruth Shepherd Executive Director Arkansas Region National Conference for Community and Justice The JP race Your Media column about Kathy Lewison’s race for JP, “Dirty Work,” misidentified me as a Republican and as Budget Committee chairman. [Those errors were acknowledged in last week’s issue. — Ed.] It also claims that I wrote the budget agenda that listed the Hawaii trip for four JPs just before the election. Not only do I not write budget agendas, but the first budget agenda that listed the trip was widely distributed to Quorum Court members and other county employees in early September, long before the Nov. 2 election. More seriously, your story minimized the ethical and fiscal controversy of sending four politicians on a week-long, taxpayer-funded trip to Hawaii. Although your story purports to reproduce the views of five different JPs who are considerably more sympathetic to the trips, your reporter did not bother to talk to the author of the budget memo or the elected official that was the focus of the story’s criticism. Claims of partisan conspiracies and special release of private information for election reasons are untrue and unsupportable. Dennis Sobba Pulaski County Justice of the Peace David Koon’s story about my JP campaign says that when my fliers about Kathy Lewison’s planned Honolulu trip appeared on doorsteps the only people who knew about the trip were members of the Quorum Court. He implied that the flier was the product of some behind-the-scenes plot. What actually happened is that I received a copy of the memo on Friday afternoon. About six hours later, I used a Xerox machine to mass-produce the flier about Lewison’s planned trip and began distributing the fliers Friday night. Jim Brown Little Rock

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