MoveOn concert was a glorified campaign ad

To the Daily:

Monday’s front page story From Detroit to K-Zoo,
anti-Bush concerts rock Mich.
(10/04/04) about Sunday
night’s concert contained the type of factual inaccuracy that
continually gives the Daily a bad rep. The concerts were, in fact,
as politically charged as they could have been. MoveOn is a 501
organization, a supposedly nonpartisan advocacy group that is
forbidden by law to endorse a candidate. MoveOn is of course as
non-partisan as the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth are, which is the
underling problem with 501 groups.

While campaign finance reform may have outlawed political
parties’ spending unchecked sums of money to support a
candidate or cause, 501s have stepped in to bastardize the election
process in their place. Voters need to understand that by attending
the MoveOn concerts or donating to many other
“advocacy” groups, they are not supporting Sen.. John
Kerry or President Bush Instead, they are perpetuating a political
system ruled by whomever can raise the most money. Of course, I too
would gladly sacrifice my ideals for a chance to see the Boss.

Dan Goshorn

LSA senior


Gay marriage ban will likely cause more harm than

To the Daily:

I am writing to you regarding a recent story, Polls: Michigan
likely to vote for gay marriage ban
(09/30/04). Supporters of
Proposal 2 state that it would ban gay marriage, but according to
the Coalition for a Fair Michigan, “Several federal and state
laws already ban same-sex marriage in Michigan,” including
the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage between
one man and one woman. According to the National Conference of
State Legislatures, “States have traditionally recognized
marriages solemnized in other states, even those that go against
the marriage laws of that particular state,” but this is no
longer the case with DOMA in effect.

This proposal is unnecessary to ban same-sex marriage, and would
in fact cause more harm to be done to families. Many children and
middle-class people depend on benefits accessed through domestic
partnerships; these include basic health care coverage. People are
counting on these benefits in order to provide for and take care of
their children. And under this proposal, this assistance would be
stripped from those who need it most. As David Hecker, president of
the Michigan Federation of Teachers states, “It’s not
worth taking health care away from even one child.”

Although a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex
marriage did not pass, this is still on the ballot for Nov.. 2. I
urge voters in the state of Michigan to consider the far-reaching
implications of this proposal and to vote against formalizing
further discrimination against same-sex couples and their

Same-sex marriage is already illegal; why take away the only
health care coverage some people have with an unnecessary

Andi Charlton

The letter writer is a student in the School of Public Health
and the School of Social Work


Political pandering not unique to John Kerry

To the Daily:

I am writing in response to Sravya Chirumamilla’s
disturbing column My litmus test reads more acidic than
9/22/04. In it, Chirumamilla calls Kerry a
“panderer” whose policies are “misguided.”
Such beliefs are the product of overexposure to Bush propaganda
(Chirumamilla recommends that readers educate themselves at
href=””> and too
little exposure to valid information concerning Kerry’s
policies. Kerry’s plan to convene an international summit
will result in stronger international relations and distribution of
the Iraqi burden. Kerry also plans to eliminate tax loopholes that
make it profitable for American businesses to outsource.

These and other Kerry policies are not “misguided;”
they are precisely what America needs. Concerning pandering, Bush
has changed his political stances as much as, if not more than
Kerry. The following is but one example of Bush
“flip-flopping” and pandering: In the spring of 2004,
Bush, contrary to his former position, allowed Condoleeza Rice to
testify in front of the 9/11 commission (a commission to which the
president was initially opposed). Kerry and Bush are politicians.
All politicians change their stances. However, most are not as
intelligent as Kerry, and few have as good an idea as he of the
proper direction in which America should be led. The past four
years of incompetent leadership and Thursday night’s debate
have proven that.

Mike Gadaleto

LSA sophomore


Daily oversimplified environmental leader’s

To the Daily:

The Daily article, Sierra Club chief blasts Bush
(09/30/2004) exemplifies a growing problem with today’s
media: namely, the over-simplification of diverse personal and
political views. This inflammatory headline reduced Carl
Pope’s visit to a mudslinging event between Democrats and
Republicans. While it is true that controversy sells, reporting the
news is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. Undeniably,
Pope does not approve of the current administration’s
environmental record; yet it is also true that Pope did not come to
the University of Michigan to talk about “liberals” and
“conservatives.” His lecture focused on issues of
professional concern for those of us who have dedicated our careers
to environmental conservation and preservation.

Scott Foley, the undergraduate quoted in the article, questioned
Pope’s credibility based on the Sierra Club’s
endorsement of Democratic presidential candidates. Foley remarked,
“I wouldn’t take anything from the Sierra Club as
fact.” Although comments such as these are understandable
given the slant of Pope’s discussion, what Foley fails to
recognize is that such claims constrict the avenue of debate along
partisan lines to the point of near suffocation.

Intelligent leaders like Pope, Foley, and editors at the Daily
should strive to raise the level of debate in this election season,
not stifle it. Casting broad political labels only serves to reduce
the debate into inflammatory rhetoric that is largely devoid of
value. As voters, we depend on the media for sound information upon
which political choices can be made. All evidence suggests that the
current administration has worked against 30 years of bipartisan
efforts to improve environmental quality in the United States. This
is not a partisan issue; it is mere observation. We thus contend
that both Foley and the Daily missed the point.

Elijah Davidian

Kobi Platt

School of Natural Resources and Environment



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