Candidates' behavior ?has been disgraceful

I can honestly say that I don't have an ounce of respect left for any of the candidates who ran for office this year. I feel as though I have been stalked, harassed and bullied for the past 18 months, and couldn't get any relief because it was our politicians who were doing this to me. I have been pummeled with mailings, phone calls and, worst of all, TV ads. If anyone else did this to me, I would take them to court.

I don't understand why we can't limit the time and money spent by the candidates on their campaigns. If candidates could buy a little air time and tell us what they have done, and what they plan to do for the country if elected, I am sure that we could make a more educated decision on Election Day.

I would truly respect a candidate who asked his millionaire supporters to write a check to house the homeless who are living in cardboard boxes on the streets, rather than pay for his or her campaign ads. We wonder why children are bullies, yet the candidates put nasty messages on TV about each other, and pass it off as the truth. What kind of message are our leaders sending to our young people?

I am both embarrassed and insulted by the whole campaign system in this country. I'm embarrassed that other countries see that we have sunk to this level, and I'm insulted that our government thinks that the American people are so ignorant that we will accept this behavior. Enough is enough. Shame on all of them.

Judith Szematowicz



New York needs to enact? campaign finance reform

The League of Women Voters of Buffalo Niagara applauds The Buffalo News for bringing attention and support to the important issue of campaign finance reform in New York State. The league has long supported campaign finance reform. We agree with The News that this reform should include lower contribution limits and a system of small donor matching grants. The league also promotes expanded disclosure and stronger, more effective campaign finance enforcement with increased civil and criminal penalties for violations.

When the State Legislature convenes again, the league urges our legislators to pass comprehensive campaign finance reforms. We expect Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to sign the proposed legislation into law, as he has indicated he would do. Campaign finance reforms will encourage elected officials to be more responsive to ordinary citizens and will change the culture of pay-to-play politics in Albany.

Joan T. Parks

President, League of Women

Voters of Buffalo Niagara


It's time we all put? angry rhetoric aside

The battle between the states (the Civil War) was difficult for me to understand, until now. How could brothers, sisters and other family members fight each other to that degree? After listening to a report on red states and blue states, how family members are broken up and friendships are dismembered over political disputes, it became clear to me.

I applaud The Buffalo News for its fact-checking articles on the candidates. Yet the half-truths spoken and written from both sides were appalling. The apocalyptic rhetoric of fear espoused from all camps has given rise to our polarization.

This may seem like the cowardly approach but I've "turned the other cheek." I'll be OK if the candidates I'm not supporting win. I'd rather live in peace than fight to be right. Moses, Jesus, Gandhi and other spiritual leaders lived among people who felt their government was oppressive or not to their liking. However, maybe it was the oppression the people may have experienced that could bring out the higher consciousness of people around them to lead lives that would reflect their true self.

Jim Pacer



America must improve? its early voting system

Our great country is supposed to be the leader of the world in teaching other countries how a democracy and free elections work. After hearing stories of laws passed and actions taken with potential voter suppression in some states, and then seeing long lines of Americans waiting hours to vote in our presidential election, we should be embarrassed by our current system!

Forget about "hanging chads." We need to have one system with early voting for a set number of hours and days through all of the states for at least our presidential election so that all people get their rightful opportunity to cast their vote. We must look like a Third World banana republic to the rest of the world. How can we be the example or teach others if we can't get it right ourselves?

Jeanette Nagel



Discussion of attack was? not political maneuvering

It was disturbing on Nov. 4 watching Eleanor Clift claim on "The McLaughlin Group" (PBS) that discussion of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was nothing more than political maneuvering. How bizarre to watch established media personnel claim that important news – you know, discussion about what our country does in the world – is merely an underhanded attempt to score political points.

American heroes are dead. It appears that two former Navy SEALs (Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, Americans both) defied direct orders and fought to the death over a seven-hour period to protect U.S. State Department personnel, U.S. soil and their own legacies as honorable men.

These warriors asked for help and none was given. The disgrace and shame I feel as a citizen weighs terribly.

Some day, you – the reader of this opinion piece – will die. And the ink that we spill, and the thoughts that we think, will make us no more like the heroes of Benghazi than President Obama is like an actual commander in chief – a dishonorable man who made dishonorable decisions for reasons unknown.

Joel A. McMahon



Bring troops home now,? work on rebuilding U.S.

If our country's political leaders would just stop for a moment and think about something other than their power and money, they just might realize that after all the damage that was done in such a large area by superstorm Sandy, we would have an immediate need for protection of property and individuals being driven from their homes.

The servicemen could be used for protection, and with many of them knowledgeable in heavy equipment operation, they could certainly be an asset to reclaiming our homes and businesses. Bringing our servicemen home immediately should have been done a long time ago.

Clinton A. Salmon