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Mexico's Drug Cartel Influence

Sheila Colton | Scottsdale
While most Americans are busy thinking about the upcoming elections, worrying about high gas prices and the weak dollar, a war is being fought just a few hundred miles from Phoenix.

More than 4,000 Mexican lives have been lost since the end of 2006, a number equal to American lives lost in Iraq. Many of Mexico's military have defected and begun working with the cartels to spread terror throughout Mexico. Innocent citizens, judges, politicians, police and military have been killed by the cartels. The cartels have billions of dollars and often threaten officials with death if they do not take bribes and look the other way while the drug lords conduct their business.

A document prepared for Congress by The Congressional Research Service titled Mexico's Drug Cartels order code RL-34215, October 16, 2007 outlines the severity of the crisis and is available on the Internet. America is not exempt from the cartels reach. American police, politicians, judges and border guards are being approached as I write this letter to take bribes and help further the cartels reach into America. God help us if they start taking these bribes.

We as citizens must demand more from our President and congressional representatives to address this issue. The media rarely reports anything about what is going on just south of us. We have American troops protecting many other countries borders but not our own. Does this seem somewhat odd? The illegal immigration issue is inconsequential compared to the damage the Mexican drug cartels can do to our country. Read the report noted above, start researching what is really going on in Mexico.

I am a conservative Republican and am against illegal immigration but many of the Mexicans crossing our borders illegally should be classified as refugees and be given temporary alien status until the drug cartel violence and influence has been dealt with by the Mexican and American governments. The liberal sanctuary cities throughout America must ask themselves, how many cartel operatives are they harboring? There are no easy answers to correct years of a failed immigration policy but we deserve better.

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1986 amnesty was a predicable flop

Milton Edward Ventresca | Canyon Country, California
In 1986, we granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal aliens who were within our borders. This was supposed to solve our illegal immigration problem. Predictably, it only made the problem worse. Today, we probably have at least 20 million illegals in our country. And it will get much worse if we grant them amnesty. Visit for details.

The only solution is to demand that our federal government enforces our immigration laws. It certainly is not doing that. We have troops all over the world protecting other nations. Let’s bring some of them home and beef up the security of our own borders.

Next we must enforce laws pertaining to document fraud and the hiring of illegals. Hence, many illegals will leave our country because no one will hire them. Also, we must cancel granting automatic citizenship to infants born to illegals, a violation of our Fourteenth Amendment. We then can begin deporting the remaining illegals as President Eisenhower did in 1954.

What we must not do is to reward illegals with amnesty for breaking our laws. We can be sure that is what our sneaky Congress is planning to do after this year’s election. Let’s not let it happen!

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Letter to Congressman Jeff Flake

Lyle Tuttle | Past Maricopa County Republican Chairman
Dear Rep. Flake,
I write this letter to you to set the record straight with respect to the “J. T. Ready” issue.
As you may recall, I was still the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) Chairman until the new chairman was sworn in at very end of the January 19, 2008 MCRC meeting. It was MY meeting, and I ran it; NOT the incoming MCRC Chairman.

As I recall, I was advised at that meeting that ‘someone’ (allegedly one J. T. Ready) was or had distributed some unauthorized materials on the seats in the room.

After a brief review of the materials, it was determined that these should be removed and they were. Further, I personally made an announcement to those in attendance explaining why these materials were being removed; and further stated that if I knew for sure who was responsible for their placement, they would be removed from the facility. I indicated that these materials and any other such materials were not authorized, and would not be tolerated.

With the aid of some of those in attendance the materials were removed and no new such material was proffered.

As I recall, at the meeting I spoke privately with the LD-18 District Chairman, and we discussed the man who was suspected of this unauthorized distribution of materials.
I take offense at your letter(s) accusing Chairman Husband of taking no action on this matter. I feel that he, like me, felt that my very public and emphatic announcement on the matter was adequate to forestall any further such distribution of these materials.

Now, I’m not running for any office, I am only interested in stopping this unwarranted, politically motivated, back-door attack on three gentlemen that I genuinely admire: Chairman Tom Husband, District Chairman Matt Tolman and Rep. Russell Pearce.

I ask you why, if you feel so strongly about removing Ready as a precinct committeeman, did you wait until now to bring it up? You did not even speak to me at the January meeting as I recall – why did you not ask me about it or give me some hint as to what you thought the proper action would be? Why do you wait until now, mere days prior to his term ending?
I think we all know the reason for that, and I think it is pathetic.

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The hand that feeds you

Name withheld by request
I am responding to the article “Re: The blame game.” You have my sympathies in regards to the disruption going on at your school. My child is also enrolled at this school and I have also observed the principal’s disappearing act during the day.

Yet, I don’t think you have to worry for I think this problem will work its way out of the school system. These are tough economic times and all sectors of employment are very much in demand. This in part has awakened the public back to reality from their dreams of owning McMansions and large SUV’s with blinding chrome wheels. Everyone now has been forced to reprioritize. It has made them realize that we have every right to make demands of public officials. It is this very realization that has brought the CCUSD back in to the news.
The principal you are referring to is defined as a “public official.” Also, due to media coverage of their administration and programs that they have exposed to the media they are now also defined as a “public figure.” Public figures and public officials fall under different forms of protection in regards to the media in contrast to “private citizens.” What I am trying to say is that due to the fact that this principal has become a “media darling” now defines this individual as a public figure, in the eyes of the media and public, and therefore open to more scrutiny than the private citizen.

Due to the rising need for the CCUSD to clean up their image due to “public negativity” I think you will find that everyone will have to clean up their act. Eyes are watching!

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Re: Aug. 6-12 "God Bless America"

Frank Picarello | Cave Creek

I was personally offended by the “God Bless America – The Man From Mumbai” article. The references, photo and sick humor made only one point to me which is that your magazine has little standards for what it will publish and clearly doesn’t have a handle on the business, economic, and social drivers of international economy no less ideals around how to treat others and make your point. This article derailed the magazine’s mission and positions in softening the foundation and objectivity by publishing “The Man From Mumbai.” Make your points from the truth and not meaningless tasteless humor. Please cancel my subscription.

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Re: My view

Patrick J. Feltes | Via e-mail
I have been enjoying your paper for almost two years now and saw you for the first time a few weeks ago on television.

Don, you need to lose that 1970's, college yearbook, Indiana Jones wannabe photo from the editorial page. Keep up the good work.

Ed. Note: Got a kick out of your e-mail. For the record, my niece took that picture in 1995 when we were in Colorado elk hunting. My wife has taken dozens of pictures to update my mug shot, but I reject them all usually saying, "I don't look that old!" Maybe I'll try Photoshop.

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Border Patrol Agents

Patricia Davis | Cave Creek
As a nation or even as a community, we need to get a petition started and send the signatures to President Bush, asking him when he leaves office to pardon the border patrol agents. Of course, Bush was the one who nominated Johnny Sutton, the attorney responsible for putting these men in jail!!

It's worth a try. Don, lead the way!! You also can go on-line and Google "Johnny Sutton" and there is actually a phone number to call him (which I did) to express your opinion. I encourage all readers to do so if you truly believe that an injustice has been done to these men and their families.

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From the Boy Scouts

Cindy Woudenberg | Troop 603 Treasurer | Cave Creek
On behalf of Troop 603 we would like to sincerely thank you for your posting of the license plate sales in your paper and for selling on behalf of our Troop. We appreciate your support!

The proceeds from the sale of license plates to Troop 603 go to help send our scouts to camps and for activities. Just this summer 20+ boys and adults went to the annual summer camp at Geronimo north of Payson. The boys earned over 80 merit badges at this camp!

In July, Troop 603 also sent over 20 scouts and adults to Boundary Waters in Minnesota for their “high adventure” camp. The scouts and adults had a fabulous time canoeing through the Boundary Water wilderness – an “once-in-a-lifetime” experience!

We sincerely thank you for your support of Troop 603!

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Letter from Bill Crawford

Bill Crawford | Scottsdale |
In a televised debate Thursday night, the Mayor said that I did not know the facts. The Mayor’s problem is that I do know the facts. The fact is that she has proven her incompetence in the public record by her mishandling of one situation after another, costing us over 1.2 billion dollars. The Mayor is a proven loser. That’s why we need to vote her out.

1) Her biggest blunder: She lost sports Arena to Glendale. The cost to Scottsdale is incalculable. I can build a special events center on Indian land to replace what she lost. How does the Barrett-Jackson Arena sound?

2) In her 8 years as Mayor, she hasn’t been able to put a deal together with Barrett-Jackson. Four more years with her and we will lose Barrett-Jackson to Las Vegas. I want to give Barrett-Jackson naming rights to the new special events arena, invite everyone from Paul McCartney to the Rolling Stones and save our Westworld equestrian Center.

3) She lost a public information suit that cost the taxpayers $50,000 by making secret meetings the rule, not the exception. I want to open our government with sunshine.

4) She overstepped her authority and signed a lease on the Hualapai Water Treatment Facility that will cost us $8,000,000.

5) By not knowing how to structure a land deal, we have to pay Toll Brothers an extra $46,603,496.00 for preserve land that we could have bought from the State Land Commission and sold the surplus to Toll Brothers for a net cost of near ZERO. I want to complete the Preserve and install an Arial tram, providing access to elderly, disabled and school kids and make the Preserve revenue generating.

6) She indebted us by $86,500,00 in the infamous Sky Song deal. Sky Song is dead. I can put it back on track and revitalize South Scottsdale.

7) She spent 1.2 Million on the transportation Plan and allowed it to be “gutted” before it was released. We lost our connectivity to Light Rail and we lost the opportunity to open Chaparral Road. I will revisit our transportation plan, move our high capacity transit corridor to the 101 and connect Chaparral Road to Goldwater Blvd. to make a thoroughfare into downtown.

8) She spent $200,000 on renderings for the Coronado baseball park when she knew it couldn't be done. Bob Usdane and I were the lone voices against her four years ago.

9) She gave away $1,000,000,000 of our transportation dollars to other valley cities. I want to move our high transportation corridor to the 101. If Light Rail serves Scottsdale, it will go there and serve the Indian Nation also.

10) She runs the city like an outlaw. She thumbed her nose at the City Charter on open meetings and the provision requiring us to have a treasurer. She has quietly turned neighborhoods into sanctuaries for persons here illegally. I will follow the letter and the spirit of the law, including the enforcement of immigration laws in Scottsdale.

My ideas can put Scottsdale back on track. Have courage. Vote your heart.

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Understanding the Republic's political endorsements

George Garbell | Phoenix
"The current roll-out of the Republic’s political endorsements brings to the fore the litmus test issues guiding the selections. Candidates that are pro-life, anti-illegal immigration, unsupportive of GLBT efforts, favor choice in education, promote tax reduction/ stabilization, and oppose growth in government will find endorsement in the rarest of circumstances, if at all.

The record is abundantly clear that Republic dances with special interest groups like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, LaRaza, Equality Arizona, the NEA and the Anti-Defamation League. Party designations mean little to the Republic. The crux of any endorsement is a candidate’s position on the litmus test issues mentioned. There will be rationalizations and generalizations supporting the Republic's choices but in the end, the issues will dictate.
The first prioritization issues for the Republic are pro-choice, support GLBT efforts and promote acceptance of illegal immigrants. The first tier issues are sacrosanct with no chance of compromise. Any candidate opposing the Republic’s stance on those three issues has little chance of an endorsement.

The Republic will not acknowledge that the reason for an endorsement is that a candidate is pro-abortion, pro-GLBT, etc. They will attempt to distract voters with rhetoric. Understanding a candidate’s stand on the critical issues mentioned is necessary to make an informed choice."

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