Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Local Weekly Says "Replace John Sweeney"

Granville Sentinel: "REPLACE JOHN SWEENEY"

Published October 25, 2006

It is rare for this newspaper to formally endorse a candidate for political office. The only less likely occurrence is for this paper to endorse a Democratic candidate facing a Republican incumbent.

But that is what we are doing today.

This newspaper believes that this coming election is one of the most critical in our generation and we believe voters must send a message to Washington and replace Congressman John Sweeney with his challenger, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

There are any number of reasons why we made this choice, from Sweeney’s dumbfounded political junkets to western ski areas to the Caribbean vacation courtesy of convicted felon Jack Abramoff to his blindfolded support of Bush economic policies that favor this nation’s wealthiest individuals, while Washington County residents struggle to make ends meet, often without the benefit of raises and critical health insurance.

But the real issue that makes this decision so simple and sure is Sweeney’s total support for President Bush’s war against Iraq and the incompetent way Bush and the Republicans have waged this war.

We can disagree about the idea of invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein, but what we must all agree on is what a disaster it has been since the day Hussein was toppled. From that moment forward nearly 3,000 American soldiers have lost their lives and more than 20,000 have been seriously injured – more than 9,000 so badly injured they could not return to action.

It would be one thing if there had been steady progress since March 2004, but every American can see nightly on television or in their newspapers, it has gotten progressively worse – without a clear end in sight. Only now with an election just days away has the Bush administration given lip-service to a supposed “change of course” in Iraq.

John Sweeney supported this war and has supported this President’s inept handling of it. We need a new direction and that can only start with a new Representative in Congress.

Ultimately, it comes down to the comment Ronald Regan made when he ran for President against Jimmy Carter. He asked Americans to simply decide if they are better off today than they were four years ago. American voters answered that question resoundingly and elected Ronald Regan.

We ask the same today.

If you believe our nation is better off today than you should vote for John Sweeney.

If, however, you believe we need a new direction and can - and must- do better, then you need to send a message to Washington and replace John Sweeney.

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