‘Lipinski votes like a Republican’

What do local politics have to do with last week’s “progress” report by General Patraeus to Congress on the Iraq surge and President Bush’s primetime plea for more patience and sacrifice by the U.S. military and their families? Specifically what does this have to do with Mark Pera’s challenge to Dan Lipinski in the February Democratic primary in the Illinois 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of Forest Park south of Harrison?

Using classified statistics, General Patraeus tried to paint an upbeat picture of progress in Iraq. However, by any measure, there has been no progress toward providing “breathing room” for the Iraqis to work toward a political solution. Readers may recall that the Iraqi Parliament recently went on vacation. Indeed other reports, for example by the independent GAO using easy to check numbers, seriously question the existence of military gains in Iraq.

Maddeningly, nearly a year after Democrats were swept into control of both houses of Congress, U.S troop levels are higher, and there is no timetable for significant redeployment from Iraq, even when timetables are favored by 60 percent, according to the recent USA Today poll.

And so, since November 2006, among the American military in Iraq we have 1,010 dead, over 6,200 wounded, and an appalling 20,200 dead Iraqis according to icasualties.org.

Is the reason for this incompetent Democratic leadership, or possibly something closer to home?

Our own second term, “Democratic” Congressman Dan Lipinski, instead of maintaining party loyalty to peel off vulnerable Congressional Republicans, has perversely provided Republicans political cover by working with them. In a district that voted 59 percent for Kerry in 2004 there is simply no excuse.

How exactly does Lipinski “work with” Republicans on Iraq? For example, he joined 12 other House Democrats from safe districts to vote against the McGovern Amendment, which would have insisted on a timetable for withdrawal as part of Iraq funding. Recently he has co-sponsored a proposal with threatened Republican Mark Kirk of Chicago to forgo focusing on timetables, and instead promote the 10-month old Iraq Study Group recommendations.

Lipinski votes like a Republican on Iraq. Because of this and his ultra-conservative stance on social issues, he should be defeated in the Democratic primary by Mark Pera, who favors an orderly redeployment starting now. Pera has been the president of the Lyons School Board for the past six years, and is an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Frank Hansen
Forest Park

Yard well kept

I was mortified this morning to read Dan London’s unfounded comments, in the Forest Park Review regarding my dogs, my yard and his personal attack on me (Letters, “Infestation invited,” Sept. 12).

The village has put a bait box in my yard between my garden and pond, which they maintain at a minimum of two times a week, so if there was feces in my yard the village would be issuing me citations, but seeing that I clean the yard daily I have yet to be cited for this in the 10 years I have lived here.

I believe Mr. London should do something more constructive than ridiculing the residents of Forest Park that are putting up with this problem the best we can with the help of the village.

Heather Colvin
Forest Park

When you assume

I was quite taken aback by Dan London, of Chicago, who assumes that Ms. Colvin does not clean up after her dogs, and assumes she does not know that dog feces attracts mice and rats, and assumes that she is part of the problem for bringing rats to Forest Park (Letters, “Infestation invited,” Sept. 12). I know Ms. Colvin quite well and know that she cleans up after her dogs on a daily basis, and has enhanced that property by putting in a patio, pond, trees, and garden. There wasn’t a problem with rats until a recycling company started bringing in garbage, and buildings were demolished along the west side of Circle Avenue.

Seeing that Mr. London is in Chicago, he seems to be assuming quite a bit, and we all know what they say about people that assume.

Mary Ann Zenisek