A Challenge To Debate

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Editor:

Recently the Roundup published a letter from Don Castleman, the Chairman of the Gila County Republican Party entitled "Kerry's voting record speaks volumes." In Castleman's letter, he recites parts of Senator Kerry's voting record that he has downloaded from "various internet sources."

It would appear that Castleman parrots internet messages passed out by the GOP without understanding the context. If Castleman had a sense of history and legislation, he'd know a voting record only records part of the history and that the essence of legislation is accommodating the continuity of government.

If Castleman was truly interested in history, he should begin by asking his party's standard bearer why George W. Bush, as a pilot in the Air National Guard, after being taught at great taxpayers' expense to fly, failed to take an annual flight physical. I wonder how many pilots landing at the Payson Airport would not take their annual physical unless they had health issues or something else to hide.

I realize that this will seem like a simple thing to Castleman and his ilk, but it does show a personality trait much greater than a "voting record" -- it shows a lack of character. It shows why President Bush is so comfortable "flip-flopping" on major issues and misleading the American public.

Remember, Bush's record as a business owner is "failure". Every business that George W. has run has ended in failure. If you look at the massive deficit that he has saddled on America, if you look at the "catastrophic victory" that he has created in Iraq, and count the more than 1,000 dead American soldiers, and more than 3,000 maimed and wounded, even someone as Don Castleman must admit that this is not a person who should be the CEO of a "donut shop" much less the leader of the free world.

Now I offer a challenge. Since the Gila County Republicans of Payson have placed their headquarters in close proximity to the Gila County Democratic Party headquarters in Payson, and we are separated by a parking lot, I would like, as Chairman of the Gila County Democratic Party, to suggest that we co-sponsor a series of debates between our candidates to be held in the early evening in the parking lot. I think that we owe it to the citizens of this community to hear them and make up their own minds. I await Mr. Castleman's reply.

Mark Ernest Reza, Payson

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