Prop 121, Which Was Defeated, Deserved Voter Support
Tom Danehy's fear that passing Proposition 121 would have only allowed moderates to win elections, and therefore would have precluded great leaders in the molds of Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson from being elected, is based on his false assumption that these men were not moderates (Oct. 25).
Teddy Roosevelt received $150,000 from J.P. Morgan along with funds from other tycoons, as well as the support of progressives in his campaign of 1904. Lyndon Johnson was clearly perceived as a moderate in his decisive drubbing of "shoot first and then maybe think latter" Barry Goldwater in 1964. And Abraham Lincoln was the moderate alternative to Sen. William Seward at the 1860 Republican convention.
Furthermore, Lincoln had assured the South he would respect slavery where it existed. Contrary to Danehy's claim that he was willing "to squoosh half the country" to end slavery, Lincoln was obsessed with preventing the breakup of the union, and not with ending slavery.
Proposition 121 was opposed by all of the political parties and numerous special interests. For some voters, that may have been a good enough reason to vote FOR it.
An open-primary system that lets everyone vote to place the top two winners in the general election, regardless of party, had only been around for one full election in California, so it is difficult to draw any conclusions. Given the large number of independent registered voters, now almost equaling either Democrats or Republicans, it is time to let them in on the full voting process. Prop 121 would have accomplished that, and it would have potentially culled out those fringe elements which routinely make Arizona's Legislature the laughingstock of the country.
In "Growing New Roots" (Fall Food Issue, Nov. 1), we reported that the International Rescue Committee had 22 New Roots programs nationally. Actually, there are 22 IRC resettlement offices nationally, half of which have New Roots programs.
We apologize for the mistake.