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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Preaching His Politics: Clinton Goes to Church

September 20, 2003

I read with dismay "Clinton Strongly Supports Davis in Address at Church" (Sept. 15), about former President Clinton and several Democratic politicians campaigning at services in the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Does it bother anyone that to qualify as a nonprofit organization, which most churches are, the organization "does not participate in or intervene in ... any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office" (IRS code)?

Did these politicians put the First AME Church in jeopardy of losing its tax-exempt status? I wonder what would happen if the new Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles hosted a group of Republican politicians at Sunday Mass to campaign for one of the Republican candidates.

Pat Puccio

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Whatever happened to the separation of church and state in the First AME Church in Los Angeles? It sounded to me like campaigning.

Judith Olah

Beverly Hills

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Gov. Gray Davis has enlisted the aid of an impeached philanderer to bolster his image? The only thing more pathetic would be if it actually works.

Linda K. Jamentz

Burbank

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Re "Cheney Admits He 'Misspoke' on Iraqi Arms," Sept. 15: How can the same people who screamed about Clinton's lies concerning his moral improprieties stand by and say nothing about President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "misspeaking" when it comes to putting American lives in jeopardy, killing thousands of innocent Iraqis and creating a monstrous national debt? Does the law simply not apply to Republicans?

Lon Shapiro

Granada Hills

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Clinton told 800 elementary students Monday, "My mother made me believe I could do anything I wanted to. And so can you, every one of you." For the kids' sake he should have added, "But sometimes you shouldn't."

Theron Collier

Brea

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"Clinton in Rare Form at Steak Fry" (Sept. 14) says that Clinton "carefully tested the unwritten rule against former presidents criticizing the current officeholder." It then presents four quotes from Clinton that are direct criticisms of the current officeholder. Sounds like he "repeatedly broke" the rule rather than carefully tested it.

These comments came from a man who was the beneficiary of the "unwritten rule" when the former President Bush refused numerous opportunities to comment on his many peccadilloes.

Michael Hope

Pacific Palisades

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If only Clinton would move to California and become a registered voter. That way he could win the gubernatorial election -- in a landslide.

Karl Lawson

Camarillo

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