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Winning the West

August 22, 2008

Re "How Democrats can mine the West," Opinion, Aug. 18

Sen. Ken Salazar is absolutely right regarding what the major parties must do to win Western states. Salazar has been a hero to small family farmers and ranchers -- who are going to be pivotal in winning swing states.

Inexplicably, politicians have ignored rural America. By concentrating their efforts on the issues that concern rural America, candidates will find that they will not only win elections but will make America stronger by ensuring our food supply is not controlled by multinational corporations or foreign outside interests that have no ties, emotional or economic, to American farms and fields.

As citizens of the leading agricultural state, we Californians know that our small farmers and ranchers are really the ones who supply us with the purest and best food in the world. Let us hope we can keep it that way.

Michael Falotico

Claremont

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I must express the sense of irony I felt on reading the headline of Salazar's column.

It's true. The Democratic Party opposes mining of minerals or production of any other beneficial resources. Nonetheless, Salazar makes it clear that the national Democratic establishment, with a few token sound bites, hopes to slick off just the Western votes it needs to enable a national agenda that will, true to form, answer to the wants and needs of the bicoastal Democrat-socialist power base.

It will be, as usual, rape-and-run political mining in its most colonialist form. Thanks for the reminder, Ken.

Dave Skinner

Whitefish, Mont.

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