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October 11, 1996


By Mac McKinnon

Did the debate change

or make up your mind?

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Did you watch the debate between the Democratic and Republican
contenders for the office of President of the United States Sunday
night? Do you give a hoot?

I'm not sure at this point how many people watched although you didn't
have much choice on the three commercial networks and a number of news
networks along with C-Span.

The reason I was so deliberte in the opening sentence and so specific
is that I wanted to make it clear those two weren't the only ones who
are on the ballot for the office of President.

There are several on the ballot in all 50 states and then there is
Ralph Nader who is on the ballot in 21 states and who knows how many
states Ross Perot has his name on the ballot.

I'm not really sure it is fair to leave out these other people,
especially the ones who qualified to have their name on the ballot in
all 50 states. That's not an easy chore. I don't even know exactly who
they are but they obviously have some backing somewhere. They just don't
get the attention of the national media.

I watched the debate if you could really call it that as the format
doesn't really allow for a true debate, only a matter of answering
questions and rebuttal, plus opening and closing statements.

It was a good forum for the two what I'll call major candidates to
allow themselves to be seen by the nation in a one-on-one situation and
to see how they could think on their feet.

Both candidates did really well. It was obvious that Bob Dole, the
Republican, had to be the aggressor as he is the challenger. Bill
Clinton, Democrat and incumbent, only had to defend his record.

Neither committed any major gaffes as has been done by candidates in
previous presidential debates. Both appeared authoritative and in
command of what they believe. Both appeared to have more humor than I
previously believed they did and while I knew they got along with each
other, I didn't realize they have an obvious respect for one another.

A good point about having only two candidates on the debate is that it
is less confusing. The more candidates allows for more issues that can
get real confusing. One commentator after the debate Sunday brought up
the point that the only people who understood some of what was discussed
are those who really follow politics closely.

I'm not sure how many people follow politics that closely as it can get
real boring. I pay attention because I enjoy all the give and take

Did the debate Sunday change of make up many minds? Only time will
reveal that answer but on the surface, it doesn't appear that there was
anything conclusive for voters.

Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise. His column
appears on Wednesday and Friday.


Drug dealers need more

than just prison & jail

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Dear Editor,
Peggy - See what happens to drug education programs like D-fy-It and
DARE when I quit worrying about them and promoting them. If the
...(certain people) of Pecos were really interested about drugs, these
programs would not die out.

It is alot easier to gripe and moan about what someone else is doing
rather than doing it yourself. It also is alot easier to just spout the
15 second party line about "we need to be hard on drugs and Stickels is
not hard enough," than to rationally discuss the problem. Study after
study shows that putting dealers in prison does absolutely no good in
fighting the drug problem. The only thing that works is treatment of the
people who use drugs.

Instead of concentrating about "prosecutions" and "jail terms" I
believe we should spend our resources on treatment. But, it is harder to
explain this and easier to just say "we need to be hard.:" The media,
YOU INCLUDED, have an obligation to the public to educate them about
treatment as opposed to plain incarceration. But, again, if you write
like that, the cops say "well, the paper is soft on drugs". My time is
about over and I hope someone takes over.

One last thing, the police will never understand the entire drug
problem because they think only in terms of arrests, and if you try to
explain it to them their attitude is "we are fighting drugs and if you
do not agree with us, that means you are for drugs." This I do not agree
with. But, like I said, My time is about over and I hope someone else
takes up the fight...

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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