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On Oct. 26, letters ran from Don Hoff Jr. of Hixon, Tenn., and Oren M. Spiegler of Upper Saint Clair, Pa., denouncing Ted Stevens for not giving back Alaska's bridge money to help rebuild the interstate highway in New Orleans. I won't bother debating the arguments in Mr. Spiegler's letter as he seems to spend a great deal of his time writing letters to every publication imaginable. A quick Web search shows his letters to everywhere from the Dallas Morning News to USA Today, in an effort to spread his opinion to masses. It's not my intention to give him the public debate he so desperately craves.
I do, however, take great issue with Mr. Hoff for using the tragedy in New Orleans to spread his own personal beliefs regarding the bridge project to Gravina Island. He concludes his letter with the phrase "This is my own opinion." He doesn't mention that his opinion is based on his opposition to the bridge itself, not out of some generous philanthropy towards the people of New Orleans. He has had several letters published in opposition to the bridge and most pre-date the hurricane and flooding in New Orleans. In a letter published on May 11, he states, "In closing, we don't want this proposed bridge to Gravina Island via Pennock Island to be built."
I think it's despicable when people capitalize on tragedy to further their own beliefs. But as Mr. Hoff says, this is my own opinion.