Freedom’s Watch shouldn’t have been labeled ‘pro-war’

I take exception to the article written by Jackie Kucinich, dated Aug. 22. The headline reads, “Pro-war group spends millions on ad campaign.” Well, I support Freedom’s Watch and their efforts. That doesn’t make any of us “pro-war.” In fact, having lost a brother in the Korean War (he was awarded the Medal of Honor), I can assure you that the last thing I want is to see our nation at war.

However, we are at war — war against al Qaeda, war against the terrorists, war against the enemies of America. I will always support the efforts of my country. To do any less is unthinkable to me. That does not make me pro-war. It does make me pro-American.

I am not suggesting that those who disagree are not patriotic. Of course they are. We just have a difference of opinion. That is really what America is all about. I believe that we can’t afford to lose the fight in Iraq, or the battle against terrorism. For whatever reason, they are one and the same.

From Ginny Desiderio, Port Orange, Fla.

Help homebuyers with down payments

Jessica Holzer’s article “Eyeing mortgage crisis, panel could strike deal on FHA bill” (Aug. 15) would lead readers to believe that the Senate is working to finalize a bill that will reinvigorate the Federal Housing Administration and preserve access to mortgages for first-time and low-income homebuyers.

In reality, there is already an affordable-housing, anti-predatory program credited with buoying the FHA for the last several years. This program accounts for 40 percent of FHA-insured mortgages, helping almost one million low- to moderate-income homebuyers become homeowners, the majority for the first time.

Ms. Holzer is correct in assessing the no-money-down provision as the sticking point in efforts to pass legislation. As it stands now, the bill, sponsored by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), will reduce the 3 percent down payment now required by FHA to 1.5 percent.

What’s not being talked about is that some senators are supporting a proposed rule by HUD to eliminate down payment assistance provided by nonprofits and have included a provision in the committee’s FHA bill to kill the program. This action would suggest that these senators might not be aware of the value of legitimate down payment assistance programs.

During the public comment period nearly 15,000 letters of support from concerned citizens across the country and other stakeholders were submitted to HUD in support of down payment-assistance programs. In addition, letters and resolutions of support have been issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the National Home Builders Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Association of Homeowners Across America. …

The House has already signaled its bipartisan support for down payment assistance programs. Let’s hope the same sound thinking will prevail in the Senate and persuade senators to put forth a bill that truly addresses affordable housing and the need to help homebuyers find a safe and viable mortgage option.

From Ann Ashburn, president and CEO, AmeriDream Inc., Gaithersburg, Md.

FEC enforcement too little, too late

(Regarding article, “FEC fines America Coming Together $775,000,” Aug. 29.) It would appear the surcharge (fine) for conducting illegal election activity is slightly less than 1 percent. I am sure George Soros and his cronies are more than willing to add this amount to any planned illegal election activity for the 2008 elections — especially when any reporting or resolution will occur two to three years after the fact. And you wonder why we don’t want the government running healthcare?

From Thomas Conwell, Superior, Colo.