Protect civil service jobs
Thank you for highlighting state civil service issues ("On Salaries, Guv Was Promise Keeper," 4/29/11). As Jay Heck of Common Cause notes, the governor's proposal to convert agency attorney positions from civil service to partisan appointments will taint the legal advice provided to state agencies.
UW professor Barry Burden's defense of this ill-advised proposal may surprise some readers, but it is not the first time he has demonstrated ignorance of Wisconsin's civil service system. Three years ago, Burden defended Attorney General Van Hollen when he hired a campaign aide for a civil service position.
In fact, Wisconsin has had a strong civil service tradition since 1905, and governors and attorneys general have been allowed to make political appointments only to specified policy-making positions. We must all be vigilant to maintain this important safeguard against erratic and incompetent state government.
Bob Jordan, Executive director, Association of Career Employees
Let it grow
Regarding Phil Busse's "The Green, Green Grass of Home" (4/29/11): About three years ago I had a close personal friend die from pancreatic cancer after a nine-month battle. Marijuana did not cure her cancer. However, it made her much more comfortable and able to tolerate her other medications without vomiting.
Would the opponents of medical marijuana prefer to have this wonderful mother and grandmother die alone in a jail cell? It appears so.
Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
I've been thinking a lot about Darren Bush's letter to the editor on the closing of the Borders on Madison's west side (Letters, 4/7/11).
As the store manager of the Half Price Books on Madison's east side, I agree we need to create a destination that people will seek out and want to be part of. It is indeed a lot of work, as Bush notes, but if your passion is in the endeavor, customers will reward you with their business.
As convenient as shopping online may be, it isn't exactly fun.
Jef Leisgang, Cambridge
Doesn't put it past 'em
In his recent Isthmus column (Opinion: "The Politics of Hate," 5/6/11), Bill Lueders states that David Prosser is above any type of vote manipulation. I believe Prosser's comments to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson ("You are a total bitch" and "I will destroy you") accurately reflect his personality.
While it may be debatable about Prosser's willingness to engage in vote manipulation, one would be hard pressed to debate his willingness to ignore impartiality. It would also be very difficult to claim the outside special interest groups that gave so generously to help reelect him are above vote manipulation.
Nass loss outrageous
I am outraged at UW Hospital and Clinics for ordering HIV/AIDS activist Heidi Nass to stop working with HIV/AIDS patients (Watch Out!, 4/29/11). This is the most important job for her.