If you could have an informal chat in your living room with each of the presidential candidates, which issues would you discuss with them as being most important to you?

"Now that you Bush, or Bush and his cronies have reinvented the Cold War into a new Hot War with 'ists' in every corner, how can anyone ever again turn this regression around into a relevant 21st-century direction, which should be one of enough of that 'you-should-be-like-me crap,' and more of the true meaning of democracy which requires tolerance and compromise if it is to exist at all?"

- Susan Keating Naidoff, Cannon Beach

"Bringing the troops home from Iraq, health care, the environment."

- Jerry Lampert, Hammond

"Poor economy. Money wasted on the Bush war. Why only the rich get tax breaks. High unemployment. Companies leaving the United States. Poor quality of products now available in the country. Extremely high cost of health insurance. Why health insurance is giving less and less coverage. Why the low increase in Social Security COLA and high increase of government medicare. Why were only the drug companies and insurance companies the only ones that benefited from the so-called drug program. Why Bush spends so much time out getting money and so little time on the woes of the elderly, unemployed and the ordinary citizen. Just the general lack of caring for the ordinary citizen by the Republican Party."

- Jerry Winters, Astoria

"National economy; healthcare issues; oil prices and supplies (get away from foreign oil); religious freedom, including public prayer, Bible reading, etc., in schools and other public places; stringent limits on abortion and elimination of euthanasia; educational issues; more preventative programs for crime, drugs and alcohol abuse."

- Philip Morrill, Astoria

"A free, public education is paramount to a free democracy. Without an educated general public, our freedom will be lost."

- Georgette Eastland, Astoria

"1. Economic policy. a) Tax policy. b) Expenditures c) Cuts. 2. Foreign policy: a) intelligence failure. b) War on terror. 3. Education."

- Kitty O'Keefe, Astoria

"Health Insurance; Oregon economy."

- Patricia Finley, Coquille

"1. Their stand on the war. 2. Congressional filibuster of judicial appointments."

- James Jenkins, Astoria

"1. Environmental responsibility. 2. Health care for all, especially those with little or no insurance. 3. Elimination of tax loopholes for the rich and large corporations. 4. Reducing the national debt!"

- Judy Myers, Warrenton

"Amnesty for illegal immigrants; Iraq war; medicare; TV violence; high cost of prescriptions."

- Dick Thompson, Astoria

"1. Adequate health treatment for every person with a serious mental illness. These services should be coordinated through local programs that are working now, but struggling within budget constraints. 2. Fixing the Social Security retirement system. 3. Removing the Health and Human Services budget from partisan politics. The lives of people should not be used as political pawns. 4. What is the candidate doing that is positive? I don't want to hear what others are doing poorly or wrong."

- Alice Wood, Seaside

"Do you have the courage and influence to raise our taxes to restore our broken and exorbitant health care system to one that adequately serves all Americans? Do you have the courage and influence to penalize American businesses for relocating to third world countries, exploiting workers there and robbing American workers? Do you have the courage and influence earnestly to commit adequate funding to heal our devastated environment? Do you have the courage and commitment to be governed by the only "world voice," the United Nations, to promote peace and erase our ugly image abroad? Do you have the courage and influence to restore effective, powerful, inclusive, positive, and affordable schools for our most precious natural resource?"

- Donna K. Wright, Astoria


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