Delusional Democrat: Thank you to John Gonzalez for his interesting article about his race as the Libertarian candidate in the congressional race for District 5 in Texas ("Democracy Inaction," November 11). I found the article extremely entertaining and informative. His summary of my perspective and the Democratic Party position were also pretty candid and accurate, although I'm not sure that someone running as a Libertarian can call the Democratic candidate "delusional." I admit, however, that I always believe the Dallas Cowboys can go to the Super Bowl, and I have been known to buy lottery tickets.

I ran for office for some of the same reasons that John did: I'm tired of listening to the lies that I hear every day from the Republican Party. I'm tired of hearing that they are fixing the health-care system instead of taking responsibility for the horrendous shape it's in. I'm tired of hearing that the economy is in great shape while jobs go overseas. And I'm tired of hearing that Saddam Hussein is the same person as Osama bin Laden (this is always conveyed indirectly, of course).

I look forward to my next competition with Mr. Gonzalez.
Bill Bernstein
Former Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

Inspired by Wing-Zilla: I read your article about your experiences running for Congress. I found it to be insightful and entertaining. I commend your efforts; it takes courage to submit yourself to such scrutiny, and you've also delivered yet another affirmation of your excellent skills as a writer and humorist. I think the best compliment I could give you is to let you know that your experience has convinced me to run for Congress in District 32 in 2006. I talk a lot about politics, and, like you, it's almost always about what's wrong with the system or how disenfranchised I feel as a non-Republican living in the lion's den. I'm tired of talking and not doing anything much about it, and the best thing I can think of to do about it is to step up to the plate.

Finally, I suppose I still have a lot of idealism that has yet to be gnarled up, swallowed and shit out by the real world. So I'm inspired; if Wing-Zilla can get 3 percent of the vote in District 5, which I think is a very respectable total, then there is still hope for mankind, even in Sessions country.

Jason D. Ross
Via e-mail

Gonz accomplished nothing: As the Libertarian candidate for the 32nd District, I was looking forward to reading about Mr. Gonzalez's experience not just as a candidate but also as a Libertarian. After reading, I am not sure which has disturbed me more--his presumptuousness for using the Libertarian Party as a means to gain access to the ballot or his failure to mention any of the very serious and dedicated members of the Libertarian Party here in Dallas or anywhere. The fact that Mr. Gonzalez wasn't willing to put his true beliefs and ideas to the test of a party primary, whether Republican or Democrat, is more of a reflection on his intellectual honesty--or lack of it--than anything else. His candidacy accomplished nothing except to further cheapen and trivialize a process that is sorely in need of something that Mr. Gonzalez seems to lack: integrity.

Michael Needleman

Fear of Lupe

Selectively gay: Lesbian Lupe? Come on, give me a break. Methinks that Glenna Whitley saw a dangling worm, and she bit ("New Sheriff in Town," November 11).

I, too, am a longtime deputy. Her article has the aroma of inflammatory baiting by someone who supports Sheriff Jim Bowles and wants to drive a deeper wedge between Lupe Valdez and her employee groups. Trust me, during the last 12 months we have become very accustomed to that odor.

Lupe as a swaggering, bragging lesbian? Does Whitley really believe that? I still chuckle when I hear her described as "openly gay." After watching her in several public forums, I would have been more apt to describe her as "selectively gay." Lupe politely distanced herself from the label, preferring to talk about qualifications. Even when some of our lesbian deputies approached her in a forum she had for us, she still steered the topic toward the issues as she defined them.

The sheriff's department already has openly gay employees, and all of them are well-liked. Painting the employees as hostile homophobics (untrue) serves only those who are already conspiring to weasel into her new administration. Judging from the familiar odor, I bet I could guess within 10 names who Whitley's source was.

In fact, the three major employee groups have already met to plan how they can support Sheriff Valdez in what needs to be accomplished here.

Yes, Danny Chandler was a known variable and well-liked, and yes, I have heard concerns about using the office of sheriff (and us) as a springboard for gay agenda militantism, but she has said that won't happen.

Like most other people, we were surprised that she won. Shocked is probably a better word. Hell, even she was probably surprised she won. Time will tell if she will make a good sheriff or not. But after what we've had to work with, we desperately want her to succeed.

Please have Glenna talk with more than one scheming, anonymous source next time she wants some background about what is going on in our department.

Paul Lehmann
Executive Board Member
Dallas Sheriff's Fraternal Order of Police

Unintended satire: I hope I just missed the satire in Glenna Whitley's piece about our new sheriff. Isn't there at least a possibility that Lupe Valdez will take time off from implementing the Gay Agenda to manage her office in a competent, professional manner?

Judith A. Shepherd

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