Support our watchdogs

Dana Milbank's commentary ("If democracy is threatened, it makes sense to take sides," Wednesday) was spot on, as he proclaimed the core objective of the media's election coverage to be " 'watchdogs of democracy,' growling at falsehoods and barking at abuses in the system." Our country's system of democracy depends on a set of checks and balances, not only within government, but also resulting from an educated citizenry and an effective press.

Milbank suggested that after this election cycle, "there needs to be some newsroom soul-searching" to evaluate the media's coverage of Donald Trump's run for office.

I say the consumers of the media have some work to do, too. How have we played a role in the way the race was covered? Do we supply ratings for sensational coverage? Do we believe and share social-media stories (the "free" media) without giving a thought to the source?

We can demonstrate that we value news sources that consistently are watchdogs of democracy by buying subscriptions to their news distributions and by speaking out in support of them.

|Joan Lussky, retired assistant professor, Catholic University of America, Wilmington

Impartial auditor general

I found your article on the auditor general race in Pennsylvania interesting ("Auditor general race has four entries," Oct. 24). I was disappointed, however, that you used so little space for the candidates who are neither Democrat nor Republican.

As you point out, the Auditor General's Office "examines the finances and performance of state agencies, school districts, municipal pension plans and more." In other words, the job is to look over the shoulders of the Democrats and Republicans who run the state to evaluate their results. Wouldn't it be better to have someone not connected with either major party doing this?

My choice is Jay Sweeney, the Green Party candidate. He has run a small business and is in his second term as auditor for his township in Wyoming County. He has a good idea of combining the Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Commission to eliminate duplication. And, most importantly, as someone in a third party, he has nothing to fear from an honest evaluation of the state government.

|Jules Mermelstein, Dresher, jules.mermelstein@gmail.com

Trump is no role model

As parents, we teach our children good manners and how to treat and speak to others with kindness and civility. As teachers, we do not allow bullying - name-calling, mocking, or abuse of any kind - in our schools. As coaches, we teach our players to shake hands with the opponent and to respect the outcome of the game, whether we win or lose. Donald Trump's actions exemplify the opposite behaviors, proving that he is unfit to be president of the United States of America - the ultimate role model for our children.

|Valerie Franz, Haddonfield

Toomey failed us

I will not be voting for Pat Toomey's reelection to the U.S. Senate.

In December 2012, the Senate voted on the United Nations' version of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Former President George H.W. Bush advocated for it, as did former Republican Sen. Robert Dole, who sat in his wheelchair in the well of the Senate to urge its ratification. Unfortunately, a group of conservative Republican senators, including Toomey, argued against it. The ludicrous argument was that it would cede American sovereignty to the U.N. and prevent parents of children with disabilities from homeschooling their children. That was nonsense; no treaty can supersede U.S. law without congressional consent. The Senate voted 61-38 for the treaty, five votes short of the two-thirds' majority needed for ratification.

As the parent of a young woman with profound disabilities, that news was crushing to me. I wrote to Toomey, asking how in good conscience he could vote against protecting the rights and dignity of my child and others like her. I received a form letter in reply. I will never forget this heartless betrayal of the most vulnerable members of our society. Toomey must be defeated.

|Joanne Kleiner Levin, Rydal

Voters can report fraud

The fact that there are no Republican poll watchers in some Philadelphia precincts ("Phila. deserves election rep.," Wednesday) is no less believable than there are no Democratic poll watchers in the cities of York or Franklin. A voter or judge can call on many sympathetic witnesses, from a variety of points of view - the Republican and Democratic Party organizations, Philadelphia district attorney, State Police, state Attorney General's Office, the Committee of 70, the League of Women Voters, and the American Civil Liberties Union. .

The election fraud cases that former Republican State Sen. Bruce Marks and his son cited were in 1993, when mobile communications were not as prevalent as they are today. The fact that they had to reach back 23 years for an example of process fraud bespeaks how infrequent such problems actually are. Only one of the more-recent corruption cases cited involved election fraud, and that case has yet to be proven.

|Ben Burrows, Elkins Park