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Merit pay is right idea

Updated: October 9, 2012 2:32PM

Merit pay is right idea

Shame on the Chicago Teachers Union for resisting merit pay. Why would anyone who is truly trying to excel be opposed to the expectation that they perform the job for which they have been hired?

It is this particular issue that makes the CTU so difficult to support. The opposition to merit pay only underscores their commitment to protect under-performing union members at the expense of Chicago students.

I can only hope that the mayor doesn’t compromise with the CTU and further shackle the taxpayers with an impossible deficit.

Corey Simonson, Irving Park

Emanuel takes on more work

I was just reading an article online and it blew my mind. It seems that even with a teachers strike looming and an out-of-control crime rate in the city, just to name a few problems, our mayor has found enough time to take on another part-time job. He is going to be a coordinator for the SuperPac Priorities USA Action.

This is one of the large funds that our president has said he is not taking any donations from, so we’ll see how that works out. But I’m sure glad to see that our mayor has so much spare time. Maybe he can hook me up with a job, seeing that our unemployment here in this city is just another problem he says he’s working on.

Peter Samulis, McKinley Park

A tone-deaf rant

Steve Huntley’s recent rant about President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party being “tone deaf” because they focus on the economic meltdown of 2008 is ironic [“Better off than four years ago? Absolutely — not,” Tuesday]. If someone pushes you over a cliff, one might be circumspect about returning to that cliff and the people who pushed you off of it.

The Republicans have some good arguments on the crises the United States faces regarding the national deficit, but they lose credibility when they ask to return to the policies that forced us off the precipice. The loss of jobs, slow recovery and increased public debt load all point to an economy just out of intensive care and learning to walk again. We all wish the recovery would be a faster one, but playing on that mountain ledge of unrestrained greed, watered-down financial regulation and Wall Street piracy is not the prescription for long-term health.

Rick Roberts,

Three ways to vote

With the conventions behind us and campaigns in high gear, the election season is officially here. And now, for the first time in a Presidential Election, Illinois voters have a choice of three ways to vote — by mail, during early voting or on Election Day.

Mail voting is the newest option. A convenient alternative, mail voting is not just for college students, military personnel or Americans working abroad. Mail voting takes the worry out of elections; there’s no more fretting about the weather, child care or finding a ride to your precinct.

Just download a mail voting application from and mail it; your ballot will be delivered right to your mailbox starting Sept. 27, and even earlier to military voters. Apply soon to get your ballot in time to vote. Ballots must be post-marked by Nov. 5. Mail voting is easy, and a short video at shows you how.

Of course, most registered voters who are able to participate on a weekday will cast their ballots the first Tuesday in November – the 6th. There is something invigorating about lining up with your neighbors at your local precinct. You may prefer different candidates yet take satisfaction in knowing each of you has a stake in your community.

Those who have a scheduling conflict, but still want to vote in person can participate in early voting. From Oct. 22 to Nov. 3, all voters in suburban Cook County can vote early at their choice of 44 locations.

You may vote early near your home, your job, or near a friend who needs help reaching the polls. For voters ready to choose, early voting has proved a tremendous convenience since it started in 2006. During the last presidential election, it accounted for 22 percent of the vote. And it’s been implemented with high-tech, real-time security restrictions, so nobody can game the system and vote twice.

Making a choice between presidential candidates is a weighty decision for every American, but acting on that choice is easier than ever. Whether you take part in mail voting, early voting or Election Day, get motivated and participate in the democratic process! Register to vote by Oct. 9 and cast your ballot in the coming presidential election.

David Orr, Cook County clerk

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