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As a 40-year employee of the Hamilton County Assessor's Office, I have observed the changes made by Marty Haynes. I have been pleased with the manner and substance of his administration. I find him sincere, personable and genuine. He saw me while at Erlanger hospital for a doctor's appointment and took time to inquire of my health. Friends I served with said his rapport with his staff is similar. You never forget how someone treats you.

Mr. Haynes ran and won on merit and stating his vision. He has done what he promised.

He is now accused of showing favoritism in one appraisal. Just accusations. The matter smells to me of former employees with a grievance, but it should in no way involve Mr. Haynes other than he is standing behind his staff and the job done in reappraisals.

The attack is not just against Mr. Haynes but every employee. When anyone in your family is attacked, everyone is.

Candidates for office should run on their merit. Throwing dirt has no merit and exposes a weakness voters should consider. I feel his opponent has taken bad advice.

Marty Haynes has my vote, my confidence and deserves re-election.

John Woody Sliger

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Sanders' socialism hardly innocuous

On the Chattanooga Times Feb. 18 editorial page, the editor attempts to convince us Bernie Sanders' brand of socialism is as innocuous as TVA and the National Park Service; in fact, she argues, he's not really a socialist at all, because socialism is about government ownership of major industries. Instead, she says, Sanders' democratic socialism preserves "political democracy" while implementing "social ownership of the means of production."

In case one is wondering what constitutes "social ownership," it is tempered by "self-management and democratic management." In this, much is left to the imagination, but some things are clear: One, ownership in any meaningful sense is and must be private, thus the first principle in Marx's "scientific socialism" was the abolition of private property; two, any productive enterprise must be managed by someone(s), but ownership is now "social"; and three, management begs the "who" question. Who will select managers and on what basis? In socialism, the answer is that government production of goods and services, and selection of managers, become bureaucratic functions of a government which may or may not be elected.

Since Sanders has spent most of his adult life in government, this makes perfect sense.

Gary Lindley Lookout Mountain, Georgia

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Flawed justice can crumble U.S.

Although we do not think of it often, democracy only works if "we the people" believe in it, and if we do not have faith in the integrity of our systems of government, especially our justice system, it will crumble. Our federal system of justice is entrusted to the president; he is, per the Constitution, its caretaker.

A grand jury found, after hearing the government's proof, that Roger Stone should be indicted for trying to obstruct an investigation into Donald Trump and for lying to a federal authority (seven felonies). A jury found him guilty of the charges both unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge, exercising her discretion as "13th juror," also found the proof sufficient to sustain his convictions. After all of that, President Trump stated publicly that his friend "did not do anything wrong," and his attorney general asked for leniency for Stone. That is corruption at the highest level which wounds our democracy.

John C. Cavett Jr.

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