Dear Editor:
In the November election, the under-signed (Bill Buckel) ran as a write-in candidate for the U.S. Congress in the 15th District. The on-ballot candidates in this race were: William Kammerer (L), Mary Jo Kilroy (D), David Ryon (C), and Steve Stivers (R). Mr. Stivers won the election.

If we have elections so that voters can give direction to their government, then there has to be a functioning open market place for competing ideas. In theory, with current technology (personal desk-top computers and candidate web sites) it should be easy and inexpensive for a voter to find out how candidates stand on issues of interest. So, I joined the contest for Congress with a campaign budget of no more than $1,000, a campaign web site, and a log book to record instances of interference with the open public forum. The following is just two examples of open forum censorship.

First, the sponsoring group, leadership UA (Upper Arlington), did not disclose to those in attendance that write-in candidates were being excluded. Second, Sandy Wallace, news editor of ThisWeek Upper Arlington did not return my telephone calls asking if she had received my e-mail letter shown below.

Free Press readers, with an interest the long-term solvency of the Social Security retirement program, should find the following letter of interest.



November 6, 2010
Letter to the Editor
ThisWeek Upper Arlington

Dear Sir:

I received a lesson in real-world politics during the just passed campaign season. During that period, I was running as a write-in candidate in the 15th Congressional District.

On Oct.13, 2010, the Thisweek in Upper Arlington carried an invitation to a candidates' night sponsored by Leadership UA. The event was held in council chambers at 6:00 pm on Oct. 21st. The invitation said all local candidates had been invited to the "meet-and-greet portion of the evening", and that candidates for the 15th Congressional District will have a chance to answer questions.

After seeing the ThisWeek news item and some back and forth e-mails, the UA Leadership group allowed me to attend the meet-and-greet event but not the Q and A session of the 15th District race. As a result, two of the five candidates were unable to attend, one candidate was excluded, and two candidates---Steve Stivers and William Kammerer---did participate. However, the sponsors did not inform their guests about the arbitrary censor-ship.

Here's what prompted this letter. Republican candidate Steve Stivers said that the Social Security Trust Fund's $2.5 trillion surplus has been spent by Congress. Some voters could interpret this technically accurate comment, to mean that the Trust Fund is empty. Because members of the audience were not permitted to challenge candidates' comments, the Leadership UA folks were able to let this and other misleading statements stand.
v Currently, the Social Security surplus of $2.5 trillion is invested in interest-bearing U.S. Treasury bonds. Last year, interest on these bonds amounted to some $100 billion income to the Trust Fund. The sequence of events is (1) Congress over-spends its operating fund, (2) to cover this deficit, the Treasury Department must borrow money by selling bonds, (3) first in line to buy these bonds are federal government agencies, (4) left over bonds are then sold to non-federal investors, and (5) each year, money from the general operating fund, where our personal income tax goes, is used to pay interest on these bonds. The total public debt is now about $13.6 trillion.

In conclusion: Yes, all of the $13.6 trillion in Treasury bonds reflect money "spent by Congress". But, the Social Security Trust Fund is not empty.


Bill Buckel
1641 Hess Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43212
Ph. 488-8963(H)

P.S. Because this letter is not time sensitive, I suggest you offer Mr. Andrew Miller, President of Leadership UA, an opportunity to have his response printed in the same issue of ThisWeek.