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Letters to the Editor September 24, 2002

Other side of the story

Dear Editor:

After reading the letter about child support and deadbeat dads in the Sept. 19 edition, I am compelled to respond. My ex-wife and I were divorced in July, 1988. I elected to have my child support withheld from my check and sent to the circuit court clerk's office.

In addition to the child support, the papers called for me to maintain medical insurance on my children. All the insurance is through my employer and has never lapsed.

From April 2001 through August 2001, I was on medical leave. During that time I receive a disability check. After taxes

– and insurance - I brought home $114. They did not take child support from these checks due to the amount.

In no way was I trying to deny my obligation to my children, I simply did not have it to give.

Thankfully (my ex-wife) had a well-paying job at the time and was able to provide for our children. I know that a sudden decrease in income would be hard on anyone, especially when two young children are involved. I'm sure that most parents would agree wean I say that we don't want to just "provide" for our children, We would like to give them everything they want.

I know that those months were harder for them than they should gave been, but I do not feel I committed a crime against my children. I love them with all my heart.

I would beg, borrow or steal before they went hungry or without utilities.

There are, without a doubt, deadbeat dads out there, fathers who neglect their children financially and emotionally. They should be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

As with any other subject, there are always two sides to every story, When a father is unable to pay his child support due to circumstances beyond his control, it does not make him a deadbeat dad, it does not mean he doesn't love his children, and it doesn't make him a criminal.

If I was arrested today for the money I owe, I would miss work and end up losing my job. That would result in even more back child support owned and create a downward spiral.

I don't think anybody would consider that justice.

Patrick Broder

Andalusia

Sessions has voted for drug plan

Dear Editor:

I am compelled to set the record straight about a recent letter published in newspapers around the sate about U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and his support for a prescription drug plan. Contrary to what the writer would lead us to believe, the Senator's record shows that he has voted for two prescription drug bills this year alone. One of the bills was within the amount the

President budgeted, the other came in approximately 70 million more than the President's amount.

Had Tom Daschle and the Senate Democrats allowed these two bills to be voted on in committee first, rather than taking it directly to the floor where it required 60 votes to pass, we would have a prescription drug bill today that benefits, first

and foremost, low-income seniors.

Senator Sessions has stated repeatedly that assisting low-income elderly, not Ross Perot, with their payments should be a priority. Democrats put forth a bill that promised to bust the Social Security Trust Fund.

Republicans, including Senator Sessions, wanted a bill we could afford and that would begin assisting the elderly immediately.

Daschle wanted a campaign issue and seniors have paid the price.

Sincerely,

Adonis Bailey