SUPPORT EFFORT TO HALT UNSOLICITED E-MAIL PORN

May 23, 2002 11:00 pm

People who regularly check their personal

e-mail might have seen this plea. An effort has begun to ask Congress to pass legislation that would ban pornography and porn-site advertisements from being sent unsolicited to e-mail boxes.

THE GROUP, Grassfire.net, is trying to collect 100,000 signatures on its Web site for a petition it would give to Congress. The campaign demands the "U.S. government move decisively — enacting tough laws that protect our families from Internet smut."

Congressional action is overdue. E-mail subscribers have every right to not be spammed by porn. Proposed legislation would impose penalties on any organization that sends unsolicited pornography and related Web site offers to the public.

Those wondering if the porn industry can be controlled should ask when the last time it was they received pornography through the U.S. mail?

If pornography can be controlled so well in the mail, why can't it be controlled on e-mail?

MOST ADULTS FIND pornography objectionable and disgusting. Many have the discipline to hit the delete key when they see something crude enter their e-mail. But parents also need to be concerned about children checking the family's e-mail and being exposed to pornographic images and Web links.

It's good to see that someone in this nation is trying to make a difference. Grassfire.net should have little trouble getting 100,000 signatures from people who support their cause.

DON'T IGNORE DRY SIDE

Governor hopefuls Kevin Mannix and Ted Kulongoski have sped out of the blocks in their race that will conclude in the Nov. 5 general election.

Mannix, the Republican winner in Tuesday's primary, and Kulongoski, the Democrats' choice, already are taking swipes at one another. Mannix is painting his opponent as a run-of-the-mill liberal. Kulongoski says that Mannix is too far right, out of the mainstream of Oregon politics.

A MAIN DIFFERENCE in the two candidates is their approach toward balancing the state budget. Kulongoski is leaning toward a temporary income-tax surcharge, similar to the one employed in the early 1980s when Oregon was in a recession. Mannix would oppose any tax increase approved by the Legislature unless it were referred to the voters.

Mannix and Kulongoski, both seasoned politicians, should avoid the negativity that became such a huge part of the primary, particularly among the Republicans. The voters should call for a spirited debate between the two, free of ugly personal attack ads.

The candidates should not ignore Oregon's dry side in their campaigns. They should plan to spend a fair amount of time in La Grande, Enterprise and other Northeast Oregon communities on their way to the November vote. The people here should be able to get to know each man a little better.