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To the editor:

Bob Bernick's Jan. 24 column, which included a strikingly simplistic and empty analysis of the kind of local candidates who run for political office, was both an outrage and an embarrassment to your otherwise objective and thoughtful newspaper.Many of us in the community are sick and tired of the career candidates who choose only a single pursuit from "puberty on." Your reference to Wayne Owens is but one example of many who have constipated or Merrill Cooked (a new verb) the political process.

Our system of pluralism and democracy encourages any candidate to participate who feels he or she may have a contribution to make to our fabric of government. One need not study history to conclude that those who have most effectively contributed to the well-being of our state have come from Mr. Bernick's so-called "most difficult to deal with" category.

I think most concerned citizens would choose a Spence Eccles, Rex Lee or Bishop Weigand any day over a Dan Marriott, Merrill Cook or John Harmer. But, of course, Mr. Bernick's thoughtless commentary would put this first group as part of the "business, civic or religious" elite who are somehow a "cut above the rabble."

It is most unfortunate that the political editor of the Deseret News is only serving to perpetuate mediocrity in local politics. No wonder successful and accomplished men and women don't consider public service in the form of elective politics. With reporters like Bernick who bring such bias to their journalism, most don't stand a chance.

Matthew Olmsted

Salt Lake City