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Having read the deprecation of Karen Shepherd by Wayne Hansen (Forum, July 28), it is evident that he is yet another in a line of misinformed right-wingers bent on smearing the congresswoman and misrepresenting her views.

Shepherd does not support the admittance of refugees with HIV, and even if she did, nobody has the right to judge a disease without knowledge of how it was contracted. Perhaps Hansen is one of many who still believes that AIDS is a "gay" disease and that everyone else is immune.Shepherd is a mother, knows that parents have the right and responsibility to prevent adolescents from choosing abortion, does not support legalization of homosexual marriage and absolutely abhors pornography in any form. Her support of the NEA stems from a love for the preservation of American culture. She supports punishment for those who abuse taxpayers with their questionable artistic choices.

Shepherd is not a blind follower of the president (or anyone for that matter) - only voting for 79 percent of his proposals. She voted and fought for $500 billion in spending cuts, and $20 billion beyond that of the rest of Congress. In fact the Citizens Against Government Waste supported her for eliminating lifetime spending privileges for ex-presidents and speakers of the House and in addition earned the Grace Caucus award for eliminating government spending. Shepherd thinks for herself, moving to do what she knows is right, as opposed to letting others spoon-feed her information and expect her to believe it.

Michael A. Thomas

Salt Lake City