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We have been served a typical menu of political shenanigans. The first course was Congressman Jim Hansen's unfounded rumor that 14 trees were cut down at the Grand Canyon for the president's announcement of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Had the president been of Hansen's own political party, Hansen would certainly have first made a simple telephone call to get the truth.

On the same day we were served a newspaper insert that looked like campaign material from our state treasurer, Ed Alter. When it got too hot in the kitchen, Alter insisted that it "honestly never occurred" to him that his newspaper insert with his picture "would have been any kind of political flap." This is disquieting obtuseness in a person who handles our tax monies.The dessert was Ross Anderson's documentation of several areas where Merrill Cook has "flip-flopped" on the issues, including gun control, wilderness, tobacco regulation and even taxes. For example, according to his campaign materials and earlier statements, Cook would "eliminate" the federal Department of Education. Apparently learning that voters favor a national commitment to education, Cook has waffled again, now saying that he would only "scale back" the department.

Earl M. Wunderli