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GOP manipulation of Senate votes

THE NEWS STORY about Governor Mitt Romney calling for Senator John Kerry's resignation (Page B3, June 19) swallows the GOP sound-bite hook, line, and sinker. The article says that Romney "cited a May 11 Senate vote on federal unemployment benefits, which he said cost Massachusetts $75 million" and which lost by a single vote.

The article fails to mention the opinion of many in Washington that the vote was manipulated by Republican senators to lose by exactly one vote -- Kerry's -- to gain ammunition against Kerry in the coming months.

A May 18 article in The Hill (a nonpartisan paper covering Capitol Hill) describes just that, and quotes a Republican aide who said the outcome was "always going to be 59." The article says "At least one Republican senator . . . was prepared to switch to a "no" vote to make sure the measure was defeated, even if Kerry returned to cast his vote. . . But by calculating the vote to a nicety, the GOP managed to make Kerry appear responsible for the defeat because he was a no-show."

This is not the behavior Romney promised the citizens of Massachusetts, but it is politics as usual for his party. Once again the Republican National Committee injects its campaign message and slant into the mainstream media, and the media fail to recognize it.

And to the unending charges of liberal bias in the media this should be included: What is not written, how a story is covered, and who controls the message are just as important as what does appear in print.

ANGELA F. BINDA
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