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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
 

Desperate Raja: Gloom, despair and agony surely have set in among the campaign staff of D. Raja, the Republican nominee for Allegheny County chief executive. It selectively quoted from the Trib's Friday lance to Mr. Raja and his Democrat opponent, Rich Fitzgerald, in a campaign e-mail. Raja's staffers mention only Mr. Fitzgerald's part of the lance. "Politics"• No, bush-league dishonesty.

Exposing Raja: A Raja phone bank caller got more than he bargained for Sunday afternoon when the callee refused to accept the campaign's bosh at face value. So flustered was the former at the ferocity of the latter's pushback over Raja's proposed illegal, court-defying property reassessment moratorium that even he essentially was forced to stipulate that Raja could not legally take the oath of office if elected. Give that phone bank volunteer a cigar.

Behind Raja: The mess that is the Raja candidacy should force all political candidates to question the campaign consultants running his show. Not only have they repeatedly eschewed the advice of more experienced GOP hands, they established policy proposals based on polling, not on what was right. That's not leadership; that's political opportunism. And it should make everyone wonder if the Raja campaign is promoting good government or political hacksterism.

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