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Since 2002, Curt Smith has written a regular column for GateHouse Media Newspapers, distributed to about 80 papers around the country, including the Messenger-Post chain in Rochester, New York, Smith’s home. Subjects include politics, sports, education, culture, and the economy: one week, 9/11's legacy; another, raising children; another, blue v. red States. Smith often swims against the tide, scoring each major political party, defending  America's "good, quiet, decent people" -- the great middle class.

To Smith, illegal immigration has a bipartisan stench: "For eight years, George W. Bush spouted non sequiturs from a non sequitur mind,” he has written. “Under been there, Barack Obama touts done that, encouraging illegal aliens to migrate. ‘Mr. President, what part of this sentence don't you grasp? In America, no one gets to break the law.’"

Bush 43 "didn't know what he didn't know,” Smith mused. Nearly a decade after his death, Ronald Reagan had become Olympus. "His autobiography was An American Life. Reagan was an American Original." Mitt Romney remained a puzzlement. "One day I think him tall, dark, and handsome. Go directly to Mt. Rushmore. Next, I doubt the middle class will elect someone who said, 'When the economy's bad, buy stocks.'"

Other Smith columns eschew politics for the personal and cultural: tributes to Pat Nixon, Floyd Patterson, and Kate Smith, Glenn Ford,  Ernie Harwell, America's and the United Kingdom's "Special Relationship," the magic of the 1950s American car; less magically, Starbucks' pretension, and most sadly, the continuing economic malaise of New York State.

Even before Eliot Spitzer's Client 9 sexcapade, Smith was the first New York columnist to suggest that Spitzer resign as Governor of the Empire State. A number of observers attribute New York State Senator Jim Alesi's 2011 re-election defeat to Smith's column, "Alesi Gets What He Deserves" -- public fury at his betrayal on gay marriage.

A series of 2012 columns blasted the media and Penn State University for smearing legendary football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of aide Jerry Sandusky’s scandal, saying "the French Revolution had a fairer jury than JoePa.  Famously unhip, Paterno was old-school and old-world from an Italian Catholic family. To ESPN Television, that made Joe declasse. Fairer people looked at the nobility of his life."

Readers are invited to e-mail Smith at curtsmith@netacc.net. To find his GateHouse Media columns, go to its flagship paper, The Canandaigua Daily Messenger  http://www.mpnnow.com/opinions/columns



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