The American dream has become a nightmare. The article about political clubs not reporting their campaign contributions left me wondering how Nassau County ever got in this shape ["GOP papers sought: NY wants Nassau clubs' campaign finance info," News, Aug. 15]. At one time, the county was to be a showplace for the nation.

We moved to Seaford in 1951 as people left the city for the suburbs. The Greatest Generation had come home and built postwar America. But people were repelled by the liberalism of the 1960s, and they turned to the Nassau GOP, a machine comparable to Tammany Hall.

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The old Nassau County Board of Supervisors was ruled unconstitutional in 1994, and a 19-member legislature was formed to provide more equal representation. But improprieties were already a part of life in Nassau. The state oversight board seized control of Nassau's finances a few years ago.

Overcrowding, bad roads, workers here illegally and failing school systems have left Nassau worse than the city the residents left behind. Friends talk about moving, but I believe we should stay and slug it out. Elect people who will respond to the idea that if they don't do the job right, they'll be looking for new ones.

Gerard J. Fitzgerald, Massapequa