As Newsday's investigative reporters turn over one political rock after another, and expose the many shady sweetheart deals and shenanigans of our local politicians, I realize how lucky we are to have a substantive, locally focused newspaper like Newsday ["Who's guarding the public purse?" Editorial, Aug. 25].

It would certainly be much easier and more economical for Newsday to be just a wire service news outlet. But without this hard-hitting, time- and asset-consuming journalism, so much of what's wrong with our local political system would most likely never see the light of day. We certainly couldn't depend on New York City or national newspapers to delve into the swampy areas of Long Island politics.

Our hope has to be that, because of the harsh spotlight that the newspaper has shone into dark political corners, radical changes will come about, and elected officials will hesitate to cross the line separating good government from corruption.

Hope, or delusion? That remains to be seen. But let's hope Newsday never lets up on that mission.

Bill Ciesla, Northport

I want to thank Newsday for its continuing diligence on the topic of politically correct behavior. I'm not talking about words that are considered politically correct; I'm talking about behavior.

We often read about special government loans for private citizens who are connected to government leaders ["Lawyer for Oyster Bay: Documents key to Singh loans," News, Sept. 4]. We read about connected trustees appointed by connected judges who steer targeted trust funds and ignore established guidelines ["Charity chief's ties to fund recipients," News, Aug. 9].

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I'm getting tired of reading about connected politicians being indicted on ethical and criminal charges. We're supposed to have a government of the people and by the people -- not just for connected people. How much longer will the people of our county sit by and read about questionable activities before they say they're not going to take this anymore?

Newsday, you have started the ball rolling by providing us with readable stories that make it easy for the ordinary citizen to understand how special interests get special deals and unparalleled treatment.

My suggestion is for an investigative agency to stop these special deals, or provide the same opportunity for everyone to become "connected."

Gerald Lauber, Syosset