To the editor:

The Jan. 27 issue of the Deseret News carried an article in which U.S. Rep. Howard Nielson was critical of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and its recent membership solicitation mailing.First, let me emphasize, no attempt was made to imply any endorsement by Nielson. In fact, to ensure that no such endorsement is implied, the National Committee's mailing clearly spells out that the petition accompanying the mailing carries the congressman's name solely because he is the one to whom it will be delivered.

I would also point out that the mailing spells out clearly, both on the envelope and at the bottom of the letter, that the National Committee is "independent of the Congress, every government agency and all political parties."

The mailing was simply a request to local residents to join the National Committee in lobbying Congress in support of much needed improvements in Social Security and Medicare and against cuts in these programs.

There are those in Congress, including Nielson, who have voted to cut Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases, sought to cut Medicare spending, voted to slash the Older Americans Act budget and otherwise cast their ballots against the best interests of older Americans.

Jack McDavitt

Director of public affairs

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare