Shortly after I started commenting on my congressman, Tom Price, I’ve received emails from one of his rivals in the next election. Lately, John Konop has even posted a few comments to my posts.

I welcome Mr. Konop as both a reader and a critic. I also truly appreciate his passion for politics — running for office takes a huge commitment of time and resources. As far as I’m concerned, John Konop is a good, honorable man simply because he cares enough about this country to run for office.

That said, I don’t agree with many of his views. On his Web site, two items dominate the page — opposition to illegal immigration and opposition to NAFTA and CAFTA. I disagree with both of these positions.

I agree that we have a huge immigration problem in this country. But I don’t think it will be addressed by simply building a big fence to keep Hispanics out. I think the best solution would be to grant amnesty to all the hard-working illegals in our country and to vastly increase the number of immigrants we allow into America every year. Once they get here, we should make them American citizens, teach them English, and start taxing their paychecks. With eight million illegal immigrants already here, it’s pretty clear to me that we’ve got plenty jobs to go around.

As for CAFTA and NAFTA — I’m for free trade. Critics argue that these agreements hurt American jobs, but NAFTA passed 10 years ago and our unemployment rate today sits at 4.7 percent. The “giant sucking sound” never really materialized. Besides, I like the idea of agreements that benefit the manufacturing economies of third-world countries even if that means losing manufacturing jobs here. I’d rather see our workers manufacturing information rather than shoes.

So, Mr. Konop, I’m sorry that I just don’t see eye-to-eye with you on these issues. Given Mr. Price’s recent moves regarding pork-barrel spending, my vote is pretty much locked up for 2006.

Mr. Konop, please feel free to respond to this post; however, I don’t plan on engaging in a debate regarding your platform. We just don’t agree — and that’s OK.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck.