The question of endorsements raised its head last week. I would like to add my opinion to the mix, which is an appropriate way to open this column because an endorsement is just that ... an opinion.

I am proud of the fact this newspaper, under the able leadership of Mr. Timmons, endorses candidates. I think it is a good idea for the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors to endorse candidates. In fact, I would hope more individuals and organizations would take the time to investigate and think through their choices before Election Day.

I heard a complaint again last week. I was talking to a friend who criticized newspapers that make endorsements.

I think the reason people don't want newspapers and other organizations to make endorsements is a little of the "I've made my mind up. Don't disturb me!"

There is also a little of the "Don't tell me what to do!" as if an endorsement somehow forces a voter to follow the endorsement.

I can remember hearing about the labor unions "getting behind" certain pro-labor candidates. I assume their support was mostly financial and a little psychological arm twisting, putting out propaganda, telling the union members to vote for the pro-union candidates.

And why wouldn't a union member vote for someone who is going to support the union? It makes sense to me in the same way a business owner would support a candidate who is pro-business.

There was a feature in a metropolitan newspaper some years ago that pointed out what special interests gave money to certain candidates.

I assume the idea was, "These people vote for special interests instead of for us!"

Let me ask this question: "Who is not in a special interest group?"

I have been a member of the AARP for nearly seven years. I will, in all likelihood, retire in the next 10 years. Do you think I will vote for someone who promises to support the rights of seniors?

I am a newsman. Do you think I favor candidates who support open door laws?

I could go on, but you get the idea. You probably belong to at least three "special interest groups."

Endorsements are a good idea.

It's also a good idea for you to write a letter to the editor and explain why you favor a certain candidate.

Frank Phillips is a reporter for The Paper of Montgomery County. He first covered an election in Lincoln, Ill., in 1972.