Businesses Protest Hometown Bush Paper

The editor of the Crawford, Texas, weekly that bills itself as President Bush's (search) hometown newspaper says he has no regrets about endorsing John Kerry (search), even after a dozen businesses pulled their advertising from the publication.

"I'd do it again," Leon Smith, publisher of the Lone Star Iconoclast (search), told the Waco Tribune-Herald in Sunday's editions.

The Iconoclast, which endorsed Bush in 2000, said it now supports the Democrat because of disillusionment with the war and Bush's actions on Social Security (search), the economy and other issues. An editorial dated Sept. 29 accuses the president of having a "smoke-screened agenda" and leading the United States into a "quagmire" in Iraq on flimsy pretenses.

The newspaper, with a circulation of 425, has become scarce, and copies have shown up on the eBay (search) online auction site.

Business leaders in Bush's adopted hometown of 705 residents about 20 miles west of Waco say they support the president and are critical of the upstart newspaper.

"I think what's his name, Leon Smith, is entitled to his own opinion," said Vicki Martin, an employee at the Coffee Station convenience store and cafe, where Bush sometimes stops during stays at his ranch. "Unfortunately, his opinion hurt a lot of feelings around here. Bush is our neighbor."