Ever the fair-minded, we excluded CLs own columnists for critics consideration in this category. But that shouldnt detract from our admiration for AJC Editorial Page Editor CYNTHIA TUCKER. Tucker sometimes is dismissively tagged as the dailys liberal columnist (which anyone might be, compared to GOP shill Jim Wooten). But those whove read her with an open mind over the past 20 years knows her as a remarkably independent voice of reason. She produces timely and often courageous columns that dare to expose the clay feet of such local idols as Cynthia McKinney and the King family. Yet shes no bomb-thrower; she chooses her words carefully, her tone is moderate, her arguments are persuasive and her positions have been remarkably consistent. She was among the first to publicly call out Bill Campbell; she never wavered from that opinion and darned if she wasnt proven to be right on the money. We are a stronger community on account of her.