McMillen's misleading 'newsletter'Once again, households...

the Forum

July 03, 1991

McMillen's misleading 'newsletter'

Once again, households in the 4th Congressional District received an edition of Rep. Tom McMillen's so-called "Washington Report." Mailed at taxpayer expense, this shameful piece of self-advertising purports to let constituents know what great feats McMillen has accomplished in Washington over the last few months. But instead of containing any useful information, the "Washington Report" has no fewer than five photographs of McMillen crowding out any hard news. Most of the rest of his "newsletter" contains such "important" articles as McMillen planting trees and interfering with bridge openings on I-95.

Where was information detailing his recent votes in Congress? Where was his vote on the quota-creating 1991 Civil Rights Act? Where was his vote on the Brady bill, or his proposed votes on a stream of legislation dealing with abortion? Could McMillen be ashamed to tell his constituents about his votes on substantive issues that truly affect them?

Moreover, McMillen has the nerve to boast about his sponsorship of a law to repeal the 10 percent tax on luxury boats. What he chooses not to say is that he voted for the boat tax initially as part of last year's tax increase. Now, a year later, McMillen hypocritically weeps abut lost jobs in the boating industry, when in fact he shares direct responsibility for those lost jobs!

McMillen's "Washington Report" insults his entire constituency by hiding many facts and misrepresenting others. His so-called "newsletter" is nothing more than cheap campaign literature produced at our expense. And like most campaign literature, McMillen's obscures more than it enlightens.

Robert L. Miller


Women lawyers

A bit of misinformation and some omissions in your Money at Work section (June 17) prompt me to write:

In the interview with Louise M. Gonzales on her beoming the first female president of the Maryland State Bar Association, she was quoted as saying that after graduating from law school in 1976, "for most of the time there simply were not women lawyers."

Yet beginning with 1906, when Etta Maddox was admitted to the Maryland bar, there was a continuous increase in the number of women lawyers. The year 1927 saw the first Women Lawyers Association of Maryland.

That year also was the beginning of a 20-year effort by Rose S. Zetzer to be admitted as a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. By 1936 we had 40 women members in our association. In 1940 Ms. Zetzer, who was then president of the Women's Bar Association, and I formed Baltimore's and Maryland's first law firm restricted to female lawyers.

Maryland lawyers cannot point with pride at the historical fact that up to 1946 ours was the only state whose bar association did not admit women. In 1946 the barriers came down and Ms. Zetzer was admitted as a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. In that year there were 75 practicing women lawyers who were eligible for membership.

So why so long for a woman to be elected president? Not because of a dearth of capable female lawyers; nor because of a lack of willingness to participate. It was purely a result of the unwillingness of Maryland male lawyers to come into the 20th century.

Anna W. Carton


Who is a patriot?

The dictionary defines a patriot as one who loves his country and zealously supports its authority and interests.

Gerald Ben Shargel (Forum, June 27) has the gall to state that until he is convinced that American cars are better than Japanese cars, he "can't afford" to be patriotic.

We have fought many wars, both justified and otherwise, an those who served and died for their country would be appalled that a citizen's patriotism could be turned off for so trivial a matter.

Merrill B. Lehman


Feeding the ogre

Again we have more shenanigans coming from our elected representative in Annapolis. And again, they came up with a Band-Aid solution to the problems that they have created.

The new MVA fees will raise $34 million, so that the state can borrow $70 million to replace the transportation trust fund money that Governor Schaefer and the legislature have themselves "borrowed." What we end up with is a bigger bill down the road. In essence, our elected officials are selling their constituents' future to cover up the mistakes that they have made.

How big will the bill be next time, and how will they come up with the money to pay for it then? It is this borrow-on-the-future mentality that has gotten us in such a deep hole to begin with.

The Transportation Trust Fund was supposed to be spent on maintaining and upgrading the roads of Maryland. Instead, under Schaefer's direction, the money was spent on such follies as the Seagirt Marine Terminal. This is just another example of the fiscal irresponsibility that Maryland's government has consistently displayed under the Schaefer administration. Remember, when Schaefer was first elected, the state had tax surpluses of hundreds of millions of dollars during his first two years in office. Today, we have deficits of hundreds of millions of dollars. This cannot be blamed on the recession, not when our taxes have been routinely raised.

Maybe we should protest like the crybaby government employees. Unfortunately, none of us in the private sector can afford to miss any work, not when we must continue to empty our pockets to feed this ogre called government.

Donald Howard


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