Trial Out of CourtEditor: The witch hunt tactics of...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 01, 1991

Trial Out of Court

Editor: The witch hunt tactics of Florida Assistant State's Attorney Moira Lasch are shocking.

Allowing testimony of women, one of whom was drunk at the time of the incident, to become public record before the trial of William Kennedy Smith is simply unethical.

How can the man get a fair trial when the prosecutor behaves in a way suitable to some totalitarian state?

Roger Simon (column, July 26) is right to feel sorry for this Kennedy. Whatever the outcome of his trial, he has been victimized by the legal system, the media and his family name.

Ramona Ellis.

Baltimore.

Facing Racism

Editor: Richard Reeves' July 18 commentary asserts that Sen. Bill Bradley (D, N.J.) uses the issue of racism in America for political self-promotion because Senator Bradley has often socialized with black people in his lifetime. Mr. Reeves also contends that Senator Bradley is taking on the identical strategies . . . President John F. Kennedy had in order to solicit black votes.

I am disappointed to learn that there are among us cynics such as Richard Reeves who, when confronted with an honest and sincere expose of racism, are fearful of facing that relevant issue.

Projecting his own beliefs as those of the American ''professionals','' Mr. Reeves, with his fearful outlook on race, claims that most of these public and professional viewpoints would concur with the belief that Sen. Bradley fails to use ''smart politics'' and that his ''straight talk will offend and frighten more than it will please.''

Yeah, it probably offends and frightens Mr. Reeves himself, as well as some white working and middle class people who dread looking in the mirror and seeing racism -- subtle or blatant.

Fortunately, Senator Bradley is speaking the painful truth about the predicament of black Americans, with less regard for political gain. Further, Senator Bradley has a good track record of prioritizing on his agenda the distinct socioeconomic disparities between the black and white races and of telling the plain truth about the need for addressing them.

It is imperative that all Americans take similar stands and put aside personal fear similar to that of columnist Reeves, so that we can rid ourselves of the stigma of racist thought and move on in this nation.

Issa M. W. Barrett.

Columbia.

All the Woes

Editor: Louis Denrich, in his letter, "Labor Woes in Maryland," confined his reasons why businesses, specifically General Dynamics, move to adjacent states rather than Maryland to the labor climate. However, management-labor problems are the tip of the iceberg.

When a business decides to move for whatever reasons -- General Dynamics wanted to get close to Washington, the source of most of its business -- it must consider many factors.

Among them are the cost of the move, including closing costs of the homes key people will buy in the new area, usually paid by the corporation, the tax structure and the cost of living and doing business in the new area. Here is where Maryland loses out and will continue to lose out until changes are made.

For example, we bought a home when we moved from Virginia. I took the settlement sheet to a broker in Virginia who compared it with a deal of equal value in Virginia. Closing costs in Virginia would have been 40 percent of what they were in Maryland had we moved the other way.

Our spendthrift governor proposed a 5-cent-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax when he took office, after loudly proclaiming no new taxes would be needed, and now wants another 10 cents a gallon. The cost of transportation, which depends on the tax on motor fuel, is a cost of doing business.

Closed shops are legal in Maryland, illegal in Virginia, a right-to-work state. That means that a strike can shut down a business here, which it can't in Virginia.

That's why the port of Hampton Roads is taking business from Baltimore, seemingly every day.

Perhaps most important is the arrogance of our state government, which spends money and raises taxes at whim despite the overwhelming opposition of Maryland taxpayers.

Until we get an administration and legislature who are responsive to the people who elected them and until they learn to live within our means, Maryland's efforts to lure corporations like General Dynamics are an exercise in futility.

Charles A. Frainie

Woodlawn.

Win the Drug War

Editor: I would like to comment on the June 24 Opinion * Commentary column, "Fighting Drugs on the Home Turf, Block by Block," by Neal Peirce.

This column relates positive information concerning the war on drugs that is being successfully waged due to active community participation, the key to reclaiming the nation's drug-infested neighborhoods. The methods that have been used do not require expensive, hi-tech equipment and millions in additional funding for increased law-enforcement officials to police communities.

The methods used do require communities and local governments to work cooperatively to organize against the drug dealers' open-air markets.

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