Lawmakers selling out their integrityLike crime in...

The Forum

August 20, 1991

Lawmakers selling out their integrity

Like crime in America, campaign funding is out of control. When lobbyists like Bruce Bereano of Maryland can gross $1 million a year to influence legislation, the visibility of a legislature becoming a special-interest supermarket instead of a representative body of citizens becomes obvious.

Our citizens are beginning to discount the integrity of our legislators, both local and national. It is critical that we reverse the reality of legislative servitude to special-interest groups. Legislators had better recognize that John Q. Citizen represents the largest special-interest group of all. Although not organized or operated by highly paid lobbyists and executives, this group historically has its own disorganized way of representing itself when "enough is enough."

We cannot afford to lose our national integrity in government. Russia's problems should become a shining example to Congress, forecasting vividly what can happen when a populace loses faith in its representatives.

James C. Hunter Jr.


No subtlety

On Aug. 14 The Evening Sun reported that Gov. Schaefer would soon reveal his choice for the name of the new ballpark. Oh-oh! Politicians hereabouts have a bad record in the naming department. No feel for subtlety.

Take airports. Cities confident of their importance don't include their own names in those of their airports. Consider LaGuardia, Kennedy, Midway, O'Hare, National, Dulles and Logan. Or Heathrow and Orly. In a naive attempt at aggrandizement, our political thinkers changed our airport's major-league name (Friendship) to a bush-league one on a level with Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton.

Benjamin Collins


Winding down war

As a 1942 high school graduate and a combat veteran of the Pacific Theater in World War II, I enjoyed Elizabeth K. Miller's article, "An age of innocence" (Other Voices, Aug. 12) about being a 1941 high school graduate and experiencing the war.

The article was misleading, however, in stating that the "regular troops were discharged by length of service . . ."

The military established a point system, as the war wound down, to determine the order of discharge. A month of service in the States was worth one point, while a month overseas gave you two points. Battle stars and medals were worth five points each. On the other hand, 12 points, to a maximum of 36, were awarded for each child the serviceman had. Thus, a newly inducted serviceman with three kids started his military career with 36 points, which were equal to the points accumulated in three years of domestic service by a childless person.

On top of that, there were military occupation specialties (MOS) that were placed on a "critical" list. If your MOS number was on that list, you could be kept in the Army overseas even if you had enough points to warrant your discharge. In my outfit of 182 enlisted men, five of us were on this critical list because we had skills that the Army continued to need even though the war was over.

In my own case, although Japan agreed to surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, the army did not send me home for discharge until April 1946.

This is not a complaint. I enjoyed Japan so much that I returned to work there as a civilian for three years in the 1940s and 1950s and for eight years in the 1960s and 1970s. The point is simply that other factors than length of service played a prominent role in determining the date of discharge for World War II servicemen.

eon K. Walters


Strings attached?

If "Du" Burns knows Baltimore, then I hope Baltimore knows puppet strings. As a resident of Anne Arundel County, I can see the strings stretching all the way from Annapolis to Baltimore.

#Kimberly Shuron Williams



The tragic death of a 15-year-old boy in Wicomico County from "acute alcohol intoxication which caused his accidental death" is a sad commentary.

At the very least this is a case of manslaughter. There is nothing accidental about this youngster's death. He was poisoned, and someone or some persons provided this poison and then encouraged him to drink it.

If the Maryland State Police and the Wicomico County sheriff do not make a very thorough investigation and follow though with appropriate arrests and prosecution of the criminals responsible for this juvenile's death, then this will become Maryland's shame. I never could associate the Eastern Shore with the killing of an innocent child.

Walter E. Boyd Jr.


Out of touch?

President Bush paused between his latest European tour and his vacation hideaway in Kennebunkport to proclaim that the NAACP, which declined to support Clarence Thomas, was "out of touch" with black America.

Now it may very well be that there is no higher authority on black America than a wealthy white Republican politician, but some of us are commencing to wonder just what kind of drugs George is taking for that thyroid condition.

John McBeth

Glen Burnie

Helmet law needed

In an effort to impress the public that they really care, our elected officials have passed a law stating that while operating a motor vehicle, or riding in one as a passenger, a person must wear a seat belt. This is an attempt to keep a person from bodily harm.

On the other hand, legislators refused to pass a law making it mandatory to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. A human face makes a gruesome sight upon striking a solid object, especially when the vehicle is operated at a high speed. As a retired Baltimore city police officer, I have witnessed the outcome of not wearing a helmet.

Edmund W. Huppman Sr.


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