Redistricting plan threatens the countyThe Soviet Union...

the Forum

September 09, 1991

Redistricting plan threatens the county

The Soviet Union had its gang of seven. We have our own gang of five, known as the Governor's Congressional Redistricting Committee.

The committee's outrageous plan, if passed by the General Assembly, will destroy Baltimore County's political voice in Annapolis.

To their credit, the voters of the 8th District booted Del. Donna Felling out of office in the 1990 elections. She was promptly rewarded by being named to the redistricting committee as Baltimore County's only representative. We can only guess as to her motives in supporting this rotten proposal.

On the other side of the ledger, I salute Del. Gerry Brewster of the 9th District, who showed courage and integrity by speaking out strongly for the people of Baltimore County. He, along with delegates Weir, Masters, Ports, Redmer and others have displayed the leadership expected of Baltimore County's elected representatives. They will, no doubt, be subjected to ridicule and intimidation by the so-called leadership in Annapolis.

Now is the time for every elected official in Baltimore County to stand up and be counted. Their silence can only be interpreted as support for this stinking plan.

The voters will be watching and listening when the final vote is taken. Those supporting this plan can start packing their bags after the '92 and '94 elections.

Ken Hirsh


Hate crime laws

In reply to David Gilmore's letter ("Homosexuals don't need special laws," Forum, Aug. 30):

Any group that faces discrimination in any arena of life employment, housing, medical care or that faces physical violence and death needs protective legislation.

Mr. Gilmore glibly states that "all people have protection against assaults under existing laws." This is true. But when blacks, women, Jews, gays, Asians or any other identifiable group of persons is sought out and harmed, then protective legislation is necessary under what are referred to as "hate crimes" or "bias crimes" laws.

It is most unfortunate that this is so, but it is true. Blacks have been attacked for their skin color, as have Hispanics and Asians. Women face employment discrimination that men do not face.

It is curious that Mr. Gilmore's letter appeared in the same issue of your paper as a report that scientists have discovered a genetic base for homosexuality, weakening the argument that gays "choose" to be gay. Not so. No gay man or woman I know has ever told me he or she decided, "Gee, I'm gonna be gay" at age 15, 20, 26, or whatever. Why would anyone choose a sexual orientation that only engenders fear, anger and violence from the general population? When Nazi Germany was operating its death camps, gays were included as "undesirables," along with Jews and others who weren't of the "master race."

It is commendable that Mr. Gilmore "abhors the violence against gays." That, however, will not stop it. Unfortunately, there are heterosexual males (I would not dignify them with the word "men") who seek out gays to hurt or kill.

Mr. Gilmore may be a nice man, but many are not. We need protection from those who are filled with hate and violence toward a group that only wants to be free to walk the streets safely.

Thomas Platt


Keep Bakker in jail

I commend your editorial logic for being consistently illogical. Free Jim Bakker (editorial, Aug. 26)? A charlatan and convicted felon who preyed upon the emotionally indigent in the name of God? A gold-plated imposter who had all the transparencies of a third-rate actor from a Hollywood "B" movie, complete with a mascara-ladened accomplice?

Because Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky were afforded light sentences in comparison with their crimes, then so should Jim Bakker, you say? Two injustices plus another still add up to three mistakes. Let this guy serve his time, because as a "martyred" religious figure he'll only set up another shearing booth for those sheep who willingly line up to be "fleeced' and "saved" at the same time.

Joseph L. Bishop


County loses big

I am shocked and outraged that the redistricting committee would abolish the 2nd Congressional District located in Baltimore County. It has been one of the most effectively represented districts in the 20 years I have lived in Baltimore County.

Instead of being minutes away from my congressional representative, if the plan holds up, my congressional representative will be located on the Eastern Shore.

I cherish having my representative centered in the district and not in Anne Arundel County, Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore or some other remote area.

I urge the state legislature and/or the governor to come up with a reasonable plan.

W. Michael Seganish


Too little will

What is missing to end the many festering social ills in the United States? The answer is obvious the will and the money. But the money is there if only government had the will.

It was there, for example, when we decided to go to the moon. The task took 10 to 12 years and some $50 billion, but it was accomplished because the will to do so was there. The money was there as well when this country decided to get involved (unnecessarily) in the war in the Persian Gulf because the will was there.

We don't need a new technology to cure our social ills. In this rich nation we have virtually everything we need except the determination to do it.

Sheila Waters


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