The Shy SenatorBarbara Mikulski, D-Md., is often touted as...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 06, 1992

The Shy Senator

Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is often touted as the "feisty" senator from Baltimore. She has been known to call herself the "little Schwarzkopf in earrings."

I would like to know where the feisty senator is hiding. And why community leaders and members of the media are basically letting her sit out this election cycle.

True, I am looking at this from a very partisan perspective. I work for Alan Keyes, her opponent in her bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate. I'm currently in negotiations, if you can call them that, with the Mikulski campaign regarding debates.

Senator Mikulski will not debate in Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore or, amazingly enough, even in Baltimore.

She has accepted the prerequisite debate sponsored by Maryland Public Television and the League of Women Voters. This debate will reach only 4 percent of Maryland households.

Why won't she accept the WMAR-TV 2 debate? Or the debate offered by the TV station in Salisbury? Or Hagerstown?

Whether you believe Senator Mikulski should be re-elected or not, the people of this state deserve every opportunity to participate in the electoral process.

An election is really a job performance evaluation of the person running for re-election. The voters of this state must decide if Barbara Mikulski's 16-year record in the Congress warrants another six years or if someone else should be given a chance.

This is American politics in its truest form. Since the days of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, debates have proven the best way of evaluating the candidates on the issues.

I ask again, why is our "feisty" senator from Baltimore afraid to debate Alan Keyes in front of the majority of the people of Maryland? And why is she being allowed to get away with this?

Allyson Bell

Rockville

The writer is political director of the Keyes campaign.

Abortion Politics

Your staff writer, Sandy Banisky, would have performed a better service to readers in her articles of Sept. 9, 13 and 20 if she had given an accurate account of the facts, instead of slanting the question of abortion as a Catholic issue, which is typical of abortion activists.

Will these journalists ever understand that abortion is a moral issue, and neither a Catholic nor a political issue? And, as a moral issue, the Catholic Church has every right to speak out against it, just as any other form of murder, teen pregnancy, drugs and all social evils that are plaguing our society.

The Vote kNOw Coalition, which is a non-denominational entity formed for the express purpose of defeating the referendum, did not single out the Catholic Church in asking for a collection.

The material sent by them to the Catholic churches was likewise sent to all churches throughout the state, and many of these churches complied in the same manner.

She quoted some members of Catholics for a Free Choice, which is a pro-abortion organization. A pro-life Catholic would certainly be stunned at the statement by Frances Kissling that the collection brought a political campaign into the church, undermining trust in the church and in the clergy.

I, for one, would have been very disappointed if any clergyman would not have taken this action, since to do otherwise would be rejecting an ordained commitment to speak out against the current massacre of unborn living babies taking place in our beloved America.

George T. Murray

Odenton

Death Penalty and Other Needs

It is indeed time for serious stock-taking of a criminal justice system that is just not working, as you said in a recent editorial (Sept. 22).

The trouble with this observation is that it immediately follows the condemnation of the death penalty and the cowardly statement that "we would much rather see a full-fledged campaign against the whole culture of violence."

Did it ever occur to the writer that the reason the criminal justice system is not working is because it has been, since the last execution in the Maryland gas chamber, a weak, ineffective "full-fledged campaign against the whole culture of violence"?

To invoke the argument that the death penalty is not a deterrent is indefensible since no death sentence has been carried out in the 20 years that such a punishment has been available.

It may well be true that the death penalty will not in itself keep a "drug-crazed" person from killing an officer, and it may be equally true that it will not keep a drug dealer from killing an undercover officer, but it is an incontrovertible fact that the death penalty is an absolute guarantee that he won't kill anyone else.

While the failure to effectively invoke the death penalty is a shining example of how our "justice" system fails society, we need other changes in the system as well:

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