If Money Talks, Editorial Didn't Tell Whole StoryThis...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 11, 1994

If Money Talks, Editorial Didn't Tell Whole Story

This letter is in response to the editorial of Sept. 8 in the Howard County edition of The Sun entitled, "Money Talks, But What Does it Say?"

As a candidate for any political office, I adhere to the adage attributed to President Harry S. Truman: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." So, this is not a complaint regarding your position on a donor to my campaign. Nor, is it about the attack on my personal integrity which also becomes victim to the press during this "open season."

What bothers me and causes me great distress is the blatant unfairness of the editorial in its complete lack of balance on the issue it addresses and its failure to fully disclose all of the facts.

While it is true, as reported, that Donald Reuwer did give my campaign $2,000, there is no recognition of the fact that his is the only money that I have received from a developer. More importantly, and most unfair, is the editorial's complete failure to inform the voters that my opponent, Mary Lorsung, is the candidate whom the development interests -- specifically the Howard County Home Builders and BACPAC (the political action committee of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce) -- have endorsed and are actively supporting.

Furthermore, the fact that Mr. Reuwer is a personal friend whom I have known for almost 20 years since he was a teacher who sold real estate part-time and we worked together in Democratic party politics seems to have no bearing on this donation. There is an automatic assumption that the money has been given solely to buy access to me. This is insulting to Mr. Reuwer and me. He does not need to give me money to have access to me (nor does anybody else). Would this issue have been raised had my friend been a doctor or an anthropologist? I think not.

Why is the fact that Mrs. Lorsung has been endorsed by these powerful business and development groups being ignored? . . . The voters need to know the entire story.

The editorial stresses my opponent's "long record of community service." It ignores my years of service to a wide variety of organizations. Specifically, as president of the Howard Community Citizens Association, I took a leadership role in fighting many of the very interests in whose pocket I am now alleged to be in. It ignores the fact that during this very year, I fought the Chamber of Commerce in support of the rights of mobile home owners to buy the parks in which their homes are located. It ignores the fact that I have in the past and continue today to provide pro bono legal services to citizens and organizations who are fighting to protect their communities.

Even without Mr. Reuwer's money, I have raised a lot more money than my opponent. Most of these donations are small -- $50 or less. They are a visible sign of this community's support of my campaign. . . .

I respect the right of this newspaper or any other person or organization to comment upon this campaign. I only insist that those comments be fair and based upon all of the facts. I hope that this letter provides your readers with some degree of balance on the important issues raised in the editorial.

James B. Kraft

Columbia

The writer is a Democratic candidate for the Howard County Council in District 4.

Kendrick's Too Young

I could not help but notice in The Sun Aug. 21 that Jamie Kendrick was the leading money gatherer in the race for a Howard County school board seat. I hope the voters of this county seriously consider what they are doing before pulling the lever for this young man.

While admiring this youth's spunk and desire for political office, please consider these reservations:

* Is any 19-year-old really ready to hold high elective office? I know plenty of outstanding 19-year-olds. Nevertheless, I would not trust the maturity of any of them to manage a budget that accounts for more than 50 percent of the county budget. Most 19-year-olds have enough trouble managing their allowance.

* All the other candidates to the best of my knowledge are parents. These individuals have a real stake in our children's education. What is Jamie's stake?

* All the other candidates are property owners and thus taxpayers. I will have more confidence in their decisions to spend my tax money.

* My children, and most children, would love to have other children set their rules of life. Likewise, students would love to see fellow students set the academic rules. Nevertheless, . . . children just don't have life experience enough to set rules for one another. Do we believe a 19-year-old, just one year out of high school, should be setting the academic criteria for our high schoolers? . . .

David Jackson

West Friendship

Generation GOP, Not 'X'

I am writing to defend the assertions that have been made as to the extent of the control of the Democratic Party over the youth vote and party converts. . . .

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