Build Schools, Not ConsensusYour Aug. 16 endorsement in...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 11, 1994

Build Schools, Not Consensus

Your Aug. 16 endorsement in the race for District 13's state Senate seat smacks of the "good old boy" syndrome. The comment that Del. Virginia Thomas is "sometimes at odds even with colleagues in her own party" is a fallacy. . . .

The gentle lady is well-respected, liked by her committee and colleagues as well as the citizen lobbyists. . . . The endorsement appeared to ignore the continual intraparty fighting throughout the state, particularly in Baltimore: That's the Democratic Party's way of getting along. . . .

Delegate Thomas has been in the vanguard of school renovation and equipment parity. All the other years her efforts for school revenue have not been called grandstanding; this being an election year, it has become known as . . . "grandstanding." . . .

The General Assembly deserves a cohesive, innovative and responsible delegation from Howard County. Ginny Thomas as senator and the 13A duo of Wanda Hurt and Fred Turner are the trio citizens deserve. . . .

Loretta M. Jacoby

Elkridge

Flawed Comparison

Your Aug. 24 editorial regarding Howard County's District 3 County Council race had the facts wrong. You stated that the new district is "larger and . . . more Republican," that the percentage of Democratic registration had gone down and that "the district now encompasses a larger portion of the . . . southeastern area of Howard County."

All of these are incorrect.

The new district is smaller, more Democratic in voting patterns, has a larger percentage of Democratic registration and always included all of the southeastern part of the county.

You may have become confused by the council district numbers. This district where Shane Pendergrass beat Dennis Schrader in 1990 used to be called District 1. The number was changed to District 3 as part of the redistricting process.

My reason for writing this letter is that you used this incorrect information as the basis for stating that "Mr. Schrader's prospects are even brighter" than four years ago.

The actual situation is that compared to 1990, Mr. Schrader's current prospects are dismal. I helped draw the district boundaries that were eventually adopted by the county. Shane Pendergrass took the lead in saving the county a costly court battle by finding a compromise districting plan that was acceptable to both the county executive and council.

One of our goals in that process was to ensure that this district would continue to provide the strong progressive Democratic leadership that Shane had shown for eight years. The resulting district is overwhelmingly Democratic (49 percent Democrat vs. 35 percent Republican now) and eliminated an area with a history of registered Democrats voting for Republicans.

You are correct that Schrader came close to upsetting Pendergrass in the strongly Republican, anti-incumbent 1990 election. However, in the parts of the old district that remain in the current district, Pendergrass won easily with more than 55 percent of the vote.

If you are looking for a close race, look at the new 1st District. Incumbent Republican Darrell Drown is running in a district with a 48 percent Democratic-39 percent Republican registration.

A formidable Democrat such as Charlie Acquard should have no trouble beating perennial candidate Schrader in the new 3rd District.

David Marker

Columbia

Prosecutor's Race

Regarding your Aug. 31 editorial of endorsement for Howard County state's attorney, it is one thing to make an endorsement based on fact -- it is quite another to impugn the credibility and integrity of myself, and the state's attorney's office as a whole, both past and present.

I have spent the last 20 years in the Howard County legal community as a private attorney and prosecutor. My integrity has never been questioned.

The probity of this office has never been an issue and should not be now. To make an endorsement based on innuendo and half-truths is irresponsible journalism.

Your criticism of using other assistant state's attorneys in my campaign has no relevance whatsoever to the independence necessary in running the state's attorney's office. These campaign volunteers are my contemporaries, co-workers and friends -- those who know first-hand of my abilities to be the chief prosecutor.

These volunteers have the right, by state and county law, to support whomever they choose, regardless of what The Sun or my opponents claim.

As to my opponents' promises that they would prohibit any member of the office from working on their campaigns or the campaigns of others, these prohibitions would clearly be illegal acts.

While the over-exaggerated smoke screen you have tried to put up makes for good press, the real issue of selecting the best candidate has been overlooked.

My 17-year record of public service as a prosecutor and administrator and my community involvement over the past 27 years as a Howard County resident speaks for itself.

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