Professional wrestler delivers a body slam to professional...


November 10, 1998

Professional wrestler delivers a body slam to professional politics

My candidate for governor lost. I did not agree with all she stood for, and she did not take a strong enough stand against abortion, but I felt she was the best candidate to represent my views in Maryland government.

Her campaign, and that of her opponent, were very negative. His campaign was brutal, attacking every out-of-context statement he could find. Her campaign was also negative, though perhaps retaliatory. Lies and half-truths were everywhere. At the end, advertising became strictly negative, tearing down the opponent rather than building up the candidate.

After my candidate's hesitant concession speech began, her opponent's camp mocked the words she had just spoken. This was pure mean-spiritedness.

Meanwhile, the news from Minnesota, my home state, was amazing. Jesse Ventura, professional wrestler, beat the two professional politicians he faced. One of those was the son of the late Hubert H. Humphrey, who still is adored in Minnesota.

Mr. Ventura spent a fraction of the millions his opponents spent. He gained his popularity by debating with his opponents on the issues at hand and by being honest and down-to-earth.

Some of us may laugh at Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura. But I think we need to give the voters of Minnesota credit. They voted on the issues and the man who could represent their views on those issues. They learned about their candidate by listening to him debate his opponents, not by advertisements meant to drag down a fellow citizen.

Suzy Robertson



After reading The Sun Nov. 5, in particular the coverage of the governor-elect of Minnesota, I was left with this sick feeling in my stomach.

The press is trying to crucify Jesse Ventura because he, a former pro wrestler, won an election. Is this not America? Isn't one of the basic principles of democracy to allow anyone to run for public office?

Mr. Ventura felt that a change was needed in government and had the courage to take action. Do you think that if he ran in Maryland we would vote any differently? People are sick of the way our government operates.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening thinks he was given a mandate to continue his policies, when in fact he was elected because he is the lesser of two evils, and there was no third choice. Most politicians don't seem to understand the level of frustration of the American voter.

Do not condemn this man for wanting to change his state for the better.

Has anyone outside the state of Minnesota read his platform? Have any of The Sun's reporters talked to the man? I think we should look at the election of Mr. Ventura as democracy in its purest form.

He is a true representation of the people, not another two-faced politician who changes his beliefs and policies based on polls and surveys.

Tom Paxton


Cure for what ails the Maryland GOP

What the Republican Party in Maryland needs is another George P. Mahoney.

Philip Myers


African-American voters didn't need ads as guides

Your article "Did ads lay it on the line or did they cross it?" regretfully reflected a stereotypically prevalent view that the African-American electorate is wedded to the single issue of civil rights. While civil rights are understandably important to a group only recently totally enfranchised in much of America, are civil rights any less important to women, other minorities or even white males?

Your article failed to address the interest black voters shared with the remaining electorate on other campaign issues. Were black voters no less fed up with Zippergate than others, or not as concerned about gun control, crime, education, economic development and the environment as whites?

To assume that African-American voters could be sucker-punched by race baiting does not attribute to them the same respect as other groups who supported the incumbent. Also, the suggestion that black support for the Democratic candidate might somehow fuel our racial divide is to ignore the obvious, that those who wish to have such a disconnect never need an excuse for it.

Black voters are no more motivated or bored by the political shenanigans of either party than anyone else, although when given the choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, African-Americans like many others, opt to keep those they know vs. those they don't.

Again, civil rights rhetoric is off the mark, as evidenced by a recent piece in The Sun quoting black leaders denying any racist inclinations on the part of Ellen R. Sauerbrey. Clearly, she is not a racist.

So what's the real reason she lost? You would have been better served examining these issues. Or perhaps stereotypically, you are just not yet accustomed to the idea of African Americans exercising their democratic franchise like everybody else.

Craig Anthony Bannister



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