Media have ignored Conaway's campaign for Baltimore...


June 06, 1999

Media have ignored Conaway's campaign for Baltimore mayor

This letter concerns the bias The Sun and television channels Channels 2, 11, 13 and 45 have shown in covering the race for mayor of Baltimore and the candidacy of Mary W. Conaway,register of wills,

The local media's myopic view of the race started with the coverage of the Kweisi Mfume draft campaign, or non-campaign, which proclaimed him the front-runner and all -but-elected mayor.

Then the media proclaimed Lawrence A. Bell III the mayoral front-runner, with the most money -- which is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This limited view of the campaign blocks out the real issues and does not allow voters to examine all of the candidates.

It has caused the public to believe that Ms. Conaway, an extremely qualified woman running for mayor, is a minor candidate without a chance.

This despite Ms. Conaway's being elected citywide as register of wills five times, by wide margins. Indeed, in the 1998 Democratic primary, the 49,750 votes she received made her the top vote-getter among citywide candidates.

Ms. Conaway has not received even half the coverage that her male opponents have received. This calls into question whether the media are fair and objective or, instead, have a preference for male candidates.

How can the public cast an intelligent and informed vote for mayor when the media hasn't offered an opportunity to learn as much as possible about each candidate?

I call on the media to change this dreadful situation and provide the fair and balanced reporting that citizens need, demand and expect.

Aaron K. Wilkes, Baltimore

The writer is associate campaign manager for media affairs for Mary W. Conaway.

Lung Association backs governor's anti-cancer plan

On behalf of the American Lung Association of Maryland, I commend Gov. Parris N. Glendening for his commitment to protect the lungs and health of all Marylanders.

The plan he unveiled invests in Maryland's future by protecting our children from tobacco addiction and offering hope for a cancer-free Maryland ("Tobacco accord to aid health," June 4).

I also want to applaud the many legislators who attended the announcement of the governor's plan. It was heartwarming to see support from as diverse as House Speaker Casper Taylor, Sen. Thomas Bromwell, Del. Barbara Frush and numerous others.

The governor's plan is a solid foundation from which an aggressive, innovative and effective anti-tobacco and anti-cancer campaign can evolve. It offers remedies both for health issues and agricultural concerns.

The plan will take what is already a strong research community in Maryland to a higher plane of excellence.

The American Lung Association of Maryland welcomes the opportunity to help develop and implement an anti-tobacco and anti-cancer campaign that will benefit all Maryland's citizens.

Stephen M. Peregoy, Timonium

The writer is executive director of the American Lung Association of Maryland.

Senators' tobacco letters, voting records clash

State Sen. Nancy C. Jacobs' letter, "Lobbyist for kids puts partisanship above public health" (May 25), demands a response.

She wondered how contributors to the Maryland Children's Initiative would feel about funding its recent advertising campaign. I am one of that group's many contributors, and I find no fault with how the campaign was conducted or the ads that the group has run.

Those ads mentioned only the senators who led the filibuster to kill the tobacco tax bill -- who introduced the most amendments and tried most vigorously to kill the bill. The four Democratic senators who participated in the filibuster agreed in the end to back away from it.

Senator Jacobs seems to suggest that she is the greatest supporter of anti-smoking initiatives. But her record shows the contrary.

As a delegate, she consistenly voted against measures to prevent tobacco use. Her vote in the Senate last session was in lock-step with her record as a delegate.

If she really cares about preventing children from starting to smoke, Senator Jacobs has three years left in office to mend her ways.

Beth Berman, Annapolis

The Sun has in recent weeks published letters from two state senators, Nancy C. Jacobs and Andrew P. Harris, that seek to explain their actions on the tobacco tax legislation the state legislature considered during its past session ("Lobbyist for kids puts partisanship above public health," May 25 and "Few supporters for a real war on teen smoking," May 19).

I think these letters were a disservice to their constituents.

Watching the tobacco tax filibuster, I saw Senators Harris and Jacobs try to talk the tobacco tax bill to death. In the end, the bill (which included tobacco use prevention and cessation programs) passed without support of either senator.

Their letters to The Sun suggest these senators wish to be known as caring about reducing smoking. Their record suggests otherwise.

Dr. Thomas E. Hobbins, Baltimore

Poland never ran Nazi death camps

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