Politicians, lobbyists are feeding at the public...

Letters to the Editor

June 27, 1999

Politicians, lobbyists are feeding at the public trough

Thanks to The Sun for the wake-up call regarding Annapolis lobbyists' buying of our legislature ("Lobbying firm spared no expense," June 22) This is truly an outrage. While reading the article, the image of pigs at the trough came to mind.

"We the people" are supposed to run the country, but we've ceded that power to lobbyists who purvey football tickets, a night at a concert or a free meal. We have created a ruling class of career politicians and lobbyists who care and feed them.

Now that politicians are paid better than most of those they represent, what was once public service has become a public disgrace. The lobbyists take money from clients and throw it at legislators who are supposed to be serving the people. They all are beneath contempt.

Perhaps it would be better to choose one-term representatives from the telephone directory, the way the old "Dialing for Dollars" show chose contestants, or choose legislators the way we select citizens for jury duty.

Such representatives would bring fresh ideas and perhaps allow the "voice of the people" to actually be heard.

C.L. Norris, Baltimore

Charisma is not what we need in our leaders

Mike Lane's cartoon on Vice President Al Gore's lack of "charisma" (June 18) was a sad commentary on American values. Politicians apparently must act like movie stars to be considered viable candidates.

Their intelligence, candor and moral standards are obscured by the media's emphasis on good looks and charm before the camera. Stress on these qualities helps blind us all to important issues.

Political cartoons should satirize issues, not reinforce superficial values.

Anne Fogg, Baltimore

Next president is clear: Dukakis has it in the bag

There's more than a year to go, but the outcome of this presidential election looks clear.

On one side, we have a successful governor of a populous state who is way ahead in the polls. He's finally pulling together a party that's been in disarray for eight years.

On the other side, we have a sitting vice president widely believed to have no personality. His administration, though popular, has been rocked by scandal and is the target of ridicule abroad and at home.

Yep, it's early, but I predict an easy victory for Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Andrew Gerb, Timonium

Planned Route 43 extension would increase congestion

Dennis O'Brien's article on the Essex highway extension ("Proposed 43 extension debated," June 17) was right. This costly project will further develop what's left of the area's open spaces and bring even more traffic into this congested area.

The recent letter in The Sun supporting the extension, "Not all residents oppose Essex highway extension," (June 23) was written by a coordinator of the Marylanders for Effective and Safe Highways Coalition (MESH).

Backed by the asphalt and construction companies, MESH promotes increased spending for highway and road construction. No wonder it is in favor of the extension.

We need to be wary of groups with friendly-sounding names that are actually working for the unchecked paving of Maryland's beautiful countryside.

As citizens, we need to unite to protect and preserve our remaining open spaces and environment and get the government to institute the Smart Growth policy it has been promising for years.

Seth Rostov, Baltimore

Indonesia broke with the Dutch

Mark McDonald's Sun Journal article "A reluctant would-be president," (June 19) was very good.

But the caption under the photo of President Sukarno was incorrect. He helped liberate Indonesia, then called the Dutch East Indies, from the Dutch, not the English.

Tom Gill, North Beach

To our readers

The Sun welcomes letters from readers. They should be no longer than 200 words and should include the name and address of the writer, along with day and evening telephone numbers.

Send letters to Letters to the Editor, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278-0001. Our fax number for letters is 410-332-6977. The e-mail address is letters@baltsun.com.

All letters are subject to editing.

Pub Date: 6/27/99

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