`Beatty for President' reflects need to fill Democratic...


August 28, 1999

`Beatty for President' reflects need to fill Democratic left's void

The Sun's snide editorial "Beatty for President" (Aug. 22) dismissed Warren Beatty's interest in running for the Democratic nomination for president, declaring "no one begins public life as President."

That a widely known, well-established civic activist such as Mr. Beatty should undertake to shift the Democratic Party from its current centrist policies toward its more traditional liberal stances deserves more than The Sun's disdain.

How better to do that than to get into the electoral fray?

In an Aug. 22 op-ed piece in the New York Times, Mr. Beatty outlined his concerns about his party's current positions and policies. In that article, he carefully avoided trashing Vice President Al Gore or Bill Bradley, while delineating a very different set of priorities.

Can you say as much about the gaggle of Republican hopefuls? They have, among others, Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes -- whose long and impressive careers in public service total among them about zero.

Elizabeth Dole and Pat Buchanan got government jobs and paychecks, but without having to win any votes.

The Sun might not like the fact that many Democrats are not satisfied with a system corrupted by campaign money or with a party bent on beating Republicans at their own game. But we are here.

We believe Democrats could do better and be better -- for the whole country, not just for the elites.

And we vote -- if we have someone to vote for.

Franklin T. Evans


Stokes' record on education doesn't recommend him

Amazing -- The Sun has come out with its mayoral endorsements four weeks before the election. Perhaps this was a rush to judgment, before more damaging reports could emerge.

But what amazes me most is the glowing endorsement Carl Stokes received from the paper ("Stokes is best choice in Democratic primary," Aug. 18). It stressed his "well-rounded" background and service on the school board.

But if Mr. Stokes is so concerned about our city schools, why didn't he fix them as a member of the school board?

It seems he was ineffective in solving the schools' problems when that was his only responsibility.

What makes The Sun think he will be more successful when he also has to worry about police and fire protection, sanitation, recreation, public works and the other issues the mayor must deal with daily?

Mr. Stokes served on the city school board, having lied about his qualifications and his own education. What message does this send?

That education is really not that important? That if Johnny does not succeed in school, that's OK -- he can lie about it later?

I would prefer a mayor who has the integrity to stand for what he believes.

Joseph Myers


Stokes can best lead city into the new millennium

I believe Carl Stokes is the mayoral candidate who has the assets needed to lead our city into the next millennium.

Mr. Stokes is intelligent, articulate, visionary and genuinely angered by the condition in Baltimore. He is the most accessible candidate, is willing to speak out on a plurality of issues and has been in the race since the beginning.

Other candidates seem to be Johnny-come-lately's or opportunists who decided to run for mayor when others did not enter the race.

Although I have long been a supporter of "zero tolerance," I join Mr. Stokes in declaring that such a program will not be a cure-all for Baltimore's problems.

Mr. Stokes will respond to the city's full range of constituencies. He has shown the ability to appeal to a wide spectrum of people and is a strong coalition-builder.

He continues to show himself to be a class act, not resorting to strong-arm tactics or using the race card.

The Rev. Reginald M. Clark


The writer is pastor of Greater New St. John Baptist Church.

New York haberdashers won't help Lawrence Bell

One small comfort in this mayoral election season is to savor the uncertainty felt by contributors to City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III's campaign.

They are entitled to wonder: "Could those have been my dollars he spent for fancy New York threads in his faltering campaign?" ("Bell campaign spends $4,300 to clothe him," Aug. 21).

Cheer up, folks. Tune-in primary night and hear your man honored with this consolation prize: "best-dressed loser."

Milton Bates


If mayoral candidate Lawrence Bell had to spend $4,300 on clothes for his campaign, why couldn't he at least have had the decency to spend it in Baltimore?

Art Milholland

Silver Spring

Vapid article on Bell typifies trivial campaign

The Sun's article on Lawrence Bell campaigning around the city for mayor reads like a trip to kiddyland: Mr. Bell's shirt is too big, he's fat, too short for the trolley ("Taking it to the street," Aug. 24).

I found the lack of substance in this long article insulting to the candidate and the electorate.

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