Making the state of Maryland a model for use of tobacco...

LETTERS

March 12, 2000

Making the state of Maryland a model for use of tobacco money

Very soon, major decisions affecting the fate of thousands of Marylanders will be made in Annapolis. Over the next two weeks Governor Paris Glendening's tobacco settlement spending plan will come up for review by the Maryland General Assembly.

Governor Glendening's proposal to spend $80 million annually on two ground-breaking programs has afforded Maryland the opportunity to become a national leader in tobacco control as well as cancer prevention and treatment.

As a member of the Govemor's Task Force to End Smoking in Maryland, I must implore the legislature to enact those recommendations that our task force put onto paper, as well as those of the governor's Task Force to Conquer Cancer.

To wait another year to decide how to spend the tobacco settlement dollars would not only confuse and further politicize the process, but would also cause Maryland to be less proactive in the areas of tobacco and cancer control.

Maryland should once again become a model for how to correctly spend this settlement money.

Margie Weaver

Mt. Airy The writer is chair of the American Cancer Society's public policy committee.

The Sun's endorsement of Al Gore a mistake

I am amazed at your editorial irresponsibility in endorsing Al Gore ("McCain and Gore are our choices on March 7," editorial, Feb. 27) for the Democratic nomination for president. He fails to meet the basic standards you have enunciated in making your recommendation. I have been following U.S. electoral politics since 1968. I have not seen a more opportunistic politician in my lifetime. Mr. Gore wants to be president so badly, he would go to any lengths to become one. In this effort he is exactly like his mentor, Bill Clinton.

In 1988 when he ran for the presidency, he tried not only to defame his opponents, he attempted at their political destruction. He has employed similar reprehensible tactics against former Sen. Bill Bradley.

Every commentator and political pundit waxes eloquently about cleaning up our political process; but when it comes to doing something of consequence every one wants to go with an apparent winner. Newspapers like The Baltimore Sun and New York Times should, in my opinion, confine themselves to providing straight news; your editorial writers should get out of endorsement business.

Dayananda Y. Pakkala

Mt. Airy

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