Governor's cronyism doesn't hold a candle to Clinton-era...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 02, 2001

Governor's cronyism doesn't hold a candle to Clinton-era abuses

I am constantly amazed at The Sun's selective outrage about of ethics in government ("Governor putting pals on Board of Regents," Feb. 21).

The editorial page is apoplectic at the thought that Gov. Parris N. Glendening is attempting to place friends on the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents so they, in turn, might appoint him as the system's future chancellor.

While I am no fan of this governor, I find it bizarre that The Sun would find Mr. Glendening's maneuvering more offensive than, say, the president of the United States perjuring himself - not to mention violating federal election laws, selling the Lincoln bedroom, purloining FBI files of prominent Republicans, having sex with a White House intern and on and on.

While these outrages were occurring, The Sun barely raised a peep. In fact, this newspaper was among Mr. Clinton's most prominent apologists for eight years.

Only now that he is safely out of office has The Sun given him a meek slap on the wrist about the scandalous pardon of fugitive Marc Rich ("There is no clemency for very bad judgment," editorial, Feb. 23).

Mr. Glendening is stacking the Board of Regents with cronies. While hardly laudable, this isn't in the same ballpark as the ethical outrages of the Clinton years.

I think the fuzzy-headed liberal thinkers of The Sun's editorial page ought to take off their political blinders and focus on the true abuses of the public trust.

William J. Frank., Lutherville

Using the state university to pay back political debts

The Sun's editorial "Governor putting pals on the Board of Regents" (Feb. 21) was right on the money: The governor is using the University System of Maryland (USM) to pay back his political debts to his union supporters.

The staff council at USM has voted three times against collective bargaining. And, out of 15,000 staff employees, roughly 1,200 are union members. Yet the governor wants that small group to be the exclusive voice for staff concerns.

Let's hope the General Assembly doesn't allow the politics of unionism to further invade our system of higher education. That sets a dangerous precedent.

Lawrence Lauer, Olney

The writer was 1999-2000 chair of the Council of University System staff.

It's premature to speculate about the governor's future

Isn't it a bit premature to speculate about Gov. Parris N. Glendening becoming chancellor of the University System of Maryland ("Governor putting pals on Board of Regents," editorial, Feb. 21) ?

During my four years at the University of Maryland, College Park, Mr. Glendening was my academic advisor and professor. He was a terrific teacher and a well-published and well-respected academic.

If there was a national search for chancellor, no better candidate could be found. But let the man finish his term as governor and stop second-guessing his every move.

David R. Paulson, Baltimore

Ehrlich deserves credit for quashing bridge pact

Republican legislators applaud The Sun's editorial regarding President Bush's decision to abolish the outrageous Project Labor Agreement (PLA) sought for the Woodrow Wilson replacement bridge ("Wiping out a bridge barrier," Feb. 20).

The president's prudent decision will save state taxpayers at least $150 million and allow businesses to compete fairly and openly on this important project.

There was one omission from the editorial: Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich deserves credit for taking the Glendening-Townsend administration to task on this deal.

While others hesitated and remained silent, Mr. Ehrlich worked tirelessly on both the federal and state levels, pleading the case that a PLA was bad business for our state's economy. His tenacity paid off when Mr. Bush signed the executive order abolishing these restrictive work rules.

Martin G. Madden and Robert H. Kittleman, Annapolis

The writers are, respectively, the minority leader of the Maryland Senate and of the House of Delegates.

Ethics bill is good start, but tougher limits are needed

I applaud the Maryland Senate for taking steps to further limit the power of lobbyists ("Md. Senate approves ethics bill," Feb. 21).

When will it take the next step: Banning lobbyists from discussing pending legislation with any lawmaker outside an open hearing?

Tony Seitz, Glen Burnie

Young people need warnings about the dangers of Ritalin

I know first-hand that Ritalin is the new drug of choice in high schools and colleges ("Schools need to crack down on Ritalin use," Opinion

Commentary, Feb. 20). I have watched friends feverishly trying to find Ritalin to study all night or to take at parties on the weekends.

Ritalin has helped them concentrate and earn better grades, but it scares me to death when I see them combine it with alcohol by crushing it and then snorting it.

Young people view Ritalin as a safe high because the drug is prescribed for children. They need to be educated in school, at home, by their friends and through media coverage about the very serious effects of Ritalin.

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