Purchasing influence is standard practice in nation's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 23, 2001

Purchasing influence is standard practice in nation's capital

The Latin phrase "quid pro quo" surfaced in reports concerning pardons granted by former President Clinton.

We should all admire the righteous zeal with which our elected officials have pursued this matter in the interest of fair and honest government. Clearly a "quid pro quo" is not to be countenanced.

Recent articles concerning the bill to reform bankruptcy have noted the millions in campaign contributions donated to Mr. Bush and influential congressmen by the credit card and banking industries in the effort to get this bill passed ("Senate votes to end debt loophole," March 16).This is a whole lot of quid.

The only obvious difference between what Mr. Clinton is being accused of and what Congress regards as normal business practice, is that a pardon is a one-time thing, while these "donations" are expected to guarantee friendly legislation.

If what the former president is alleged to have done is unethical, it is no more so than the way business is done every day in our nation's capital.

Until meaningful campaign finance laws are enacted, an unlikely occurrence unless the citizenry rises up and demands it, this shameful distortion of our government processes will persist.

Sig Seidenman

Owings Mills

Breaking campaign promises is a Bush family tradition

When running for president, George H. W. Bush told us to, "Read my lips: No new taxes." While campaigning in September, George W. Bush told us he would reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Former President Bush gave us new taxes soon after being elected; President Bush now opposes his promised regulation of power plants' carbon dioxide emissions.

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

John P. Kimball

Baltimore

Repealing ergonomics rules will cause workers to suffer

For years we worked to deliver relief to workers who suffered repetitive motion injuries. Relief was finally achieved in 2000, only to be scrapped by the Bush administration in 2001 ("Republicans lead repeal of workplace safety rules," March 8).

Those who voted for repeal of this law should be ashamed. They have sentenced workers to a lifetime of suffering.

Henry Koellein Jr.

Severna Park

Banning guns won't work better than banning drugs

I agree with the writer of the letter "To stop the shootings, get rid of the guns," (March 14) completely: Let's ban firearms, and make sure anyone who imports, manufactures, possesses, distributes, or sells them serves a lengthy prison term.

We simply must do it for our own health and safety. While we're at it, let's apply that same sanction to anyone who deals in marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

What's that you say? Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are already unlawful to manufacture, possess and distribute? And that the trade in them has not ended, but has been merely driven underground?

And people, including police officers like Michael Cowdery Jr., die because of the violence inherent in such underground commerce? And millions do hard time in prison for nonviolent drug offenses?

A prohibition of firearms, items ubiquitous since the founding of our country, is similarly likely to be worse than useless, not to mention unconstitutional.

Amos Hale Adams

Pikesville

Minority set-asides are just more racial profiling

Our loud-mouthed politicians are falling all over each other to denounce racial profiling in law enforcement.

Yet, the state House of Delegates passed a law to set aside 25 percent of state contracts for minorities ("House OKs minority contract goal," March 16).

Isn't this the same as racial profiling?

Harry Shriver

Pikesville

Licensing crabbers protects state's precious resource

Legislators opposed to licensing recreational crabbers obviously lack the ability to comprehend basic resource management ("Crab harvest likely to be among worst," March 14).

As a lifelong Maryland angler, I have seen the decline and recovery of both shad and rockfish populations in the bay. The sad part is that moratoriums on commercial and recreational fishing had to be imposed for each of those species to recover.

No one wants to see a pastime as important as crabbing taken away. The Department of Natural Resources is working very hard to maintain the bay's crab fishery, without imposing a moratorium.

I suggest legislators who lack the foresight to see where the crab population is headed educate themselves or abstain. Let's learn from past mistakes.

Brian Bartell

Bel Air

Helping Rev. Jackson incite anger does The Sun no credit

Just when I thought we were rid of him for a while, how disheartening to pick up The Sun to see the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson plastered all over the front page of the business section ("Workers stage 2nd strike at 3 hospitals," March 16).

He only seems to show up when there is an opportunity to incite more animosity in an already-distressed crowd -- this time it was of striking hospital workers.

If it were not for the crossword puzzle, I would cancel my subscription to The Sun for its role in escalating a bad situation.

Gordon Clisham

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