GOP extremism gives Democrats local monopoly In his...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 03, 2002

GOP extremism gives Democrats local monopoly

In his attempt to portray the Democratic Party as a monopoly force in Baltimore (and Maryland), Gregory Kane recycles hoary old catch phrases such as "the People's Republic of Baltimore" which he described as a "one-party, socialist state" that doesn't like "a man like that [Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich]" ("For some black Democrats, Ehrlich is a man `like that,'" letters, June 22).

Mr. Kane just doesn't seem to get the message - many Marylanders do perceive Mr. Ehrlich as "extremist."

Instead of whining, Mr. Kane ought to ask how the Democrats gained their majority.

The answer is obvious: The Republican Party, in its move to the extreme right, has lost touch with the citizens of Baltimore (of all ethnic backgrounds) and most of Maryland as well. The moderate Republicans of the past are long gone, along with truly well-contested Maryland elections.

So, given the choices available, most Maryland voters have decided the Democrats do a better job of representing them. No wonder many of Maryland's elections are, for all practical purposes, decided in the Democratic primary.

Frank Wilsey

Baltimore

Council members betray constituents

In "Loyola decision thoughtful, sound" (Opinion*Commentary, June 25) City Council members Rochelle Spector, Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Helen L. Holton completely missed the point.

The hundreds of telephone calls, letters and e-mails from those opposed to the Loyola development plan conveyed concerns extending beyond merely the "woods."

The neighborhood residents deserve a local government that represents their desire to preserve an undeveloped woodland area for recreation - one free from the usual urban downfalls of traffic, pollution, noise and high crime.

The council members who voted for the plan failed to serve their most important interest - the majority of their constituents.

Rachel Markowitz

Baltimore

The writer co-chairs the Baltimore Green Party.

Loyola's project isn't for the birds

City Council members Rochelle Spector, Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Helen L. Holton revealed their ignorance of environmental matters in a sentence from their column on the Loyola-Woodberry controversy: "[The site] is not beautiful; it is brush." ("Loyola decision thoughtful, sound," Opinion

Commentary, June 25). This is the kind of archaic and arrogant thinking that once advocated draining wetlands and eradicating predators.

On a recent Baltimore Bird Club walk, we saw at least a dozen Baltimore Orioles, as well as many other colorful species, in this admittedly disturbed habitat. It is difficult to believe construction and operation of large athletic fields in the area will not have a negative impact on these birds.

Although I am not a resident of Woodberry, I like to feel these are my birds in my woods in my city. I will miss them and their surroundings.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Leslie Starr

Baltimore

Bush was right to rebuke Arafat

Congratulations to President Bush for stating the obvious to the Europeans, Arabs and, especially, the Palestinians: It's the terror, stupid ("Bush calls for ouster of Arafat," June 25).

Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians had a chance, two years ago, to establish their state but walked away under the pretext that they weren't getting everything they wanted. Instead, they chose to use terror to intimidate Israel, and President Bush took them to task for choosing that path.

It is time for the Palestinians to prove to Israel, the United States and the world that they want to be an honest and sincere partner in peace.

Zev Griner

Reisterstown

Make CEOs forfeit their ill-gotten gains

Corrupt CEOs who commit criminal fraud that deeply affects thousands of employees and stockholders are no better than drug lords. Their illegal actions put undue stress on a volatile stock market, which threatens the well-being of our economy and country.

Therefore, their assets should be confiscated when they are sentenced to prison, as is done with drug dealers.

Robert L. Reynolds

Bel Air

Estate tax makes good fiscal sense

I must disagree with the recent letters "Eliminating the estate tax is best option" (June 24). Setting the top estate tax rate at 45 percent and exempting estates worth $3.5 million or less ($7 million for a couple) is both fair and fiscally responsible. With this exemption level, fewer than one-half of 1 percent of estates would face any estate tax.

Adopting a somewhat lower exemption ceiling, such as $2 million, would raise more revenue and still exempt all but the largest estates.

But estimates indicate that eliminating estate taxes would mean a loss over the decade 2013-2022 of approximately $740 billion in revenue.

Do we want to keep Social Security solvent and provide better health care benefits? To strengthen our emergency response, transportation and education systems?

Or do we want to be part of a yearly giveaway to the relatively few individuals in the nation with estates worth more than $3.5 million - in many cases, much, much more?

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