Leaders can get valuable counsel from a spouse As...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 14, 2002

Leaders can get valuable counsel from a spouse

As someone who began her political career as the spouse of a mayor, and now serves as mayor, I have a pretty good understanding of the partnership of Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens and her husband, David M. Sheehan ("Domestic politics," editorial, July 5).

As a government executive, you rely upon people whose judgment you trust and who are experts on complex issues. Many times you find this in volunteers who are longtime friends and associates. If you are really lucky, you find it in a life partner who shares your commitment to public service.

As the wife of a mayor who had many innovative ideas and programs, I became involved in many aspects of his administration. On my husband's behalf, I attended meetings, organized community groups and, yes, even worked with City Hall staff. And, like David Sheehan, I was never financially compensated.

My husband and I shared a vision, and my energies and talents were used to further the goals of the mayor.

Ms. Owens is very fortunate to be married to someone who has always supported her career, shared her ideals and worked to help her attain them -- even while taking time away from his own successful career.

The people of Anne Arundel County have been well served by Mr. Sheehan, not only as first spouse but first volunteer. I hope they will see this effort to malign the county executive and her husband for what it is -- desperation politics.

Ellen Moyer

Annapolis

The writer is mayor of Annapolis.

Call L.A. shooting what it is: terrorism

There is almost universal agreement that the attack against the United States on Sept. 11 was terrorism. Unarmed Americans were killed by Arabs on a suicide mission.

And that is precisely what occurred at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4. Yet the chronically obtuse (the Los Angeles police and the FBI) find the motive (the killing of Jews) difficult to discern, and the morally obtuse (Mark Matthews and The Sun) find it difficult to append the proper title for the act of callous murder (terrorism) ("Airport shooting sharpens debate on defining terror," July 6).

But the net result is clear: Two unarmed Jews were killed by an Arab. Sound familiar?

David Kross

Columbia

Executives hurt U.S. more than terrorists

After the Sept. 11 attacks, we congratulated ourselves that we were more unified than ever and that the American economy was too strong to be undermined by Osama bin Laden and his fellow nuts. The stock market hit a bump, but then came back.

Since then, we have had scandals involving Enron Corp., Arthur Andersen, WorldCom and others. In effect, we've been attacked by our own corporations.

In the 1980s, government was taken "off the back" of industry, and now we see what happens. The stock market has dropped, and this time a rebound will take a long time, as Americans have lost faith in their institutions.

Former Enron CEO Kenneth L. Lay and his ilk have hurt this country more than al-Qaida ever could.

Jim Martin

Baltimore

Teaching virtues is antidote to scandal

Thank you for publishing Cal Thomas' column warning that the underlying cause of the recent corporate scandals is our giving up on living and teaching the virtues necessary for responsible citizenship in a free society ("Our moral bankruptcy," Opinion

Commentary, July 10).

Mr. Thomas' call to teach children the importance of justice and regard for the common good is most welcome.

Ross Waggoner

Baltimore

Restoring the faith in our investments

The Sun's article "Fractured trust" (June 30) was informative and revealing.

New laws, stringently enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, could restore confidence in American companies. This would be good news for the 50 percent of American families investing in mutual funds and stocks.

And brokerage firms should reassure clients not to panic. Many companies are doing well, generating profits, expanding and concentrating on doing right for investors.

Let's bear in mind that not all CEOs, directors and accounting firms are dishonest and driven by greed.

William Arwady

Towson

Ashcroft threatens our basic values

I have been extremely disturbed by the profile of John Ashcroft printed in The Sun ("Ashcroft's faith, persona inspire split sentiments," July 8), and also by the lack of serious critique in the media's coverage of this man, who is slowly eroding one of the most evolved features of our Constitution -- the separation of church and state.

We decry Osama bin Laden and Islamic fundamentalists because they act in the name of fanatic faith. But what separates their fanaticism from that of Mr. Ashcroft himself?

"I need to invite God's presence into whatever I'm doing, including the world of politics," Mr. Ashcroft noted. This invitation is a dangerous one.

By introducing God back into the national discourse we bring ourselves closer to the bin Ladens of the world.

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