Attacks on Owens are sexist, unfair During the years...

Letters to the Editor

July 21, 2002

Attacks on Owens are sexist, unfair

During the years 1985 to 1989, I had the honor and privilege to be the First Lady of Annapolis.

Before my husband, Dennis, declared his candidacy, he and I agreed that with his declaration our family would be subject to scrutiny both personally and professionally: Also, there would be the inevitable political attacks.

It didn't take long. After a particularly disheartening episode, Dennis asked my opinion and I replied, "Don't let the turkeys get you down." It has become our family's inside joke whenever we are faced with similar situations.

And that brings me to our friends Janet Owens and her husband David. Janet has done an outstanding job as our first female county executive. I know as a spouse of an elected official how difficult David's situation can be. He wants to be protective, loving and contribute to the success of his wife.

However, there are some in our county that can't imagine that a woman can be successful in such a position and hence they attack her and her husband.

I am convinced that the voting public will see through these thinly veiled sexist attacks and will reward Janet with another four years as our County Executive.

In the meantime, "Don't let the turkeys get you down!"

Brenda Callahan


Owens' marriage a private matter

Your editorial dated July 5 "Domestic Politics" did a great disservice not only to County Executive Owens and her husband but to attracting quality candidates to run for public office.

As a resident of Anne Arundel County, my observation is that County Executive Owens is fair but tough. With the many difficult decisions facing our county from tight budgets, growth and education, it is to be commended that our executive is seeking counsel from many sources.

Great leaders gain perspective by seeking advice and counsel from many sources. What could be a better source than your spouse, who has no hidden agenda and your best interest at heart?

For you to suggest that because the executive's husband is her campaign manager and a trusted adviser that this means he is running the government is absolutely ridiculous. In the end the buck always stops with the boss.

You based your editorial from a July 3 news story which quoted two former county employees, a former partner of the husband and a current elected official of the other party. Sure sounds like sour grapes to me!

Who developed the great relationship with Governor Glendening that has resulted in our county consistently being a winner in the competition for school funds? Who has led the charge to improve our school system and made it a top priority of their administration? Who is balancing the needs for income to run the county by promoting controlled development with the vocal minority who want to throw up the gates?

County Executive Owens is responsible for those accomplishments.

Your editorial further gives spouses a reason to encourage their partners not to run for political office because of the degree of scrutiny which goes beyond reason.

In this situation you have a spouse who is helping their partner and all you can come up with is a demand for a detailed list of how he is doing it. The executive's husband is not being paid, and like most volunteers is investing his personal time.

May I humbly suggest, that unless you have some facts as to how the executive's husband is hurting our county that you stay out of their marriage.

John S. Pantelides


Third party provides real choice for voters

I was disappointed, though not surprised, by The Sun's lack of coverage of third party candidates in the article "County Races Attract a Mix," (July 8).

The Green Party is running a candidate by the name of George Law in the Anne Arundel County Council District 2 race. By signing petitions to allow our candidate access to November's ballot, many residents of District 2 are showing their desire to allow voters a broad range of choices.

Third party candidates aren't "crackpots," but informed, experienced voices that can also serve the citizens in their respective areas.

I believe the media, including The Sun, is doing a disservice to the voters by not covering the campaigns of all candidates equally.

Clint Cosner


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