Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 24, 2002

Balance needed in story about Jews, politics

Although The Sun's article "GOP's Ehrlich winning over traditional Jewish Democrats" (Sept. 9) highlights Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s support for Israel at length, it is troubling that it fails to even mention Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's own strong pro-Israel position and her high standing in the Jewish communities of greater Baltimore and of Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

It also fails to detail the sharp differences between the two candidates on other issues critical to Jews, such as reproductive freedom and the separation of church and state.

Had the article presented more facts, readers would have learned that Mr. Ehrlich consistently voted to ban late-term abortions, even when the mother's health or life was endangered; voted to give a fetus legal rights separate from those of the woman; and voted against explicitly allowing block grants to be used to protect abortion clinics.

These don't seem to be moderate positions, let alone ones that would attract Jewish voters, who are among the most pro-choice Americans.

Jews also strongly support the separation of church and state. And they are not likely to appreciate Mr. Ehrlich's past support of measures to post the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

William B. Dockser

Rockville

The writer is national chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Resorting to politics of personal attack

I grew increasingly angry after reading the article about Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's attacks on Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s record ("Townsend attacks Ehrlich's record," Sept. 13). At least Mr. Ehrlich has a record -- and one that any voter can easily access online without the partisan editorializing.

Ms. Townsend's record is sparse because she has only been the lieutenant governor.

One would think that, with such a meek record, Ms. Townsend would focus on promoting her own ideas. Instead, she has resorted to the tired, old politics of personal attack.

Mark A. Newsom

Laurel

Ministers' focus ought to be moral

Instead of distorting Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s record, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance would do more good by concentrating on the more traditional church role of promoting family and moral values ("Black church group starts ad campaign attacking Ehrlich," Sept. 12).

With Baltimore's sky-high numbers of out-of-wedlock births and of one-parent households, there is more than enough work for these ministers to do.

Jay Davis

Edgewood

Balancing the budget on workers' backs

Andrew Green points out that there is dissatisfaction with Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger among unions representing municipal and public safety employees, because the county executive circumvented union contracts by using cheaper, less experienced, non-union, part-time employees ("Balto. Co. executive attacked by unions," Sept. 14).

As a taxpayer, I tend to favor measures that rein in government spending. But why is Mr. Ruppersberger balancing the budget on the backs of hard-working men and women?

Furthermore, we live in a new and dangerous era of domestic terrorism. The last thing the citizens of Baltimore County need is cut-rate public safety employees.

David Firestone

Parkville

The city will miss Senator Hoffman

Sept. 11 dawned as a day of sadness for more reasons than the one we all know, because it marked the day that we learned that Baltimore trumpeted its smallness to the world by defeating state Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman.

Too many disregarded her fine record of working for all the people all the time; her refusal to desert the city and move into the county to preserve the part of her base that she may indeed have "looked like"; and - unbelievably -- her experience and expertise as chairwoman of the Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee that gave her great leverage for the very people who voted her out.

Perhaps her opponent deserved a chance, and will learn to be an effective legislator. But retiring someone of Ms. Hoffman's stature and dedication is a huge price to pay for that chance.

Judy Chernak

Pikesville

Double standards betray Bush on Iraq

Do I have this right? The United States, Russia, France, England, Israel, India, Pakistan and maybe some other nations have weapons of mass destruction. Iraq may get such weapons, so President Bush wants to invade there and to cause "regime change."

Of course, Iraq may have disobeyed U.N. resolutions. But hasn't Israel violated U.N. resolutions with settlements in the West Bank? And wasn't the United States condemned by the world court for terrorism against Nicaragua, and didn't it veto a U.N. resolution calling for it to observe international law on that issue?

I guess double standards don't matter anymore.

And, incidentally, wasn't it the CIA that launched al-Qaida and other Islamic fundamentalist networks to fight the Soviets and stood silently by despite knowledge of Iraq's poison gas attacks against Kurds and Iranians?

Doesn't anyone pay attention to history these days?

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