Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 08, 2003

Democrats play political games on state budget

Perhaps The Sun was trying to deceive Marylanders when it wrote that it hopes "Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will not force more budget cuts after the apparent defeat of his slot machine legislation" ("Avoiding more pain," editorial, April 3).

Would The Sun have us believe that the governor will be to blame for the further future decimation of the state's budget? That somehow larger deficits and cuts to programs should be blamed on the new governor?

There is one man whose thirst for power and ego gratification is to blame for the defeat of slots legislation and the budget catastrophe to follow: House Speaker Michael E. Busch.

Mr. Busch sought to hand Mr. Ehrlich a major defeat and remind the governor that although Marylanders voted him into office, Democratic legislators will do everything and anything to maintain as much power as possible, with the economic security of citizens a secondary and distant priority.

Some say Mr. Ehrlich lost in the slots defeat. That's not true. The real losers are Maryland's residents, who will see a marked decrease in state programs and services and possible tax increases.

And perhaps the biggest losers are Maryland's students and their parents. Because of Mr. Busch, future funding for the recommendations of the Thornton Commission is never likely to materialize.

Anthony Ondrusek

Hunt Valley

The Democrats and House Speaker Michael E. Busch are apparently trying to wish away the state's $2 billion shortfall while engaged in "I'm-right-and-I'll-hold-my-breath-until-you-give-up" politics with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ("After legislative setbacks, Ehrlich takes case to public," April 6).

Unfortunately for the citizens of Maryland, the humane, generous and cordial policies of the last decade have left the state facing an unprecedented shortfall. Now the Democrats seem to be snickering that they have cleverly and cutely set up Mr. Ehrlich as the meanie who will lay off or reduce the hours of state employees. I'm writing to tell everyone that the Democrats are neither clever nor cute.

The Democrats will be responsible for the layoffs and reduced hours, not Mr. Ehrlich.

Nancy Hoyt

Severna Park

Blame Democrats for the budget cuts

What a shame the Democrats in the House of Delegates couldn't come to grips with their gubernatorial loss and endorse Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s slots proposal, which would make a big dent in the shortfall left by the governor's predecessor ("Ehrlich slots bill defeated by House committee vote," April 3).

Seeming to take the moral high ground, many opposed slots because it is "gambling" and therefore reprehensible. Excuse me, but isn't horse racing gambling? To say nothing of the myriad state-run lottery games.

And at least an individual has a choice when it comes to putting money in a slot machine. There is no such choice when it comes to paying taxes.

I hope Mr. Ehrlich will stick to his guns and not allow any tax increases. If the budget needs to be slashed, so be it. The whining liberal Democrats will have only themselves to blame.

Robert W. Lazzaro

Towson

Partisanship puts slots bill on hold

The Sun, as usual, offers cover for the Democrats in Annapolis who would rather raise personal taxes than allow a sin tax on slots ("Slots demise laid to missteps," April 3).

House Speaker Michael E. Busch will do anything to block a Republican program that would help the people of Maryland. Blaming the new governor rather than Mr. Busch is so Sun.

Charles B. Lippens

Baltimore

Scramble for profit doomed slots bill

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. must assume responsibility for the failure of his slots bill ("Slots demise laid to missteps," April 3).

The mad scramble to grasp the largest share of the profits by a very greedy bunch of leeches was a disgusting charade. The governor and his staff were so unprepared that no amount of backroom politics could save their slots bill.

It is sad to see our important budget process thrown into chaos because of this lack of preparation.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

City more dangerous than the war zone

I was struck by two statistics published in The Sun last Friday. The number of American military personnel killed in Iraq was 54 ("Battle for Baghdad airport," April 4). The number of murders or unjustified homicides in Baltimore so far this year was 67 ("Dead by murder this year," Opinion

Commentary, April 4).

It is a sad day when it is safer to be in a war zone than your own city.

James E. Hackett Jr.

White Hall

Three nuns breach missile compound?

Three nuns, age 66, 68 and 55, are accused of breaking into a Minuteman III missile silo site on Colorado's northeastern plains on Oct. 6 and causing property damage in excess of $1,000 ("Nun says peace protest worth 30 years in prison," April 2).

What's interesting is that three elderly nuns, who probably are very intelligent but not very diabolical, were able to breach security at this installation that prosecutors claim is vital to the nation's defense.

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