Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 13, 2004

The governor usurps power from legislators

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has recently ignored the will of our state legislature in two important areas: in increasing the cost of medical and prescription insurance for state employees ("State set to raise co-pay for drugs," Oct. 6) and in creating a state agency to support religious groups ("New Md. agency to aid faith-based groups," Oct. 8).

There is a word used when an executive arbitrarily usurps the power legally assigned to another branch of government. The word is dictatorship.

The move to create a state agency to support religious groups is especially questionable for several reasons.

At a time when state fiscal resources are so tight that reductions in many programs such as health services are being considered, creating another layer of bureaucracy in an area of questionable constitutionality makes little sense.

Mr. Ehrlich seems to have a lot of time on his hands. He apparently has time to create questionable state agencies and make TV commercials that some have said are self-serving and detract from the dignity of his office.

Perhaps he should spend more time dealing with issues that affect many Marylanders, such as the traffic gridlock on the highways in the Annapolis/Bay Bridge vicinity.

Niel Carey

Ellicott City

Tolls, fees add up to a big tax increase

I just read that the governor wants to put tolls on Interstate 81 ("Business community faults Md. plan to make I-81 a tollway," Oct. 8). Is he crazy? I know he promised no new taxes, but these end-runs around that promise are killing Marylanders.

Tolls have been raised all over the place, and fees have been raised all over the place. The governor seems to be trying to increase the state's funds by all means except direct tax increases. But if tolls and fees are not disguised tax increases, I don't know what is.

The state's finances are not in shambles; Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. just wants to do things that are unfunded at this time and are really not needed. We all know what these pet projects are.

But instead of building the best superhighway system in the country in a small state, I would recommend building the best education superhighway first, something the governor seems to be neglecting.

Andy Peet

Parkville

Importing vaccines but not prescriptions

I find it quite interesting and very distressing that our country can legally depend on importing foreign sources of something as necessary as flu vaccine but our government refuses to allow the importation of lower-priced prescription drugs from foreign sources ("More companies need to make flu vaccine, health experts say," Oct. 11).

I'd like to know the difference between foreign vaccines and foreign prescription drugs.

It's amazing what a double standard our government has.

Is anyone else as angry about this as I am?

Diane Chatham

Baltimore

Will CBS now show an anti-Bush film?

If Sinclair Broadcast Group is going to air an anti-John Kerry movie right before the election, it only seems fair that some other broadcasting company should run Fahrenheit 9/11 in the same time slot ("Sinclair to show anti-Kerry program," Oct. 9).

Maybe CBS will do so. That network hasn't tried to be impartial, either.

William Smith

Baltimore

Kerry's comparison is callous to victims

In The Sun's article "Bush, Kerry fight war of words" (Oct. 11) reporter Paul West mentions an article in which Sen. John Kerry compared the anti-terrorism campaign to the fight against organized crime and quotes Mr. Kerry as saying: "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives but they're a nuisance."

Does that mean that mass killers, serial killers and killers of innocent children are only nuisances?

Anyone who has lost a loved one or a child, especially to a killer who hasn't been brought to justice, would most certainly disagree.

That was the most callous, most offensive and absolutely the most insensitive statement I've ever heard from anyone, let alone from the man who wants to be our president.

Ron Parsons

Glen Burnie

Hold the president to sterner standard

As we move to the third and final debate between the presidential candidates, I'm reminded of the last set of debates in which President Bush participated ("Bush, Kerry fight war of words," Oct. 11).

In that series of debates, everyone (the press included) seemed to give Mr. Bush a victory if he managed to pronounce a half-dozen three-syllable words correctly (and Vice President Al Gore didn't help himself by making faces and audible noises).

Now Mr. Bush is the president and still seems to think he deserves the same advantage. Sure, he did better in the second debate, but given his performance in the first debate, the only way he could have done worse would have been to not show up at all.

I think it's time we dismiss his folksy persona and evaluate his performance on the same scale as that of Sen. John Kerry.

He is, after all - like it or not - the president of the United States.

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