Letters To The Editor


December 01, 2004

The government does not belong to the governor

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s comments on WBAL radio certainly had a chilling effect on me ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

The chilling effect Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. spoke of in his WBAL interview is working; I find it chilling that the governor of the state of Maryland would attempt to use his office to control and suppress the voice of the press when he finds it unappealing.

If there is a valid case for libel, then perhaps he should take legal action in the courts. If there is not, then it is his duty to provide equal access to all news agencies.

And this is not his government, as Mr. Ehrlich stated in his WBAL interview. It is our government.

Angela Miller


On a radio program broadcast by WBAL, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said: "That's my government."

I thought Maryland's state government belonged to the people of Maryland.

How could I have been so naive?

James M. Kehl


Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s statement, "That's my government. That's my government. I'm the chief executive," is chillingly evocative of King Louis XIV's remark: "L'M-itat c'est moi" ("I am the state").

Slip of the tongue or tongue in cheek? It's disturbing.

Leo Bretholz


Sun's poor quality plants seeds of doubt

Perhaps the ban on reporters should concern all citizens, but this one is not even a little bit worried ("Ban on reporters should concern all citizens," Nov. 28).

Only two of hundreds - even thousands - of journalists have been banned, and that is because they have egregiously abused their responsibility to the reading public.

Since their employer will do nothing to protect the reading public, the governor did. Hallelujah; it's about time.

Michael Olesker reports a facial expression on the governor's press secretary at a hearing he didn't even attend. And one of David Nitkin's articles ran alongside a map that suggested the governor was going to sell the entire park system.

It seems to me The Sun should be concerned about its poor quality of newspapering.

Paul Moore's column stated that the ban on the reporters is intended "to plant seeds of doubt among readers about the veracity of The Sun's reporting."

Too late. The Sun did that a long time ago, and continues to compound the error with the weakest of defenses.

Gene Edwards

York, Pa.

Ehrlich's tactics seek to squelch debate

Despite Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s petulant power grab to the contrary, the government belongs to the citizens of Maryland.

And this co-owner does not approve of Mr. Ehrlich's behavior and, by his own admission, deliberately chilling effect on public information, political discourse and informed discussion.

Mr. Ehrlich's tactics are part of a nasty national trend to squelch public debate and stigmatize those who question the policies and practices of their government.

Martha K. Johnston


Freedom of press is right, not privilege

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. shows a woeful lack of understanding of the law and of his responsibilities as governor ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

Mr. Ehrlich first talks about a First Amendment "privilege."

But freedom of speech and of the press are rights guaranteed by the Constitution. They are not a privilege granted by the governor.

Later in the same interview, Mr. Ehrlich stated, "That's my government. That's my government. I'm the chief executive."

Mr. Ehrlich, it is not your government. The state government belongs to the people of Maryland, and you are an employee of that government.

Let's just hope he is not an employee after the next election.

Bob Schurter


Governor destroyed his own credibility

The first three words that come to mind concerning Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are petty, petulant and childish ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

He pouts to Chip Franklin on WBAL radio that The Sun abuses the First Amendment in criticizing his administration, and says that blacklisting David Nitkin and Michael Olesker was meant "to have a chilling effect on two writers who have no credibility."

I suggest that Mr. Ehrlich take a look in the mirror if he really wants to see the individual who has no credibility in this state.

It was his administration that tried to engineer the backroom deal with the well-connected Willard J. Hackerman to sell prime preservation land in St. Mary's County for development.

It was he who concocted the ill-advised slots plan whose main purpose seemed to be enriching track owners at the expense of the rest of the state.

The Sun has done a great service by exposing these schemes.

It is emblematic of the Ehrlich administration that it wishes to silence the messengers and drown out the message.

David Mauriello

Severna Park

Heat from the press comes with the office

I voted for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and, overall, I think that he's doing a good job as governor. However, Nitkin-Olesker-gate is a disgrace ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

In response to Mr. Ehrlich's memo prohibiting state employees from communicating with David Nitkin and Michael Olesker, I would send the governor the following memo:

"Dear Mr. Ehrlich: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Leon Reinstein


Another Republican view of government

It is interesting to compare Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s statement on WBAL radio - "That's my government" ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27) - with the remarks of another Republican leader oft-criticized in his time, President Abraham Lincoln, who spoke of "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

But we really didn't need to hear the governor's latest outburst on talk radio to know that he's no Lincoln.

Eric F. Waller


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