Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 17, 2005

Partisanship clear in account of state firings

Whether one agrees with them or not, columnists are understood to offer their opinions. But the alleged news reports of reporter David Nitkin increasingly are cover for opinion columns.

For instance, Mr. Nitkin's article "Ehrlich denies wholesale firing of Democrats" (Feb. 12), which notes that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. denied "his administration employed a roving band of loyalists to purge state agencies of Democrats deep in the bureaucracy," is a cleverly disguised editorial.

The fact is that Gov. Parris N. Glendening swelled the ranks of the state's political employees.

And a fundamental question stands out: Is it not healthier for a political system traditionally almost totally controlled by one party to have occasional balance and effort to produce healthy competition and compromise?

George S. Wills

Baltimore

Did Democrats pick many Republicans?

I find it incredible that reporter David Nitkin would criticize Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for trying to clean house of dyed-in-the-wool Democrats who have become comfortable in high-paying jobs during that party's 40-year domination of appointive positions ("Ehrlich denies wholesale firings of Democrats," Feb. 12).

If The Sun is to be fair, it should investigate the number of Republicans appointed to such positions by Democratic governors.

Such an investigation should also reveal the number of relatives and friends of Democratic legislators who were appointed to high-paying board and commission slots.

Isaiah C. Fletcher Sr.

Baltimore

Governor has right to pick his advisers

The Democratic leaders in the Maryland legislature continue to bash Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for his hiring practices and fail to give him credit for a diverse management team ("Probe of Md. hiring urged," Feb. 13).

But to suggest Mr. Ehrlich is playing backroom politics is ridiculous.

The governor has the right to pick people who support his agenda, and he has picked people from both parties, including Democrats such as former Gov. Marvin Mandel.

Joe Collins

Reisterstown

No special protection for biased reporting

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. said in his order that he was dismissing the case The Sun brought against Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. because The Sun was seeking more access to government officials than that accorded a private citizen ("Sun's challenge of Ehrlich order is dismissed by a federal judge," Feb. 15).

The Sun's obvious bias in formulating rather than reporting the news should not be afforded special protection. Judge Quarles is correct in his decision.

The voters of Maryland elected Mr. Ehrlich to govern, not Sun editor Timothy A. Franklin. And we are tired of frivolous litigation that attempts to dictate policy.

Alan F. Stubbs

Pasadena

Ruling against Sun sets awful precedent

I did not think I could be more embarrassed for our state than I was at the cat-fight between The Sun and the governor. But now that a judge has thrown out The Sun's First Amendment case, I am frightened ("Sun's challenge of Ehrlich order is dismissed by a federal judge," Feb. 15).

If this ruling is allowed to stand, punishing reporters for investigating the government will become the routine practice of every governor in every state, regardless of party.

That idea should not sit well with any American patriot.

I haven't always agreed with The Sun's coverage of the governor, but in this case, the paper is fighting for all Americans. The Sun must appeal, even if the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court.

Stephanie Dray

Owings Mills

Tell the president to reject violence

First lady Laura Bush comes to Baltimore and lectures boys to reject violence ("Good behavior program merits a first lady visit," Feb. 9).

She needs to lecture her husband, who oversaw more than 100 executions as governor of Texas and brought an illegal and unnecessary war into our lives.

Gerald Ben Shargel

Baltimore

New budget saddles children with debt

OK, let's see if I understand this correctly: In the world according to President Bush, we can afford more than a trillion dollars to fund his Social Security privatization, trillions for the tax cuts passed in his first term, $410 billion for the military this year alone and additional billions, trillions maybe, to fund the war in Iraq, rebuild Afghanistan and make his tax cuts permanent.

Meanwhile, to create a faM-gade of fiscal discipline, he has singled out the usual suspects for cuts, from price supports for our farmers to funds for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay ("Cuts called threat to bay, urban poor," Feb. 8).

Am I missing something here, or is the unspoken variable in Mr. Bush's math the fact that future generations will be saddled with unimaginable debt?

Derek Frost

Bethesda

Bush's plan worsens retirement shortfall

There is an obvious contradiction in one aspect of President Bush's argument about the Social Security "crisis" and the proposal to divert a portion of our payroll taxes into personal accounts.

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