Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 01, 2005

Cox will protect public interest as head of SEC

"Time for Democrats to take stand against run of corporate crime" (Opinion * Commentary, July 26) questions my former House Homeland Security Committee colleague Rep. Christopher Cox's commitment to corporate accountability. But there's no evidence for its charges.

The column cites Mr. Cox's role in 1995 securities litigation reform but fails to note that the bill passed with a strongly bipartisan two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress.

The column also strongly implied that Mr. Cox's former law firm worked on a securities offering that formed the basis of a fraud conviction when, in fact, this work was done by another law firm altogether.

And it cites a related lawsuit against Mr. Cox, but fails to mention that he won the lawsuit almost a decade ago, when a California state court dismissed all claims against him.

When you sit through hours of classified briefings on the current threats to our homeland security, as I did with Mr. Cox for two years, you get to know something about a person's character and values.

And Mr. Cox is one of the most honest, most straight-shooting, and smartest members of the House of Representatives. His word was always good in dealing with this Democrat.

Those who predict he will be partisan or biased in favor of corporate boardrooms have not seen the Chris Cox I know.

As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Mr. Cox led a bipartisan legislative and oversight effort that was characterized by a rigorous search for the truth.

Little wonder that the Senate Banking Committee vote to confirm him was bipartisan and unanimous.

Mr. Cox is a law-and-order Republican who will vigilantly protect the public interest as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jim Turner

Washington

The writer is former ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee who is now a partner in a Washington law firm.

President's agenda clearly `mainstream'

Alfred Ross of the Institute for Democratic Studies says that the Federalist Society is "far outside the mainstream" and that it tries to push a "Bush agenda of giving more power to the states" ("Where conservatives debate the law," July 28).

George W. Bush is the president of the United States. He was elected by a majority of the voters.

Mr. Ross seems to feel that the president and the majority of Americans are "far outside the mainstream."

Just where does he think the mainstream is?

Andrew Goldfinger

Baltimore

Ex-convicts are part of the city's future

Many thanks to Dan Rodricks for reminding us that thousands of prison inmates are released each year back to Baltimore neighborhoods, and that the employment, housing and other re-entry problems many of them confront are problems they need help to solve ("A weary city can't turn to cynicism when it come to drugs and violence," July 25).

It might be tempting to write off these returning offenders - to say that they don't deserve help and that we should concentrate on preventing children from falling into the same patterns of crime, drugs and prison.

But we should not write them off, for they are here among us; they are part of our community and the parents of some of our children.

If we do not help, we doom them, their families and ourselves to more crime, more generations of fractured families and a high recidivism rate.

Directly and indirectly, we will all pay a huge price for this.

Many individuals and groups are working hard to reduce the harm, but we need to do much more.

Joanne Nathans

Baltimore

The writer is a member of the board of the Job Opportunities Task Force.

Addicts need help all across the state

I would like to express my appreciation for Dan Rodricks' attempts to fight the war on drugs and to The Sun for supporting him ("A weary city can't turn to cynicism when it comes to drugs and violence," July 25).

But let's face it: The Sun is sold and bought throughout Maryland. The drugs wars include all of Maryland. Addiction affects all of Maryland. And finally, where do many people from surrounding counties buy their drugs? You guessed it, Baltimore.

This problem will never be defeated unless support and help is available for all Marylanders.

So let's stop acting as if Baltimore is the only place help is needed and must be offered.

Chantel Rexroth

Abingdon

Tutoring programs empower parents

It is true that parental satisfaction may not provide the best evaluation of after-school tutoring programs ("Tutoring becomes a hot commodity," July 24). But until better criteria are developed, parental satisfaction provides a pretty good yardstick.

And at least low-income families can now take advantage of tutoring opportunities heretofore enlisted primarily by wealthier families.

The more vexing and immediate dilemma for schools and tutoring companies is how to reach parents so more eligible students take advantage of the free tutoring.

It isn't easy, but it is doable.

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