Letters To The Editor

May 01, 2006

Senate race focuses on rM-isumM-is, not race

While the central topic explored in The Sun's recent article on the coming senatorial election was fundraising ("Steele, Cardin funding assailed," April 24), what was said by Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's campaign spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers, was far more revealing - and regrettable.

Ms. Sellers said, "It's too bad that Ben Cardin and his Democratic Party bosses spend all their time dreaming up race-based, partisan attacks on Michael Steele."

Excuse me? I fail to see any evidence of race being a factor in any criticism directed at the lieutenant governor.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. It is only the Steele campaign that is trying to inject race into this election.

How ironic that the Republican Party, which has moved heaven and earth to discredit affirmative action, now chooses to exploit race in the hopes of gaining some extra advantage for Mr. Steele.

But Mr. Steele needs all the help he can get. He certainly can't run on his rM-isumM-i, as there is absolutely nothing in this man's background to indicate he has the qualifications or experience to serve competently in the U.S. Senate.

Both Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin and Kweisi Mfume have served honorably in the House of Representatives, while Mr. Steele's single accomplishment in public life has been in a post with no official duties.

The Steele campaign's effort to exploit the color of his skin to gain votes is both reprehensible and pathetic.

This election isn't about race. It is about rM-isumM-is.

And that means Mr. Steele has a big problem.

Joe Roman

Baltimore

Democrats accepted Hillary Clinton's role

Some Democrats are upset that Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich is involved in policy decisions in her husband's administration and that she has continued her part-time employment for a company that coincidentally conducts business with state agencies ("Political wife, and a lot more," April 23).

Oddly, I don't recall that Democrats were troubled when first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was managing major program initiatives during her husband's "two-for-the-price-of-one" presidency or amassing personal wealth by representing legal clients who sought to do business with her husband's gubernatorial administration in Arkansas.

Their enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton and her enterprises was not dampened by her 1993 health care reform fiasco, which was a product of a secretive process for which the government was assessed substantial civil fines and that helped cost her party control of Congress in the 1994 election.

Nor did they seriously question any of her Arkansas-era activities, even when the media exposed disturbing details about her miraculous profit of $100,000 on a $1,000 investment in the risky futures market that was orchestrated by a lobbyist for a major corporation that was seeking state governmental regulatory relief.

Apparently, in some quarters, different times call for different standards.

Barry C. Steel

Phoenix

President misused security information

In his column "A traitor in our midst" (Opinion

Commentary, April 26), Cal Thomas asks, "Has politics come to this - that the national security of this country can be compromised for political gain?"

Instead of leaving this a rhetorical question, I suggest that we simply ask former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and former CIA operative Valerie Plame about this issue.

Telling the truth when the government doesn't want it heard has always been dangerous. But the present political push by the Bush administration is making it more so.

Bryce Kaspar

Baltimore

I would like the opportunity to answer Cal Thomas' question: "What do you call someone who, in violation of her [or his] oath, reveals government secrets to a reporter, who then prints them and exposes a clandestine operation?"

I would call that person "President George W. Bush" (i.e., in the Valerie Plame fiasco).

Mr. Thomas calls that person a traitor.

And that's odd, because I usually disagree with Mr. Thomas.

Dave Tarr

Cockeysville

Failing to protect consumers' interests

According to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., under the new deal with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the utility has committed to providing $600 million over 10 years for rate relief, provided the merger deal of BGE's parent company, Constellation Energy, with Florida's FPL Group goes through ("Democrats calling for rate action," April 22).

To cover the cost of deferring some payments, the utility would borrow money, which customers would repay, plus interest, in our monthly fees.

What I want to know is, where's the $528 million that was given to Constellation Energy to compensate it for an anticipated loss in value to its power plants when deregulation was approved in 1999?

The plants didn't lose value, they appreciated, so where's that money?

It would be nice to have a governor who looked out for his people instead of worrying about big business, and would tell BGE where it could put its 72 percent rate increase.

Jeff Fetrow

Hampstead

Legislators losing touch with people

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