Candidate profiles omit critical issues


August 30, 2006

On Sunday, The Sun profiled the top two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate with articles beginning on the front page and continuing for another entire page in the middle of the section ("Same race, different starting points," Aug. 27). I began reading with interest but was disappointed by the end.

The candidates' lives were profiled in depth. However, the reporting on their stands on the issues was limited to a few lines, and information on environmental issues was missing.

The Sun's profiles also failed to report on the biggest issue of our time and a defining problem for generations to come: How will the federal government address global warming?

What are the candidates' opinions on this critical issue?

Do the candidates support increasing miles-per-gallon standards for automobile manufacturers?

Do they support efforts to increase the percentage of the electricity the nation's power plants generate that comes from clean, renewable energy sources?

Do they support measures to promote clean water and control air pollution?

Where do they stand on efforts to clean large bodies of water such as the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay?

I hope that in the future, The Sun will spend more time investigating each candidate's performance and present promises on more issues. And, of course, give global warming and environmental issues the space and emphasis such key problems deserve.

Deborah Portney


Ballot issue a chance to save open space

The Sun's article "Md. ballot language questioned" (Aug. 25) raises important questions about the protection of Maryland's farms, parks and open spaces in November's election.

For nearly 40 years, Maryland's public lands have been protected from development through state funding dedicated to programs such as Program Open Space and an aggressive state policy of land conservation.

The fact that the legislature overwhelmingly passed the amendment that would make it more difficult for the governor to sell off public lands demonstrates the bipartisan nature of public support for open space in Maryland.

While I am unsure why the new language for the ballot question differs from that which was passed by the legislature, I am confident that voters will see through the new and confusing language.

Marylanders don't want sprawling development to pave over our most pristine places.

Voting for this ballot question is a simple way to send the clear message that protecting our state lands matters.

Kate O'Donnell


The writer works in voter education for Partners for Open Space.

A clearer version of land question

The Ehrlich administration has revised the suggested wording of the high-profile ballot amendment that would, if approved, require that all requests for sale or other transfer of public lands be reviewed by and approved by the General Assembly ("Md. ballot language questioned," Aug. 25).

The governor's secretary of state took what appeared to me to be very clear language and reworked it into five very confusing sentences.

If Mr. Ehrlich is so concerned that the question be passed and that it be properly explained, may I suggest the following new wording? The ballot question should use the language suggested by the General Assembly for the first sentence and then add this second sentence:

"The purpose of this amendment is to prevent the governor from selling or otherwise conveying public lands to family, friends, cronies, donors or business associates without the knowledge and permission of the General Assembly and the citizens of the state of Maryland."

That seems pretty clear to me.

Jana Hussmann Meacham


Death toll in Iraq is no accident

Comparing the number of fatalities caused by vehicular accidents with the number of fatalities in the war in Iraq is fallacious ("Body count on roads dwarfs toll of war," letters, Aug. 28).

We were not lied to when roads and automobiles were made. We knew that if we were careless, deadly accidents could happen.

But we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And going there to fight a war is no accident. It was a deliberate act by the Bush administration.

Gracianus R. Reyes


Let Cosby lecture whites on racism

Bill Cosby has brought laughter to countless millions of Americans and has given millions of dollars to causes that have benefited his brothers and sisters ("Cosby calls to absent fathers," Aug. 23). Unfortunately, his message is incomplete.

Mr. Cosby seems to believe that the answers to the problems facing African-Americans lie entirely within the black community.

He wants folks to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps, and that's impossible. He fails to emphasize the other half of the problem - the part that mainstream culture contributes.

Blacks will be able to lift themselves up only when the mainstream lends them the hand they need.

Mr. Cosby should spread that message.

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