Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 17, 2006

Act to safeguard integrity of vote

To almost no one's surprise, Tuesday's election was a fiasco. It is just fortunate that it was a primary rather than the general election ("Election woes elicit calls for firings," Sept. 14).

For years, warnings from many organizations about the integrity of the ballot have been ignored.

The legislature dithered, failing to pass legislation requiring adequate security, quality assurance and a clear, auditable trail for the electronic voting machines.

The only good that might come of this debacle is if the problems finally get the attention they deserve.

If the integrity of the voting process is suspect, nothing else really matters.

Until the state takes adequate measures to ensure the integrity of these machines, I'm voting by absentee ballot.

I want my vote to count.

Craig Herud

Aberdeen

Schaefer's defeat a changing of guard

Peter Franchot's victory over incumbent state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens is good for all Maryland citizens ("A `legend' unseated," Sept. 14).

This was a huge win over a crony of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. who was once mentioned as a possible running mate (Ms. Owens). And of course Mr. Schaefer's craziness and coddling of the governor made him very easy to unseat.

Mr. Schaefer had made Maryland a national laughingstock with his biased and sexist comments, and then he followed that up by calling Ms. Owens "fat" - which is definitely not a recipe for success, in Maryland or anywhere.

This should be the first step in a restructuring of Maryland politics, with progressive Democrats replacing the old guard and Ehrlich sympathizers.

Roger Fitzgerald

Hampstead

Younger Schaefer will be lasting image

As a former resident of Baltimore, I remember a playful Mayor William Donald Schaefer who encouraged us to play trashball and swam with seals ("A `legend' unseated," Sept. 14).

I remember a dedicated visionary who put Baltimore on the map with Harborplace.

I remember a Governor Schaefer who loved life and people and who worked hard to make life better for all the citizens of Maryland.

As a former resident of Allegany County, I remember a dedicated governor who worked hard to bring economic prosperity and improved education funding to all areas of the state.

I remember seeing a charming, joyful governor on Opening Day of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992.

I do not know the grumpy old man who disrupted meetings, who made disparaging remarks about people, and who seemed to forget the joy of making politics work.

That man has no place in my memory. Instead, I shall remember trashball, rubber duckies, Harborplace, economic growth, his concern for Baltimore as well as all of Maryland, and the master politician, William Donald Schaefer.

Donna Truesdell

Paia, Hawaii

Petulant swan song for a stellar career

The comptroller's race was William Donald Schaefer's to win - but he lost it because of his obnoxious and wacky behavior ("A `legend' unseated," Sept. 14).

Mr. Schaefer's actions over the last several years made him a cartoon character: a petulant, pitiful final act in what was to that point a stellar career.

Eleanor Rogers

Baltimore

Find the courage to alter our course

The Sun is to be commended for its editorial "A nation transformed" (Sept. 11) about the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Sun's assessment of our situation five years later is so true. I pray that we have the courage to change America from "the dark, fearful, intolerant side" to "a brave, optimistic and compassionate nation."

That is a worthy goal indeed.

Lois F. Sexton

Cockeysville

Elections a chance for new direction

Americans will have a chance to reshape the political landscape this November and these elections will function as a referendum on the current administration's policies.

I contend that the Bush administration's tactics of pre-emptive war may have eliminated some terrorists, their bases and resources, but they also have generated fear and resentment in foreign populations that will fuel terrorism in the years to come.

Recent rhetoric from the president has called the war on terror the "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century" and a battle of ideas ("Parties fight over war," Sept. 13). But the tactics of this administration are largely military. And I would like to ask, how do you shoot an idea, or bomb a creed?

Instead of winning the hearts and minds of people in unstable regions and promoting understanding, we have killed, maimed, bombed, imprisoned and tortured people.

The appropriate response to all of this is clear: to voice our disapproval of the president's policies by removing his party's hold on Congress.

Patrick Kerns

Baltimore

Fixating on rights ignores the threats

I pity the readers who regularly bemoan the loss of a few constitutional rights as our government surveils potential terrorists or locks up civilian combatants found on a battlefields where Americans were under attack ("Don't let president trash Constitution," letters, Sept. 10).

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