Readers Respond

August 30, 2009

Del. Cardin apologizes for marriage-proposal stunt

I would like to apologize for my actions surrounding my marriage proposal, any confusion that my absence on a previously scheduled vacation may have contributed, and the embarrassing attention that it has engendered. What should have been a joyous time of my life became one that was instead marked by errors in judgment.

I take full responsibility for initiating this incident. I should have been sensitive enough to realize that these are extraordinarily difficult times in Baltimore, both financially and from a public safety perspective. In that context, I realize how inappropriate my request was.

I love Baltimore, it's my hometown, and I would never intentionally jeopardize our great city's reputation or resources. I certainly hope that the blame for this is placed on me, and none of it is given to any of the brave officers of the Baltimore City Police Department.

In response to my lapse in judgment, I have personally apologized to the mayor, the police commissioner, and the Marine Police Unit. I have fully reimbursed the city for its expenses. I have also made a personal contribution to the city's venerable mounted police unit to help it weather the financial crisis that is now threatening its existence.

Finally, I hope that my fianc?e will be able to forgive the fact that I brought this unexpected and undesired public attention to what should have been a special moment in our lives.

I pledge to you that, with your trust in me, I will take this opportunity to learn from my errors. I will not let this mistake deflect from my continued efforts for the 11th District and to improve and develop policies concerning smart energy, health, finance and the environment at large.

Jon S. Cardin The writer is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Did Cardin learn his lesson?

While it is good that Delegate Cardin apologized, reimbursed and took the blame for his misuse of police resources, voters should see in this the problem of political royalty.

Cardin seems to see himself as someone for whom government is a personal object for him to do with as he pleases. He has shown a personality trait of which voters should be wary. Perhaps he learned a lesson from this misadventure, but perhaps this is also something deeply ingrained that will rise again.

Kevin Zeese, Baltimore

Biologics legislation critical

Biotech-based drugs, known as biologics, hold tremendous promise for addressing some of the world's most debilitating diseases. These powerful medicines are extending and saving the lives of people living with diseases ranging from cancer and HIV/AIDS to Parkinson's and diabetes.

Key committees in the U.S. House and Senate recently voted to reduce the cost and increase the availability of biologics as part of health care reform legislation by allowing the development of biosimilars, medicines that imitate pioneering biologics and are sometimes inaccurately referred to as "biogenerics." Importantly, this legislation includes incentives for the development of the next generation of breakthrough medicines.

Congress must move quickly and carefully to reform our health care system while encouraging scientists to continue their search for new therapies and cures. By supporting a fair and balanced pathway to biosimilars, Congress can increase access to lifesaving biologics, encourage the development of breakthrough medicines and promote high-wage "innovation economy" jobs - three issues critical to Maryland citizens.

Richard A. Zakour, Rockville The writer is executive director of the MdBio Division of the Tech Council of Maryland.

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