Bechtel handout latest example of legal extortion

October 27, 2011

Gee, what country am I living in, as Jay Hancock's recent column points out ("$9.5 million to Bechtel: O'Malley had no choice," Oct. 25). I had thought, extortion, blackmail, and bribery were illegal in the U.S.

A few years ago, Marriott played Maryland officials for suckers with a handout. Earlier this year, the state and Baltimore County felt it necessary to "loan" a million-plus dollars to Stanley, Black, and Decker which reported $935 million in cash in its 2010 annual report. Now, the state grants $9.5 million to Bechtel Corp., another multi-billion dollar company. Guess I was mistaken.

Barbara Gilmour, Towson

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