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Letters to the Editor

February 19, 1998

Letters to the Editor

Independent plan

To the editor:

For the third year, Maryland State Sen. Paul Pinsky has introduced a bill - Senate Bill 27 - into the legislature to make Maryland elections more fair, increase competition for incumbents and make government more responsive to the public.

SB27 will let people - who choose not to register Democrat or Republican and who want desperately to correct problems facing Maryland and America - have a fighting chance to get on the ballot, get elected and help make those corrections.

Specifically, SB27 would lower from 3 percent to 1 percent the signatures a candidate must collect on a petition to get on the ballot.

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Maryland is the second-most repressive state in the Union in terms of restricting independent-minded voters from the ballot. Most states require only 1/2 or 1 percent. Some require none.

For example, to run for governor of New Jersey, independent candidates need only about 800 signatures. In Maryland those candidates need about 75,000. However, if the candidates are Democrats or Republicans in Maryland, they need no petition signatures. They'd just have to pay a $280 filing fee to run.

Last year, the Maryland Senate approved this bill overwhelmingly. The Maryland House of Delegates killed it April 5, at the end of its session. The bill lost by one vote. Some delegates don't understand that to work, democracy must be fair.

Now is the time to write our state senators and delegates and tell them to pass SB27 and bring fairness to Maryland elections. The address for senators and delegates is Maryland General Assembly, Annapolis, Md. 21401-1991. Failure to pass SB27 strips voters of tools they need to correct Maryland's problems.

Russell T. Forte

Colesville, Md.

Bad calls

To the editor:

I do not like unsolicited telephone calls made for the purpose of obtaining business. I consider them a nuisance, and an invasion of privacy. I have actually been cursed by telephone solicitors - simply because I had no desire to listen to their absurd jabber.

The fact they are made at the sole convenience of the caller, and definitely interrupt whatever I may be doing, speaks for itself.

However, I speak only for myself, because I realize some people may enjoy receiving unsolicited telephone calls.

I do have a suggestion that may make both sides happy.

Why not allow people such as me, who do not want any unsolicited telephone calls, to notify the telephone company (and any other telephone-sales organizations) accordingly.

It would then be their responsibility to print some kind of mark or symbol next to the name and telephone number of those not wanting unsolicited telephone calls.

I have nothing against unsolicited direct-mail, because this seems like a reasonable way to solicit business. There is a business name, address and telephone number. I can read it at my convenience and can quietly dispose of the contents if I am not interested. I don't have to listen to some ridiculous, inaudible sales babble.

Harold E. Winn

Hagerstown

Stuff wanted

To the editor:

My fifth grade class is studying the United States and its geography. Will you send me a post card, pictures, posters, magazines, or anything that will help me learn more about your state, our country and its people?

You may be interested in knowing that this project has been very successful. So far the class has received a phone call from as far away as Wyoming, mounds of personal photos and letters, books, personal videos, prepared videos, hundreds of post cards, a bottle of Tabasco sauce from Louisiana, information from a U.S. Senator, a necklace from the Mardi Gras parade, minerals and much more.

I have learned much about our country and its people this way.

Michael Young

Grandview School

Grandview Ave.

Catskill, N.Y. 12414

Wear sweats

To the editor:

The taxpayers of Maryland finally have something to cheer about. I read recently about Del. J. Anita Stup wanting to regulate the dry cleaning industry. Why do dry cleaning owners think they can charge want they want to clean ladies clothes?

It is about time we get a law in this state forcing dry cleaners to charge a certain amount. I mean, this is the U.S. and we do have oppressive government organizations at all levels. I am glad that the really serious issues of this state are being addressed in the General Assembly.

Delegate Stup, if you do not like what you pay for dry cleaning, find a cheaper place, buy your own equipment, or wear sweats. Leave the small business owner alone and let the government of Maryland handle serious issues like economic development, lower taxes, crime prevention, etc. This bill about dry cleaning is a joke and so is the salary you receive from the taxpayers.

David M. Girio

Chambersburg, Pa.

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