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Letters to the editor 10/30

October 30, 2002

Mooney votes against good works



To the editor:


As a registered voter who is neither Democrat nor Republican, I have paid close attention to the District 3 Senate race, listening carefully to what each side has offered as reasons for deserving my vote. It is painfully clear what Alex Mooney is against. I have yet to hear clearly what he stands for.

He is against taxes. He has battered his opponent on taxes, implying that Sue Hecht voted for an unbalanced budget that has led to the state's deficit. The truth is, by our state's constitution, the legislature cannot pass an unbalanced budget. Certainly Mooney understands that. The state estimates its revenues and then budgets spending accordingly. The weak economy has adversely impacted the state's revenues, leading to a budget deficit. Other states are facing similar budget crises.

Some other things that Mooney is against are surprising. He claims to promote family values, but his record says he is against ensuring our children's safety. He voted against cracking down on school zone speeders. He voted against civil penalties for unregistered daycare providers. He voted against screening children for lead poisoning, and Maryland has one of the highest rates of child lead poisoning in the country.

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Campaign ads have touted Mooney as a champion of education. However, he has voted against bills to encourage our teachers to strive for nationally recognized excellence. He voted against school breakfasts and after-school programming. Most importantly, he has consistently voted against the state budget, which pays our teachers' salaries and funds our schools.

Mooney's well-financed ads repeatedly tell us what he's against. His campaign is largely financed by out-of-state, radical right-wing groups. We should send someone to Annapolis who stands for the citizens of Frederick and Washington counties. We should elect Sue Hecht to State Senate in District 3.

Judy Yeckley

Frederick, Md.




The truth about Townsend



To the editor:


I am writing to expose some of Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend's true record in hopes that Marylanders won't make the mistake of voting for her for governor. Townsend and her campaign spokespeople and friends have tried hard to make us believe she has been a great leader for Maryland over the last eight years, but don't buy it! Let's compare the rhetoric with the reality.

Rhetoric: Bill Clinton says Townsend is the "finest lieutenant governor in the United States" and Hillary says Townsend "truly understood what it is to be a leader." Reality: Under Townsend's so-called "leadership" of the Juvenile Justice System, a newspaper (The Baltimore Sun) in 1999 discovered gross mismanagement of Maryland juvenile detention camps, including beatings inflicted on inmates by guards, sometimes while inmates were handcuffed and shackled, resulting in cuts, bruises, shattered teeth and broken bones.

Rhetoric: Townsend is tough on crime, especially gun crime, while challenger Bob Ehrlich is "opposed to reasonable gun control" and other tough crime measures. Reality: Townsend is responsible for "leading" the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Yet despite her almost constant calls for more gun laws in Maryland, the fact is she fails to enforce existing gun laws.

Her administration just this year failed for at least three months to provide background check information to the FBI, allowing hundreds of rifle and shotgun purchases to go unchecked and possibly into the hands of criminals.

Now there are calls from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee chairman for an investigation of how $6.7 million in federal grants to improve background checks has been spent in Maryland since 1995, when Townsend took office. The chairman said "the state of Maryland is the only state to refuse to assist the FBI with its NICS checks."

Meanwhile, Bob Ehrlich has co-sponsored a bill that aims to close loopholes in the federal system that screens prospective gun buyers and he strongly supports Project Exile to curb gun violence.

Rhetoric: It's the economy, stupid, and Townsend is the better economic leader. Reality: Townsend is part of the team that has increased state spending by more than 60 percent since taking office in 1994 and has turned a budget surplus of over $1 billion into a $1.7 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year. If someone managed your personal finances this way, would you re-elect them to continue the job?

Townsend, even with a Democratic majority in the legislature to make her job easier, has had eight years to show us what she can do, and has done very little good for Western Maryland, or Maryland as a whole, while causing problems that will haunt us for years. Isn't it time to give an excellently qualified Bob Ehrlich the chance to show us what real leadership is? Please get out and vote Ehrlich on election day.

Steve Bell

Hagerstown




Shank was wrong to accept state aid



To the editor:


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