Letters to the Editor

May 14, 2009

Specter sells out

To the editor:

I noted with great disappointment that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania decided to change party affiliations.

I had always considered Specter to be an intellectually honest and relatively sincere public servant. I had viewed Specter as a principled elected representative of the people. I was wrong.

Specter has decided that it is far more important for him to remain in the United Stated Senate than for him to continue to represent and be a part of the party that put him there.

If Specter has issues with the current direction of the party that he has so long been a part of, then he has a duty to work within that party for reform. I did not hear any complaints from him when he benefited from associations with the likes of Ronald Reagan and the once popular Bush family.


However, now that the winds of political fortune have temporarily changed and he is fearful of losing the Republican primary, he is unwilling to stand by his party.

In my mind, this case dramatically proves my point about career politicians. No one ever wants to leave Washington once they become members of Congress, and because no one ever leaves, nothing ever changes. Once again I am forced to make the observation that our leaders believe in and are driven by personal ambition and personal power; they are clearly not interested in representing the people who put them in office.

Rod Pearson Sr.

Plum is qualified

To the editor:

Carol Redding, a Democratic candidate for magisterial district judge (MDJ) in District 39-3-03, has been comparing Republican Dave Plum's qualifications to hers.

Magisterial district courts are lower-level minor courts with limited jurisdiction. To qualify for the position of MDJ, an individual must successfully complete an intensive course of study given by the State of Pennsylvania, or be a lawyer. The State of Pennsylvania makes no distinction between an MDJ that is qualified via the course of study or as an attorney.

Redding states that Plum has "completed minimum requirement and received certification" from the Minor Judiciary Education Board in 2008. The word "minimum" is inaccurate, because there is only one course given by the state. Plum's certificate states "This is to certify that David L. Plum has completed the course of instruction, passed the examination required by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is qualified to perform the duties of a Magisterial District Judge."

Required signatures are on Plum's certificate. In short, Plum is fully qualified and specifically trained to perform the duties of an M.D.J.

It is disturbing to see a candidate for a judgeship position resort to the above tactic to try to convince the public that her qualification is superior to Plum's - and incidentally, also superior to the six out of seven currently sitting MDJ's in Franklin County who obtained their qualifications in the same manner as Plum.

The Pennsylvania Rules of Court state under "Campaign Conduct" that "Candidates for a judicial office should maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office."

Redding, in intentionally misrepresenting Plum's qualifications has, in my view, failed to "maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office."

John E. Pace Sr.
Chambersburg, Pa.

Your only answer is tea?

To the editor:

With the United States and world economy facing one of the most perilous situations in modem times, one would think that all of us - regardless of our political persuasion - would pull together to do everything in our power to support the current government in its attempt to correct the missteps of past administrations and to forge a brighter future for our nation and for each of us. Only a huge, concerted, and long-term effort can correct our ailing economy, repair America's image in the world and restore our nation to its rightful position of respect and leadership.

Our president, in response to the mandate of responsibilities thrust upon him, will require unity, bipartisanship, commitment of time, energy, patience and money, as well as respect and support for those we have placed in authority.

The vision of this administration is sweeping; it will bring changes to our financial system, to existing new and needed programs, strengthening our schools, infrastructure and leading the fight against global warming. Of course this agenda will be expensive; of course it will take time; of course there will not be total agreement on its implementation. (For example, some who loudly decry the stimulus packages are only too willing to accept quietly whatever share comes their way!) Can we in good conscience criticize those whose ideas have yet to be tested? Let those who do criticize come up with a better plan! Let them try to fill the shoes of a president who, under unprecedented pressure at home and abroad, has accomplished more in his first weeks in office than many managed to achieve in months or even years.

This is a time that calls for greatness. It is a time for serious planning, a time for working together. Above all, it is a time for setting aside all pettiness. And speaking of pettiness, it seems that the only plan some members of our beloved nation can offer is a series of tea parties.

Can we not expect better from those who belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln?

Mary Ann Payne
Fayetteville, Pa.

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