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Letters to the Editor

July 16, 2010

Obama didn't follow through on promise



To the editor:

I don't know what has happened with promises, but I do remember real well one promise that President Obama made to us when he was running for office.

I thought it was wonderful that he cared so much for the seniors when he said they would pay no federal taxes on the first $50,000 they made.

I remember this real well and I thought he understood the plight of senior citizens trying to get along on the little money they receive.

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I am not the only one who remembers this. Many seniors come up to me and also wonder where this help is that he preached all through his campaign.

If he was so sure during his campaign, why hasn't he carried it out? Many seniors could be helped.

Please think it over and if you would like to carry out another promise, make it work.

Ellis Duffey
Hagerstown




Director's salary could be used to keep us safe



To the editor:

Every 20 years, a binding referendum appears on the ballot asking voters to decide if Maryland should convene a constitutional convention. This would allow a rewrite of the Maryland Constitution. I would suggest that at least one section of the Maryland Constitution should be reconsidered.

The Maryland Constitution allows the legislature the authority only to cut the budget submitted by the governor. The legislature cannot cut from one area then add the savings to another part of the budget. This gives the governor tremendous power.

On Feb. 1, the politically connected Bill Toohey began working for the O'Malley administration as the communications director for the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Toohey's salary is $90,000 a year. His boss, Kristen Mahoney, did not have a full-time spokesman since being appointed as executive director in January 2007.

Before Toohey's appointment, O'Malley announced that for the third straight fiscal year, he was furloughing every agent of the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation. This included the Sex Offender Unit, whose agents help protect children from pedophiles. O'Malley even went on to furlough every agent assigned to the Violence Prevention Unit. These agents monitor the most dangerous felons walking the streets of Maryland.

It is unfortunate that legislators cannot cut the funding for Toohey's position and apply the savings to keep the citizens of Maryland safe. I don't believe Toohey's hiring about nine months before the election is a coincidence. One wonders what other gratuitous positions could be cut? The citizens of Maryland deserve better.

Rai Douglas
president
AFSCME Local 3661

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