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Letters to the Editor

September 10, 2010

Shank thinks he is clear choice in Senate race



To the editor:

Elections are about choices. Next week's primary election between state Sen. Donald F. Munson and I will offer the voters of Washington County two very different visions.

My vision for Maryland's future is one where the citizens have more liberty and less government, less spending and lower taxes.

There is a great deal at stake in this election. Unemployment in Washington County is over 10 percent. Every time we turn around, we hear about another business closing its doors. If the answer to our economic problems was more government spending, we would have seen results by now. Instead, unchecked government spending has led to crippling taxes.

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Maryland ranks 45th in business tax climate and our income tax is among the highest in the nation. Even with the high taxes we pay, we still have billions in deficits projected well into the future. During my term in office, I have worked to curtail this spending and fought against taxes. The stakes are too high for silence, or worse yet accommodation.

I have a record of legislative results in keeping our families and communities safe. In an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, I was able to pass Jessica's law, a bill opposed by the defense attorneys. Now predators who abuse children are ineligible for parole. I have also concentrated on the scourge of domestic violence, passing a bill protecting the privacy of domestic violence victims.

This session, we passed my bill establishing a pilot program for GPS monitoring for those who violate protective orders. With the focus on yet another bribery scandal involving an entrenched official in Annapolis, I have passed an ethics reform bill that give prosecutors new tools to curb public corruption.

Sen. Munson and his allies point to a variety of projects as evidence that it is essential to retain him. I would respectfully suggest that evidence from his voting record proves otherwise.

Taxes and spending are linked; you cannot separate one from the other. During his time in the Senate, Sen. Munson has voted for every budget, increasing spending by 183 percent. With this level of spending, it is no surprise that Maryland is in such a fiscal mess and taxes are so high.

The budgets for these past two years have been particularly harmful to Washington County citizens. Constant furloughs of state employees have been demoralizing. The $4 billion of federal stimulus money that have balanced Maryland's budget for the last two years will be gone next year, leaving a huge gap and passing on additional federal debt to our children.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the budget as it left the Senate this year was the overwhelming cost shifts to the counties. The impact of cuts to local transportation aid has been devastating to this county, pushing several local towns to increase their property taxes. Along with the cuts in transportation funding, there was also a proposed shift of teacher pension costs onto the counties. Combined with the transportation cuts, this unfunded mandate to our county would have equated to a property tax increase of at least 15 cents. All of this damage was contained in budgets that Sen. Munson voted for.

Fortunately, elections give us a choice to stay on this track of overspending or correct our path and return to prosperity. I believe in Ronald Reagan's shining "City on a Hill." God has truly blessed this nation and state with the fruits of liberty. If we have the right leadership and a commitment to reform, we can fix this.

If you agree, I'd appreciate your vote for state Senate on Sept. 14.

Del. Christopher B. Shank
Hagerstown

Editor's note: Del. Christopher B. Shank, a Republican representing Subdistrict 2B in Washington County, is running for state Senate in District 2, which covers most of Washington County.




Munson's record shows his effectiveness



To the editor:

I object to the pejorative RINO in Mail Call, particularly as applied to state Sen. Donald F. Munson.

Real Republicans are Americans first. Their loyalties are to their country and their constituents rather than only to their party and the conservative ideology. If an idea is good, they will work for it and vote for it, no matter which side of the aisle it came from.

Munson believes in that goal, and his record shows the effectiveness of that attitude.

If I lived in Maryland, I would vote proudly for Donald Munson.

Burr Loomis
Chambersburg, Pa.




Shank is a man of integrity



To the editor:

Del. Christopher B. Shank is campaigning for state senator. He is a man of integrity.

I recently became involved in helping a friend who, as a child, had been the victim of sexual abuse. Twenty-seven years later, in 2005, she reported the abuse. The accused confessed. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. A technical loophole freed him from registering as a sexual predator since the crime had been committed long ago. This convicted felon would have been free to go where no one would know his crime.

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