Letters to the Editor

The government does not belong to the governor

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s comments on WBAL radio certainly had achilling effect on me ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

But what is truly "chilling" is his comment: "That's my government. That'smy government. I'm the chief executive."

I do believe that it is our government, not the governor's - and thatgovernor serves us, not the other way around.

Allene Gutin


The chilling effect Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. spoke of in his WBALinterview is working; I find it chilling that the governor of the state ofMaryland would attempt to use his office to control and suppress the voice ofthe press when he finds it unappealing.

If there is a valid case for libel, then perhaps he should take legalaction in the courts. If there is not, then it is his duty to provide equalaccess to all news agencies.

And this is not his government, as Mr. Ehrlich stated in his WBALinterview. It is our government.

Angela Miller


On a radio program broadcast by WBAL, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said:"That's my government."

I thought Maryland's state government belonged to the people of Maryland.

How could I have been so naive?

James M. Kehl


Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s statement, "That's my government. That's mygovernment. I'm the chief executive," is chillingly evocative of King LouisXIV's remark: "L'état c'est moi" ("I am the state").

Slip of the tongue or tongue in cheek? It's disturbing.

Leo Bretholz


Sun's poor quality plants seeds of doubt

Perhaps the ban on reporters should concern all citizens, but this one isnot even a little bit worried ("Ban on reporters should concern all citizens,"Nov. 28).

Only two of hundreds - even thousands - of journalists have been banned,and that is because they have egregiously abused their responsibility to thereading public.

Since their employer will do nothing to protect the reading public, thegovernor did. Hallelujah; it's about time.

Michael Olesker reports a facial expression on the governor's presssecretary at a hearing he didn't even attend. And one of David Nitkin'sarticles ran alongside a map that suggested the governor was going to sell theentire park system.

It seems to me The Sun should be concerned about its poor quality ofnewspapering.

Paul Moore's column stated that the ban on the reporters is intended "toplant seeds of doubt among readers about the veracity of The Sun's reporting."

Too late. The Sun did that a long time ago, and continues to compound theerror with the weakest of defenses.

Gene Edwards

York, Pa.

Ehrlich's tactics seek to squelch debate

Despite Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s petulant power grab to the contrary,the government belongs to the citizens of Maryland.

And this co-owner does not approve of Mr. Ehrlich's behavior and, by hisown admission, deliberately chilling effect on public information, politicaldiscourse and informed discussion.

Mr. Ehrlich's tactics are part of a nasty national trend to squelch publicdebate and stigmatize those who question the policies and practices of theirgovernment.

Martha K. Johnston


Freedom of press is right, not privilege

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. shows a woeful lack of understanding of the lawand of his responsibilities as governor ("Ehrlich says he intended `chillingeffect,'" Nov. 27).

Mr. Ehrlich first talks about a First Amendment "privilege."

But freedom of speech and of the press are rights guaranteed by theConstitution. They are not a privilege granted by the governor.

Later in the same interview, Mr. Ehrlich stated, "That's my government.That's my government. I'm the chief executive."

Mr. Ehrlich, it is not your government. The state government belongs to thepeople of Maryland, and you are an employee of that government.

Let's just hope he is not an employee after the next election.

Bob Schurter


Governor destroyed his own credibility

The first three words that come to mind concerning Gov. Robert L. EhrlichJr. are petty, petulant and childish ("Ehrlich says he intended `chillingeffect,'" Nov. 27).

He pouts to Chip Franklin on WBAL radio that The Sun abuses the FirstAmendment in criticizing his administration, and says that blacklisting DavidNitkin and Michael Olesker was meant "to have a chilling effect on two writerswho have no credibility."

I suggest that Mr. Ehrlich take a look in the mirror if he really wants tosee the individual who has no credibility in this state.

It was his administration that tried to engineer the backroom deal with thewell-connected Willard J. Hackerman to sell prime preservation land in St.Mary's County for development.

It was he who concocted the ill-advised slots plan whose main purposeseemed to be enriching track owners at the expense of the rest of the state.

The Sun has done a great service by exposing these schemes.

It is emblematic of the Ehrlich administration that it wishes to silencethe messengers and drown out the message.

David Mauriello

Severna Park

Heat from the press comes with the office

I voted for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and, overall, I think that he'sdoing a good job as governor. However, Nitkin-Olesker-gate is a disgrace("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'" Nov. 27).

In response to Mr. Ehrlich's memo prohibiting state employees fromcommunicating with David Nitkin and Michael Olesker, I would send the governorthe following memo:

"Dear Mr. Ehrlich: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Leon Reinstein


Another Republican view of government

It is interesting to compare Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s statement on WBALradio - "That's my government" ("Ehrlich says he intended `chilling effect,'"Nov. 27) - with the remarks of another Republican leader oft-criticized in histime, President Abraham Lincoln, who spoke of "government of the people, bythe people, for the people."

But we really didn't need to hear the governor's latest outburst on talkradio to know that he's no Lincoln.

Eric F. Waller


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