I have to disagree with your statement that Grover Norquist was only a symptom of the GOP's refusal to raise taxes ("Bucking the pledge," Nov. 28). Most, if not all, of the Republicans in Congress have signed his pledge.

In doing so they pledged their primary allegiance not to the United States but to Mr. Norquist. And there were real consequences to pay for those who didn't side with him. Have you forgotten that Maryland lost Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrist, a talented, moderate Republican House member from the 1st District, thanks to Mr. Norquist's operatives?

A very rich, un-elected individual has exerted unprecedented control over the actions of Congress. His leverage was his ability to prevent the re-election of congressmen like Mr. Gilchrist. I find it alarming that a single wealthy individual could potentially undermine our entire democracy. We surely need some kind of campaign finance reform.

Jane Scocca, Aberdeen