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To court the GOP, O'Malley embraces Big Ag, abandons the bay [Letter]

Once again, Gov. Martin O'Malley has tried to show that he can be a player on the national stage and a potential presidential candidate ("Don't count out O'Malley," March 2).

At the recent Taste of Maryland dinner Mr. O'Malley tried to show Republican voters that he can move to his right. He evoked memories of President George H.W. Bush with his read my lips comment regarding his threatened veto the Poultry Fair Share Act. He also conjured up another Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, by using his bully pulpit.

Mr. O'Malley is also showing Big Ag that he is their friend, even to the detriment of the Chesapeake Bay and the democratic process. By virtue of his veto threat and other pressures, the legislation was withdrawn from the House before it could receive a fair review there.

Fortunately, Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. has refused to pull the Senate version before there is a hearing. I'm sure that he is not the only senator or delegate to realize that they can't just keep reaching into the pockets of the citizenry to pay for the sins of the poultry industry.

It is time that Perdue and other large chicken manufacturers pay their fair share for their failure to abate the nitrogen and phosphorus problems created by the chicken manure that they have allowed to leak into the bay, creating dead zones and algae blooms.

It is threatening the livelihood of watermen. It is threatening the ability to supply local restaurants with locally sourced seafood. And it is threatening recreation and tourism industries.

Left unchecked and without the necessary funds that would be provided by the Poultry Fair Share Act, I do not hold out much hope for our nation's largest estuary, which is also our regional treasure.

Wayne R. Carson, Baltimore

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