Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

Outlawing PACsEditor: All lobbying and political action...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Outlawing PACs

Editor: All lobbying and political action committees should be outlawed whether there is a perception of illegality or actual wrongdoing.

Maryland's elected officials should be responsible to the voters, not wealthy special-interest groups. The proposed bills are steps in the right direction. Also, the voters must be more educated, concerned and vocal about the issues of our state.

PAC's and lobbies wouldn't be as strong if we went to the polls in greater numbers.

C. D. Wilmer.

Baltimore.

Governor Humpty

Editor: Gov. William Donald Schaefer's outbursts do not surprise me. He reminds me of a "Humpty Dumpty" who sat on a wall. He has been losing ground through no fault but his own. His recent temper tantrums, using words not suited for a government executive, are not befitting his station.

Reviewing our governors of the past, I cannot remember one who would have gotten down to that level of speech. Statesmanship requires dignity and respect for others.

Harry M. Kirson.

Baltimore.

Harford Leaders

Editor: Your recent editorial said: "New Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann has gotten off to a disappointing start."

In the two months she has been in office she has blamed the previous administration for all of the fiscal problems. Politicians blame everyone else; a good leader takes lemon and turns it into lemonade.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Rehrmann is a student of spend-it-now William Donald Schaefer. She is going to move Harford County into the same fiscal position as Howard County. She wants to borrow money to preserve the bond rating and estimates that we need $3.9 million. Council President Jeffrey Wilson is willing to support a bond issue up to $10 million.

It is my opinion that neither Mrs. Rehrmann nor Jeffrey Wilson iqualified to provide the leadership that Harford County needs.

Frank W. Soltis.

Fallston.

Pride in America

Editor: "You have brought a sense of pride back to America," Gen. Colin L. Powell told United States airmen in a story that ran in the Feb. 11 edition of The Sun.

What a sad state of affairs when it takes killing and destruction in a foreign country to restore our pride. Why not restore it by a real war on drugs, hunger, homelessness, illiteracy and unemployment here at home?

%Mary Nicholas Sommerfeldt.

Baltimore.

Speed and Oil

Editor: It is mandatory that the nation, which has the power to make war and peace, restore the speed limit to 55 mph. Not the states -- the nation.

This mandate will lose nothing. It will save lives along with oil. The opportunity to accomplish this goal is now.

Mary-Paulding Martin.

Baltimore.

Remembering Terry Plunk

Editor: The people of Baltimore do not know Terry Plunk, but certainly they would like to remember him. He and I wrestled for rival high schools, and then we became good friends in college at the Virginia Military Institute. He was at the top of his engineering class, and at graduation he received VMI's highest award for service. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army and soon completed the army's prestigious Ranger school. On Feb. 26, Terry was killed in combat in Operation Desert Storm. He was leading his engineering platoon as it attempted to breach a mine field for the troops that would follow.

Terry was an exceptional young man, but he was also representative of the quality of our fighting men and women. His fate should remind us of the price they were all willing to pay. As we rejoice in our victory and the blessing of remarkably low casualties, we should heed President Bush's call to "never forget those who gave their life." We would do well to remember Terry and those like him. He put all of his knowledge, training, skill and moral courage into accomplishing his mission, and in the end he gave his life clearing a path to freedom.

Neal J. Naff.

Baltimore.

Governor's Mansion: Elitism?

Editor: The comments of Stiles T. Colwill about residents of Eastern Avenue in The Sun article, "Snoops and the seedy look," were a rude insult to all of the citizens of Baltimore City.

This social elitist would lead all us to believe that one rear-door painted screen, visible only to the prying eyes from the third-floor windows of the Senate Office Building, would degrade the Governor's Mansion to a dilapidated row house on Eastern Avenue. How uncouth to display the peasants' art form on our grandiose Georgian manor!

Thomas S. Lipka.

Baltimore.

Editor: Stiles Colwill's demeaning remarks about Eastern Avenue are offensive and elitist in the extreme. The fact is that people of taste are not limited to Mr. Colwill's circle of cronies.

I had the opportunity to tour the mansion shortly after Governor Schaefer was elected and I was appalled at its condition. Hilda Mae Snoops has done a superb job of decorating the Governor's Mansion and has given many thousands of Marylanders an opportunity to enjoy it.

No longer is the mansion used solely for the pleasure of the governor and a handful of friends. The refurbished mansion is now used to say thanks to people, from all walks of life, who make Maryland work.

The governor and Mrs. Snoops have been subjected to ill-considered vilification. State funds were only used for basic necessities such as plumbing. The costs of making the mansion the showplace it now is, were borne by private contributors, of which -- I am proud -- to say my company was one.

It is not easy to raise funds for such projects. I say: great job.

'Christopher C. Hartman.

Baltimore.

Innuendo

Editor: Owen Ullman's article of Feb. 22 on William Webster does a disservice to one of America's most distinguished public servants, to the intelligence community, to the Bush administration and to the readership of The Sun.

The article is neither fairly written nor an accurate assessment of Judge Webster's stature in the eyes of the international intelligence community, federal, state or local criminal justice and intelligence agencies, or the U.S. Congress.

Bill Webster has served this country as U.S. attorney, as judge of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, as director of the F.B.I. and director of the C.I.A., having been appointed by four different presidents from both political parties. Terrorism in the United States is far less than is the case in other industrialized countries, due in part to the priority emphasized for this mission by Judge Webster, both at the F.B.I. and at the C.I.A.

Foreign intelligence agency heads regard Director Webster as a true professional who has won their trust and respect over 15 years of sensitive government service in two of Washington's toughest assignments. He is not viewed as a political appointee nor has he behaved as one. Since Judge Webster's appointment as director of the C.I.A., we have not seen unauthorized funds or missions undertaken overseas contrary to the will of Congress. We have seen increased cooperation within the various agencies in the intelligence community and the establishment in 1988 of the Center for Counter-Intelligence.

Yes, the C.I.A. is not in the headlines anymore -- that is a cause for celebration, not criticism. And for William Webster to be the subject of an article citing anonymous administration officials and unnamed sources at the State Department is to return the agency and its director to a level of innuendo and malicious gossip that is not in keeping with the man and his record or the journalistic principles of The Sun.

Peter B. Bensinger.

Chicago.

The writer served as administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 1976-1981.

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