Questions About Leopold
Many thanks to The Sun and Elise Armacost for giving perennial candidate John Leopold a shot at clearing the air on who he really is.
As usual, he failed to blow away the negative fog that surrounds him wherever he goes. Why? No one, especially a charlatan, can escape the reality of past actions.
All anyone has to do is to take a hard look at Leopold's real record (as reported in The Sun), not the one he is trying to build with mirrors, blue smoke and ego trips through the political landscape.
* Take a hard look at his so-called Hawaiian record. (Why did he move there anyway?)
* Take a look at his last losing political attempt in 1990 here. Even after spending some $160,000, he lost 25 out of 30 precincts in his home District 31. Does that suggest, as he states, "broad public support"?
* How about his recent pious stand on pensions? Isn't he now drawing a political pension from the state of Hawaii at age 50? That's what he says.
I find his comment about having a shot at being governor true to his historical form. It shows him for what he really is: a full-time political elitist with a long-term, self-serving plan.
By the way, it's going to take more than a "wave and a smile" along the road to win the county executive race. It will take credibility and a proven ability to work with diverse interests for the common good. Mr. Leopold's public record, again as reported in the media, doesn't suggest he has either of these strengths.
Edwin E. Edel
Prince of Perks
Citizens of Maryland: Before we get unduly agitated about Money magazine calling our governor "the most pampered prince of perks," let us remember that Money also recognized Old Court Savings and Loan as a place to put money in a high-interest account.
Sensational monikers receive extensive press coverage and sell magazines. They do not necessarily have a firm foundation in fact.
I'm sure the General Assembly will look at the governor's expenditures again this year.
Beverly M. Klimkowsky
C. Berry Carter
Remember the Clarence Thomas case? I never thought I would again use the term "high-tech lynching," but I find it is most apropos to the Berry Carter case. After 40 years of glorious service to Anne Arundel County, its teachers and above all its youth, I find distasteful and deplorable the actions of the Anne Arundel County school board -- actions which are spearheaded by a witch-hunt by the state Board of Education.
It is no secret that the majority of the current board opposed Berry Carter's appointment to the superintendent's position. Thankfully, there are members who felt that Mr. Carter should receive due process in this case. But I am perplexed and puzzled about how the board handles certain situations. . . .
If it appears that I am being somewhat personal about this . . . all I can look at is a man who gave 40 years to Anne Arundel County schools, and who took strong stands for what was right in a long list of cases such as that of Delores Chambers. But I also want to know where the board was when the school children were being locked in a closet at Germantown Elementary School. . . .
The cardinal sin is that Ronald W. Price is being paraded like a hero, while Mr. Carter, who had nothing to do with the young ladies, must suffer. Mr. Carter has been a friend. . . . I would tell him that I am sure things will work out for him. . . .
!Joseph "Zastrow" Simms
Your Sept. 28 editorial, "Harry Lentz's Ordeal," properly recognizes the prompt reaction to the original charges made against Mr. Lentz by Marlene Ramey. But it should also have faulted acting Superintendent Carol Parham for transferring Lentz from Northeast High School prior to any hearing to determine the truth of the charges.
Was this an overreaction by a new acting administrator following years of no reaction at all?
A personnel transfer based on unsubstantiated charges, which are dismissed at a later hearing, is scarcely a scenario on which to commend "school officials"; indeed, quite the reverse is indicated. Those involved clearly owe Harry Lentz an apology, having violated the precepts of fair and legal play.
Stuart G. Morris
Valentine Killing And Guns
As the police continue the investigation of the apparently senseless -- and decidedly brutal -- murder of Joanne Valentine Sept. 26, I urge you to push for stricter gun control laws.
Every day we see innocent people slain. And the most common justification for this travesty is that we have a constitutional right to bear arms. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the intent of our forefathers was to legalize an armed militia for the defense of our nation. The rights of individuals who desire to carry arms -- whether for "self-protection," hunting, machismo or the intention of committing crimes -- have been allowed to supersede the right of all individuals to feel safe.
Joanne's murder should strike a chord in all of us who grew up in neighborhoods like Broadwater, and who hope to be able to raise our children with the same sense of security. When a neighborhood as tranquil as Broadwater is invaded by such violence, it brings into sharp relief the need to protect us all by limiting the privilege of gun ownership.
Proposed legislation for a seven-day waiting period during which the purchaser's background is investigated hardly seems as extreme as eighth- and ninth-grade boys watching their mother bleed to death in their own driveway. Or a mother losing her child to a random act of violence. Or a husband having to carry on alone the life he and his wife had built together. Or a sister losing her best friend without a moment's warning.
We cannot allow this to continue. We must stop the killing. It's too late for Joanne Valentine. But wouldn't it be a wonderful tribute to her memory if no one else had to die the way she did?
aura J. Wagner