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On taxes, Zirkin is in a tough spot

On Tuesday, Dan Rodricks cast Bobby Zirkin as a "secret Republican" for voting against a tax increase aimed at wealthy taxpayers. On the next day, the senator defended his position by noting "our citizens are suffering through a serious economic downturn" ("Zirkin: Why isn't Dan Rodricks disgusted?" March 21).

Having represented his district for 20 years, I feel his pain. He's caught between finding money to run the state as a business enterprise and being a representative of the people back home. This is the inherent tension of our representative democracy.

Yes, his district has wealthy taxpayers, but it also has ordinary folks who are feeling besieged with the prospect of any tax increase. The economy has battered people, exposing some very raw nerves. If I were in the senator's shoes, I would vote the position of the people who sent me to Annapolis.

Theodore Levin, Pikesville

The writer is a former member of the House of Delegates.

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