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Hogan-Brown contest doesn't offer voters much of a choice [Letter]

I find it ironic and somewhat humorous that you would publish a surprising column by Dan Rodricks titled "Brown attacks on Hogan seem shady, even desperate" (Sept. 30), then follow up a few days later with a column by Anthony Brown titled "Brown: I will enforce gun safety law" (Oct. 2).

While Mr. Rodricks talks about Mr. Brown's attack ads, dare I call his an attack column? Larry Hogan's campaign theme may be "Change Maryland," but he has made clear this is mainly on economic and budgetary matters, not social issues and — especially in this state — not gun laws.

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Mr. Hogan's tepid, "I can't do it because this is Maryland, a Democrat-controlled state" still might get him votes, but it has cost him financial campaign support as well enthusiasm among Republicans, most of whom feel that what Maryland needs is a Ronald Reagan-type figure who can somehow manage to make great changes despite the odds.

Mr. Brown is going to enforce draconian gun laws, but will he be able to show improvement in the crime rate? Fewer criminals? Less prostitution and drug trafficking? I haven't even heard Mr. Brown's supporters tout that.

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How many assault rifle attacks have actually happened? While the state keeps a pretty collection of citizens' fingerprints, it is obvious it can't keep real criminals behind bars, and when it does they take over the jail.

How is Mr. Brown on Mr. Hogan's territory — the economy, the business climate and taxes? You only have to read outgoing Gov. Martin O'Malley's record on that to understand Mr. Brown's vow to continue the tradition of high taxes, stifling businesses and ever-increasing bureaucracy.

Mr. Brown does have a track record. Mr. O'Malley gave him the task of establishing Maryland's health care exchange, which not only didn't work but went well over budget in overruns and excuses. Maybe an honest campaign slogan should be "Maryland needs to change."

Michael W. Kohlman, Baltimore

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