Don't blame Ehrlich, O'Malley for dodging pension issue

Jay Hancock's column Tuesday ("Pension crisis? Candidates little help," Oct. 12) seems unfair to both gubernatorial candidates. Yes, they dodged the specifics on a difficult issue. But don't blame them. Blame the voters and the media informing them.

Practical solutions involve pain and fully please nobody. If either candidate proposed a solution, your headlines would warn of its "Draconian cuts" or "Staggering taxes," scaring voters out of their wits.

Smelling blood, the other candidate would quickly field attack ads. You and other media would happily run them. Little news coverage would be given to the hyperbole or deception in the ads. If the candidate with the plan wants to hit back, let him buy his own ads. Campaigns are a war. Media are the weapons. And you are the arms merchants, arming both sides, for a price.

And somewhere in the opinion pages you might pompously opine that the candidate with the plan should get some credit. Few voters would notice. Polls sink for the man with the plan.

Media coverage does not reward this kind of honesty. Voters don't either; although the media rates more blame since you're professionals.

Be fair. Candidates behave as we (voters) and you (media) have trained them to. Surprised?

Bill Adams, Ellicott City

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