The Sun deserves to be applauded for its articles regarding legislation addressing sexual assaults on college campuses and reducing the backlog on forensic investigations of rape kit evidence ("Biden calls rape kit testing 'absolute priority.'" March 16).

Both of these issues are crucial to the safety and quality of life of Maryland's families. It is, however, disappointing that the coverage overlooked the origins of both these issues.


While your reporters give appropriate credit to Del. Shelley Hettleman and Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin for the campus safety legislation and the rape kit backlog improvements, it is former Del. Jon Cardin who deserves the most credit for raising these concerns and introducing legislation to address them before the need was widely recognized.

From 2012 to 2014, in the midst of a tight attorney general race, and while the media was labeling Mr. Cardin a lazy, entitled lawmaker unworthy of public support, he had two little girls and passed groundbreaking legislation to protect children and women in Maryland. In particular, he passed the toughest anti-cyber bullying legislation in the country and led Maryland to become the third state to outlaw online harassment of women through revenge porn.

Furthermore, while the press seemed to enjoy crucifying Mr. Cardin for making the difficult decision to assist his young family and pregnant wife with health matters, he introduced both the campus sexual assault bill and the rape kit backlog reduction bill as part of his 2014 legislative package.

Let's be clear: Delegate Hettleman is to be applauded, but her bill was word for word the same as Mr. Cardin's. Moreover, it was only after U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Kristen Gillibrand adopted Mr. Cardin's language to advance a federal bill that the issue became popular around the country.

Mr. Cardin may have been the fall guy for Maryland because he chose his family's health over non-controversial votes, but that does not mean he is undeserving of credit for his groundbreaking ideas.

Let's not rewrite him out of history and forget that his important work to make Maryland safe for children and women was intended to improve every person's quality of life.

Stacy Gold