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Brochin doesn't kowtow

Jim Brochin, 52, is a Democrat from Towson who is currently a Maryland state senator.
Jim Brochin, 52, is a Democrat from Towson who is currently a Maryland state senator. ((Baltimore Sun file))

In his slash-and-burn piece on state Sen. Jim Brochin, Pat Murray trots out the usual us-versus-them Democratic rhetoric like “standing with Republicans against working families" (Memo to Mr. Murray: the two are not mutually exclusive). Mr. Murray then lists the demands Senator Brochin "must" comply with, proving yet again that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch have no tolerance for independent thought (“Jim Brochin’s political conversion,” Nov. 1). Maryland's Democratic leaders have never liked Jim Brochin precisely because he has never been one to kiss their rings.

Here's what I know about Senator Brochin: He's the only politician to have knocked on my door to actually discuss issues instead of rattling off his "vote for me" speech. He's the only politician to have personally responded to emails in lieu of a form letter. He and his office successfully went to bat for my working family on a health care coverage issue at a very difficult time, while the responsible state office and its (Democratic) administrator were completely unresponsive and unhelpful.

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Sorry to have committed the sin of living in a "disproportionately white, well-educated and affluent" district (two out of three ain't bad). Mr. Murray drops that "disproportionately white" insult twice; would The Sun have printed an opinion piece that referred to an area as "disproportionately black?" And yes, we have, in fact, voted for other Democrats, but not many, because most spout the same divisive, racist rhetoric as Mr. Murray.

As to Senator Brochin's alleged conversion and the "scales falling from his eyes," I wonder if Mr. Murray was nearby when Speaker Busch's deep, morally-rooted opposition to slot machines miraculously vanished at the very moment a Democrat was elected governor.

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I have disagreed with Senator Brochin's opinions and the votes he cast many times during his tenure, but I've always respected him for his independent thought and willingness to stand by his convictions. He works harder than anyone I've ever known to represent his constituents of both parties. Maybe Mr. Miller, Mr. Busch and their attack dogs like Mr. Murray should try that sometime instead of questioning the intelligence and motives of those who disagree with them.

Jim Rafferty, Timonium

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