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Hogan and the Democrats: Who's insulting whom?

Sen. Bobby Zirkin's recent defense of the parliament in Annapolis drew an immediate response from me: Physician Heal Thyself ("Hogan's 'spring break' comments insulting to public, not legislators," Feb. 23).

I saw nothing in his piece about the insulting charge of racism hurled at the governor that same morning by the Legislative Black Caucus. Any one wondering about the effect of a Red Line in the city should look at the "Third World" condition of Howard Street between State Center and downtown from the last light rail project.

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I agree that Mr. Zirkin has to hear testimony about life and death issues. But I won't insult your intelligence by saying legislators listened to these events because they were heavily covered by the media. Mr. Zirkin shouldn't bring up this burden when it's part of the job he accepted when he ran for office.

But when legislators walk out of a hearing when someone testifies on an issue they disagree with, after waiting hours to testify, isn't that an insult? When the first thing legislators do is override vetoes, such as the one regarding felons on probation, because they have served their time and paid the price even though they're still required to see a parole officer?

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When legislators won't require sentences to be carried out for violent offenders and then despair when repeat offenders continue to harm citizens? When legislators craft a rain tax?

When legislators craft a budget referendum to allow gambling with so many caveats and then blame Marylanders for voting for it — and then craft a new one years later saying, well, the voters approved it and we have to fix it?

Do you remember the General Assembly saying they wouldn't approve gambling under former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich but did so very quickly with Democrat Martin O'Malley?

Is it an insult when they wonder why the murder rate is high when a killer, when caught, faces not execution, but maybe life with a roof over their head, health care and three square meals a day?

Mr. Zirkin should know that Marylanders read every day how legislators insult them and their intelligence in The Sun.

No, Marylanders insulted you and the legislators when they elected a Republican governor. Get over it.

Charles Herr, Baltimore

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