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Clean Elections Now! or, Soon!

Posted 4/2/2008

I enjoyed your article ("A Long Campaign," Mobtown Beat, March 26). This is the singular issue that can make the biggest progress in realizing the promise of politics in our state again.

Too many Marylanders have tuned out or been turned off to politics because they feel as though their voices are not heard. Instead, they see their elected representatives swimming in the deep pockets of special interests, accepting large contributions even when they are facing no serious opposition in the election.

Sean Dobson, the executive director of Progressive Maryland, notes that Baltimore would be a significant beneficiary of public financing because of its proportionally higher minority population relative to the counties; I agree. But what your author fails to mention is what this bill would do to bring much needed competition to Baltimore's outdated political machinery.

Public financing would generate competition in the electoral field by creating a free market of ideas. An intelligent, qualified candidate should not face electoral elimination simply because of his or her financial limitations.

And while many incumbents would remain--and rightly so, because we have a number of exceptionally good legislators in our city--a number would be replaced by people with fresh ideas, high hopes, and owing their victory only the people of their district and the citizens of Maryland.

Ian Hines

Outside Scoop

I read the article written by Michaelangelo Matos describing the work of Stanley Kramer and his production of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ("Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood," Imprints, March 26). I worked on several of Mr. Kramer's productions and got to know him personally. Obviously Mr. Matos never did, nor did he know Sidney Poitier, who starred in more than a few films, based on his appeal and talent. Baltimore is far from Hollywood, but so is the uninformed Matos.

Gerry Porter
Beverly Hills, Calif.

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