Too many political progeny trade on family name

Re: "Will Chelsea Clinton go into politics?" Talking Points, Aug. 16

Will Chelsea Clinton go into politics? Let's hope not.The last thing we need are more children of political figures who have never accomplished anything making decisions for "We the People."

Clinton says she has resisted going into the"family business." One of America's biggest problems is that too many politicians consider being a legislator a "business," and their progeny enter politics because they have no skills and can only trade on their name recognition.

What work force skills do John Sarbanes, Jesse Jackson Jr., Harold Ford Jr., Al Gore Jr., the Kennedys (the list goes on ...) have?None!

Real-world experience as a plumber, carpenter, banker, computer programmer, engineer, etc. provides valuable insight into how America works.

I purposely left off attorney or social worker, as these occupations make the worst kind of legislator -- the kind that wants to engineer society rather than letting capitalism drive our economy and culture.And I know plumbers who can write better than lawyers.

Chelsea, do us all a favor and get a real job!

Jeffrey Underwood

Simpsonville, Md.

Gambling revenue is a backdoor tax

Re: "Maryland House tentatively Oks gambling expansion," Aug. 15

Why is no connection being made between the new prevalence of gambling and the economic culture war?Where is the accompanying analysis that shows that mostly middle- and lower-income households patronize these institutions and spend a much higher percentage of their much lower disposable income gambling?

The casinos are then heavily taxed by the government to collect that income. If ever there was a backdoor tax, this is it.

So Del. Frank Turner's, D-Howard, comment ("I don't want these operators to fail, because if they fail, we fail as a state.") causes both sadness and anger. Our state government has declared itself "all in" on gambling because our representatives are clueless as to how to manage effectively using revenue sources that stimulate positive growth.

Tom Gibney


Et tu, Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association?

Re: "MontCo ambulance fees to begin in January," Aug. 14

In May 2010, at the behest of Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, the County Council rammed through an ambulance user fee for all county residents and visitors.But this fee was terminated by voters in a subsequent referendum.

Always desperate for cash to fund his pet projects, radical organizations and union pensions, Leggett insists things are different in 2012.And he is correct.

Not only did the council override voters' landslide vote, Leggett conspired with the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association to mislead the public, agreeing privately to split the proceeds of their new ill-gotten $18 million fee.Eric Bernard, executive director of the volunteer association, led the petition drive in 2010 by raising serious concerns about residents paying for a service already covered by taxes. His fear that residents would hesitate to call for an ambulance in an emergency because they did not want their insurance premiums to rise are still relevant today.

This time, however, Bernard sold his soul to the devil.The volunteer association blustered about a petition drive underway but never actually hit the streets to collect the needed signatures.And the alleged petition never made it to the association's website for easy download and completion by residents.

By misleading the public into believing he was once again leading the drive against this Leggett-driven affront to voters, Bernard kept other community organizations from playing that role. His belated, half-hearted statements assuring the public that volunteers will monitor emergency calls to eliminate any hint of deterrence to the $300-$800 ambulance fee are an embarrassment.

Brad Botwin

Derwood, Md.