Ken Derow, Wallingford
Move to the center
Remember in 2008 when The Inquirer had the editorial suggesting that Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama move more to the center for the general election (“Santorum’s out, so Romney’s in,” Wednesday)? Me neither.
Fran Steffler, Philadelphia
Fight for extreme right wing
Like many Americans, I have decided who I will vote for in November’s election and it certainly isn’t the Republican contenders or party. It’s not that I think President Obama has shown much fight for his base. It’s just that the Repiblican party and its candidates have not shown any taste for the truth.
The spectacle this political season indicates that the Republican fight for the extreme right wing of the party has left little room for independents and thoughtful people who read widely. Even a thoughtful U.S. senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine, is not seeking reelection because Rockefeller Republicans are not able to withstand a primary fight.
Richard Nixon seemed to be better than the current field of pretenders and that’s saying a great deal. In fact, I doubt Barry Goldwater could get nominated in today’s GOP.
Phyllis Berlant Abrams, Plymouth Meeting
Obama’s attack on the successful
According to President Obama, the answer to all of our financial woes is to raise taxes on millionaires (“Obama advocating tax-rate ‘fairness’,” Wednesday). Unfortunately, his own Treasury Department has concluded that his proposal wouldn’t be enough to pay the interest on this year’s deficit, let alone put a dent in our $16 trillion national debt. As a practical matter, it probably wouldn’t produce any increase in revenues because millionaires will always find loopholes in the tax code to avoid paying more.
Instead of continuing to vilify the successful people who own businesses that employ middle-class folks, wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage more people to become wealthy so there would be even more people to pay their “fair share”? The president’s policy of borrowing our way out of debt is more likely to eliminate “income inequality” by sharply reducing the number of millionaires. When that happens, who will bail out the United States?
Jack Penders, Media
Rohrer’s record of leadership
A recent ad suggests that GOP Senate candidate Steve Welch is supported by the “grassroots” (“Welch for Senate is GOP’s best choice,” Sunday). Not so. When word circulated that Gov. Corbett was going to press for the party’s endorsement of Welch, the grassroots worked hard to head this off, believing that Republican voters — not powerful GOP leaders — should choose the best candidate. Since the endorsement, the “grassroots” have been almost unanimous in their opposition to Welch.
Tom Smith’s ads portray a winsome grandfatherly figure who sounds eminently conservative. He does not mention that he only recently converted to the Republican Party.
Sam Rohrer is the only Republican with experience in office in this race. He has a record of integrity and principled leadership. His commitment to the Constitution, to fiscal responsibility, and to individual freedom have often put him at odds with his own party leadership. No wonder he didn’t get their endorsement.
Jaime Faucette, Sellersville, email@example.com
Maher for auditor general
The race for auditor general, Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog, is critically important to the future of our state. And voters should be aware that there is an excellent candidate on the Republican primary ballot: John Maher (“Maher for auditor better for GOP,” Tuesday).
In the past, the auditor general post has been held by lawyers, a former nurse, a safety manager, and others, but never by a certified public accountant or auditor. Maher is both. As a state legislator since 1997, Maher has shown independence, fairness, intelligence, leadership, and compassion.
Maher is precisely the type of candidate worthy of the support of all voters regardless of party affiliation.
Elissa B. Katz, Elkins Park, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philly’s parking surcharge
I’m in complete agreement with Inquirer staff writer Melissa Dribben’s opinion piece on parking tickets in Philadelphia entitled “You can fight, but you can’t win” (Sunday).
After reading the article, I was inclined to skip my scheduled April 9 hearing, but it would have been too late to cancel and I would have incurred additional penalties for not showing up. As the article indicated, it cost me almost $10 to park, plus gas and two hours of my time just to have the hearing officer brush aside my evidence and find me liable to pay a $51 parking ticket.
I had come into Philadelphia from my Bucks County home to attend a football game and have dinner on Germantown Avenue. The new businesses there seem to be struggling, and the tactics of the Philadelphia Parking Authority can’t be helping.
My suggestion to anyone thinking of driving into Philadelphia to spend their hard-earned money is to forget it, unless you factor in the parking surcharge.
Jack Zubris, Holland, email@example.com
Questioning ‘merit’ selections
After many years of observing the appointment of judges in New Jersey, I’m in complete agreement with Chris Bonneau about the flaws in the process (“Merit selection no guarantee of good judges,” Sunday).
The problem begins before retention elections, however, in the initial “merit” selection itself, which far too often is more of a political decision than one based on a candidate’s ability.
Those lawyers who have contributed liberally, worked assiduously for their party, and are in agreement with the party line, are far more likely to win the prize of a judgeship — whether it’s an appellate, superior, or supreme court seat — than the person who has just done an excellent job and exhibits the qualities that would qualify one for the higher office. This partisan process is not limited to any one state; it is prevalent on the federal level also, no matter which party is in power.
It would appear that the solution for the problem of merit selection of judges is to be found in the merit election of the officials who make these appointments.
Marlene Lieber, Medford
Clearing the record
An editorial Wednesday incorrectly stated the year in which Rick Santorum lost his 2006 bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate.