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Editor,

The Gazette has every right to publish opinion pieces, no matter how lopsided and flawed their argument. But, then, by limiting your regular op-ed columnists to just Blair Lee, do you not have a corresponding obligation to feature opinion pieces likely to reflect dissenting judgement? I can’t believe your existing practice comports with the philosophy of the Post Community Media family of which you are a part.

Joel Darmstadter, Bethesda



Joel,

Since when does the Washington Post, The Gazette’s corporate sibling, practice editorial balance?

Here’s a list of the Post’s liberal opinion writers: E.J. Dionne, Dana Milbank, Eugene Robinson, Ruth Marcus, Colbert King, Dana Balz, Chris Cillizza, Stephen Perlstein, Harold Myerson, Anne Applebaum, Marc Thiessen, Robert McCartney, Ezra Klein, Al Kamon, Greg Sargent, Courtland Milloy and Petula Dvorak, and I could go on.

Here’s a list of the Post’s conservative opinion writers: George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin.

That’s about as much “balance” as a Tom Toles editorial cartoon or the Post’s Style section. Come on, Joel, open your eyes. The deck’s stacked in your favor, you can’t lose. Are you really that worried about one crazy guy writing in The Gazette?

Blair



Mr. Lee,

I recently has an opportunity to read your Sept. 27 article in The Gazette,“Why Baltimore Is Not Detroit.”

I notice that you selectively omitted the concentration of poverty comparison between Baltimore and Montgomery County. It seems you also missed the concentration of not-for-profit/government land ownership between the two jurisdictions, as well. I understand that those issues may not fit neatly into the narrative, but they are real.

Bill Ferguson, Baltimore

(Sen. Ferguson represents South Baltimore in the Maryland Senate.)



Senator,

First, Baltimore City lawmakers fought tooth and nail to locate all those non-property-tax-paying state agencies in Baltimore because Baltimore benefits from all those captive state jobs they bring. I dare you to suggest moving them out of Baltimore.

Second, yes Baltimore is poor and that’s why the overwhelming bulk of state aid is distributed to poor jurisdictions, primarily Baltimore, largely thanks to “enlightened” Montgomery liberal lawmakers. In return Baltimore screws Montgomery every chance it gets by repealing state aid programs benefitting Montgomery and recycling the money to Baltimore and P.G.

True, our lawmakers are so inept that they’re easy pickings in Annapolis, but please spare me the moral outrage. Carving up the state aid pie has nothing to do with the merits, it’s all about politics.

Blair



Members of the Montgomery County Delegation,

I was absolutely shocked to read in The Gazette last week that Maryland taxpayers are sending well over a billion dollars a year to Baltimore. The article describes a recent study by George Mason University.

According to the article [“Why Baltimore Is Not Detroit,” Sept. 27], “Baltimore runs on OPM, other people’s money. Much of what taxpayers in Maryland’s other 23 counties send to Annapolis is recycled to Baltimore as direct and indirect state aid. Thanks to the city’s politicians and those in the state legislature, Baltimore is now the most subsidized city in America.”

Instead of relying solely on The Gazette article (because it’s author, Mr. Lee, sometimes is a little bit biased toward the right) I downloaded the actual GMU study and read he whole thing. Everything Mr. Lee stated is 100 percent supported by the GMU study.

Just three weeks ago my wife and I wrote a big check and mailed it to Annapolis. And just a week ago we paid our Montgomery Co. property taxes. In total, my wife and I shelled out a HUGE chunk of our money in state and local taxes. And now we learn that a large portion of that is going to Baltimore. It’s outrageous!

Lately my wife and I have been considering relocating to a neighboring state where the tax burden is not as great. Now we are redoubling our efforts to find another place to live.

Thomas J. Keller, Chevy Chase



Mr Keller,

I hear the same story from folks like you every day.

Blair



Editor,

Isn’t it time The Gazette pulled the plug on Blair Lee and his puerile, reactionary, Johnny-one-note drivel? As a 50-year journalism veteran I can assure you his column never would have gotten past me into the paper.

Robert E. Cohen, Bethesda



Mr. Cohen,

Here’s an idea; if you don’t like my column, don’t read it. Instead, you want to silence my opinion because it doesn’t agree with yours. Where did you spend your 50 years of journalism, in the Soviet Union?

Blair



Blair Lee is chairman of the board of Lee Development Group in Silver Spring and a regular commentator for WBAL radio. His column appears Fridays in the Business Gazette. His past columns are available at www.gazette.net/blairlee. His email address is blairleeiv@gmail.com.