- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ehrlich’s impact on registered Republicans

I must say I was surprised to read that Republican registration gains in Maryland were being attributed to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (“Republicans’ gains credited to Ehrlich,” Metropolitan, Sunday). In fact, the share of registered Republicans in the state has actually decreased since Mr. Ehrlich’s 2002 election.

Sure, the absolute number of registered Republicans has increased, but so, too, have the number of registered Democrats and, especially, independents. Here are the final, official numbers from the State Board of Elections, taken on the eve of the 2002 election (October 2002), and the most current data available (May 2005): In 2002, registered Democrats numbered 1,566,370 (56 percent) and registered Republicans numbered 838,870 (30. percent). In 2005, registered Democrats numbered 1,696,772 (55.1 percent) and registered Republicans numbered 904,613 (29.4 percent).

The only growth has been in independents and third-party registrants, from 14 percent to 15.5 percent.

Given the trends since 2002, any post-1994 Republican gains must be attributed to somebody else — perhaps two-time Republican gubernatorial nominee Ellen Sauerbrey. Indeed, some quick math reveals that the Democrats’ two-party share of registrants has actually inched up slightly since October 2002, from 65.1 percent to 65.2 percent.

In sum, the one thing that cannot be concluded from the data is that Mr. Ehrlich’s election increased Republican registrations — at least in relative terms, which is what matters most. The real story is that 2½ years later, the first Republican governor elected in Maryland in 36 years so far has not managed to boost his party’s share of the registered voters.

THOMAS F. SCHALLER

Associate professor of political science

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Baltimore

Another option for immigration control

I have seen a lot of biased polls in my time, but the Tarrance Group poll the pro-open-borders Manhattan Institute sponsored is breathtaking in its dishonesty (“Chertoff, Chao to push guest-worker proposal,” Nation, Tuesday).

The first question is the classic “false choice” taught to students of Logic 101: “Earned legalization” (i.e.: amnesty) or a massive government deportation program are the only choices. The second question is worse, saying the only way to deport illegal aliens is through a hideous Orwellian program of jackbooted thugs raiding homes.

What nonsense. I would use stronger language, but The Washington Times is a family newspaper.

As any CEO will tell you, you can lower the number of employees through attrition. An aggressive, serious, committed program of work-site enforcement and screening for illegal aliens through the Basic Employment Verification Pilot Program and having the Social Security Administration notify all employers when there is a mismatch between an employee and his or her Social Security number will result in millions of illegal aliens voluntarily leaving because they will not be able to find work in the United States and will not be sustained by various taxpayer-funded programs. To say the only choices are between a massive physical deportation and amnesty is a lie.

It is this kind of propaganda masquerading as “neutral” information that has isolated politicians from the real views of their constituents. Several of my colleagues, relying on these false choices presented to them by the open-borders lobby, were quite surprised when their constituents revolted against their out-of-touch position on illegal immigration.

The disconnect between what constituents can see in the street and the fantasies created by bought-and-paid-for think-tank flunkies has fueled the furious backlash among voters. The Washington Times indicated that this so-called poll was sponsored by open-borders supporters. That’s putting it mildly.

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao want to push an insane guest-worker amnesty program, but it takes the drug cartels fighting one another to show the way to stop the flood of illegal aliens from invading the United States (“Drug cartels’ battle keeps tourists out of border city,” Page 1, Tuesday).

As many of us have said time and time again, only economic pressure on Mexican President Vicente Fox and the other leaders in Latin America will make illegal immigration so expensive that these “Pancho Villa” politicians will stop the flood themselves. Why should the American taxpayer continue to pay to chase, capture, feed, house and clothe foreign nationals? Let Mr. Fox use the resources and manpower in his own country to build a stable economy that is not based on illegal American dollars flowing back to Mexico City and elsewhere. It should have happened decades ago.

If President Bush wants to prove what a warrior he is, let him close the U.S.-Mexico border for 30 days to all transport. Just wait and see how quickly the Mexican Army will be on the border keeping Mexican citizens at home. Let Mexico pay its own bill for its policies. The United States should not have to change its way of life to accommodate illegal aliens. When the merchants of Nuevo Laredo, Juarez, Matamoros, Mexico City and the rest start to wither on the economic vine, citizens will demand reform from their own government for a change.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

Hillary goes to Hollywood

Trolling for campaign dollars from Hollywood liberals, who are, with their mouths watering, awaiting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second “intrusion” into the Oval Office, is not all that difficult (“Hillary follows red carpet to Hollywood,” Page 1, Monday).

After a such an unbearably long dry spell, it’s a small price for the likes of Barbra Streisand, Rob Reiner, Norman Lear, et al. to pay. They’ve all been itching for the evening in 2008 when President Clinton, nee Hillary Rodham, throws a state dinner party and they are televised as they strut the red-carpet receiving line into the White House dining room.

HOUSTON SMITH

Indian Wells, Calif.

Miers’ sound legal reasoning

Bruce Fein suggests in his Tuesday Commentary column, “Miers vs. Miers… as debate rages on,” that “Miss Miers cobbled together an alarmist letter” in urging then-Gov. George W. Bush to veto a free-enterprise bill,” H.B. 2987. He further suggests that H.B. 2987 raised no separation-of-powers questions.

At the time, it was not just Harriet Miers who had concerns, but all nine members of the Texas Supreme Court, who urged Mr. Bush to veto the legislation. The entire Texas Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the Texas legislature, in fact, was upsetting the separation of powers in trying to restrict the court’s ability to regulate lawyer fees.

Miss Miers’ letter to Mr. Bush did not question whether the Texas legislature could regulate fees. She sought to safeguard the Texas court’s well-established judicial authority to regulate attorneys appearing before it, which includes regulating payment of attorneys’ fees. She argued that passage of H.B. 2987 would leave the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in “an ambiguous state, an arguably unenforceable state.”

She also believed that because the bill had not been scrutinized for comment by the legal community, it would be bad public policy to “proscribe the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in matters at the heart of the practice of law in this state.” If adopted, H.B. 2987 would have prevented courts in specific cases from limiting the percentage of an award siphoned off by lawyers, thus gutting the most effective deterrent to unscrupulous lawyers.

Court regulation of lawyers’ fees is hardly unique to Texas. The vast majority of states recognize that their courts possess power to award lawyers’ fees and the concomitant power to review awards of lawyers’ fees.

Miss Miers’ efforts reflect not only sound thinking, but sound judgment that will make her an asset on the Supreme Court.

JIM DYKE

Special assistant to the president

Washington


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