Gee, thanks a lot

As a long-time voter in Philadelphia's Eighth Councilmanic District, I would like to "thank" the three candidates who ran against Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller for virtually ensuring her reelection.

As usual, a large majority of the district's voters expressed dissatisfaction with her representation, but we have to endure another of her lackluster terms because of the disrespect of her opponents for the voters.

Each election year the councilwoman has managed to hang onto the seat with less than 35 percent of the total vote because her opponents line up like lemmings with delusions of grandeur, each believing he or she will be the one to overcome the numerical odds and defeat her.

Each election we have watched the same scenario unfold, with these geniuses splintering the majority opposition vote, thus allowing her to escape defeat and continue her uninspired leadership of this proud and diverse district. This has gone on far too long. The district has suffered from uninspiring City Council leadership since the retirement of the late councilman and Council president Joseph Coleman in the 1980s.

Thanks to Irv Ackelsberg, Greg Paulmier and Cindy M. Bass, we will unfortunately have to endure another four-years of the same.

Charles Richardson
Philadelphia

Can't state do better?

Re: "Private 'pikes, increasing tolls," Tuesday:

Ever since talk of leasing the turnpikes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania began, I have been shaking my head, wondering why, if companies are willing to lease the roads (ostensibly to make a profit), the states themselves can't find a way to do the same. If privatizing the turnpikes would result in big increases in tolls, why not just keep them in the hands of the state, raise the tolls, and cut out the middleman?

Debbie Robins

Haddonfield

End death penalty

I am proud to be a resident of my adopted, progressive state, New Jersey. The state Senate Judiciary Committee has examined the facts and determined that, since the death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent, inequitable in application, and fiscally wasteful to boot, it should be abolished. How thoughtful, reasoned and (incidentally) humane. Let's hope the full Legislature and Gov. Corzine show similar good judgment.

Karen Lawrence

Collingswood

Catalyst to terrorism

Two of the many fallacies regarding the war in Iraq are revealed in the "Fort Dix Six" incident. The first is that we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here. That's clearly not true. I guess we are fighting them there and here.

The second fallacy is that the Iraq war deters terrorism when it actually acts as a catalyst to transform taxi drivers and pizza delivery men into terrorists. These individuals view the war and subsequent occupation as an attack on their religion.

P.M. Procacci
Moorestown

Don't soak business

Your editorial tells us that "Moms need more than a day" (May 12). Rather, it seems to say they need more help from Uncle Sam. The Inquirer would have the government mandate minimum sick leave for parents and paid maternity and paternity leave. When did this became a necessity? My parents and tens of millions of others who raised their families in the 20th century did just fine.

Parents want their children to have the opportunity to be successful. Saddling businesses with ever more costly mandates is a recipe for higher unemployment, slower growth and less opportunity. The French, perhaps the world's greatest connoisseurs of employment mandates and their attendant slow growth and high unemployment, just rejected it in their presidential election. So should we.

Andrew Terhune
Philadelphia

Murphy's meddling

How can Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.) say his withdrawal timeline has been met with approval among voters, when The Inquirer found otherwise when it went to Bucks County? Murphy is living in a reality that has nothing to do with how voters really feel.

Iraq is a national problem that requires a national solution. It is not helpful when congressmen, such as Murphy, try to capture the limelight for political gain. Murphy has done little to further a plan that truly addresses the terrorist threat we face.

We need leaders who are willing to lead instead of elected officials who don't understand when they are being used by extremists.

Joe Amodei
Hulmeville