Letters

Can all US citizens vote in presidential elections?

While well-reasoned, the July 6 editorial, "Supporting Suffrage in D.C.," ignores the method by which the Federal District was created. What remains of it today was once part of Maryland. It should therefore be included as part of Maryland for purposes of federal elections.

The approach suggested in the editorial establishes a dangerous precedent that would allow any other US city the right to secede from its state and, by doing so, enhance its voting power and influence in the federal government.

Adding a senator from New York City, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia would just serve the parochial interests of large cities, not the needs of the nation.
Daniel L. Stahl
Washington Court House, Ohio

As someone who served in the US Navy for nearly eight years and still serves as a civil servant, I would love to say US citizens and Puerto Ricans are equal, but we are not.

In Puerto Rico, we do not vote for a president. Puerto Ricans can enlist voluntarily in the US military, but still cannot vote for president.

If your distinguished publication advocates the right for D.C. citizens to vote, I expect it to do the same for the roughly 2 million registered votershere in Puerto Rico. Over 100 years of colonization is enough.
Cristobal Cardona Flores
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

It's time for new labor union alliances

Regarding the July 6 article, "Workers of the world ... disunite!": Although the authors allude to the fact that the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) united 50 years ago, they do not explain the importance of the background of the two groups.

The AFL represented the old craft unions, made up of the aristocrats of skilled labor. Out of frustration with the lack of representation by such craft unions, the CIO was formed to represent workers in the automotive industries. In a real sense, it was a labor class issue, and the two organizations came together only out of desperation.

Today, internal differences seem to have proved unsurmountable. Without doubt, it is time for new alliances.
Ruth Gottstein
Volcano, Calif.

Have Americans heard of Karl Rove?

Thank you for the article on the recent events surrounding the CIA leak and Karl Rove ("In CIA leak, eyes on Rove," July 13). I often enjoy reading articles from the Monitor.

There is one part of the article I feel the need to challenge, however. It said, "Working in the administration's favor is that most Americans have never heard of Karl Rove."

Almost everyone I know had heard of Karl Rove prior to this discovery. Where did you get your information?
Christy Underkofler
Dallas

Editor's response: We received many similar letters from readers who find it hard to believe that Americans "outside the Beltway" might not know the name Karl Rove. We can't say definitively, but the most recent poll on the subject, taken in February for Hotline, found that 52 percent of American adults had never heard of Mr. Rove, who is the president's closest political adviser. In December, a survey for Time magazine, put the number at 57 percent. An additional 21 percent were "not very familiar" with him.

That, of course, may change, now that he is figuring so prominently in the investigation of who leaked the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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