Redistricting corrects Dems' previous gerrymandering
Re: "Snap redistricting sets bad precedent," Local Editorial, Jan. 22
In 2011, the Republicans got 60 percent of the vote in state Senate races while the Democrats received only 40 percent.However, because the Democrats had manipulated the districts, they were able to hold exactly half the seats.
Thankfully, Republicans in Richmond had the courage to fix the Democrats' gerrymandering. But Democrats are now screaming "foul" because Republicans stood upfor what was rightand fixed the problem.
When drawing district lines, lawmakers are supposed to keep areas of common interest together.What does Lowes Island in Sterling have to do with Arlington?But Democrats took a few thousand houses there and put them into the districtrepresented by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington.
Democrats hoped their gerrymandering, which erodes the integrity of our political process, would go unnoticed and unchallenged.I hope the House of Delegates passes the corrected lines so Democrats aren't able to thwart the will of the voters in future elections.
Worst possible time to drop our guard
Re: "Pentagon stares into budget abyss," Jan. 20
Jed Babbin's report on Pentagon planning for sequestration cuts should give chills to anyone who cares about our nation's ability to defend itself.
Since World War II, our high-technology equipment has kept the battlefield tilted in favor of our men and women in uniform. With an increasing consensus that other costs, like troop levels and foreign operations, should be off the table from sequestration cuts, it looks like this high-tech equipment is in the cross hairs of haphazard budgetary decisions.
From cyberweapons to drones, America's high-tech edge could be lost. In an unpredictable time facing rogue states and terrorists not susceptible to deterrence, that would drop our guard at the worst moment.
Instead of reckless cuts across our entire military, we should target cuts on bloat and waste while working to perfect high-tech game changers like missile defenses to shield us from North Korea's nuclear threat or loose nukes that could fall into terrorists' hands.
In fact, military experts say our pivotal ground-based midcourse defense system should be beefed up with a new East Coast interceptor site and next-generation radars to overcome rapidly improving countermeasures.
Budget cuts are never easy. But under sequestration, they'd be downright dangerous.
Cpt. Arne Pedersen (Retired U.S. Army)
Statehood Green candidate not mentioned in article
Re: "D.C. Council at-large race to narrow Wednesday," Jan. 23
While I was delighted to see a story on final petitions delivered for the April 23 special election to fill the at-large seat vacated by Phil Mendelson's move to D.C. Council chairman, I was shocked and astonished that every petition submitter except the DC Statehood Green candidate was listed.
Perry Redd is just as much a candidate as the others.Why would The Washington Examiner, which rails constantly against the party that's so well-represented in the District, ignore a truly independent party that has had no part of the money scandals, which have rocked city hall?
Our candidates do not accept big money from big corporate interests, and Redd will not accept a full council salary for part-time work.
G. Lee Aikin
DC Statehood Green Party,