Cuccinelli just following Ben Franklin's footsteps

Re: "Bill Bolling blasts Ken Cuccinelli, signals independent run for Va. governor," Feb. 3

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been roundly condemned as an "extremist" for saying there is no authorization in the U.S. Constitution to justify the federal government's involvement with various aspects of domestic social welfare, but he is correct. He suggests these concerns are best handled by private-sector initiatives.

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Cuccinelli is in the company of a great American patriot of old. Benjamin Franklin was the first American to establish public service organizations such as libraries, post offices, fire departments and disaster relief agencies -- all privately owned and operated, detailed in Catherine Drinker Bowen's charming book about him, entitled "The Most Dangerous Man in America."

Perhaps Cuccinelli is now the second most "dangerous" man. Given the cowardly, do-nothing-great behavior of most politicians of our age, it is high time Americans look for a few more.

-- Lawrence K. Marsh


District is better run now than it's been in years

Re: "State of the District, or the government?" Feb. 1

Jonetta Rose Barras makes an effort to separate the District from its government. Most informed people know that is impossible to do.

She also claims that the recent $417 million surplus is no gauge of the efficiency of operations or public policy, when of course it is. Agencies are staying within their budgets and because the city is thriving, 1,000 or more people move here each month.

Yes, they bring new tax money with them, but they come because the District government is being run better than it has in years. Surveys show that services are not only better, they are being delivered faster, and the policies on nightlife and zoning are changing for the better. Even agencies that previously needed outside oversight are being returned to the District government.

Ms. Barras' unhappiness with Mayor Gray from the day he was elected continues to cloud her vision, so her columns end up just sounding vindictive. Every government has flaws and the mayor is the first to mention them, and then suggest ways they can be fixed. The Council doesn't always agree, but Gray is a mayor -- not a king with a magic wand.

-- Peter Rosenstein


McCain can't do simple arithmetic

Re: "Bush's amnesty plan made worse," Jan. 28

2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain insists that failing to pass "comprehensive" immigration legislation, aka illegal alien amnesty, would continue the trend of Latino defections from the GOP. But in 2006 and 2007, McCain bent over backwards to lead such "comprehensive" initiatives, only to lose Latinos the following year by a similar margin as Mitt Romney did in 2012.

Whether Republicans are for or against amnesty doesn't really affect how well they do among Latinos, a voting bloc they are going to lose no matter what.

Pew Hispanic Center data shows that McCain lost young Latinos 76 to 19 percent, even though the total Latino vote grew only slightly from 8 percent of the electorate in 2004 to 9 percent in 2008 and 10 percent in 2012.

Latinos looking for social services are not pre-disposed toward Republicans regardless of whether they support or oppose amnesty. However, amnesty would have a long-term effect of enfranchising new citizens not predisposed to vote for the GOP.Many Latino households include beneficiaries of past amnesties and legalization loopholes, including relatives and friends who came here illegally because they had a place to stay.Amnesty will only perpetuate this "chain migration."

-- Dino Drudi