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Hookers are Trivial Pursuit

In a city that is notorious for its murders and other violent crimes, it is indeed pathetic that the police would waste vital crime-fighting resources on so trivial a matter as prostitutes on Jefferson Davis Highway [Street Talk, July 24]. Uselessly arresting hundreds of people and expending untold thousands of public dollars in the process demonstrates bureaucratic incompetence and frivolity rather than crime-fighting zeal.

While it is understandable that businessmen and homeowners would not want such activities to transpire on their property, genuine nuisances of this type are already covered under laws forbidding trespassing, littering and obstructing traffic. These are problems that can be dealt with quickly and discreetly by uniformed patrol policemen.

It is especially ironic that a person such as Councilwoman Reva Trammell would be leading a crusade of ritual persecution of some of society's most downtrodden, and therefore most defenseless, members. As a … [woman] who has repeatedly embarrassed the city, Ms. Trammell's finger-pointing regarding lack of chastity on the part of others is hypocritical, arrogant and vicious beyond belief. We should aim to rid our city not of prostitutes but of politicians of such buffoonery.

Keith Preston

American Revolutionary Vanguard

Vandalism Is Wrong

Regarding the "Street Talk" article on the serial slasher cutting tires on SUVs in the Fan District [July 24], I was perhaps misunderstood by the reporter who contacted me regarding the story. I feel that I need to clarify my opinion.

My statements were taken to imply that vandalism of this type was appropriate in some parts of the city and not in others. The story further stated that I "detested" SUV's. Let me say that detested is not a word that I use but if it was, it would apply to how I feel about vandalism of any kind no matter what the motive. Vandalism and violence, even if promoting a political cause or opinion, is wrong. It is also a shame that those of us who live in the Fan District suffer more than our fair share of this misguided energy. But this is a price paid by those of us who choose to live in an active urban neighborhood. Slashing car tires is an especially stupid and wasteful act considering the environmental impact of disposing of tires, but, more importantly, it is a serious property crime costing my Fan neighbors who were so victimized hundreds of hard-earned dollars. It is my hope that the perpetrators are caught and prosecuted.

Now as to the targeted SUVs and their drivers, I must say that there are SUVs and there are SUVs. A small Jeep getting fair gas mileage, the target of many of these attacks, is a far cry from the gas-guzzling "monster trucks" that are so popular in many of Richmond's neighborhoods. I less "detest" these vehicles than I am depressed that the people who can afford to buy them seem so hugely clueless about our current situation regarding pollution, waste and the politics of oil and war. To the drivers of those "GMC Giants" let me say that a flag decal doesn't make it OK to waste.

But political vandals need to confine themselves to political discourse and educating people, and not to committing criminal acts which I do detest.

Mark Edward Brandon

Kilgore Deserves Better

As hatchet jobs go, the Back Page article from July 24, "Guilt by Association," was a decidedly amateurish effort. While realizing that Style is not noted as a bastion of political conservatism, I had thought that you might require your writers to have researched their topics, or at least to have read the daily newspapers, before going to print. Apparently I was wrong.

The author first tries to smear Attorney General Jerry Kilgore with supposed acts of prosecutorial misconduct — never mind that those alleged misdeeds were committed by others who have no association with him. He also presupposes that all of the convicted criminals' allegations of prosecutorial misconduct are true, which aside from being laughable is a luxury the attorney general, constitutionally charged with representing the interests of the commonwealth, does not have. In other words, the author seems upset that Mr. Kilgore is doing his job and doing it well.

Next, your author argues that the attorney general could be left holding the bag if one or more death sentences are overturned or found unjust, even if the primary example cited involves an execution that occurred almost 10 years before Mr. Kilgore took his oath of office. This is where the author shows his anti-death penalty bias. Anyone objective knows that the overwhelming majority of Virginians support the death penalty in heinous cases (and with good reason). To suggest that Mr. Kilgore, by supporting the death penalty in the face of the nonstop efforts of a handful of opponents to undermine it at every turn, would hurt himself politically, is to suggest that Mr. Kilgore could not become governor in 2006 without the support of the very far left. In case the author did not notice, Mr. Kilgore won a landslide victory last November without having to desert his principles to placate death penalty opponents. I very seriously doubt that shifting his stance is in his plans for the coming years.

The author closes with a contention that the well-publicized problems of other Republicans could undermine the attorney general in his next campaign. But as anyone who reads the newspaper already knows, Mr. Kilgore was the leading voice in the Republican Party for self-policing both in the conference-call eavesdropping case and when the former house speaker was forced from office by charges of misconduct. The attorney general has proved himself a leader motivated by principle. The notion that he could be stuck with the label of "just another hack willing to put loyalty to party line over knowing the truth" simply does not jibe with reality.

Obviously, your author just plain detests the death penalty. He, along with the other 8 or 10 percent of Virginians who agree with him, should jump on the Tim Kaine bandwagon. Mr. Kaine spent much of his career as an attorney representing death-row inmates, often pro bono, because of his staunch beliefs that the death penalty is wrong in all instances. While I admire Mr. Kaine's commitment to principle, I question his judgment on the issue. Mr. Kilgore has demonstrated commitment to principle, sound judgment on the issues, and true leadership character. I for one am looking forward to his winning another landslide victory in 2005.

Del. Brad Marrs (R-68)

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