I've not followed the governor race, but from the way the long knives are out for our attorney general ("Baltimore City Power Rankings," Mobtown Beat, Oct. 30), it's clear Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler must be doing something right. The teen-party story has amazingly grown legs-it's now national news. I watched the morning talk shows while on vacation, and the hosts just couldn't get enough. Their sanctimonious "holier-than-thou" attitudes were repugnant.

Just because Gansler failed to break up a party in Delaware where underage drinking might have taken place, he is now mired in scandal along with likes of former D.C. mayor Marion Barry and former President Bill Clinton. One letter-writer to The Sun even compared his so-called "lapse of judgment" with the murder of Yeardley Love. What's gotten into the Maryland water supply!

Now City Paper has jumped aboard the "Get Gansler Express" by accusing him of being "stupid and sexist." When a woman pointed out she would have called the police if her daughter had been at that infamous party, Gansler wisely is reported to have said, "It also has to do with whether you have a boy or girl." How is this sexist?

Let me point out that girls get pregnant, boys do not!

Rosalind Heid

Balitmore

OK, I'll be the first person to admit that Doug Gansler is no angel. He is, after all, a human being, and we are all hard-wired to make mistakes.

To my knowledge, he has never murdered anyone, has never owned meth labs, and has never raped children.

I am beginning to smell a rat in Annapolis. Who is leaking this information to the press/media? Will the hypocrite come out frombehind the curtain of secrecy and identify himself or herself? Could our lieutenant governor-"Casper the Friendly Ghost," aka Anthony Brown-be the culprit? Has he taken a page from Governor Martin "My Favorite Martian" O'Malley and bathed himself in Teflon?

Our state has had a long and storied lineage of greed, the egocentric accrual of power, and good old-fashioned corruption. Is it any wonder that we, as Marylanders, perceive our politicians (and political aspirants) as being more lowly than that mound of pigeon shit on the ledge outside our offices?

Come forth, ye leaking taxable bag of pigeon poop, and identify your hypocritical self.

Patrick R. Lynch

Nottingham

Simple Majority

I have to take time to correct the misconceptions of C.D Wilmer, expressed in his recent letter to City Paper ("Rankled Rankings," The Mail, Oct. 30).

There has never, in the entirety of American history, been a requirement for any legislation to have 61 votes to pass. Indeed, with the exception of five original exceptions and two later exceptions, legislation has only required a simple majority vote to pass into law in America.

Those original exceptions were: overriding a presidential veto, ratifying a treaty,to convict after impeachment, expelling a member of the House or Senate (a two-thirds vote of the body doing the expulsion), and passing a constitutional amendment.

Later amendments created two-thirds majorities required for restoring the abilities of Confederate traitors to serve in government and for approving the removal of president after a declaration of disability by the vice president and the cabinet if the president challenges said declaration.

All other legislation requires a simple majority to pass.

The filibuster rule, a Senate rule not directly part of the U.S. Constitution and which can be abolished at any time, requires a 60-vote majority to invoke cloture and essentially end debate on a bill and bring it to a vote. This subsequent vote only requires a simple majority to pass.