Response

Allen Levy strikes a relevant chord in his letter to the editor, "The case against the blue dot," (Wednesday, June 9). It seems that having a degree from Yale or Harvard has become some sort of basic minimum requirement to lead in this country, both politically and in the judiciary.

I do not know Jonathan Steinberg personally, but I agree with Levy that we don't need another political neophyte waving his Yale degree in the state legislature just now. We have one of those in the White House causing catastrophe already.

Spiro Agnew once said that "an intellectual is a man who doesn't know how to park a bike." Let's listen to the past and learn from the present, and ask ourselves, "What has Yale done for us lately?"

Eric Wright

Westport

`GAAP political circus'

I read with interest Tom Lasersohn's recent call for the Democrat candidate for the 136th District to join with his Republican opponent and "break with his party" and pledge to vote to implement GAAP -- or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (Westport News, June 9).

Two sessions ago the state legislature, with both Republicans and Democrats signing on, passed GAAP legislation only to have Gov. M. Jodi Rell veto the bill. The GAAP deficit, as it is known in political circles, is about $1 billion and instead of taking the charge all in one year, the legislation called for phasing in the charge over time. The accounting standards board didn't like the fact that the legislation called for the phase in -- and neither did I but it was a political compromise -- so it foolishly demonized the bill calling for all or nothing when it came to GAAP. Rell was happy to use the standards board as cover for her veto because she knew adopting GAAP even with the phase-in provision would mean she would have to make some tough decisions to stop borrowing and spending, and that would hurt her popularity.

If you want to more about the GAAP political circus check out the Aug. 13, 2007, Financial Week article titled "The Demonization of Nancy Wyman." While the Democrats in the legislature were more than silently happy to see Rell veto their bill, they did give the issue a drive-by effort. The Democratic majority in Hartford didn't bring Connecticut to its fiscal knees on its own, make no mistake about that. It was a team effort along with Rowland-Rell.

Jim Brown

Fairfield