With respect to Doug Ross' Aug. 15 column, "Two public corruption cases, two sentences," the question he asks is a good one. I do not know, of course, whether the answer that satisfies me will be satisfactory to you, but this is what I think:
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s crime is that he is a thief, taking what is not his to take.
He defrauded in some way those who contributed the money he stole from his campaign account. He was punished as a thief.
Al Salinas solicited and received a bribe while a Hammond councilman. Accepting a bribe by a public official betrays not only his constituents but also betrays all of us who learn of it because it is an actual theft of our constitutional right to have public officials act in our best interest. It works against the American ideals that built this nation.
Since Salinas' theft injured far more people and was in fact a more grievous crime, he should be punished more heavily.
- The Rev. John Blakslee, Hobart