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Martha Stewart Is No Ken Lay

June 08, 2003

Re "U.S. Charges Stewart With Lying, Securities Fraud and Obstruction," June 5: Martha Stewart would have lost $45,000 if she had waited one day with the sale of her stock. This is peanuts for her. Now the government could send her to prison for up to 30 years and fine her $2 million. Give me a break!

That same government is now clogging up the court system even more instead of focusing on real, urgent matters. It will be wasting hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions of dollars in taxpayer money. For what? In my view, this is just a witch hunt by some people who apparently have nothing better to do with their lives.

Hans van der Touw

San Bernardino

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Did Stewart lie? Yes. Should she be punished? Yes. Should the punishment be substantial? Yes. Is the $500 million it is estimated to have cost her in expenses and loss of stock value for the company substantial? Yes. Should the punishment cause the company to tank, with investors losing even more? No.

Speaking of lying, where was the prosecution of the tobacco chief executives who lied under oath that cigarettes were not addictive? Did the political contributions of the companies and their CEOs affect the prosecution of obvious criminal perjury? Why is Enron's Kenneth Lay still living without any discomfort or restrictions? (It couldn't be because he has an "old boys' network" that Stewart does not have?) I think Justice's blindfold has slipped so she can see how much money is being put on the scales.

C. Martin Vincent

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Stewart has now been indicted, in a very public prosecutorial spectacle, on a stock sale that arguably saved her from incurring about $45,000 in additional losses.

Lay was at the helm of a company that manipulated billions of dollars affecting millions of people and he's still flying around on private jets to his multiple homes. Clearly Stewart didn't give enough money to George W. Bush's political endeavors.

Alan M. Strasburg

West Hollywood

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I have just one question about Stewart. If she is such a supposed guru about everything, why hasn't she ever come up with a way to keep her hair out of her eyes?

Kelly McIntyre

Reseda

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In his usual, subtle-as-a-train-wreck style (editorial cartoon, Commentary, June 5), Michael Ramirez shows Stewart stoically describing her "shock" over the dumping of her ImClone stock by her broker. Ramirez can't resist a cheap shot when he sees one. He places Hillary Clinton's book, "Living History," on a shelf behind Martha, linking the two as co-hypocrites who'll do anything for a buck.

Ramirez's preoccupation with the Clintons brings to mind an ill-tempered terrier taking one more chomp on a favorite ankle.

Thomas Thomas

Pacific Palisades

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