The only division that exists is between myself and the Central Committee members who resent the fact that I resigned. It was my choice to resign from the committee, because I did not wish to associate with people who attack my friends Dick Everhart and Vikki Nelson.
I refuse to sit idly by while the central committee performs Don Munson's dirty work by attempting to get even with Nelson for running against Munson in 1998.
To her credit, she chooses to remain a part of the Central Committee and stand toe-to-toe with "her colleagues" who "cannot in good conscience support Nelson as a viable candidate."
What we have here is a disagreement over a by-law that exists in only two out of 24 Maryland counties. It is not a state party by-law. It is not against the laws of Maryland or the by-laws of the state Republican Party for a member of the county central committee to seek office.
In fact, 22 counties in Maryland actually encourage members of their Central Committees to run for office while remaining on the committee. In this respect, the Central Committee is similar to a farm club in baseball. By serving on a Central Committee, a member often gains experience and develops as a highly qualified candidate.
In Washington County, the Republican Central Committee recommends that if one is on the Central Committee, one should resign if he/she decides to run for office. This by-law has no provision to force an individual to resign upon throwing his/her hat into the ring.
It was only instituted after Nelson ran against Munson in 1998. It seems that this by-law exists more to prevent "wholesome competition" and to ensure that no member of the Central Committee will ever challenge Munson again.
As a member of the central committee for 11 years and as chairman for the previous two years, I have said "no" to many such temper tantrums. They are not only meaningless, but damaging to GOP candidates at all levels.
The Maryland Republican Party has a rule that central committees must either support all primary election candidates or remain neutral, in essence supporting no candidate and leaving it up to the electorate.
The eight members of the Central Committee who signed the letter not only broke their own by-laws but the state party by-laws as well. Mildred Myers states that the purpose of the by-law is to eliminate the "conflict of interest based on the committee's role of recruiting and supporting all candidates."
One can only assume that Myers only includes those candidates who lack the qualifications that someone on her own committee has. Nelson is not asking for preferential treatment. She does not expect the Central Committee to support or endorse her over any other candidate.
She only demands that the Washington County Central Committee practice what it preaches by either supporting all candidates or remaining neutral. By signing such a mean-spirited letter, they shamed all Republicans in Washington County, they shamed the Maryland State Republican Party and they shamed themselves.
Shame on them for abusing the power of their position and shame on them for validating Tim Rowland's argument that the GOP in Washington County is split. It is their own central committee that lacks the necessary leadership to bring this internal bickering to an end.
Friends of Vikki Nelson Committee
Don't criticize our government; pray for it instead
To the editor:
Pray for our country and her leaders. I find it sad that while our troops are fighting on foriegn soil, we're fighting at home over who knew this or that before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Hard-working people who hold high positions within our systems of intelligence have known for years that terrorists could find their way through our security clearances and eventually accomplish their hellish ends.
Though the warnings were posted within our government, how does one know which of the hundreds of threats to publicize and which will only prove to inspire unnecessary fear? Hundreds of "dead ends" are pursued within the intelligence structure. Unfortunately Sept. 11 was successful for the terrorists.