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Anti-Mooney Web rhetoric toned down

June 24, 2002

A Frederick, Md., group working against Sen. Alex X. Mooney toned down their political rhetoric last week.

The Defeat Mooney Committee removed all references to Hitler and the Holocaust from its Web site at www.defeatmooney.com.

President Fred Michel apologized, but not to Mooney. He said he was sorry for offending members of the Jewish community.

"It was never our desire to exploit the Holocaust by inviting comparisons to the behavior of Alex Mooney," Michel said during a press conference at the Ten Commandments monument in Frederick Memorial Park.

The group was only trying to criticize Mooney's anti-gay rhetoric, he said.

Mooney said he accepted the apology, but still considers the group's members to be extremists.

"If you don't agree with them they call you a Nazi. It's hard to debate the issues," Mooney said.

Delegate's father opts to switch parties

LeRoy Myers isn't the only candidate for House of Delegates whose parent switched political parties to vote for their son in the primary.

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After 60 years of voting as a Democrat, Frank McKee, 79, became a Republican in May, Washington County Election Board records show.

"He's joined the rest of the family," said Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.

When the candidate was growing up, he and his father enjoyed many lively political debates, he said.

As it turns out, McKee might not need his father's help after all. A new election redistricting campaign released Friday will head off a primary showdown with fellow incumbent Del. Christopher B. Shank.

McKee's only announced primary competitor so far, William J. Wivell, said he will probably withdraw and run for re-election to the Washington County Commissioners.

But Myers can still use a hand from his mother, Mary Jane Myers of Clear Spring, who recently became a Republican after 50 years voting as a Democrat.

Even after Friday's change in election district boundaries, LeRoy Myers still has a competitor in the primary, Vikki Nelson of Clear Spring.

Few residents to see change in representation

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Although the new legislative redistricting map released by the Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday reshuffled the political landscape in Washington County, there was at least one thing that remained virtually unchanged.

In Gov. Parris Glendening's plan, about 14,807 Washington County residents would have been represented by lawmakers who live in Allegany and Frederick counties.

The court's plan increased that number only slightly, to 14,830 people.

The big difference in the new plan is that most of the disenfranchised voters are in the western part of Washington County, which now becomes part of an Allegany County district.

Glendening's plan, on the other hand, put voters in southern and central Washington County into a Frederick County district.

Of course, about 6,000 people who were in that predicament are prisoners who can't vote anyway.

Door-to-door weight campaign a moot point

On a lighter note, former primary foes Del. Robert A. McKee and Del. Christopher B. Shank used to brag about how much weight they lost going door-to-door campaigning in past elections.

Before the courts redrew the boundaries and returned the two incumbent Republicans to their own separate election districts Friday, we thought it would have been fun to track the pounds each of them shed this election season.

Shank was willing to go along with the idea, revealing his starting weight as 198 pounds.

But even before the contest became a moot point, McKee wasn't so eager.

It's not that he was embarrassed about his weight. It's just that he wasn't planning the same kind of marathon door-to-door sessions he's done during his two previous campaigns.

That style of campaigning, he figured, wouldn't be the most efficient use of his time before the Sept. 10 primary, when his goal is to reach mainly Republican voters.

No word yet on his latest campaign strategy.

Local man on national Republicancommittee

A Hagerstown businessman has been appointed to a new national commission advising the Republican leadership on how to protect the Republican majority in Congress this fall.

Curtis P. Pietro, an accountant at Glessner Alarm & Communications Systems, was named to the Congressional Business Commission, according to a press release from the Republican National Committee.

More information about the committee can be found at www.nrcc.org.

- Laura Ernde

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