Letters to the editor - 10/15/02

October 15, 2002

Bartlett runs away and hides

To the editor:

In a game as old as politics, most incumbents avoid engaging opponents in debates because it gives publicity to their opponents and opens up opportunities for voters to actually scrutinize the incumbent's legislative record. So Roscoe Bartlett's tactics in 2002 are very natural and typical.

Bartlett was quoted several weeks ago as saying he didn't need to debate this year because everyone knew his views already. He claimed that Democratic and Republican leaders had declared that his seat was safe for Republicans.

I guess that means I'm supposed to give up or that I wasn't supposed to contest his re-election in the first place.

That is probably the explanation for Bartlett being missing in action at a number of important non-partisan voter forums, including two in Washington County during the primary sponsored by Women at The Table and by Citizens For the Protection of Washington County.


Both were attended by numerous Republican and Democratic candidates. Recently, Bartlett was AWOL at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters in Frederick.

Sponsors tell me that Bartlett has confirmed for only two of the eight joint appearances we have been invited to attend. Apparently he is too busy to answer questionnaires because his answers are missing on a number of published questionnaires, including that of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

His campaign Web site contains issues information that is two years old. Some might characterize this as the complacency of a confident incumbent. Others would call it just plain lazy.

As American servicemen and women engage our enemies overseas, it seems that we should hold our office-holders to a higher standard in 2002. Our military is fighting for democracy and to uphold our American principles. Certainly two of those principles are competitive elections and a full discussion of the issues.

I call on Bartlett to fight his natural tendencies and engage in a head to head discussion of issues before the voters of Washington County and across the now eight-county district. Let's practice what we preach - democracy.

Don DeArmon

6th District House candidate

Frederick, Md.

Let's finish the Iraqi war

To the editor:

As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, I find our complacency on Iraq naive.

What "debate?"

The honest truth is that we have been at war with the Baghdad regime since Saddam Hussein failed to honor the surrender mandates in 1991. It is naive to think his ambition has dimmed since - or that he will not continue to challenge the son (President Bush) of his old enemy.

As was demonstrated in World War II, such ambition is dangerous when personified in a man at the helm of a nation seeking what it perceives as lost world respect. Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) waved a "peace in our time" document he thought he had secured - while Adolf Hitler acted upon something vastly different.

How long will Saddam be allowed to play the diplomatic shell game? Do we really believe the inspectors will "find" something which Saddam does not wish them to? I wonder if we as a nation will ever learn that only the nature of "the threat" to our national security has altered - not the fact of it.

It is past time to complete our unfinished business with Baghdad - and remove Saddam Hussein from power.

Joe Hammell

Waynesboro, Pa.

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