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Letters to the editor

August 15, 2003

What is Rep. Bartlett scared of?


To the editor:

I am not writing to express an opinion specifically on two-year versus four-year terms. I am more concerned with U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's statements regarding campaigning and his constituents.

He seems unduly concerned about alleged campaign pressure detracting from his ability to devote himself 100 percent to legislative activities - whether how he votes will affect his re-election and contact with his constituents.

He further states that he should be allowed to vote his conscience. If Bartlett were totally in touch with his constituents in "today's high-tech world" and a true representative "for the people," his conscience vote would truly express the desires of the majority of his constituents. As such, his voting record would stand him in good stead come election day, and he would not have to campaign so strenuously to try to influence his constituents to re-elect him.

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Further on his high-tech world reference, not everyone lives in a high-tech world or has a computer or other advanced electronic devices. I do not receive newsletters, e-mails, or anything from him via high-tech systems. I do not see how whatever high-tech gives him the right not to need direct contact with his constituents to get their feelings on particular issues that are coming up for vote in the House.

Then he goes on to say that "I think your (his) primary focus should be what's good for your children and grandchildren." Does this mean that he doesn't need to focus on all the rest of the people? Apparently his voting record or at least what of it gets published in the media must be representative of his constituents; otherwise he would not have been elected to six terms. If this is the case, it seems to me that there must not really be much campaign pressure.

Philip Ruth
Hagerstown




Return the flag


To the editor:

This letter goes out to the person or persons who felt it necessary to steal the American flag from the front lawn of my father-in-law's Cloverleaf Road home in Halfway, on Sunday night, July 27.

Why? The flag was flying on a 20-foot flagpole less than four feet from his home. Well lit, as it should be, for all to see. Was it because you couldn't afford one? If so, I would have gladly given one to you. Did you need or want an American flag so badly that stealing it was the only way you felt you could get one?

Also, when you stole the American flag, did you at least treat it with the respect it deserves? I'm referring to folding the flag and keeping it from touching the ground!

Did you even consider what you were stealing? The American flag is not just some lawn decoration that people have to make their homes look nice. It's "the" symbol of this country and the freedom that we all cherish. It is what my father-in-law fought for in WWII. It's what many other brave soldiers have fought and died for in past and current wars.

The American flag you stole was given to him by his daughter and me this past Father's Day because we know what the American flag means to him. It was also our way of showing him our appreciation for his sacrifice to his country.

I only hope that you never feel as strongly about something and have it stolen from you as we did with that American flag.

In closing, if after reading this you are so inclined, I will leave a basket next to the flag pole (you know which one) for you to return the American flag. No questions asked.

Anthony D. Tosadori
Smithsburg

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