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Herald-Mail Endorsement - Bartlett for 6th District

October 22, 2006

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has served as the 6th District's Congressional representative since 1992, but in his last term he has abandoned the unquestioning allegiance to his party's policies.

It is a refreshing and needed change in dealing with an White House administration that sometimes seems impervious to new ideas.

Bartlett made national news last year when he argued that the world has reached the peak of its oil production and that conservation now is the only prudent course.

In contrast to other members of Congress who tried to demagogue the issue, Bartlett said in April 2005 that Americans should get used to higher gasoline prices and buy more fuel efficient cars.

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On that issue, Bartlett has done more than talk, Since 12001, he has driven a Toyota Prius, one of the earliest hybrid vehicles.

He has questioned the wisdom of drilling for oil in the Alaskan wildlife refuge area, saying that what that yields will only postpone the day when the nation must embrace conservation and the development of alternative sources of energy.

Bartlett has also stood up against the administration's efforts to sacrifice some of Americans' basic rights - such as privacy - to the war on terrorism.

This week Bartlett issued a statement saying that he had opposed the Military Commissions bill that allows the suspension of the right of habeus corpus.

An attorney representing someone who is imprisoned can file a writ of habeus corpus, requesting that the defendant be brought to court so a judge can determine whether he or she is being detained lawfully.

Bartlett noted that Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution allows habeus corpus to be suspended only "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

At a time when the admninistration is questioning the patriotism of many who oppose such changes, Bartlett's decision to stand up - and stand apart - should be applauded.

We also applaud the military service of challenger Andrew Duck, a 20-year veteran of the military who served in Iraq.

In February, Duck told The Herald-Mail he had left the Army because he disagreed with the way the war in Iraq was being waged.

His Web site said the war strategy should be changed so that the mission is not just to kill the enemy, but to win the support of the civilian population.

That was a strategy that might have worked at the beginning of the war, but if the Iraqis support the occupation now, they know they are likely to be targeted by the insurgents.

Duck also supports universal health care, but isn't sure he likes the single-payer approach.

What does he favor? First provide care for all, he says, then concentrate providing it in the most efficient manner.

We are not health-care experts, but before commiting to any plan, we would want to know how it would be paid for - and how cost-cutting on the administrative side would be done so the cash could be used for actual care.

Duck's service to his country is to be honored. It includes three tours of duty is Bosnia and one in Iraq.

His resume does not include previous elected office, which would have given him an idea of how tough it is to get even a good idea enacted into law.

At 43, Duck has time to get that experience and develop more detailed positions on the issues.

At present, we believe Bartlett best fits the 6th District and we endorse him.

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