Letters to the editor

October 25, 2006

Bartlett's talk mismatches his walk

To the editor:

In reference to The Herald-Mail endorsing Rep. Roscoe Bartlett on the basis of his more recent declarations - which on its face present an individual taking a stand against the current administration's policies - it is apparent The Herald-Mail has done a thorough job checking Bartlett's voting record over the past six years!

How disheartening it is when the media participate in the political process by supporting candidates based on what they say, as opposed to what they actually stand for when it comes to the vote.

The intent of providing these facts is not to criticize Bartlett personally, but to present readers and potential voters with an alternative opinion to The Herald-Mail's opinion and endorsement of Bartlett based on his voting record, as opposed to past and present proclamations.


I began tracking Bartlett's voting record in 1999, after a series of failed attempts to receive assistance from Bartlett's office in a matter where there was probable cause for a congressional inquiry.

Instead of providing assistance, Bartlett's office directed me to the Office of Rep. Connie Morella for assistance. This is after I had explained to him that I was a resident of Washington County and he was my representative.

Morella appropriately directed me back to Bartlett's office, where he once again denied me assistance!

Since that time, I have had the opportunity to hear Bartlett speak publicly, where he criticized the Bush administration and the current Congress on several issues, including, but not limited to, depleting the Social Security fund and the war in Iraq, both of which his vote supported.

He used the human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Garaib prisons to suggest that this could be the beginning of widespread government abuses that would some day lead to the loss of religious liberty freedoms. Loss of religious liberty freedoms is an age-old fear of many Seventh-day Adventists.

Simply put, the voting record for Bartlett historically and recently has been to support the popular opinion and policy of the Republican majority, regardless of what his public proclamations and/or religious declarations.

This is a prime example of a congressional representative publicly stating one thing and then behind closed doors supporting the opposite.

Although there may be several reasons that attempt to explain the disparity between Bartlett's public statements versus his poor voting record, there is absolutely no justification for the citizens of the 6th Congressional District to continue to support this candidate, once considering the state of emergency that faces Americans both home and abroad.

One thing for certain is this: The Herald-Mail should be much more savvy than to support a candidate based on his public statements alone. At some point the voting record must come into play!

Jonathan R. Burrs

Seeing county through fresh eyes

To the editor:

Donna Brightman will bring a thought process and a resolve to the Board of Washington County Commissioners that will insure that all sides of an issue are given thoughtful consideration.

She will bring a new perspective to long-standing, open issues and will work hard to bring them to a resolution that will be to the benefit of county residents. She has no prior obligations or agendas that might cloud a responsible approach to problems and decisions.

In other words, she is free to rely on her own experience and judgment and will not be beholden to any other interests.

Brightman will strive for communication with all members of the community - the county, the city, the towns and all the various groups within the community that contribute to the quality of life in Washington County.

Perhaps her "fresh eyes" will be able to see more clearly what compromises are needed to remove the roadblocks to cooperation.

As someone who will enter the political arena without any "baggage," she will be able to look at issues with a fresh perspective and identify new opportunities to solve problems.

Electing Donna Brightman to the Board of County Commissioners will help Washington County to move ahead into the future in a nonpartisan, informed and organized manner. I encourage people to vote for Donna Brightman on Nov. 7.

Gretchen Van Hyning

Nuclear test is no big deal

To the editor:

From my reading of news accounts over the years, it seems our foreign and defense policies toward the North Koreans is based upon two premises.

1. North Korea either possesses, or has the capbility to produce, a small number of weapons.

2. The capability of producing additional weapons is limited by the lack of capacity to produce more than modest amounts of enriched plutonium in any reasonable time.

What does it matter to the U.S. if North Korea consumes part of its limited supply of enriched plutonium in a test? The test only confirms a premise of our existing policies.

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