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Washington County Democrats discuss change at picnic

August 22, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

WILLIAMSPORT -- Washington County Democrats talked about change during their annual picnic Thursday night, focusing on their dissatisfaction with the economy, gas prices and health care.

About 100 people attended the event at Red Men Lodge 84 in Williamsport.

Over plates of fried chicken and cups of beer, Mike Dreisbach and Jack Hose said they are sick of high oil costs and think Congress has done nothing to help.

"If they had any guts, they would lower the national speed limit to 55 miles per hour," said Dreisbach, who owns Savage River Lodge in Frostburg, Md. "Demand and prices would go down just like that."

Hose said he likes presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's views on the issue.

"He's got something different to say," Hose said. "He talks about alternative fuels."

Jennifer Dougherty, the Democratic candidate for the 6th District congressional seat held by Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, said gas and energy prices are "front and center" in people's minds this year.

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Dougherty criticized Bartlett, saying the Republican's actions on alternative energy have not matched his words.

"He gives lectures on oil, but he's done nothing to help us," Dougherty said. "Anyone can give lectures."

She challenged Bartlett to debate her at "a gun club of his choosing," saying she would "meet him on his turf."

Bartlett's spokeswoman has said the congressman only will participate in forums or debates sponsored by "credible third-party organizations."

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