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Bartlett focusing on creating jobs in 6th Congressional District race

March 15, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Roscoe G. Bartlett
Roscoe G. Bartlett

When asked about running for re-election, U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlettusually mentions his concern for the future of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But, several months ago, the 20-year incumbent was wavering, possibly leaning against running again.

Bartlett, R-Md., said it was a natural reaction to being targeted by Democrats in control of congressional redistricting, making it tougher for him to win an 11th term.

Then, supporters urged him to run again, calling him the party’s best chance to keep the 6th Congressional District seat, he said.

After some uncertainty and inaction, Bartlett said he was again running and raising money with gusto.

He said the primary focus needs to be creating jobs, largely by spending less and overhauling the tax system.

Bartlett, 85, said he favors eliminating the income tax and only taxing consumption. If taxes on corporations were erased, businesses would expand and hire more people, boosting the country’s economy, he said.

The U.S. also must rein in entitlement programs and fix health care, Bartlett said. For example, he supports having workers, not employers, own their insurance policies and giving an awards board the authority to rule on medical malpractice claims.

Republican and Democratic foes have accused Bartlett of accomplishing little during his decades in office.

Bartlett replied that most bills are through committee collaboration, making it difficult to claim or give credit.

But he also named a few specific changes he said were at his initiative.

One was letting military working dogs be adopted instead of euthanized at the end of their useful working lives.

Another was a guarantee that people could fly an American flag at their home, even if homeowners associations didn’t allow it.

A third was a push for research of embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo. Bartlett, who has a doctorate in human physiology, said he’s the only member of Congress with expertise in stem cells.

Significantly, Bartlett said he has helped win hundreds of millions of dollars of military contracts for his district.

Bartlett, who is the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, likes to describe himself as a fiscally conservative “constitutionalist” who doesn’t fit into a Republican or Democratic mold.

He voted against the USA Patriot Act out of concern that it infringed on civil liberties.

Bartlett said he voted last year, for the first time, to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, only to avoid a first-ever default and because debt-lowering spending cuts were part of the agreement.

For years, Bartlett has championed the theory that the nation’s oil production peaked in 1970 and is declining, so alternative energy sources need to be promoted.

He also has urged the U.S. to prepare for a possible electromagnetic pulse attack, which could cripple the power grid.

Bartlett’s April 3 GOP primary opponents are state Sen. David R. Brinkley, Del. Kathryn L. Afzali, former Del. Robin Ficker, Joseph T. Krysztoforski, Brandon Orman Rippeon, Robert Coblentz and Peter James.

The Democratic field is state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, John Delaney, Dr. Milad L. Pooran, Charles Bailey and Ron Little.

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Roscoe G. Bartlett at a glance

Name: Roscoe G. Bartlett

Date of birth: June 3, 1926

Address: 4317 Buckeystown Pike

Hometown: Frederick, Md.

Education: Degrees in theology and science from Washington Missionary College in 1947; master’s degree in human physiology from the University of Maryland in 1948; doctorate in human physiology from the University of Maryland in 1952.

Occupation: Scientist, teacher, developer, farmer

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: 10 terms in Congress

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