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October 15, 2008

“Oddball” Roscoe Bartlett

Tom McLaughlin

In a secret snap poll conducted by the Maryland Democratic Party, Jennifer Dougherty is within six points of overtaking Roscoe Bartlett. This does not include a fair number of people who are undecided, or the 18-24 year old vote.


For the first time since his election, Congressman Bartlett now faces a serious challenge to his long stint in office. His aids are frantically regrouping and assessing the new information to begin a last minute desperate attempt to save the congressman and their jobs.


Esquire Magazine, the nationally respected men’s magazine, endorsed Roscoe Bartlett for Congress over Jennifer Dougherty. Stating in their November issue: “God bless the oddballs. Bartlett is a stiff defender of bygone eras’ values – you would sense he would be happy if we went back to the gold standard…and a delightfully self-reliant survivor of the Great Depression. Call him the last anti-Roosevelt.” The magazine thus gave credence and credibility for its support.


Jennifer Dougherty has run on a platform of change. Beverly Byron, a former congresswoman for the Sixth District endorsed her recently. Dr. Bartlett replaced Mrs. Byron in January 1993.


Ms. Dougherty has promised to create jobs and expand opportunities by highlighting local strengths and opportunities. She also hopes to secure more tele-work facilities to reduce traffic congestion and lower gas consumption.


Continuing on the energy saving theme, she will target renewable energy alternatives for the district. Creating an “All American Theme’” – read get rid of foreign oil – she will explore all types of alternative energy blending them together for a secure American future.


Answering the call from her constituents, she advocates “health care for all” within five years with consumer choice. For those who have proudly served our country in the Armed Forces, she demands immediate health, rehabilitation and occupational facilities for returning veterans.


In support of educators who have been decimated by “No Child Left Behind,” she supports reform of the legislation. Preferring to keep education local, she advocates reduced class size.


As the budget spirals out of control, she will reward effectiveness and efficiency. To keep tabs on the opinions of her constituents, she will conduct semi-annual listening tours of the huge 6th district to better serve the people.


Esquires’ opinion of Representative Bartlett as an oddball serves him well. On the economy, he wants to give the wealthiest Americans permanent tax cuts and voted against home foreclosure relief efforts. Citing recent job loss in the 6th District, he called them part of a “natural cycle” and refused to support retraining efforts.


As a “stiff supporter of a bygone era” according to Esquire, he provided a swing vote to give tax breaks to oil and gas companies. He also decided not to fight for renewable energy resources.


Esquire has called him a “self reliant survivor of the Great Depression,” yet this oddball refuses to support Medicare so desperately needed by his generation. He has voted to deny greater coverage to all generations including the Greatest Generation that marched in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.


He has voted to restrict prescription drug coverage for all generations and refused to allow the government to negotiate prices with drug companies.


Esquire calls Congressman Bartlett a throwback to the Roosevelt era. One wonders which Roosevelt.


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