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September 3, 2002

Delegate Bartlett Proves This Is A Madcap World

David 'Kip' Koontz

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett recently sent a letter to his "dear Republican friends" asking that they vote for his son, Delegate Joe Bartlett, for election as delegate in District 4A.

He claims that "Joe didn't ask him to write the letter." But would anyone think that a father wouldn't publicly support his son?

Even if endorsing young Mr. Bartlett means endorsing the worst candidate of the three Republicans running for the two seats in that district.

Seriously now, the nut doesn't fall very far from the tree with these two.

Congressman Bartlett has had a less than stellar career in Washington.

He has embarrassed our district with idiotic statements about people "with funny sounding last names" and the like, while being completely ineffective in his representation, going so far as to vote against funding for the project to improve the I-70 and I-270 connection.

Delegate Bartlett has embarrassed the district by playing silly little games like "switch the name tag" while being ineffective in bringing any money, jobs or anything of significance back home to his constituents.

Unless, of course, that deer whistle bill, that has been the cornerstone of his legislative attempts, meant something to you - the bill, and his accomplishments are laughable.

Oh, and we can't forget his wonderful 138th ranking of House members by the Gazette Newspaper's set of reviewers that gave him a score of zero.

It is said, while working on our behalf, that Delegate Bartlett is a great fan of playing solitaire while on the House floor and was even observed addressing wedding invitations on the floor while serving us as well.

You can just sort of hear him saying something, "well golly gee willakers, I 'm in the House of Delegates, what do they do again?"

Congressman Bartlett writes that Delegate Bartlett is the "only Frederick County delegate who 'held the line' and opposed all tax increases."

Hmmmm. Until this year, Delegate Bartlett voted for every budget presented.

Those budgets included tax and fee increases felt by residents throughout the state and/or other local jurisdictions.

Congressman Bartlett also says that he wrote the letter because he was "extremely confident in Joe's conservative representation."


Most "conservatives" of the ilk Congressman Bartlett speaks seem to oppose extending legal protections of the state to gays and lesbians, using the term "sexual orientation."

Delegate Bartlett, however, is clearly a proponent of extending legal protections of the state to gays and lesbians.

In the 2001 legislative session Delegate Bartlett voted for House Bill 855 which was an act concerning the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission's (WSSC) nondiscrimination policy.

This bill, which passed with Delegate Bartlett's vote in the affirmative, prohibits discrimination against certain classes of people based on "sex, race, creed, color, age, mental or physical handicap, sexual orientation or national origin."

This bill also goes on to state that those who do business with the WSSC must maintain a similar policy.

If a company already had a contract in existence with the WSSC and does not have - or is willing to adopt - a policy mirroring the WSSC's, the WSSC must void that contract.

It also prevents the WSSC from entering into new contracts unless the business maintains or implements an anti-discrimination policy mirroring that of the WSSC.


When does "conservative representation" extend to telling a business how it must operate and what kind of policies it must have in place before they can do business with the government?

Many would seem doing so would be just the opposite of "conservative."

While, in some people's estimation, the delegate's vote would be heralded as a triumph for equality and civil rights, it is doubtful the constituency he is hoping will get him elected will see it that way.

Hopefully though, these inconsistencies and lack of ability to get things accomplished in Annapolis, will make the residents of District 4A realize that there are candidates running who will tell the truth about their positions - even if you don't like them and have the character to stand on what they truly believe.

It seems Delegate Bartlett has just opened the door to show what seems to be his true progressive - maybe even liberal - tendencies.

Who knows, if he did get re-elected he might sponsor a "gay marriage act" or something like that.

Next thing you know he may qualify for campaign contributions from gay and lesbian rights organizations like the "Victory Fund" or "The Human Rights Campaign."

What a madcap world we live in, isn't it?

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