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October 7, 2002

Press Should Inform Voters, Not Take Sides

Michael Barnes

I am baffled, confused and perplexed at the press lately. Perhaps a better feeling is one of disappointment.

I am referring to the almost complete omission by the press that there are THREE qualified gubernatorial candidates that will appear on the ballot in November.

For the public out there who is not aware, I will let you know who the candidates are, and I will be fair, unlike the majority of the press, and give links to ALL of their web sites.

From the Republicans, we have Congressman Bob Ehrlich. Website:

From the Democrats, we have Lt. Governor Kathleen Townsend. Website:

And from the Libertarians, we have Spear Lancaster. Website:

That is it. That is what will be on the ballot in November. Not two candidates, as is being reported by Maryland and national media, but THREE.

There are some parts of media outlets that have mentioned Mr. Lancaster's campaign. He has been mentioned here on The Tentacle. The Frederick News-Post had a brief blurb when he submitted the petitions to be included on the ballot, but for the most part, the media has been silent.

Unfortunately, it is not only the press.

The NAACP, whom you would think would be champion of a minority group, purposefully excluded Mr. Lancaster from the first gubernatorial debate.

Again, I am quite confused by the lack of attention.

This is an historical race.

We have the first three-way race in over 30 years. This is made even more amazing by the simple fact that Maryland has, according to, some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the country.

We have a Kennedy running for the highest office in the state.

We have a race where the Republican candidate is polling almost even with the Democrat candidate, in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans almost 2 to 1.

We have a third party candidate who has been endorsed by the Maryland Public Assembly, as well as the Democrat candidate who won 20% of the primary vote against KKT.

Please, if you feel that the press needs to inform Marylanders of ALL of their choices, contact the papers, radio and television stations.

There are approximate 2.7 million registered voters in this state.

FOURTEEN PERCENT of those registered voters are neither Republicans nor Democrats. They choose to affiliate with another party or no party at all. There MUST be a reason for that. The reason is THEY HAVE A CHOICE.

Should those people be denied their right to be informed about ALL of their choices?

Some may say that 14% is just a minority of the registered voters. Can you imagine if we denied the right to information to minorities based on religion or race, instead of political party?

Members of the press: Let all Marylanders know about their three choices.

Citizens: Let the press know you want to know about your choices.

Voters: Get out and vote on Election Day, regardless of your choice.

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