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October 29, 2002

Rising Above The Dirty Tricks And Giving It A Go

David 'Kip' Koontz

Delegate Louise Snodgrass decided to defy the odds last week and file to run for her seat in the Maryland House of Delegates from District 4A as a write-in.

Some will say she shouldn’t do it because it is deemed "impossible." Others will say she shouldn’t because it is a violation of "party unity." And still others will simply say she shouldn’t because "she lost" the primary.

Well, bunk.

Mrs. Snodgrass may not have "won" the vote in the primary but she is the Republican who actually "won" the election.

In the days following Mrs. Snodgrass’ defeat at the polls, word started spreading about "things" that occurred from her opponents’ camps and their friends to negatively impact Mrs. Snodgrass’ efforts.

It is widely known how badly "Ma" Bartlett behaved in regards to her son not being on a campaign sign along with David Brinkley, for state Senate, and Paul Stull, for state delegate, while Mrs. Snodgrass was.

Along with that, Mr. Stull, in what is nothing more than a true act of cowardice, after what is said to be a "bullying" at the hands of the Bartlett clan, denied his ever allowing his name to be used on the handouts and signs.

Bunk, again.

Sadly, it has been heard in the weeks following the primary that Mrs. Snodgrass became the unwitting, unknowing victim of a smear campaign brought about by the Frederick chapter of the "Christian Coalition" on behalf of its candidates, "Baby Doc" Bartlett and the dishonored Paul Stull.

It is said that - in the waning days of the primary campaign - phone calls went out throughout District 4A calling Mrs. Snodgrass’ character into question.

The calls went, allegedly, something like this…phone rings, the person picks up, is greeted and is told, something along these lines, "if you want to vote for someone with ‘true Christian values,’ vote for Bartlett and Stull."

Now, come on folks, to win on the back of calling someone’s Christianity into question is nothing but a pathetic low blow.

Especially considering Mrs. Snodgrass’ lifestyle, voting record and, hmmm, she had - in her younger days - considered becoming a nun.

But to the ramshackle bunch of bullies that make up the Bartlett clan and his "Christian" supporters, nothing, even stooping to attack the Christian values of an opponent, is outside their realm of exploitation.

In turn, while Mrs. Snodgrass may have not won enough votes in order to make it through the primary, she is the true winner in her primary as she did not lie, coerce, distort and go nasty in order to win.

She is the true winner simply because, while Bartlett & Stull and Company chose to degrade themselves and their offices to win (simply because they have little to show for their time in office in comparison to Mrs. Snodgrass) she clung true to her "Christian" values and ran on her record of service and promise of constituent service in the future.

Unfortunately, the bullying tactics paid off for Bartlett & Stull and Company, which is why we find ourselves today with Mrs. Snodgrass running as a write-in candidate.

She is running because she was encouraged to do so.

Many Republicans, knowing now what happened, have expressed a desire to vote differently.

Democrats who wanted to cross over to vote for Mrs. Snodgrass expressed their desire for her to do so, too.

Many in the community, and the organizations she has helped, asked that she give it a go.

And our system of government affords people the opportunity to run as a write-in if they choose to do so.

So far, only the "Christian Coalition" and the Republican Central Committee have asked her not to run. Well, it was a bit more that asking her not to run.

Hmmmm. Who wants to listen to them?

Bottom line is, in light of the low tactics Bartlett & Stull and Company used in the primary, any of the other candidates, Democrats Dick Franklin and Valerie Dale and write-in Louise Snodgrass would serve their district better only in that they would not behave like spoiled rotten bullies on a playground.

In Mrs. Snodgrass’ case, she has the experience of eight years in office and an integrity not exhibited by her Republican compatriots.

Even if Mrs. Snodgrass is not victorious with the voters this go around, at least she will end this process knowing what it is she is up against and that she ended it on her terms instead of those set forth by a bunch of sneaking, conniving nincompoops.

From a political standpoint, even if she takes away enough votes that helps oust either Delegate Bartlett or Stull, District 4A will be the better for it.

It would be even better if they were both booted back to whatever else it is they do when they are not wasting taxpayer dollars doing nothing in Annapolis.

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