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As Long as We Remember...

November 1, 2002

Some Choices Are Difficult, Others Are Not

David 'Kip' Koontz

The elections, the elections, they are almost over - thank God! Arenít we all just a bit tired of the "War of the Big Signs?" One has to wonder if the "big sign" isnít an over compensation for a candidateís inadequacy in the "knowing what they would do if elected" department.

Anyway, it seems that it is time to make picks, or predictions, or - if nothing else - sound off a bit as to who should be elected, so here goes.

For Congress the choice is clear - Democrat Don DeArmon.

While, in actuality, I believe a loaf of bread would be better than Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Mr. DeArmonís platform of solid ideas to improve healthcare for people is simply reason enough for him to get my vote.

For governor: Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend is the hands down winner.

As someone I have known for 20 years, I am impressed with the fact that she never used the "Kennedy" name to further herself along.

When she first ran for Congress many years ago she was actually criticized for not using Kennedy as she just used her married name of Townsend.

She was accused of "hiding who she really was" when she was really trying to run and win on her own merit.

She has done that all along.

As the daughter of a man who would have been a great president, Mrs. Townsend would have had thousands of opportunities to choose from.

She chose to get married and work in the field of volunteerism - a cause she holds dear to her heart.

She became known through that work by encouraging and promoting volunteerism, while also helping those in need of them to gain skills to help them improve their lives.

Some say some rubbish about how she is simply running as a "legacy" and that is pure bunk.

Mrs. Townsend is a dedicated person committed to improving the lives of others, who will work hard to make Maryland an even better place to live.

Congressman Robert Ehrlich, on the other hand, is (though he is doing well to hide it) an extreme conservative, who curiously has an African-American man as his running mate even though he voted to overturn voting rights during the Gingrich reign of terror in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hypocrisy doesnít cut it with me.

Hmmm, the state Senate race in District 3. Who would people possibly think I would end up voting for in that race?

Honestly, because of the way this campaign has played out, the alternative doesnít make me want to run out and do the chicken dance or anything, but Alex Mooney must go.

He has done nothing for his district and his hateful speech and actions are simply incongruent with anyone who spouts off regularly about his being a Christian - as he does.

One has to think that if Mr. Mooney and Jesus were to meet, the conversation would not make the man who taught us "to love others as you love yourself" a very happy man.

Plus, he in no way represents the majority of those who live in his district - maybe those who voted, but clearly not those who actually live here.

What makes me sad is people to whom I have spoken who disagree with him on all but one issue - and the one issue they agree with him on ranges from taxes to school vouchers - yet they say they will vote for him for that reason alone simply because they do not like his opponentís view on that one thing.

Can anyone explain to me how you can disagree on 99% of his platform, yet vote for him because of only one thing?

To me it is like "I know there is a 99% chance that the plane I am about to board will crash, yet I am taking this flight anyway," and no matter how much I try I canít wrap my poor little brain around that concept. I just canít.

Finally, Delegate Sue Hechtís record, commitment to service and her ability to work with others in Annapolis to do good things for her district warrant a vote for her.

In the Senate race in District 4 one can only say, WOHOO!!! Tim Ferguson is gone!!!

Donít know Timothy Schlauch, the Democrat thatís running, at all, so my pick there has to be David Brinkley.

We do not agree on everything, but, hey, who does?

At least he is willing to listen to differing opinions and isnít stuck in ideological politics that make others in the delegation ineffective.

Bottom line is, he is already an effective legislator and he will work with those he needs to in order to accomplish things for his district and that we desperately need.

Isnít it a nice prospect that our two state senators will not be viewed as a laughingstock in the assembly in which they serve?

In the District 3A delegate race, the Misters Dick Zimmerman and Galen Clagett get my nod.

While change is sometimes good, electing either Republican over two men with the knowledge, background, skills and abilities of Misters Zimmerman and Clagett is change that would not be good.

Tim Brooks does not have the skills it takes to work well with others, which is an attribute that is lacking in too many of our delegation already. Why make things worse?

Yes, he says he has matured and changed since his "shoot the liberals" image of four years ago. I personally am not interested in looking down his gun barrel anytime soon.

Mr. Brooks, his ex-wife, and his new wife (all pals and everything) should go find a commune in the mountains and leave us alone.

Patrick Hogan, while nice enough, is simply in the minor league of life experience when compared to Misters Zimmerman and Clagett.

Why waste time "potty training" two new members of the delegation when we have suffered through the ordeal of four years of Delegate "Baby Doc" Bartlett and Senator Mooneyís inability to get it right?

3B has turned out to be more difficult than I thought.

I know, like and respect Rick Weldon.

I really do not know Lisa Baugher. I was honestly surprised when she won the primary. I have met her and she is very nice, but I do not really know her or what she wants to do if elected.

For some time I thought that it would be best for our area to elect Mr. Weldon.

But, while part of me realizes that in politics some candidates sometimes do things you do not want to do - he has chummed up to Mr. Mooney maybe a bit too much during the campaign.

Attempts to reassure me that there is no love fest going on have not alleviated my fears, as I do not want the good reputation of Mr. Weldon to rub off on Mr. Mooney.

In the meantime, poor Ms. Baugher made the tragic mistake of referring to the largest town in the district she would represent, Brunswick, as something along the lines of "a dirty, run down little place."

She said it not once but twice at the same forum.

Seems that may not have been the thing to do as the forum was held in Brunswick and the mayor and three council members were in attendance.

So, hmmmm, who does one pick?

At this point maybe you simply throw a dart at their pictures and the one it sticks in is the one you pick.

When it really comes down to it, Mr. Weldon, God help us if you align yourself with Mr. Mooney, is the best pick when it comes to experience.

In the District 4A race, the choice is clear.

Delegates Joe Bartlett and Paul Stull have proven themselves unworthy of serving another term in office, period.

They shamed themselves and demeaned their office.

In turn, Democrat Dick Franklin - great guy, good energy, smart man and willing to work hard - along with the experience of Delegate Louise Snodgrass (make sure you write-in her name and then connect the arrow) will serve that district well.

The race for county commissioner is a tough one.

It is difficult to find five whom I think will do a good job or that I like.

Thought I might consider John Lovell, he is abrupt, inconsiderate of others and simply put, rude and, with Lennie Thompson already perfecting those attributes, the possibility of two hostile personalities on the commission is scary.

Some say that while he totes his presidency of the 4H Center as an experience builder, Mr. Lovell was, in actuality, the worst facility president they ever had - not a vote of confidence there.

My first nod goes to Bruce Reeder. I like him.

He once said something to me at a forum when I was running for delegate, when it was obvious I was getting a bit of a rub from Democratic Party operatives, that has stuck with me and for that alone I will vote for him.

Plus. when he was in office before we didnít have all the happy who-ha thatís going on in there now.

Gotta go with George Smith. He lives in Frederick City and we need someone from the city on the commission. Plus, as he has served on the city planning commission, he has a lot of knowledge to help face the growth/development issues facing Frederick.

Next comes Charles Jenkins. Nice guy. Seems like he wants to work hard to better relations on the board, with the city and with the delegation while focusing with a positive attitude on what Frederick needs.

Pickiní Belinda Teague-Levy next. Why not? She works with the commissioners and would come into office ahead of the curve. I find she is sincere and I like what she says about education and how to create affordable housing.

This is where it gets tough and I am angry my choices in the primary are not around.

What can you say, Bonnie Bailey-Baker, while nice, comes from the League of Women Voters background that helped get Alderman Marcia Hall into office.

One Marcia Hall is more than enough. So I am, simply put, afraid to duplicate that at the county level.

Jan Gardner is just too "stop-growth" for my tastes, and things tends to get iffy in her convictions at times.

Lennie Thompson. Not.

Hugh Warner, too close to Mr. Mooney.

So, it leaves Mike Cady, who is a nice guy.

Not quite sure what it is that really qualifies him for the position, but he seems sincere in his desire to help the community and at least he talks about business being a good thing not a bad thing.

I hope though that if he wins he wonít pass mandatory weight training for all Frederick Countians.

In the Stateís Attorneyís race, Dino Flores gets my nod.

He is energetic and has a passion about him that incumbent Scott Rolle does not.

While I really like Mr. Rolle personally, he seems to plea bargain too much, not prosecute many cases that I think should be, has a political bent to what gets prosecuted, and shows a lot of inequity in his prosecuting of cases.

And finally the school board race.

Julie White is a minion of Mr. Mooney, who should get herself elected to her church board and not the school board.

Keep your religion out of our classrooms.

It is so obnoxiously hypocritical, for instance, that folks of her ilk, whine and lie about how, say, gays have some sort of agenda to teach their "lifestyle" in the classroom, when, in fact, it is folks of her ilk who run for office simply to impose the dogma of their extremist faith on the children of the future.

My picks, Jean Smith, Daryl Boffman, Donna Crook and Bonnie Smith Borsa because they seem to have the integrity, knowledge and desires to serve our children without inflicting agenda politics into our schools.

So there, a lengthy and, most likely, bizarre look into my realm and why I pick those for whom I vote.

To end it, I will not be one of those who say something trite like, "it doesnít matter for whom you vote, as long as you vote" because frankly if you are going to vote for some of those who are running, I would just prefer it if you stayed home because too much is at stake.

Oh, well, maybe not much, but just in case, can I call you to hide in your attic if the need arises?

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