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As Long as We Remember...

Another Election Day Encounter

September 17, 2002

I've had enough! Enough of the lies, innuendo, bickering and bullying.

The Bartlett camp is trying to cover up the bully tactics used on Election Day against David Brinkley's campaign workers. They defend Ellen Bartlett's actions as her "just being a mom", but I suggest it goes deeper than that.

I was assigned to the Emmitsburg polls on Election Day. As I was unloading my campaign literature, a rather irate young man from Joe Bartlett's staff stormed at me with a document in hand. He was very persistent in the fact that the material I had was illegal and the document gave him permission to confiscate all material with Paul Stull's name on it. When I refused, his attitude became very aggressive and I thought that my safety was in jeopardy. I was not in a position to defend myself as I am recovering from recent spinal surgery, which on Election Day had me walking with a noticeable limp, and wearing a neck stabilization collar. Obviously, I was no threat to him then and even less of a threat as I tripped over an unseen campaign sign while trying to hold my distance.

I came very close to dialing 9-1-1 on my cell phone but not wanting to cause a major incident, speed-dialed Mr. Brinkley instead. As I began relating the events to Mr. Brinkley, the young gentleman returned to the opposite curb and his campaign material while threatening that he "had my license plate number" and would make sure I was "reported".

I was thoroughly confused as to what the young man was screaming about with regard to the campaign literature for two reasons: one, I was in Mr. Brinkley's office on election eve while Mr. Stull and Mr. Brinkley were resolving the alleged "misunderstanding" on the speakerphone (we were busy collating literature for the next day) and, two, it is my first amendment right to display the names of the candidates I support and no one has the right to confiscate my material solely on the grounds that they disagree with my choices.

From this insider's point of view, Mr. Stull made an agreement with Mr. Brinkley and when confronted about it from the "Bartlett Gang" because Joe Bartlett's name was not included, made a hasty retreat to his present position. This is not new behavior for Mr. Stull, as he is well known for not wanting to "rock the boat" and taking the "safe" political ground on divisive issues.

I also feel that the "bully tactics" employed by the Bartlett camp were somewhat premeditated, given that fact that more than one member were using the same theatrics and the fact that "Ma" Bartlett has surely been through tough campaign battles in the past without mounting a physical attacks on opposing campaign workers.

And, even though it's not worth the ink to mention, does anyone think that Mr. Gray's motive for entering the race is not now crystal clear? I suggest that being a pawn and a mouthpiece for the losing Mr. Ferguson has had a negative impact to his standing within the party.

While I voted for both Congressman Bartlett and Delegate Stull before these events unfolded, I did not vote for Joe Bartlett, that is my right, and no strong-arm tactics will change the fact that I believe he is not the best choice for the office. If the Bartletts have come to disagree with the principals that this country was founded upon and think that they can impose their will on the people by way of intimidation and scare tactics, then I suggest that it is time for them to quickly disappear from public service and I will diligently work toward that end in the next election cycle.

Edwin (Lee) Nigh, New Market

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