DELEGATES' ANSWERS ARE UNSATISFACTORY
From: Judi Hammett
The recent Candidates' Forum hosted by the Howard County chapter of NOW was both interesting and informative. However, I came away from that evening dissatisfied with some of the less-than-direct answers given by delegates (Robert) Kittleman and (Robert) Flanagan from District 14B.
In particular, I was dissatisfied with Delegate Kittleman's response to the question of Medicaid funding for abortion. I won't deal with the question of whether one can be pro-choice while denying choice to poor women -- for now I will only concern myself with Kittleman's treatment of the issue.
In 1988 Kittleman voted against liberalizing Medicaid funding restrictions, but in a recent Maryland NOW candidate questionnaire, answered "yes" to this question: "Will you vote to ensure that all Maryland women have access to safe and legal abortions regardless of financial means?"
When asked to explain this discrepancy, Kittleman responded with the surprising assertion that the question had nothing to do with abortion funding, but only with keeping abortion legal.
I find it hard to believe that he could have misunderstood the intent of the question, particularly since the questionnaire had already dealt with the issue of keeping abortion legal in a previous question. Did he really think that Maryland NOW would ask the same question twice on the same questionnaire?
I can only conclude that either he did not take our questionnaire seriously enough to read it carefully, or that he thought we would not notice the difference between his answers and his voting record in Annapolis. Either explanation is insulting and casts doubt on the accuracy of his other answers as well.
Whatever their feelings about funding poor women's abortions, I think voters would do well to question whether a legislator who thinks so little of his constituents should be re-elected.
* Hammett is secretary of Howard County National Organization for Women
NUCLEAR WAR WOULD GET US ALL
From: Virginia Bates
Perhaps Washington leaders are already considering where to place the next black wall of veterans' names. However, the use of nuclear weapons will eliminate the need for these read 'em and weep edifices "honoring" those precious lives wasted in war, be it for power, oil or an economy dying under an unbelievable military budget and debt. All our names will be buried in radiated rubble, together with history of mankind, including G.
Bush and S. Hussein. There will be no one left to visit the walls with a memorial flower, no eyes to scan a beloved name or weep at a forever loss.
It is better to talk, compromise and engage in conflict resolution before a war than after. In this age of nuclear madness, sages and scientists soliciting our salvation through the sanity of peace tell us there may be no "after."
BEVAN CLEARS RECORD ON ETHICS
From: William C. Bevan
Delegate, District 13B
In your Sept. 16 election article, my opponents are quoted as stating that I opposed the Prince George's "ethics" bill. In fact, I fought for comprehensive ethics legislation which would have applied to all elected officials and would have required disclosure.
In the past two sessions, two so-called "ethics" bills for Prince George's County council members were introduced. Once was so poorly written that it was declared unconstitutional by Maryland's highest court. The second had a loophole so large that money would have simply been redirected to county council members through campaign committees headed by senators.
Ethics in government is too important an issue to be addressed by flawed legislation. We must adopt measures which are fair and applicable to all office holders.