The Fight in the Second DistrictI am writing in response...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 26, 1992

The Fight in the Second District

I am writing in response to your Oct. 3 editorial, "Familiar Fight in Second District?"

. . . I take issue with your characterization of my campaign as "cutsey" or "undynamic." These pejorative terms detract from the importance of the issues in this district. Members of the media, as well as the candidates, have an obligation to act responsibly in informing the voters. . .

Since Helen Bentley took office in 1985, Bethlehem Steel has eliminated over 2,700 jobs -- 33 percent of its work force. Similarly, according to port administration figures, port cargo tonnage has fallen almost 25 percent in the last three years. Defense contractors have lost 4,000 jobs in this district.

In short, the self-created image of Helen Bentley as a fighter for the little guy simply does not match the reality. As she stated in her own paid advertisement, she has only two Serbs in her congressional district, yet she spends a majority of her time helping Serbs.

As founder and honorary president of SerbNet Inc., a Serbian lobbying group, Helen Bentley has received $100,000 from Serbian interests. She has used taxpayers' money -- in violation of House ethics rules -- to raise money for SerbNet. Not only is it wrong to engage in this conduct, but she is on the wrong side of the issue. Her lobbying efforts encourage Serbian aggression, and they are opposed to U.S. foreign policy. . .

When Mrs. Bentley does focus attention on the district, it is too often to the detriment of working families. She is against sorely needed social programs such as national health insurance, and she is among the lowest-rated members of Congress by the League of Conservation Voters and the National Council of Senior Citizens.

As election day nears, I hope that voters ask themselves whether they want more of the same, or whether they want change for the better. I represent change for the better, and I will be able to work with the new Clinton administration to help revive this district.

Michael C. Hickey Jr.

Abingdon

The writer is the Democratic candidate in the 2nd District

____________

In The Sun editorial of Oct. 14, "The Lost People of Pasadena," you made a mistake. The only person who appears to be lost is Rep. Helen Bentley, unless The Sun has failed to follow Democratic candidate Mike Hickey in his many trips to the Lake Shore area, which is part of Pasadena, to make himself known to the voters here.

I know of at least seven Mr. Hickey has made. . . Of course, Mr. Hickey spends more time in Harford and Baltimore counties and the Dundalk and Essex areas. As your editorial pointed out, these areas are where the majority of the Second District's residents live. He'd be foolish if he didn't concentrate his time and effort there.

That the Second District is an abomination, that Anne Arundel County has been cut up so that after this election it will be divided up by four representatives, can be put to the actions of one person -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer, supposedly a Democrat, but whose political love affairs with President Bush and Mrs. Bentley and his lukewarm backing of Tom McMillen make many people wonder where his allegiances really lie.

Happily, voters in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties and Baltimore City can show their disdain for Mr. Schaefer and his political matchmaking by voting for Mr. Hickey and Reps. McMillen, Ben Cardin and Steny Hoyer.

Frank Kelly

Pasadena

Clergy Draws New Applicants

The Oct. 10 edition of The Sun carried an editorial stating that ". . . the number of priesthood candidates at the nation's seminaries has been declining for more than 30 years . . . In the long run the question might not be whether the church should ordain women and married men, but whether it can afford not to."

If practical concerns alone are to shape the state of the question, then correct statistics regarding priestly and religious vocations are indispensable.

The Catholic church is currently experiencing an increase in vocations throughout the world: The number of diocesan priesthood candidates has increased from 56,955 in 1985 to 64,629 in 1990. Last year, the number of diocesan priesthood candidates was also up across the United States.

In our own archdiocese, we have gone from 28 to 39 candidates for the priesthood; our second consecutive year of growth.

Meanwhile religious communities around the world are striving to retrieve the charisma of their founders and where this is happening the vocations are following.

The candidates who come through my office are bright and talented, with a wealth of educational and professional experiences. They share a dedication to furthering the mission of our church.

This month, we observed National Vocations Awareness Week.

This is a time to renew support for young people in programs of seminary and religious formation and a time of prayer that more and more men and women accept the Lord's invitation with generous hearts.

Rev. James M. Barker

Baltimore

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