Few see debate by 3 also-rans Candidates for 6th mix it up politely

October 29, 1992|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

Three lesser-known candidates for the 6th Congressional District seat held by Democrat Beverly B. Byron put on a pretty good show at an Ellicott City Country Club last night even if no one was watching.

Well, almost no one.

Kevin Condon, an Ellicott City resident running on the Natural Law Party ticket, brought his wife and a friend.

Write-in candidate Edward K. Miller of Hagerstown, was accompanied by his campaign manager, Joseph H. Walker, and Mr. Walker's wife.

Libertarian candidate Wayne S. Dougherty of Brunswick came alone -- as did moderator Robert Russell of Columbia.

With no crowd present, it was not partisan hecklers that the candidates had to overcome but the sound of clanking dishes. The candidates were in a basement room next to the kitchen. At one point, Mr. Russell excused himself to ask the dishwashing crew if they could hold down the noise.

Still, the candidates seemed not to mind the setting or the lack of a crowd. They appeared glad simply to talk about what they believe.

"I bring a philosophy that a government which governs less governs best," Mr. Dougherty said. The problem with government now, he said, is that it is "like a mother who can't cut the cord and let the child assume the responsibility of adulthood." The result, he said, is that Americans have a sense of victimization.

Mr. Miller, on the other hand, seems to believe that the country needs more, not less regulation. "Government has to do for people what people cannot do for themselves," he said. "I believe in bureaucracy. The basic problem is reinventing bureaucracy so it works."

Mr. Condon said education is the path to national well-being, but not education as we now know it. "Education is in crisis right now," he said. "The educational model is flawed. It says intelligence freezes at 13, and that we begin regressing at age 26."

The Natural Law Party believes otherwise, Mr. Condon said. It believes a person's IQ can be increased and that creativity can be expanded. "Our biggest resource is 250 million people who are not living up to their potential," he said, ". . . education should be concerned with higher consciousness. The intellectual possibilities are there."

Of the three, Mr. Miller, the write-in candidate, seemed most like a conventional politician. He put campaign posters on the walls, and when he talked, his campaign manager passed out literature on Mr. Miller's "13-point plan for representing the people of Maryland."

When asked how he felt about pork-barrel legislation, Mr. Miller redefined it as constituent service. "That's what you're there for," he said, adding that he was the person most qualified in the 6th District to provide that service.

"I have sat with the barbers and the farmers," he said. "I have found out what they want and what their wives want. The Democratic and Republican candidates will not represent people in the 6th District."

Last night's debate bore none of the rancor or personal attacks that have marked the campaign between Democrat Tom Hattery and Republican Roscoe Bartlett. The three lesser-known candidates applauded one another when each finished and thanked one another for sharing the same platform -- something they had hoped to share with Mr. Hattery and Mr. Bartlett. The trio will debate again tonight in Frederick.

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