Natural Law candidate would inject party's 'light' in 6th race

November 01, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

ELLICOTT CITY -- Posted on Kevin Condon's well-manicured and landscaped lawn is a colorful campaign sign supporting the national candidates of the Natural Law Party of the United States of America.

Except for a handmade "Vote for Perot" sign posted on mailbox a few doors down, Mr. Condon's poster is the only visible political advertisement in this neighborhood of tree-lined streets and colonial and ranch-style houses.

The sign also is the only visible clue to Mr. Condon's candidacy.

The self-employed investment manager is running as a write-in candidate for the 6th Congressional District, competing against Republican Roscoe Bartlett and Democrat Thomas Hattery, who have run a highly visible and frequently negative campaign for the seat now held by Beverly D. Byron.

Other write-in candidates include Wayne Dougherty of the Libertarian Party and Edward K. Miller, formerly with the Perot organization.

Mr. Condon, a former Democrat, isn't knocking on doors or handing out campaign literature in supermarket parking lots throughout the 6th District, which includes part of Howard, Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties. Political advertisement has been almost nonexistent.

He's running not so much to win the election as to influence the platforms of the major political parties.

He wants to "bring the light of science into politics and the support of natural law to the nation."

"We're hoping to inject in as many congressional races as possible the solutions we have," Mr. Condon said of the 7-month-old political party. "If we don't get into office, the candidates elected will be aware of our solutions."

The Natural Law Party, formed in April, is on the ballot in 32 states and has some 125 candidates running for Congress. Its members believe the natural laws that govern the universe, society and individuals are being disregarded and need to be restored.

As a Natural Law Party candidate, Mr. Condon, 48, espouses solutions to the nation's and the district's economic, environmental, health care and crime problems that he says are based on scientific evidence, not time-worn practices.

"As a trained environmental scientist, financial manager and a concerned citizen, I am aware of many innovative, scientifically validated programs that can solve pressing problems in the nation," said Mr. Condon, who has a doctorate in geography.

Neither Mr. Hattery nor Mr. Bartlett could be reached Friday for comment on Mr. Condon's candidacy.

One of Mr. Condon's and the party's more controversial solutions is to replace programs for more prison construction and harsher sentencing with Transcendental Meditation.

Mr. Condon described Transcendental Meditation as the most successful, cost-effective program for inmate rehabilitation.

"Eighty-five percent of the crimes committed are committed by repeat offenders," Mr. Condon said. "Everyone wants to get tough with stiffer sentencing and more prisons. But we know that doesn't work."

He said Transcendental Meditation programs have worked successfully in prisons in California and Massachusetts and elsewhere. But the programs remain politically unpopular and under-funded.

On the economy, Mr. Condon said the most effective way to stimulate growth is to reduce taxes. The national party espouses cutting taxes significantly.

While other parties have made similar promises, they have been unable to do so because of the complexity of the problems facing the nation, he said.

But Mr. Condon said his party could reduce taxes because of its cost-effective solutions to problems, such as crime. Significant savings, for example, could be realized through conservation and energy efficiency.

"We can save lots of money by paying attention to programs that work," Mr. Condon said. "Conservation alone will reduce our energy use and save us money."

The nation could save up to $400 billion, he said, on health-care programs based on prevention-oriented health education and natural medicine. He said the nation's health programs should ,, move away from sick care.

Mr. Condon said he was persuaded to run for Congress by the candidacy of his party's presidential candidate, Dr. John Hagelin, a scientist.

Mr. Condon said he was previously not politically active.

He and his wife, Glenda Gay, have two children, Carrie, 19, and Sarah, 16.

Mr. Condon is one of the founders of the Baltimore Christmas in April Program, which assists elderly, poor and disabled homeowners with continuing to live in their homes.

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