Senator's fliers are unfair, says delegate and ex-ally

September 08, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

The feud between Sen. Delores G. Kelley and Del. Emmett C. Burns intensified last week when she mailed out campaign literature claiming he "made life easier for wife-batterers" and voted to cut public school funding, charges Burns characterizes as outright lies.

Kelley pointed to three bills Burns voted against in the past three years as evidence that "his sympathies are with the abuser, not the victim," of domestic violence.

But Kelley also voted against one of them, a bill in 2000 that would have classified certain domestic killings as first-degree murder. The other two bills were voted down in the House judiciary committee, on which Burns serves.

Burns said he often votes against bills on domestic violence and other such issues in committee so that he can vote for stronger versions. "To carte blanche [cite] a bill I voted against and accuse me of being insensitive is blatantly unfair," he said.

Kelley did not return phone messages Friday afternoon.

Burns and Kelley are both Democrats, and he was a member of her legislative ticket in the last election. But at the end of the spring's legislative session, she dropped him from her ticket, noting philosophical differences.

In the mailing to voters in the 10th Legislative District, Kelley also points to a Sun article, claiming that it says Burns supported a 1996 bill to cancel $5.9 million in funding for Baltimore schools. But the article she mentions says he voted against the bill, not for it.

Kelley later voted in favor of an amended version of the bill, which was designed to withhold money for administrative expenses as punishment for the system's failure to implement a consultant's recommendations. The governor vetoed it.

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