- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For the past 14 years, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has represented Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which extends from northern Montgomery County to the western parts of Garrett County. Though he was re-elected two years ago with 67 percent of the vote, some Democrats envision the possibility of a sweep that could enable them to defeat this veteran lawmaker. Mr. Bartlett remains heavily favored to win re-election, but this is not an ordinary election year.

The 6th district is drawing unprecedented national attention because Mr. Bartlett’s Democratic opponent is something of a celebrity: Andrew Duck, a left-leaning Iraq war veteran. Mr. Duck and his supporters don’t directly attack Mr. Bartlett’s conservative voting record in any sustained way. Instead, they seek to depict him as old and unresponsive, while highlighting Mr. Duck’s military service record.

While Mr. Duck’s military record is indeed admirable, the personality-driven media generally ignore Mr. Bartlett’s extraordinary personal story. He grew up in poverty in Pennsylvania, but his family refused to take welfare. After earning a bachelor’s degree in theology and biology, he got a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Maryland. He has won 20 patents for inventing life-support equipment for firefighters, pilots and astronauts. In 1999, the Aeronautics and Astronautics Institute gave him an award for his career contributions to the advancement of medical knowledge and technologies.

Since he was first elected to Congress in 1992, Mr. Bartlett has advocated lower taxes, and he supports a strong national defense. He touts his support for last year’s Real ID Act and opposes amnesty for illegal aliens. Mr. Bartlett is strongly opposed to a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. He opposes homosexual “marriage” and is prolife. Earlier this year, he played a leading role in working to pass a compromise bill on stem-cell research.

Mr. Duck, by contrast, advocates raising Social Security taxes and income taxes. On immigration, he opposes the open-borders Senate bill, but takes a cheap shot at House-passed immigration-reform legislation, erroneously suggesting that it would penalize a church member for giving humanitarian aid to illegal aliens. He also falsely asserts that America’s actions in the past six years have caused us to lose our position as moral leader in the world. And he denounces the compromise bill establishing military tribunals for terrorists as “morally repugnant.”

Marylanders know where Mr. Bartlett stands. They know he is the superior choice. The Washington Times endorses Roscoe Bartlett for re-election to Congress.

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