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Jim Mathias has earned your vote

A memo to residents of Ocean Pines

commentary by Joe Reynolds
Voters in Ocean Pines have the choice between two fine candidates in the Maryland Senate race.... Democrat Jim Mathias and Republican Michael James.

I'm a conservative Republican. How conservative? Well, I voted for Jack Kennedy for president, but he was the last Democrat to receive my vote in a presidential election. I even voted for Barry Goldwater.

I know and respect both Mathias and James. I'm voting for Jim Mathias. If you live in Ocean Pines you should be voting for Jim Mathias as well, regardless of whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent.

Here's why:

When it comes to voters in Ocean Pines there are important reasons why Jim Mathias deserves your vote. When county politicians deserted us, Jim Mathias went to bat for Ocean Pines by sponsoring a bill in the Maryland legislature to mandate Ocean Pines Association (OPA) receive 10% of the total slots impact funds coming to Worcester County. The bill passed and OPA will potentially receive hundreds of thousands of dollars every year as a result.

Mathias did this at the request of a diverse and non-partisan group of Ocean Pines residents. The Worcester County Commissioners, including the all-Ocean-Pines district commissioner Republican Judy Boggs, did not want OPA to receive any mandated percentage of the slots impact money. The County Commissioners wanted all the money, forcing OPA to come begging to the commissioners every year with specific, proven impacts due to the slots operation.

Inexplicably, even the OPA Board of Directors wanted the county to receive all the money and make OPA a yearly beggar at the county for impact funds.

Jim Mathias listened to all sides; in the end he sided with the people of Ocean Pines, not the local politicians like Judy Boggs who wanted to control the purse strings and thus increase their own power and importance.

Another local issue was Mathias' success in obtaining legislation to stop hydraulic clam dredging in the coastal bays. Again, he sided with the people in this area, not the special interest groups intent on continuing this extremely environmentally harmful method of harvesting clams.

From a broader perspective, I tend to vote based on the candidate, not the party of the candidate. In most cases Republican candidates tend to support more conservative policies and thus receive my vote. From my perspective Jim Mathias is a conservative, based on my discussions with him and his actions as a Maryland State Delegate. For example, he helped establish a $5,000 tax credit for businesses who hire unemployed workers, and he voted to expand the state's "Enterprise Zone" program, which provides tax credits to almost 70 businesses on the Lower Shore. Mathias voted against raising the corporate income tax and the state sales tax, and voted for $5.7 billion in budget cuts over the past four years.

Vote for Jim Mathias. He earned your vote. He deserves your vote.

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Uploaded: 10/22/2010