Carroll County Times Opinion

Attacks on Carroll County clerk and sheriff unfair; Supreme Court ruling on guns is absurd | READER COMMENTARY

Attacks on county clerk and sheriff unfair

I am writing in response to the “Beware of Political Alliances” letter published on June 26. Criticism of our clerk of the Circuit Court because she and her husband support certain candidates is unfair. I find it comical that someone who has not worked in the clerk’s office can determine if Clerk DeWees’ education makes her qualified to be the clerk or not.

Did the author know that Heather DeWees is one of the most educated clerks in the State of Maryland?


Did the author know she teaches courses for the Maryland judiciary?

Yes, she is married to the sheriff; however, their powers are separated. She is a state official, and he is a county official. She is in the judicial branch and the sheriff is in the executive branch.


What they have in common, however, is that they both truly care about Carroll County.

This letter failed to mention that Heather DeWees graduated summa cum laude in the top 10 of her class at Mount St. Mary’s University where, in fact, she did take several courses in criminal justice while double majoring in history and Spanish. She also minored in theology. She did all this while playing Division I basketball and then was awarded an academic scholarship to Wake Forest University for her master’s degree in Education.

The writer of that letter also did not know Clerk DeWees took several graduate courses in school administration before deciding to run for clerk of the court. She was training to be a principal. Many college graduates use their degrees for work that was not in their major and several judges, attorneys and politicians were teachers, too.

It is evident that the writer had no idea what kind of positive impact Clerk DeWees has had in the clerk’s office and Circuit Court. In addition to increasing security, she improved her staff’s work environment, which increased morale and productivity. In addition to educating the community about what the clerk’s office provides, Clerk DeWees also informs citizens about current court scams.

Heather DeWees is supported by her staff and the Fraternal Order of Police because she is doing a good job. I would recommend the writer of that letter speak with someone who works in the clerk’s office or with Clerk DeWees before slamming her unless, of course, the letter was really designed to put down Heather and Jim DeWees for not backing certain candidates.

Kim Strawsburg, New Windsor

Supreme Court ruling on guns is absurd

The Washington Post reported on June 24 that the Supreme Court struck down a century-old New York gun law. The law, enacted in 1913, required gun owners to show “proper cause” to justify the permit to carry a gun. The court concluded that because there is increased risk of violence outside the home the Constitution demands that people be allowed to carry handguns in public without any specific justification.

In the same paper I read of the grief that is now turning into rage over the deaths of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, when their bodies were ripped apart by a gunman armed with an AR-15. The 19 good guys with guns were too afraid to confront a shooter carrying such a weapon.


This is the same Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade because life is so “precious.” REALLY! Why would anyone want to bring a child into a world where they can be killed while attending elementary school, attending a concert, shopping in a mall or eating at an outdoor restaurant. This absurdity of this is glaring.

Patricia Roop Hollinger, Westminster

In quest for power, GOP lost its soul

The soul of the Grand Old Party is lost. This is the party of my ancestors: Samuel Durboraw, who was in Chicago in 1860 to witness Lincoln’s nomination to carry the party’s banner; his son Isaac, who wore the Union blue and took the field of battle at Gettysburg, just miles from his home; his daughter Lizzie, who nursed the wounded and later heard the great man’s address at the Gettysburg cemetery.

The party of emancipation has become one of racial and social antagonism. The party of Reconstruction has become one of institutional destruction. The party of union has become one that flirts with talk of secession.

It had always been that “other” party that embraced the racists: the Southern bloc of the Democratic Party. Then, in 1968, racist George Wallace split the Democratic Party, giving Richard Nixon the presidency. In a move of political expediency, Nixon and the GOP courted those folks and brought them into the GOP. That tie continues to this day.

A ray of hope came with Ronald Reagan, who resuscitated the party with his openness and good humor. He restored the faith of Americans, most of them anyway, in our country and its ideals.


The partisan conflicts of the 1990′s were inconclusive, but things were about to change dramatically in the new millennium:

  • 911 attacks and wars on terrorism
  • Internet revolution and the outsourcing of manufacturing overseas
  • Immigration policy
  • Great Recession of 2008-2009
  • Election of Barack Obama in 2008
  • Tea Party movement of 2008, directly related to the election of Obama
  • Take Back America
  • Make America Great Again
  • Legal rights for LGBTQ citizens
  • Minority communities vs. certain police tactics
  • Gun rights vs. responsibilities
  • Anti-abortion vs reproductive rights
  • COVID pandemic and the disruption of economic and social activities
  • 2020 defeat of Donald Trump (sorry if you don’t believe this, but it is the truth)
  • Stop The Steal and Jan. 6

We have been through a lot during these decades, and it is not surprising that some folks are expressing their anxieties in troubling ways. But for me the biggest disappointment has been the GOP. Whether out of conviction or expediency, the party has chosen to align with the dark side of these trends. Party leaders and officeholders are ignoring, excusing, and rationalizing, while destructive events take place. A quest for power and control dominates. This strategy will win some elections for the party, but at the cost of losing its soul.

George Conover, Westminster

I need your vote in District 42c

My name is Joshua Stonko. I am writing to you today as a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in the newly drawn District 42c and to ask for your vote in the upcoming July 19 primary election.

District 42c was created during the recent redistricting and I’m running for the House of Delegates because I see Maryland at a crossroads. I will fight for Carroll County and push back on the liberal agenda coming out of Annapolis.

The General Assembly continues to pass laws making living and doing business in Maryland harder every day. They’ve voted to increase taxes on working families, overspend government resources leading to higher inflation, and burden small businesses with overbearing regulations. I promise to never vote for a tax increase and to actively work to reduce the corporate income tax, state gas tax and state income tax.


Another core focus of my campaign is advocating for a Parental Bill of Rights in education. Over the last few years there has been a state and national effort to use K-12 schools for social programming, while de-prioritizing their core purpose of reading, writing, and arithmetic. That cannot happen in Carroll County. Politics should be left out of the classroom, schools should be kept open, and all education decisions should be made by the county school board, whose members members are held directly accountable by parents and residents. In Annapolis, I will fight every day for these standards.

Additionally, violent crime continues to rise throughout the state and the Maryland General Assembly continues to take no action to solve the problem. In fact, they’ve made it worse by repealing the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights and softening sentences for violent criminals. Legislators in Annapolis have made Maryland a more dangerous place. I am the son of a law enforcement officer and a strong supporter of police officers and proactive community policing. I will always vote to defend our law enforcement officers and protect those who spend every day protecting us.

I’m asking for your vote in the upcoming primary election.

Joshua Stonko, Hampstead

Tomlinson doesn’t honor democracy

So, Chris Tomlinson wants to be elected to the House of Delegates. I certainly don’t want him to represent me, and here’s why.

An ardent Trump supporter, he organized and designed a billboard on Route 30 north of Manchester before the 2020 election, telling Pennsylvania commuters that “Trump needs you! Make sure you vote Nov. 3.” Oddly enough, it disappeared the day after the first House hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.


In that hearing, several Capitol police recounted how they were brutally attacked, beaten, cursed, even knocked unconscious by the rioters. One officer told how she was slipping in the blood of wounded officers. Apparently, Tomlinson was OK with that, until the hearings made it widely known. It’s pretty hard to claim to support the police when you support the people that viciously assaulted and vilified those brave officers, who were accused of treason (and worse) for doing their job, protecting the Capitol.

They were not just defending a building; they were defending democracy and our freedom. The whole point of the riot, organized, instigated, and incited by Trump himself, was to keep him in power after he lost the election. The attack was aimed at stopping the official certification of Joe Biden as the winner. Some of the attackers were bent on murdering Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others in order to stop the peaceful transfer of power, which has always been the hallmark of our democracy. They wanted Trump to be a dictator, not just president, like Putin, Kim Jong Il, and other autocrats Trump so admires. Apparently, Tomlinson is OK with that, too.

I will vote for someone, regardless of party, who believes in and honors democracy. It won’t be him. Who knows, he may even challenge the result of our election — unless he wins.

Stephen McDaniel, Manchester