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Gov. Martin O'Malley regularly puts millions of public dollars into the state budget to provide textbook and technology aid to non-public schools (many of which are associated with and controlled by the Catholic Church, to which he is obviously devoted). One year, he went so far as to push the state legislature to bail out failing Catholic schools in the Baltimore area. Fortunately, he did not succeed. But this tells me what he very well might try to do if ever he became president of the United States and had the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court and to push or veto legislation.

Maryland is such a Democratic state that it did not matter when I failed to vote for a presidential ticket that included such an all-out supporter of aid to religious schools as Sen. Joe Lieberman. It would also not affect the outcome in this state if I fail to vote for a ticket that includes Mr. O'Malley. And I would not vote for such a ticket (whether he'd be first or second on it). However, there are a lot of states where the outcome is not predetermined and where voters who care about the First Amendment and church-state separation could make a difference.

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Governor O'Malley may be a fine musical talent. He is not someone who I will support for any future public office.

Kenneth A. Stevens, Columbia

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