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I was told that the Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate would be appearing at a question and answer forum for several of this year's candidates. "Will Bill Orton be there?" I asked. "No," I was told. "He's in Washington, working."

Later, a news article confirmed that Congressman Orton was in Washington, working with Jake Garn to help push through a deal that would provide millions of dollars for Utah's schools.So far, I have not heard a single word of policy from Orton's opponent. All I have heard are negative statements about our hard-working, conservative representative.

Anyone who aspires to be a congressman should be able to distinguish between a procedural voter - determining how long to debate about what, when - and a final passage vote. If he does not understand the difference, what else does he not understand about Congress? If he does, he is deliberately creating meaning where there is none.

Furthermore, I wonder if Orton's opponent has any ideas of his own, or whether he plans to get around in Congress by crying "liberal" about everyone who disagrees with him.

Mr. Harrington may have nothing better to do than squeeze liberal-sounding statistics from a conservative record, but don't wait around for Bill Orton's rebuttal. Congress is in session and Orton is working.

Carrie Waisman

Salt Lake City