As a concerned constituent and unannounced candidate for Salt Lake County commissioner, I attended Randy Horiuchi's press conference announcing his candidacy for the same.

I thought I would have fun with the king of political theatrics by giving him a poster, using his past slogan, "Why settle for a used Shimizu, when you can have a new Horiuchi." My poster read, "VOTER BEWARE!! DON'T BUY (settle for) THIS USED HORIUCHI" - a friendly joke, that afterward Horiuchi chuckled at and said he would display in his office.I took my seat as the press conference began when suddenly first-term House Rep. Steve Barth confiscated my "gift." I was shocked. I asked him to return it, and twice his response was simply, "I'll give it to you when it's all over."

I'm sure the police would never accept a car thief's plea of "temporary confiscation," and neither do I. Needless to say, his Gestapo-like actions demand scrutiny from both the public and Horiuchi.

The Constitution allows me to attend a public gathering without the harassment of a politician patrolling like the militia. Barth's job is to uphold the law, without blatantly violating any citizen's constitutional rights. It is my belief that first-term House Rep. Barth remain just that, a one-termer.

Finally, I congratulate Horiuchi on his announcement and look forward to seeing him at my announcement as a candidate for Salt Lake County commis-sioner on March 30.

Maury A. Modine

South Jordan