The usually erudite and politically astute Blair Lee in his Sept. 9 Close to Home piece fantasizing a united Montgomery and Prince George's counties in order to exercise the kind of political power that Northern Virginia has attained is rather disingenuous. Mr. Lee should know that Prince George's has no need nor reason to pair with Montgomery. Prince George's is always eager to cooperate with Montgomery as long as these terms prevail: heads Prince George's wins; tails Montgomery loses.

Maryland is, unfortunately, a one-party state where machine politics and those who practice it best are rewarded, and those who do not bear the cost. For every dollar that Prince George's taxpayers contribute to the state government, a dollar in state services is returned. But Montgomery receives only 40 cents in services for every dollar taken by the state.

Mr. Lee is surely familiar with the Democratic machine of Rep. Steny Hoyer and Peter Francis O'Malley, which still controls Prince George's and which is not known for sharing its state booty and power with any other county, especially Montgomery. The Prince George's machine much prefers to let Montgomery taxpayers support Baltimore so that Prince George's can keep its taxpayers' money in Prince George's.

Lest Mr. Lee have any delusions about Prince George's disdain for Montgomery, I suggest he monitor closely the response of the Prince George's legislative delegation -- including one of the largest cogs in the machine, Thomas V. Miller, president of the state senate -- to the recommendations of the Linowes Commission. The commission is expected to recommend increasing further the amount of money Montgomery families will pay to support Baltimore. He should also observe Prince George's efforts to eliminate the seat of Montgomery Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella by controlling the legislature's forthcoming district reapportionment in order to gerrymander a safe seat for Prince George's boss, Steny Hoyer.

No, Mr. Lee, Montgomery citizens would be far wiser to continue the growth in Republican registration and legislative representation, to unite with a Republican Western Maryland and to block votes on any and all issues benefiting the Democratic machine at the expense of the citizens. The Founding Fathers of our nation recognized that checks and balances are essential to a democracy and that, where absent, the kind of machine politics now oppressing the citizens of Maryland results.


The writer is a Republican candidate for the state senate in District 15.