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E-M:/ Sunspot.net piece on Buhl (from Maryland)

Membership's privileges

Lynn Buhl hasn't exactly had a warm greeting in Maryland. She's the choice of the governor to be secretary of the Department of the Environment, but the Ehrlich administration has been taking a lot of heat from the most prominent environmental groups, who are fighting Buhl's confirmation. They don't think she's sufficiently sensitive to environmental issues.

To make that case, Buhl and Ehrlich's staff have been pointing out that she is a member of the Sierra Club.

But it's not like she's on the Sierra Club's executive steering committee.

It's more like she got something in the mail from the group a few years ago.

As The Sun noted last week, a spokesman for the Sierra Club in Washington said the group's records indicate Buhl received a gift membership in 1998 and never paid the $35 to renew it.

On this basis she claims to be a member of the Sierra Club?

On this basis, I'm a member of the National Rifle Association.

The NRA, the National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Rails to Trails, the Nature Conservancy, and the Maryknoll Fathers -- I have been offered "free membership" by all those groups. They send me mailing labels, stickers for my car windshield and free greeting cards. I keep all the stuff. My daughter covers the door of her room with the stickers, and I use the mailing labels and the greeting cards -- with no particular guilt about not sending a donation.

Until now, it hadn't occurred to me to use unsolicited junk-mail "membership" to pad my resume.

I'm going to have to take another look at this. Honorary membership in the Franklin Mint might serve me in the future.
Sunspot.net http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.rodricks03mar03,0,3349321.column?coll=bal-home-columnists