Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Continued Self-beclowning of Joyce Thomann

On rare occasions we get the opportunity to weave a number of issues that we have dealt with here at Red Maryland into one tidy little post. This is one of those times.

This afternoon Joyce Thomann set another one of her long-winded, rambling diatribes that she usually sends at all hours of the day and night. You may remember Joyce Thomann from as the central player in last year's RWAAC-Gate Scandal where she compared Barack Obama to Hitler with disastrous consequences, leading to Red Maryland's first ever blog-wide unendorsement of her candidacy for Central Committee.

Thomann's letter starts as a somewhat of a long-winded rebuttal to a column penned by Mike Collins regarding certain aspects of the Republican primaries. Collins you will remember played a leading role in the Anne Arundel County Leadership fiasco in 2007 when Central Committee members led an ouster of him as Chairman of the Committee.....something Joyce Thomann had a strong opinion about, incidentally.

Anyway, here is Thomann's email in its entirety:

There are a number of things striking about Thomann's missive against Collins. But one of the themes that I took from this is the fact that Thomann seems to think that Collins should have taken responsibility for the divisiveness on the Committee and both resigned as Chairman and as a member of the Committee. Ironic enough as it is that her email was subtitled "Being Silent is Cowardly When You See Wrong" and that Collins was himself far from silent when he saw wrong. It is the fact that Thomann and her detractors viciously attacked those people who spoke up when they saw Thomann do wrong in the Summer of 2009. Greg Kline, myself and others were vilified for calling Joyce Thomann out for her unseemly and uneducated comparison between Obama and Hitler. But Thomann only believes that she and those of her ilk are qualified to determine what is right and what is wrong about the Republican Party.

That brings me to another, equally disturbing point about Thomann's email, one that I would like to highlight here:

The Central Committee members are elected in the Primary! If you too believe the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are just fine as they are and want those who we elect to abide by them, I hope you will vote to elect three CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN WOMEN to the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee. I ask that you vote for Debbie Belcher, Ginny Meerman and Joyce Thomann
Well the message here is incredibly disturbing. I know that Debbie Belcher is herself a strong Christian believer, and despite my being involved in this party in Anne Arundel County for ten years I couldn't tell you Ginny Meerman from Adam. But I wonder if they are willing participants in Joyce Thomann's vicious slander; not of their faith, but of the faith and the conservatism of other women who have served on the Central Committee. Does Joyce Thomann believe that Central Committee members Robin Bissett, Ashley Reed, and Carolyn Middleton are not sufficiently conservative enough to serve as members of the Central Committee.

Even more disturbing is Thomann's implication that Robin Bissett, Nora Keenan, and other candidates are not sufficiently Christian enough to serve on the Central Committee. How dare Joyce Thomann to question a fellow Republican's faith, never mind the fact that it is irrelevant since the Republican Party does not have a religious test for its membership. Given the number of times that Thomann herself has invoked the 11th Commandment in an attempt use it as cudgel to support her candidates, it is unabashedly hypocritical for Thomann to try use her tarnished pulpit to try and determine who is an who is not sufficiently Republican enough to serve in office....

....which incidentally also reminds me of somebody else who is on the ballot this year. Take a wild guess as to whom Joyce Thomann is supporting for Governor this year. Why who else but Brian Murphy, the guy who Red Maryland exposed as a Johnny Come Lately to the GOP despite the fact that he and his supporters want to determine who is and who is not sufficiently Republican enough.

Needless to say, there are a couple of salient points that need to be made as it regards to Joyce Thomann's candidacy for Central Committee:
  • Joyce Thomann unnecessarily embarrassed the Republican Party last year through her remarks about Barack Obama;
  • Joyce Thomann is a hypocrite who believes that other Republicans should be held accountable for their actions, but that she should not be held accountable for hers;
  • Joyce Thomann has made an egregious personal slander against several current members of and candidates for the Central Committee with her unnecessary and unprovoked attack on their faith;
  • Joyce Thomann believes in a religious test for members of the Central Committee;
  • Joyce Thomann believes that a former Democrat with no experience in helping the Republican Party grow should be our party standard bearer for Governor this year; and,
  • Joyce Thomann's agenda in being elected to the Central Committee is NOT to grow the party and to promote conservative elected officials and ideas, but to purge the Republican Party of those elements that she does not believe are pure enough to be conservative Republicans.
Just to reiterate, there is a reason that Red Maryland took the extraordinary step of un-endorsing her candidacy for Central Committee.

If you are a resident of District 30, please make sure that you do NOT cast your vote for Joyce Thomann. If you know a resident in District 30, please pass this info on and make sure that they don't vote for Joyce Thomann. The Republican Party needs builders and common sense folks who will do the work necessary to bring a Republican majority to Maryland. That is the only litmus test that should matter to serve on a Central Committee, and it is a test that Joyce Thomann can not pass.

More below the fold.

Ten Questions: Mark Fisher Candidate House of Delegates District 27B

Name: Mark Fisher
Office Sought: Maryland House of Delegates, District 27B
Hometown: Owings, MD
1. Give our readers a little insight to your background?
I am a father of three children, husband & small businessman. My values are rooted in blue collar Baltimore, where my parents taught me that we live in an “Opportunity Society”. In an Opportunity Society, you can and will have a better life than your parents if you work hard, become a lifelong learner, pursue innovation and take-on risks. Indeed, my parents didn’t have a college education – yet all four of their children went to college and have had a better life. Looking ahead, I am deeply concerned for all of our children and grandchildren because of the out-of-control federal and state spending and fiscal irresponsibility. How can our children and grandchildren inherit the Opportunity Society if they’re paying 70-75% of their income to governments (local, state & federal) in the form of taxes? This is precisely why I am running for the Maryland House of Delegates. I want to renew Maryland’s Opportunity Society so that our children and our grandchildren can have a better life than us, just as we have had a better life than our parents.

2. Who is your political lodestar? What shapes your ideological background?
While I was a student at George Washington University, I had the pleasure of meeting Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s optimism and conservative values challenged the status-quo in Washington and beyond, so that America could be renewed as an Opportunity Society. His faith and belief in people, not government, still resonates today.

3. What prompted you to run for office?
Out of control federal and state spending caused me to run for this office. This spending is ruining our country and our state because it’s mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s future. If left unchecked, government will control and regulate every aspect of human life --- from the kind of energy that you purchase, to the kind of healthcare that you can receive.

4. Pension/retiree health care and Medicaid fuel Maryland’s chronic budget deficits; what measures would you propose to address them?
Benefits must be brought into balance with affordability. Namely, that government cannot afford cradle-to-grave benefits at current levels. Personal responsibility must be a concept that is reintroduced to the body politic. This is why I support a campaign to educate Marylanders about the taxes they’ll be paying if we do not address this problem. To that end, I support term limits, so that politicians in Annapolis do not have incentives to “promise anything to everyone” in order to keep their jobs. Careerism in public office is ruining this state and this country. Likewise, I support re-balancing benefits of public employees so that they’re more inline with the private sector.

5. Many Republicans are concerned about the bloated size of Maryland government; what government programs or agencies (if any) would you cut, reduce, or eliminate?
I would propose that we reduce overall government spending in Annapolis by 6%. Also, I favor selling-off Rocky Gap and other government properties, as they do not fit the mission statement of government. Government should not own resorts like Rocky Gap, which has lost over $120 million taxpayer dollars.

6. Many counties' budgets are being crippled by Maintenance of Effort requirements; would you support eliminating or reducing those requirements?
Calvert County has done a good job with the MOE requirement, as Calvert has exceeded the state-mandated requirement. The problem is that MOE’s do not recognize that each county is different and has different needs. Moreover, the MOE requirement does not take into account that “spending per pupil” is not the only method to measure success. If spending per pupil were the driving factor in a school system’s success, then Baltimore City would have the most educated children in the State. Baltimore City spends more per pupil, yet has the worst educational system in Maryland. I should know, because I grew up in Baltimore in the 1970’s, and it was substandard then! Not all counties and jurisdictions are the same and there are many factors that contribute to success and failure. Therefore, I support giving every Maryland county and city the right to decide what does and does not work --- given their unique circumstances and needs.

7. What proposals would you champion to help Maryland businesses and entrepreneurs?
I propose that we bring Maryland’s corporate taxes into line with her neighbors, specifically Virginia. Likewise, I support the elimination of the personal property tax, as it penalizes investment in capital equipment. The private sector will lead Maryland into prosperity, if and only if, we make Maryland friendly for small businesses.

8. Two of the most important issues facing Maryland are concerns with transportation and the environment; on which issue do you place a greater priority, and how would you address it?
Maryland has limited resources with which to deal with both of these very important issues. The structural deficit has made funding even more acute. It is for this reason that I support “Truth in Spending Measures”, namely, to put fees and revenues into “lock boxes” for both transportation and the environment. Too often, we’re taxed and charged fees for transportation and the environment, but the money is transferred to another pet project. Truth in spending measures will make it easier and more transparent for Marylanders to understand what’s affordable and reasonable.

9. Following on that last question, Maryland passed cap and trade legislation in 2009 and the Maryland Department of the Environment is working with environmental special interests to write the regulations. If elected what would you do to mitigate or nullify what are sure to be economically ruinous dictates?
I am opposed to Maryland’s cap & trade regime. This regime increases utility bills on those people who can least afford higher electricity bills. Likewise, it enriches special interests at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Marylanders will adopt renewable energy when it makes economic sense to do so. Subsidies are interrupting the free marketplace of ideas and innovation. Mandating that renewable energy be purchased by utilities is hurting Maryland’s economy. The best example is BP Solar, which closed their plant in Frederick, Maryland in spite of the subsidies. Let’s let consumers decide and drive decisions as to what works best for them.

10. If you had a choice of any Republican to be the nominee of our party for President in 2012, who would they be?
Congressman Paul Ryan because he is Reaganesque in his resolve!

Speical Follow-Up Question: You and your opponent, Bob Schaefer, were involved in an incident at a Southern Maryland Young Republicans event where a punch was thrown. Please give our readers your version of events.
Character matters. This is why I have always taken the “high road” during this unfortunate incident. I’ve taught my children to lead by example, and this is exactly what I’ve done during this campaign. The press reports speak for themselves, as does the Central Committee’s report on the matter to the media. It’s now time to focus and beat the Incumbent in November!!!

More below the fold.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Steinereized

I will be returning to The Marc Steiner Show tonight from 6-7 PM on WEAA 88.9 FM.

We'll be talking about the political, economic, and social divisions in the US and how it relates to this past weekend's anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech and the Restoring Honor rally.

And if you have listened before, you know that I will be the guy on the air that's making sense....but I hope you can catch the show.

More below the fold.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Speaking of off the reservation....

The Maryland Politics Watch series on political mailers featured a mailer from Eric Luedtke Friday night.

Just in case your forgot, Eric Luedtke was a featured blogger at Free State Politics, an extreme left-wing blog that was underwritten by an extreme left-wing PAC.

During Red Maryland's earlier years, we took great delight in point out how for Eric Luedtke was out of the mainstream of even the progressive wing of the Maryland Democratic Party, much less average middle and working class Marylanders.

To whit, Eric Luedtke is an extreme leftist even when compared to your average Democratic primary voter in Montgomery County. It will be interesting to see if Montgomery County Democrats subscribe to such extremism.

More below the fold.

But What, There's More

The latest round of the Cookie Kiser/Derek Fink saga as we get not one, but two responses to Fink's response....


derek 2

More below the fold.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fink Speaks Out

Bud got the scoop first, but Derek Fink has finally put pen to paper and responded to the allegations of Cookie Kiser's letter from earlier this week:

Derek Fink's Response

More below the fold.

Senators in Space

I just watched MPT's State Circle from Friday night and I think State Senator Verna Jones needs to come back to the home planet and take a look around at reality.

Verna Jones, after following some remarks from Bob Ehrlich, said that she was "frightened" about the prospect of Bob Ehrlich returning to the Governor's mansion. When asked why the O'Malley administration should be re-elected, she said that it was because voters in her district were concerned about jobs, jobs, jobs and providing opportunities for employment and small businesses.

When Senate Minority Leader Allan Kittleman pointed out that the reason that jobs were leaving the state and the reason that small businesses were in trouble were due to the reckless tax and spending policies of the O'Malley Administration, Jones went off the reservation about how Republicans were focused on "helping only 25% of the population."

Verna Jones is clearly off the reservation and completely out of touch with the plight of middle and working class Marylanders who are struggling to make ends meet. She and other Democrats believe that the solution to our economic problems is to take money out of your pocket and spend it instead of government largess.

That, and not a return to the Ehrlich years, is what is truly dangerous. When people go to the polls on November 2nd, they are going to realize that they are not better off than they were four years ago. And it is going to take the return of adult leadership to the Governor's Mansion in the form of Bob Ehrlich to being Senators like Verna Jones back to planet earth and finally deal with the realities of the fiscal nightmare that she and others have helped to create.

More below the fold.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Democratic Caterwauling Over President Barack Obama’s New Unpopularity

--Richard E. Vatz

Rasmussen Reports” writes today that its “...daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17 [‘calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve’). Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 of the important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports...Overall, 46% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove."

Rasmussen Reports’ “ten most important issues” do not even include Iran’s game-changing potential acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The dominant liberal Democratic response to this bad news of the President and his policies’ increasing unpopularity is to cry “foul,” ignore the substantive failures and putative failures of the Obama administration and attack the newly anti-Obama public as stupid, and conservative media as contributorily mendacious.

One prototype that is representative of this reaction is found in an already well-distributed blog in the August 25 New York Times “Opinionator,” “Building a Nation of Know-Nothings,” by longtime former Times reporter Timothy Egan.

Egan, in his over-eagerness to discredit the public’s appalled dissatisfaction with President Obama’s domestic and foreign failures, like so many writers, makes a mountain out of a molehill regarding the public’s unknowledgeability.

He cites a Time Magazine poll that claims that 46 percent of Republicans said they believe Obama is a Muslim, choosing, of course, to ignore a larger, more representative PEW poll cited in the same article Egan references that claims the figure to be 31%. So much for punctilious honesty.

Pollsters used to call people who manifested tenuous links to factual reality “Know Nothings,” as does Egan currently, and with the poor sourcing proliferation in the internet age, this is now more rampant than ever. Add to this the fact that President Obama has Muslim kin and a Muslim middle name – now why would that confuse anyone?

Egan’s complaint reveals post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning, however, because people don’t dislike Obama due to their misinformation; they sport misinformation because of their disliking the youthful and articulate but hopelessly liberal and naïve president.

Egan says “But if they [Democrats]lose [in November], it should be because their policies are unpopular or ill-conceived — not because millions of people believe a lie.”

Again, Democrats won’t lose because “millions of people believe a lie;” on the contrary, people believe false things about the president because they dislike his presidency. It’s called cognitive consonance.

Egan says further that “those who believe Obama to be Muslim say they got their information from the media. But no reputable news agency — that is, fact-based, one that corrects its errors quickly — has spread such inaccuracies.”

Egan takes these people who believe patent falsehoods and accepts unquestioningly that they “got their information from the media,” ignoring the traditional sociological buzzing, blooming confusion that feeds angry people who look for support for their cognitions.

He then says the suspects for the purveying of false information are Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. The latter is defined exclusively in the following way: “whose parent company has given $1 million to Republican causes this year but still masquerades as a legitimate source of news.”

No contrast is offered to all of the liberal connections over the years of network news, from Walter Cronkite to Dan Rather and his attendance at Democratic functions, to Peter Jennings to Katie Couric’s long-held liberal precepts to all of the evidence in Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and his later work on liberal media (A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media) support for Barack Obama due to network liberal proclivities.

One could call Egan’s thesis evidentiarily challenged, but it is more precise to say some of his major conclusions need more evidence than one unexamined factoid. Egan uses Glenn Beck to personify Fox’s inaccuracies – why? Regardless, he points out that Beck played fast and loose with his claim that Michelle Obama’s vacation in Spain was “just for her and approximately 40 of her friends” and that Limbaugh maintained that they leased “60 rooms at a five-star hotel – paid by you.”

False, indicates Egan. The totality of his proof of the extent of this misinformation: “The White House said Michelle Obama and her daughter Sasha were accompanied by just a few friends — and they paid their own costs.”

One issue, one disputed interpretation in which selected conservative commentators may have exaggerated the facts from a less-than-full-disclosure White House, and you have a vast right-wing conspiracy.

Near the end of his argument, Egan provides a stunning false analogy and non-sequitur, exacerbated by the incomplete premise on which it is based: “[F]alse belief in weapons of mass-destruction [WMD] led the United States to a trillion-dollar war.”

All of the major democracies believed the intelligence reports that indicated Iraq was on the precipice of producing WMD, and extensive FBI interviews by George Piro of Saddam reveal the likelihood, if not the certainty, that he would have resurrected plans for such acquisition.

Blind defenders of the destructive domestic and foreign policies of President Obama may search for misperceptions regarding the president, but such factual errors are virtually irrelevant to the opposition the President substantively and accurately deserves.

One consistent complaint by liberals may have some selected truth to it: this is not your father’s conservatism.

Right -- there are right-wing crazies...and left-wing crazies. There have always been conservatives -- and liberals -- on the fringe. There are also fewer Howard Bakers than before, and fewer Birch and Evan Bayhs as well.

Regardless, the new Know-Nothings may not be opposed to President Obama because of their errancies regarding his lineage or because of what they hear on conservative media, but because of his ideological domestic and foreign policies, which are devastating to the United States economy and national security.

Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University

More below the fold.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We Get Letters

This is a first; a candidate has taken the time to write Red Maryland regarding our endorsement of another candidate in the race. Delegate Steve Schuh writes us regarding our endorsement of Jim Braswell in District 31. We thank him for taking the time to to address our little old endorsement, and his response is below:

Letter - Editors of Red Maryland

More below the fold.

Charles Jenkins: He voted for it before he voted against it

Just to be upfront, this site has endorsed Mike Hough for Delegate in 3B rather than the incumbent Charles "I want you to think I'm Chuck" Jenkins, the O'Malley appointee.

We have a lot of reasons for doing this and we'll begin examining them over the next few days.

Few things ever rate a unanimous vote in the House of Delegates. I suppose you could get the House to unanimously vote to observe July 4 as Independence Day, but some of the cretins from Democrat strongholds would probably balk at that. Last session that did happen. Back in February HB 65, introduced by Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-37B). The bill was simple enough, it closed some loopholes in a federal law that encouraged human trafficking. The bill passed on a vote of 130-0. Voting to pass this bill, and rightfully so, was the new O'Malley appointee, Delegate Charles Jenkins.

What did this bill do? I simply required that anyone going through a marriage broker to obtain a wife (or I suppose husband) from overseas had to make available to the broker, who was required to make it available to the potential spouse, 1) a criminal background check, 2) a marriage history, and 3) the number to times the applicant has applied for a spouse. Federal law already requires this information to be provided to the broker, though enforcement is spotty, Ms. Haddaway-Riccio's bill simply ensures the potential spouse received the information.

There are a lot reasons why guys get a wife from overseas via a marriage broker. I guess. But along with the honorable and understandable reasons there is that demographic that lacks the social skills to develop a relationship on the basis of equality. To them finding a bride who, upon marriage, is socially isolated and dependent upon them for their continued presence in the US has an appeal. A woman in this category would be less likely to report domestic violence. There is also a criminal element that uses the law to evade immigration laws for either direct payments by the inbound spouse or to deliver unsuspecting women into lives of prostitution and pornography.

In short, Delegate Haddaway-Riccio's bill imposed no new duty on the applicant for a spouse but merely ensured that the potential spouse received the information. One would think we could all agree that, on balance, letting a woman know that her potential husband was a criminal, a child molester, or someone who thinks slapping girls around is manly is a good thing.

And so it was for a few days in the General Assembly last session.

The bill sailed through the Senate picking up a couple of amendments on the way. When it returned to the House for final passage it passed again. This time with a vote of 139-1.

Who was the sole vote against letting a woman know some very basic information about her potential spouse? Martin O'Malley appointee Charles Jenkins.

So what convinced Jenkins to change his opinion so radically in a two month period. What happened in his life that led him to decide that it was completely okay for a marriage broker to conceal a history of crime and spouse abuse from a potential bride? That a young woman had no real right to know that her American husband had also applied to import a half dozen other women? Or that he was already married?

We just don't know. We can speculate... and I think we can do so with near 100% accuracy... if we simply follow the money. But Mr. Jenkins owes the voters of District 3B an explanation for this extraordinary about face on a bill that did nothing more provide a modicum of safety and dignity to another human being.

More below the fold.

James Braswell for Delegate, District 31

District 31 in Anne Arundel County is a bit unusual in that there are three incumbent Republican Delegates, all of whom are running for re-election, in a district that still has a majority of voters still registered as Democrats. That being said, this is a conservative district that is looking for strong leadership and the ability to get things done for the district.

It also a district that has a tremendous opportunity to elect somebody who will be a strong, consistent Conservative. An individual who has experience both as a small businessman and as a member of our community.

Jim Braswell ran for the House of Delegates in 2006. He finished fourth in a field of five. However, that has not dimmed his resolve to serve the people of District 31. Braswell is a small businessman who opened his own law firm in 2007, and is involved in a number of other businesses. He is an active member of the Pasadena Business Association, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the Board of the Monarch Academy charter school in Glen Burnie. Jim Braswell has been actively involved in trying to help make this community a better place.

But it isn't just his work as a pillar of the community that makes the difference. It has as much to do with being a consistent small government conservative on the issues. Braswell will be a delegate that stands up for small businesses, working to reduce the red tape, lower taxes, and shrink the size of government. Just take a look at his issues page and you will understand that Jim Braswell is a conservative who understands that big government in the name of conservatism is still something that should be avoided.

Maryland needs members of the House of Delegates with small business experience and a belief in smaller government. To that end, Red Maryland endorses Jim Braswell for Delegate in District 31.

Which of the three incumbent Delegates deserves to be replaced? Well, this is probably a good time to remind you that Steve Schuh voted for Governor O'Malley's $500 million expansion of Medicaid during the Special Session in 2007, voted for all four of Martin O'Malley's inflated budgets, and is preoccupied with his investment these days in Derek Fink.

Jim Braswell needs your help in order to bring common sense to Annapolis. Visit his website at www.jimbraswell.com or join his Facebook group to learn how you can help.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some Things Speak for Themselves

I will let Cookie Kiser do the talking here as it relates to Derek Fink....

Cookie Letter

More below the fold.

A tough week for the Murphy Camp

Since Sarah Palin's endorsement, it does not seem that much in the way of good news has emanated from the Brian Murphy camp.

A recent poll shows that Murphy is only getting 13% of the GOP vote in his race against Bob Ehrlich in a poll taken after the Palin endorsement was made. The political discussion, including from those on the left, is whether Murphy is even a credible spoiler or can meet the 20% threshold of the anonymous grocery bagger who ran against Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in 2002.

Worse yet, the Murphy campaign's finance report shows it has only about $40,000 cash on hand to try to close that 62 point gap with early voting starting next week. Meanwhile, Ehrlich is looking extremely competitive with O'Malley both in the polls and in his fundraising numbers.

And while Murphy continues his illegal immigration tour with Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, he keeps getting dogged with questions about his "evolving" position on the immigration issue. Local activists on the issue tell me that Mr. Murphy has opposed Del. Pat McDonough's efforts to bring an Arizona type law to Maryland and are concerned by his close association with well known supporters of amnesty. These questions apparently came up at Mr. Murphy's most recent event, causing the campaign to not allow any further audience participation and close the event.

We have not seen a tour this bumpy since Spinal Tap played Cleveland.

These same activists are also quick to point out that it was Governor Ehrlich who said "Citizenship should mean something" and walked that walk by removing illegal immigrants from the welfare roles in this state, opposing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and working with local law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants. This is in sharp contrast to Governor O'Malley who has made Maryland a sanctuary state and given illegal immigrants full access to the public treasury.

And while the Murphy campaign attempts to portray their candidate as the conservative champion ready to slay the faux Republican Bob Ehrlich, we find that Murphy himself has only been a Republican since 2005 and, as Brian points out, did not even vote in the GOP primary when he had the chance.

It has even reached the point where our friend and fellow contributor Mike Swartz who "set us straight" on the whole Murphy thing could not get Pajamas Media to pick up his latest pro-Murphy piece.

Now Brian Murphy has responded to the whole decades of being a democrat thing by saying that he changed parties like Ronald Reagan. Personally, as a lifelong conservative Republican who was inspired by the Reagan Revolution, I actually find this more offensive than the facts about his "johnny come lately" Republicanism. This is a guy who was a Democrat when Reagan was President and was a Democrat when Glendenning was Governor. In fact, while I and many of you were working to get Bob Ehrlich elected in 2002 as the first Republican Governor in 40 years, Brian Murphy was still a Democrat.

Now, he is the savior of the conservative cause in Maryland and the "true Republican" in the race!

The absurdity of this claim explains why 87% of Republicans do not support his candidacy and why his fundraising totals are a rounding error compared to what the Ehrlich team has amassed.

It is also why I say again what I said when Bob Ehrlich announced, conservatives need to rally behind Bob Ehrlich as the only alternative to another four years of Martin O'Malley.

More below the fold.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Brian Griffiths Minute: 8-24-2010

More below the fold.

Zone Defenses

EDIT: We've gotten some new information and are going to redact the contents of this post until we can get some more info....

More below the fold.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Continuing $ale of Judd Legum

We now bring you back to the story of a boy and his money....

Judd Legum (D-Soros) continues to blur the line between the world's first and second oldest professions with the filing of his campaign finance report this week. We we last brought you this story, Judd Legum had raised over seventy percent of his campaign donations from out of state. With this filing report, we find that Legum has increased his in-state fundraising but continues to be beholden to out of state donors.

Of Legum's total donations during this filing period 229 contributions were from Maryland; 176 were. This means that during the period 56.5 percent of Legum's contributions were in-state; and increase over the 42.9 % of in-state contributors during his first filing period.

Where did the contributors come from during this filing period:

  • California: 18
  • Colorado: 2
  • District of Columbia: 83
  • Delaware: 1
  • Florida: 1
  • Georgia: 2
  • Iowa:3
  • Illinois: 4
  • Maine: 1
  • Massachusetts: 2
  • Michigan: 2
  • Minnesota: 1
  • Missouri: 1
  • New Jersey: 1
  • North Carolina: 2
  • New York: 20
  • Pennsylvania: 11
  • Texas: 1
  • Virginia: 16
  • Washington: 3
Of course what remains true even after the second filing period is that more than half of Judd Legum's donations have come from out of state voters. And of those out of state voters, over 20 percent have come from Washington, DC alone.

By means of total dollars, Legum actually raised more more money in the last seven months from Maryland donors than he did during his entire first year of fundraising, raising $18,786 from Maryland coffers. During the same period, Legum raised "only" $14,720.47 from out of state donors. Of course, that does not exactly help his total numbers during this election cycle. In this election, Judd Legum has raised 61.64% of his donations from individuals who do not live in Maryland.

And that says nothing of the fact that of the his total receipts from within Maryland. A large number of his donations come from places like Chevy Chase, Takoma Park, Potomac. Places where his extremist agenda would be far more popular than in the District in which he is running.

Judd Legum is quite the individual in that he will sell his soul to be a Delegate in District 30. Beyond that, he will sell out the people of his District in order to get there; ironic considering that Legum has accused Delegate Ron George of buying his seat in Annapolis; even more ironic when you consider that nearly all of Delegate Ron George's contributions come from the state of Maryland.

I don't expect Judd Legum to respond to this, as usual. We know from prior experience that Judd Legum is gutless and will send somebody else out to defend his record because he doesn't have the spine to do so himself. However, it is becoming very apparent that Judd Legum is trying to deceive the people of District 30. But I have faith in the people of this district. I have faith that the people of District 30 will not support a candidate who will sell himself to do the bidding of Washington lobbyists and insiders instead of the business of the people of Maryland.

More below the fold.

Red Maryland on Square Off Today: WMAR Channel 2 @ 6:30 p.m.

Please forgive the self-promotion, but Richard Sher has threatened my life if I don’t promote tonight’s "Square Off" on WMAR-TV at 6:30 p.m.

Trae Lewis (Baltimore Young Republicans president and an up-and-coming impressive conservative), Dick Gelfman (the venerated legal affairs expert of WJZ fame), Carmelita Byrd (radio talk show host) and I (kind, compassionate, ingenuous conservative) discuss contentious issues such as the Ground Zero-Mosque issue and Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s use of the N-Word (judgment error, Dr. Laura).

Hope you'll be watching -- Richard Sher is a violent man and manifestly can successfully utilize the insanity plea to get off.

More below the fold.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reilly Blurs the Line

Senator Ed Reilly's new mailer really blurs the line between fact and fiction:
Reilly Mailing Rec'd 20100821

This is one of the most deceiving lit pieces I've ever. It implies that Delegate James King was using taxpayer fund to charter buses to send legislators to his bar. The article from the Baltimore Sun helpfully points out that the buses in question were not paid at taxpayer expense:
King Baltimore Sun Article 20070211

So what is the truth behind Delegate King's legislative nights at the Rockfish? King launched a "legislative nights" program at Rockfish in Annapolis on Monday nights during his first year in session. King made several investments, including chartering a bus at his own expense to attract business to Rockfish from the session. The fact of the matter is and the fact that the Sun article makes crystal clear is that Delegate King paid for the bus as a business investment for his own businesses.

Are we to imply for this mailing that Ed Reilly is against small businesses owners trying to grow their businesses? Who knows, but that certainly what it seems like to me.

The whole theme of Reilly's piece is to imply that James King is a crook and used his official position to charter the bus. It's disgraceful and it is wrong; Ed Reilly owes James King an apology for this.

More below the fold.

A Good Day at The Washington Post’s “FREE for ALL”

--Richard E. Vatz

I hope on this August 21st that the discerning readers of “Red Maryland” will tolerate my playing rhetorical “little ball” and just expressing my pleasure in reading an unusually edifying Washington Post “FREE for ALL” section.

“FREE for ALL” is a Saturday Post letters-to-the-editor salmagundi whose quality varies from week to week, but this week is particularly satisfying: three important letters reflecting a conservative perspective and none out of the eighteen on the page this day reflecting a liberal one, unless you consider a complaint about the omission of a piece on the Post's front page of the swearing in of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, to be a liberal complaint. I don’t.

What are the three significant conservatively oriented letters?

They are as follows:

1. The lead two letters (by letter-writers Terence Kuch and Terrence H. Scout) supporting the excellent ombudsman of the Post, Andrew Alexander, for his criticizing the Post for withholding news concerning the race of brawlers on the Metro, leading, as one writer puts it, to readers’ having to make their own assumptions.

2. An exceptionally insightful letter from the “vice president of external affairs in the Overseas Private Investment Corp. throughout the Bush administration,” Christopher Coughlin, who incredulously asks, “is it really possible for you to write a story on the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq without acknowledging the role of the Bush surge in making that exit possible?” Such an important point, one which also could be asked of Democratic politicians and journalists who ignore the lack of recognition of this outcome-changing strategy which President Barack Obama has himself ignored throughout his obsession with blaming all of his leadership inadequacies on his predecessor.

3. A letter picking up on the conservative ethic, wondering why the Post claims that drivers of cars irresponsibly driving over a flooded road were victims of the Patuxent River, “forcing” them “to drive through water.” Writer Mark Glaudemans, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, correctly and pointedly argues that such driving is not dictated by conditions, but instead reflects “a foolish and dangerous choice.”


Overall, a red letter day for the Post’s “FREE for ALL” section: critical conservative perspectives and a respite from liberal perspectives.

This is not the mirror image of The Baltimore Sun letters-to-the-editor pages, circa 2002-2008. On other days, the Post gives liberals plenty of space.

But what a joy for one day.

Professor Vatz teaches Media Criticism at Towson University

More below the fold.

Now You See It, Now You Don't

The O’Malley administration removed a Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation report that contradicted O’Malley’s rosy jobs claims from the department’s website.

The original report stated: “Amid reports of uncertainties in financial markets, declining consumer confidence and spending and lackluster hiring at the national level, Maryland’s economic recovery faltered in July.”

This sharply contradicts O’Malley’s statement that the state’s “job momentum is continuing.” Not to mention it is highly embarrassing.

An anonymous O’Malley administration official told the Washington Post the removal of the report was “an innocent mistake.” According to the official the report was an internal document that was never intended to be posted online.

This explanation simply does not hold water. Both the MDGOP and the Ehrlich campaign picked up on the original report and then hours later, like a Soviet commissar fallen out Stalin’s favor, it vanishes.

The O’Malley administration and reelection campaign have made plenty of mistakes, none of them “innocent.”

Whether it’s falsely tying Ehrlich to the oil spill in the gulf, or having it’s surrogates harass business owners, and now airbrushing embarrassing evidence, Martin O’Malley is showing us there is no depth he will not sink to conceal his own abysmal record.

More below the fold.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Desperate Dems

Clearly Martin O'Malley and the Maryland Democratic Party have moved from fear to desperation. They spent millions of dollars spinning lies about Bob Ehrlich only to drop precipitously in the polls.

So what is their response? Double down on the very actions that brought them to this point.
O’Malley surrogates are harassing small business owners.
And now, instead of passive surveillance, Democrat operatives are acting as outright provocateurs.

Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. accused a state Democratic Party employee
of "inappropriate" behavior Thursday when the worker directed a question at the
former governor while monitoring a campaign event.Isaac Salazar, communications
director for the Maryland Democratic Party, was not allowed to finish a question
about unemployment benefits and Ehrlich ignored his subsequent interview attempts as a lunchtime session with about 30 small-business owners at a Howard
County restaurant broke up."It's a no-class move to do what he did," Ehrlich
said. "It's inappropriate.

He termed the interaction a violation of unwritten rules of the campaign trail.Political parties and candidates often use operatives to track their opponents and shoot video, hoping for a gaffe or statement they can use to their advantage. Salazar, who was recording the session, is not directly involved in the campaign of Gov. Martin O'Malley, whom Ehrlich is expected to face in the general election.

Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman, said the campaign has not been tracking Ehrlich.

Ehrlich pointed out Salazar at the start of the meeting, which was similar to many business complaint sessions the former governor has organized around the state. Business owners say tough regulation and overly generous unemployment benefits are making it harder to turn a profit in Maryland. Ehrlich has campaigned on a theme of providing a friendlier environment for businesses.

Other eye witnesses told me Salazar talked over and interrupted small business owners who were there to ask legitimate questions.

Of course, Salazar doesn’t mention that it was O’Malley who tried to strong arm state businesses into more draconian unemployment insurance regulations during the 2010 legislative session. To their credit the business community stood up to O’Malley and fought off his attempts to screw them yet again.

Salazar, you’ll recall was the guy, who back in January slandered hundreds of tea party protestors as racists.

We are witnessing the actions of an arrogant Democratic monopoly desperate to hold on to power.

On a side note, O’Malley spokesman Rick Abruuzzese flat out lied when he said the O’Malley campaign has not been tracking Ehrlich. Here is a photo of an O’Malley campaign worker recording Ehrlich at the Tawes crab feast in Crisfield last month. Notice the poorly hidden green O’Malley campaign T-shirt.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Once Again, this is why we Endorse these guys

Vinny DeMarco and his crew are asking candidates for the General Assembly to sign a pledge to raise the alcohol tax on Marylanders, ostensibly to pay for "expanding health coverage and access for Marylanders." Now why anybody would want to get into bed with Vinny DeMarco given his record and hypocrisy are anybody's guess, but these folks are out there.

One of the pledge signers is Walter Keubler, Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 42.

Needless to say, Kevin Carney did not sign the pledge. And remember that Red Maryland endorsed Kevin Carney a few weeks back.

There's a reason we do what we do...

More below the fold.

O'Malley Surrogates Harassing Small Business Owners

I received this email from a small buisness owner who was none too appreciative of the harassing email she recieved from an O'Malley surrogate.

As a business owner struggling to keep up, I was really irritated to receive an unsolicited email from a random spam source. Bashing our government leaders this way is shameful. Give facts not opinions. And let me choose if I want the extra emails. I choose not to receive solicitation on my business account so I will not miss the important business, employment, and potential sales opportunity emails.

In regards to the misleading statements-- baloney! I am dealing with the current administrations misleading promises everyday. The promiseof tax relief when hiring from the pool of unemployed--WRONG! As a small restaurant-diner open for breakfast & lunch I am not able to start or train an adult for a wage higher than the unemployment rate! Yet my unemployment taxes for a staff of mainly part-timers has been increased over $4000 this year!

That's a lot of flipping eggs to pay for that! And none of my employees have ever been laid off. Where is the help promised by O'Malley? So now my 7 day a week workday is over.

Off to be a dessert judge ata local event. May my emails stay silent as to not irritate my husband who gets so little time with me!!

Susan L. Rill,
Dutch Corner Restaurant
Manchester, Maryland

If Martin O'Malley wants to shake his well deserved reputation as hostile to business he would do well to have his drones stop badgering Maryland business owners.

More below the fold.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brian Murphy's Record

When Red Maryland’s editor’s endorsed Bob Ehrlich for Governor, they were extremely kind to Brian Murphy in their endorsement. I wouldn’t have been, and will not be today. It has nothing to do with Governor Palin, who along with Brian Griffiths I picked as being my choice for VP long before John McCain plucked her from the obscurity of Alaska. My opposition to Brian Murphy comes from his record.

Sure you can criticize Bob Ehrlich’s record, he has one. He has been in a position of responsibility for years and with responsibility comes good and bad decisions. But has anybody actually looked at Brian Murphy’s record?

He was a failed commodity trader for BG&E (or Constellation to be precise). That is like putting the head of BP on the ballot for Governor of Louisiana. Everybody that was paying attention will remember that it was Constellation’s commodities trading business that propelled the company to the edge of bankruptcy, forcing it to seek
anybody with cash to help the company out of the black hole of risky business leverage.

And where did Brian Murphy go after that? He became an investor in the Smith Island Baking Company. I’m not criticizing the fact that it’s a bakery, but it is a bakery whose sole business mission is the exploitation of the “State Cake”. If I remember correctly, most of us Conservatives were MOCKING the fact that the State legislature
designated an official “State Cake”. Instead, Brian Murphy is making money off of it. He sure has the capitalist flare, but when all of his money making schemes comes at the behest of government bailouts (Constellation is guaranteed profits through their monopoly in BGE) I call into question his record as a true Conservative wanting a limited government.

Ok, so let’s move on. Brian Murphy’s website states his conviction to being pro-life. Which I am, and says that if he is elected he’ll create “Joy’s House” along with his wife in order to provide pregnancy support for women that decide to keep their babies. Instead of starting something new, why doesn’t he and his wife get involved with Birthright, a great organization that has locations in Maryland and
throughout North America providing this service already. Protecting life doesn’t need to begin after an election.

Sadly, that is the only concrete idea on Brian Murphy’s website. Oh wait, he has another one. He wants to increase funding for environmental programs. Wow… spending even more money on the environment than O’Malley, while at the same time cutting spending. So if it’s not coming from environmental spending (which includes all of those ill advised land purchases) then where will the money he is cutting going to come from? Those that support Murphy keep saying how is idea are better. I will give you that no politician is talking about specific concrete ideas, but neither is Murphy folks. There is as much substance there as a conversation between two 13-year-old girls.

I’m not going to convince the Pro-Murphy camp with this piece, you like him because he's not Ehrlich or because you are a purist. This post is more geared toward those that continue with the line that Murphy is a "good choice" or a "strong candidate". Prove it to me, and please don't use the word conservative, give me solid points.

More below the fold.


More below the fold.

William Campbell for Comptroller

The position of Comptroller of Maryland is not one that is readily understood by a lot of Marylanders. The position goes so far beyond just keeping an eye on the money; it involves tax collection and most important a seat on the state Board of Public Works. The position is that of the Chief Financial Officer of the state. Often times the Maryland Republican Party puts up candidates for Comptroller that are fiscally responsible but do not necessarily bring a specific skill set to the job.

This is not one of those years.

William Campbell is one of the three Republican candidates for Comptroller in this years election. Instead of being a politician like Louis Goldstein, William Donald Schaefer, or incumbent Comptroller Peter Franchot, William Campbell is actually a guy who has two decades of experience as a CFO, often times being responsible for budgets larger than or state budget. Campbell has been an Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chief Financial Officer for the Coast Guard, Chief Financial Officer for Amtrak, and a financial consultant that helps companies turn their fortunes around. His entire career has been predicated on the concept of coming into organizations and bureaucracies that are in fiscal trouble and fixing the problems that ail them.....kinda sounds like Annapolis, does it not.

William Campbell may be the most qualified individual to run for Comptroller in the history of Maryland. Which is why Red Maryland endorses William Campbell for Comptroller.

It is so vitally important that we have a good qualified candidate to run in this election. Campbell's qualifications run circles around those of current Comptroller Peter Franchot. Franchot of course spent twenty years as the most liberal Democrat in the Maryland House of Delegates before his stunning and lucky upset of William Donald Schaefer in the 2006 Democratic Primary. Since his election he has had quixotic history, finding religion to a certain extent on some tax and spending issues, while at the same time trying to maintain his liberal bonafides. That is a luxury that he will not have if he is to be re-elected, as Franchot would be position himself as the champion the extreme left as he battles Attorney General Doug Gansler, Anthony Brown, and others for the Democratic nomination for Governor. A second-term for Peter Franchot would mean electing a Comptroller who is farther to the left than many Annapolis Democrats, and that is a philosophy we need less, not more of, in Annapolis.

While we endorse Bill Campbell, we also give respects to Republican Candidate Brendan Madigan. Madigan is 18 and has a bright future in this party. He says good things on the issues and deserves a lot of credit for sticking his name out there in a statewide election at the young age of 18. We encourage him to seek office again, but we just find that William Campbell's credentials are perfect for this job.

Please do what you can to elect William Campbell as our next Comptroller. Be sure to cast your vote for him on September 14th, and visit his website at http://www.whcampbell2010.com to find out how you can help.

More below the fold.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Letters to the Beyond

Sometimes I get letters. Sometimes Derek Fink sends them to Republican voters in Council District 3. And this one is quite the doozy. Please read it for yourself.
Fink Letter

Bud hit a lot of the points on Friday, but a lot of them deserved continued discussion.

In the third paragraph, Fink declares that he likes to get right to the point. Except for the obvious fact that if you are two paragraphs in and haven't made a point yet, then you probably don't like to get right to the point.

Fink says: "We must begin, at the local level, to take back our government from those out-of-touch liberal politicians and bureaucrats." Which of course is a very interesting statement. For you see, incumbent County Councilman Ron Dillon is a Republican. Our three Delegates are Republicans. Our State Senator is a Republican. Our County Executive is a Republican. Our Register of Wills, Clerk of the Court, Orphans Court judges are Republicans....

....so has Derek Fink called out his own party as being full of liberals. As Bud notes, "if there's a problem at the local level, then it's only fair to blame the party in power," which in this case is our party. Which if there is a problem at the local level, does that mean he is declaring Delegates Nic Kipke and Steve Schuh, two guys who stuck their necks our early to endorse Fink, as liberals? I tend to believe that both of those gentlemen would dispute that notion, but apparently their guy might think otherwise.

Fink goes on in the letter to do the really classy thing of attacking his opponents personally, just not by name:

My opponents in the Republican Primary have records of supporting "Big Government" along with checkered pasts and both political and legal baggage. They have been members of the Democrat Party, one has a criminal record, and there are countless bankruptcy filings, financial problems, and foreclosures in their pasts.
Well, there is a rich irony in Fink's campaign putting out a statement like this, especially given the controversy surrounding Fink's campaign and his separation in his business dealings with Cookie Kiser. But of course, the implication that all of his opponents have legal baggage is also easily debunked by searching the Court Records; former County Councilman Dutch Holland, for example, is only listed in court cases related to his duties as a County Councilman. Why would Fink insinuate that Holland had legal problems without naming names OR providing any evidence?

There are other less interesting parts of the letter. Fink lays out an alleged "Six Point Plan" for success that goes into no more detail than the unoriginal, not at all detailed bullet points that have been on his website for a year. He does talk about one of my pet issues, direct election of the Anne Arundel County School Board, without actually acknowledging that he has zero power as a County Councilman to make a change to our current process.

What does this letter ultimately tell us about Derek Fink. It tells of of a campaign that remains in a continued panic. A campaign that does not connect with voters in District 3. A candidate that is desperate to win and remove roadblocks from his campaign, regardless of the methods. It also talks a little bit about the character of Derek Fink, which given the things that we have already discussed and some of the unsubstantiated rumors that surround Fink continues to be in question. If the guy who throw Nic Kipke and Steve Schuh under the bus for political gain, what will this guy do if he gets elected to the County Council?

I for one will not be voting for Derek Fink on September 14th.


More below the fold.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Jessamy-Bernstein Debate: Substance to Bernstein; Style to Bernstein; Penalty Points Against Jessamy – Likely Primary Election Winner: Jessamy

--Richard E. Vatz

The August 12 debate between Patricia Jessamy and Gregg Bernstein on WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks” tells us a lot about political debates, and it also tells us a lot about the principals and their principles in the current race for City State’s Attorney in the Democratic primary.

When candidates have an unfriendly debate filled with unpleasant, personal attacks, the debate tends to be reported as generally nasty, with the implication being that “there is no love lost between these two,” or, in this case, described as their “frequently trading barbs,” in an otherwise excellent analysis in The Baltimore Sun.

The fact is that sometimes there is a major difference in the candidates in this regard. Yesterday’s ugly debate was one-sidedly nasty, even though both candidates were disdainful of the other.

It was Mrs. Jessamy who repeatedly – 8 separate iterations – accused Mr. Bernstein of telling “lies” or lying.

A lie is an intentional, knowing deception. To so charge your opponent is considered an inappropriate personal attack in a debate, but one which can be forgiven if the criteria of intentionality and knowledge of falsity of allegations can be proved.

At no time was Mrs. Jessamy asked to justify her use of the term, either by the otherwise good, fair and unobtrusive moderator, Dan Rodricks, or in newspaper accounts following the debate.

Less offensive, but, in Dan Quayle’s famous words, “uncalled for,” were Mrs. Jessamy’s repeated implications that Mr. Bernstein simply had no clue as to how her office operated. It is much better and more proper to indicate that “Mr. Bernstein overlooks x, y and/or z” when discussing the components of the State’s Attorney’s office.

For his part Mr. Bernstein was all substance, and his demeanor was perfect, focusing on issue after issue, avoiding irrelevant personal attacks. It doesn’t mean that he respects Mrs. Jessamy, but all of his criticisms were related to material points regarding the prosecutor and the way her office prosecutes crime in Baltimore City.

Substantively, Mr. Bernstein won going away in this observer’s perception.

They debated about Baltimore’s conviction rate, and the two talked past each other. Jessamy talked about the absolute number of criminals – thousands – convicted, whereas Bernstein focused on the low relative percentage of criminals convicted and the insufficient “substantial periods of time” they are incarcerated, leading to his oft-repeated claim of a “revolving door.” He should have spent a little more time, incidentally, on the shortness of sentences that leads to that revolving door.

Jessamy was asked by Rodricks about her “pretty harsh thing to say” that Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld’s recent behavior in supporting Bernstein’s candidacy could lead to the existence of a “police state in Baltimore City.”

Rodricks asked and immediately reiterated when Jessamy ignored it, “...how would Baltimore become a police state” with “repressive controls over citizens...keep[ing] people from expressing political views...?”.

Jessamy ignored the question the second time as well.

To the extent that the prosecutor’s office dropped the ball on keeping John Wagner, the apparent murderer of Stephen Pitcairn, incarcerated, Jessamy showed an unexpected desire not to blame the police for compromising some evidence or the judge for ignoring Wagner's parole violations. But she could not explain why she didn’t have sufficient evidence to incarcerate and try him for a robbery for which videotape was available.

Bernstein conceded that Jessamy’s “War Room” does identify the “Worst of the Worst” of criminal offenders but that their conviction rate is 35% (according to a study by former War Room Chief, Page Croyder). Jessamy laughed derisively, but didn’t substantively address Bernstein’s criticism.

Then Bernstein said that “In 2009, 80% of the 6500 domestic violence cases in District Court were effectively dismissed.” He asked about the fact that there is a national model to train states attorneys to prosecute these cases without the victim’s testimony and that such a model has worked in locales wherein it was tried, but that Baltimore City for unknown reasons chose not to use it. Jessamy deplored Bernstein’s “throwing out numbers,” but didn’t respond directly to the criticism.

Jessamy came across as a very intelligent State’s Attorney, but one who had very little to say regarding the relative ineffectiveness of her office, save outrage that she should be criticized by such an inexperienced opponent.

The fact that a candidate is a clear winner on style and substance does not mean, however, that he or she will win an election.

When both debaters are well known, this is particularly evident, but it's also true sometimes when just one is well known. One memorable example of the former type was the first 1984 Presidential debate between President Ronald Reagan and former Vice President Walter Mondale, when the venerable, well-known and beloved president seeking a second term floundered and could not keep his thoughts straight.

The debate didn’t hurt President Reagan at all – people knew him and loved him.

Pat Jessamy is not similarly beloved, but in the reading of the city electorate by this analyst she will win the Democratic primary for City State’s Attorney – perhaps going away.

Such is the limited effect of political debates in many cases when the incumbent is well known and popular -- even when she clearly loses a debate on both substance and style.

--Professor Vatz teaches the persuasion of political debates at Towson University

More below the fold.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The WaPo, Sarah Palin, and Conservatism

Today's Washington Post features an editorial which serves to underscore a fear on the left of a resurgent conservative movement and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. It concerns the surprise endorsement of Brian Murphy by Governor Palin.

It shows, first of all, that the former Republican vice presidential nominee does not really care much about winning. After all, Mr. Murphy stands virtually zero chance of stealing the Republican nomination away from former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who maintained relatively high approval ratings statewide even as he was defeated in his bid for reelection four years ago. Maryland is one of the most liberal states in the nation; if any Republican stands a chance at winning statewide office, it will be a moderate like Mr. Ehrlich, not a conservative like Mr. Murphy.

It also suggests that Ms. Palin's political worldview, if you can call it that, consists mainly of a short checklist of slogan-ready, litmus-test issues on which Mr. Murphy ranks higher in the conservative canon than Mr. Ehrlich does. Opposed to raising taxes? Check! In favor of Second Amendment gun rights? Check! Opposed to abortion? Check! Dislike illegal immigrants? Check!

To the extent that Republicans follow Ms. Palin down this path, they will find it leads to a very snug tent, just big enough for the hard-core partisans who refuse to deviate from checklist politics for the sake of character, pragmatism or victory. You could call that principled. You could also call it a political strategy so narrow that it amounts to self-marginalization.

This type of editorial demonstrates why the Washington Post hires liberals like Dave Wiegel to explain conservatism.

First, the fact that the Washington Post wants us to believe that it actually cares about the fate of the GOP is laughable. If they really thought Gov. Palin was leading the GOP down the path to marginalization they would be first in line cheering her on. The fact that they find her endorsements troubling should be a sign that she's on to something useful.

Second, as I said below primaries are about ideas. Whether or not the editorial board of the Washington Post likes Governor Palin's worldview the rest of the country does. Americans, regardless of the poll you select, by large majorities favor restrtictions on abortion, favor gun rights (also the view of the Supreme Court), and favor enforcing our immigration laws. This is not a formula for marginalization, it is a formula for success. Conservatives have long been asked by clowns like Tom Davis and his RMSP to sacrifice principle to support "electable" candidates like Linc Chafee, Arlen Specter... and Tom Davis. It doesn't work. We end up getting representatives who hold no beliefs beyond an invincible belief that they should be reelected.

Third, Governor Palin understands, as perhaps few national figures on our side of the aisle do, that it is just as easy for a conservative of principle to appeal to the middle as easily as a moderate, or as they seem to prefer a person without principle.

Far from endorsing people who are averse to "character, pragmatism or victory" she has done the exact opposite.

To caricature Governor Palin's endorsements as some kind of a checklist speaks more about the deep bias the Post bears towards conservatives and conservatism. Governor Palin hasn't taken the easy way on this. Yes, she has endorsed Nikki Haley in SC and Ken Buck in Colorado. But she has also endorsed the pro-choice Carly Fiorina for Senate in California when she could have avoided a lot of criticism by endorsing the conservative Chuck DeVore. The Post conveniently doesn't address this because it doesn't fit their editor's " worldview, if you can call it that."

More below the fold.

Ehrlich vs Murphy

Earlier two RedMaryland contributors wrote posts in support of Brian Murphy's campaign to earn the privilege of cleaning Martin O'Malley's clock in November.

I'd like to take a couple of minutes to address their points and make my own views known.

For the record, I don't think we've done a lot of Murphy bashing on the site. We've endorsed Ehrlich because we believe, all things considered, he's the better candidate to face Governor O'Malley. We don't necessarily believe that Governor Ehrlich is more conservative that Mr. Murphy and this isn't a test of "electability." It is our considered judgment that considering the merits of both men, Governor Ehrlich is the stronger candidate and will be better able to expand the minuscule ranks of Maryland elected Republicans.

I agree the efforts by the Maryland GOP to clear the field for Governor Ehrlich was wrong. Party organizations have no business picking winners and losers amongst candidates. That is a function that should be reserved to the candidates and the voters. The party organization is there to support the party's nominee. We've seen both in Maryland and at the national level that the interference of the national party apparatus in primaries very, very rarely results in a win for the party. You only have to look at the pathetic record of the RNC, NRSC and NRCC to see what I mean.

Governor Ehrlich is an impressive candidate. He didn't need the help and perversely the help that he received may very well cost him votes amongst the GOP base which is getting increasingly torqued over this poor-man's king making.

They also make a very good point. While conservatives from which Mr. Murphy will draw most, if not all, his primary support historically close ranks and vote GOP in the general election, GOP moderates have a rather shameful history of voting democrat if they don't get their way in the primary. If Mr. Murphy pulls an upset in the primary, he has every reason to expect that Governor Ehrlich's supports, which includes the editors of the site, to give him their full support.

Personally, I think Mr. Murphy is a good candidate. I think having a strong conservative candidate in the race serves the Maryland GOP well by giving voice to a philosophy which is based on free markets and free people. Rather the antithesis of the cradle to grave nanny state we've managed to grow here in Maryland.

So I hope Mr. Murphy gives Governor Ehrlich a run for his money because the winner will be stronger and better able to retire the incumbent.

More below the fold.