Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tari Moore: Unfit to Serve

As Mark noted yesterday, Cecil County Executive-elect Tari Moore defected from the Republican Party this week in order to become an independent, days before resigning her County Council seat to assume her new office.

Now this is certainly no way to start off your administration and truthfully, Moore has basically committed one of the more fraudulent and  delegitimizing acts I have seen here in Maryland politics. Moore was elected by a slim majority, as a Republican, not as an independent to her new position. She won the Republican Primary, not by default, but by defeating six other Republicans in the primary. A primary she won, incidentally, with less than half of the Republican primary voters supporting her.  Think those voters who supported her through the electoral process have a bit of buyer's remorse now that she has abandoned her party?

The stated reasoning of her change in affiliation, to deny the Cecil County Republican Central Committee the ability to help choose her successor, is an even more corrupt and reprehensible decision. The change in affiliation means that at the end of the day Moore, and not any elected representatives of the party which helped catapult her to her new position, will decided he replaces her on the Cecil County Council and deny the people a voice, a  point clearly made in the statement of Cecil County GOP Chairman Chris Zeauskas.

I don't know Tari Moore, had never heard from her, she didn't ask me for money, and she never sought our endorsement. I understand from both sides that there is an intraparty squabble at work here. But from the outside looking in I can tell you that what she did is beyond reprehensible and destroys the credibility of her administration from day one, an even more daunting proposition for Cecil County given the fact that she is the first County Executive in county history. Let's face it, the voters got the wool pulled over their eyes by their newly elected Exec, who has abandoned principle and displayed a disturbing lack of judgment in order to merely settle scores and retain power over the County Council. 

Before even taking the oath of office, Tari Moore proved herself to be a disgrace who is unfit to serve Cecil County.


John Morony said...

Perhaps even more infuriating is Congressman Harris' effusive praise in the Baltimore Sun that Tari Moore is a "good republican" and that she will eventually come back into the fold. Yes, that will eventually happen after she is done assisting Congressman Harris with settling personal scores. I am happy to see that things in Washington are so rosy that our Congressman in the 1st District can weigh into Cecil County politics.

Tim said...

Ask the Cecil County Republican Central Committee how much help they gave their local Republicans in November. ZERO. So maybe they got what they deserved.

Martin Watcher said...

Brian, you correctly point out that Moore didn't win the primary with more than 50% of the vote, but she did have 30% more than any of the other candidates. In most cases, that's considered a landslide.

I think the party needs to ask itself why someone would abandon it right after a close election rather than just blasting someone the Party should try to be working with. The fact that Moore won so handily in a very contested primary points to her having more sway in the County than the Central Committee or Pipkin/Smigiel acolyte Diana Broomell.

A County Executive could play a huge role in fundraising and building a party, rather than being an enemy because of local power plays.

Brian Griffiths said...

Yes. Yes she could be. However when you decide to repudiate your own party before ever taking office, clearly there are larger issues afoot

Commissioner Mike Dunn said...

Excellent editorial. This is truly a despicable act and a slap in the face to her Republican supporters. It really is just a cynical grab for power.

What's even more disturbing is that Commissioner Hodge (Moore's political ally) interjected himself in the process by calling the local Democratic Party chair and soliciting names for the council vacancy. Are they actually planning to appoint a Democrat to her old seat?

I plan to have A LOT to say about this whole situation at the first meeting of the new County Council on Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Mike Dunn said...

Excellent editorial. This is truly a despicable act and a slap in the face to her Republican supporters. It really is just a cynical grab for power.

What's even more disturbing is that Commissioner Hodge (Moore's political ally) interjected himself in the process by calling the local Democratic Party chair and soliciting names for the council vacancy. Are they actually planning to appoint a Democrat to her old seat?

I plan to have A LOT to say about this whole situation at the first meeting of the new County Council on Tuesday morning.

amr said...

I sent you an E-mail on November 30th with background from the local media on the possible reasons for Mrs. Moore's decision, which maybe you did not read. I did that so you would have a better understanding of what was in the political future for Cecil County.

Our Cecil County Republican Central Committee does not represent major conservative values; not on public policy in general, but in the misused of power and the lack of following the committee's and state's rules.

I suspect it was they who tried to censure Mrs. Moore at the Republican's Convention and it was the Central Committee that last night sent out a robo-call calling for her resignation.

To afford full disclosure, I am one of the directors of the Cecil County Patriots (CCP), the local TEA Party and 9/12 Project, however this reflects my personal positions; thus I do not speak for the CCP or Mrs. Moore.

I attend just about all public Commissioner meetings but in disgust stopped attending the Central Committee meetings, although I have friends who do.

The Central Committee and their allied Commissioners, the so called 3 Amigos, have caused much concern about local government's ability to resolve issues necessary to move our county forward; revisiting previous commissioner decisions has been on the agenda all too often. The Central Committee has 2 of the 3 Amigos as members.

Members of the Central Committee and their allies are publicly at odds with the CCP, and we have been accused of unsubstantiated actions. Their alliances are more with our legislative delegation and 3 of the Commissioners, not the people. Mr. Dunn writing in the comments is one of them; they, who actively opposed the CCP during the 2010 election cycle.

The Central Committee has publicly indicated that they want one of their own to replace Mrs. Moore. Since one of the 3 Amigos lost in the primary, an appointment of one of those having membership in the Central Committee would re-establish the 3 Amigos in the Charter Council permitting the vote for one of the Amigos as president of the Council; thus they would control the agenda.

Two very competent individuals have filed with the Republican Central Committee to be considered for the open seat on the council. One a former Commissioner and the other a major player in the campaign to write and move to victory the Charter. I opposed the Charter form of government, but I recognize that both of these individuals have the county's welfare as a primary concern and I would personally support either one of them for the council position. Most, if not all I know, doubt that anyone outside of the Central Committee or their close allies would be on the list submitted to the council and ultimately to the County Executive after the expected 2-2 tie in the Council.

A individual that recently moved to Cecil County, who apparently has been observing our county's government in action, asked me the other day if this is how Cecil County government normally works. I told him, "Not after December 3rd." That is when Mrs. Moore is sworn in. She has promised to make a statement on why she re-registered as unaffiliated.

I support Mrs. Moore's action, paraphrasing what political leaders often say, "It's for the greater good of the county." I honestly believe this after having watched government in action in Cecil County up close, and at times very personal, for over two years.

Jaclyn Gregory said...

As a conservative Republican and co-founder of the Cecil County Patriots, I fully support Tari Moore's decision, and I believe making this politically incorrect decision was the most ethical thing she could have done. For those outside of Cecil County this must seem very bizarre, but the majority of Republican voters in the county support Tari's decision, and that’s what really matters. Brian, there is a lot more to this than meets the eye on the surface, and this has nothing to do with Moore repudiating the party; it has to do with looking out for the best interest of her constituents as she was elected to do. Cecil County has been under siege over the last two years by Senator Pipkin and Delegate Smigiel who have sought to control our local politics and the party and use it for their own self-serving benefit. Those they have put in office have not behaved like Republicans or conservatives, and they are the real embarrassment to the party. Since the people saw fit to promote Moore to executive, it logically follows that they would not want someone who had opposite positions to replace her on the board. Moore won by overwhelming margins in the primary. Some did not vote for her in the general, specifically because they were afraid of a "Smipkin" being appointed to her seat; in fact, Democrats used that issue to try to woo Republican voters to support their candidate. If folks had known that there was a way to elect Moore as executive, and avoid filling her spot with another "Smipkin", I am certain that Moore's margin of victory would have been much larger. Finally, the Smipkin reign of terror is about to end, and we the people will have a voice in our local government once again. The citizens of Cecil County adopted a charter form of government largely because of the behavior of Pipkin and Smigiel. Folks saw it as an opportunity to get Cecil County out from under their thumb. This animosity towards Tari is for one reason; Pipkin and Smigiel can't control her. She does not serve at their pleasure and they hate that. Although Pipkin, Smigiel, and the folks that hope to ride their coat tails may try to embarrass her throughout the state, Moore is a hero locally to those who put her in office.

Bob Amato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Amato said...

Brian, your use of the words “fraudulent, delegitimizing, corrupt, reprehensible, disgrace, unfit” is stunning when you admit that you do not know Moore or nothing of the local “intraparty squabble at work here”. Martin Watcher is correct that she won 30% of the vote in a large field. The vote was 2-1 over her nearest competitor, Commissioner Broomell, a former legislative aide to Delegate Smigiel, as is Commissioner Dunnl. Chris Zeauskas ran on a slate funded by Senator Pipkin , along with Commissioners Mullin and Dunn. During the general election, Friends of EJ Pipkin funded a series of scurrilous mailers against Commissioner Hodge and Tari Moore. They were even more disgusting than the one against Delegate Sossi. We all know that Senator Pipkin was “disappointed ” to have not replaced Congressman Gilchrest, so the anti-Harris rant is what it is and has nothing to do with Moore’s decision. Is the story unfolding? Chris Zeauskas began his resolution explanation with an outright lie, stating that she must now choose an Unaffiliated replacement. Article 2, Section 209 (c) and (d) of the Cecil County Charter states that the Council makes the choice and the Executive selects only if they (four Republicans) can’t agree. When you say that… “Moore, and not any elected representatives of the party which helped catapult her to her will decide who replaces her on the Cecil County Council and deny the people a voice, a point clearly made in the statement of Cecil County GOP Chairman Chris Zeauskas” it shows that you “had the wool pulled over your eyes” by him. As a Cecil County Delegate, I spoke against the resolution at the convention and was available if you had chosen to interview me. I would have provided the previous information as well the following facts: life-long Republican, campaign manager for a successful GOP candidate, past President of the Republican Club of Cecil County. Settling scores and retaining power have been the actions of Smigiel, Pipkin, and their minions for the past two years. Enough is enough. Relentless vicious attacks against those not 100% on their side is the reason that it is difficult to recruit candidates.

Jaclyn Gregory said...

Tari Moore actually won over 46% of the vote in the Republican primary in April; her nearest competitor, Diana Broomell, only received 14% of the vote, so Moore won by a margin of more than 3-1. In a field of 7 contenders, that's quite a decisive victory, especially given the tens of thousands of dollars EJ Pipkin spent on a regular poll, a push poll, at least 3 negative robocalls, and 3 negative mailers all distorting Moore's record. Pipkin spent money from his own campaign account which people contributed to thinking it would be used for his own races, not to smear local candidates. A few important questions to ask are: Why did EJ Pipkin invest so much of his own money on a slate of candidates for the central committee in 2010, and then in the primary in 2012? Why is he so vested in a local race? Then, why, despite all the money that was spent by EJ, did Tari Moore still win decisively in the primary? Why did all of the candidates EJ supported lose by 25 points or more? In the general election, why were Republicans urged by Democrats to support their candidate, because if she were elected, a Smipkin would be chosen to replace her? Finally, why are most Republican voters in Cecil County rallying around Moore in her decision to temporarily unaffiliate? Mr. Griffiths, I agree there are larger issues afoot, and if you are truly concerned about the party brand and are interested in having a party that actually lives by its stated platform and represents the voters who believe in that platform, then you should take the time to understand these issues before blogging about them.