Friday, November 30, 2012

This Weekend's Undercard

Apparently there's discontent beyond Chairman Alex Mooney, as National Committeeman Louis Pope has been the target of the the Maryland Liberty PAC. What follows is series of emails, first the Liberty PAC email, than a response from Louis Pope, and another response from a Kent County Central Committee member.

Red Maryland has no position on any of this, it's just provided for information purposes.

* * * * * * * * * 
The Maryland Republican Party National Committeeman Louis Pope sold the grassroots down the river during the Republican National Convention in Tampa this year.

Maybe you have seen some articles about the changes that the powerful leaders in the RNC pushed through during the convention in September.

All the conservatives were talking and writing about it--Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Morton Blackwell, Dudley Brown, and others.

They were writing about it because it was so destructive to our freedom and our chances at winning in the future.

The week before the convention started the Rules Committee met at the convention center to approve the rules that were sent to the convention by the RNC in the 4 years between this convention and last.

The Republican National Committee, in between conventions, is made up of all the state chairmen, the national committeemen, and the national committeewomen.

They convene, from time to time, as prescribed by the RNC Bylaws that govern the party-- for carrying out the business of the party between conventions.

They are small in number and make up what can be called the “Establishment” of the Republican Party.

Since the 2008 election until the 2012 Tampa Republican National Convention, the conservatives at the RNC have been advocating for rule changes that would restore power to the grassroots.

They would make our own Republican primary elections more open, transparent, and free for those of us who want to see conservatives advance-- rather than those who serve for solely political ends.

Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute and long-time Republican activist, was one of those who were advocating the changes to bring the Party toward more openness.

In fact, the RNC voted unanimously to approve the rules changes proposed by Blackwell and the other conservatives.

Before the convention, it was clear that Romney was going to win the nomination of the Republican Party, as the primaries had all been held.

So, the week before the convention, the Rules Committee began to deliberate the rules changes to adopt on the floor.

To the surprise and disgust of the conservatives, Attorney Ben Ginsburg, the Romney Campaign representative on the Rules Committee, began to introduce amendments.

These amendments repealed all the positive grassroots advancing changes made in the off-campaign years by the RNC.

The Rules Committee members went along with these changes in order to please the Romney campaign.

Enter Louis Pope--sources on the Rules Committee reported that Louis Pope voted every single time possible to do the will of the Romney campaign against the best interests of the grassroots conservatives.

Pope was personally thanked for his work on the rules changes from the convention dais by none-other than John Sununu who served as chairman of that committee.

Please go here and watch Sununu and Boehner ram this through (the shouts from the floor have been muffled in the tape, but you can see the anger on delegates faces).

When you click on the link, scroll down on the timeline. At 2:27:54 you will see Sununu’s photo, click on it and the tape should load at the correct place.

Sununu thanks Louis Pope of Maryland and then a lip-licking-deer-in-the-headlights Boehner is introduced to read the teleprompter.

Here is the link again to this video:

These rules changes were widely condemned by conservative leaders around the country.

See these links:

Morton Blackwell, President, Leadership Institute

Dudley Brown, National Association for Gun Rights Dudley Brown on 2012 RNC Change to Rules

Rush Limbaugh, National Conservative Talk Show Host

Sarah Palin, Former Alaska Governor and Tea Party leader, and Mark Levin, National Conservative Talk Show Host

After the Rules Committee had voted on Monday at the Convention, there was a final meeting of the Rules Committee on Tuesday-- where Morton Blackwell (and the rest of the Virginia Delegation) was kept from attending by a bus that seemed to get lost.

No floor fights have been allowed at the Republican national Convention since 1976, but we need to have conservative, independent, and committed national committeemen and women that have our interests in mind, not our “leaders” in the Party.

Bottom-up, not top-down.

Louis Pope acted as a hammer for the Republican Party Establishment-- doing whatever they demanded.

He served as the Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee and voted for the bad rules amendments every time he had the opportunity.

Louis Pope added his name to a “minority report“ that would have let the RNC delegates vote on the alternative “Grassroots-focused” rules-- simply so that he could later remove his name and stop the vote from being held.

It remains to be seen what Louis Pope will do now that he has no leader to direct his actions-- he is, in the words of Morton Blackwell, an “Establishment Hack” and currently “unattached sycophant”.

Pope is unencumbered by principles and we deserve better representation.

The Maryland Republican Party deserves better.

In order to remove Louis Pope and elect a National Committeeman who stands on principle instead of standing for nothing, we need to first remove him from office.

According to the most recent version of the Maryland Republican Party Constitution and bylaws, we must first give the Party membership 20 days written notice to remove him.

I propose that the Maryland Republican Central Committee deliberate over the role of the position of National Committeeman over the coming 6 months.

I propose that at the Spring Convention, we vote for removal and elect a National Committeeman with the grassroots at the top of his priorities, not his party bosses.

Per the latest version of our Party Bylaws, we must convince ⅔ of the Central Committee to remove an officer from office.

This is a high hurdle, but it can be done by spreading the word about Pope’s abuses.

Let’s talk over the coming months about the role of the National Committeeman in the Maryland Republican Party, and act at the Spring Convention.

For Liberty,

Patrick L. McGrady
Maryland Liberty PAC

P.S. In case you missed it, we are hosting a Maryland Liberty Caucus event at the MDGOP Convention.

The event will take place this Friday, November 30th at 6pm at the Turf Valley Hotel and Conference Center, 2700 Turf Valley Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.

Register here:

We look forward to seeing you at the MDGOP Fall Convention this weekend!



* * * * * * * *
from: Louis Pope
date: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM
subject: Response to Attack by Liberty Pack
Hi Everyone -  Yesterday, most all of you received a very slanderous e-mail from Patrick McGrady of the Maryland Liberty Pack which is part of the Ron Paul for President Organization, condemning me for my role on the RNC Rules Committee in Tampa.    This group and many similar Ron Paul organizations across the country, while calling themselves Republicans, pledged NOT to support the Republican Nominee unless that nominee was Ron Paul.  They said they would sit out the election and since several million fewer Republicans voted in 2012 than in 2008 it looks like they did exactly that.  It is obvious that they are still frustrated and want to bring down the mainstream conservatives in the GOP in and effort to install Ron Paul supporters.  Their slash and burn tactics are also being used in a number of other states.    Below is my response to the events regarding Rule 16 at the Rules Committee Meeting in Tampa.   I look forward to seeing you all tonight and tomorrow in Ellicott City -  All the Best,   Louis   
                Response to the Questions raised by the Liberty Pack

 Re:  Republican National Convention,  Rules Committee 

 The fight over the Rules Committee report was between the supporters of Ron Paul and the more mainstream Republicans at the Convention.   If you recall the Ron Paul supporters made attempts to disrupt and in some cases totally dominate GOP State Conventions across the country last Spring.   In several states police had to be called in to provide order to the proceedings.  

  The rules adopted at the RNC Convention provided a compromise solution to the issue that basically said the Delegates from each state would be apportioned and subsequently voted at the RNC Convention in relation how the actual voters voted in a Primary Election rather than at separate state conventions that could be dominate by a specific group like the Ron Paul supporters.

  In a number of states Paul supporters bussed in hundreds and hundreds of supporters and were able to overwhelm the local delegates and proceedings and elect Delegates to the RNC Convention favorable to Ron Paul rather than selecting Delegates in proportion to how the actual Voters had voted for Presidential nominees at the Polls in that state.   Needless to say, when the Rules were adopted at the RNC Convention to prevent such cases in the future that circumvented the will of the actual voting public, the Paul supporters became very angry, belligerent and said they would do everything possible to bring down those on the Rules Committee who supported the compromise on Rule 16. 

  The final vote on the Rules Committee for adoption was overwhelming in favor of supporting the will of the voters rather than allowing Paul supporters to later dominate a state convention by sheer numbers of people attending that convention meeting.  I do not remember the exact vote total for the Compromise Resolution at the Rules Committee but it was something like  82-17.      I guess as a member of the RNC and as Vice Chairman of that Rules Committee I make a suitable target for their anger.  I did support the compromise as well as the overwhelming majority of Delegates from 50 states plus the Territories  but believe the action was correct to respect the Will of the actual voters at the polls, which is the most broad based consensus of Republicans in determining the ultimate party nominee.  

   I am happy to provide more information to anyone interested or even transcripts of what happened at the Rules Committee meetings in Tampa.   The RNC Rules Committee was democratically elected with two members from each state and territory and met on three days  in Tampa in accordance with the rules like any other legislative or deliberative body.   Ideas or amendments are proposed, debated and voted on and it is majority rule, however, in this case the vote was not even close.  The final vote on the compromise was overwhelming 4 to 1 in favor of supporting the broad based Compromise Resolution.   The Rules as amended were later adopted by the full RNC Convention

Louis M. Pope
Republican National
Committeeman for Maryland
RNC Vice Chairman

* * * * * * * * *
from: Hank Piasecki
date: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM
subject: Re: Response to Attack by Liberty Pack

Dear Louis,

As a member of the Kent County Republican Central Committee and an activist in the Republican Party I was very disappointed by the actions of some in our ranks at the Tampa convention with regards to Rule 16. And with all due respect I am subsequently equally disappointed in your characterization of the matter as a whole. The fight over Rule 16 in Tampa was by no means simply a fight between "supporters of Ron Paul" and "more mainstream Republicans". 

As I'm certain you are aware, the rule sought to change the GOP presidential electoral process at a fundamental level; removing power from state conventions and GOP primary voters to elect delegates to the national convention. And further granting power to national-level party members at the RNC to remove and replace delegates at their discretion. 

This rule was not just opposed by "supporters of Ron Paul", but by long-time Republican activist, Reagan official, and Rules Committee member Morton Blackwell as well as other "mainstream Republicans" such as Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin and the grassroots organization FreedomWorks run by former House leader Dick Armey. Blackwell summed it up with these words: "What happened regarding the party rules in Tampa was a totally unnecessary – but largely successful – attempt to concentrate and centralize more power at the top of the party and restrict or shut off opportunities for power in the party to flow from the bottom up." 
I implore you to please read your colleague Morton Blackwell's entire letter to fellow delegates of the 2012 Tampa convention: more analysis of it by Congressman Armey's FreedomWorks:

I certainly hope that you, as our national committeeman, will do all in your power to join with Mr. Blackwell and others who wish to protect the integrity of the GOP presidential process in future disputes over this matter. We must protect our ability as members of state party's and as GOP primary voters to send the delegates to these conventions that represent our wishes, not the wishes of party bosses at the RNC. 

I should note that I am a mainstream conservative Republican and was a delegate candidate for Senator Rick Santorum, not Congressman Paul. My opposition to Rule 16 and your characterization of it stems from my growing concern over the future of our party and its ability to function in a way beholden to its conservative (not Libertarian) base and in keeping with the principles that built it. Please keep this in mind as you represent us on the national level.

Best regards,

Hank Piasecki
Kent County Republican Central Committee

More below the fold.

Mooney Spent MDGOP Resources on Candidate Who Left Party After Winning Election

According to a report in the Cecil Times blog, Cecil County’s newly elected, County Executive, Tari Moore changed her party affiliation on Thursday afternoon from Republican to unaffiliated.  

Moore is Cecil County’s first ever executive under the new charter government, approved by voters in 2010.

Moore sent an email to the Cecil Times stating:

"Today I filed with the County Board of Elections to change my voter affiliation to one who is unaffiliated with any political party.
"I have done so only after long and careful consideration, and because I believe that the best interests of all Cecil County citizens should outweigh my own personal preferences in this matter.”
An official with the Cecil County Board of Elections confirmed Moore's switch.

Moore stated she would explain her party switch after she is sworn in on Monday.
During the election, the Maryland Republican Party sent a mailer officially supporting Moore and two other candidates for county council, Robert Hodge and Alan McCarthy.
Moore is vacating her seat on the current board of commissioners to take the county executive spot.  Under the new charter government, the county council would select Moore's replacement from a list of three names provided by the Cecil County Republican Central Committee.  However, Moore's switch to unaffiliated creates some controversy.  

The new county charter requires the county council to appoint a replacement by majority vote, and if the member vacating the office is a member of a political party, then the council must select from a list of three candidates provided by that party's central committee.  Moore's switch cuts out the Cecil County Republican Central Committee out the process.  Also, as explained by the Cecil Times factional politics in the council would most likely result in a deadlocked vote on Moore's replacement.  Then, according, the the charter, if the council does not appoint a replacement within thirty days, Moore as county executive would get to name her replacement.  Given her switch to unaffiliated, there is no guarantee Moore would select a Republican to replace her. 

Andy Harris, Nancy Jacobs, and several conservative and Republican organizations all endorsed Moore during the primary.
Congratulations Alex Mooney, you spent state party resources supporting a candidate who ended up leaving the Republican party, and embarrassing a lot of people, after she was elected, losing what would have been a Republican controlled county government. 

Looks like Mooney found a way to snatch defeat from one of the rare victories Republicans could claim this election cycle. 

MDGOP Cecil County Mailer

More below the fold.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Red Maryland Radio: 11/29/2012

It was another must-listen episode of Red Maryland Radio this week.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

On the show:

  • Another look at this weekend's Maryland Republican Party convention and the future of Chairman Alex Mooney.
  • We discuss the Change Maryland report about DBED and job creation.
  • We'll also be discussing the results of the recent Red Maryland gubernatorial poll, which saw Dan Bongino outpace other potential Republican candidates.
All that and more this week. Be sure to listen every Thursday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes

More below the fold.

Red Maryland Radio tonight

Join Greg Kline and I for another big episode of Red Maryland Radio coming at you tonight  at 8 PM only on the Red Maryland Network.

On this week's show we continue discussion of this week's Maryland Republican Party convention and the future of Chairman Alex Mooney.

We'll also be discussing the results of the recent Red Maryland gubernatorial poll, which saw Dan Bongino outpace other potential Republican candidates.

All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network

More below the fold.

Making a case for real job growth in Maryland

As we have discussed many times on this blog, while the Maryland Democrat machine likes to brag about the rosy jobs picture in Maryland the truth is Maryland private sector job growth lags behind many of our neighbors and our state's economy is precariously dependent upon government hiring, especially from the federal government.  Few of us doubt that a day of reckoning is coming where unsustainable federal spending will be curtailed.  When this happens, Maryland will need to rely on its private sector or face even more staggering unemployment.

With this grim future in mind, our friends over at Change Maryland have a new report suggesting real solutions regarding increasing private sector job growth in Maryland and common sense proposals to making Maryland more attractive to businesses. You can read the whole report here.

As Change Maryland founder Larry Hogan notes one of the main problems with Maryland's efforts at economic development is that Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) is dysfunctional and "instead of attracting jobs, our economic development effort mission creeps into a marketing function for the Governor".

The Change Maryland proposals focus on reforming DBED in three critical areas: 1) Increase Transparency; 2) Measure Internal Performance and 3) Reorganize to Attract Jobs.  Among the specific recommendations the group suggests: the state honestly report economic conditions rather than cherry pick economic data (a source of previous contentions between Change Maryland and the Governor); simplify the Maryland StateStat reporting for DBED operations to make it more accessible to the wider business community; and reorganize the staff at DBED which currently has twice as many employees involved in "marketing and communications" than in "business development".

Again, I urge you to visit the Change Maryland website and read this report in its entirety.

When you do, you will see common sense policy solutions to a real and looming problem in our state.  This is not a partisan problem and the solutions proposed are not partisan either.  It is refreshing to see intelligent ideas that can solve Maryland's problems.  Too bad those in control in Annapolis are beyond such petty concerns.

But 2014 is coming.

More below the fold.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Red Maryland Network Live Show from MDGOP Convention

The Red Maryland Network will be broadcasting live from the Strategic Victory Consulting hospitality suite at the MDGOP Convention this Friday Night.

Jimmy Braswell, Brian Griffiths, Greg Kline, Andrew Langer, Andi Mornoy, and Mark Newgent will live on the air with our friend Hillary Foster Pennington from Strategic Victory Consulting.

This event will be THE place to be Friday night. 

We'll be interviewing special guests like Dan Bongino  and other elected officials.

Free food and drink.  

What: Red Maryland Network Live from MDGOP
When: Friday November 30, 9pm
Where: Turf Valley, 2700 Turf Valley Rd. Ellicott City MD, Room 707 

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page

More below the fold.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Accountability for State Speed Camera Contractor at SHA

Another negative legislative audit of the Maryland State Highway Administration found that the agency failed to ensure proper benchmarks were set for the state’s speed camera program for highway work zones, the wining speed camera contractor’s bid did not comply with certain request for proposal requirements, and tests of the speed camera monitoring system’s accuracy were not as comprehensive as SHA intended.

The audit also revealed additional serious problems at SHA.  The agency failed to properly calculate the maximum value of architectural and engineering contracts submitted for approval by the Board of Public Works, used contract fund balances to pay for work outside the scope of those contracts without BPW approval, extended contracts without BPW approval, and a SHA management employee managed a $5 million consulting contract with a firm where his spouse was a senior executive.

This is another damning audit for an already beleaguered agency, part of the Maryland Department of Transportation.  Earlier this month the Office of Legislative Audits released a report detailing how the MDOT Secretary’s office skirted state procurement laws.

According to the audit the speed camera pilot program called for benchmarks to evaluate contractor performance, however no benchmarks were established, such as the reliability and readability of photographed violations.  Between October 2009 and June 2010 the system recorded 133, 620 violations, yet only 44 percent of those were issued citations because SHA deemed them unreadable.

SHA awarded the operator of the pilot system the contract for the full Maryland SafeZone Program.  The pilot contractor was the only bidder in the RFP process.  However, the contractor’s proposal was not in compliance with the RFP requirements.  Specifically the audit cited:

At the time of the contract award and as of April 2012, the specific speed detection equipment (scanning LIDAR, a laser system) listed in the contractor’s proposal, and ultimately used, was not reported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as conforming to its guidelines, as required by the RFP. The contract required that all equipment conform with IACP’s speed detection equipment standards to provide assurance of its calibration and functionality. We were advised by a member of the IACP, who was also a SHA consultant, that the scanning laser technology used was new and that IACP had not yet developed performance standards by which the system could be judged. The October 26, 2009 RFP required that the proposed equipment record a legible image of the violating vehicle’s rear license plate 95 percent of the time, regardless of the time of day, environmental conditions, or vehicle positioning. However, in May 2010, during the bid evaluation process, this measure was changed to 90 percent, and we were advised by SHA management personnel that this was the result of the contractor asserting that it was unable to meet the 95 percent legibility measure.
Prior to awarding the contract, SHA used a consulting firm to conduct a system accuracy test of the contractor’s proposed equipment in an active highway work zone. However, the consulting firm deviated from SHA’s testing instructions and therefore, the basis for the conclusion that the equipment met performance requirements is questionable. For example, SHA directed the consulting firm to have test vehicles perform 40 test runs in which the contractor’s speed measuring equipment would be compared to two independent radars, one which was inside and one which was outside the vehicle. However, the consulting firm only conducted 18 test runs and only reported the results of 8 of those runs. Moreover, five of those eight reported runs were made using vehicles lacking independent interior radar, so the results could only be measured against one independent radar, rather than two as planned. Nevertheless, the consulting firm stated that the observed results fell within acceptable standards, and SHA’s technical evaluation team gave an overall “good” ranking of the contractor for the applicable bid evaluation attribute. SHA could not provide a reasonable explanation or documentation regarding why the tests were considered sufficient.

The report also found that the speed camera monitoring system did not undergo an independent calibration test as required by law, until nine months after the system began operations.

Read the full report below.  


More below the fold.