Saturday, August 31, 2013

We Do Get Letters

For those who listened to this week's Red Maryland Radio (and we know many of you did listen) you heard us discuss a response we received regarding my article on MDGOP Chairman Diana Waterman's actions with regard to the District 36 vacancy.  If you missed it, you can listen below:

Below is the full exchange between myself and Wicomico County GOP Central Committee Chair David Parker.  It is emblematic of the arguments made by the critics of our reporting and the level of discourse of those who are supporting the Chairman. Judge for yourself and please share your feedback with us.

Greg, I don't know where you're getting your information from, but I've heard directly from Diana.  Nealy everything you said below contradicts what she told me.  She had NOT attempted to pressure anyone into supporting a particular candidate for Pipkin's seat.  She did NOT call anyone 12 times in one day in such an attempt.  She has NOT inserted herself into the process.

I've known and worked with Diana for several years.  To my knowledge she's never lied to me.  Who told you differently?  Do you actually have somebody saying this to you?

You are doing an incredible disservice to the MDGOP by this sort of public attack, full as it is of misinformation, and I'm afraid, complete fabrications.  If you hut bave witnesses to some of what you claim, tell me who they are so that I can talk to them directly.  But publicly undermining the chair of the MDGOP only benefits the Dems.  Don't you realize that?  Or don't you care?    

Dave Parker
Chair, Wicomico County Republican Central Committee

Mr. Parker,

I recognize that you are a long time close friend of Chairman Waterman.  Your reaction is as unsurprising as it is disappointing.  I do have multiple witnesses who are every bit as credible as yourself or Chairman Waterman who have related the information in my story.  Many of the facts they related to me are corroborated by other reporting. So your histrionics are out of place.  I also spoke with Diana.  I told her I was doing a story and I asked her to comment on the record about whether she has advocated on behalf of any candidate.  She categorically denied this and I posted her denial verbatim.  I took her denial back to my sources who rebutted her claims with additional facts beyond those I reported.  

While your personal relationship blinds you to an objective view, I have reviewed the contradictory facts and the surrounding circumstances. Chairman Waterman has personally admitted 1) she still thinks of herself as a member of the QA central committee 2) she spoke with central committee members about the "pros and cons" of specific candidates and 3) that she spoke with Ms. Dietz after her recantation. This alone is questionable conduct by someone asserting strict neutrality. 

But the facts go much further.  Ms. Dietz stated publicly before 20 witnesses that she was pressured to vote for Audrey Scott and was misled about Ms. Scott's views on the issues.  That is not in dispute.  Three witnesses stated to me that Ms. Dietz identified Chairman Waterman as the source of the misinformation and pressure. 

Of course, Chairman Waterman denies this but if you allowed yourself to view this objectively you would see, as many do, that Ms. Dietz's story makes much more sense than the Chairman's.  Multiple sources have reported that the Chairman has advocated on behalf of Ms. Scott, including other candidates in the process.  

You would have to believe that Ms. Dietz lied before a room full of people and to my sources in pointing out Chairman Waterman in order to believe Chairman Waterman.  On the other hand, Ms. Dietz's story is consistent with the facts that are undisputed.

I recognize logic may be lost on you in this but nothing I have written was done lightly or without the facts to back it up.  My sources don't want to speak on the record precisely because they know that people like yourself would attack them.  They are not enemies of Chairman Waterman, just the opposite. They are respectable members of our party who feel that the truth needs to see the light of day and they trust me as someone to expose it.

As to your insistence that this only helps the democrats, this "dirty laundry" lament is tired.  The simple fact is that Chairman Waterman is lying to us both by saying that she was neutral in these proceedings.  Her denials are demonstrably false.  People like yourself don't care about the truth or the dirty laundry which exists in our party, you simply want to silence people like myself willing to expose it.  Chairman Waterman's actions have directly contributed to the bad blood and dissension (and yes there are plenty of others to share that blame) that is part and parcel of this current debacle.  That is what helps our opponents.

I recognize that this message is a waste of time and nothing I could ever say to you would move you from your belief that I am the enemy but I respect you enough to respond in detail in the undeniably vain hope that you may think a bit more critically.

Greg Kline

Greg, I assure you that I will consider all of the evidence (if I'm given an opportunity to do so).  However, in my experience, those who attempt to remain anonymous often do so not because they are afraid of what will happen to them, but rather because they have stretched, twisted, or manufactured what they state as being true.  My questioning what they are alleged to have said is hardly an attack, but if that reflects the fragility of their opinions, I find it hard to believe them.  "People like me" are
not "the enemy" - unless we are forced to be.  If asking questions scares people, then my assumption is that they are less than truthful.

What is "reported" is not necessary factual, and in fact is all-too-often the opposite.  I consider both the report as well as the one reporting before I decide if truth has emerged.    

"Airing dirty laundry" may be tired, but that doesn't make it useful or helpful.  In fact, as in this case, it is very often destructive.  I have repeatedly learned that anonymous allegations are almost always false, and I simple cannot accept such allegations at face value - or believe them.  People of character do not fear to express themselves; liars hide behind the words of others.  Spreading such allegations damages everyone involved.  

Finally, accusing anyone of lying, as you have done, is really questionable - unless one can cross-examine the conflicting witnesses.  Moreover it makes the accuser more likely to believe whatever led to that conclusion, making additional evidence get ignored.  Until I can talk to people directly involved, I'll withhold judgement about the veracity of the things you've reported.  In the meantime I'll continue to trust people who have been honest with me before.  Everything you've reported could easily be exaggerations and misinterpretations, not reality - particularly when those making the claims are not doing so openly.  I do not trust people who are unwilling to answer questions - period.  And I do not allow others to interpret reality for me, expecting me to adopt their views.  If that makes "people like me" frightening, so be it.


Dave Parker
Chair, Wicomico County Republican Central Committee

Mr. Parker,

In my experience, those who wish to remain anonymous often do have the truth of what is going on, especially in our party.  You know full well the extraordinary efforts made to keep so many things about our party a secret.  My sources may go public if they choose but they are credible people.

Your response only demonstrates everything I said.  Nothing in your response correlates the facts as I outlined them.  Nothing rebuts them.  You simply dismiss the sources in my story out of hand and assume they are lying because they did not go public. Is Ms. Dietz a liar in your mind as well? Your response is not the considered explanation of the facts that I outlined for you.  It is the emotional reaction of someone who has made up their mind and refuses to change it.

Greg Kline

More below the fold.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Maryland's Medicaid Information Technology Vendor Under Federal Investigation

Several Maryland agencies are doing business with a Gaithersburg Information technology firm that is under a federal grand jury investigation in Louisiana, was disqualified from bidding contracts in Arkansas, and booted out of Maine.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Client Network Services Inc., based out of Gaithersburg, is under a federal grand jury investigation into its $200 million contract to overhaul Louisiana’s Medicaid Information Technology systems.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal cancelled the contract in March, after the state began its own investigation.

CNSI is an information technology and business outsourcing firm with federal, state and private industry clients.  The Baltimore Business Journal notes that CNSI is a subcontractor on Maryland’s $297 million contract with Computer Sciences Corporation, to restructure Maryland’s Medicaid IT systems.

According to the Tribune:

In January, Louisiana received a subpoena from a federal grand jury requesting documents related to its contract with CNSI. 
Meanwhile, the state had been conducting its own investigation into the deal, and it found that then-Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, a former CNSI vice president, exchanged "hundreds of telephone calls and thousands of text messages" with the company throughout the bidding and award process, according to a letter sent to CNSI's attorney from Sandra Gillen, Louisiana's director of state purchasing. 
The state's procurement rules "expressly prohibited" those communications, which "created an unfair advantage to CNSI and prevented the fair, impartial and free competition among all" companies that sought the contract, Gillen said in the letter. 
Greenstein resigned a week after the federal probe was revealed, state officials said. He denied any wrongdoing. 
Further, CNSI vastly underbid the contract in order to capture the winning submission, then came back to the state months later requesting an additional $40 million, which would have placed CNSI's bid in the ballpark of competitors, state officials said. CNSI is suing Louisiana for breach of contract.

After extensive background checks, Arkansas procurement officials removed CNSI from the bidding process on its Medicaid IT system for being “a non-responsible” vendor.  

In a letter to CNSI dated Aug. 9, Jane Benton, director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, said the state collected "significant unfavorable information" about the company from other states contacted during mandatory reference checks. 
Benton highlighted a conversation with Jason Stewart, a project director for Utah's Medicaid management information system, who "gave less than a wholly favorable review" of CNSI's performance in its first few months setting up a new processing system in Utah. 
Stewart told Arkansas officials "there had already been 'slippages on deliverables' and that his office regularly had to 'push' CNSI to remain on schedule," Benton said in the letter.
Maine officials bemoaned CNSI’s work in their state.  “When the switch got turned on, everything crashed,” a former official with Maine’s health department told the Tribune.
Not long after the system went live more than 600,000 Medicaid claims were suspended, costing the state $500 million.
According to the Baltimore Business Journal, Maryland Health Department officials are monitoring the Louisiana case, but stated they have no concerns about CNSI’s ability to develop Maryland’s Medicaid IT system. “Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Charles Milligan told the BBJ,  CNSI continues to the best company to develop these systems.”

Milligan did note that the roll out date for the new Medicaid system—originally scheduled for October 201--will be delayed three months to January 2015.

While the CNSI boasts 10 state agencies as clients, the Maryland Funding and Accountability Database only lists two contracts.  According to the database CNSI has a $2.1 million contract with the State Highway Administration, and a $650,000 contract with the Maryland Port Administration.

  • Maryland Aviation Administration
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Maryland Department of Human Services
  • Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation
  • Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Maryland Office of Health Care Quality
  • Maryland Office of Traffic and Safety
  • Maryland Port Administration
  • Maryland State Retirement Agency
  • Maryland Transportation Authority

More below the fold.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Red Maryland Radio: 8/29/2013

Technical issues didn't stop us from bringing you another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week:

On this week's show:
  • We discuss our endorsements in the Frederick City Elections
  • Delegate Mike Hough joined us to discuss is experience going through the appointment process and his support for Special Elections to replace the current process.
  • Then, Greg and I will discuss all of the events of the last week in the Maryland Republican Party, include the responses Greg and I have received from his Monday and my Tuesday pieces regarding the District 36 vacancy crisis.
This is why you can't afford to miss Red Maryland Radio each and 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 and I tonight as we bring you another huge episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8.
On tonight's show:
  • At 8:05, Delegate Mike Hough will join us to discuss current events in the Republican Party and his re-election campaign.
  • Then, Greg and I will discuss all of the events of the last week in the Maryland Republican Party, include the responses Greg and I have received from his Monday and my Tuesday pieces regarding the District 36 vacancy crisis.
All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network.

More below the fold.

In Maryland, Welfare Increases and Taxpayers Leave

Two reports one, from the CATO Institute, the other from the Tax Foundation show that in Maryland welfare benefits have increased while taxpayers have fled.

In their study The Work Versus Welfare Tradeoff: 2013, CATO scholars Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes calculated state-level welfare benefits, and found that in Maryland a welfare recipient is eligible to receive benefits totaling $35, 672, an increase of $6,200 since 1995. That ranks Maryland 10th highest in the nation.  

Tanner noted, in a Baltimore Sun oped that to make her family better off than that, a mother of two would have to earn more than $18.35 per hour. 

Tanner and Hughes conclude that people taking advantage of these welfare benefits are acting rationally to the incentives provided by policy makers, which make welfare more attractive than work.

Taxpayers are rational actors as well and they respond to incentives—and disincentives.  The Tax Foundation published a map showing migration of personal income between the states from 2000-2010.  Maryland ranked 43rd, losing $5.5 billion in net adjusted gross income.  Maryland taxpayers see the low income tax (in some cases no income tax) burden of other states and leave, taking their money with them. 

Not coincidently Maryland’s chief source of revenue comes from the state income tax.  Another Tax Foundation map shows Maryland ranks second in the nation for income tax as a percentage for all state and local revenue.

The migration numbers suggest that it's not just the rich leaving for easier tax burdens, but the middle class as well, much like all the ex Californians, these former Free Staters are refugees from Maryland's war on itself. 

The term "One Maryland" is a typical trope in Governor O'Malley's rhetoric.  However, under his policies and that of the state's one-party Democratic rulers, that are causing the exodus, we are seeing an increasingly bifurcated state--Two Marylands--the very rich and the very poor.  

More below the fold.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Red Maryland Endorsements: Frederick City Elections

One of the events that we have talked about extensively, both in the written word here on the blog as well as on the shows of the Red Maryland Network has been the importance of local elections that are taking place in two of our larger cities this year,  Annapolis and Frederick. We have documented at some length the situation in Annapolis, but the situation in Frederick has been extremely inspiring and gives us great optimism for the future of the party in the city and in Frederick County.

This year, Frederick is fortunate that there are three candidates running for Mayor as well as seven candidates running for five spots on the Board of Alderman.

Mayor: Incumbent Mayor Randy McClement is being challenged in the primary but his predecessor, Jeff Holtzinger, as well as current Alderman Shelley Aoli. We are confident that whoever wins this primary will mount a strong bid to keep the seat in Republican hands; however Red Maryland will not endorse any of the candidates in the Republican primary.

Alderman: As we mentioned, there are seven Republicans running in the primary for five spots on the general election ballot. It has been refreshing to see so many active, competent, and credible candidates who are seeking these positions on the Board of Alderman. Often, city council-type positions in smaller cities do not necessarily attract the caliber of candidates that are currently running in this primary. Even more heartening is the fact that a majority of the candidates are Young Republicans (many affiliated with the Western Maryland Young Republican club) in a party that often eschews younger candidates for “experienced” war horses.

One of the most important things that contributes to potential success in Frederick is the idea of planning and preparation that was put in place by the Republican Club of Frederick County and the candidates. As Dave Schmidt told Greg Kline on the July 10th episode of Red Maryland Election Focus there is a focus on data, on a permanent campaign, and what is called “insert your name” politics in order to build a perpetual conservative organization, something that is virtually nonexistent anywhere else in the Maryland Republican Party.

While we believe that any combination of the candidates will form an effective opposition and provide us with an opportunity to control the Board of Alderman, we do believe that five candidates in particular will make the best team for Republicans both in the general election and on the Board of Alderman. This team embodies many of the qualities that we seek in candidates and leaders here in Red Maryland:

  • A fiscally responsible, small-government approach to leadership;
  • Personal responsibility;
  • Responsible political organizing and preparation, including knocking on doors;
  • Outreach to younger voters;
  • Grassroots Activism and a focus on direct voter contact
  • Embracing new ideas and new strategies, including working effectively with the new media
With that in mind, Red Maryland is proud to endorse the following candidates for Frederick Alderman:

The primary is in thirteen days, so you still have plenty of time to help these candidates out before the primary, and there will be plenty of time to help our Republican nominees between now and the General Election on November 5th.

You can also relive all of their appearances on Red Maryland Network programming:
Katie Nash will be appearing on this Saturday's edition of Red Maryland Election Focus, only on the Red Maryland Network.

More below the fold.

Conservatives take over O'Malley Hashtag

Governor O'Malley wanted Marylanders to ask questions about Maryland's progress in job creation using the #MDResults tag . So Red Maryland and Change Maryland did as he asked.......

The administration, doing what they do best. Particularly appropriate for Scoop the Poop day commemorations...

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Guest Post: Guns n' Bloggers

Note: This guest post originally appeared on the blog of The Casale Group.

Blogger outreach needs to be a vital part of any campaign.
I know there are many who still view bloggers as nothing more than internet nerds who sit in their mother’s basement eating Cheetos, and while that is generally true (though I’m more of a Funyons guy), they still represent a vital resource for anyone – especially any Republican – who is looking to run for office.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a Republican, especially in a state like New York, is that the media for the most part shall we say expounds an opposing worldview from us. If a candidate wants to submit and Op/Ed, it’s edited and sanitized by an editorial staff who is voting for the opponent. And that says nothing about how expensive the media market is in the first place.
Blogs and bloggers? We just press the “publish” button and it goes straight to the people.
And while we already have a friendly audience built in waiting to hear from us and to share what a candidate has to say, I’ll let you in on a blogger’s little secret – we’re all on listservs and in groups with other bloggers who have their own friendly audience, and we all look to share each other’s work.
Here’s a real time example that happened recently. Walden Mayor Brian Maher ran for NY Assembly last year (disclaimer: he’s a TCG client, as well as being one of my boys). An issue came up because, what no one was aware of at the time, Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun group was using his name to promote his agenda. He wasn’t a member of the group – never mind the fact that he’s not anti-gun and supports the 2nd Amendment – but he had signed a petition from years earlier about wanting to keep the streets safe, and they were using his name for that. It wound up causing an issue in the campaign.
About a month ago, as stories started coming out about how Bloomberg’s anti-gun group operates; Brian wanted an outlet to tell his side of the story. Instead of trying to pitch the story to media outlets, who are as anti-gun as Bloomberg, I suggested a conservative blog with whom I work.
The response from it has been overwhelming. Here’s a quick review of what has happened with it so far:
  • Misfit Politics published Brian’s post.
  • Brian posted the link on his Facebook page.
  • Two local papers saw the link and wrote stories about it.
  • Those links get posted on the Facebook pages of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association… and the NRA itself.
  • NRA News decided to spend two days with Brian to do a feature.
All this occurred because of a blog post in which the author was able to say what he wanted to say without the mainstream media filter.
Granted, this example is more of a “perfect storm” where there was an issue that a lot of people were passionate about. If he wrote something about local municipalities and mandate relief, I’m suspicious of the reaction being similar. They key is matching the right issue with the right audience.
Doing that is a lot easier if you take blogger outreach seriously beforehand.
John Brodigan is the Social Media Assassin for The Casale Group, a political consulting company in New York. He is a member of the team at FTR Radio and  Misfit Politics. You can follow him on Twitter @brodigan or visit his website to learn more.

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“I Have a Dream:" a Great Speech Reflecting Basic American Values

“I Have a Dream:" a Great Speech Reflecting Basic American Values

--Richard E. Vatz

     Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered 50 years ago to an estimated 250,000 supporters (whenever figures are so round, one may infer that they are at best within 20% either way) at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was to many "the most important speech of the 20th century."  I would argue it was not the most important, since many speeches for ill may have been more consequential, but it was the best written and delivered speech in that century for the good of humankind.

     It was a brilliant speech which honored traditional American values – it praises Abraham Lincoln and The Emancipation Proclamation; it opposes violence -- and made the case that the United States’ treatment of African-Americans (“Negroes,” per the time period) was indefensibly inconsistent with those values.

     It was brilliantly delivered, which makes an enormous difference regarding a speech’s lasting power and influence (pay attention, Governor Bobby Jindal).  As I have watched the speech on tape and in DVDs over the years, the powerful cadences -- falling inflections and rising crescendos – are perfect throughout the address for communicating the moment of the speech.

     The speech honors America but points out the unequal treatment of black Americans cannot be reconciled with the ostensible values of a great America – “It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

     It attacks persecution of Black Americans and the horrendous police brutality that was all-too-frequent in that period.

      Rev. King realizes the short half-life of speeches and marches must not allow for gradualism or beliefs that the “Negro [just] need[s] to blow off steam…[the nation cannot return to] business as usual.”  Indeed, the subsequent passage of The Civil Rights of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was directly attributable to the movement and this speech.

     The speech’s most memorable line reflects an inarguable philosophy in a free country: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It ends with an impassioned encomium to freedom, the basis for equality in America, from “the old Negro spiritual, Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
     A great speech; the greatest of the 20th century.  The inequality in 1963 was real, and the solutions were realistic.

     But they needed a great leader and a great speech, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. provided such leadership and the impressive speech of the age.


Professor Vatz teaches Persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012, 2013)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Where is the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance on This?

Yesterday I talked about the Maryland Liberty PAC and the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance sending robocalls and messages into District 36 Central Committee members about certain various votes. As I mentioned, the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance in particular hammered Delegate Steve Hershey for what they allege is his failure to sponsor the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

But what they don't talk about is 2011's Family Planning Works Act, House Bill 778. Here's the synopsis of the bill from the General Assembly website:

Altering the eligibility requirements for family planning services under the Maryland Medical Assistance Program by requiring the Program to provide those services beginning on January 1, 2012, to all women whose family income is at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, as permitted by federal law.
To put it more bluntly, the law (which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor O'Malley) required the Program to pay for all family planning services, including abortions, for women whose income was 200% of the poverty line or lower. According to the fiscal note, the bill would increase state spending for family planning including abortions by $11.8 M from FY2012-FY2016.

The sponsor of the bill was Delegate Heather Mizeur, left-wing Montgomery County Democrat and candidate for Governor. The co-sponsor of the bill was Delegate Mike Smigiel.

What's even more bizarre about all of this is that on the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance website there is a link that urges visitors to sign a pledge to "End Taxpayer Funding for Abortion in Maryland." Yet the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance is speaking in favor of appointing Delegate Mike Smigiel (who sponsored this aforementioned bill) to the State Senate while attacking Delegate Steve Hershey for being pro-life enough even though Hershey voted against the abortion funding bill that Smigiel co-sponsored.

The inconsistency of the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance is another very, very sad chapter on what has already been a demonstrably vicious appointment process.

More below the fold.

The Broadside 8-26-13

It was all District 36 on The Broadside last night.

  • MDGOP Chair, Diana Waterman's failed leadership, and lobbying for Audrey Scott.
  • The Queen Anne's County re-vote.
  • A debate on special elections to fill vacancies.
  • Rep. Andy Harris' involvement.
  • Steve Hershey vs. Mike Smigiel: Is the conventional wisdom right?

The Broadside and all Red Maryland Network shows are available through Itunes.

More below the fold.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Is Pro-Smigiel Full Court Press Backfiring?

It's always dangerous to go into full press mode over something about an appointment, but it seems like the full court press  in District 36 backfired.

A lot of this started from the full court press the Maryland Liberty PAC has undertaken, urging their members to call on their members to call and email members of the Caroline and Kent County Central Committees to voice their disapproval to the "establishment" pick, first of Audrey Scott, and now Steve Hershey. The Maryland Pro-Life Alliance (which also seems to share email lists, formatting, and web design with the Maryland Liberty PAC) also went into hyperbolic overdrive also attacking Hershey as well.

It seems like that outreach is not working out the way that they have wanted to do. Emails forwarded to me on the condition of anonymity have included the following responses from some Central Committee members in two counties:

Apparently, people were calling and emailing their Republican Committee representatives in Caroline and Kent counties. It is my understanding that these people represent the republicans in their respective counties. These are the responses that they were receiving... Thought you might like to know. 
I to have had the same calls and e-mails. I am tired of all of them. The pressure is from the Smigiel people. Just stop, you have soured my consideration on him. Antics like this gives the political process a bad name and ill will. I had somewhat supported Smigiel before, now I question his motives for power. Having someone call or e-mail me who I do not know or have met once will not influence my choice except to turn me off for good.  Just leave us alone.
Another message:
I am very frustrated with all of the solicitations I am receiving in regards to the vacancy, both by phone and by email. My fellow committee members may feel free to correct me if they have experienced something different than myself, but I would like to clarify that the only outside pressure I have received is from anti-Audrey and pro-Smigiel parties. Every email has stated or implied that the establishment has put pressure on us. The establishment has said NOTHING to us. I would appreciate it if everyone would keep their hypocritical comments to themselves. (Hypocritical because you are exerting outside pressure in response to different outside pressure that doesn't even exist.) Thank you.
Take this for what it's worth, but that seems to be the situation on the ground right now in District 36 and that Central Committee members are not taking kindly to these sort of tactics. 

Between the pressure being put on folks to select Audrey Scott, the involvement of the Andy Harris operation, and the series of machinations that the pro-Smigiel camp (including declaration of a decision without a vote following Audrey Scott's withdrawal) has gone through to get this seat, nobody has distinguished themselves as particularly honorable during this selection process.

More below the fold.