Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Special Classic Red Maryland Radio



A special treat for Thanksgiving, a classic edition of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8pm. Originally broadcast in August 2008 this is the hosts' favorite show from its original run on WAMD.
In the first segment, Greg Kline and Brian Griffiths discuss proposed changes to the drinking age.
Then in the main event, the guys discuss the favorite songs of Barack Obama and John McCain and then give a list of their favorites. Keen political insight with pop culture humor and just a touch of chop busting.


Classic Goodness, just for you. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at the Red Maryland network.


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Happy Thanksgiving from Red Maryland


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red Maryland Radio 11-27-2013



A special Wednesday Episode of Red Maryland Radio. We will discuss this past weekend's Maryland Republican Party convention. Brian and Greg have a heated discussion of the recently defeated resolution regarding this proposal.  Finally a discussion of how political correctness is infiltrating the NFL and what we love and hate about Thanksgiving.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Missed Opportunity

This past weekend's Maryland Republican Party convention was dominated by Larry Hogan's announcement of his intention to run for Governor of Maryland. Lost in the excitement, the assembled central committee members from around the state debated a non-binding resolution calling on the MDGOP to withdraw its support for elected officials who have been "convicted and incarcerated".

In an era where so many voters view all politicians as corrupt and often eschew associating with any political party, there is a great opportunity for a political party to set itself apart by demanding a basic standard of conduct from those who hold the public trust. Maryland is a state with a one-party machine and a rich history of every type of political corruption from Tiffany Alston to Sheila Dixon to Jack Johnson to Tommy Bromwell to Larry Young, well you get the idea. Voters here are desperate for some political party to put integrity, basic honesty and decency over partisan advantage or the maintenance of raw political power.

For the full story, visit www.baltimoresun.com/redmaryland


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Lollar Webmaster Behind Anonymous MD Watch Smear Site

Over the past several weeks, Red Maryland has been the subject of ludicrous attacks by an anonymous smear site called MD Watch. 

The site has accused us of being paid by Senator Steve Hershey to “disrupt, usurp, and cause planned chaos” in the process to select a replacement for E.J. Pipkin’s District 36 Senate seat—all the while being paid by the Maryland Democratic party.

Now we have developed information that has identified who is behind this juvenile blog, and the puerile content it peddles. 

It is none other than Matthew Adams, the Secretary of the Somerset Republican County Central Committee, president of the Somerset Republican Club, and the official registrant for Republican gubernatorial candidate, Charles Lollar’s, campaign staff web portal. 




The website is registered through Adam’s company Go DelMarva LLC.


In a MD Watch post the day after the Change Maryland Harvest Party, the no longer anonymous smear merchants wrote bragged about managing to “troll” their way into the event.  The post says

There is audible wailing among the old elephant club at the MDGOP convention in Annapolis tonight. 
We managed to troll our way into Change MD/ Larry Hogan’s $100 a person suite party tonight, where so many were waiting with baited breath for the old tired Ehrlich staffers to reemerge and proclaim their candidacy for the MD gubernatorial race… It turns out all the political ploy by Larry Hogan was just a bait and switch effort to raise money to fund his old debt.

The post featured this picture of Larry Hogan speaking to the audience.



However, Adams shouldn’t have been so hasty to brag about sneaking in to the party.

Red Maryland has obtained reverse angle photos of the event indicating Adams took the photo of Hogan used in the MD Watch post.

This photo shows Adams in the crowd, in the spot where the MD Watch photo was taken.




Adams was also not smart enough to realize that he trolled his way into the party wearing a Lollar campaign sticker, and his central committee badge.








This evidence also indicates Adams took the unflattering photo of Red Maryland Network, which was published in the same post.  We have confirmed he was in the room at the same time the photo was taken.  MD Watch has engaged in personal attacks against Jackie about her weight, and tried to make a mountain out a molehill over a speeding ticket she received.

Adams also provides no poof of Larry Hogan's "old debt."  According to the last campaign finance report filed by Hogan's now closed account showed a loan balance of zero.

As I write this, MD Watch published another post attacking 6th Congressional candidate Dan Bongino’s wife, for alleged “sloppy” website errors.  The post, written by someone with website design experience, points to Adams as the author.  Of course Adams may be a little sensitive on the subject of campaign websites given the criticism of the Lollar campaign for its website being down for over a week.

This is the second person associated with the Lollar campaign to attack another Republican.  Earlier this month, Lollar’s Eastern Shore Coordinator, Julie Brewington, launched a bizarre attack against Hogan, Bongino, and Brian Murphy—who isn’t even running for office.  Brewington also aped the same talking points Adams does in trying to downplay what was clearly a successful event for Hogan and Change Maryland. 

It appears the Lollar camp—through Brewington and Adams’ anonymous smear site—is trying leave the impression that Hogan’s event bombed and that his intentions are unclear, when in fact the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post both reported that Hogan’s intentions are crystal clear: he is running and he left no doubt about when he spoke to supporters Friday night. 

Charles Lollar, who did not attend the Friday convention events, was in Arizona attending the Republican Governor’s Association meeting, as was fellow candidate Harford County Executive, David Craig.




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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chicken-Feed. Or Poop. When it Comes to MDPolitics Watch, We Just Can't Tell (UPDATED)

I believe, fundamentally, in anonymous speech.  I have passionately pleaded this concept to skeptical liberal reporters, bent on exposing conservative donors and making them a target of harassment, and congressional staffers who want to chill the kinds of criticism their bosses (Democrat and Republican) were facing.  It is a concept enshrined in Supreme Court caselaw in NAACP v. Alabama, where the high court ruled that the NAACP could keep its donor list a secret, lest the state of Alabama (or its citizens) needlessly harass people for engaging in their constitutionally-protected rights.

From an operative standpoint, however, anonymous writing is a double-edged sword.  Choosing to post criticism anonymously can blunt the impact of that criticism, since the poster has no accountability.

But the focus remains on speech that is truly critical—and whose writing with an actual by-line can put the author into jeopardy (occupational, physical, or otherwise).  The whistle-blower, for instance, who has a real fear of job loss or physical harm—we have a fundamental necessity in protecting that speech and their courageous (albeit anonymous) actions.



And so it is with this blog, MDPoliticsWatch, a relative newcomer to the #WellRunState’s growing-legion of political writers.  It is an anonymous blog—and one might hope that were it engaging in this cherished form of speech, it would use that anonymity to some greater purpose.  After all, there are plenty of dangerous stories in Maryland politics within which anonymity would be well-served.  The state disability official, blowing the whistle on an unknownmulti-million dollar surplus of funds at her agency, would have benefitedconsiderably had the whistle been blown anonymously.

Instead she was unceremoniously fired for her efforts.

For anyone who has engaged in any sort of intelligence analysis—whether for the government or for political campaigns—you learn to spot the hallmarks of a rat.  Something that simply does not jibe.  In one of my favorite books, John LeCarre’s TinkerTailor Soldier Spy, spymaster George Smiley, in uncovering the mole in British Intelligence, comes to a realization that their amazing source (Merlin) isn’t so amazing after all.

Smiley realizes that the intel Merlin is providing the British is largely “chicken feed”—sprinkled with a bit of gold dust to make it a bit interesting.  Nothing that they couldn’t have uncovered elsewhere.

Which is essentially MD Politics Watch.  The blog largely repackages general political information that people can find elsewhere (kind of like an aggregator).  Some of it isn’t really politics, some of it doesn’t pertain to Maryland at all.

But when it does pertain to Maryland, and politics, it is generally focused on one thing:  Red Maryland.  And Red Maryland’s associated contributors.  And not with anything particularly important or hard-hitting or information that would put the authors of these pieces (who eventually started ascribing pseudonyms to their posts) into anything approaching occupational or physical harm.

No—the reason why these “authors” choose to make their anti-Red Maryland posts anonymous is simple: they are the worst kind of childish cowards.

Say what you will about RedMaryland (because, Lord knows, someone else has probably said it already), but we, at least, append our names to our posts.  You can talk all you want about the relative merits of casting a clear eye at all manner of elected official, but at the end of the day, our authors are willing to be held accountable for what they write.

See, it takes no skill to take a picture of a woman who knows she is overweight (or a couple of guys who know they are overweight), and to make fat jokes online.  None whatsoever.  It takes even less skill to do it anonymously.

What it shows is that, not only does your blog have no merit (since you don’t write anything serious or hard-hitting about Maryland politics), but that you’re too much of a (that p-word that is the nickname for a cat) to actually append your name even to that.

The funny thing is, my friend, Jackie Wellfonder, is too strong to let this bother her.  She takes her cues from the book of Nehemiah and keeps her eyes focused on doing the Lord’s work.

But as her brother in activism, it falls to me to step in and say something.  To make it clear that there is fundamentally something different between your “writing” (or amateur picture taking) and those who do the dangerous work of anonymously protecting the Republic.  To call you out for what you are: the biggest, most cowardly, p__sy to start a “political” blog here in Maryland.

Oh, and one more thing… to show you just what kind of a p___sy you are, you ought to be man enough to hide behind your anonymity and allow for contrary comments on your blog, even if they are moderated.  But you’re that much of a wimperling that you can’t even handle the idea of contrary comments.

In the end, I will leave you with this.  One of two things will happen:  either you’re going to run out of material and time and will tire of writing a blog that is so content thin, and the blog will die; or you’re anonymity is going to disappear… and the blog will die, since you’re not going to be able to hide.

Either way, the blog dies. So, as Winston Wolf says to Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction, “Lots ofluck, gentlemen.”  You’re certainly going to need it—especially with your lack of intestinal fortitude.

UPDATE:  9:30pm EST, Saturday 11/23

So, apparently the Baby Geniuses at MDPoliticsWatch missed school on the day they taught the concept, "never make your opponent's point for him" in debate class.  On cue, as we expected, MDPoliticsWatch took the bait, and reposted, verbatim, this original blog piece in which we said that their only real axe to grind in the #WellRunState was with RedMaryland, and made comments demonstrating that they do, in fact, have an axe to grind (albeit a dull one, apparently).

A couple of minor points:  first off, you didn't "pee" in anyone's Wheaties(TM). You behaved like a coward, and we called you on it.  Taking creepy pics of a female blogger from behind and anonymously posting them to your blog (and Twitter) merits that, at the very least.

Second, pick up a 6th grade textbook on how to write.  Please.  Your prose offends those of us who actually take the time to carefully construct a sentence in the English language.  Not only is your headline missing a comma and misspells the possessive (it should be either "Somebody's" or "Somebodies' ", with an apostrophe somewhere in it), but the phrase is "James and me", not "James and I" in your commentary's first sentence.  Here's a tip:  take "James" (your make-believe partner) out of the picture and visualize the sentence:  RM appears to be upset with... (and then insert the appropriate pronoun, which in this case would be "me", since you're not the subject of the sentence, but the object of it).

Third, we didn't "give you so much free press".  We called you out for your cowardly behavior.  You, in turn, did precisely what we thought you would do and gave US a TON of free press by reposting my piece verbatim.  

Thank you.  Thanks for the free press and thanks for proving our point.

And you're welcome for the English lesson.  We know you're not only a huge coward and a dolt, but we know you're also ungrateful, too.



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Happy Repudiation Day!

I've lived in Maryland for my entire life, and I didn't even know that Frederick County had its own holiday on November 23rd until this week.
On this week's episode of J. Doug at Night, House of Delegates candidate Darren Wigfield introduced us to the concept of Repudiation Day, the first act of defiance by British Colonists against the stamp act. The day was made a holiday by the Maryland General Assembly during its 1894 session.


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2013 Red Maryland Award Winners!

As announced Friday night at the Maryland Republican Party Convention, congratulations to our 2013 Red Maryland Award Winners!

Maryland Conservative of the Year: Dan Bongino

Maryland Conservative Organization of the Year: Maryland Citizen Action Network

Maryland Conservative Legislator of the Year: Delegate Ron George

Maryland Conservative County Official of the Year: Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman

Maryland Conservative Campaign of the Year: Mayor-elect Mike Pantelides

Maryland Political Least Valuable Player: Julie Brewington

Congrats to all your winners. We will be sending certificates their way! The voting totals are below.



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Friday, November 22, 2013

Did the Craig Campaign Use Trackers?

Earlier this week Harford County Executive David Craig was very critical of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown's use of trackers in a piece in The Sun. Craig noted that his campaign did not engage in the practice. That evening I was very critical of his eschweing of trackers, noting that to not be tracking was akin to "political malpractice."

Read more at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-craig-trackers-20111122,0,3442274.story


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Red Maryland Radio: 11/21/2013

It was another big episode of Red Maryland Radio this week:



On this week's show:
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.

Brought to you in part by The Chesapeake Ballet Company's 9th Annual Presentation of The Nutcracker


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Lollar, Craig Head for Arizona

Charles Lollar's long-shot campaign has been making a series of missteps, from issues with their bus, awebsite outage, to an out of control campaign staffoffending the developmentally disabled community and more. And the hits just keep on coming.
Today the Lollar campaign sent the following message to Central Committee members:

Hello Brian --

First and foremost I want to thank you for your dedicated service to our party as a Central Committee member. As a former Chairman of the Charles County Republican Central Committee, I understand the tireless efforts each and every one of you make to continually promote Republican candidates and spread our conservative message in this navy blue state. Your time and efforts are very much appreciated by this candidate. I know in my heart, by working together, we can restore our beloved Maryland to the prosperous state it once was.

On Thursday and Friday I am attending the Republican Governors Association conference in Arizona. There I will meet with Governor Jindal, Governor Christie, and other great Republican leaders to discuss plans to improve our state and our country. Unfortunately this means I will miss the opportunity on Friday evening to meet with you, answer your questions, and tour the hospitality suites, but I look forward to joining everyone on Saturday to share my plans for returning prosperity back to Maryland.
Sincerely,

Charles Lollar

The presumptive nature of Lollar's missive, that he is going to meet with Republicans in Arizona as opposed to Republicans here in Maryland, certainly serves as a thumb to the eye of the active Republican Central Committee members and activists who attend the Friday night of state party conventions for an opportunity to interact one-on-one with the candidates and face the hard questions from the voters who will decide who our nominee is this June.

That Lollar and his campaign would take their long-shot campaign all the way to Arizona as opposed to competing with the top tier of Republican candidates (David Craig and Ron George) or potential candidates (Larry Hogan) is strategically curious. As if the Lollar campaign is already conceding the Republicans most likely to vote in the June primary to the other campaigns.

Unfortunately for Lollar, it isn't the first time that he has passed on an opportunity to mingle with voters. He missed the Maryland Republican Party Oktoberfest Fundraiser and the Prince George's County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner.


Update: David Craig is also officially blowing off the event:

I was hoping to see you at this weekend's MDGOP Fall Convention but I have already accepted an invitation from Governor Bobby Jindal to participate in a Meeting and Candidate Training with the Republican Governors Association this same weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We share Governor Jindal's sentiment that "successful governors' races take unique strategies and a comprehensive approach" so we did not want to miss this important opportunity.

 Although I cannot PHYSICALLY be with you this weekend, I want to personally invite you to visit the Craig/Haddaway Hospitality Suite which will be hosted by my running mate for Lt. Governor, Jeannie Haddaway. She and my staff look forward to welcoming you. The suite will open at 7pm on Friday in Room 382 at the Doubletree by Hilton Annapolis. Take care and enjoy the weekend.

 Best regards,

David R. Craig


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Facts and Fallacies on Tax and Spending Cuts


Here's a snippet from our latest Red Maryland post on Baltimoresun.com

Anthony Brown is attempting an intellectual stolen base here. A tax cut is not a “giveaway.” A tax cut is government limiting itself from taking even more money from the corporation or individuals who earned it themselves. To call a tax cut a giveaway presumes that the money already belongs to the government, not to those who earned it.  


Read the whole thing at Red Maryland's Baltimore Sun site.


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Vatz: Power Grab Now Extends to Mental Health, Too.....Washington Times; Monday, November 18, 2013




VATZ: POWER GRAB NOW EXTENDS TO MENTAL HEALTH, TOO

Do we want Obamacare deciding which child needs Attention Deficit meds — and picking up the tab?

By Richard E. Vatz Monday,, November 18,  2013 THE WASHINGTON TIMES



For decades, the mental health fields have been fighting for the gold standard in coverage of mental disorders: parity with physical illnesses.

The extension of federal policy was announced by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius along with decades-long supporter Rosalynn Carter earlier this month. The new rules combine the intent of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act with Obamacare regulations to yield virtually unlimited mental health care to anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. If mental health providers diagnose mental illness, co-payments, deductibles and lifelong coverage will be comparable to those afforded patients with diagnosed genuine medical illnesses.

The arguments against such expanded coverage have always focused on its invalidity, unintended social consequences and the costs of mental illness treatment, both drug and talk therapy.

Throughout the past half-century, there has been considerable debate over whether most mental disorders are actually physical, neurological illnesses.

While many critics of equating mental illness with physical illness were unwilling to concede that even the most extreme mental states and behaviors — such as some schizophrenias — were authentic medical illnesses, a substantial portion of the general public infers that everyday problems have the same likely neurochemical link as "severe mental illness."

In addition, many people think that psychological problems of children, whether or not they are real physical diseases, are sufficiently poignant to justify being termed "illnesses" which deserve third-party payments. The exponential increases of diagnoses of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder over the past several decades have thus engendered limited criticism.

While a few serious psychiatric-medical disorders (they are not called "diseases" in psychiatry's diagnostic manual) such as major depression may warrant lifelong coverage, many, if not most, of the hundreds of diagnoses therein surely do not. Merely disturbed "patients" may be diagnosed as having "adjustment disorder," "social phobias" or many of the other catch-all diagnoses. Providing them lengthy and expensive attention and treatment may be a lot of things, but it is not necessary medical support.

The great majority of problems attended to by mental health professionals have no established chemical-neurological cause and surely constitute the "problems in living" that are illness only metaphorically. Because so many of the worried well exist without any brain chemistry established as the cause, we get estimates of a 500 percent increase in numbers of mentally ill during the past five decades. There is even a claim in a study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health that more than half of the public will suffer a mental disorder in their lifetime.

The unintended consequences of such proliferation of mental-disorder diagnoses also include the overall diminishing of assumed individual responsibility for people's problems and attributed responsibility for bad or illegal behavior, as represented by the insanity plea in the criminal justice system.

Lessened accountability for untoward behavior provides less incentive for changing such behavior, as well as the inference that one's mood and actions cannot be controlled without pharmacological or counseling interventions.

Medical coverage for those who drink too much or take too many drugs is an example of "treating" behavior that is clearly volitional and voluntary, especially at its inception, and requires willpower, not medical intervention. To allow adults to assume that society will take care of one's "alcoholism" or drug abuse incentivizes perpetuation of the destructive behaviors.

The financial consequences of genuine parity cannot be precisely known. If, however, the stigma of receiving extensive mental health care is significantly reduced and unlimited duration of treatment is allowed across the board, costs will inevitably skyrocket.

Equating physical illness with mental illness has the appearance of equity, but it is an equation based on a false premise that they are identical. Furthermore, it is destructive culturally, making us, as one writer terms it, a "nation of victims."

We cannot afford the social or literal cost of this cultural change.

Richard E. Vatz, a professor at Towson University, is author of "The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion" (Kendall Hunt, 2013), the psychology editor of USA Today Magazine and an editor of Current Psychology.


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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

Join Greg and I tonight as we bring you another episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8.

On this week's show:

All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network. If you want to be part of the conversation leave us a message on the Red Maryland Talkback Line at  (410) 205-4875.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Red Maryland-Baltimore Sun Partnership FAQ

Just when you thought you had seen everything.......Red Maryland and the Baltimore Sun are teaming up to bring even more extensive coverage

Starting today, you will see a lot of our Red Maryland coverage on the Sun site, at baltimoresun.com/redmaryland.

We have been doing Red Maryland for almost six-and-a-half years. We've been doing blogging and podcasting even longer than that. We thank you, our readers, for trusting Red Maryland as Maryland's premier conservative source. We plan on maintaining that tradition.

What does this mean to you. Well, in anticipation of your feedback, here are some preemptive frequently asked questions:

How Did This Happen?
Over the summer we were approached by the folks at the Baltimore Sun, who wanted to have quality, conservative content on their site and didn't want to reinvent the wheel. Instead of hiring new bloggers and trying to create something out of nothing, they came to us as Maryland's premier conservative source.

Why Did this happen?We are a little less than one year out from an election that is critically important to the economic survival of our state and wanted to ensure that our reporting and commentary received the widest dissemination possible. We have long talked about the need to take the message of conservatism out into the public and make sure it is spread far and spread wide. This does that.

Where Will Your Content Be?
Both on our baltimoresun.com/redmaryland  and here at Red Maryland. There will be exclusive pieces on both sites.

Will You Still Be Operating the Red Maryland Network?
Yes, and we will continue to be looking for new shows and new opportunities there as well.

Are You Being Paid to Write for the Sun?
Yes.

Why Did You Sell Out?
We have never sold out. And we never will.

Now that you write for the Sun are your opinions going to be more sympathetic to Democrats?
Hell no! We wouldn't have entered into this arrangement without the understanding of full editorial control over our content. We will continue to demand excellence of all of our candidates and politicians, whether they be Democratic or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, or animal or vegetable, as we do now.

Are you concerned that conservatives will no longer be happy with you now that you are working with the liberal media?
That assumes that they were happy with us before. The fact of the matter is that nothing is going to change about us, about who we are, and about what we do no matter what outlet we are on.

Does it make you laugh that you will now be part of the same opinion team as Dan Rodricks
Yes. It probably makes him cry though. We will send Dan a box of Kleenex.


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Maryland GOP Fall 2013 Convention Playlist

Coming on the heels of Andrew Langer's awesome Red Maryland Crazy Train Dance Party from Friday night, I put together my own list of songs to help get you ready for this weekend's Maryland Republican Party Convention.

Enjoy, using Spotify.


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anthony Brown's Substandard Answers


To say Obamacare has had a rough rollout in Maryland (and the nation) is an understatement. 

An opening day stumble with glitches and an inoperable website, higher premium costs despite promises that Obamacare would lower costs, delay of the debut of the small business exchange, and now 73,000 Marylanders received cancellation letters from their insurance carrier notifying them that their plans will be terminated because they are not Obamacare compliant.

If you like your plan you can keep it and all that.

I seem to remember warning a certain metropolitan daily’s editorial board that this would happen.  But I digress

The face of Obamacare in Maryland is gubernatorial candidate and current Lt. Governor, Anthony Brown.  Brown led the implementation of Obamacare in Maryland. He was the point man.

Last Thursday, WBAL TV reporter Jayne Miller questioned Brown on whether or not he knew the cancellations were coming.




He knew the cancellations were coming but didn't want to speak for the President.  I'm sure that comforts the folks who have to now search for higher cost health insurance now that they can no longer keep the plan they have.  That's the kind of truthiness I want in my next governor!

Let’s just say Brown’s answer was—to borrow his own term—substandard.

Then on WBAL’s Weekend Q&A Brown gave another substandard answer to Lisa Robinson’s question about the cancellations.  According to Brown, the letters 73,000 Marylanders received from their health insurance carriers informing them their policies would be cancelled, are not cancellation letters--they are renewal notices. 



He says “you can renew your plan today, well into 2014, but in 2014 you won’t be able renew your current plan.”  Wait what? 

Or as The Daily Record’s Bryan Sears wrote, “Those are not the cancellation notices you’re looking for.”  

I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised at Brown’s gall to call cancellation notices “renewals.”  After all he’s spent the last seven years as an understudy to this guy:







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Track the Field

One of the stories that seems to have gotten traction for some reason is the fact that the campaign of Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is employing a tracker to follow Attorney General Doug Gansler around during the run up to next June's Democratic Primary. To be fair Brown has brought a lot of this controversy on himself (as Jeff Quinton noted) by employing the tracker and be being effusive in his denial of his campaign's involvement in the release of scandalous materials surrounding Gansler, something I made note of.

None of that bothers me though. What bothers me is the reaction that I have seen from the Craig campaign aimed at Brown for tracking Gansler in the first place:

Republican gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig on Monday criticized Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's use of a "tracker" to videotape Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's public appearances, calling the practice a way for Brown to "trash his opponent" in the Democratic race. 
Craig, the Harford County executive, said he has never used trackers in his campaigns. His comments came in response to a Baltimore Sun article on Brown's tactics. 
Craig called the practice — common in campaigns around the country — "a sign that candidates are too weak to run on their own record." He said campaigns use trackers to seek "gotcha" moments to use in negative advertising.
As the story notes, both Craig and fellow Republican Charles Lollar oppose the use of trackers on the campaign trail and will not use them. Which is a terrible idea.
Trackers are nothing new in Maryland politics. Then Congressman Bob Ehrlich was being tracked during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Both the Ehrlich and O'Malley campaigns used trackers in the 2010 campaign, eliciting even a write up on FoxNews.com about the practice. Their use in politics, both at the national and the statewide level goes back far earlier than even these instances. It's as common a campaign practice in 2014 as roboalls, microtargeting, and phone-banking.
To not track an opposing candidate and to publicly say that you aren't tracking a candidate is ceding crucial tactical ground to the opposition.
One of the key flaws with Craig's assertion that the practice is a sign of candidate weakness is the fact that we live in a world with a 24/7 news cycle, social media, and smart phones. Gone are the days where a candidate can say one thing to the television and print media, and another thing to voters and activists groups. While talking out of both sides of one's mouth is still a common political practice, years ago it was a lot easier to get away with it when candidates had no fear of repercussions. When campaigns employ a tracker, it makes it easier for a campaign to prove that their opposing candidate is being consistent and direct with the voting public.
There is a additional premise that I reject:
"There is nothing transparent about recording and selectively editing your opponents' comments, packaging the story and shopping it around to various press outlets," [Craig] said.
Sure, campaigns do this all of the time. But this is a problem that is easily overcome by having somebody track your own campaign to ensure that your have own footage available as a safeguard to provide context and clarity in situations where the opposition engages in selective editing or other funny business.
I can understand the frustration that a candidate might have with using trackers, but unfortunately in this day and age it is political malpractice to not be using them in a major statewide race...


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