Before I begin, as promised on Friday the U.S. Senate and Maryland General Assembly “debates” are posted below in the next two posts.
But I was pretty perturbed after Ron Alessi’s diatribe yesterday morning. In his “view across the river” he savaged the local blogosphere, and unfortunately some members of my own party are joining the amen chorus on Alessi’s side.
Be honest here – if it weren’t for the local blogs would we have anywhere near the news coverage that we do? There’s a lot that the citizens of Salisbury and the Eastern Shore would be unaware of had it not been for the efforts of people who have found an outlet to tell stories that may or may not have been covered in the regular media. Now the regular media gets many of its story tips from those who spend the time writing up news and first-person accounts of their investigations, discoveries, and other information that they feel is worth sharing. In this case, Mr. Alessi and his allies seem to feel they are being piled on for things they may not feel are germaine to his campaign. But Ron spent almost his entire time on the air Tuesday morning answering Bill Reddish’s questions that pertained to topics brought up by the local blogs, then went out of his way to trash them with his closing statement.
I’m going to say right here that I’m not a supporter of Alessi’s bid for County Executive, but my mind was made up long before this WICO incident occurred. Of the three candidates in the race on the GOP side, I think he’s the least desirable but that’s based on factors other than lawsuits or campaign finance. Simply put, I feel both Bob Culver and B.J. Corbin have more to offer the county.
Saying that, I do feel sometimes that we bloggers go out of bounds on occasion. Obviously we all have our points of view, and we’re not unknown to slant the facts to make our arguments. But it’s relatively easy to determine our point of view up front, and we in the blogosphere forgo the pretense of balance for the most part. (Gee, my predecessor blog to monoblogue was called “ttown’s right wing conspiracy” – where do you think I stand?)
In my case, I have a bias but when I put on my reporter hat, most say that I’m very good at recounting the events that took place. When I get reaction to my reporting, it’s more often than not positive because I write down what happened then translate it to my website so others may know what I saw and heard. And if I speculate, I say so. If you want opinion I have plenty of that to go around as well.
And one opinion I have is that, if Ron Alessi wanted to score points with the voters by trashing the local blogs, he’s got another thing coming. What he forgets is, for all the things the blogosphere may not be as it evolves and grows through its infancy, one thing they are is passionate. And it’s the most passionate voters who go out in September to pick their party’s candidates.
Speaking of passion, I came across a post today on Gunpowder Chronicle I thought was worth mentioning and supplementing with my own opinion as it ties to my campaign for Central Committee.
In his post, GC lists the members of Congress who voted for McCain-Feingold. On it were 2 of the 3 who represent the Delmarva Pennisula in the House, Mike Castle of Delaware and our own Wayne Gilchrest. (Virginia’s Thelma Drake was first elected in 2004 so she didn’t vote on it.)
And this brings me to a platform plank I have. In November I’ll have the choice between a Republican who’s no better than a 60 or 65 on the American Conservative Union ratings (most are in the 80’s or 90’s) or a Democrat who’s sure to be well under even that miserable total – only a handful of Democrats are above 50 according to the ACU. My Republican nominee voted for McCain-Feingold, voted against ANWR, and joined a call for debate on Iraq when this was already done twice before. But, of course, I have no choice in the matter because no one wanted to run against Wayne Gilchrest and I’m sure the Maryland GOP would frown on someone who dared to do so. (It’s why Michael Steele is a presumptive nominee despite having primary opposition.)
Because of my experiences in Ohio with the state GOP playing similar games, I am a strong proponent of contested primaries. If someone of a more conservative mindset wants to challenge Gilchrest in 2008, I’d welcome him or her with open arms to the race, Maryland GOP be damned. It should be up to the voters to decide, not a handful of people in Annapolis who think they know who the most “electable” person is. Those types are the people who kept Arlen Specter in the Senate rather than supporting a better candidate in Pat Toomey.
Yeah, there I go, causing trouble again and I haven’t even been elected yet. Have I told you all that I’m a guy seeking some changes in how the Republican Party in Wicomico County and the state of Maryland is run?