Political correctness run amok

August 31, 2010 · Posted in Delmarva items, Personal stuff · 2 Comments 

If you haven’t been able to figure it out by now, I’m a big fan of the Shorebirds and try to make it out to all of the games as I can (perhaps 50 so far this season.) One of the fun things to watch is what goes on between innings and one of the promotions was a wheelchair race sponsored by a local home health care company. (Full disclosure: my significant other is one of their employees. They also put a large ad in the program so you can figure out who it is if you really care to know; that’s not my point.)

The premise was pretty simple: two teams of two players push a wheelchair while the other rides and they switch in the middle. A little harmless between inning fun, right?

Guess not. I had to bring back the wheelchairs from the stadium today because a total of FOUR – that’s right, four out of the nearly 200,000 fans the Shorebirds have drawn this season – complained. Apparently their gripe was that this event made fun of people who require wheelchairs to get around.

To them I say, get a life. Certainly I enjoyed watching the event, and I have no less respect for people who need wheelchairs. The point of the exercise was to play up the goal of the sponsor – to help people who are recovering from ailments return to their normal lives. Besides, there were only 8 games left in the season so why not let the event run its course? I wonder if these people whine about those athletes who compete in events such as the Boston Marathon in specially-designed equipment? Or, to pick a different promotion, how many people complain about the Maryland Lottery ticket contest – doesn’t that promote gambling?

A week ago Friday, the final wheelchair races featured several teams of local celebrities who were racing for their selected charities. Granted, not all of the races had such a noble cause but where does political correctness stop?

We worry about the perception given by people who are competing in an event for fun (and may find out just how difficult moving people around in such a fashion can be) while there are problems many times weightier affecting our way of life. Just live and let live and don’t sweat the small stuff, people.

I hope the sponsor brings back the races bigger and better next season (and while we’re at it, returning the Thursday night postgame concerts would be cool too.)

In the meantime, don’t let the four people who probably could never be happy anyway spoil things for the rest of us.

Being the press

August 30, 2010 · Posted in All politics is local, Campaign 2010, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, Personal stuff, Politics · Comments Off on Being the press 

For those of you on the western portions of Wicomico County you may or may not be familiar with Chris Jakubiak; he’s one of three Democrats trying to unseat longtime State Senator Richard Colburn in District 37. That unfamiliarity may well extend to a lack of interest from the press in his candidacy – his press conference in Salisbury last Friday apparently merited the presence of exactly one member of the media, and that was me.

But leave it to Jakubiak to somewhat mess up my exclusive by sending out a press release entitled, “Jakubiak Holds Press Conference on Fiscal Responsibility.” After going through the fact that he held the press conference, Jakubiak noted in the release that:

“Our State budget should reflect the values that we share in Maryland, and especially here in District 37,” said Jakubiak. The candidate outlined the budget’s everyday impacts on infrastructure, education, healthcare, and economic development/recovery.

Jakubiak once again drew attention to the startling structural deficit of the Maryland Budget. “The General Assembly finished 2010 without fixing the ongoing gap between mandated spending and revenue. They plugged the $2 billion hole in the current year’s budget with temporary fixes and federal funds. Every tax dollar borrowed or transferred to close the deficit is a dollar not invested.”

Jakubiak outlined the economic principles that he would encourage the General Assembly to follow. First, spending mandates must be tied to revenue. This is more commonly known as pay-go. Second, dedicated funds, such as those for transportation and farm conservation, must be protected. Third, the costs of pensions and health insurance must be reduced. Fourth, there must be dedicated revenues for K-12 education. For the Eastern Shore, this must also include changing the State allocation formulas to provide more funding for school districts that lack a supportive tax base. Fifth, cuts in discretionary spending, excluding veterans’ services and public safety, must be on the table. Finally, taxation and spending reforms must expand economic growth, not contract it.

“We must put this structural deficit behind us so we can look to build a better future,” stressed Jakubiak.

The Wicomico County event will be followed in next two weeks with events in the Talbot and Dorchester Counties, focusing on restoring the health of the Bay, and economic development and recovery/job creation.

Fair enough, although I personally would have slotted the economic recovery release first, followed by the fiscal responsibility one. Education and the environment are secondary issues to me, although education takes up a large share of the state’s budget. In my view, we definitely lack the bang for the buck in that department.

Having the opportunity to discuss the budget with Chris at some length, I focused in on a few areas of the statement he passed out Friday. One area was setting regional priorities, which Jakubiak saw as “critically important”; for example his statement discussed how “highway funds have been misappropriated and the Dover Bridge (between Easton and Preston) remains dangerous.” That bridge hasn’t received the attention it deserves because it’s not on a highway commonly used for tourism, Chris claimed.

Another priority item for Jakubiak would be putting money into the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund. Created in 2006 through bipartisan effort, the fund had the “objective…to help raise the overall standard of living in rural areas to a level that meets or exceeds statewide benchmark averages by 2020, while preserving the best aspects of a pastoral heritage and rural way of life.” But Governor O’Malley has chosen not to fund this effort despite near-unanimous support in the General Assembly. Rather, Jakubiak claimed the state “is pouring millions of our tax dollars into bio tech business parks in the the metro areas.”

And the fact that Chris has (and presumably supports) a governor of his own party in power wasn’t lost on me because I pointed out his priorities seemingly weren’t in line with Governor O’Malley’s. Yet Chris replied, “a legislator will have the governor’s ear if he’s doing his job” and pointed out his “track record of consensus” in working with municipalities doing urban planning.

Another difference in opinion occurred when I asked him about prioritizing dedicated funds such as the Bay Restoration Fund, the Transportation Trust Fund, and Program Open Space. Obviously these money pots become piggy banks for balancing the budget and, aside from the TTF,  given this repeated usage they may not be as much of a priority as people think. I especially disagree with the premise of Program Open Space because taking land off the tax rolls affects counties adversely.

More controversial may be two planks in the Jakubiak budgetary reform plan – increasing the pension-eligible age and retiree contributions for health insurance and dedicating revenues for K-12 education – an “essential priority” in Chris’s view. The former will likely raise the ire of state workers and their unions while the latter has been tried through a number of funding sources – even a proposal for confiscating the value of unused gift cards. And adding school days, part of Jakubiak’s educational wish list, won’t be done for free.

It’s obvious that fiscal responsibility is a prime issue when even a Democrat makes it a priority. Pledging that “cuts in discretionary spending, excluding veteran services and public safety, must be on the table” while simultaneously claiming that “tax increases that contract growth are counter-productive” makes me wonder how Chris can pull the Houdini act off. But given the apparent disinterest in his campaign we may never find out anyway.

A campaign weekend in pictures and text

August 30, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · Comments Off on A campaign weekend in pictures and text 

I have a pair of slideshows on my Examiner page which detail the events of this weekend – part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

All in all, it seemed like the Crab Feast was a little flat. Perhaps some of the livelier people were at the Glenn Beck event in Washington, D.C. but it seemed awful subdued to me. Then again, perhaps this is the breather people need before the stretch run to the November election.

Some people questioned why we picked the Beck date, but honestly last winter when we picked the date we had no idea that event was being planned. Our reasoning for having the Crab Feast earlier than our normal late September date was to get the maximum number of candidates involved, and in that aspect we did really well – only a handful of candidates didn’t show.

Sunday’s event was fun in that it was freeform – too bad more people weren’t there. Chris had a good collection of candidates there – everyone from local to state-level people. It was interesting to see the disagreement between Dustin Mills and Rudy Cane when Mills confronted Cane with his own voting record, or lack thereof in that case. (I have the feeling Rudy will really dislike the monoblogue Accountability Project.)

One thing I didn’t mention in the slideshow was the St. Francis carnival on Saturday night. As one might expect, there were a number of political hopefuls there. In 3 hours there I saw both of the Brewingtons (with their kids), Joe Ollinger, Tom Taylor (working the dollar wheel), and Matt Maciarello. He’s a tall guy seeing that I’m 5′-10″.

Kim took this picture of Matt and I at the St. Francis carnival. But we didn't toss any darts.

Election Calendar: August 30 – September 12, 2010

August 29, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · Comments Off on Election Calendar: August 30 – September 12, 2010 

The Election Calendar gets fairly sparse now as candidates prepare for the actual balloting. Most of the action over the next couple weeks is at the ballot box. But there are a few events, planned mostly by those assured of moving on through the primary along with ancilliary organizations.

Wednesday, September 1 – A Wicomico County State’s Attormey candidate forum is slated for 7 p.m. at the MAC Center, 909 Progress Drive in Salisbury (just behind Holly Center off Snow Hill Road.)

Friday, September 3Early voting begins at 10 a.m. Wicomico County’s polling location is the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center on Glen Avenue in Salisbury. Each day’s voting ends at 8 p.m.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

A jam-packed day

August 28, 2010 · Posted in Campaign 2010, Delmarva items · Comments Off on A jam-packed day 

It was a day of hot and cold running politicians.

Obviously a lot of them made the scene at the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the local Republican headquarters, with most making their way to the Wicomico County Republican Club Crab Feast held this afternoon.

But quite a few made it a bipartisan event at the St. Francis carnival held in Salisbury. State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello was all over the event but also seen were Mike and Julie Brewington, County Executive hopeful Joe Ollinger, and fellow County Executive candidate Tom Taylor working the wheel for the church. That was just in the few hours I spent there tonight. Nice carnival, by the way.

I think I’m going to hold the pictures and text for tonight since I plan on attending Chris Lewis’s Sharptown event tomorrow. This way I can make it one nicely wrapped package.

I also have other political items on the back burner which will become posts, so don’t fret. I took last week off to some extent because of personal business, but I think next week I’ll be back to normal.

Guest column: Why Maryland needs Brian Murphy for Governor

I’m happy to lend my space to a friend for this important message.

I love my family. I love America. I love my freedom and the abundant opportunities to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I also love the great state of Maryland and I am a proud Republican.

In 2010, I fear for my children and grandchildren and what is being done to squash their opportunities for the same freedoms I have enjoyed all my life. I am saddened that Republicans need to identify whether they are conservatives, moderates, log cabins, fiscally responsible or whatever. But by the statements set forth in the 2008 Republican National Committee’s Platform, I am a Republican and not a subcategory thereof.

Marylanders have endured the decades of career politicians growing our government and wasting our family funds on entitlements we taxpayers don’t approve. In 1994, Republican Ellen Sauerbrey represented our ideals. As far as I am concerned she unofficially won the election for Governor. She did, however, lead the way for Republicans to be heard and simultaneously introduce conservatism for the first time in many years. We stayed down for another eight years – but, there was hope for victory. In the interim period, GOP Clubs were activated as were grassroots enthusiasm. There was a renewed energy. Voters registered as Republicans and our Party grew.

The stars were in alignment in 2002 and Bob Ehrlich, with his Republican values still intact, beat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend for Governor. This gave the boost needed to elevate our Party, our morale and our aspirations.

Today, friends ask me how I could direct Mr. Ehrlich’s campaign in Anne Arundel County knowing I was prolife and he was prochoice. Back then I looked at the two candidates and there was only one logical choice – Mr. Ehrlich. I did not abandon my values. For political expediency though, he came to forsake conservatives, even favoring Glendenning appointed judges over the objection of Party loyalists supporting two very conservative candidates (who won).

Despite spending lots of dollars, Mr. Ehrlich lost in 2006. Ironically, he was the only incumbent Republican Governor in America to lose. Voters felt he talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk. After the significant losses in 2006 and again nationally in 2008, Republicans in 2010 seem to have the wind at their back to rise up again. A major drawback, though, is that the Maryland Republican Party has abandoned their loyal conservative members.

A few officials and party hacks literally hijacked the will of the people! In their view they know what is best for you. This small group believes they, not you, should pick the candidate to represent Republicans in this gubernatorial election. Various newspapers and bloggers reported most of the biased chicanery that reared its ugly head at the last Republican Convention in Ocean City. But guess what? The party loyalists and grassroots said “NO” to the political hacks. Fortunately, Brian Murphy also said enough is enough and filed papers to run (even before Bob Ehrlich.)

And who is Brian Murphy? Brian Murphy has the vision, solid business experience and who demonstrates Republican values every day of his life. He’s a polished leader who also has an exceptional knowledge of Maryland budget issues and promotes pragmatic solutions to a much better path without raising taxes. That’s why he has the vote of my entire family and many others who previously donated time and money twice for Bob Ehrlich.  (Emphasis mine.)

Marianne Pelura is a Republican activist who was previously the Anne Arundel County campaign director for Bob Ehrlich.

Postscript: While Mrs. Pelura made some good points about why the establishment Republicans support Bob Ehrlich and not his more conservative opponent, I really wish she’d spent a little more time quantifying the benefits of Brian Murphy besides being the anti-Ehrlich Republican. Personally, while he’s not the completely ideal candidate I think his fresh approach of competing with our neighboring states for business and stance on issues where Bob Ehrlich differs little from Martin O’Malley – like the Second Amendment and being pro-life – makes Brian the better candidate in my view.

Obviously, the pragmatist would say that Murphy is underfunded and has no chance against Martin O’Malley. But I think they said that about a couple other politicians recently who defied long odds like Barack Obama (vs. Hillary Clinton) and Scott Brown (vs. the Kennedy legacy.) And at least I have someone to vote for rather than have to accept the lesser of two evils.

I could live with Bob Ehrlich as governor, particularly against Martin O’Malley. But I’d rather see Brian Murphy have a turn at the wheel and see what he can do for a state which he opined has unfair advantages over the rest.

Shorebird of the Week – August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 · Posted in Delmarva items, Delmarva Shorebirds, Sports · Comments Off on Shorebird of the Week – August 26, 2010 

A happy and healthy Justin Dalles smiled for the camera back in April while teammate Jake Cowan looked on.

Before his first injury, Justin Dalles was among the team offensive leaders. Here he leads off first during an April game against Hagerstown. Photo by Kim Corkran.

It’s been a rough year for the Shorebirds, who are already destined to have a losing season this year and on the cusp of elimination from playoff contention. Nowhere has that been more evident than at the catcher’s position, where five  (make that six as of tonight) players have moved through a revolving door for those wearing the “tools of ignorance.” Perhaps the most consistent player among the group, Justin Dalles had been sought after for several seasons before finally signing with the Orioles in 2009 as a sixth-round pick out of the University of South Carolina.

Yet Dalles has had a miserable season. It started with a memorable home plate encounter with Steven Souza of the Hagerstown Suns that literally knocked him out cold and landed him on the disabled list. A month later, another home plate collision left the opponent with a broken leg and Justin enduring another trip to the DL. Guys from Brooklyn are tough, but not quite superhuman enough to avoid injury from these violent encounters.

Through all this, Dalles has struggled at the plate, hitting only .208 at the moment after a decent start. However, he has hit 4 home runs in 48 games played, suggesting he has a little bit of power to go with the catching ability. It was ability highly sought, since he was drafted by the Mets in 2006 (15th round), St. Louis in 2007 (40th round), and Toronto in 2008 (26th round) before finally leaving USC for a pro career in 2009. Justin had a decent season with Aberdeen last year (.225/0/21 in the exact same 48 games) and perhaps the Orioles were expecting more out him of this season.

But with all the injuries and time off Dalles has endured, perhaps a more fair assessment will come from having a fresh start next year. It wouldn’t hurt the 21-year-old Dalles to begin a second campaign here in 2011 and hopefully avoid the maladies he’s fought through this year.

Candidate Wednesday: August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010 · Posted in All politics is local, Campaign 2010, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, Politics · Comments Off on Candidate Wednesday: August 25, 2010 

The third edition of Candidate Wednesday features three Republican politicians who are trying to upset the apple cart in one way or another – two could possibly unseat longtime Democratic fixtures in the General Assembly while the third is banking on an insurgent-style, low-budget campaign using volunteers familiar with him through the local Tea Parties to carry him to a countywide Wicomico County Council seat.

We’ll begin with District 38B Delegate hopeful Mike McDermott, who’s likely to face longtime House of Delegates fixture Norm Conway in the general election.

Mike portrays himself as a fiscal conservative who’s dealt with the state bureaucracy as mayor of Pocomoke City. Things can be simplified, in his view, and the state can be more fair to its municipalities and counties by doing what they are supposed to with our dollars.

With McDermott having been in the race for so long, it’s a message I’m relatively familiar with but it may draw a response from Wicomico voters unfamiliar with his record. This segment was taped before the incident involving Mike’s position at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department came to light, so there were no inquiries regarding that issue dogging McDermott’s campaign of late.

Dustin Mills is running to oust another longtime Delegate, Rudy Cane.

Dustin takes this opportunity to hammer on his opponent and his voting record, contending that he’s out of touch with his district. He also portrays himself as more farmer- and business-friendly by referring to specific bills that the incumbent didn’t vote on or voted incorrectly – an interesting tactic.

I believe this was actually the first interview taped, so the editing was a bit rough. However, Dustin does get his points across sufficiently.

The other candidate is a second-time aspirant who waged an unaffiliated campaign 12 years ago but decided to run as a Republican to save himself the hassle of gathering signatures for an independent bid. Chris Lewis may otherwise be best known for organizing the local Tea Parties last year.

And the Tea Party aspect permeates his “common sense” campaign. He shares the perception that many have where there’s plenty of waste in county spending and cutting that would help to solve the problem. Chris also eschews the static approach most in government take when considering cutting taxes and instead brings up the point that increased economic activity will take up the slack.

With time running out before early voting begins, there is just one more edition of Candidate Wednesday remaining and at this point in time there may only be one video yet unshown here. I’ll know more next week.

The fur flies

Just because I’ve been away the last couple days tending to family matters (and before that coordinating the GOP presence at the Farm and Home Show) doesn’t mean I’ve been completely out of the loop. Even from afar there is a political stench emanating from certain quarters of the Eastern Shore.

Let’s take the example G.A. Harrison of Delmarva Dealings uncovered regarding District 37A incumbent Rudy Cane. Obviously one can accuse him of having a few overzealous backers, and I’m certain some variation of that excuse would come from that camp IF they are even:

  • confronted with the information, or
  • if so, would bother to say something about it.

Since it’s concerning a guy whose campaign website looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2002, I’m not holding my breath.

To me, it’s part of the entitlement syndrome many incumbents suffer once they’ve been placed into office. They seem to assume the job is a lifetime appointment with the election just a formality they have to endure every four years. The fact that Cane routinely votes with the extreme liberals in the House of Delegates (hint: he scored a big fat ZERO on this year’s upcoming edition of the monoblogue Accountability Project) instead of for the relatively conservative interests of his district shows that he holds his constituents in utter contempt – well, unless they happen to be campaign contributors. 

(Just as an aside for those of you who think party doesn’t make a difference – Norm Conway and Jim Mathias will tell you they are moderate Democrats who sometimes lean conservative. Well, scoring a big fat ZERO on the monoblogue Accountability Project as Conway did or 5.61 out of 100 like Mathias should tell you otherwise. By comparison, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio scored 56.25 and Addie Eckardt posted a 57.6 score – not really strong conservatives to be sure but certainly better than the alternatives. The best score among Delegates this year was 90.44 so no one was exactly perfect.)

By my count, there are 48 Delegates who are running again having served 12 or more years (three terms or more) – all but 7 of them are Democrats and among that group are Rudy Cane and Norm Conway. Obviously they will tell you that they need to remain because leadership in the House seems to be seniority-based – regardless of whether they are true public servants or political hacks, if they hang around long enough they’ll be put in charge of something.

Yet this becomes a Faustian bargain for constituents as the interests of the district become subordinate to the personal interest of advancing one’s political career. In the end, is a district better off having someone in leadership when those leaders have to scratch the back of everyone else to maintain that position? It’s a situation which cries out for term limits and having committee chairs decided on the basis of merit.

And then we have the Julie Brewington drama, which she describes on her Right Coast site.

Don’t get me wrong – I like Julie, and if she wins I think she would be a good conservative Delegate for her district. And I am quite aware that there are some people who happen to believe they have a large bullhorn and have it out for both her and husband Mike because they decided to stop sitting on the sidelines complaining and actually put themselves out in the political game.

However, that being said, just in Districts 37 and 38 alone there are a total of seven females on the House of Delegates ballot (out of eighteen total participants.) Counting Julie, three of them are even blonde. None of them seem to have that same target placed on their back and if they do they shrug it off without complaining about it publicly. (Granted, Julie is the lone serious blogger among the bunch and that can be a double-edged sword.) Certainly I think Julie may need to grow an extra layer of skin to deal with some of these detractors.

Yet those detractors aren’t blameless, either. I’m not sure why some of the items being brought up are issues except to those bringing them up, particularly the innuendo about her private life. I don’t think it’s going to affect how she conducts her business in Annapolis just as what we know about Jim Ireton’s private life hasn’t seemed to affect his policy decisions.

Perhaps complaining about politicians is a sport to some, but when we step into the voting booth it’s not a game anymore. As we’re finding out on a state and national scale, making the wrong decision can have catastrophic results.

Murphy finds it difficult to gain traction despite Palin endorsement

The old saying is that “you can’t fight City Hall.”

Bucking the establishment is hard, even with a little bit of outside help. Maryland gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy is finding this out the hard way as the first-time candidate isn’t just going up against former governor Bob Ehrlich in the September 14 primary election but also against a party establishment stacked in Ehrlich’s favor.

Before Palin had surprised observers with her backing of Murphy, the only two backers of any consequence Brian had were Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and former Maryland GOP chair Jim Pelura, who stepped down last year amidst continued financial woes for the state party. Jenkins opted to back Murphy due to his hardline stance on illegal immigration and became the first elected Republican to openly do so.

Slowly, though, other Republicans not yet elected but seeking office are beginning to back Murphy – some publicly while others exhibit more tacit approval.

Troy Stouffer, who’s running for the Republican nomination for the Second Congressional District seat held by C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, announced in a note on his personal Facebook page he was backing Murphy, but was careful to note that he’d back Ehrlich in the general election should he survive the primary.

In essence, it all comes down to principles with him. “The Republican Party elite have been telling us for years that a Conservative simply cannot win in (Maryland), but yet we are greatly outnumbered in the House and the Senate in Annapolis and we rarely make any significant gains in our numbers in either voter registration or our elected representation,” Stouffer remarked. “The voters want to see someone with a backbone stand up for what they believe, not some politician sticking their finger in the wind to see which direction the wind is blowing. You either stand up for your principles or get out of the way.”

“I promised that I would not turn into some politician that was willing to compromise on my core values and principles just to gain a political edge.”

It was a sentiment agreed with by local candidates as well. Julie Brewington is a work-from-home mother of twins, a co-founder of the local Americans for Prosperity chapter, and a first-time candidate running for the House of Delegates in District 38A, which covers much of the rural southern reaches of the Eastern Shore along the Virginia border. Her house has a Brian Murphy sign out front and she’s posed for a picture with Brian at one of his recent local appearances, but in speaking to Julie I found her hesitant to make a public endorsement of Brian so as not to alienate Ehrlich backers – conversely, she’s much more open in showing her support for fellow conservative and U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Rutledge. Like Stouffer, Julie promised to support the GOP primary winner and “will be enthusiastic to do so.”

Rani Merryman, who’s another first-time candidate running for a House of Delegates seat in a suburban Baltimore County district, agrees.

I like what Murphy has to say, though I really don’t get into the whole endorsement thing. When people ask me about the governor’s race, I usually respond with factual information and follow it (by saying) ‘for too long, political parties have been choosing who the people would support,’” said Rani, another political outsider making her first run for office.

On the other hand, there are a number of officeholders who make no secret of their support for Ehrlich. Candidates across the state have adopted signage featuring both their name and the stylized blue-and-white Ehrlich moniker. Some hopefuls are even using the Ehrlich brand to fatten their coffers among fellow GOP supporters.

One example is John Phoebus, a Crisfield attorney who’s running against Brewington and two others to take that District 38A seat, a seat which opened up upon the death of two-term Delegate D. Page Elmore (His wife Carolyn was appointed as a caretaker for the seat; she is not running for election.) Phoebus recently held a fundraiser featuring Kendal Ehrlich as the guest speaker – Marylanders are almost as familiar with her as they are with Bob as the couple has co-hosted a Saturday morning radio show since Ehrlich left office in 2007. That familiarity extends to Phoebus, who has known the Ehrlichs since 2002 and said he was “honored by their support of me in this fashion.”

Still others simply wish Murphy would just pack up and go home, with a few diehard Ehrlich supporters even creating a Facebook page called, “Tell Brian What’s his name to Drop Out!” In it, they claim that, “A vote for Marty (sic) September 14th is a 1/2 a vote for O’Malley. Remember that Murphyites when you vote.”

Even so, their cause is not a large one as the page has only about thirty fans. And when I asked one of them, House of Delegates District 18 candidate Josephine Wang, about her presence as a fan of the page she replied, “I was never anti-Murphy because I didn’t know he was running. I thought that Ehrlich was the only one running.”

It’s a perception perhaps too many Republican voters have given the amount of name recognition Bob Ehrlich has and the template within Maryland’s dominant media to wish the “grudge match” which would sell papers and attract eyeballs to their evening news programs and websites.

When Bob Ehrlich takes the opportunity of a debate challenge from Brian Murphy to presumptively begin discussions with Martin O’Malley’s camp on a fall debating schedule, it means either one of two things: he’s extremely confident of victory in September or he’s trying to deflect attention away from a candidate who appeals to conservatives within his own party who recall Ehrlich’s fairly moderate record as governor. In either case, he ignores the conservative voter bloc at his peril.

This was originally written for Pajamas Media, but they decided not to run it unless Murphy surged in the polls. So it’s appearing here instead.

Election Calendar: August 23 – September 5, 2010

August 22, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · Comments Off on Election Calendar: August 23 – September 5, 2010 

Things begin to slow down now as far as events go since early voting now occupies the time horizon. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the best gathering of politicos at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center once early voting begins a week from Friday!

Monday, August 23 – The monthly meeting for the Wicomico County Republican Club will feature three speakers: Julie Brewington, John Cannon, and Charles Otto – all are running for the House of Delegates seat in District 38A. (John Phoebus spoke at the July meeting.) The meeting is held at the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, 144 East Main Street in Salisbury, beginning at 7 p.m. (Social hour begins at 6:30.)

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

Gazette article reasonably fair

Perhaps you didn’t know this – I know Julie Brewington picked up on it after I shared this among my Facebook friends – but I was quoted in yesterday’s Gazette regarding the Maryland GOP’s Rule 11 controversy which has been simmering since May. Reporter C. Benjamin Ford also spoke to fellow blogger Ann Corcoran of the Potomac Tea Party Report, who had the better quote, “What the tea party movement has opposed is this whole concept of sneaky politics, the backroom deals.”

That was my objection from the start. Why should three people make the decision best left to the voters of the First District (for Andy Harris) or the whole state (Bob Ehrlich)? Not saying they aren’t good candidates, but some may prefer the alternatives presented. It’s true that we may not to be able to “tip the scale” but we can send a message.

I just wish he’d quoted me right – I’m “barely left of militia” according to my Facebook page. I do say that tongue-in-cheek to an extent but I’m quite conservative in my outlook. So read the article and see whether you agree.

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