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.