NOvember arrived today in Fruitland

…and so did an interesting protest. But more on that later.

And despite having to bring the party indoors due to today’s inclement weather, the nationwide bus tour brought along information and enlisted speakers Andrew Langer from the Institute for Liberty and talk radio host Duke Brooks from WGMD-FM.

The bus had already arrived when I did.

I spoke briefly to the driver and was interested to find out that he’s been all over the country with the bus since mid-July. The tour continues with stops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania tomorrow.

After the brief interruption, Joe Collins noted that it was “sad that people are so misguided and so negative.” He apparently also introduced the first speaker, Duke Brooks. I missed the first few minutes of his speech investigating things outside.

I did video of the latter half of his talk, but Duke noted that “no government can avoid a recession.” However, they always seemed to use economic hard times as an excuse to take more control over people’s lives, and “that’s the problem in the first place.” Brooks also exhorted us to “redouble our efforts” as November approached.

Here’s the video of Duke Brooks.

Andrew Langer came up next and reminded us that “AFP gets it.” While the runup to the election is crucial, “after November is most important” because we had to hold the victors’ feet to the fire, whether Republican or Democrat. While the Blue Dogs won the 2006 and 2008 elections by portraying themselves as conservatives, voting with Nancy Pelosi 85% of the time was “unacceptable.”

“Our focus will be on accountability,” he continued, and described the worst parts of government were coming through the regulatory process. For example, regulations which were costing employers $7,700 per employee in 2005 (according to the Small Business Administration) were now costing $10,600 per employee. All told, the “regulatory state” was costing us $1.7 trillion a year, compared to $1.1 trillion just two short years ago. In short, this was the message of the day.

I like how that sign was autographed, too – the picture doesn’t do it justice.

One thing which surprised me was that so few local conservative officeseekers were there. Now I wouldn’t expect Frank Kratovil to show but I thought we’d have a number of candidates and current politicians in the house. To her credit, District 38B Delegate candidate Marty Pusey was at the event solidifying her support.

Two of those yard signs in the back of her car have been transplanted into my yard, and I encourage those of you who live in District 38B to do the same.

And there was a bit of a hullabaloo early on.

As for the chicken and his flock who came over to roost – see if you can make sense out of what they were trying to say since I took a couple minutes’ worth of video.

As near as I could tell, their babbling was about Andy Harris supporting tax breaks for companies to move offshore. But the irony for me (as I pointed out in the video to Chuck Cook, who is the tall, bearded person taping generally to my right) is that being seen in a chicken suit points up their support of overly punitive environmental measures which are driving the poultry industry away from Delmarva. Talk about offshore birds, that’s where they’re going!

Later I joked with them about their support of offshore drilling – hey, if they want to talk about really offshoring jobs here was their chance. But they turned a deaf ear to the logic.

Now, I suppose in the next day or so I’ll voluntarily lower my IQ about a half-dozen points and check out Progressive Delmarva to see how they crow about this latest stunt of theirs. But once this motley crew slinked out of the affair after being mildly disruptive for the first ten minutes or so they went back across the street to the Food Lion parking lot and piled into their cars, festooned generously with stickers supporting Martin O’Malley, Frank Kratovil, and Rick Pollitt, among other liberals. So much for their feigned support of Andy Harris.

At least they were environmentally conscious enough to carpool, I’ll give them that.

Unfortunately, my video of Andrew Langer’s speech is about 4 minutes too long for YouTube and I made the mistake of taking my camera (which does QuickTime format) rather than Kim’s, so I couldn’t edit the video. If I can figure out a way to boil it down I’ll have it for a future installment of FNV.

In the meantime, you can enjoy desperate liberals making utter fools of themselves. We did.

Oh, and the “Now or Never Maryland” tour will be in Salisbury October 22. Let’s see what these guys have for that.

Eight (years) is enough

September 30, 2010 · Posted in Baltimore Examiner · Comments Off on Eight (years) is enough 

Yesterday a Howard County Delegate candidate announced he was spearheading a drive for term limits in the Maryland General Assembly; however, he was only giving himself eight years to do so.

A group of six other co-signers flanked Ed Priola of Columbia, who is running in District 13, while nine others committed to signing the Term Limits Pledge electronically as they couldn’t attend the Annapolis gathering. Of the sixteen initial signees, all but one is a Republican and none are currenltly in the General Assembly. “It is my earnest hope to see all of the participating candidates in Annapolis for the legislative session in January, at which time we will form the first Term Limits Caucus and introduce our legislative proposal,” said Priola.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

Of local interest is that both District 37A candidate Dustin Mills and District 38B hopeful Mike McDermott signed the pledge electronically.

I used to be against term limits – and there are some good, compelling arguments to state that case – but in this day and age of politics as a profession I think they’ve become necessary. If they are good enough for the executive branch they should be adopted in the legislative branch as well. As for the judicial branch, well, to turn a phrase, for me the jury is out on that one.

But if I didn’t think what Priola was doing wasn’t newsworthy I would have skipped it.

NOvember is Coming bus tour sets lone Maryland stop

September 29, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · 2 Comments 

The title is not a misprint – Americans for Prosperity is actually dubbing the bus stop part of the NOvember is Coming tour. It’s slated to appear at Adam’s Ribs in Fruitland (219 N. Fruitland Avenue, or Business Route 13) from 1 to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

According to Dave Schwartz, Maryland State Director for AFP, this stop will feature two keynote speakers: Andrew Langer and Duke Brooks. Both should be familiar names to local political activists.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

Mills focuses District 37A campaign on small business

September 28, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · Comments Off on Mills focuses District 37A campaign on small business 

It’s always a struggle to upend a 12-year incumbent from the Maryland House of Delegates, but first-time candidate Dustin Mills may have found the Achilles heel of current Delegate Rudy Cane by focusing his efforts on small business and job creation.

Despite the fact Mills currently works as a teacher and coach for Wicomico County Schools, he believes his strategy for incubating business on the lower Eastern Shore is a sound, time-tested one.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

WCRC meeting – September 2010

On the note that it was a “sign of enthusiasm that so many were running,” in the words of club president Marc Kilmer, we began our September meeting. Certainly it was much more orderly than the August edition I missed.

We did have a brief departure from normal as two people who wanted to be heard spoke before our normal business was concluded, for they had other pressing obligations. Charles Otto, winner of the District 38A nod, said that “we can’t take this election for granted” while his District 37A counterpart Dustin Mills spoke of the “great response” his effort was receiving and pushed his upcoming small business fundraiser October 4th.

At that point we went over the minutes and treasurer’s report, with Kilmer alerting the club we had made our candidate donations to a number of quality people throughout the county, as well as state and federal races. Toward that effort, it was revealed that the Crab Feast in particular swelled our coffers as one of the more profitable recently.

Our speaker was State’s Attorney candidate Matt Maciarello.

He detailed an early background of working his way through Wor-Wic Community College and Salisbury University before landing a civilian job with the Navy. There he learned about Organizational Change Management, to which he opined, “I believe my management ability…will serve Wicomico County well.”

After going to law school at the University of Maryland, Matt cut his legal teeth as a law clerk in Worcester County before securing his current employment at the local law firm of Hearne and Bailey. The partners there were examples of integrity, honor, and diligence, according to Maciarello – to him, law is “an honorable profession…I love the law.”

Describing himself further as “a very competitive person,” Matt began to spell out his vision for the State’s Attorney office; one he said could be more efficient and more effective given increased communication and collaboration. Matt spoke of being a “proactive community prosecutor…I’m a ‘broken windows’ kind of guy.” He also wanted to adopt the High Point Initiative to combat the drug problem, and spoke of combatting a surge in white-collar crime by educating businesses on what to look out for.

Matt also claimed that he had the support of the law enforcement community and considered himself, “goal oriented…I’m gonna get the job done.”

Regarding his recent decision to ask current SA Davis Ruark to remain for the Sarah Foxwell case, as the Foxwell family desires, Matt termed it his “Plan A” but also had plans B and C in mind if Ruark turned down the request. But Matt related that people who work on a case from start to finish develop a “sixth sense” about it and he thought this would assist the prosecution of Thomas Leggs. As for naysayers about the decision, Matt’s broadside was, “the minute I start doing things for Matt Maciarello is the minute I fail the community.”

A question asked by a club member about recidivism elicited this statement from Matt. “I want that fear (of punishment) to be out there in the criminal’s mind.”

“I’m in favor of ‘one strike and you’re out’, depending on what the crime is,” continued Maciarello.

But another question about the nolle pros and stet docket turned Matt into an educator. He has to be both an advocate for and administrator of justice, and there’s a difference between the “probable cause” required to bring charges and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for conviction. By doing a constant triage on cases based on the progress of the investigation and whether the best punishment is conviction or the conditions usually associated with a nolle pros or probation before judgement, the amount of time wasted for law enforcement officers to wait around in court or testify on losing cases can be reduced. Matt sympathized with officers who come off overnight road duty only to find themselves stuck in court for hours on end. These outcomes would be used “when it’s in the interest of justice.”

We then heard a number of brief reports.

Addie Eckardt spoke about some confusion regarding “agency” of absentee ballots that may need to be clarified in next year’s General Assembly. A few races have turned when an extraordinarily high number of absentee ballots are returned favoring one candidate. We should be mindful of both that and the early voting process.

Both Patrick Hefflinger of the local GOP Victory Center and Mark McIver, representing the local Ehrlich campaign, spoke about particular GOTV efforts and volunteering – each Saturday morning we were invited to walk local neighborhoods. Mark Biehl of the Lower Shore Young Republicans told us they were doing their part each Wednesday at the Victory Center and they had “a good turnout…we made a profit” at their Hog Roast.

Speaking for the Republican Central Committee, John Bartkovich bemoaned the 26 percent turnout locally and said, “we have a lot of work to do…don’t rely on the Republican wave” spoken of in the national media. We need to have all Republican hands on deck to carry our local candidates to victory.

Delegate Carolyn Elmore piped up to remind us that we need to support the primary winners – “we cannot circle the wagons and fire inward.”

Joe Ollinger announced he’d had a “great” fundraiser and promoted future campaign efforts in his bid to replace Rick Pollitt.

Judge Bill Smith allowed us to vote for two Democrats; “I’d like to keep the two I have” as fellow members of the Orphan’s Court. Those two would be Norma Lee Barkley and Melissa Bright Pollitt.

Matt Holloway chimed in that he was “blown away” by the support he had in his County Council at-large primary.

Bob Caldwell, Sean Jester (representing Mike McDermott), Ann Suthowski (who is coordinating the Eric Wargotz for Senate campaign here in Wicomico County), and Mark McIver (for the Ehrlich campaign) all updated us briefly on progress.

Joe Holloway is unopposed for his District 5 seat but opined, “we need new management in this county (and) a good, conservative County Council.”

Notably absent was a report on the Andy Harris campaign.

The last word belonged to Marc Kilmer, who told us the October meeting would feature Joe Ollinger, Bob Culver, and Joe Holloway, and our Christmas Party will be held Sunday, December 12.

That October meeting is slated for October 25.

Hometown homage or ambitious career move?

September 27, 2010 · Posted in Baltimore Examiner · Comments Off on Hometown homage or ambitious career move? 

Just five years ago, Jim Mathias was the established and popular mayor of Maryland’s resort haven of Ocean City. Elected in 1996, the affable and gregarious Mathias, 59, could have easily served as the city’s chief executive for decades to come in the tradition of Harry Kelley.

But the death of longtime Delegate Bennett Bozman in April 2006 worried local Democrats who wanted to keep the seat in the face of creeping Republican gains elsewhere on the Eastern Shore.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

I note in the post that Jim talks conservative but votes with most other Annapolis liberals. With the exception of the 2007 Special Session Jim has voted against conservative interests at least 75% of the time (see page 8 here). Given the option of taking someone I agree with perhaps 15% of the time or a guy who should pile up a rating in the 70’s or 80’s you know what I’d prefer.

Then Jim can spread his campaign finance wealth around some other way.

Election Calendar: September 27 – October 10, 2010

September 26, 2010 · Posted in Wicomico County Examiner · Comments Off on Election Calendar: September 27 – October 10, 2010 

Monday, September 27 – The monthly meeting of the Wicomico County Republican Club will be held at the Chamber of Commerce Building at 144 E. Main Street in Salisbury beginning at 6:30 p.m. Speaker will be State’s Attorney candidate Matt Maciarello.

Thursday, September 30Americans for Prosperity is bringing its national NOvember is Coming bus tour to Adam’s Ribs in Fruitland from 1 to 3 p.m. The program will feature a number of guest speakers from the local and national AFP along with information on the hot regional race for the First Congressional District seat. This is the only planned tour stop in Maryland. For more information visit NOvemberiscoming.com to sign up.

(continued on my Examiner.com page…)

Weekend of local rock volume 34

September 25, 2010 · Posted in Delmarva items, Local Music · 1 Comment 

I’m sure some people will hate me because I’m not talking politics and others will be unhappy that I slapped 19 pictures up onto a slow-loading post. Well, sometimes you have to be a little different and for the most part this was for a good cause. If I didn’t have the pictures I couldn’t do it justice.

Indeed, I kicked off Bike Week by checking out this second annual gathering of bands for a good cause. These young ladies were some of those representing the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, which benefitted from the event.

Also helping with the task of selling raffle tickets and drumming up business outside along Philadelphia Avenue were these women on roller skates, the Salisbury Roller Girls.

This nice young lady was the one who sold my raffle ticket. She wasn’t on skates, though.

Nor was Michele Hogsett, who put together this event as someone personally affected by the cause. Michele can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I was told over $700 was raised that night. It definitely had a better crowd than last year’s inaugural event, which was forced to be rescheduled due to the untimely closing of Cowboyz in Ocean City the very day it was originally slated.

By the way, her shirt says ‘Survivor’ and that best explains Michele’s vested interest. She did get the perk of drawing winning raffle tickets.

And yes, there were bands. Now we can get to those who played the tunes in the order shown below (it also has the handy effect of showing the nice prizes they had.)

Nate Clendenen began the show with his solo act. I was a little late so I only caught the last song or so – just long enough to get his picture.

The first female-fronted band of many came up next. Petting Hendrix did a set rich with covers, including a pair from Journey.

Needless to say, things perked up when one of the best blues acts around took the stage – lower case blues nearly set the place on fire.

The smoke had barely cleared when a band with a pair of sassy females in front rocked more classic rock covers – Marla, Kathy, and company from Agent 99 put up a set that got people on the floor.

The boy-girl rotation continued apace because next up was a band with ‘more rock than a crack house’, Fuzzbox Piranha. I enjoyed their song selection in particular.

And what benefit would be complete without my friends from Semiblind? They had a couple new cover songs they were polishing in this set, including the oldie ‘Mustang Sally’.

Yet there were two bands to go. Freshly Squeezed had more of a pop feel to them, perhaps because of the vocals. It made songs a little different but still done well.

But instead of slowing down, the crowd was amped-up by the high-energy heavy metal that Witches Brew put out. No, I don’t see Stevie Nicks covers in their future.

I thought they were a good choice to wrap up the show, although some of the faithful had departed.

But Bike Week wasn’t done. Kim and I happened to check out the proceedings at Perdue Stadium and WinterPlace Park last Saturday; not because we’re avid bikers but because we know people who are and it was an interesting diversion on a Saturday afternoon. We were also treated to a good Alabama-based band called Thunderfoot.

The last five shots are from that show, which featured a number of their original tracks along with covers of bands like Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, and Molly Hatchet. Hey, anyone who starts the show with a few bars of ‘War Pigs’ has my attention and is placed on my ‘like’ list.

I suspect they will return for next year’s Delmarva Bike Week and hopefully add another show or two.

A treaty with the electorate

It’s always amusing when politicians make promises and issue statements before they are elected, but actually have to live with what they said they’d do afterward. Some are successful and others…not so much. (“Read my lips” seems to be one of the better examples, although that middle-class tax cut his successor promised but couldn’t deliver on seems a good one too.)

So Republicans took about 20 pages to expand on what is stated here. (It’s sad when I have to use North Dakota as an example given that this isn’t on the Maryland or national Republican websites.) But I suppose it’s better than the 67 pages our last party platform from two years ago took up. In this case, the GOP is trying to replicate the success of the “Contract With America” as a bedrock campaign slogan from 1994.

But so have many other people; for example, what was wrong with the Mount Vernon Statement or the Contract From America?

Here we have oh so many words to describe in excruciating detail what Republicans in Congress promise to do, if only they are given the levers of power. Yet there already is a roadmap in place; one which has been there for 222 years (albeit amended from time to time with the last being in 1992.) You know as well as I do what that document is.

To varying degrees these more recent documents pay lip service to the supreme law of our land, but who’s going to be the first to say, “look, it’s time to sunset entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid”? I’d say it but my chances of being elected to any position of power lie between slim and none, and slim just left town. Yet that step is necessary to insure the continued prosperity of this Republic.

No one truly wants to be the person to make the hard choice. I don’t necessarily fault politicians for this because, after all, they generally receive the job by winning a popularity contest expressed in our votes. “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” is a pretty good slogan, but the question is how one goes about getting it. (In Herbert Hoover’s case, the bubble of prosperity built on easy credit burst – maybe that’s a lesson Keynesians who believe that government spending will get us out of our economic doldrums should heed.) Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t get a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage no matter how much his New Deal spent because there weren’t enough other job producers around – how could those in the private sector compete with the government, an entity which need not make a profit?

A legitimate criticism of many TEA Partiers is the hypocricy they exhibit by complaining about government-run health care when they themselves are the beneficiaries. I can see the point, but if you frame it as a question of whether they believe their grandchildren should be saddled with the debt that’s being incurred on their behalf the answer makes more sense. And perhaps if a truly open-market private system were made available they would take advantage. For example, many millions of seniors saved for their retirement by investing despite the fact a government program was also there to subsidize their golden years. No one told them how much to invest nor were there any restrictions on where they could put their money.

But perhaps the most immediate step government can take in the correct direction is to stop using the tax code to reward or punish certain behaviors like buying a home or putting in a solar panel. Our granting that sort of power to government is what makes change so difficult. Of course, we should dismantle Obamacare and maintain the Bush tax rates as a stopgap measure, but the real change needs to come from a shift from income-based taxation to a single-point consumption-based tax. While it may life a bit more difficult for business in one aspect, other parts of the accounting system would vastly improve, not to mention people would have more money in their pocket.

Right now it seems that all we want to do is tinker around the edges, and most assuredly by having a President of the opposite party in charge for two more long years that may be all we can do on a national scale.

But states can also lead the way by asserting their Tenth Amendment rights and becoming the “laboratories of democracy” (albeit in the opposite manner that Brandeis would have preferred) by electing conservative governors and legislators and testing the waters of dismantling their statist controls over the citizens. Obviously Texas is a popular destination for both business and the population which follows it due to its low-taxation, small-government reputation.

In many cases, even after the 2010 election those who believe in freedom and liberty through limited government will still be saddled with elected officials who try the same old same old statist remedies which haven’t worked the first ten times. But we have a role to play there as well by exposing them for what they really are and educating the rest of the population why these legislators aren’t acting in their best interests by showering them with goodies from a goose they’re betting will still be laying golden eggs. Hopefully Atlas only has to shrug once before a lesson is learned.

The fight will be long, and victories may be few. But what we believe in is something well worth fighting for, and I plan on continuing my part of the battle for either as long as I draw breath or we win, whichever comes first. It just may come down to our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor again.

It’s official…thank you!

Now I can take the signage and authority statement down after three months; as of yesterday the election count is in the books.

While 2,139 votes may not seem like a lot it was enough to keep me in ninth place and the top nine become the new Central Committee. The 30-vote margin between ninth and tenth tied for the closest, and really there’s no shame in finishing either second or third (Ann Suthowski and Bob Laun, respectively, also were 30 votes apart.) But when the margin is pass or fail, it’s a little different.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank Kim, my significant other and all-around wonderful woman who both served as my treasurer and probably talked me up to enough of her friends and co-workers to push me across the finish line! You better believe every vote counts and in this case she’s probably the difference between me being in and being out.

So here is your new Wicomico County Republican Central Committee who will officially take over after November’s election – although most are already hard at work:

  • Blan Harcum
  • Ann Suthowski
  • Bob Laun
  • Dave Goslee, Sr.
  • John Palmer
  • Dave Parker
  • Joe Collins
  • Mark McIver
  • Michael Swartz

It should be a very interesting four years. We don’t know who the party chair will be; while the top vote-getter traditionally takes the post he or she can delegate it according to his or her wishes whether directly or via a vote of the committee.

I will say that there will be some TEA Party and AFP influence since I saw two others on my list this evening and another two members have also been known to attend frequently. I suppose those naysayers who claim AFP is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party will take from that what they will, but I also saw the two leading Libertarians locally last night too.

But once again I wanted to take the time to thank both the Republican voters in Wicomico County who retained their faith in me and the other candidates who ran for making it a race on issues rather than personalities – wouldn’t it be nice if the rest were like this? Obviously this was a fairly low-key race and for the most part we all get along so it was a good exercise for all involved.

Oh, speaking of the AFP meeting last night: it was pretty dull as we talked about the upcoming Constitutional and charter amendments facing voters. (The most animated exchanges were afterward, but what happened in Brew River will stay in Brew River.) We did hear the announcement former Democratic County Executive candidate John Wayne Baker endorsed Joe Ollinger for the post, so that was newsworthy.

I was hoping to find out more about the NOvember is Coming bus tour arriving here next week, but the update will have to wait I guess. That’s my summary.

A note to former Murphy supporters

We can watch the train go over the cliff with us still on it, or we can fight to control the locomotive. That’s the difference between Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich. 

Voters’ memories are notoriously short and if you asked them right now whether the name Brian Murphy rings a bell, 95% of them will say no.

I’ll certainly grant Bob Ehrlich isn’t my preferred candidate but I’d rather have someone who at least would have conservatives at the table than one who would shut them out. We need to send the message that our continued support is contingent on following through on issues near and dear to us.

In the meantime, we also have work to do reforming the MDGOP. Taking our ball and going home simply means they can continue business as usual. The more talk about going third party or skipping the election, the more ability the establishment has to marginalize those of us who choose to fight from within.

I left that comment at Ann Corcoran’s Potomac Tea Party Report. Obviously there’s a subset of people who believe that all is lost after Murphy’s defeat (as well as that of Jim Rutledge) and are willing to toss their votes out the window to support a third-party candidate. Once upon a time millions of Americans (including me) did that for Ross Perot and we got Bill Clinton.

There’s no doubt that Brian Murphy was a more conservative candidate, nor do I dispute the claim that the Maryland GOP put its finger on the scale big-time when they waived Rule 11 to back Bob Ehrlich.

But all of these people need to understand that we only lost one battle in a war that’s going to be fought long-term. If we fade back into the woodwork nothing will change. Those of us who are fighting the battle from within would be the ones left high and dry, smacked back into oblivion by the machine that we’re trying to fight this guerrilla struggle against.

If we stay at the table and Ehrlich wins, he’s going to owe us bigtime. I don’t know if Bob can run again if he wins, but conservatives would be in the far better position with a Republican in the governor’s chair and enhanced numbers in the General Assembly than we would with Martin O’Malley back in charge. Remember, Martin O’Malley represents a party whose Senate leadership vowed:

(GOP leaders are) “going to be flying high, but we’re going to get together and we’re going to shoot them down. We’re going to bury them face down in the ground, and it’ll be 10 years before they crawl out again.”

That’s how they operate in this state, my friends. Martin O’Malley would sooner give up his guitar than do something for conservatives. I’ve known this for awhile.

If diehard Murphy supporters leave or vote third party, we are ceding the hard-fought gains we’ve won in this battle and it’s going to be twice as hard to get it back in a war where the enemy holds all of the high ground. I don’t care for compromise, and certainly it would have been great to see success like conservatives saw in Delaware. But we still have a lot worth fighting for, and staving off extinction through redistricting is a serious prize to me. Democrats have plenty of plans to carve Republicans right off the electoral map.

Sure, it would be nice to get the Libertarians and Constitution Party their 1% to stay viable for another term. But let it come out of the other guy’s total.

Reprehensible

September 22, 2010 · Posted in Bloggers and blogging, Delmarva items, Personal stuff · 15 Comments 

Radio edit: I’m tired of the he said/she said over the alcohol allegation because I have people I trust telling me both ways (in both e-mail and comments.) Had I known that would be an issue, I’d have skipped the mention because you can judge the video on its other merits, or lack thereof.

Not all of my readers have been with me for the duration of nearly five years I’ve done my site, but some may recall just how mad I was when a political candidate called bloggers a “cancer.” Two years later, that sentiment was repeated by Salisbury mayor Barrie Tilghman.

Every so often I have to be a (self-appointed) blog policeman and call out inappropriate behavior, and in a lot of cases it’s because of the same guy. I have pride in my craft and encourage others to be as responsible, but this rant takes the cake for vindictiveness and lack of character.

Okay, you don’t like the Brewingtons – we get it. Over the last three months or so it’s been an obsession of yours to try and wreck their campaigns (along with the local Americans for Prosperity chapter and anything else they’ve touched.) Yet the 2,486 votes they received are 2,486 more votes than any campaign of yours picked up, and I applaud them for at least stepping into the fray and attempting to make a difference. If you looked at what they actually stood for rather than the personalities, you may have found their platforms quite agreeable.

I didn’t call you Sideshow Bob on a previous post for nothing. Words mean things, and these words are a message for you.

I don’t know how many times you’ve claimed to be turning over a new leaf, but eventually the same old destructive tendencies come through. Is this really an example for a professional journalist to follow? (I use the word professional in the sense that you solicit for and have advertising on your site, not based on the quality of writing.)  If I were Bob Ehrlich or any other politician who has sat down with you I’d be embarassed to have spent time in treating you seriously once I saw this video. Maybe Andy Harris learned this lesson the hard way last time?

I’m not going to claim I ever went to “j-school” either but the one thing which has gotten me to the places I’ve made it to in this second career is integrity. It doesn’t seem like too many people back you in your stories anymore and in a case of your word against hers I’m not too sure I’d put a lot of money on your chances given some of the whoppers you’ve had to retract.

Let’s just put it this way: I’m glad I made the decision I did about three years ago to stay away from that mess. I feel no need to build myself up by tearing others down.

But I can understand why most of your contributors wish to go by assumed names. Maybe it’s time for them to consider washing their hands of the situation too.

I’m not going to be childish and suggest a boycott of advertisers, but they may want to ask themselves if that space is really worth it.

And to the readers: I find that I get better and more accurate news from other sources.

I’m certainly not the first to describe the site as a “train wreck” and there is an aspect of it which people have to see. But invariably train wrecks destroy lives and that’s the sad part of all this. How much of the collateral damage being caused is necessary? (That also goes for some of the “anti” blogs out there.)

Fortunately, the occasional barbs I’ve received from that direction haven’t been fatal and, in all honesty, while we both are local blogs I don’t consider him direct competition because I focus on the political side of news. Obviously we cover many of the same political events, but you won’t see me covering a car crash because I don’t find that sort of writing as interesting. Much of this whole blogging exercise amuses me because I like to be creative.

What I don’t like, though, is to have him depicted as a representative of all of us local writers. I link to about 40 local sites and almost to a person they don’t care much for you being seen as some sort of spokesperson for us. Maybe it’s time for people who really give a damn about the Eastern Shore to start looking at what they have to say.

As you see in the video above, this particular protagonist has little useful to add to the conversation.

Oh, just as an aside: why do you make political contributions from a Maryland address when you live in Delaware? I find that a bit shady.

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