Thanks to Dan Bongino, who I spoke to the other night at our Lincoln Day Dinner. As he reminded me, I am now on number 45 in this occasional series of short items I grace with a paragraph or three.
So how about I start with an item involving him?
You probably don’t know the name Mia Love, but perhaps you should. The Utah Congressional candidate endorsed Dan with this statement:
“I first learned about Dan when he was being covered for a segment on Fox News. I was amazed by his story and the passion he has for the state of Maryland,” said Mia Love. “If we are going to change the way Washington operates, we need to start by electing folks like Dan Bongino.”
So I’m sure you’re thinking, well, that’s nice. But take a look at her website and read this piece of her life she shares therein:
On the day of Mia’s college orientation, her father said something to her that would become the ethos for her life:
“Mia, your mother and I never took a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back.”
Consider that she’s born of Haitian parents and is a minority conservative Republican with a sound track record in her home state, and the strategy of this endorsement makes much more sense.
But there’s other endorsement news out there as well. This particular one shakes up the Sixth District race a bit, as former Senatorial hopeful Jim Rutledge eschewed endorsing one of the better-known candidates in the race and instead backs the underdog Robert Coblentz, calling him “a concrete conservative who understands the core principles and values that make America great.”
Perhaps that’s not a complete surprise, though, as Coblentz was the coordinator of Jim’s campaign in Washington County in 2010. Still, it gives him a little bit of gravitas in his uphill battle against more well-known candidates, and politicians have to start somewhere.
Returning to the Senate race, candidate Rich Douglas has been scoring media points with a couple appearances over in western Maryland. He called out Ben Cardin for not taking a stance on the gas tax during Alex Mooney’s WFMD-AM radio show Sunday evening, saying “I haven’t heard a peep from Ben Cardin (on the gas tax). There’s one simple way he can make his position known – go to a microphone and say what it is.” It also gave Mooney a free shot at Rob “Gas Tax” Garagiola, who’s changed his stance on the issue since he decided to run for Congress in the Sixth District. “These politicians all look out for each other,” added Douglas.
Job growth is Douglas’ priority and he doesn’t think the current administration in Washington, and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, are doing enough to bring new jobs to Maryland and the nation.
“The unfavorable business climate is a major factor. … Congress has a duty to remove obstacles to success,” Douglas said. A senator should be out there promoting Maryland as a business destination, he said.
A strategic, comprehensive vision for the nation’s economic future is needed, he said. The current “salami slice approach” isn’t working, Douglas said.
Obviously Douglas is covering the state quite well, and the strategy of using local media may pay off come April.
Nine of the Senate hopefuls are slated to be back in this end of the state for a candidate forum this Friday evening, moderated by former State Senate hopeful Michael James. It will be held in the Assateague Room of the Ocean Pines Community Center at 6:30 p.m. and seating is limited. For more information call Joan Gentile (443) 465-2400 or e-mail to joanierags (at) verizon.net.
With the Maryland General Assembly session continuing to chug along, I have a lot of state-related stuff to get to.
Senator E.J. Pipkin sent along a laundry list of objections to SB237, which is the governor’s latest bid to jump-start the offshore wind industry. Before I get to his list, it’s worth pointing out that none of the co-sponsors of the bill (or its cross-filed House counterpart) come from the Eastern Shore.
But Pipkin notes:
Governor O’Malley paints wonderful pictures about a Maryland Offshore Wind Farm and the jobs it will create and the economy it will enrich. However, he never tells you about what has happened with offshore wind in NEW JERSEY, MASSACHUSETTS, VIRGINIA AND DELAWARE. He never discusses that the cost of wind is nearly double that of today’s electric rates. And he never talks about the impossibility of offshore wind without federal loan guarantees and tax credits.
In New Jersey’s case, a study found that, “if approved and developed, (offshore wind) could lead to a loss of nearly 30,000 jobs and a loss of $1 billion in negative net economic impacts to the New Jersey economy.” Delaware and Virginia can’t find takers for their offshore wind schemes due to high costs per kilowatt-hour and a lack of guaranteed federal loans and tax credits (read: subsidies) and Cape Wind Associates of Massachusetts has only sold half its output because costs are too high.
In short, offshore wind is a terrible idea, particularly when we have better, cheaper, and more reliable alternatives available.
On a similar Radical Green note, I wrote awhile back about the prospect of a bag tax. Well, they are at it again, wishing to slap a nickel per bag fee on your grocery bill. One bag manufacturer is naturally up in arms too, but while they support an alternative measure I say just leave well enough alone and bag the whole thing. If I happen to think about it, I’ll take a batch of bags to the recycling bin stores already have but I’ve also found the grocery bags work fine as garbage bags in some of my low-usage garbage cans (like in our bedroom or office.) So why muck up the law books and encourage the state to take yet another fee?
I also wanted to make sure I got in another reminder about the upcoming Wicomico County elected school board hearing on Thursday, March 15 at 1 p.m. As one County Council member noted, “last year (the) NAACP had persons present for the hearing, I expect they will have again.” I say make them the minority they are, especially in that hearing room.
On the tax front, the two BRFA (Budget Reconciliation and Financing) bills are being heard Wednesday and Thursday this week. SB152 has tax deduction reductions for working Marylanders, increases in fees for various records, the shift of teachers’ pensions to counties, and the dreaded “app tax” included as parts of this bill. SB249 is also being heard, which makes the “millionaire’s tax” permanent.
If that’s not bad enough, SB523 increases taxes on (almost) EVERYONE. (If you make less than $3,000 in Maryland taxable income you’re spared. Woohoo.)
So let me end with some good news for a change, before I get into my new websites.
While the Good Beer Festival is a close second, I would say my favorite local festival is Pork in the Park. Recently they received some national attention:
The Pork in the Park BBQ Festival, sponsored by Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism, has been selected by Smithfield Foods to host the Smithfield Rib Shootout. To launch their new barbeque competition, Smithfield approached the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) and requested the top festivals in their major markets. Pork in the Park was amongst the top three in the nation and the only festival in the state of Maryland selected for this opportunity.
Pork in the Park will be the first barbeque festival to hold this new event. Hosting the Smithfield Rib Shootout will put Pork in the Park in the national spotlight, providing the festival with over 50 million traditional and social media impressions through local and national public relations efforts revolving around the event. Pork in the Park will also receive additional exposure on the barbeque circuit as KCBS competitors across the country will be notified of the event. In addition, Smithfield will provide additional prize money for the Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and third place category winners at Pork in the Park.
It’s simply amazing that our little city hosts the SECOND LARGEST barbeque festival in the country, and it’s not all that expensive to go and enjoy an afternoon there. I’m excited to see what this will do for the event.
New links for you to check out: the “information pollination” of Dr. Melissa Clouthier under my “News and Commentary” section, “A Citizen’s View” from American Thinker contributor Scott Strzelczyk under Maryland sites, and the revamped Maryland Business for Responsive Government website within my Political Links – My Side subheading.
I think that’s plenty of odds and ends for now, don’t you?
Update: Late addition, since I didn’t want to wait until next time: Robert Stacy McCain is trying for echoes of both my Weekend of Local Rock and Friday Night Video series. But he does it from Hell.