Odds and ends number 66

As we approach the Christmas/New Year’s holiday week when news is slow, it may not be the best time to clean out my e-mail box of those items I could potentially stretch into short posts. But I tend to defy convention, so here goes.

Up in Cecil County the politics aren’t taking a holiday break. Two conservative groups are at odds over the Tier Map which was administratively approved by County Executive Tari Moore – the Cecil Campaign for Liberty considers any tier map as part of  “the most expansive taking of private property rights in Maryland state history.” But the Cecil County Patriots are on record as supporting the least restrictive map possible, warning further that not submitting a map would place the county under the most broad restrictions. (This is one early rendition of their map – note that over half the county is in Tier IV, the most restrictive tier.)

Unfortunately, the opposition we have isn’t dumb and they write laws in such a manner that localities in Maryland are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But I’m curious how the state would react in this instance, quoting from SB236:


Answer: We will NOT adopt Tiers III and IV. Reason: see Amendment V, United States Constitution. The law does not provide “just compensation.”

Someone really should remind Governor O’Malley and Senators Pinsky, Frosh, Madaleno, Montgomery, and Raskin (who have a COMBINED lifetime score of 32 – total, between all five of them, so an average score of 6.4 out of 100 on the monoblogue Accountability Project and who all hail from the I-95 corridor) that their home county is free to be as restrictive as it likes but counties are not just lines on a map. We may look like hicks, but we do tend to know what we’re talking about out here.

If they have to have Tier IV, the extent of it should be that of any undeveloped property owned by any Delegate, Senator, or local representative who supported this piece of garbage. Let them live with the consequences and spare us the misery.

Otherwise, you may have this sort of result (h/t Institute for Justice): an Orlando homeowner is facing fines of up to $500 per day because he chooses to have a garden in his front yard and an absentee neighbor (who rents out his house and lives in Puerto Rico) complained. But as writer Ari Bargil notes:

You know government has grown too big when it bans growing a garden in your own yard.

Interestingly enough, the Orlando homeowner has a chicken coop in his backyard but that apparently doesn’t run afoul (or is that afowl?) of city regulations.

On the Maryland economic front, my friends at Change Maryland have had quite a bit to say of late. First, Change Maryland’s Larry Hogan panned Governor O’Malley for not appointing a new Secretary of Transportation and continuing to push for a gas tax, with Hogan remarking:

Here we go again. We were successful in stopping the gas tax increase, and the sales tax on gasoline last session, but they are still trying to ram it through. And now O’Malley expects struggling Maryland families and small businesses to pay for his mistakes. They want us to forget about the hundreds of millions of dollars he robbed from transportation funds.

After raising taxes and fees 24 times and taking an additional $2.4 billion a year out of the pockets of taxpayers, we know O’Malley prefers raising taxes over leading, O’Malley must show leadership and take some responsibility on funding transportation, or he’s going to achieve the same dismal results as before with the failed gas tax schemes.

Over the last decade, both Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley have collectively seized $1.1 billion from transportation to use in balancing the books. O’Malley isn’t planning on using a gas tax increase to pay back his $700 million share, though – he wants to expand the Red Line and Purple Line in suburban Washington, D.C.

Hogan was also critical of someone O’Malley did appoint, new economic development head Dominick Murray:

I am concerned that Mr. Murray’s marketing background in the media industry signals an intent to continue to focus more on press releases, slide shows and videos that only promote the governor’s national political aspirations.

Murray has a lot of work to do, as Maryland lost an additional 9,300 jobs in October, per numbers revised by the federal BLS. Non-adjusted statistics for November also suggest another 3,100 nonfarm jobs fell by the wayside, although government jobs rebounded by 900 to come off their lowest point since 2010 in October. Since O’Malley took office, though, total government employment in Maryland is up over 28,000. It continues a long-term upward trend which began in 2005. On the other hand, the only other industry with a similar upward profile is education and health services.

On a national level, unemployment among those with a high school education or less is “dismal,” according to a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies. They contend it won’t be helped with a policy of amnesty toward illegal aliens, which make up nearly half of a 27.7-million strong group of Americans who have but a high school education or less yet want to work. The high school graduate U-6 rate (which properly counts discouraged workers who have stopped looking) is over 18 percent; meanwhile just over 3 in 10 who have failed to complete high school are jobless by that standard.

While some of those who didn’t complete high school have extenuating circumstances, the far larger number have chosen their lot in life by not getting their diploma. Unfortunately, their bad choice is exacerbated by the illegal aliens here who are willing to work for less and/or under the table.

Bad choices have also been made by Republicans in Congress, argue two deficit hawks who contend economist Milton Friedman was right:

…the true burden of taxation is whatever government spends…Friedman would frequently remind Reagan and others during the early 1980s that reductions in marginal tax rates – which Friedman supported – were not real tax cuts if spending was not reduced.

Jonathan Bydlak and Corie Whalen, the two board members of the Coalition to Reduce Spending who wrote the piece, contend that Republicans who have not raised taxes but simultaneously failed to address overspending are violating the Taxpayer Protection Pledge made famous by Grover Norquist. And since the amount of revenue taken in by the government since the adoption of the Bush tax rates a decade ago has remained relatively constant when compared to spending, it seems the problem is on the spending side of the equation. Just restoring governmental spending to the level of the FY2008 budget would address most of the deficit.

Finally, it appears spending is on the minds of the Maryland Liberty PAC as they recently put out a call for candidates who would be compatible with their views on key areas of local, state, and national government – examples include not voting for tax increases or new fees, opposition to intrusive measures like red light cameras, abuse of eminent domain, and internet freedom, and economic issues such as right-to-work and nullification of Obamacare. Out of eight questions, I’d be willing to bet I’d honestly and truthfully answer all eight the correct way. But I think I’ll pass on the PAC money, since I run a very low-budget campaign consisting of the filing fee.

But if they don’t mind sharing the information, we could always use good Republican (and liberty-minded Democratic) candidates in these parts. I didn’t mind spreading their word, after all, even reminding Patrick McGrady that Central Committee members are elected in the June 24, 2014 primary and not on November 4 as their original note suggests.

Believe it or not, then, if memory from 2010 serves me correctly the first people to file for 2014 can do so on or about April 16, 2013. The day after tax day and less than a week after sine die ends the 90 Days of Terror known as the General Assembly session: how appropriate in Maryland.

7 thoughts on “Odds and ends number 66”

  1. Full disclosure: I am a member of the Cecil County Patriots’ Steering Committee, but these are my personal positions.

    The Patriots have tried to have a civil conversation with C4L over the Tier map question. However, our leadership has been banned from their Facebook page while our Facebook page remains open to them. I have challenged their public E-mails stating their position, but they have yet to acknowledge and discuss the penalties for not sending the state a map.

    C4L has had a speaker inform them of the downside of NOT submitting a map; the public has also been presented with that information at public meetings. C4L in their public E-mails have not addressed what will happen if a map is not presented. This however did not start the parting of ways between us. What started our disagreements is that one leader of C4L has a job promoting a program related to Agenda 21 – the UN’s anti-property rights policy. That leader may have no choice in these hard economic times, but he should resign his leadership position to protect the creditability of the Cecil County C4L organization and the small government movement in general, which the Patriots also represent. Until recently one of the other the leaders of C4L was a Del. Smigiel ally and chairman of the Cecil County Republican Central Committee who has been at odds with the Patriots for over two years and with former commissioner now county executive Tari Moore and commissioner now councilman Robert Hodge. This conflict has now unfortunately moved to the Cecil County C4L.

    As to the map submitted to the state, my suggestion publicly at a commissioners’ meeting and privately some time ago was to only include the land presently preserved and government lands. That was discussed by the county officials as well and is what was submitted to the state. While the state, under the law, can only comment on the map and force another public hearing, they cannot change it. However, they can obstruct permitting and other state mandated approvals in retribution. That is why, in part, there is now a Rural County Coalition; the rural counties either “hang together, or hang separately”.

  2. A bit off topic. Even though SB-236 has a Tier 2 growth area, as does Cecil County’s Comprehensive Plan, the governor’s PlanMD’s Executive Order does not allow growth between towns. So will the state deny growth in Tiers 2-4 by not authorizating mandated permits. Only time will tell.

  3. Excellent points. I was being a little bit tongue-in-cheek when I made the comment about which lands should be in Tier IV, but in all honesty counties should keep their options open by remanding as little as possible to those areas – I suspect once a parcel is deemed as a Tier IV property, no matter how innocently or in the instance where technology could make a plot percable where it was not before, it will always and forever be blacklisted to the detriment of the property owner. That downzoning effect could be catastrophic to farmers who may otherwise wish to sell off frontage parcels in bad years – I know the state may not look askance at this now under the SB236 law as it is, but I don’t doubt there is the desire there to permanently restrict development.

    C4L would have more of a point had the SB236 law been written as broadly as the “exchange” provisions in Obamacare where the states could opt out and allow the federal government to create and own the mess we know is coming, but as I said in the post we’re not up against dummies. Power-hungry and ignorant of the role of the state government, yes, but not stupid.

    It should be pointed out as well that Wicomico County is in no hurry to finish its map, and it sounds like we will go beyond the 12-31 state-imposed deadline.

  4. Just a clarification on a part of the article that may be misleading due to the wording: “But the Cecil County Patriots are on record as supporting the least restrictive map possible, warning further that not submitting a map would place the county under the most broad restrictions. (This is one early rendition of their map – note that over half the county is in Tier IV, the most restrictive tier.)” The use of “their map” following the sentence about the Cecil County Patriots seems to suggest that we supported that map, which we absolutely did not. We helped notify landowners and spoke out against this map at the public hearing. The most recent map submitted by Moore does not downzone anyone, and only includes land in tier 4 which is already preserved or which is state park land. This was one suggestion of Richard Rothschild when Carroll County first started discussing how they would draw up their map. It may not be a perfect solution, but it is the best one we have now unless there is a determination that there is grounds for a lawsuit against the state. From what I’ve heard, so far, that doesn’t look promising at this point, but if action is taken in the future, I am certain Cecil County will be a part of it, and the Cecil County Patriots certainly support any efforts to fight this legally or repeal it.

    On an earlier Odds and Ends post, you made some references to the Cecil County RCC and Cecil County C4L remarking that C4L was an unbiased organization and therefore had more credibility in its criticism of Moore. As Al mentioned, at the time the C4L email went out criticizing Moore, Chris Zeauskas, chair of the RCC, was listed as a steering team member. Ted Patterson, their leader who promotes “Complete Communities” in Delaware (Agenda 21), writes their policy positions. He is also on the Central Committee. So they are not an unbiased source of information, and while Moore is not perfect or immune from criticism, the barrage of emails with incomplete information, or information that has explanation added that is not rooted in fact, should be recognized for what it is, political gamemanship. You will find that Moore is incapable of doing anything correctly in their estimation, and frankly, while they may feel that helps them politically as they prepare for 2014, I think it detracts from legitimate criticism and hurts the cause of conservatism. Al has been much more gracious than I am in suggesting that Patterson may need to have this job as a central planner promoting sustainable development because he may need it to support his family in these tough economic times. The problem is that Patterson has a long history supporting this agenda beyond what his job currently requires. I have my own suspicions (related to those who support smart growth in C4L) as to why the official position of C4L in Cecil is no submission of a map, and I don’t believe that the individual(s) who crafted this position did so to protect property rights.

  5. As a member of the Cecil County Campaign for Liberty , I am compelled -yet again- to respond to the attacks of the Cecil County Patriots. C4L believes that at some point the people need to stand up against big government and not give in to the incremental loss of Liberty , or in this case , property rights. The Patriots believe in SUBMITting the least restrictive map possible. Both strategies have their pluses and minuses. The sad part is the constant personal attacks from the Patriots that have been directed at members of C4L. These attacks are the reason behind the banning of comments from 3 members of the Patriots on C4L’s FaceBook page. A quick scan of the Patriots FaceBook page will provide plenty of examples of these attacks on C4L. You will find none of that nonsense on C4l’s page. C4L is issue based and holds all politicians accountable. Tari Moore and Robert Hodge have been vocal in their support of submitting “tier map 10”. It is well known that the Patriots endorsed these politicians and can be seen proudly wearing tee-shirts endorsing them on the Patriots website. Sadly, the relationship between Moore , Hodge and the Cecil County Patriots may explain the personal attacks directed at C4L.

  6. Mr. Willick should clarify what he means by “personal attacks”, and include the quotes of what he considers a “personal attack”. I was blocked from the C4L Facebook page after mentioning Ted Patterson’s involvement in promoting “Complete Communities” in Delaware, which is based on the Santa Monica ICLEI model of “sustainable development” (http://completecommunitiesde.org/). I have also mentioned that in addition to being a leader of the Milford, DE project, Ted Patterson was in charge of registration for the Complete Communities forum in Delaware in November. Initially, registration was open, but after the info. was posted on the DE 9-12 Patriots Facebook page, registration suddenly became closed, by invitation only. Those who tried to register were denied entry. Fortunately, 4 members of the 9-12 group registered early and were able to attend. A summary of the event was sent out in an email from the 9-12 DE Patriots Group: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=uprmnsdab&v=001Mo1LsqllbCDeajt2k0ecwTOn8_Pc4HbR3Sl4EltJvGv2b4Fc5XzkftagsKIbeFhbSjS3oiX-76Y72K-JoRQ4Hs-hr4FUig4XiH8EgbH75O5voQGwyS4c7H1btJsmXJoMLMDVJUoSoCXoc9KTvlDIII77C9gme30BFfOFCx181szccFpYlmzL62S_uwC2l8US1yfHoCNFrN0%3D
    I had linked information about the summit and Patterson’s involvement in the project from the Complete Communities website. I have also documented Patterson’s past involvement promoting smart growth. Patterson is the state coordinator for MD C4L and started the Cecil chapter. These are facts, not personal attacks. When Patterson’s activities promoting Agenda 21 were addressed with C4L, we were told it was none of our business what he did. I think that was the most shocking part. If it was found out that someone on the steering team of the Cecil County Patriots was involved in promoting Agenda 21, I can guarantee that it would be taken very seriously and that person would be voted off the steering team.

    Maybe Mr. Willick believes that it was a personal attack when I mentioned that Chris Zeauskas, was chair of the Cecil County GOP central committee who presented the resolution against Moore at the GOP convention was also on C4L’s steering team. Again, that is just a fact, nothing personal there. I thought it was a bit odd that C4L targeted Moore for changing to unaffiliated when they are supposed to be a non-partisan organization, and when I posted an article written from an alternate viewpoint, it was deleted, so the issue of the chair of the GOP central committee being on their steering team, as well as other members of the GOP central committee being on their steering team seems to be relevant given the partisan position they took on the issue.

    Mr. Willick is correct that members of the Patriots were very active in the election and could be seen on election day wearing campaign shirts of Harris, Bongino, local candidates (Moore, Hodge, McCarthy), and handing out literature on the ballot items and Romney, Bongino, Harris, and the local candidates. Prior to working the polls on election day, we had several volunteers devote many hours going door to door delivering information. We hosted a TEA party prior to the election. We are volunteers and I personally worked for who I believed were the most conservative, liberty minded candidates, and I am certainly not the least bit ashamed of that.

    Outside of elections, we hold our elected officials accountable by attending the weekly worksessions, the biweekly public meetings, and speaking out on issues. We brought the bike trail issue to the attention of C4L because we were aware of it as a result of going to the meetings. We do not exempt any of our elected officials from criticism, Republican, Democrat, or individual people, so the innuendo about a “relationship” between members of the CCP and certain politicians is misstated as is the suggestion that personal attacks have been made. The CCP has taken issue with our local C4L’s policy positions and handling of certain issues, but by calling these thing “personal attacks, Mr. Willick hopes to evade debating the issues on their substance.

    It is interesting that Mr. Willick says in regards to SB 236 that “both strategies have their pluses and minuses”, but he signed onto an email which claimed that Moore had given in to O’Malley and ceded our property rights to him in support of Plan MD. C4L then counted support for Map 10 (which does not have any impact on development rights) as a vote against liberty on their scorecard. I can understand why submitting no map might be enticing theoretically. However, policies are made in the real world, not the theoretical world. So I would be interested to hear C4L’s position on if we were to follow their position and submit no map, how would they insure that landowners would retain their property rights? What does Mr. Willick envision would happen if we do not submit any map at all?

  7. Wow Jackie , up at 2:30 in the morning on Christmas. I have kind of grown used to non-stop attempts to make C4L look bad , but this shows how nutty the witch hunt you have been on really is. I really do not have the time to waste on following up to every inaccurate post you put up but I feel like I must at least set the record straight on a few things in your late night rant. First of all…you , your sister ( also a Patriot steering committee member) and your mother had never commented on any post on C4L’s FaceBook page until the three of you all decided to start making accusations against various people involved with C4L. Seeing the three of you do that on the Patriots page is one thing , but I am not going to allow that nonsense on our page. So , I banned all three of you so that I would not have to deal with what was starting to be constant attacks. Saying that C4L stripped you of your 1st amendment rights is every bit as kooky as having your family post on our page or posting at 2:30 am on Christmas. You also claimed that C4L targeted Moore for switching to unaffiliated…..not true…..the issue was never brought up other than a link to a “Red MD” story that was posted on Facebook. This hardly constitutes “targeting”. And finally , let’s talk about the “Master Bicycle Plan”. The Patriots were in full opposition to this plan as was C4L , due to the fact that it was part of Agenda 21 and admittedly “partnering with Plan MD”. Tari Moore went on to vote “FOR” the plan. The Patriots never once said anything critical about Moore’s vote and in fact claimed that I was “throwing her under the bus” when C4L called her out on the vote. Funny how the Patriots can go on a 4 month witch hunt against Ted Patterson over his place of employment but can’t speak up when a commissioner they endorsed votes yes on a plan with admitted ties to Plan MD.
    Having said all of that , I would respectfully ask that the Patriots go about their business and let C4L go on with ours.

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