As you are certainly aware, I have a voice and a vote in the workings of the Maryland Republican Party. To me, though, it’s not about the lady and seven other gentlemen I work with on our Central Committee or those we elect to represent us on the state level. I would even argue it’s beyond the 20,867 or so Republicans in Wicomico County, 2,139 of whom I thank once again for keeping me in my seat for another term in 2010. I happen to believe I represent most of the million or so conservatives who haven’t yet abandoned Maryland, so my philosophy is trying to share information and advance a conservative agenda more or less in line with the aims of the Republican Party. Yes, I will veer off in a libertarian direction at times and might even stop in the liberal camp on a rare occasion, but with most Republicans I’m sure I rest comfortably in that 80 percent agreement zone.
Yet there are some in the party who seem to have a much more myopic view. As a prime example, they seem to believe the upcoming Chair election is only a concern to those who will actually vote on it; worse yet, they seem to be taking pains to only portray their chosen candidate in a positive light. Far from representing their 11,173 constituents, they seem to have formed an insular club that will see no evil, hear no evil, or speak no evil about their preferred choice. Allow me to present Exhibit #2. (Note: this doesn’t seem to work on all browsers, but it did work on IE and the link is good too. You just have to come back here to finish.)
The reason this is Exhibit #2 is that Exhibit #1, a link to a note reposted by Andrew Langer and written by Virginia RNC National Committeeman Morton Blackwell refuting recent claims by our National Committeeman Louis Pope about a deal between Blackwell and former MDGOP Chair Alex Mooney in placing Nicolee Ambrose on the RNC Rules Committee and shedding light on Diana Waterman’s role in last summer’s convention rules brouhaha, was only on the Talbot GOP Facebook page for a few short minutes before being deleted. (Mark Newgent shared the note on the Talbot GOP page as well as some others.) Exhibit #2 was my response to that redaction.
There’s no doubt that the Talbot GOP and their Chair Nick Panuzio have the right to do what they want on their page (as well as write misguided policy statements like this) but to me this reflects a mindset that it’s only about the views of their Central Committee and not about informing the rank-and-file Republican voter. (Very astute readers may recall that Panuzio moved to adjourn our convention in the fall of 2011 rather than further discuss the Rule 11 resolution Heather Olsen and I presented to that meeting. So shutting down debate seems to be nothing new with this crew.)
I get that they seem to be solid Diana Waterman backers, but I believe in order to select the right Chair we need to vet our candidates carefully and question their motives when needed. Remember, it was Louis Pope writing on behalf of Diana Waterman who made the Blackwell accusation in question. The objection many had to the change wasn’t solely in the removal of Nicolee Ambrose from nomination to the Standing Rules Committee but in the manner by which it was handled. To me, it was Rule 11 all over and the MDGOP shouldn’t operate like that.
I’m not sure how many readers I receive from Talbot County but this is a practice within your county’s Central Committee you should be aware of. Perhaps in 2014 you can advocate for candidates who will be more open to the party’s membership.