A couple years ago I spent several months moving back and forth between writing this site and working on two Examiner pages. But once I got a fairly regular gig at Pajamas Media (now PJ Media) I stopped working on the Examiner page – my last post there came in October, 2010. In the seven months the page was active I did about 90 posts, so about one every other day on the average.

Well, the Examiner folks have wanted me to come back and I think it’s time to do so. However, I am likely going to change from working on the Baltimore site to working on the Washington, D.C. site. It’s sort of a clunky title, but unless there’s a last minute change I don’t know about I will be the Eastern Maryland Political Buzz Examiner. (There was – it’s now Eastern Shore Political Buzz Examiner, which I like even better.) I look at it this way – to me, anything east of Washington, D.C. is fair game and Annapolis is east of our nation’s capital. (Technically, the title is based on where I live since Salisbury isn’t an Examiner base city.)

So why return now? Well, my audience is now larger and this gives me the opportunity to broaden my exposure still farther and hopefully make a little bit of coin while I’m at it. And since we have a number of great political races on this end of the state I think I can fill a political coverage need for those readers. Similarly to how I handle PJ Media stories, the initial headlines will be here.

And that’s not to say I’m not looking at or for other opportunities. But the words I say about economic development also apply to a great extent in the writing business: if you don’t grow, you die. The idea in this world is to maximize exposure in order to build a brand audience. I’ve noticed in the last couple years that Facebook promotion helped my readership jump as did more frequent usage of Twitter. But these techniques can only go so far, and the great advantage of having a vast body of work on local and state politics is the opportunity to drive new readers to my archives by proper linking to my relevant content here on monoblogue. It can be a win-win for both readers and myself.

Like I said when I first started with Examiner, I have a hard time sometimes expressing gratitude to those who support me – certainly there are a few who have been fans of my writing since its humble beginnings. So thanks to everyone who has taken the time to drop by my corner of the blogosphere, and once I get re-established on Examiner you can bookmark the other page as well. But I’ll still be here, too.

Ehrlich: It’s ‘up or out’ for me

On the Washington Post’s ‘Maryland Politics’ blog, Bob Ehrlich told reporters that if he loses Tuesday it will bring an end to his political career. “It would be very difficult to imagine” making another political run, said Bob.

Of course, Ehrlich was already lured out of a comfortable existence once to run this time, so perhaps this statement needs its grain of salt.

But if the polls are correct – even Ehrlich concedes he’s behind, although he claims the deficit is far less than the 14-point margin trumpeted by polls in both the Post and Baltimore Sun – and Ehrlich fails in this comeback bid, it means the Maryland Republican Party will be forced out of the comfort zone it’s enjoyed over much of the last decade by having Bob Ehrlich as a standardbearer.

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No debating a reclusive strategy

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve had some interesting give-and-take between various Maryland candidates – Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley sparred twice, First District Congressional candidates had some heated discussion in Queen Anne’s County, and what was said afterward was fodder in a Fifth District debate between Steny Hoyer and Charles Lollar.

But missing among the roster of debates is one between longtime incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski and Republican challenger Eric Wargotz.

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Gonzales Maryland Poll suggests 2006 redux

With time running out before Maryland voters head to the polls, the post-primary momentum which seemed to be on the side of Governor Martin O’Malley is letting up.

But the pace isn’t quick enough for Bob Ehrlich. The Maryland Poll put out today by Gonzales Research shows that Ehrlich continues to lag behind by five points. The key, according to the research, lies in the fact that Democrats are staying in the O’Malley column – they suggest that “17 percent among Democrats for Ehrlich on Election Day won’t do it.”

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Polling stories: O’Malley plus 8, Harris plus 3

Maybe the Washington Post poll dismissed by Bob Ehrlich as “out of whack” wasn’t so far off after all.

Yesterday Rasmussen came out with its latest poll on the governor’s race; a survey which gave Martin O’Malley a lead he hasn’t enjoyed in quite awhile. The 49%-41% margin can’t be good news for the Republican standardbearer who seems to be a victim of a backlash against the TEA Party by entrenched Democrats in one of the few places they still have political muscle.

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AFP Maryland speaks out

There’s more fallout from “the Salisbury Chicken Incident.”

The Maryland chapter of Americans for Prosperity is demanding an apology from the Maryland Democratic Party after an employee and several other cohorts attempted to hijack a “November Is Coming” Bus Tour rally in Salisbury on Thursday where the voting record of Rep. Frank Kratovil was to be discussed. Chuck Cook, Field Organizer for the Maryland Democratic Party, burst into the restaurant, disrupted the peaceful rally, and harassed several attendees with video cameras. Video of the harassment and disruption of the event can be seen HERE (video courtesy of

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I look at it this way – if our opponents want to look like fools, let them do so as much as possible!

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Kratovil airs ‘quite misleading’ ad

If this is the way that Frank Kratovil is going to run his campaign to keep his House seat away from Andy Harris from here on out, expect it to be a nasty battle – but count on it being a campaign which hides some of the key facts.

An ad that’s so far only been seen on the internet claims that Andy Harris supports a 23% sales tax increase. But when even – hardly a friend of the conservative movement – cries foul on a similar advertisement, you know you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Yet the Kratovil campaign is standing behind the statement made in the ad.

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By the way, here’s the ad Kratovil did:

And the original AFSCME ad, as shown on

It also leads to a coordination question, but I’ll leave that for another day. Suffice to say that the commercial isn’t exactly above board – then again, that’s how Kratovil ran his last campaign too.

Crying poverty?

I’ve talked about pathetic fundraising pitches before, but Barb Mikulski must really be playing us for suckers if she wants us to believe she doesn’t have the $30,000 to see her latest commercial.

We prepared this great ad about what we’re doing to fight for Maryland and get our beautiful state’s economy back to work. We’re launching it later today, but wanted to give you — one of my most loyal supporters — a sneak peek.

We need to raise $30,000 before September 30, in order to keep this ad up on television and spread our message to voters.

Give it a rest, Barb – you have $2.9 million on hand (as of June 30) so pay for your commercial yourself.

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New Rasmussen Poll has O’Malley up 3

Just released this afternoon, the newest (and first post-primary) Rasmussen Poll has Martin O’Malley eclipsing the 50 percent mark for the first time in his rematch with former governor Bob Ehrlich. The numbers have it at 50-47 O’Malley.

It continues a trend that’s seen O’Malley regain momentum after a spring and summer which saw Ehrlich catch up to O’Malley after being down by 9 points in Rasmussen’s initial sampling back in February.

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Murphy backs Ehrlich but blasts state GOP

After losing the primary by a considerable margin, Brian Murphy did the right thing and threw his support behind winner Bob Ehrlich. In a message to supporters, he wrote:

“I entered the race because I am a fiscal conservative, and Marylanders cannot afford higher taxes or fees. Bob Ehrlich has pledged not to raise either, and so he has my full support in the General Election against Martin O’Malley.”

Obviously conservatives in Maryland, led by Murphy, will be holding Ehrlich’s feet to the fire about fiscal prudence. It’s a stand which seems to have a lot of support in the state as Bob Ehrlich spoke about fiscal conservatism early on as part of an overall pro-business stance.

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