I’d almost like to thank the Maryland Republican Party for handing me a subject I can write on while the state convention is going on, but perhaps this may instead thankfully be the final foot in the mouth for the Waterman regime.
On Thursday we learned that the Maryland Republican Party views bloggers as a cash cow and not a legitimate source of news and information. (Really, I should say independent bloggers since those associated with a mainstream news outlet are okay to them.) Needless to say, a lot of my peers are up in arms about this one.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret – I’ve been covering the convention for years. Media credential? I don’t need no stinkin’ media credential! Granted, I have a job to do for those who elected me as well, but the MDGOP should be well aware by now I put up a summary post or two afterward. So do most of the other blogs in the state.
But do they really think people aren’t going to Tweet, Facebook, or otherwise share what goes on at the convention? The first people who will know who the new state party Chair is will be in the room, but within five minutes the rest of the world will know.
The MDGOP should be honored that someone like William Jacobson (of Legal Insurrection) wants to have the opportunity to cover the event. Perhaps the coverage won’t be as glowing as the party would like, but do they honestly think the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, et. al. will focus on the message we are trying to send out or the agenda they want to hear? Obviously we’ve had a contentious race for Chair and they smell blood – I never see them at an uncontroversial state party convention.
So provided I don’t get rousted out of the event for protesting – I’m planning on wearing my CPAC credentials as a show of support for the Maryland blogging community – look for full coverage tomorrow. I will also be Tweeting as news breaks (@ttownjotes).
The headline screamed “Washington Post poll finds support for stricter gun laws in Maryland.” And if you glanced at a poll put out last week by the venerable leftist paper, you might be led to believe our state is home to a bunch of idiots. Well, it is, but somehow it seems the Post found several hundred who answered the phone the weekend before last.
It’s obvious the poll isn’t aimed at the Post readership because they reliably tilt to the left – if you’re a conservative in the Beltway area you probably pick up the Washington Times. Instead, I think it was aimed at a small group of politicians: Democrats in the House of Delegates who may balk at passing this legislation. Yet they really have nothing to fear, given that the poll was taken from a random sampling of adults in Maryland, mainly on a weekend.
I also found the second question to be a loaded one, as three separate items were tucked into one question very similar to the previous one. Even among Second Amendment enthusiasts, most would agree that a background check is a good idea and that question scored 82 percent in the Post poll. Knowing that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that when background checks are included in the palette of options for the very next question, the answer would be yes. I doubt that nearly as many Marylanders would agree to fingerprints or an eight-hour training course. And it’s not lost on me that the financial cost of O’Malley’s plan to individual gun owners was left on the cutting room floor as a question to be asked.
Personally, I would trust the thousands who attempted to testify against making Maryland’s already-stringent gun laws even more draconian and safely own and handle guns over people who aren’t even gun owners – less than three out of ten who responded to the Post poll were willing to admit they owned a weapon. I daresay they didn’t call a whole lot of NRA members then.
Ignore gun owners at your peril, Maryland General Assembly.
I think this is a good time to remind you about yesterday’s post on the Annapolis bus trip slated for tomorrow.
Perhaps you’ve heard about this, but if not here you go:
The Tea Party News Network (TPNN), on the heels of their launch seven days ago, today announced remarkable growth in traffic and online viewership. For TPNN’s initial broadcast on election night, the website received over 50,000 unique visits to TPNN.com, and more than 91,000 unique viewers to the live streaming video broadcast of their election coverage. With a partnership through the Rusty Humphries Show and the Talk Radio Network, TPNN’s election coverage reached hundreds of thousands of others on over 350 radio affiliates across the nation.
“We’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve received from tea party members. We knew there was demand for an online right-of-center news outlet that focuses on tea party news, but this exceeds our expectations,” said Todd Cefaratti, the editor and founder of TPNN. “We’re now more confident than ever there’s room for political coverage that comes from a place untainted by the liberal mainstream media, provided by the tea party, for the tea party.”
“There are a lot of so-called pundits and commentators in Washington and New York saying that the tea party is now irrelevant and blaming millions of proud tea party Americans for the election results,” said Scottie Nell Hughes, news director of TPNN. “If they knew the real strength of our movement, and they would come to a different conclusion. We’ve seen the strength through the demand for TPNN and we’re humbled by the comments from viewers and reader. We vow to keep up the momentum moving in to this important new year and to hold politicians accountable to the Constitution.
So I suppose this is the TEA Party’s answer to MSNBC.
But there needs to be some context, as mainstream news outlets likely had audiences in six to eight figures. Then again, when I’ve witnessed lengthy internet broadcasts which only attract half the audience that TPNN did on Election Night, that’s fairly impressive for the internet. It may be something worth watching.
This evening I’m choosing to highlight some of what you may not have heard on the evening news. Republicans in Maryland don’t always get a lot of news coverage, but they were handed a golden opportunity for criticism about the Obama Administration and their handling of the Ambassador Chris Stevens murder and other issues around the Middle East.
So let’s look at how some of these challengers are reacting to Middle East tensions, beginning with U.S. Senate hopeful Dan Bongino.
My prayers go out to the families and friends of Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans who were brutally massacred yesterday in Benghazi. As a Secret Service agent, I saw firsthand the dangers that face our diplomats as they go about the business of spreading the message of freedom and democracy to other nations. I have the greatest respect for these men and women and for those who are called on to protect them. I join all Americans in thanking them for their service to our country.
This tragedy underscores our need for a peace through strength foreign policy, not a chaos through weakness approach. America must forever be vigilant toward the danger posed by those who choose violence over diplomacy, disorder over peace.
That “chaos through weakness” approach seems to be even more apparent as more is learned about the situation. Obviously Dan has a unique perspective on the situation, which is why he was in demand as a news guest after the incident. He was more harsh on Andrew Wilkow’s show on The Blaze’s new cable channel:
Either this was the worst threat assessment done by completely incompetent people or the threat assessment was accurate and was ignored.
Of the Congressional Republican candidates who reacted, some were more brief. For example, Third District candidate Eric Knowles noted on his Facebook page:
Work to preserve our liberties for generations to come – this is the ultimate way we can honor those who lost their lives on this day as well as those who sacrificed so much in the resulting wars.
Also on Facebook, Seventh District aspirant Frank Mirabile took exception to Obama’s statements on the President’s weekly radio address yesterday:
Mr. President where is the issuance of…
“The United States of America WILL NOT tolerate any acts of terrorism issued against American diplomats or those who protect them. Period. We WILL bring upon those who participated in these acts of aggression the true nature of American Justice and Retribution! America will not tolerate terrorist acts of aggression against it’s people.”
Nancy Jacobs, who’s running in the Second District, minced no words: “America needs to be tough.”
As we Americans spent the day reflecting on the horrors of 9/11, a similar incident of mass murder and hate by religious zealots was underway at the U.S. Embassy in Libya. The killing of our Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and three other diplomatic staff by an angry mob in Benghazi is an absolute outrage. Today I feel terrible grief for the families of the victims but also immense anger over the attack.
Our leaders in Washington should be expressing to the world that we will not be terrorized by radical extremists. We cannot afford a mealy mouthed response to this atrocious act. It is critical that America stand strong, shout loud and show, with our actions, it will do everything necessary to protect the safety and security of our people here and overseas. The world must know those who dare to participate in such lawlessness should be aware that the United States has the strength, ability and resolve to fight back if necessary.
It is also critical for America to immediately address with Israeli leadership the continuing threat to Israel by Iraq. Instability in the region is a huge threat to the world and America. Throughout we have stood proud, strong and tough in defense of democracy. We must be ever so clear that America will not start wavering now.
Perhaps it’s fitting that Eighth District hopeful Ken Timmerman, who’s written extensively on the Middle East, also had a diatribe which featured this remark:
It’s time that we face reality: the so-called Arab Spring that the United States aided and abetted has ushered in an Islamist Dark Age descending upon much of the Middle East that endangers Americans, endangers Christians and other religious minorities, and endangers Israel.
It also directly threatens the authentic, pro-freedom forces in these countries that Ambassador Stephens and his colleagues tried bravely to nurture.
Timmerman is one who’s calling for specific action: suspending aid to Libya and other governments in the region until they clean up their acts and bring perpetrators to justice. It’s a start.
The more I hear about how one portion of the media seems to desperately playing defense for their favored candidate, while a collection of foreign sources and domestic alternative media tries to uncover what’s really happened and – more importantly – what led up to it. Missing daily security briefings at a critical foreign policy juncture, as the President has reportedly done, is legitimately a questionable policy issue and Mitt Romney should call President Obama out on it. This point is made by pro-troop group Move America Forward, with spokesman Danny Gonzalez noting:
(MAF) also pointed to the official White House Calendar, which showed no public record of President Obama attending a daily intelligence briefing since September 5th, as further evidence that the administration is not taking foreign policy or national security seriously. Hostile foreign regimes and terrorist groups around the globe have picked up on his nonchalant attitude and have displayed a pattern of further testing his commitment to American national security.
While Romney was condemned in the press for supposedly speaking too soon, it turns out his gut instinct was pretty much on the mark. Did you actually think the mainstream, partisan media would give him a fair shake? Neither did I. And those who were ignored until I mentioned it today finally get a piece of their due as well.
Well, I hope this is the beginning of a renewed trend.
There was a time when I was on the radio a lot more than I have been recently, which led me to see just what volume number I was on because my last radio interview was in April, 2011, when I was featured on the liberal gabfest Thom Hartmann Show.
As it turns out, yesterday’s radio appearance on Blaine Young’s WFMD-AM show wasn’t all that much different in that I was promoting something I wrote, but it was the first of what I hope are many radio appearances to promote my book So We May Breathe Free: Avoiding Ineptocracy.
And perhaps I’m my own harshest critic, but I thought I left a lot to be desired. In my defense, I have to say there were two strikes working against me: my shot was delayed an hour because of unrelated events in Frederick (which made me a little bit more nervous) and I didn’t really get a transition – it was just boom! I’m on. That definitely threw me; I’m more used to having a bit of an introduction but I guess Blaine’s show doesn’t work that way – I just have to be more prepared for that. Obviously I know why I wrote the book, and I honestly think I’m as qualified as any other so-called political pundit to be an analyst. But I sort of staggered through that part of the interview because I was a little off my game. I need to work on that portion.
I did enjoy the conversation about Maryland politics, though. No, it really didn’t relate to my book but I suppose it does enhance my political bonafides by having a relatively detailed discussion of a political subject. There’s nothing wrong with promoting my website as well as my book.
Overall, I’d give myself a C-minus for the effort, but the real test is whether my book sales will ratchet upward. Obviously I do these radio interviews to help sell books because if I don’t sell So We May Breathe Free my ideas don’t make it into the marketplace and I happen to think I have pretty valid ideas. Some of my more fervent backers swear I have plenty of writing talent, but that has to translate into sales and hopefully I didn’t miss an opportunity today.
Still, I want to thank Blaine Young for extending that chance. Maybe this Delmarva player wasn’t quite ready for Frederick yet, but once I knock the rust off I’m sure I’ll get better – remember, it’s been about 16 months since I did a radio show and I thought I did pretty fair on the last one. So if you have a radio show or know someone with one – even if it’s just a little internet station – I’m happy to come on and promote my book. You need content and I need sales, so let’s see if we can strike a deal.
There’s one thing I thought about during the hour delay and wish I had said in the actual interview, though. You have to love a system where someone like me – who has no pedigree and was basically ignored by the literary world – still has the opportunity to express a message. I can live with putting myself out there and being a total flop based on the weakness of my argument, but what I can’t abide is never getting the chance at all. Yesterday I got my chance, and I’m confident I’ll get more because I’m going to keep knocking on the door.
From time to time, there is a discussion about the role people like me play and a post from last Friday by Melissa Clouthier talks about a recent court case in Oregon where a blogger was sued for libel and lost in part because she was denied the media shield protection a “regular” journalist receives. As Clouthier writes:
This case disturbs me as a blogger. I’ve had sources feed me stories – nearly every blogger has sources. There should be shield law protection. Period.
She also notes:
Right now, bloggers are exposed. If a big corporation, a rich/important individual, the government or someone in power wants to harass a blogger, he simply has to sue them into compliance. Even if the powerful has no case, the lawsuit itself can put an independent journalist out of business.
Melissa also links to an old acquaintance of mine from my days in Toledo, Maggie Thurber. Maggie adds a little bit of context to the discussion regarding this public service that bloggers do:
We have several local examples of people doing their part, including (one woman) who attends Toledo City Council Meetings, takes notes and then shares them with us here on this blog.
It doesn’t take much, since many are already attending meetings across the county – and anyone who share their meeting notes here is welcome to do so.
As we’ve found out, much to our chagrin at times, the mainstream media can’t be everywhere and even when they are present they don’t always cover the event well. For example, I have been at probably fifty Wicomico County Republican Club meetings over the last several years, where public officials utter statements which can be newsworthy. I believe there has been one instance where print media was present, but to be honest I forget who it was for. And while Salisbury City Council and Wicomico County Council have received regular coverage, the press tends to ignore smaller communities, political forums, and the like where news can be made, too.
Unfortunately, I’ve also found that the role of self-appointed journalist doesn’t always suit some people, and perhaps that’s the reason we haven’t earned that First Amendment protection. (There are a few plaintiffs locally who may agree with that initial statement, considering their dealings with another local blogger.)
While we don’t have the rights that “mainstream” journalists have, to be good at what we do and to legitimize what’s still a maturing news resource we still have the responsibility to be accurate and honest in both our reporting and the disclosure of our point of view. There’s no question I come with a conservative slant to what I write, and I don’t deny it. But that doesn’t relieve me of the responsibility to be as accurate as possible when I put on my reporter’s hat.
Certainly, though, there is one part of the statement which Melissa brings up and I allude to a couple paragraphs above. If someone with money or power is “wronged” by a blogger, they certainly have the means to destroy that blogger even if he or she is in the right. It’s sort of the inverse to the scenario where a company settles out of court with a plaintiff to avoid the prospect of losing a much bigger settlement at trial.
The Crystal Cox case is illustrative of what can happen to a blogger. Based on one post out of several regarding the plaintiff, a federal judge ruled against her defense that she was entitled to her state’s media shield law. U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez wrote:
(T)he record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law.
In the interest of disclosure, Hernandez was slated to be a Bush appointee, but he was held out by the end of Bush’s term and renominated by President Obama last year.
Now I have written before about the difficulties some bloggers have with financial support, but this is another potential landmine we all face. Not only could we use some financial assistance from those who could find us useful to advance a political agenda, but the possibility of more rulings like Judge Hernandez spewed forth means we need to find a way to legitimize ourselves in the eyes of the public.
Unfortunately, it was one post out of hundreds Cox wrote which did her in, and there’s the possibility that anyone who says something which gravely offends someone in a position of power can be in the same boat. That possibility is one which chills the national discourse, and shield laws should expand to allow those who blog the same rights as any other freelance journalist who toils for the print media. Of course we shouldn’t be able to get away with libel, but those bloggers who can prove themselves to be responsible at their craft despite their independence shouldn’t be penalized, either.
As I mentioned last night, I added a few new websites to my sidebar links. One interesting add was a site called Zilla of the Resistance, which I had originally run across via a link from The Other McCain. But what sparked my interest again was a link to her from another Maryland-based site called The Vail Spot, which I also link to. Both Vail and Zilla have something in common which I’m sure they aren’t proud of, but has been an issue: the writers have had recent financial hardships, for various reasons, and both were assisted by the generosity of their reader base.
Over the holidays I did a little bit of light reading, and while I was doing so it occurred to me that the General Assembly session is sneaking up on us rather quickly. In 2011 that session set the scene for what turned out to be one of our side’s rare successes in Maryland, the petition drive to bring the in-state tuition law for illegal aliens to referendum later this year. It appears that will be on the ballot since CASA de Maryland and other pro-illegal groups are dropping the challenge to the petition signatures and narrowing their focus to whether the referendum itself is legal while simultaneously fundraising to sustain the law at the ballot box.
That fundraising: $10 million. What that means: carpet-bombing the media with images of poor, purportedly law-abiding and successful immigrant families being denied a chance at the American Dream due to racist TEA Partiers who hate all those who look different than they do. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
And this nicely leads me into my main points of this post, which will be the first of a multipart series on what I’m calling the Maryland Model. You see, part of my reading over the holidays was this RedState article on what is called the Colorado Model, which led me to read the original post on this strategy from the Weekly Standard back in 2008. Read those articles (I’ll wait for you) then take a look at how the CASA de Maryland folks are fighting the will of the people here in the Free State.
While they have seven pieces to the puzzle in the RedState article, I’ve consolidated these to what I can call the 4 M’s: money, message, media, and mobilization.
This is a column I submitted to the Daily Times. A slightly longer version was submitted to another Maryland outlet.
In the 2011 session of the Maryland General Assembly, members of the House of Delegates tried and failed to get the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Act of 2011 through the legislature. Undaunted by that legislative defeat, in early June Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order to study an oil and natural gas-field process called hydraulic fracturing, with a final report not required until August 2014. It’s a demand to study a process used in more than one million U.S. wells during the past 60 years.
In layman’s terms, “fracking,” as the procedure is better known, uses a solution forced into hard underground rock formations to create tiny fissures. The fissures allow energy resources — in Maryland’s case, natural gas — to be released and extracted.
(Continued at delmarvanow.com…)
I bring this up because I find the venue interesting.
It so happens I was quoted in yesterday’s Coastal Dispatch out of Ocean City in an article by Shawn J. Soper regarding the prospect of an elected school board in Wicomico County. And while the quote wasn’t perfect (or perhaps I didn’t read my statement accurately) Soper conveyed the point I was trying to make, so kudos to him.
One has to ask, though, why an Ocean City paper is picking up something the Daily Times chose to ignore as they covered the budget hearing at Parkside instead. I’ll grant that the school board fight is somewhat old news but so are budget troubles. It’s just that the sob story at Parkside was almost guaranteed to attract a big crowd.
Yet one story actually goes well with the other. If we had an elected school board there would be more accountability for the budgetary process, and perhaps fiscally conservative board members would make the budget work under the constraints of the numbers given to them by the County Executive without a lot of wailing or gnashing of teeth. As it is, we have the emotional outpouring of parents and students who see the first fallback option given by the board is cutting sports and other extracurricular activities. Tell me that’s not a scare tactic.
It seems to me that over $11,000 per pupil is a bit much when parochial schools can charge less. (Yes, I understand that public schools have to take the special education students and troublemakers, but their numbers shouldn’t add that much to the budget.) After all, what is their goal – would a public school student get a better education if only we spent $15,000 per pupil? What about $25,000 – is that enough for their needs?
The sad truth is that no one knows exactly what a quality education costs because it has little to do with money. If money were the sole determiner, homeschooled children would be blithering idiots; instead, they generally turn out to be among the best and brightest. On the other hand, inner-city districts would be cranking out the next generation of doers like the late Steve Jobs because they spent a ton of money, but we know that’s not the case.
And the tactic of scheduling the budget meeting at a time when it’s well known County Council meets is very questionable on the part of the Board of Education. Surely the Parkside auditorium was open any other night this week, but they chose Tuesday and someone needs to ask the rationale behind that. It seems like this isn’t the way to promote a cooperative effort.
One thing is certain, though – this problem isn’t going away soon. As for the elected school board, all we need is to have the General Assembly do their job without obfuscating the question and we’ll be well on our way. Hear that, Delegate Norm ‘Five Dollar’ Conway?
At least Andy Harris listened.
Today, Rep. Andy Harris voted against the debt ceiling increase. The plan did not require passage of a balanced budget amendment, which Rep. Harris feels is essential to bringing permanent common sense accountability to Washington.
“A balanced budget amendment is the only way to make sure the federal government spends what it takes in and lives within its means,” said Rep. Andy Harris. “Over the past few weeks I have repeatedly voted for reasonable proposals to raise the debt ceiling that included passage of a balanced budget amendment. But I didn’t come to Washington to continue writing blank checks. Maryland’s families and job creators sent me to Congress to permanently change the way Washington does business. I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s remarkable, historic efforts to craft a proposal to solve the debt ceiling issue. But today’s debt ceiling deal just doesn’t go far enough to build an environment for job creation by requiring passage of a balanced budget amendment to bring permanent common sense accountability to Washington.”
Currently, the U.S. Government has a national debt of $14.3 trillion and runs an annual deficit of $1.65 trillion.
I have been told by someone close to the Congressman that Andy was “one of the ringleaders” in getting the BBA into the original Boehner plan that was quickly shot down by Senate Democrats, so it was fitting and proper that he didn’t vote for this version.
Unfortunately, Andy’s dissent was in vain since the measure passed 269-161 – Republicans passed the bill 174-66 while Democrats evenly split 95-95. But at least Andy got some face time on the evening news (from about the 17-minute mark through the end.)
So the country is “saved” from having to stick to a budget plan – after all, that which is cut can be restored at any time. But if there’s a Constitutional amendment passed it would be more difficult (but not impossible, of course) to overspend.
You know, almost a century ago we passed a series of Constitutional amendments in less than a decade. In 1913 we allowed the income tax (16th Amendment) and provided for direct election of Senators (17th Amendment.) Six years later we enacted Prohibition with the 18th Amendment and in 1920 women gained the vote (19th Amendment.) That’s a lot of radical change in what was considered the “progressive” era.
Perhaps 2013 will begin a new series of Constitutional amendments, beginning with the passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment. But truly progressive reform would continue with the enactment of Congressional term limits (extending the 22nd Amendment enacting Presidential term limits to the legislative branch,) repealing the 16th Amendment to pave the way for a truly fair taxation system (one based on consumption,) and several other ideas I’ve had before.
So the fight’s not over, but it gives us all some breathing room before the fight begins anew in the 2012 election.
As the old saying goes, there are two sides to (almost) every story, and the annual event in Crisfield provides plenty of comparisons.
Take the location for example – a marina filled with boats valued in the tens of thousands of dollars hard by low-income housing. Denizens of the immediate neighborhood look forward to the Clam Bake as it provides an opportunity to sell parking spots to people who don’t wish to walk as far to the event.
In short, they create their own economic development. But bringing 3,500 visitors to Crisfield is an economic boost to the area.
While the event has a reputation as a political stop, there is a business element there too. Some companies look to get or keep their name out in the area.
Others use it as a reward to their customers, hosting elaborate parties within the party.
But the crowd was noticeably smaller than last year’s. Yes, this is not an election year but even the number of businesses which took tent space seemed smaller. How often do you see this?
Maybe it’s something about Area 51? But this is a shot I took around 1:30 or so at the peak of the festivities.
Compare that crowd to this still shot from last year.
Even the mugs weren’t being snatched up as quickly.
As you’ll notice in the panoramic picture, there are two main areas where crowds gather. On one side are the smaller tents set up for businesses and groups. But many people sit in the pavilion and enjoy musical entertainment.
I can’t say I’m a fan of country or bluegrass, but a number of people sat under the pavilion to listen.
I know, I know – you readers are saying, “Michael, you have a political website. What’s the political dirt?” Well, there are two sides to that as well.
One guy who seems to straddle that line is Bruce Bereano, who annually has among the largest tents and his own “corner.” However, with a revised setup this year he was more in the middle.
In a nice touch, Bereano has honored a local leader for the last couple years.
If you don’t believe he works to both sides of the aisle, consider that the following two signs were close together on his tent.
Could this be the gubernatorial matchup for 2014? Peter Franchot could obviously be entrenched as Comptroller for as long as he wants to be but my feeling is he wants something more. Meanwhile, David Craig is term-limited as Harford County Executive but obviously has a run for something in mind three years hence. My guess would be that “something” is a long-term stay in Government House.
A matchup which will occur sooner is a statewide battle for the U.S. Senate seat held by Ben Cardin. Presumably he was a little busy today, but a number of volunteers were sporting his colors and registering voters as they stood in the food lines.
Arriving a little later was a man who’s aiming to be his Republican rival, Dan Bongino. Here he’s talking to Bill Harris of Cecil County.
I also spied Eric Wargotz there with his wife. But he wasn’t openly campaigning at this time.
Like Senator Cardin, Congressman Andy Harris was likely a little busy today but had volunteers and signs with a sharply pointed message about. Eventually a lot of folks were wearing yellow Harris shirts.
By gosh, I think Andy is right. But there was someone quite familiar to him there.
Allow me to pose a question. Why would you spend $200 on tickets and a half tank of gas to come down and eat crabs one can probably get just as readily in Queen Anne’s County? Perhaps it’s a case of best two out of three? For all his talk about time with the family I don’t think, given the power and prestige of a seat in Congress, he can let it go just to be a cheerleader for Ben Cardin.
And there were a few cheerleaders for our state’s junior Senator.
Yet the Democrats had a modest, unassuming presence compared to the GOP.
That’s not to say both parties weren’t represented, to be sure. Here’s two of our best freshman Delegates, Charles Otto and Justin Ready.
They weren’t the only freshmen Republicans there, as I saw Michael Hough, Kathy Szeliga, and of course my Delegate Mike McDermott at the event.
Meanwhile, Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt was reaching across the aisle, greeting old friends in the Somerset County Republican tent.
On the other hand, Norm Conway was holed up around the Democrats’ base.
Even the unaffiliated were there. Yes, last I checked Laura Mitchell of Salisbury City Council doesn’t state a party affiliation. I did catch up to her just outside the Democratic tent, though.
Nor was national politics forgotten. Kevin Waterman (who some may know for the Questing for Atlantis website) came supporting his choice for President, Gary Johnson.
Republican politics must run in that family – his mother Diana (who I cut off in the photo) is First Vice-Chair of the Maryland GOP.
Needless to say, the media was there as well. WBOC-TV was on location shooting footage, and I saw print reporters and fellow bloggers about, too.
But I’m curious if anyone else will report on this tidbit.
Notice the flag placed in the corner of the Democrats’ tent? It’s the Wicomico County flag.
Now I’m not convinced that the official imprimatur of our fair county should be in that tent – granted, Democrats have a plurality of voters here but Republicans hold more elected seats in county government. If it’s an endorsement of Democratic principles (such as they are) for our county, consider me as a conscientious objector.
So while the turnout was smaller than in years past, it was still a good event for the Crisfield community. And the rain, which I noticed on my drive back, stayed away.
Look for an interesting cast of characters for next year’s event, which should fall after the 2012 primary on July 18, 2012.