Returning to her roots

There are occasions in life where everything goes full circle, bringing you back to where you began – just older and (hopefully) wiser.

So it is with the political journey of Carmen Amedori, who’s been quiet on these pages for some time as she tried to build a real estate business in Ocean City. It was a well-deserved respite after a tumultous few years which took her from the House of Delegates seat she won in Carroll County in 1998 to an appointment by then-Governor Bob Ehrlich to the Maryland Parole Commission in 2004, where she served five years.

But 2010 was Amedori’s year of chaos, pinballing between an abortive run for the U.S. Senate, a 10-day stint as gubernatorial challenger Brian Murphy’s running mate – a move she later regretted – then, after winning a seat on the Worcester County Republican Central Committee in September 2010 she considered a run for state Republican Party chair before later backing out.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this linked on my Facebook page:

Former state Delegate and Maryland Parole Commissioner Carmen Amedori has filed her candidacy for the Maryland House of Delegates Legislative District 5 Carroll County. Amedori represented Carroll County in the House from 1999 to 2004. In 2004, she was appointed to the Maryland Parole Commission where she served five and a half years as a Parole Commissioner.

“It would be an honor, once again, to work for the citizens of Carroll County and serve as their voice on issues such as no tax increases, protections for the unborn child, and the Second Amendment for gun owners, and defeating Common Core curriculum in our schools,” Amedori said. “Under the eight years of O’Malley-Brown administration citizens have been overburdened with more taxes and fees which the current House delegation did not fight hard enough against. As a knee-jerk reaction to rogue school shootings one of the most restrictive anti-gun legislation packages was passed hindering law-abiding citizens from exercising their right to purchase and own a firearm. We need to do more and do it better. We need a stronger voice in Annapolis from our House delegation.”

“Our House delegation has had problems getting legislation passed in Annapolis such as the non-profit Casino bill. This is a revenue issue and our non-profit volunteer fire companies will benefit by it. I would work to eliminate the current gridlock on local legislation and would enjoy working with our Senate delegation as a unified voice for Carroll County. I am excited to begin my campaign to put Carroll County first.”

“I have been encouraged by many of Carroll’s constituents and friends to run,” Amedori said. “They are looking for conservative representation in the House from a person they can trust, and who will uphold their oath to honor the Constitution and vote accordingly.”

At this moment, Amedori joins a field with three incumbent legislators, two of whom were redistricted into the revamped District 5. Donald Elliott was elected in District 4B, which covered both Carroll and Frederick counties, while Susan Krebs hails from the Carroll side of District 9B, which also covered a portion of Howard County. Justin Ready already represents Carroll in the former District 5A. The new map somewhat resembles the district Amedori was originally elected in, a time when she served with both Elliott and (later) Krebs in the General Assembly. Ready was first elected in 2010.

Of course, the obvious question for voters in Carroll County will be whether Carmen’s heart is in this, given her recent tendencies. Then again, she won two elections in Carroll County so she had some appeal to voters back then. Will everything old become new again, and if so, at who’s expense?

Promises, promises

You know, I hate to say this because I’m generally not one to talk badly about people – but why is Pat McDonough even mentioning the idea of running for Governor in 2014?

I received this press release from him yesterday evening, from which I reprint the following (it’s the meat of the story) verbatim, with emphasis of original included:



Since Delegate McDonough and his team have been contacting Republicans and others around the State to organize his state-wide tour, people have been enquiring about his future intentions.  Some have speculated that Delegate McDonough may be interested in running for Governor.

The 2016 election will showcase, for the first time, an open seat for the state’s highest elective office.  Delegate McDonough, a three-term legislator, displayed an interest in the Governorship in 2010, but announced he would withdraw if former Governor Robert Ehrlich entered the election.  Mr.  Ehrlich did eventually enter the Governor’s race.  Keeping his word, Delegate McDonough withdrew and supported Ehrlich’s bid.

Delegate McDonough would be the only Baltimore area Republican entering the race since all of the potential candidates mentioned are from other parts of the state.

Delegate McDonough said, “2014 is too far in the future to speculate. Right now, I am interested in helping to defeat in-state tuition.”  (Delegate McDonough was the Honorary Chairman of the state-wide petition campaign to place the Dream Act on the ballot).

“I intend, at this time, to seek re-election to the House of Delegates,” concluded Delegate McDonough.

So…you’re going to gather a “large group of supporters” and begin a statewide tour to oppose the DREAM Act (while, coincidentally, promoting yourself), not to mention (oh wait, yes you did mention it) you’re the only Baltimore-area politician who would be considering a bid for Governor – even though you’re simply running for Delegate “at this time.” (Isn’t Harford County, home of David Craig, just next door to Baltimore? I may not be from Maryland but I can read a map enough to know the counties are adjacent.)

This from the guy who in 2012 originally was going to run for the Second District Congressional seat, balked, considered a U.S. Senate run, and then punted to simply backing the DREAM Act petition to referendum while doing a statewide tour. Shades of Carmen Amedori!

Until I see his name on the Maryland State Board of Elections ballot summary, it’s hard telling just what Pat will do besides grab as many barrels of ink as he can while doing it. It’s getting harder and harder to take him seriously, though, particularly when whoever wrote his release makes the elementary mistake of talking about the 2016 election when Maryland next votes for governor in 2014.

Then again, that’s the next time one of Maryland’s two U.S. Senate seats becomes available after 2012 so maybe Pat’s covering the bases yet again.

Another leaves the MDGOP Chair race

I’ve learned today that after exploring the possibility and discussing it with a number of others in and out of Maryland politics former Delegate and 2010 candidate Carmen Amedori is taking a pass on the MDGOP Chair race. Instead, she plans to “concentrate on getting gains in the Party down here right now as a member of the Worcester County Central Committee.”

“I have many things on the burners. It would be something that needs 100% of someone’s time,” she continued.

Like any similar race, the final few days have seen the field whittled down significantly; however, one oddity is that all three contenders currently living here on the Eastern Shore (Andrew Langer, Eric Wargotz, and Amedori) have withdrawn from consideration. It leaves a field of either three or four men and one woman in the race, with most coming from the center of the state. (Former Senator Alex Mooney hasn’t decided yet whether to run for Chair or 1st Vice-Chair; if he runs for Chair it would add a little geographical diversity.)

So the field narrows and the odds change again.

In other news, I was informed by former Wicomico County Executive candidate John Wayne Baker that he’s switched allegiance to the Republican Party. I’d like to personally welcome him and invite any others who believe in conservative principles to follow John.

As one example why, if you follow this site at all you know we’re having a healthy discussion about who should lead our party. Those other guys had their leadership dictated by Governor O’Malley – Susan Turnbull was installed at his behest. That doesn’t seem very democratic. On the other hand, we are being very republican as your elected party representatives will vote on the party leadership.

Just because those other guys control the levers of power and seem to be unaccountable is no reason to stay. As we saw last month, politics isn’t forever.

The MDGOP horserace

(This post has been entirely updated here.)

I’ve had enough people ask me who I think is going to be chair that I’ve decided to lay odds on what I think would happen. (Odds are for amusement only, no wagering please.)

Here is the race as I see it and why. I’ll update this in a week or so before the race; by then we should have a pretty good idea of the field. (Now updated to reflect two withdrawals – Andrew Langer and Eric Wargotz.)

  • Mary Kane (4-1): The early favorite based on name recognition and the number of Ehrlich loyalists still in the state party. But this probably won’t be a two- or three-horse race in the beginning, and the question is just how much support she can muster beyond this core constituency. Will she have enough in the tank if the race turns out to be a marathon? And are party regulars ready to give the Republicans back to the Kane family? However, her odds improved once Eric Wargotz withdrew since they seemed to me to be drawing from the same voter bloc.
  • Alex Mooney (10-1): The longer he waits to decide whether to get into the race (as of 12-2 he’s still oscillating between Chair and 1st Vice-Chair), the less chance he has of winning it. He has two strikes against him: a perception that he’s simply doing this to keep his 2012-2014 options open and the similar geographical disparity which also would have hurt Eric Wargotz. However, his odds can vastly improve if he decides to get in and pledges to use the position as a conservative bully pulpit – I think the withdrawal of Wargotz will push him into the Chair race, thus his odds got much better. And with the withdrawals of the other ‘outstate’ candidates he can now play the ‘us vs. them’ angle.
  • William Campbell (12-1): Probably the most low-key among those in the field, Campbell could be the compromise candidate the party turns to in an otherwise deadlocked race. While he has run for statewide office, he’s a political outsider who may get the nod based on the perception he’s not taking the position to climb a career political ladder. In terms of fiscal expertise, though, Campbell is hard to top.
  • Sam Hale (12-1): Hale represents the Brian Murphy wing of the party, and will likely have a lot of support among the most conservative in the party. Yet the questions which will nag him will be those of his young age and his fundraising ability, particularly since he’s likely the most unknown quantity among the contenders. They may not wish to take a flyer on this unproven rookie unless he can press the flesh and impress. He’s unafraid of questions, though, and that could help.
  • Carmen Amedori (15-1): Another candidate who wouldn’t win on the first ballot, but could emerge as a compromise choice. However, she has to overcome the perception of flakiness based on her behavior during the 2010 campaign – her explanation made sense to some but left other supporters of both Brian Murphy and Bob Ehrlich fuming. She will need to mend fences quickly to have a chance.
  • Mike Esteve (20-1): He’s already in charge of a state operation, but the Maryland College Republicans are a far cry from their parent organization. Like Sam Hale, there’s going to be the question of youth used against him, except that Mike is even younger. While the group as a whole needs to get younger, I can’t see how he succeeds – on the other hand, he only needs to convince about 150 people.
  • The field (75-1): Since nominations can be made from the floor (if a 2/3 majority chooses to do so) any number of names could surface at the convention, including past chairmen or other GOP luminaries. Highly unlikely but possible nonetheless.

On Sunday I submitted a list of questions to the contenders whom I know of; as of the time I wrote this last night no one had replied. (As of 12-3 Sam Hale is the lone reply.) Obviously I’m taking a dim view of those who won’t answer simple but direct questions about how they’ll change the party.

Original odds 11/30/10: Kane 5-1, Wargotz 8-1, Campbell 10-1, Andrew Langer 12-1 (withdrew), Hale 15-1, Amedori 18-1, Mooney 20-1, Esteve 25-1, field 50-1.

First revision 12/2/10: Kane 5-1, Eric Wargotz 7-1 (withdrew), Campbell 10-1, Hale 12-1, Amedori 15-1, Mooney 15-1, Esteve 20-1, field 75-1.

A key endorsement

One of the first big-name endorsements in the MDGOP Chair race came last night.

In a note to his supporters on his Facebook page, Jim Rutledge laid out some of the reasons he supports Maryland Society of Patriots head Sam Hale:

  1. He “is a proven leader at the grassroots, people-to-people level of persuasion.” Jim recounts how Sam founded the Maryland Society of Patriots and that it became a favorite stop for conservative candidates courting votes.
  2. He is “honest and transparent” and gives “straight talk from an intelligent mind.”
  3. He “has a work ethic second to none…his energy is badly needed to move us forward in Maryland.”
  4. He “is an optimist and visionary” who is “not daunted in his passion for turning the tide of freedom” despite living in the liberal enclave of Montgomery County.
  5. He “is a Christian who understands the call to civic activism,” and who “puts his faith into action.”
  6. He “is young and well-educated…youth and energy attract youth and energy.”
  7. Finally, he “is independent from the influences of the Washington, D.C. establishment.”

Truthfully, it’s not surprising Rutledge would place his backing behind a party outsider, as Hale may be the only aspirant to not either have been a 2010 candidate (Amedori, Campbell, Kane, Mooney, Wargotz) or involved with the Maryland GOP in some other fashion (Esteve is head of the Maryland College Republicans and Langer is on the Queen Anne’s County Central Committee.)

I haven’t taken the opportunity to speak to Sam yet, but as I noted yesterday he did an interview for RedState with Matt Newman. Later this week I’m thinking about sending out my own set of questions to see who has the guts to reply – after all, I’m one of the few people who are discussing the issue publicly to actually have some say in the matter.

It’s important to me that I make the best-informed decision I can to advance the conservative principles I believe in. Unlike some party chairmen, I put principle over party as much as I can (granted, it can’t always work that way – I do have some pragmatism.) So, those of you I think are in the running should be on the lookout.

Amedori jumps into Chair race

Update 10 a.m.: Another entrant into the race is 2010 Comptroller candidate William Campbell.

Add a Lower Shore name to the Maryland GOP Chair mix, and Mary Kane won’t be the only woman seeking the post.

Carmen Amedori, who served in the House of Delegates from 1999-2004 representing Carroll County and had abortive runs for both U.S. Senator and lieutenant governor in the past year, is now setting her sights on the party’s top post. She joins a growing field of aspirants for the job, many of whom are campaign veterans themselves.

Carmen, who recently relocated to Ocean City, didn’t remain on a political hiatus too long after a whirlwind spring which saw her featured in two statewide races. She won a spot on the Worcester County Central Committee in September and lent her expertise to the campaign of House of Delegates candidate Marty Pusey. Pusey finished third but drew a respectable 25% of the vote in a four-person field.

Yet the former Ehrlich appointee drew fire for a withering criticism of her former boss upon joining the Murphy campaign, only to re-endorse him upon dropping out. In part, she claimed, it was to deflect blame from Brian should Ehrlich lose (as he eventually did) – “if there was going to be a loss to O’Malley, let it be Bob’s loss.” This probably won’t endear her to Bob’s strongest backers.

However, Carmen thinks she can overcome this:

We need to build this party. That means, someone like me who has African American conservative and soft Democrat friends who would go door to door to with me to help convert membership and also someone who will not be percieved by the press as someone who is so far right that we will never see light of day in Maryland. I am a strong conservative. But I do have friends on both sides and many who are attracted to my ability to communicate with everyone.

She joins a rapidly growing field that may include fellow U.S. Senate candidate Eric Wargotz along with Kane and two other less-known hopefuls who have already announced their candidacy, Mike Esteve and Sam Hale.

2010 Wicomico County Lincoln Day dinner in pictures and text

When we came up with the idea to have Bob Ehrlich as our speaker, our original thought was that we would catch him just after a January announcement of his candidacy. But Mother Nature put the kibosh on our original February 6th date and as it turns out this may have been the ex-governor’s last public appearance before he officially declares he’s running again.

So it’s needless to say we had a pretty packed house for the event with the only empty spots being on a few side tables – over 150 were in attendance. They were treated to a great display of patriotism and politics, as always kicked off by our 16th President. He brought a few dinner guests this year.

President Lincoln - a.k.a. Art North - brought a quintet of soldiers dressed in period garb. Four Yankees and one Reb comprised the fivesome.

One thing I didn’t realize was that this President was a TEA Party activist.

It looks like Honest Abe still gets around to Washington D.C. once in awhile.

The evening’s featured speaker was introduced by his better half Kendel, who complained that Bob wasn’t much help around the house – thus “he needed an important job again.”

Soon-to-be candidate Bob Ehrlich makes a point during remarks to the Wicomico County Lincoln Day Dinner, April 3, 2010.

The former governor noted that over the last year he’d seen a number of “tired, angry, frustrated people” who were now getting involved in the political process; where he’d seen 150 at Republican club meetings before now he was seeing 250 and most of them were new faces.

Bob listed a number of Maryland assets as one side of a ledger in his remarks, with his most savage criticism of the liabilities directed at General Assembly Democrats. He noted that when he was first elected to the General Assembly in 1986 he was one of just 16 Republicans, yet the Democrats there were “in balance” because many were business owners and otherwise worked in the real world. Back then they weren’t so “anti-success.”

Now, though, Republicans “have to be relevant…we have to count.” By getting five additional Senate seats the GOP could sustain vetoes, and instead of being shut out of leadership discussions Minority Leader Allan Kittleman would be a necessary part of the process.

Ehrlich blasted the majority party for a number of measures they’ve passed, stating “no one forced them to do this stuff.” For example, they passed the recommendations of the Thornton Commission without a funding source and placed the fourth highest personal tax burden in the country on Maryland residents – “we tell wealth to leave the state” by enacting such policies.

Yet Republicans couldn’t just count on savaging Democrats to win because they have to work with those newly politically involved people. “The TEA Party people are free agents,” noted Ehrlich, and Republicans “just have to perform” once they assume some responsibility.

The former Governor didn’t leave the dais when he was through; we had one more task for him to perform. He helped present the award to our Republican of the Year.

Marc Kilmer (left) receives the 2010 Republican of the Year award from Governor Ehrlich (center) and Wicomico County Republican Party chair Dr. John Bartkovich (right) as part of the Lincoln Day Dinner on April 3, 2010.

Marc Kilmer was his usual humble self, simply stating that his leadership task is to “just get the job done.” As president of the Wicomico County Republican Club and Young Republican member he does just that. (He also is a regular commenter here.)

We next heard from several area elected officials, beginning with District 37 Senator Rich Colburn. He refused to apologize for his characterization of the Waterkeeper Alliance as “green on the outside and red on the inside,” blasting the group for being anti-agriculture and telling us that larger environmental fees simply can’t be handled by local farmers.

Andy Harris was next, speaking as both a State Senator and Congressional candidate.

State Senator Andy Harris points out a familiar face in the audience as part of his remarks to the Wicomico County Lincoln Day Dinner, April 3, 2010.

Harris described the excitement in the district as “amazing” and noted that the most important vote Frank Kratovil made in his tenure was to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. This race, he said, comes down to a choice between Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner.

Two of the eight announced Republican U.S. Senate candidates were in attendance, with both being gracious enough to pose for me post-event.

Two candidates who see a lot of each other on the campaign trail - Carmen Amedori (left) and Dr. Eric Wargotz are both seeking to unseat current Senator Barbara Mikulski.

During her remarks, Carmen Amedori gave a brief rundown of her background and said it was time to send Barbara Mikulski home to retirement. Eric Wargotz echoed the sentiment but also said, “I believe in a better…healthier America” instead of the Constitution being treated like a “doormat.”

Turning to more local candidates, Michael James, seeking the District 38 Maryland Senate seat, reminded the audience that, “I have created jobs” as a businessman. He described his approach if elected as “proactive, not reactive” and recounted that he only lost in a 2006 bid for Delegate by a very slim margin.

District 38B Delegate candidate Mike McDermott came prepared.

If Mike McDermott didn't build name recognition after this display, attendees spent too much time at the nearby cash bar.

McDermott joked that, along with Michael James, “we need a balance of Mikes” in the General Assembly to counter House leader Mike Busch and Senate head Mike Miller. McDermott hammered Governor O’Malley for “never (meeting) a family farm he didn’t want to shut down” and pronounced the GOP’s eventual goal as “71” – that being the number of seats to gain a majority in the General Assembly.

Pinch-hitting for candidate for Governor Brian Murphy (home awaiting the birth of his fourth child), Meghan Mueller briefly ran down Brian’s resume as business owner and Eastern Shore native. She did well being placed in the tough spot of having an opponent be featured speaker.

Local County Council candidate Dave Goslee, Jr. told those gathered President Obama made him politically active. He’s running against Democrat Sheree Sample-Hughes for the District 1 seat.

Maryland GOP Chair Audrey Scott prepares her remarks for delivery at the Wicomico County Lincoln Day Dinner, April 3, 2010.

An optimistic Audrey Scott recounted some of her accomplishments and reminded us that she would be back here Monday evening for a townhall meeting in the Danang Room of the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center. That’s where I’ll be too.

Much of the crowd stuck around after Scott finished to mingle and ponder the thoughts of electoral success in November. Fellow blogger Julie Brewington was there and had a few pictures as well.

If Republicans are from Mars, are Democrats from Venus?

Given the heated acrimony between Republicans and Democrats in the wake of a bruising debate over Obamacare, perhaps this passage related as part of a press release by U.S. Senate candidate Carmen Amedori is apt. This was placed on her Facebook page and brought to my attention:

Carmen Amedori, Republican candidate for United States Senate in Maryland, states that the incumbent Senator’s remark that “the Republican Party is from Mars” shows just how out of touch she is with the electorate.

(More on my page…feel free to subscribe there and you can get e-mail notifications when I write there!)

Ehrlich won’t rule out Senate run

Bob Ehrlich surprised a group in Pikesville this morning by telling a questioner at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast that a Senate run against Barbara Mikulski was still “in the mix.

That news may come as a shock should Ehrlich follow through with a Senate campaign, especially to a group of eleven people: the seven candidates who are already running for the Republican nomination to unseat the four-term incumbent (leading the way are Carmen Amedori, Jim Rutledge, and Eric Wargotz), the three men who explored but dropped out of the GOP race for governor (Mike Pappas, Larry Hogan, and Delegate Pat McDonough), and Brian Murphy, who might have the GOP nod handed to him as the only other active candidate seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

(for more visit my site…)

Wargotz wins beauty contest

Much as a straw poll is somewhat helpful in determining grassroots support – but isn’t necessarily an indication of how an election will turn out – U.S. Senate Dr. Eric Wargotz may have proven he has the best supporters for stacking a straw poll.

My U.S. Senate poll came to a close early this morning (by prearrangement) and the final results out of over 5,000 votes are as follows:

  1. Eric Wargotz   2,864  (56%)
  2. Corrogan Vaughn  1,436  (28%)
  3. Jim Rutledge   519  (10%)
  4. John Kimble    144   (3%)   
  5. Carmen Amedori     138   (3%)
  6. John Curran        5   (<1%)
  7. Daniel McAndrew      5   (<1%)


  • Eric’s campaign never stopped responding to the poll once it got underway. He led pretty much the entire way and kept increasing his percentage as other candidates and their supporters lost interest. The last time I did this (with just four candidates – Amedori hadn’t entered the race yet and I didn’t know Curran and Kimble had entered) Jim Rutledge picked up support toward the end but not this time.
  • I think Corrogan Vaughn’s camp exhibited the same phenomenon, as he and his supporters were probably the best at plugging the poll. But I’m hesitant to consider him as a real force in the race yet based on prior results. Even if you forget that the 2006 campaign had an all-but-annointed candidate in Michael Steele, Vaughn only drew 3.7% of the vote in 2004. Why is the support coming out now when the message didn’t sell before? Something doesn’t add up here.
  • Jim Rutledge has good supporters based on comments, but they didn’t stay for the whole poll. It makes me wonder if his backing is all that strong as I’ve found his campaign stays on message well but has spotty execution at times. Hopefully those videos are helping Jim with campaign financing too.
  • As for John Kimble, see Corrogan Vaughn. Most of his support came in the last day or two because prior to that he was a cypher. So my guess is that he or one of his backers caught wind of the poll and tried to make it sound like he had a little bit of backing. On the bright side, he did beat Vaughn in 2006 with 2.9% of the vote, finishing a very distant second in the primary.
  • I see Carmen Amedori as the “establishment” candidate based on her prior service in state government, and it sounds to me like she ignored the poll. I got a note from her that she was doing door-to-door instead, which makes sense. She’ll get far more than 3% in September, I’m certain of that.
  • On the other hand, McAndrew and Curran performed as expected.

At some point I’m going to do this again, perhaps later on this spring. But the next time I’m going to shorten the poll’s duration and see if I can dampen the repeat voting aspect to some extent. I had it set to one hour on my site but then again I don’t know if Polldaddy works that restriction through its site-based voting. (Now I know why I had 5,111 votes but not 5,111 readers! But readership did have a nice increase, thank you!)

I promised to put up some of the best comments for each candidate. There is no doubt that this poll was by far my best as participation goes, and I think I finally harnessed the power I envisioned when I started doing polling a few months back. These will be in order of finish, but most of the comments spoke about my top finishers and were cleaned up as needed for spelling errors and such.

“Sam” said about Dr. Eric Wargotz:

I don’t know. All are good people but very few really qualified to take a 6 year legislative hitch IMHO. I was quite taken with Dr. Eric Wargotz at the debate. Warm, comfortable, approachable style. Not stuffy and boring. Seemed to be right on with his responses. Came across very sincere and caring along with very knowledgeable. I have trouble supporting candidates for a 6 year legislative hitch if they have no elected legislative or constituent experience. I am also not a fan of politicians who are elected and then quit to take an appointed position. I feel that is a derilection of duty to the constituents who elected them. Just my view.

Jim Duncan pointed out the Facebook aspect – analytical like me:

Before you go too far in questioning the fairness of this poll, as the creator (of the poll) points out, it does appear to be consistent with each candidate’s level of support. At least with respect to the current order of finish, when you look at each campaign’s number of fans/friends on Facebook, where the candidates have pushed this poll. As best as I could tell, Eric Wargotz has by far the most support on Facebook with exactly 5000 friends. He has additional sites ranging from 126 to 1853 friends, but I will assume that most are duplicates. A distant second appears to be Corrogan Vaughn with 562, Vaughn has two other sites with 197 and 373 friends, Jim Rutledge with 514 and Carmen Amedori with 292, neither appeared to have other sites. I’ll bet there are some cross overs here as well…

Corrogan Vaughn had a number of passionate defenders for his cause. “JPS” liked his stand on the issues:

I agree with some of the above posters that we need someone who can take Baltimore city, and to add to that Vaughn can not only win Baltimore city, but he can win on solid principles. He has called for (abolishing) the IRS in place of sensible fair and simple taxation, abolishing the Department of Education because the education of our children comes from the states, and he’s serious about reining in spending. I know many have called Corrogan Vaughn the most Conservative candidate because he is deeply committed first and foremost to fiscal responsibility while maintaining social conservative values that will win over black conservative Democrats, a large voting bloc in Maryland fyi.

“Maryland Patriot” also chimed in for Vaughn:

I have worked in Maryland politics for several years on both sides of the aisle and have yet to meet an individual more honest and sincere than Corrogan Vaughn. The others are nice people, but seem to share the same disregard for the needs of everyday Marylanders as our present senator. Mr. Vaughn offers genuine solutions and ideas to the problems faced by our state and nation. He seems to be in this race out of sincere concern for Marylanders and Americans. Go Vaughn!

“Jasmine” was quite succinct:

I’m not familiar with politics here in Maryland but I will say that as a lifelong Democrat I’m switching to Republican this election to vote for Vaughn!!! Go Corrogan!

As Rush Limbaugh would say, “welcome home.” Meanwhile, Jim Rutledge supporters were in force early on. Here’s some of what they had to say, beginning with “libertypatriot”:

If you want a conservative candidate then the best candidate is Jim Rutledge. The other candidates do not possess the Constitutional knowledge and understanding that Jim possesses. While I don’t have anything personal against anyone in the race, conservatives know that Ehrlich is considered a moderate and what I’m hearing from people is Carmen is a reflection of that. Again, not making any judgment, just passing that on. Lastly, Tea Party people are tired of people already in government. We want an outsider, not an insider.

I think we all agree though… whomever ends up winning the Republican primary… needs to take down Mikulski. That’s the real end game.

In looking at her record, Amedori isn’t particularly moderate compared to some of her peers, regardless Wayne Ehrensberger said:

I have talked with Jim Rutledge at length on a wide range of topics. I can assure everyone that he is a staunch constitutional conservative, of solid moral character, knows the issues and fully articulates well thought out responsive plans and ideas. These same traits cannot be applied to Dr. Wargotz. Jim is a successful, experienced businessman. He is well versed in the politics although admittedly not a “veteran” politician. And that is certainly a good thing. What we obviously don’t need are more long term politicians. We need to put in place those that are in tune with the private sector that most of us work in and who understand, appreciate and will honestly adhere to the Constitution.

I am closely associated with several of Jim’s support staff. We knew each other before any of us were even aware of Jim Rutledge. These individuals would never align themselves with someone who isn’t a pure Constitutionalist. That of course also goes for me. I don’t possess any great incite into the remaining candidates, but I don’t really need to. The simple fact is that they are not Jim Rutledge. He is the individual that must win the seat currently held by Mikulski. Then we will finally have someone that truly represents We the People.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the Constitutional Conservative/Tea Party movement, I offer you two “Groups” based here in Maryland that you should check out and consider joining – and You will find yourself in company with many Maryland Patriots as well as the same from across the Nation.

Even the few Amedori supporters got their points across, with the best being “NRAD”:

I was at the debate in MoCo and by no fault of the YR’s the venue was pretty lousy for all the candidates. There was no PA system and there were barriers in the middle of the room. So by all standards ALL the candidates did a pretty decent job considering they had to shout at the top of thier voices so the people in the back and behind the walls could hear. By no means, should that be a gauge of anything. I will note that in all my days in politics it is always the front runner who takes the worst beating. May I suggest, however, that we not beat up on the GOP candidates. I bet Ronald Reagan would be turning in his grave by such antics.

Now, my candidate is Amedori for many reasons. And her experience is in the private and public sector – such a fabric upon which sound and wise decisions can be made. It is going to take that fortitude to take on the corruption in D.C. She has never shied away from a good fight. I remember her when she confronted then Lt. Gov Townsend and the way she always took on Joe Curran in Judiciary Committee. This woman is relentless. And, in my opinion, it is going to take a strong woman to take the fight to Babs. Amedori will surely do that. She has a conservative voting record to reflect her positions. Seems to me that anyone can say what they will do but we really need to look at what has been done. She is 100% pro life, 100% small business having been a recipient of The Shaw Award with MD Business for Responsive Government. And she is a fiscal conservative. All of that is reflected in her voting record. That is why Amedori has my vote.

The poll and comments are available here. While I’m changing my poll today, I must say this version was a memorable one!

Amedori launches online petition, calls on Mikulski to oppose reconciliation

Breaking news comes to me this morning from U.S. Senate candidate Carmen Amedori’s camp.

In an effort to contrast herself with longtime incumbent Barbara Mikulski and create pressure on the Democrat to forgo a vote for reconciliation (should it become necessary), Amedori has set up an online petition:

Today, Carmen Amedori, Republican candidate for United States Senate in Maryland, launched an online petition calling on United States Senator Barbara Mikulski to vote no on reconciliation for Obamacare.

“Reconciliation is not the method to pass health care reform. This parliamentary maneuver has never been used for such a sweeping piece of legislation,” said Amedori. “The President’s plan for health care reform is seriously flawed. That’s why no one elected Republican Senator will support the legislation.”

Reconciliation has been used 19 times since 1980. 12 of those times the procedure was used to pass omnibus budget bills that had an overwhelming support in the Senate. Only on 2 occasions were the budget bills controversial enough to lack bipartisan support.

“I am launching this online effort to send a message to our Senator that Marylanders don’t want Obamacare forced down our throats and that she should vote against reconciliation,” stated Amedori. “A national mandate is not a way to make health care more affordable.”

People can join Carmen’s effort by visiting her campaign website or by friending Amedori For U.S. Senate on Facebook.

Amedori believes that a health care reform package must include tort reform, associated health plans, rules that allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines, more emphasis on health savings accounts and a method for allowing people with pre-existing conditions to purchase insurance coverage.

Amedori is a former Maryland House Delegate where she served on the Judiciary Committee and quickly rose to the position of Assistant Minority Leader. She earned a distinguished reputation for being tough on crime, a strong advocate for property rights, and a champion for small business. In 2004, Governor Robert Ehrlich honored Amedori by appointing her to the Maryland Parole Commission where she served until last year.


Amedori believes that as the next United States Senator she can do a better job for the people of Maryland. “It is time we had a Senator focused on results rather than political gamesmanship. As a former member of the House of Delegates, I know how to make a difference. Barbara has had 24 years and now is the time for new leadership,” added Amedori.

It should be noted I edited the original release slightly, but the point remains that if the Obamacare supporters choose the reconciliation route (which I doubt, since the House passage of the Senate bill gives us legislation which wouldn’t necessarily need to be reconciled anyway) Barbara would almost surely align with her fellow Democrats as being one of the 51 votes. Certainly Mikulski would feel safe enough in her seat to do so.

The other obvious reason for having the petition is gathering contacts for other communications from her campaign, which is fine – after all, I think voters should be well-informed about all of the candidates running. Carmen is unlike the others running in that she has a legislative record, and it’s one that’s been judged to be fairly conservative by the former Maryland Accountability Project (Amedori served in the House of Delegates 1999-2004.) But each voter should study all the candidates, judging their stated principles, goals, and experience inside and out of the political realm.

Since I got the release a little bit ahead of time, I can vouch the petition is up and running and I already signed it. You should too, even if you support one of the other six candidates currently in the race.

Poll update – day 3

It looks like two candidates’ supporters are taking this seriously.

As of about 3:00 this afternoon, it’s become a two-way race:

  1. Eric Wargotz     1,785  (49%)
  2. Corrogan Vaughn    1,156  (32%)
  3. Jim Rutledge     499  (14%)
  4. Carmen Amedori     128  (4%)
  5. John Kimble     43  (1%)
  6. Daniel McAndrew     5  (<1%)
  7. John Curran   4  (<1%)

Let’s look at what happened in the last 24 hours or so:

  1. Eric Wargotz     948  (54%)
  2. Corrogan Vaughn     783  (46%)
  3. Jim Rutledge     23  (1%)
  4. Carmen Amedori     2  (<1%)

No one else got a vote, so it’s obvious that this poll may have run its course as a useful exercise.

The percentage changes are as follows:

  1. Corrogan Vaughn  +12 (20 to 32)
  2. Eric Wargotz  +4  (45 to 49)
  3. Daniel McAndrew  0  (stays at <1)
  4. John Curran  0  (stays at <1)
  5. John Kimble  -1  (2 to 1)
  6. Carmen Amedori  -3 (7 to 4)
  7. Jim Rutledge  -12  (26 to 14)

The poll will end on Tuesday, and I’ll have the final totals and the conclusions I draw from them that night.

By the way, the “Eric” you see on the comments is not the candidate Eric Wargotz. I figured you’d know that but he took the time today to point out it wasn’t the case. I can moderate these comments to some extent, but only after the fact.

I think when I wrap this exercise up I may post some of the better comments and cases for some of the candidates.