Bridging the gap

Sitting here and catching up from what was an extremely busy week (with next week promising more of the same) I had something of an “aha!” moment – not to be confused with the ’80s pop band by the way – where two seemingly disparate pieces of information just clicked together.

Let’s examine piece number one, shall we? For days (or is it months, or years? I sense a continuing theme here) Maryland Republicans have been divided into a number of camps, tribes which rarely come together except on a small handful of issues. In the last year, I think resistance to Martin O’Malley’s draconian Second Amendment upheaval (legally and laughingly officially known as the Firearm Safety Act of 2013) was about the only issue drawing universal resistance from Republicans, and even then they parted on how best to fight its enactment, whether through the court system of via referendum. In the end, the court system won out but, as it stands, in a month the law will take effect.

In the meantime, we couldn’t even get the GOP to vote as a group against Martin O’Malley’s bloated budget – yet we call ourselves the party of fiscal responsibility? I understand our alternative budget is DOA in the General Assembly, but at least put up a united front against O’Malley’s principles.

The long introduction I just completed leads me into an Examiner post by J. Doug Gill, where he takes a long look at how the party has been divided since the Ehrlich era of 2003-07.  This “bare knuckle brawl for irrelevancy” makes a number of valid points, although I don’t agree with its somewhat pessimistic outlook for the future. As Gill notes:

Any citizen of Maryland who has had it up to their well-spelunked pockets wants a strong, vibrant and relevant opposition party – and there are untold numbers who don’t care if it’s the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party, or the Tupperware Party.

The sooner some entity – any entity – sorts itself out and provides a credible opposition to the Democrats the better for all of us – including our friends on the left whose bank accounts are just as empty as ours – well, save for the union leaders and cronies and appointees, and, well, you get the picture…

But right now, and in its current incarnation, the only thing the Maryland Republican Party has learned from history is that they never learn anything from history.

Yet it’s not just about credible opposition – it’s also about creating a choice. This is something the majority party won’t do.

There was something about this Ballotpedia report which caught my eye. See if you can spot it, too – I’ll give you a moment and even put in a page break for the fun of it.

Continue reading “Bridging the gap”

Backhanded opposition to Question 4

Even though the advertisement doesn’t specifically mention Question 4, it’s obvious NumbersUSA has that sort of issue in mind when it created this spot targeted at the black community.

Undoubtedly NumbersUSA takes a very dim view of immigration, but the point is still a good one in light of the recent Obama decision to change the status of over a million illegal aliens between the ages of 16 and 30. That’s the group competing with the black population this spot is aimed at for common labor jobs, and as many in the field contend, driving down wages.

The same argument can also be made for in-state tuition for illegal aliens. Considering that a state-sponsored college education is a finite resource because the state can only afford a certain number of classrooms, instructors, and the like, a case can be made that every illegal alien given a spot under the Maryland DREAM Act denies another person a place in the school. Contrary to popular belief, a college education is not a right, and the difference being made is strictly a financial one. The Maryland DREAM Act simply rewards breaking the law and encourages more to try and game the system.

Yet if someone doesn’t have the benefit of legal citizenship or a paper saying they should be here, there’s nothing stopping them from going to college in Maryland – they just don’t qualify for in-state tuition based on existing state law. In essence, these students are glorified exchange students.

Since I’m discussing Question 4, it’s a good time to briefly speak to a so-called “study” claiming the state of Maryland would gain money from the “DREAMers” (as illegal alien apologist Kim Propeack calls them.) Unless something changes in federal law (read: amnesty) the presumed gains from illegal alien children taking well-paying jobs won’t materialize because they won’t legally be able to work in many high-paying occupations.

Brad Botwin of the advocacy group Help Save Maryland also pointed out an important fact about the UMBC study:

Who actually sponsored and paid for this weighty report and supplied those wonderful assumptions to our senior UMBC Professors? Casa of Maryland? The Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? the Maryland Democratic Party? (the big three of Educating Maryland Kids – the front group for illegal immigrants demanding in-state tuition).

What did our research uncover? An even better surprise! Governor O’Malley’s own Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation was the anonymous sponsor. Yes, our tax dollars hard at work again sanctioning another lawless activity to help attract more illegal immigrants to our state. The same Labor Department that was actively promoting the so-called Dream Act while it was being debated in Annapolis last year.

There’s nothing wrong with a governor or a state agency advocating for a law. But it’s interesting how little Martin O’Malley has been out front pushing voters to support these ballot issues. Perhaps he knows the end result and doesn’t want to damage his 2016 hopes?

Of course we all know that if any or all of these ill-conceived issues somehow pass, O’Malley will march to the front of the line for taking credit. I’d rather he eat a heaping helping of crow.

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.

Conservative reaction to Obama’s amnesty predictably outraged

In a state which will be debating the issue this fall as a ballot initiative, it was a sure bet that conservatives and Republicans would angrily denounce President Obama’s Friday Executive Order allowing certain illegal aliens between the ages of 16 and 30 to obtain work permits.

Some of the strongest criticism came from Delegates Neil Parrott and Pat McDonough, two of the leaders in the fight against Maryland’s DREAM Act, passed last year and petitioned to referendum in November.

(continued at…)

Pulling the polls

I had a couple interesting polls up which ended today.

For one, I found out that there’s a LOT of Dan Bongino fans who read my site. It’s either that or the others don’t take much stock in internet polls. But each time I’ve had a poll in the last few months Bongino has won, with the one exception being a poll I took last June when Eric Wargotz was still considering the race (Bongino was a close second in that one.)

But I can tell you right now that Dan won’t win 90-plus percent of the vote as he does in my poll. In fact, I would be surprised if any candidate came up with 50 percent – the dynamics of the GOP U.S. Senate race remind me of the 2010 nomination battle to face Barb Mikulski. Eric Wargotz won the race but didn’t even break 40 percent, and the top two got just 70 percent of the vote. This will not be a coronation like 2006 with Michael Steele by any means.

On the other hand, the poll I did regarding the ballot issues had some wild swings in it, and it definitely shows the passion behind both sides of the issue. My poll would suggest that the same-sex marriage referendum would have a more difficult time overturning that law than the referendum regarding in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

As you likely recall, there were four possible choices, which ranged from overturning both to keeping both, with the additional possibilities of voting for one but not the other. If you look at the possible outcomes, this is how they shook out:

  • Overturn both: 212 votes
  • Keep both: 209 votes
  • Overturn only in-state tuition: 106 votes
  • Overturn only gay marriage: 1 vote

So in theory the votes would turn out this way:

  • Overturning in-state tuition: 318 yes, 210 no (60.2% yes, 39.8% no)
  • Overturning gay marriage: 213 yes, 315 no (40.3% yes, 59.7% no)

Somehow I don’t quite think the margin will be that great in either case, as recent polling has both issues almost evenly split.

But I wouldn’t be surprised to see an October Surprise poll, conducted by one of the leading media outlets in the state, that suggests both of these ballot initiatives will go down to defeat by a significant margin. Of course, that poll will only come after attempts to soften up opposition by presenting the stories of committed gay couples who are pillars of the community, and all they want is to get married so they can enjoy matrimonial bliss like the regular couples do. They’ll also likely find an interracial straight couple who supports the gay marriage bill to carry forth the narrative that opposition to gay marriage is just like the opposition to interracial marriage decades ago.

And don’t think the other referendum will be spared: they’ll certainly have the obligatory portrayal of little Maria, the valedictorian of her class, who’s going to be denied her opportunity at the American Dream because her poor parents are illegal aliens and those mean old Republicans and conservatives only want white people to succeed. Will they play the race card? You betcha!

Nor should we be surprised if these polls show Barack Obama, Ben Cardin, and every other Democrat in the state with insurmountable leads; the overriding message will be that conservatives have a lost cause and may as well stay home on Election Day. That’s how they play the game, and our job is going to be one of shocking the world come November. (Oh, and watching the vote counters like a hawk.)

As Brian Griffiths pointed out at Red Maryland earlier this week, Democrats (and their allies who drink deeply of the public trough) are scared because, if these petition-based initiatives succeed, their grip on power will be significantly loosened and no longer could they rule the state by fiat simply because they can spend their way to an omnipresent majority in the General Assembly. So they’re trying to throw every obstacle they can in front of those who are fighting them, including intimidation at petition sites, needless appeals to Maryland courts, and now the bill Griffiths cites which would made it exceedingly difficult to collect signatures in the short time frame prescribed by law.

This was probably the last poll I’ll do on the Senate race, as the more important one begins just a couple weeks from now with early voting.

Nasty infighting in the Second

So State Senator Nancy Jacobs followed through on what she said she would do and announced this week she would run for the Second Congressional District seat currently held by Dutch Ruppersberger, a politician who she claims “left for Washington (and) became Washington.” Indeed, she has some interesting endorsements already.

But there’s one Republican who’s less than thrilled. According to an article in the Towson Patch, Jacobs is being called a “puppet candidate” by Delegate Pat McDonough. Pat claims that Jacobs is only running at the behest of First District Congressman Andy Harris, saying, “(Jacobs is) a puppet for Harris.”

While McDonough is also making news by spearheading the campaign to overturn the Maryland DREAM Act, last summer he had floated the idea of seeking the Second Congressional District seat himself, even hosting a fundraiser with 2010 Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Just a few weeks later, he turned on a dime and flirted with the idea of instead running for the U.S. Senate. In this case, McDonough speaks like a fellow Congressional candidate, but I daresay he’s not making any friends among area Republicans by eschewing a pair of races then disparaging one of the hopefuls he has to work with in the Maryland General Assembly. Obviously we’ll know for sure next week if Pat will follow through on one of his original 2012 plans or stay with the DREAM Act fight.

But even if Delegate McDonough is right and Harris does have something to do with Nancy’s entry into the race, that’s a good job of candidate recruitment more Republicans should be following. Who has Pat McDonough brought into the fold?

Just like in the Sixth Congressional District, I don’t have a dog in this fight. But Nancy does introduce herself to new voters reasonably well:

Last year Nancy scored an impressive 92 on the monoblogue Accountability Project, earning the distinction of being a Legislative All-Star for the first time. She has a lifetime (since 2007) rating of 77, which puts her about in the middle of the GOP Senate pack. Ironically, McDonough has a lifetime rating of 78 and was a Legislative All-Star in 2009, meaning they’re fairly similar in political style.

But it’s clear which one has the bull in the china shop mentality.

The Maryland Model (part two)

In part one I related the Maryland Model in its current state to the 2012 campaign, particularly when considering the battle to repeal the in-state tuition for illegal aliens passed last year by the General Assembly. The bill was petitioned to referendum as opponents turned the trick for the first time in over twenty years in Maryland.

As you should recall, I distilled the idea behind the Colorado Model liberal Democrats used to take over that state into four simpler M words: money, message, media, and mobilization. In this part I assess the overall shape conservatives here in Maryland exist in regarding these four issues – and we definitely need to do some work!

Continue reading “The Maryland Model (part two)”

Where the action was

I’d love to have said I was there, but family has to come first and my parents came from many miles away.

But I was cheered to see the lineup for the Turning the Tides Conference presented by the Maryland Conservative Action Network, as it included a number of luminaries as well as breakout discussions on a number of subjects near and dear to the hearts of conservatives in Maryland and everywhere else, for that matter. Not only that, the event drew over 200 activists from across Maryland and received coverage from both the old and new media outlets. They even had their very own counterprotest from a liberal former member of the House of Delegates.

So it sounds like we had a nice event. But now the question is ‘where do we go from here?’

Continue reading “Where the action was”

How the Democrats try and disenfranchise voters

My latest commentary for the Patriot Post.

Here’s more proof the left isn’t interested in your opinion unless they give it to you.

A couple weeks back on another website I detailed how conservatives in Maryland could score a rare victory based on the response to an ill-advised bill passed by our General Assembly. Having turned in over 60,000 signatures by a first-post May 31 deadline, supporters of a drive to place a recently-passed bill on the ballot for referendum in November 2012 were pleased that over 47,000 of the required names were ruled valid, leaving only about 8,000 remaining to be collected by June 30. In all, backers were hoping 100,000 people would sign their petition.

Their success frightened supporters of the so-called Maryland DREAM Act so much they resorted to a multi-pronged attack on those who oppose the bill. Would-be petition signers were being harassed upon attempting to sign the document in a public place and handed ‘Think Before You Ink’ flyers containing misleading information. There’s even a website with sob stories about immigrant children who would be affected called One Maryland Defense, which calls the petition an “effort…to eliminate access to universities for talented Maryland students” by “a small minority of extremists.” It featured an attempt to entice people to remove their names from the petition.

(continued at the Patriot Post…)

The wrong word

From time to time, I get sent links to stories from the Washington Post in my e-mail box in an effort to drum up some internet readership and blogging on various news items. Let’s see if we can pick out the word which doesn’t belong here.

The Washington Post‘s Aaron Davis reports: Growing frustration with illegal immigration, rising public debt and an effective Internet campaign to gather voters’ signatures have put Maryland conservatives on the cusp of a victory to delay and possibly repeal a new law that would give undocumented immigrants in-state college tuition breaks.

Opponents say they are on pace to turn in a combined 100,000 signatures by Thursday, even though state elections officials say they have certified most of the nearly 56,000 needed to suspend the law and send it to a statewide referendum in November 2012. The law had been scheduled to take effect Friday, but it has been suspended while officials await a final tally on the signatures.

The full story can be read here.

Did you catch the word that doesn’t belong?

I read the story, and in every case aside from the very first sentence the Post places the word “undocumented” where they should be saying “illegal.”

If I forget to bring a copy of the minutes of the last month’s meeting to read to the monthly Wicomico County Republican Club gathering I’m “undocumented.”

If I were sneaking across the border in such a manner to avoid detection or overstaying the time on my visa, I am “illegal.”

While I can’t speak for all 100,000 or so Marylanders who have signed the petition to place SB167 on referendum, I would wager that most are quite welcoming to immigrants who come to our country wanting a better life and go about it in the right manner through the proper channels. After all, a century or so ago I believe my great-grandfather did just that. (He was named Michael Swartz too.)

What we don’t like is having those who flouted the law take advantage of the system, too. After all, if they are illegal, how can they be gainfully employed after they complete college anyway? I don’t see them being a benefit to our society.

I think Daniel Bongino was partially correct the other night when he said the first step to immigration reform should be securing the borders. But I’m not completely convinced we can’t deport 12 million illegal immigrants because a large number would deport themselves if they can’t find work. I normally am a pro-business kind of guy, but the Chamber of Commerce is way wrong on the issue of immigration reform – we tried amnesty once and it didn’t work.

Tomorrow is the deadline to submit petitions, and today I sent through overnight mail a couple pages’ worth of names to add to the list. They may not be necessary but these were people who believe the General Assembly made a grievous error when it passed the Maryland DREAM Act. Let them just try and call all of us “racists.” I dare them.

Trust me, I have a lot more to say on the subject.