Odds and ends number 55

My e-mail box was flooded with interesting nuggets over the last few days, so on these topics I’ll devote somewhere between a few words and a few paragraphs. You’ve probably seen this enough that you know the drill; in fact the very first of this long-running series came in the first month of monoblogue’s existence. It’s been a fairly regular feature of late, typical for an election year.

Speaking of elections, our Congressman Andy Harris is up this year as are all 434 of his cohorts. His most recent radio address talks more about the failures of the President, though. That’s sort of like picking the low-hanging fruit but is still a good reminder.

The failure-in-chief, though, is playing the class envy card by creating a tax calculator which claims Mitt Romney will raise your taxes while Obama lowers them. Yes, it’s laughable on the face but the assumptions being made are even more hilarious:

Because the tax code is complex, the calculator makes a number of simplifying assumptions that may differ from the circumstances of any particular user. It assumes all income is from wages. For married filers, it assumes that income is split evenly between two earners. It assumes that income does not vary over the years analyzed. It assumes that taxpayers claim the standard deduction for the purpose of analyzing the impact of the expiration of the middle class tax cuts. The impact of Mitt Romney’s tax plan is based on an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which determines the tax increase or tax cut the average family in each income group would face if Romney paid for his $5 trillion tax plan by cutting tax benefits. The analysis assumes that Romney eliminates all tax benefits, except those for savings and investment, for households earning over $200,000, and reduces those benefits for households earning under $200,000 to cover the rest of the cost – resulting in a reduction by more than half. The Tax Policy Center uses income thresholds based on “cash income”, a measure broader than AGI commonly used by TPC. The calculator is intended for information purposes only.

In other words, this is complete fiction – we’re just going to lie like a rug to those on our e-mail list. Besides, I think people wouldn’t mind paying a little more in taxes if they were convinced the money they sent in wasn’t being wasted on bailouts, handouts, and crony capitalism. With Obama you have all three, and with Romney the chances are somewhat better of that not happening.

And it’s Democratic policies which are destroying the working class. This point is taken to an extreme by a Missouri Congressional candidate’s radio ad, the transcript of which follows:

Narrator: “We interrupt your regular programming for this breaking news.”

** Apocalyptic catastrophe sound effects**

Reporter: “I’m standing here at what remains of downtown St. Louis after the disaster.  It is complete and utter devastation.  A sad day for St. Louis indeed.

** Apocalyptic catastrophe sounds fade out**

Narrator: “Congressman Lacy Clay wants you to think the world will end if he isn’t re-elected, but the problems facing St. Louis after a decade under Lacy Clay are apocalyptic enough.  Under Lacy Clay’s anti-business policies, thirty thousand residents have left St. Louis.  The unemployment rate for African American males in Lacy Clay’s district is 20%.  That’s higher than the unemployment rate in Baghdad.  We deserve better.  We deserve a representative who will work for all of us, and not just sit in Washington DC collecting a lavish paycheck.  We deserve Robyn Hamlin for Congress.  Find out more at HamlinForCongress.com.”

Robyn: “I’m Robyn Hamlin and I approve this message.  Paid for by The Committee to Elect Robyn Hamlin.  Dwayne Hinch, treasurer.”

Hamlin sounds like a good TEA Party candidate but admittedly has an uphill struggle in a almost exclusively urban D+27 district not unlike our Seventh Congressional District. But she’s got some good ammunition to use against a Congressman who’s the second generation of a political dynasty that’s been in office for over forty years because it’s all true. Why should those people settle? But they do, and likely will continue to do so to their detriment.

Similarly in Maryland, Fourth District Republican Faith Loudon is the underdog against incumbent Donna Edwards – admittedly, Edwards isn’t as entrenched as the Clay family has been in Missouri and the district is a touch more friendly to the GOP. Still, it will be a slog for Faith but she’ll get a bit of help: Loudon is the second Maryland Congressional candidate to be backed by the Conservative Victory PAC:

Before a packed event hosted by Dr. Jim and Marianne Pelura at their Davidsonville home, CVPAC Treasurer Ruth Melson presented the endorsement.

Melson remarked: “We are here to help our friend Faith Loudon finish strong and win this November. Let’s congratulate Faith on running a strong campaign. We can win! We must win! Faith Loudon will bring honesty, integrity, and sanity back to Washington. That is why Conservative Victory PAC is endorsing Faith as the next United States Congresswoman from Maryland’s 4th District.”

Melson’s comments struck a chord with the audience disappointed by Faith Loudon’s opponent, incumbent Congresswoman Donna Edwards.

Conservative Victory PAC’s support of Faith Loudon for victory in November is to ensure that Maryland’s elected leaders in the US Congress represent the voters of Maryland and not the special interests catered to by Donna Edwards. Under Donna Edwards’ tenure: Maryland is ranked by the Federal government as the second highest in food stamps fraud, Maryland’s seniors have lost $500 million from Medicare to subsidize Medicaid that is rife with corruption and little or no verification of legal residency, Maryland’s small business has been impoverished by new taxes and regulations, and Federal stimulus funds have been sent overseas to China and funded crony capitalism for the likes of Solyndra.

Of course, one can make the argument against any incumbent Maryland Congressman of any party, including the GOP. But, particularly on the third point Melson makes about the new taxes and regulations, the GOP is trying to eliminate them while Edwards isn’t working to stop them.

You know, I could go on a real rant about all this. But there are others taking up the torch on the state and local level.

Witness Senate Minority Leader E. J. Pipkin and his tirade about the lack of a gambling bill to read. On Thursday, he demanded Governor O’Malley release the gambling bill immediately. Insofar as one can bellow in print, Pipkin bellowed:

The Special Session begins in less than a week. The Governor has had all summer to craft the proposal. Where’s the bill?

A week from now, after he crams his bill down the legislature’s throat, we will hear his platitudes about ‘tough decisions and working together.’ If we are going to work together, the Governor should present his bill today!

In the last year, the Governor has waited to the last minute to release his legislative proposals for Special Sessions. Last October, before the Redistricting Special Session, the Governor waited until 36 hours before the session to release his proposed bill.  For the Special Session to increase the state income tax opening on Monday, May 14, the Governor waited until 3:30pm on Friday to allow legislators to see the bill.

(snip)

The entire legislative process of careful debate and review should not be abandoned in a Special Session. The General Assembly membership must have ample time to examine the legislation before it is introduced on the floor.

Marylanders know that those whom the Governor wants to be informed already know and that the fix is in. Certainly MOM knows who’s in his pocket and who can be bought off with favors – releasing the bill early means no opportunity to add those goodies to sway recalcitrant members of the General Assembly who may have leaned against the bill at first glance. It’s sad but true, and the next chance to take care of this problem doesn’t come until 2014.

Yet there are those who are trying pre-emptive strikes. Witness the Maryland Liberty PAC, which is accusing three Carroll County commissioners of “spending like drunken sailors.” Of course, Carroll County is among the most heavily Republican in the state (one reason it was divided up in Congressional redistricting) so all five of the commissioners are Republicans. It’s likely they’ll be recruiting candidates for primary challenges to the so-called “drunken sailors.”

Similarly, in Harford County the Harford Campaign for Liberty is condemning the “Craiganomics” of granting a development loan to a British company:

On July 10th, 2012 the Harford County Council, at the urging and recommendation of County Executive David Craig, voted to hand over $850,000 of your hard-earned tax dollars to a foreign company!

Apparently County Executive David Craig and the County Council believe in Craigonomics, the idea that government should tax and spend – and then claim it as job growth and economic development.

You and I know better.  Government doesn’t create jobs and that government handouts do absolutely nothing to stimulate our economy.  Free markets and innovative entrepreneurs have and will always make our economy grow.

Obviously this is presented as a shot across the bow of David Craig’s nascent 2014 campaign for governor, and from the details given in this article by Bryna Zumer in the Harford Aegis the money is a required matching fund to a state grant. So Craig and his council were presented with a choice: take the state money or don’t, but the expansion is apparently already built. Realistically, is the company going to pull out now over $750,000? Certainly this will be something the Campaign for Liberty watches as local elections draw closer in Harford County.

Both the Harford Campaign for Liberty and The Maryland Liberty PAC share in the disappointment some feel locally when our 6-1 County Council majority doesn’t act in a conservative manner. I look at it this way: while I want a Republican to win, it doesn’t always have to be the Republican who’s already in office because I demand conservatism and limited government. Personally, I’d be happy with contested GOP primaries up and down the ballot – maybe that’s not what the party apparatus wants but I put my faith in voters to decide, not a tiny group of self-appointed elites who like the power of being kingmakers.

When those who claim the conservative mantle screw up, we should take note and call them out for it.

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  • 2018 Election

    Election Day is November 6 for all of us. With the Maryland primary by us and a shorter widget, I’ll add the Delaware statewide federal offices (Congress and U.S. Senate) to the mix once their July 10 filing deadline is passed. Their primary is September 6.

    Maryland

    Governor

    Larry Hogan (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Shawn Quinn (Libertarian) – Facebook

    Ben Jealous (D) – Facebook Twitter

    Ian Schlakman (Green) Facebook Twitter

     

    U.S. Senate

    Tony Campbell (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Ben Cardin (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Arvin Vohra (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    There are three independent candidates currently listed as seeking nomination via petition: Steve Gladstone, Michael Puskar, and Neal Simon. All have to have the requisite number of signatures in to the state BoE by August 6.

     

    U.S. Congress -1st District

    Andy Harris (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Jenica Martin (Libertarian) – Facebook Twitter

    Jesse Colvin (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    State Senate – District 37

    Addie Eckardt (R – incumbent) – Facebook

    Holly Wright (D) – Facebook

     

    Delegate – District 37A

    Frank Cooke (R) – Facebook

    Sheree Sample-Hughes (D – incumbent) – Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 37B (elect 2)

    Chris Adams (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Johnny Mautz (R – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Dan O’Hare (D) – Facebook

     

    State Senate – District 38

    Mary Beth Carozza (R) – Facebook Twitter

    Jim Mathias (D – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38A

    Charles Otto (R – incumbent)

    Kirkland Hall, Sr. (D) – Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38B

    Carl Anderton, Jr. (R – incumbent) Facebook Twitter

     

    Delegate – District 38C

    Wayne Hartman (R) – Facebook

     

    Delaware

     

    U.S. Senate

     

    Republican:

    Rob ArlettFacebook Twitter

    Roque de la FuenteFacebook Twitter

    Gene Truono, Jr. –  Facebook

     

    Libertarian (no primary, advances to General):

    Nadine Frost – Facebook

     

    Democrat:

    Tom Carper (incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

    Kerri Evelyn HarrisFacebook Twitter

     

    Green (no primary, advances to General):

    Demitri Theodoropoulos

     

     

    Congress (at-large):

     

    Republican:

    Lee MurphyFacebook Twitter

    Scott Walker

     

    Democrat (no primary, advances to General):

    Lisa Blunt Rochester (D – incumbent) – Facebook Twitter

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