Pipkin relives 2008 campaign in Cecil County

I was tipped off to a developing situation in Cecil County which involves their State Senator, E. J. Pipkin. Rather than allow the voters of Cecil County to make their choice or making a simple endorsement in their local races, he’s jumped into the proceedings by violating Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

The two flyers pictured here are part of a barrage of mailings and robocalls that Pipkin is using in Cecil County against Robert Hodge, a candidate for County Council, and Tari Moore, who’s running for the newly-created County Executive position.

But the Cecil County Patriots group objects to Pipkin’s interference, charging that the candidates he and Delegate Michael Smigiel are backing – Jim Millin for County Council and Diane Broomell for County Executive – were handpicked by the state officials as puppets for their agenda. One local observer added “this all goes back to the unionization issue that he tried to force on our local government, and the teacher pension shift…(Pipkin’s) attacking two candidates who he despises because they are very popular, very conservative, and very independent of him.”

The Pipkin tactics remind me of how he conducted the 2008 primary battle between he, Andy Harris, and then-Congressman Wayne Gilchrest. In that race, Pipkin spent over a million dollars – almost all his own money – on glossy mailings and flyers which promoted his conservative record while calling opponent Andy Harris a “dishonest Baltimore politician.” Harris has returned the favor in this race by endorsing Hodge and Moore.

Hodge has taken to the media to respond to Pipkin’s negative attack, while Moore is apparently above the fray.

But there is one area where I can agree with the Cecil County Patriots. For example, in Mullin’s case he’s a proponent of “sav(ing) literally thousands of acres of our Eastern Shore from sprawl and development.” As I’ve often pointed out, if an area doesn’t grow it shrivels and dies so Mullin seems to be throwing his lot in with the zealots who would tell people where they can live and work, knowing that’s just the start of government control.

On the other hand, it’s interesting that the Cecil County Patriots object to a candidate who “organized the first two TEA Parties in Cecil County” and was the impetus behind an elected school board as Broomell claims. They’ve managed to get through the Byzantine process of getting an elected school board for their county as opposed to our efforts here in Wicomico, which seem to have run into a brick wall.

But the real question is why Pipkin is using such scorched-earth tactics in a primary, a strategy which could damage Hodge and Moore should they survive to the general election. The GOP contest for Executive is already a seven-person scrum, with three running on the Democratic side; meanwhile, the council district Hodge is running for already has a Democratic opponent in place for November who’s unopposed in the primary. While I’ll grant there’s not the strong Republicans serving in the General Assembly from Wicomico County that Cecil County can boast, I would be floored if any of our local Republican elected officials carried on in this manner in a contested GOP race here – of course, none have the means that Pipkin does.

There’s probably something to like about most of the GOP hopefuls in Cecil County, and this year is a key election in their history because they’re electing their first County Executive. Yet this interference in the Cecil race may mean both Senator Pipkin and Delegate Smigiel draw primary opposition in 2014. (Pipkin got 72% of the vote in his 2010 primary against one opponent, Smigiel was unopposed.)

I think in closing it’s worth noting something E.J. Pipkin wrote back in 2007, a paragraph in a lengthy e-mail I used for a post:

The “right” to put oneself forward for office, to be judged by voters, and to represent your friends and neighbors is a basic fundamental component of our representative government. This system relies upon individuals being willing to discuss their ideas, their backgrounds, their strengths and weaknesses as leaders, and their vision for how to improve the lives of those they wish to represent.

It seemed like the Cecil County race was doing just fine until Pipkin decided to put his thumb on the scale and alienate a number of voters for no good reason. Senator Pipkin, you should let these individuals have the necessary discussion, back the winner against the Democratic challenger, and save your money for your own next race.

7 thoughts on “Pipkin relives 2008 campaign in Cecil County”

  1. I want to provide some context for why the Cecil County Patriots are not supporting Broomell. She had the support of many of us in 2010, because of the reasons you stated in the article. However, we were unaware at the time that she had an extensive anti-growth history, and since she has been in office, that agenda, NOT TEA Party principles have been driving her decisions. There are many issues we have had with her votes and her behavior. She is not business friendly in the least and was ranked worst for local businesses by our local Chamber of Commerce. Anyone interested in learning more… a summary of her past year in office can be found at http://www.cecilcountypatriots.com.

  2. Monoblogue,

    It seems to me you are getting only one side of the story here, and some of the facts are incorrect as well.

    1) Pipkin has endorsed Michael Dawson, a Town Commissioner from Perryville, for County Executive not Diana Broomell.

    2) There is quite a bit of out-of-county money at play in this election on the other side and if anything Pipkin’s entrance into the race created a level playing field. Please see my article here- http://dunnforcecil.com/2012/03/29/most-of-cecil-business-pac-from-out-of-county/

    3) As for the characterization of Tari Moore and Robert Hodge as “very conservative” I would suggest my article here- http://dunnforcecil.com/2012/03/29/the-truth-about-tari-moore-and-taxes/

    4) The votes listed on the mailers above are absolutely true- I know because I was present for most of them and voted on the other side.

    5) As a Tea Party conservative myself who has spent years building the Republican Party and conservative movement in Cecil County, I consider the “Patriots” an absolute disgrace.

  3. Well, Pipken & Smiegel have continued to show their ignorance and fear of losing control of Cecil County… and they should fear losing that control!!

    It will be a cold day in hell before Smiegel will ever see hisself as a judge here and Pipken is continuing to be an arrogant ass!!

    Let us not forget that he tried to screw over the Maryland Fire/Rescue/EMS system a couple of years ago by wanting to priviatize the MEDEVAC system.
    His arrogance was real when we walked through the doors in the state house and he look right at us and said “BRING IT ON!!”. Well, bring it on we did… and shoved it right up his ass!!

    We Cecil Countians need to do that same thng again at the election booths… Shove it right up both Pipken and Smiegels asses by supporting the candidates that they are bashing!!!

  4. And those are valid points, I appreciate your input. Again, though, when I was informed about your county’s situation I immediately thought of how Pipkin ran his 2008 race. I’m curious, though, since you’re in his district: did E.J. run the same kind of campaign in 2006 or 2010 against his Democratic opponents?

    My concern obviously is how much the Democrats who survive the primary will run to the right and govern to the left if elected – we had the same thing here in Wicomico when we elected our County Executive in 2006, and tax-and-spend Rick Pollitt is still in office, complaining about our revenue cap.

    I think the CCP was most concerned about two issues: collective bargaining and private property rights. We have several of the same struggles down here; in many ways Cecil County is the most analogous to Wicomico County when it comes to Eastern Shore counties because we’re fairly similar in population. But given our experience that’s why it’s important to have a conservative County Executive. We wish we did.

  5. Just came across this site.

    It’s interesting that those who most likely voted for EJ Pipkin in the first place, haven’t pointed out that his smear tactics of spreading lies about candidates is exactly the same tactics he used against his Democratic opponents. Did conservatives reject Pipkin’s lies against Democrats? No. They voted for him, instead of returning one of the most conservative and powerful Democrats to the Maryland Senate.

    The troubles with the Tea [a.k.a. TEA] Party are vast, but failure to pay attention to what’s really happening both locally and in Annapolis is the biggest issue. EJ Pipkin and Michael Smigiel represent only themselves, not their constituents. Taxes and spending aren’t the main issues. Providing needed constituent services at a reasonably affordable cost is. Creating jobs through investment in education and assistance to small businesses is important.

    Cutting or holding taxes at a destructively low level only helps those who are wealthy enough not to be affected. Anti-tax mythology only helps people like EJ Pipken, the multimillionaire junk bond dealer from Dundalk. Anti-tax mythology doesn’t help the rest of us who need police, fire, schools, safe roads and bridges, clean water, clean air, and protection from selfish punks like Pipkin.

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