Because this story is relatively short for me on Examiner (just over 250 words) and there’s a long lag in between the time I placed it on that site and here, I’m just going to go ahead and reprise it in full.
Perhaps it’s a symbolic gesture, but the Conservative Victory PAC announced on Tuesday their wholehearted endorsement of Eighth District Congressional hopeful Ken Timmerman.
CVPAC president Chuck Floyd conceded the “massive financial advantage” Van Hollen has in the race – the incumbent has $2.2 million on hand, and has remitted thousands of dollars to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – but asserted that “Marylanders are just beginning to learn the truth about Van Hollen’s brand of machine politics and crony capitalism that is driving hard working businesses out of state or into bankruptcy.” Floyd spoke at a fundraiser for Timmerman, who indeed has a significant financial disadvantage because he had only around $50,000 on hand through June compared to Van Hollen’s $2.2 million, which is unusually high even for a sitting Congressman.
However, the Eighth District may not be the walkover people think it will be since a significant amount of conservative voters were added during redistricting. And there’s a lot of grassroots organizing experience in the Conservative Victory PAC fold as many of the members of their Board of Directors are veterans of Jim Rutledge’s 2010 Senate campaign. That campaign relied heavily on grassroots support as it was well-outspent by eventual GOP nominee Eric Wargotz yet received 31% of the vote in a crowded Republican field. Apparently this crew knows how to work on a shoestring budget.
So while the fundraiser may not have brought in a lot of money, the backing of the army of Rutledge supporters could turn out to be the most important result of the evening.
This is the video I included. We’ll see how it works, since I normally use the old embed code.
I had one other thought. Ken Timmerman isn’t someone who has to run for Congress. Come on, the guy is a successful author.
(Actually, I forgot I had this picture. Probably should have used it on Examiner.)
So why would someone of his stature go through the trouble of running for office for the second time? (Ken also ran for U.S. Senate in 2000.) You’d have to ask him (or read his thumbnail bio) but it’s people like that who I think should be elected, as opposed to political hacks who have held elective office for most of their adult lives. (Case in point: his opponent Van Hollen, who started in the Maryland House of Delegates way back in 1991 at the age of 32 and has held some political job since. And that doesn’t count Van Hollen’s previous experience as a political staffer.)
In fact, if you look at those who are on the state GOP ticket this time, there’s an interesting mix of veteran politicians and newcomers to the scene. Admittedly, Nancy Jacobs and Tony O’Donnell are longtime members of the General Assembly, but they didn’t begin their lives in the political arena – Jacobs was first elected at the age of 47 and O’Donnell was 33. Even Roscoe Bartlett and Andy Harris were rather seasoned when first elected to office, winning at the ages of 66 and 41, respectively.
The point is that they experienced life outside politics before running for office, and that’s the way it should be. Ideally, a legislator would be a citizen who becomes successful in life away from (and despite) politics, serves a handful of years, and then departs rather than spend decades in a position. I understand this places me in a precarious position of hypocrisy since I would support Roscoe Bartlett in his race over a political newcomer in John Delaney, but philosophy is important as well and Bartlett won his primary fair and square. Unfortunately, sometimes people go for the familiar name.
Obviously this took me pretty far afield from my original post but sometimes I think of ways to improve things, even after they’re put to bed. So it is with this post.