In the nearly 48 hours since I put my two part convention coverage to bed, there has been quite a bit of interesting reaction to what I wrote and the events of the confab in general. Much of it emanated from the left side of the political spectrum, including a ‘progressive’ blogger from Maine with his take on the Brent Littlefield incident I related.
Gerald Weinand, who writes the website called Dirigo Blue, sniffled in his e-mail to me that:
I assume that you understand that it’s not difficult to “infiltrate” a twitter stream – you simply have to use the hashtag everyone else is using. And since the one used by the Maine Dems for their convention last June had been advertised at the #mepolitics hashtag, both Brent Littlefield and Jason Savage would have seen #MeDemConvo.
Here is my write up of Littlefield’s little game with Gov. O’Malley. Feel free to cross post it at your blog, or link to it. I think you’ll find that O’Malley handled it very well indeed.
Well, Gerald, you have your link and I know enough about Twitter to be somewhat conversant in the lingo. But if you consider O’Malley spitting out angrily that Maine Governor Paul LePage “worship(s) the false idol of tax cuts” as “handled it very well,” please continue to exist in your dream world. Hijacking a Twitter thread is quite fun, and certainly the Democrats in attendance didn’t handle it so well if you believe Brent Littlefield.
In reading the comments on Dirigo Blue, the one which pined for Maryland to annex Maine got me to thinking: we’ll trade you governors in a heartbeat and even throw in a few members of the General Assembly to be named later, like when I wrap up the monoblogue Accountability Project.
Another Maryland leader who was the subject of some speculation was Alex Mooney, Chair of the Maryland GOP. While the effort to oust him got nowhere despite those who thought he should resign, one guy who may have a little egg on his face is another liberal blogger, David Moon of Maryland Juice.
Just prior to the convention Moon ran with a story which told anyone who bothered to listen that Montgomery County GOP chair Mark Uncapher was seeking the top spot if Mooney were to leave via a no-confidence vote (like Jim Pelura did three years ago). When that didn’t happen, Moon blamed the source:
In the comments below, Mark Uncapher denies that he is seeking to displace Alex Mooney. Our source may be full of it, or perhaps the mission may be aborted. We may never know.
Yet the most interesting parlor game may be figuring out the “Deep Throat” who passed the information on to David Moon. As he describes the “anonymous source” and how the allegation came to light:
In a private conference call with Frederick and Howard County Republicans and Audrey Scott, Mark Uncapher said he wanted the state chairman job. I was at the meeting.
Of course, that story could be the most crimson of herrings but it’s intriguing someone is willing to put that sort of dirt out on our side, is it not?
Yet one thing I found odd and a departure from recent convention history: this time Montgomery County wasn’t the center of attention. Instead it was a county 1/10 the size which captured the bulk of the unrest in the proceedings.
Whether it’s because I find the politics in Cecil County so interesting or because I get to hear so much about it from friends and fans, Cecil County receives a fair amount of attention on this website. We all now know that newly inaugurated Cecil County Executive Tari Moore changed her political party to unaffiliated, leading to a resolution being placed before the state GOP convention and eventually tabled. One take on this move was to foil the “Smipkins” (i.e. allies of District 36 Delegate Mike Smigiel and District 36 Senator and Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin) who control the Cecil County Republican Central Committee – had Moore stayed a Republican they would have selected the list she would choose her successor from and insured a struggle to enact her agenda, according to writer Nancy Schwerzler.
But the other side of the story was presented by Cecil County Council member (and primary foe of Tari Moore) Diana Broomell, who wrote on her personal website:
Tari Moore’s move to renounce the Republican Party in order to hijack control of the new Cecil County Council insures special interests will now effectively control both the Executive and Council side of our new Charter form of government. Where are the checks and balances if the County Executive controls both the Legislative and Executive side of government?
Diana was also kind enough to share some of her background and respond to a post I did several months ago on the Cecil County primary.
Perhaps it’s time for Cecil County Republicans to remember the 80 percent rule. As long as you can agree with Tari Moore (or, conversely, with the “Smipkins”) 80 percent of the time, the chances are pretty good that a conservative agenda is being furthered because they probably both would work toward the same ends on most issues. Yet given the choice between E.J. Pipkin and Andy Harris (as this battle by proxy played out) I think I would tend to favor Andy’s side of things because over time Harris has proven to be more conservative.
But Cecil County residents have an advantage very few other Maryland residents do: for the moment, they are represented almost entirely by Republicans. There aren’t many places as solidly in the GOP camp as Cecil, so they need to set an example for the rest of us. Leave the petty power struggles to the other party – while the results can be painful in the end, it’s still a lot of fun watching them get it wrong time after time.