A centrist’s lonely path

With a crowded field of nearly a dozen entrants, you would think one who stakes for himself a little different position from the rest would stand out. But Neil Cohen, a dentist from Rockville and unabashed moderate (if there is such a thing) has nearly no name recognition and donations aren’t exactly pouring into his coffers as the Republican U.S. Senate primary election looms on Tuesday. This interview captures well the resignation and bitterness Cohen feels at not making more of a splash in the process.

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A campaign gone on safari

The first television commercial of the U.S. Senate campaign goes to GOP challenger Eric Wargotz, and the message is clear: incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski is a “political insidersaurus” at a time we need new leadership (the commercial video is attached at the bottom of this article.) As Eric says, “Barbara Mikulski is the ultimate political insidersaurus. She has been in office 34 years. During that time, she has increased spending, raised taxes, and destroyed our economy. We need new leadership in Washington.”

But the commercial is not without its critics, and I have to add my two cents to the discussion.

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Maryland lags behind post-racial society

The event in question actually happened a couple weeks back according to this published report, but Martin O’Malley made news on his Facebook page by breathlessly announcing, “Today Governor O’Malley appointed the Honorable Michele D. Hotten to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals–the first African American woman ever to sit on this high court. Congratulations Judge Hotten!”

Certainly I can think of no objection to the pick based on experience, as the brief bio in the article I cited lists a long resume of judicial accomplishments spanning a quarter-century. Apparently she’s well qualified.

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Still holding faith in Steele

No matter how embattled Michael Steele may become as the head of the Republican National Committee he will always have a base of support here in Maryland, where his name is still golden among certain circles. One case in point: an Anne Arundel County candidate for Delegate is holding a fundraiser tomorrow with Steele as the featured attraction.

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Look for the union payoff

So much for independence.

This afternoon Frank Kratovil voted to create a slush fund for Democratic politicians and further reduce the chance states will mend their spendthrift ways by bailing them out to the tune of billions.

Attached by Senate Democrats as an amendment to a previously-passed and fairly innocuous House bill regarding the air traffic control system, the House convened for just six hours to debate the measure and attend to other business before resuming their August recess.

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Murphy receives prime conservative endorsement

It’s backing coveted by many mainstream and TEA Party candidates, but this afternoon upstart Republican candidate for Governor Brian Murphy announced his bid had received the blessing of former VP hopeful Sarah Palin.

“I’m honored to endorse Brian Murphy for Governor of Maryland. Brian is a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment commonsense conservative and a firm believer in the free market and the cause for energy independence.

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A gamble fails to pay off

For the better part of a decade, the name Corrogan Vaughn has been on a primary ballot seeking the nomination for U.S. Senator from the Republican Party.

After failed efforts in 2006 (1.2% of the vote and a sixth place finish out of ten candidates), 2004 (3.7% of the vote but ninth of nine), and 2000 as a write-in, Vaughn was attracting a little bit of notice in a fairly open Republican field with no clear early favorite this year.

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Cummings on Tea Party Republicans

In a Facebook posting, Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote:

“Just like their desire to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, Tea Party Republicans want to wind the clock back across the board on our progress.”

Of course, when I replied and pressed for examples the Congressman was silent.

It looks like Cummings has become the good little soldier in two Democratic campaigns – one to equate the Republican Party with the TEA Party movement and the other to stir up the undertone of racism that has pitted groups like the NAACP against pro-liberty groups who expound the benefits of limited government.

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Filling the federal checkbook

Continuing a double-barreled GOP questioning of Senator Barbara Mikulski and her record, U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Rutledge pointed out the continuing references by Maryland’s senior Senator of “filling the federal checkbook” and questioned if she truly realized where the money was coming from.

On the other hand, Rutledge “doesn’t believe filling the federal government checkbook is the solution to restoring fiscal accountability in Washington. Barbara Mikulski keeps spending while Marylanders are forced to pay back all the debt she is creating.” Said Rutledge, “Mikulski would have us believe that all this money is free when in fact we’re going to have to pay it back with interest.”

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Wargotz slams Mikulski for filibuster flip-flop

Perhaps Barbara Mikulski doesn’t listen when the “Party of No” is talking.

In a release, U.S. Senate candidate Eric Wargotz reminds us the Senate is supposed to be a deliberative body:

Having followed politics for a while, I don’t get surprised often by actions of politicians, yet last week Senator Mikulski surprised me. Throughout her career Senator Mikulski has supported the filibuster when her party was in the minority and yet last week she gave a speech on the Senate floor calling for the end of the filibuster.

There is an old quote that says, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

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It’s nice to see the two leading GOP contenders both training their fire on the REAL enemy! I have something from Jim Rutledge for tomorrow.

Polling stories

Rasmussen recently polled Maryland likely voters and found Barbara Mikulski won 58% of voters compared to Eric Wargotz’s 33 percent. But the ever-sunny disposition of Eric saw this as, well, not so bad.

Recently, Rasmussen Reports show Senator Mikulski at her weakest point in decades. The poll told us what we have been hearing as we have been traveling the state, people are tired of the one-party control in Washington. Voters want accountability and leadership.

Granted, there’s not much in the way of leadership out of our incumbent Senator, but there’s still that 58 percent roadblock.

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