Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

…I shall return UPDATED

Posted by David Keelan on Sunday, September 10, 2006

Those famous words were uttered by Douglas MacArthur after he left the Philippine Islands under orders from President Roosevelt.  That quote came to mind when I read the Howard County Times today.

Livesay, 55, who recently retired as Howard County police chief, said he switched his party affiliation to Democrat in 2002 to support the re-election of Democratic County Executive James Robey, another former county police chief, but he always intended to return.

Those words pale in comparison to General MacArthur’s heartfelt statement, especially laid next to these words.

“I can support him (Jim Robey) and clear my conscienceat the same time,” Livesay said of his reason for switching parties.

Howard County Times May 9, 2002

He wanted to clear his conscience over guns.  Does anyone know if the GOP changed its position on gun rights or did Wayne Livesay?  Where their other issues he was clearing his conscience over?  Has anything else changed.

If Mr. Livesay intended to return to the GOP I didn’t note it when the Baltimore Sun reported on February 8, 2006 that he was considering a run for County Council.

After 34 years of enforcing the law in Howard County, Police Chief Wayne Livesay is “seriously considering” retiring to run for the sprawling western county’s District 5 County Council seat.

“I have not made a final decision,” Livesay said yesterday , though he expects to make up his mind in the next several weeks. “This is a big decision for me. I’m very close.”

He added, “If I run, I’ll probably run as a Republican.”

How about this headline from the Howard County Times

Livesay Considers Rejoining Republicans for Council Run

Howard County Police Chief Wayne Livesay is “90 to 95 percent” sure he will switch parties to run as a Republican for the western Howard County Council seat this year, he said this week.

“Assuming I run, I will run as a Republican,” he said.

Update: This from the Washington Post

Possible Democratic candidates for county executive include Courtney Watson, chairman of the Board of Education; Ken Ulman, a first-term County Council member representing western Columbia; and Howard Police Chief G. Wayne Livesay.

That doesn’t sound like he was so sure about returning to the GOP.

Now he wants people to forget what he said in the past and convince the GOP primary voters in District 5 that he always intended to return?

Mr. Livesay should have expected this criticism.  Even the GOP Chairman warned in some of these same articles that some members of the GOP would have a difficult time overcoming this issue.  He should have heeded his warnings and quit complaining about it 6 months afterward and only days until the primary.

Heeded his warnings?  You might ask what that means.  I don’t mean he should not have run.

I said it here before.  Mr. Livesay should have apologized along the lines of “When I left the GOP in 2002 I may have said somethings that hurt feelings or offended some people.  For that I am truly sorry.  I want to come home to the party I consider home and I hope you will accept me.”  Do you know what would have happened?  A lot of people would have accepted him like a prodigal son and this wouldn’t be an issue.  If Greg Fox ever brought it up Livesay could say, “I don’t apologize for supporting my friend Jim Robey.  I did apologize for my remarks when I left the party.  I believe the voters have forgiven me and moved on.  My advise to you Greg is to follow their lead and move on too.”

End of story.

I don’t think Wayne could bring himself to apologize.  It is not part of his demeanor.

Marna McLendon of Scottsdale, AZ, a former Howard County State’s Attorney (1995-2003), feels so strongly about Mr. Livesay’s demeanor she sent a letter to the Howard County Times to express her views.  “Livesay a ‘team player’ only when he gets to be captain.”  Letters. It is the second letter.  Coming from a former Howard County Public Servent who worked closely with Livesay for five of the eight years he served as police chief (the County’s top elected law enforcement officer) that is a very scathing commentary.

When Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines he did so with a plan.  He loved the Philippines having had a long assignment with his father there and afterward, his mother died there.  He loved the Philippine people and they loved him.  When he returned the Philippine people were willing to fight with him and die with him because he made a promise to them.  He said, he would return, that he hadn’t abandoned them, and he did what he said he would do.

When Wayne Livesay returned to the GOP he was no Douglas MacArthur.


8 Responses to “…I shall return UPDATED”

  1. Howard County Republican said

    David, your are an excellent writer and I believe that you have a lot of potential as a fictional novelist. Or maybe your gifts would be better suited as a media specialist, as you are an exceptional “spinster.”

    The untruths you continue to perpetrate about Mr. Livesay and the way you twist everything he says is very disappointing considering you are a candidate for the Republican Central Committee.

    As a member of the RepublicanParty, I am not a “lemming” as you apparently think we all should be. If I believe in gun control or another issue that the Republican Party in general does not support, does that mean I am any less of a Republican? Are we not allowed to have our own opinions? Does Mr. Kittleman and Ms. Schrader tell Greg Fox what to think and do…..and more disturbing, does he follow their every command? That scares me!!!

    Though the comp light issue is very important, I find it very interesting that Greg Fox is hanging his hat on this one issue. I think we all want and deserve a Council person who has a well rounded knowledge base, a person with proven leadership and experience, a person with maturity (and I don’t mean age) and deep roots in the community, and a person who cares for all the citizens needs in the county regardless of their political affiliation.

    Instead of continually attacking Wayne Livesay, Mr. Fox should concentrate his efforts on promoting his skills and experience that he could bring to the job. The truth of the matter is, Greg Fox has no where near the credentials Wayne Livesay has for this job. Does Mr Fox really think that attending more than five zoning hearings gives him an edge over Wayne Livesay? I don’t think so!

    The voters in this county and District 5 are very well educated and informed individuals. They will look at the qualifications of each candidate and make an educated and informed decision when voting. When the smoke screen put up by the Fox camp clears and all the mirrors are broken, the citizens of District 5 will be able to see clearly that the most qualified candidate for County Council District 5 that will serve ALL the citizens of our community fairly and in an unbiased manner is WAYNE LIVESAY, hands down!

  2. hocomd said

    Honestly, Mr. Livesay is lucky to have someone to constantly go around the blogs and stand up for him. That is not tongue in cheek – I mean it.

    I don’t think you are a lemming either. You are of a different opinion.

    My wife HATES guns (I had to get rid of them), Sandy Schrader is not thrilled about guns either, and I know of pro-choice Republicans. We could go on and on. So to answer your question. I don’t think you are less of a Republican than say Arlen Spector. Senator Spector has never left the GOP over differences on issues and he keeps getting re-elected. That doesn’t scare me – I respect Arlen Spector.

    Also, like Arlen Spector – Greg is his own person. I don’t think Sandy or Allan have the time or interest in “controlling” a County Councilman. Why do you think they do? Maybe you are just saying Greg is a GOP robot?

    My point being everyone has differences with their party.  All of them don’t leave it and come back 4 years later to run for office.  It smacks of opportunism and other things.  As I said before and in this post.  Wayne created this issue.  Charlie convinced him he could win and it would not be an issue.  It was a risk they took.  I talked to Charlie about this – he didn’t agree with me.  Brian Harlin said, people are going to have a difficult time getting over those comments of 4 years ago.  It isn’t like Greg sat around the kitchen table and made this up.  What did they expect?  Like Charlie’s position on comp-lite “No one will remember?”  Well that is what campaigns are for – to remind voters.

    I really believe if Wayne had taken my advise and offered a heartfelt apology back in February when Brian Harlin first said this would be a problem for his campaign then this would not be an issue today.  If he had taken the advise when I offered it on this blog it would not be an issue today.  He does (maybe used to) read this blog.  He could have been the prodigal son.

    Comp-lite – well the “dirty” poll Kittleman and Miller ran probably told them that comp-lite resonated with voters in District 5 as much as Wayne’s position on switching parties. If a survey said this is what the voters are concerned about then that is what I would be discussing with them – you know part of my campaign strategy.  Survey’s across the county indicate the same thing.  It is probably the defining issue in the local elections.

    Did you see Greg’s ad in the Howard County Times today. I think he answered voters questions about his skills and qualifications.

    As to the voters – I agree 100% and regardless of the outcome they will also expect us to come together and move forward together after Tuesday.

    BTW: You keep on saying I am reporting untruths. I have asked you to point out when, what and where. Would you be kind enough to answer my question?   Seriously, if you are going to call me a liar at least stand by your claim and offer some proof or concrete examples.  As far as I can tell I haven’t lied once about Wayne Livesay.  When I am wrong I take my medicine and apologize.

  3. Jim Adams said

    David, your right Wayne Livesay is not Douglas MacArthur.
    Wayne retired, Douglas was fired.

  4. hocomd said

    So he did Jim. I am sure that you are not implying that Douglas MacArthur (not to mention his grand father and father) was less than honorable and an American hero. I don’t want people to misinterpret your point.

  5. Ralph said

    Howard County Republican – nice attempt at spin control, however Wayne is more guilty – you mention nowhere that Charles Feggie recruited him and has not done a good job at all representing the GOP in Howard County. You have every right to disagree with the GOP on issues much as your friend Wayne, you do not however have the right to contest David Keelan’s GOP credentials he is a dedicated member of the county GOP who commits tons of time to the party and its activities and deserves to be a member of the central committee. Where is any description of anything that Wayne stands for? Details? More than 4 bullets on a mailer?

    Jim – General McArthur was an incredible American and one of my hero’s…..

  6. Jim Adams said

    No,I am not reflecting on his honor or status as an American hero, and no reflection on his family including his mother, who attended Mount Desales in Catonsville Md, and stayed just out side West Point for all 4 years of his attendence at that school.

    I am reflecting on the result of him allowing his ego to control his actions, instead of allowing his I.Q., measured the same as Albert Einstien’s, to control what would have been a more glorious end to his career, including possibly the White House.

    David for different reasons we both share a love of history, and how it tells us so much about human nature.

    As a side note, I spent last night discussing issues that could have been brought on your blog, but the feeling is, it is time for the voters. So I thank you for the use of your site.

  7. hocomd said


    Thank you too.

    Readership on all 4 blogs is at an all time high. People are just paying attention. If any candidate, including Wayne, haave issues that they feel would gain the attention of voters visiting the blogs I would encourage you to take advantage of the exposure.

    I will put them up unedited.

  8. Jim Walsh said


    I agree with your analysis that Wayne Livesay could have made this a non-issue by addressing his party switching back in February. I think that the very long-time (by this I mean 50+ years) Howard County residents, who grew up together in an era where everyone knew each other in Howard County (particularly western Howard), did not appreciate how much Wayne’s party-switching, and particularly the comments he made when doing so, would stick in the craw of not-so-long resident Howard County Republicans.

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