Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

The Smear Tactics Continue

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 28, 2006

I think that the following candidates should distance themselves from and make it clear they do not endorse the tactics of the Howard County Issues organization.  This organization is attacking the character and defaming two individuals who have served the community very well over that past eight years.

Kevin Zeese, Steve Wallis, Don Dunn and Donna Thewes, have all been endoresed by this “independent” organization.  Please tell the voters that you repudiate these tactics and do not support organizations that use unfounded allegations to assassinate the reputation of another..

The Unaffiliated/Independent Voters at howardcountyissues.org (find a link on the right side of this blog under Howard County Blogs) has posted the following:

Documents supporting claims about Chris Merdon’s voting record and large private land deal have been posted below, after word of his denials.

Additionally, the Sun article wherein Greg Fox is quoted as available “anywhere and everywhere” for voters also is not true, based on first hand experience with his dismissing the Unaffiliated/Independent Voter group invitation.

In support of knowing what candidates have actually done, rather than what they promise, setting the record straight is important.

Below are the documents Chris Merdon claims are fabricated in recent letters to the editor.

These are little more than defamatory statements and the documents reveal nothing of value.

The writer is characterizing the Merdon family’s purchase of property from a developer as a large private land deal in order to impunge their character is highly inappropriate and simply not true.  It is a real reach and requires a great deal of imagination to get from point A to point B as the writer does.  I suspect that no matter who the Merdon family purchased land from the writer would cry foul and try to make the same attempt at character assassination.

The majority of the land is environmentally protected and Merdon paid more than the assessed value for the land.  It is an odd piece of property that very few people expressed interest in purchasing.  What is more, most of the people in Howard County purchased their property from a builder/developer.  Most people pay more than the assessed value too.  What is wrong with this picture?  What evidence exists of sweetheart deal?  Did the rest of us make a sweetheart deal because we purchased from a builder or developer?

The other documents the purport to prove that Merdon did something wrong or is in someone’s pocket and again the conclusions are nothing more than defamatory. 

What do these documents really show?  That the Zoning Board is doing its job.  What is lacking here?:

  • Any context at all. 
  • Documents that are not presented are those in which the Zoning Board denied a zoning request.   The writer claims in a local newspaper that the Zoning Board has not denied any changes in zoning requests.  I have to look into that.  However, what does that prove?  If the petitioner can proved their case what is the zoning board supposed to do?  Deny the petitioner the rule of law?
  • What is also not discussed is the process in which the Zoning Board made these decisions
  • What the vote count was.
  • Discussion that these decisions followed the rule of law.
  • An understanding that zoning changes are going to take place all the time
  • An understanding that not all zoning changes are bad for the County

These are either deliberate smears or, at best, represents a clumsy understanding of the process.

The fact that the person/organization that posted these only directs their ire at one individual (Chris Merdon) and not any of the other Zoning Board members (Ken Ulman) is peculiar.   If one is truly independent and unaffiliated why single out one person?

As to Greg Fox

The writer objects to Fox not making himself available for this organization.  Why?  Did he not respond?  Did he politely decline?  Did he have a conflict?  Please advise.

Mr. Fox invited the writer to meet with him one-on-one to discuss the writer’s specific concerns.  The writer refused the invitation.  Kettle…Pot…

In my opinion it is great that an organization exists to provide a voice for independent and unaffiliated voters.  They do a good job of trying to introduce independent candidates to the voters.  They provide a needed voice in politics.

It is unfortunate that in doing so this organization finds it necessary to distort, disparage, and defame those they don’t agree with by charging unfounded accusations and with documentation that proves absolutely nothing to anyone except themselves because they are desperately trying to be right.

If you support a candidate then support the candidate.  If the opponent has something to hide don’t pretend certain documentation proves your allegations.

I will give them credit.  Despite the clumsy attempt at least the writer is willing to put their name and reputation on the line which is more than can be said for some others.

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5 Responses to “The Smear Tactics Continue”

  1. Freemarket said

    Let me guess- you had reasons for this post, besides defending Merdon and Fox. This post was aptly named.

  2. hocomd said

    Yes I did, and they were good reasons.

    Mary Smith was invited to have breafast with Greg Fox and turned him down then condemns him for not meeting with her group.

    Mary Smith tells people that Merdon is crooked?

    Yes the post was aptly named.

  3. hocoterp said

    If you’re going to talk about the Zoning Board and it’s decisions in the context of the County Executive’s race, then I don’t see how you can ignore the fact that Ken Ulman was the Chair of the Zoning Board.

  4. hocomd said

    Terp,
    Just one of my points. Thank you.

  5. Great info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book marked it for later!

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