Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

The Myth of the Racist Republicans.

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Saturday, Hilliary Clinton spoke to a NAACP banquet in North Charleston, SC. She outlined her civil rights agenda, “Promoting Civil Rights and Fighting Discrimination in the 21st Century” Some of my favorites:

“Restore professionalism and remove politics from hiring, case deliberations, and policy decisions across the Department of Justice.”

Do you think she will accomplish by hiring Republicans? Just as in Maryland where firing a Democrat is crass partisanship, but firing a Republican, well that’s okay. (O’Malley firing illegal over GOP ties) MD democrats spent 13 months and $1.1 million of public money to find out that Gov. Ehrlich did not fire anyone illegally. We are still waiting to see if the O’Malley administration will be held to the same standard.

Sen. Clinton proposes the following:

Direct the Attorney General to submit – within 90 days of taking office – a report that recommends how to rebuild DOJ’s traditional role in defending civil rights and the rule of law, and that reviews charges of improper, politically motivated hiring to determine whether laws were broken.

How do you think she will do this? Well, we can look at the past Clinton administration to see how they handled it before (from the Wall Street Journal) :

Congressional Democrats are in full cry over the news this week that the Administration’s decision to fire eight U.S. Attorneys originated from–gasp–the White House. Senator Hillary Clinton joined the fun yesterday, blaming President Bush for “the politicization of our prosecutorial system.” Oh, my.

As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we’d suggest she call herself as the first witness–and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel.

As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton’s choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno–or Mr. Hubbell–gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons’ Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint “Friend of Bill” Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to “politicizing” Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

As Sen. Clinton and the Democrats try to paint Republicans as racist, maybe a little history will help. In a 2004 book review for the Claremont Institute, The Myth of the Racist Republicans and in a recent Weekly Standard article, The Party of Civil Rights, Univ. of VA associate political science professor Gerard Alexander. (h/t PowerLine) provides some context:

A myth about conservatism is circulating in academia and journalism and has spread to the 2004 presidential campaign. It goes something like this: the Republican Party assembled a national majority by winning over Southern white voters; Southern white voters are racist; therefore, the GOP is racist. Sometimes the conclusion is softened, and Republicans are convicted merely of base opportunism: the GOP is the party that became willing to pander to racists. Either way, today’s Republican Party—and by extension the conservative movement at its heart—supposedly has revealed something terrible about itself.

And from the conclusion:

The point of all this is not to deny that Richard Nixon may have invited some nasty fellows into his political bed. The point is that the GOP finally became the region’s dominant party in the least racist phase of the South’s entire history, and it got that way by attracting most of its votes from the region’s growing and confident communities—not its declining and fearful ones. The myth’s shrillest proponents are as reluctant to admit this as they are to concede that most Republicans genuinely believe that a color-blind society lies down the road of individual choice and dynamic change, not down the road of state regulation and unequal treatment before the law. The truly tenacious prejudices here are the mythmakers’.

And from the conclusion of Prof. Alexander’s Weekly Standard Article:

It took no time at all for individual commentators to point out these problems, but it took decades for the intellectual orthodoxy to develop serious cracks. In the 1980s, Reagan administration lawyers challenged head-on the most expansive racial preferences and the assumptions that justified them. Welfare came under withering scrutiny from scholars like Charles Murray, and, in the 1990s, politicians and voters from both sides of the aisle enacted welfare reform to propel more of the poor into the labor market and toward lives of greater self-sufficiency. Just in the past few years, scholarship has begun to document some perverse effects of affirmative action programs. In 2005, the fortieth anniversary of the Moynihan Report was noted with articles that validated the original conclusions and condemned the smear that greeted its author.

In the end, the position that has best stood the test of time is the long-standing conservative proposition that improving individual capabilities–through quality education–is the best means of reducing socio-economic disparities, with the additional virtue of not being zero-sum, as racial preferences and minority set-asides are.

In the half-century since the 1957 Civil Rights Act, dramatic gains occurred in many areas, but rigid intellectual orthodoxies heavily contributed to the terrible worsening of problems in other areas. Maybe after 50 years, America is finally prepared to have a debate–driven by facts and not ideology–on how to tackle the remaining racial disparities.

If you can find the time, please read the both articles.  With that, I’m off to listen to Micheal Steele and support GOPAC.

Posted in Democrats, Ed C, Republicans | 19 Comments »

Ann Coulter – Dumb Ass!

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, March 5, 2007

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference before an overflow crowd on Friday, Ms. Coulter said,

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”

 Thankfully, McCain, Gulliani, and Romney spoke out against her comments.

 The only time I catch Ann Coulter is when I occassionally catch Sean Hannity on the radio.  I find her to be  well the outrageous comments above sum up my impressions of her.

Ill mannered, bad taste, poor judgement and more.  I have yet to read one of her books.

By other accounts she is reportedly a very witty and smart person – I wouldn’t know.  Her lack of good taste and judgement here brings that into doubt.

Posted in Republicans | 3 Comments »

Super Tuesday Gathering by Howard County Republican Club.

Posted by Ed C on Monday, February 5, 2007

On Tuesday February 5th, the Howard County Republican Club will be hosting a Super Tuesday party from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM. Official announcement and details will be coming soon.

There are 22 primaries and caucuses that will be held that day (from National Association of Secretaries of State):

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho (D), Illinois, Kansas (D), Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico (D), New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah

Who will be left after Iowa (1/3) and New Hampshire (1/8)?  Will anyone give a more memorable concession speech than Howard Dean – Yeeeehhhhh!!?  Will South Carolina (1/26) or Florida (1/29) cement a front-runner or turn things upside down?

We will also be in the middle of the 2008 MD General Assembly so there should be plenty of local politics to discuss as we gear up for the 2008 elections.

You can join the Republican Club as well as view upcoming events at Howard County Republican Club. As reminder, the Club elections will be held on Thursday Jan 17th (Location to be announced soon.)

Posted in Ed C, Republican 08 Primary, Republicans | 2 Comments »

New Positions For Maryland Republicans

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, January 27, 2007

First at the National Level we have Michael Steele replacing J.C. Watts as Chairman of GOPAC

WASHINGTON, D.C. GOPAC today announced former Congressman J.C. Watts, Jr. will be stepping down after serving nearly four years as Chairman. Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele will be named as GOPAC’s seventh Chairman.

GOPAC was founded by Delaware Governor Pete du Pont in 1978 in an effort to build a farm team of Republican officeholders who could then run for congress or higher state offices later. Other past Chairmen of GOPAC were: former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, California Congressman David Dreier, Arizona Congressman John Shadegg and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

We also have Fulton resident Louis M. Pope elected as RNC Vice Chair

As RNC Vice Chair, Pope will help steer the Party and provide oversight to the various RNC committees. He will also ratify any decisions of RNC Chairman Mike Duncan. Pope has pledged to work closely on issues such as candidate recruitment, fundraising and voter registration and hold a regional conference for all Republicans in the next year.

On the minus side, newly elected Republican Central Committee member Trent Kittleman as reported in the Baltimore Sun will be leaving the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The one agency head who is definitely out is Trent Kittleman, a staunch Republican who resigned as executive secretary of the Maryland Transportation Authority this week. She had earlier said she hoped to stay on.

In a second article, Trent Kittleman is quoted saying:

Kittleman said yesterday that her departure was the result of “a mutual meeting of the minds” after a conversation with Porcari. Though she had previously stated a willingness to stay on as head of the toll agency, she said the meeting was “very professional” and “very nice.”

Gov. Ehrlich dismissed 340 at will employees and the Democratic delegates and senators launched a year long investigation. (From the Washington Post)

“This legislative committee was pulled together to see if anyone was fired” illegally, Del. Jean B. Cryor (R-Montgomery) said afterwards. “But after months of testimony, the simple fact is that no one was fired because of their political party.”

Anyone keeping track of Gov. O’Malley’s numbers? Any sign that Del. Cryor is carefully monitoring this? Just asking.

Posted in Ed C, Maryland, Republicans | 1 Comment »

Bush Warns Democrats?

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, January 4, 2007

I guess this is for those who believe I never criticize the GOP.

The headline in the Washington Time today “Bush warns Democrats on stalemate” got my attention.  It seemed obvious what the article was going to say and it didn’t dissapoint me. 

Essentially President Bush is

“urging Democrats to cut pork-barrel spending in half and telling them they will take the blame for stalemenat if they send him bills he has to veto.”

Come on.  In six years President Bush has been threatening vetos over spending.  He came through on one veto in the past six years.  One veto.  Now after failing to reign in the GOP congress he thinks he can reign in the Democratic congress.  This is nothing but political hype.

I have said before that President Bush let the GOP congress have its way so they would let him have his way.  He did not instill or insist on fiscal discipline.  He watched as the GOP congress behaved like a bunch of high school kids on an overnight field trip without any adult supervision.  I know, the President doesn’t run congress, but the President has veto power and he could have used it more often instead of throwing empty threats at the GOP.

Like a bunch of unsupervised high school kids on an overnight field trip the GOP congress went too far.  The trip was canceled.  The school board suspended the kids and wondered what were the parents thinking allowing the kids to go unsupervised.

Now we are hearing the same thing except this time it is a Democratic congress.  Does President Bush mean what he says?  I don’t know but in my mind he lost credibility on fiscal discipline by letting the drunk sailors loose for six years.

If Bush is trying to help the GOP reclaim the mantle of fiscal discipline he has a difficult job ahead of him.  Mr. President, actions speak louder than words.  If you really expect fiscal discipline then pull out that dusty veto pen and get ready to use it otherwise I don’t want to hear it anymore.

Posted in David Keelan, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

While in local news

Posted by David Keelan on Sunday, December 3, 2006

David Wissing and Monoblogue report on the new GOP State Chairman Dr. James Pelura III.  Did anyone report out on the fact that Howard County has a new GOP Chairman and Vice Chairman?

Congratualations to Loretta Shields, Chairman and Heather Mitchell, Vice Chairman.

Posted in Howard County, Republicans | 1 Comment »

MD Republican Party Convention

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, December 2, 2006

Both the Washington Times (Steele takes active role in Maryland politics, eyes 2010) and the Baltimore Sun (GOP’s next step is focus of caucus) cover the Maryland Republican convention that is being held today in Annapolis.

Later today we should know who is going to replace outgoing party Chairman John Kane. It looks like the Chairman’s race is between two candidates:

  • Jim Pelura, an Anne Arundel County veterinarian
  • John White, Anne Arundel businessman and 2006 Congressional candidate

I believe that either candidate will be a good choce as we regroup and gear up for 2008 and 2010. Hopefully one of our Republican representatives in Annapolis or Howard County Central Committee members will drop us a line with a recap of the event (hint, hint.)

For the good news, it looks like Michael Steele is going to stay active in Maryland politics, from the Washington Times:

“I’m just trying to make sure our party gets back on its feet and stands tall,” Mr. Steele told The Washington Times. “If we don’t do the groundwork now and pull ourselves up, 2010 won’t matter and 2008 won’t matter, either.”

I hope he runs.

Posted in Ed C, Republicans | 4 Comments »

Those Mean Republicans

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What a coincidence and “Who Really Cares

This past Tuesday I read a Thomas Sowell article about the book referenced above and was going to write about it.  I held off because I haven’t read the book and can’t cite the author’s sources.  I still haven’t read the book, but as coincidence would have it as I was traveling home from Northern New Jersey tonight I had the opportunity to speak with the author.

On my drive I was listening to Bruce Elliott on WBAL.  His guest was the author of this very book, Arthur Brooks, a Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Nonprofit Studies Program at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

So I called in to the show and asked Professor Brooks about his sources.  He replied that the book documents his sources thoroughly, and then reminded me of what he has said earlier which was that he doubted his original conclusions so he went back and got new data.  What happened?  He came up with the very same results.  He also said that his book (released on Tuesday) would certainly lead to a lot of recriminations and “do overs”.  However, he stands by the book and would defend his conclusions.

All the rage

John Stossel, ABC 20/20, did a report on the topic.

Bill O’Reilly did too

A Primer for you.

One of the primary differences between liberals and conservatives is what the role of the Federal government has in meeting the social welfare needs of its citizens.  I think we almost all agree that government has a role here.  However, the rub is how much of a role.  Pardon the stereotypes here, but I adhere to these beliefs.

Liberals typically think the Feds have a larger role in this area than conservatives do.  Conservatives tend to lean more toward personal responsibility.  Liberals tend to believe that the government should provide more services and if a redistribution of wealth (via taxes) is required to do so then they are more inclined to go that route. 

Like most people I have compassion for those less fortunate than me and I want to help.  I don’t want to give government a blank check to do so.  Not because it is my money.  Not because that blank check means money at all.  That blank check means more government power, intervention, and authoritarianism.  Government does great things.  Government (particularly the Feds) also does things that it should not be doing because it doesn’t have the constitutional authority to do them.  They also don’t do them that well.

I am not the only one who thought so.

Thomas Jefferson said many things and is often quoted like the bible.  Here is one for you:

“The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers.”

Thomas Jefferson and his peers were all to aware of the calamity of the man named Oliver Cromwell and the King of England and what absolute power can do to the people of a nation.  They wanted limited Federal government for a very good reason – they were afraid of a Federal government that would grow so large that it would threaten our liberties.  That it would create an Oliver Cromwell.

What am I talking about?  I am talking about a Federal government who redistributes wealth to everyone.  Corporate welfare.  Social welfare.  Agricultural welfare.  Perscription drug welfare.  Congress has a great thing going.  They take our money and use it maintain power by giving money to the special interest of the day.  IBM one day and the bridge to no where the next.  Over 2/3rds of the Federal budget goes to these kinds of programs moving money from one group to another group.  That creates great constituencies and a “submission to a government of unlimted powers.” that keep them in power.

My point being that conservatives are concerned about limiting the role and influence of the federal government in order to preserve our liberty.  That is why they favor limited taxes and limited government programs.  That does not mean they don’t believe in charity and it doesn’t mean they are not generous.  In fact…

Conservatives are the most generous of all.

When it comes to charity we are a generous nation.  In addition to what Government provides via our tax dollars 75% of Americans give money to charity and 50% donate time to charity.  In those terms Conservatives are the most generous of all.

According to Professor Brooks research conservatives and especially religious conservatives are much more likely to put their money where their mouth is and contribute more money and time to both secular and religious charities.

In Who Really Cares, he demonstrates conclusively that conservatives really are compassionate-far more compassionate than their liberal foes. Strong families, church attendance, earned income (as opposed to state-subsidized income), and the belief that individuals, not government, offer the best solution to social ills-all of these factors determine how likely one is to give. Charity matters–not just to the givers and to the recipients, but to the nation as a whole.

Some might argue that Government spending is charity.  I think the IRS would beg to differ.  Taxes are not voluntary and do not constitute charitable giving by individuals.  Regardless of the necessity, intent, or purpose of taxes they are a redistrtibution of wealth when spent on social services. 

It isn’t just that conservatives are more likely to donate to charity but on average a conservative family gives 30% more than a liberal family and what is more on average liberal household income is 6% higher that a conservative household.

This is an interesting factoid:

If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.

Residents of the top 5 red states were twice as likely to volunteer to help the poor than the botton 5 red states.  The more red the state the more volunteers for charitable causes (remember both secular and religious).

The average percentage of household income donated to charity in each state tracked closely with the percentage of the popular vote it gave to Mr. Bush. 

In other words.  The redder the state the more money they give to charity.

What is more is that the more money conservatives make the more they give to charities who provide all kinds of services to those not as fortunate.  Let them keep more of their tax dollars and the more they will give to charity.

There is one State that is an exception to all of this.  Maryland.  Maryland votes blue but is as generous as the red states.  I wonder what he would have learned about Maryland if he had looked at this data down to the county level.  Would Maryland’s red counties and blue counties follow the same trends?

So are we a bunch of uncaring republicans or are liberals … never mind.

Is the Professor’s study conclusive evidence that conservatives back up their belief in personal responsibility and limited government with donations of time and money?  It would seem so.

Posted in Republicans | 13 Comments »

Weathering the Perfect Storm

Posted by Jim Walsh on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

With a little bit of time to sort out the results of Black Tuesday, I’m gradually returning to my normal optimistic self, who believes that maybe Maryland can be at least a 1-1/2, if not a full 2, party state. Please bear with me as I briefly touch upon several issues along this line.

Despite my earlier comment in evaluating Gov. Ehrlich’s loss that a Republican needs a perfect storm to win statewide in Maryland, I think that I might have actually got it backwards – O’Malley beat Ehrlich only because the Democrats had a perfect storm in their favor. Nationwide, voters were fed up with Republicans in general and they took out their anger against Republicans at all levels. Voter turnout was higher among Democrats and lower among Republicans. In any “normal” year, even in Maryland, Ehrlich would likely have won re-election.

Despite the Ehrlich ads to the contrary, anyone who has been in downtown Baltimore or waterfront neighborhoods can’t help but be impressed with the massive redevelopment and rehabilitation that is going on in the City during the time of (but not necessarily due to) O’Malley’s tenure as mayor. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I thought Ehrlich ran a good, near-perfect campaign. IMHO, the imperfection was the TV ads that could be seen as bashing Baltimore City. Despite the debacle that is the Baltimore City Schools, those ads ran counter to what most people saw when they visited Baltimore. As governor of all of Maryland, I think Ehrlich could legitimately have stepped in and taken some of the credit for the Baltimore City renaissance. Sure, he would have been denounced by O’Malley and the Sun for political opportunism, but wasn’t he being denounced by them for other things already? If you’re taking heat anyway, you might as well enjoy some of the sunshine.

Other thoughts from looking back at Black Tuesday:

Three big jurisdictions – Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s – are Democratic locks. Baltimore and Howard Counties are swing jurisdictions, and just about everywhere else goes Republican. Howard County, though, is the true bellweather jurisdiction in Maryland. This year O’Malley barely won in Howard County (Ehrlich narrowly carried Baltimore County); Ehrlich carried Howard in 2002. Glendening won Howard County in 1998; I believe that Sauerbrey carried it in 1994. (I think the 1994 results do not disprove my theory of Howard County as bellweather, but rather speak to what really happened in 1994.)

The most visible elected Republican official in Maryland right now is new Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Here I’ll insert another plug for Ehrlich to run for Baltimore County Executive in 2010.

Two of the larger Republican leaning jurisdictions in Maryland – Carroll and Frederick Counties – do not live up to their potential in influence in statewide politics. I believe that in no small part that is because both of those counties have county commissioner forms of government, so that political influence is diluted among several commissioners rather than a single, highly visible county executive. I realize that these are hot button issues in both counties, but the Maryland Republican Party would likely benefit from charter-county executive styles of government in those two counties, which would likely produce two Republican county executives.

Posted in Jim Walsh, Maryland, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

2006 Local Politics

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, November 23, 2006

Evans-Novak Political Report has an article addressing GOP losses at the State level.  I doubt they will go much further into local politics.

For Republicans, the story on state legislatures in the election of 2006 rounds out the story of defeat across the board in the House and Senate and in governorships nationwide.

Democrats gained control of four (8%) state Senates and six (12%) state Houses. Republicans lost seats in most states, but may have gained functional control of one state Senate. We take a look at some of the legislative changes this week. We will continue our summary of key states next week.

You can subscribe to the newsletter or wait for me to post it next week. 

That is in addition to the 9 (18%) Gubernatorial elections that went Democrat.  There are now 28 Governorships in Democratic hands to 22 in Republican hands.  The GOP only managed to keep 16 of the 22 seats up for re-election.

I think this fits with the conclusion that many people have come to.  National politics reached very far into local politics.  CNN’s exit polls reported that 62% of voters said national issues trumped local issues:

And defying the traditional political maxim that “all politics is local,” 62 percent of voters said national issues mattered more than local issues when deciding which House candidate to pick. (Watch how national issues are playing a more critical role than local issues, which could favor the Democrats — 2:19 Video)

Posted in General, Republicans | Leave a Comment »