Tuesday, December 19, 2006

O'Donnell Leadership Team Carries the Day

As predicted here earlier today, Del. Tony O'Donnell has been elected as the House Minority Leader defeating the challenge of Del. Wade Kach. The Gazette has the complete story here.

The vote comes a day after Senate Republicans also rejected the "go along, get along" alternative proposed by some moderates within the caucus.

As I opined here, this is great news for conservatives who will have dynamic, honest and passionate leadership to battle in the marketplace of ideas.

Congratulations, Tony and the new leadership team!

Today is the day

In about half an hour the Republican caucus in the House of Delegates will convene to begin debate on a new leadership team. A vote is scheduled for 2pm.

Sources within the caucus tell me that Tony O'Donnell has the votes to hold off the challenge from Wade Kach.

The Anne Arundel Delegation will be critical. In the prior race, all but one of the Anne Arundel Delegates voted for Kach. This time the delegation is more divided with a number on the fence, no doubt holding out for leadership positions.

After four hours of debate, cajoling and bribes we will have a new minority leader.

Stay tuned.

Today is the day

In about half an hour the Republican caucus in the House of Delegates will convene to begin debate on a new leadership team. A vote is scheduled for 2pm.

Sources within the caucus tell me that Tony O'Donnell has the votes to hold off the challenge from Wade Kach.

The Anne Arundel Delegation will be critical. In the prior race, all but one of the Anne Arundel Delegates voted for Kach. This time the delegation is more divided with a number on the fence, no doubt holding out for leadership positions.

After four hours of debate, cajoling and bribes we will have a new minority leader.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Sign of the Apocalypse

It is official today as noted here that Don Dwyer (R-31) has defeated Joan Cadden to complete the Republican sweep of District 31.

As noted weeks ago here, the challenge made by Cadden never had much of a chance and should have been abandoned earlier. Since the race was so close, however, we taxpayers get to pay the bill for this pointless exercise.

None of this is suprising, however. The shocking part of the article is the declaration by Del. Dwyer that he will be "kinder and gentler" and try to work better with his colleagues. This from the same guy a couple of weeks ago who warned that if he was re-elected "Katy bar the door."

If the hardest of hardcore conservatives can begin speaking the mush of bipartisanship and cooperation with a leadership he himself has demonized for years, what is going on with our Republican members of the House of Delegates? No doubt Don could always have been more subtle and picked his battles a little better but now, flush with victory, he is sounding more like a relieved incumbent wanting to never have another close race rather than the zealot who wanted to speak the truth regardless of the outcome. No good can come from this, can it?

On the campaign trail, Don would say "No one can do what I do and get reelected" Now that he has been proven wrong, he appears willing to give up what "he does".

I will wager that this statment is just Don getting caught up in the air of conciliation within the caucus and it will not last. Because if Don Dwyer can be a wishy washy Republican looking to "work with the other side" with full complicity in "how things are done in Annapolis" (read giving into the liberal Democrats) how can we ever change the culture in the General Assembly and give conservatives a reason to get excited again.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Respite for the Cynical

I had the opportunity yesterday to attend the swearing in of our recently reelected orphans' court judges, Gail Schaffer, Nancy Phelps and Gordon Witherspoon and our newly elected Register of Wills, Lauren Parker. The outgoing Register of Wills, George Nutwell, was also honored for his decades of faithful service. I was pleased to be invited and honored to attend.

These are four decent people dedicated to public service in jobs with little glory but more responsibility than most realize. They have and will serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County with integrity and fairness (neither of which is in overabundance in public life).

The event reminded me that there are still decent and honorable people in public life who are willing to enter the foray of politics (all had hotly contested races) in order to serve their neighbors. For all the reasons to be cynical in modern politics, at every level, it was a nice respite.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Another reason why we need an elected school board

In today's Sun there is an article about the debacle in deciding how to fix Severna Park Middle School. After a day long meeting and months of discussion, the board boldly determined to do nothing.

The numbers are interesting. The three options presented, revitalization, modernization and building a new school came with price tags of $46M, $56M and $58M respectively. Astronomical to be sure but, as the article points out, there was little serious discussion of the last option and getting a brand new state of the art school which, according to the plans I have heard, would be built without disruption to the current facility.

The article also related the bizarre episode of a senior member of the County Council promising (and in every position to deliver) funding for any option chosen and yet rendered seemingly powerless by an unelected, unaccountable schoold board who could not even make a decision.

If we had an elected school board, issues like what to do with Severna Park middle would have been the subject of public debate leading up to the election and the parents would have some recourse for such inaction.

To his credit, the member from Severna Park, Vic Bernson, did a great job trying to inject some sanity into the process. That is little solace to parents and taxpayers who have their voices ignored, their elected representatives stymied and see poor management abound in the public schools.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Good Start

An interesting article in the Sun today about new county executive John Leopold's directive to department heads to come up with 5-10% cuts in next year's budget. Leopold, who ran as the stronger anti-tax candidate, is planning for expected revenue reductions by cutting spending rather than, at least for the moment, raising taxes.

What a concept!

Compare how a county run by a Republican County Executive and a majority Republican County Council handle a potential deficit with what the state run by a Democratic Governor and Democratic legislature is planning. O'Malley is talking about all kinds of spending (including a $800 Million increase next year for education) and raising revenue, slots and taxes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Anne Arundel Republicans Drive MD GOP

The elections are over and here are the new slate of Maryland GOP officers:

Chairman: Dr. Jim Pelura, Anne Arundel County
1st vice Chairman: Chris Cavey, Baltimore County
2nd Vice Chairman: Chuck Gast, Anne Arundel County
3rd Vice Chairman: Mike Geppi, Harford County
Treasurer: Chris Rosenthal, Anne Arundel County
Secretary: Rex Reed, Montgomery County
Legal Counsel (Appointed): Dirk Haire, Anne Arundel County

As you can see, Anne Arundel Republicans have a great deal to be proud of as 3 of the top seven positions (3 of 5 in which someone from Anne Arundel was eligible) made the list. A great deal of credit goes to our central committee for setting the example for Republican success in Maryland and for translating that into excellent leadership within the state party.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A message from our next MD GOP Chairman?

As the votes are being counted, the election of Dr. Jim Pelura as the next state party chairman seems a fait accompli. Here is Dr. Pelura's pitch in his own words.

"Dear Fellow Republicans,



As we are all aware, recent election results have put a pall over our party and Maryland Republicans. As I see it, we have two choices; crawl back into our caves for another 36 years or recognize our problems, face them head on and fix them!



My philosophy during Governor Ehrlich's initial campaign, during my stint as Maryland State Chairman for Bush/Cheney '04 ,during the Governor's recent campaign and countless other races I have worked on has been predicated on the notion that:



1) The majority of Marylanders are basically conservative,

2) The Republican Party of Maryland must reach out to the actual voter and make them feel proud to be Republican.

3) The Republican Party should simply promote Republican ideals which will benefit all candidates on the ticket.

4) There should be active and open cooperation between the Republicans in the House and Senate and the State Party.

5) Most voters want to vote for something or someone and not against something or someone.



Those who know me and have worked with me know that during my political life in Maryland, there is little I have not done to advance the Party. It is for this reason that I have decided to put my hat in the ring for the Chairmanship of the Maryland Republican Party.

Please help me take the Maryland GOP back to the voters!

I would be honored if you would support my run for State Party Chair.





Jim Pelura DVM, MS"