Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Since you brought it up

There has been a lot of talk in the local blogosphere about the celebration of Christmas and the alleged secularization of the holiday via the apostasy of holding "holiday" parties.

For a real defense of the true meaning of Christmas against the secular "Santa Claus" version I commend this post by Lutheran pastor, Paul T. Cain.

Here is my favorite part,

"The point is, the original Santa Claus (St. Nicholos of Myra) was someone who flew off the handle when he heard someone minimizing Christ. Perhaps we can battle our culture's increasingly Christ-less Christmas by enlisting Santa in his original cause. The poor girls' stockings have become part of our Christmas imagery. So should the St. Nicholas slap. Not a violent hit of the kind that got the good bishop in trouble, just a gentle, admonitory tap on the cheek. This should be reserved not for out-and-out nonbelievers, but for heretics (that is, people in the church who deny its teachings), Christians who forget about Jesus, and people who try to take Christ out of Christmas. This will take a little tweaking of the mythology. Santa and his elves live at the North Pole where they compile a list of who is naughty, who is nice, and who is Nicean. "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Right Issue TV show now on the internet

My friends Nita Maggio, Bill Voelp, Mykel Harris and a top notch crew produce a weekly television show called The Right Issue which includes thoughtful discussion on all things conservative and presents a multitude of special guests ranging from elected officials from throughout Maryland to lowly bloggers like yours truly.

Until now, you needed to be a Comcast Cable viewer in Anne Arundel county to see the show (Channel 99 Tuesday and Friday at 6pm).

But now, there is an online archive of previous shows for your viewing pleasure at http://www.therightissue.com

These folks are doing their part to spread the conservative message in Maryland. Please do check out their work.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Name Stays I Guess

I began this blog soon after the 2006 elections when the GOP had a terrible day both nationally and here in Maryland. For two years, we have been talking about branding (don't tell Michele Malkin I used that word) and where the party needs to go looking forward.

I think there were few illusions that 2008 was going to be another tough year. The national Republican party had not hit bottom and while the new Democratic Congress was racking up historically low approval ratings, George Bush was leading the party fast onto the shoals of American politics. Fair or not, too many Americans blamed the current difficulties our country is facing on a Republican President and to some extent all things Republican.

Only now can that begin to change in earnest.

There is plenty of evidence, however, that the nation has not taken a hard turn to the left or that any sort of liberal establishment in Washington can long endure. More voters still identify themselves as conservative than liberal. Traditional values like marriage still hold tremendous sway even in such liberal bastions as California.

This is 1992 all over again. Luckily, Republicans do not face the centrist control of a reasonable majority party intent on solving America's challenges. We face the democrats. They will overreach almost immediately with cardcheck, fairness doctrine, tax increases, etc.

The Obama camp claims they studied the first two Clinton years that led to the first GOP Congress in 40 years. If that is true, then they see the light in the tunnel and know it is a runaway train. I have every confidence in the Democrats lack of self-restraint and reasonable tendencies. They cannot help themselves. They will try to blow it as they have before.

Which means that conservatives and Republicans will have opportunities. Taxes on small business owners will generate resources and enthusiasm for pro-business Republican policies. The reality of tax increases, rather than cuts, for many Americans (ever get that Clinton tax cut?) will spoil them quickly. An all out assault on traditional values through the courts, conservative talk radio through the fairness doctrine and greater efforts to nationalize more and more of the economy will rally and energize the conservative base and the true leaders who can effectively articulate our message.

After 1992, we did not become more moderate. We did not deny the Reagan model for success. We did not abandon principle for "bipartisanship". We recommitted ourselves to fundamental principles, outlined them in the Contract for America, zealously fought higher taxes, nationalized health care and Congressional corruption. Our party became advocates for a conservative vision of America. Our reward was control of Congress then the White House.

We know what works. We know what is right. Let us learn from history and be that party that reshaped American based on timeless principles. Let us support, elect and insist upon leaders who share our values and are willing to fight for them not only on the campaign trail but in office.

In the meantime, we will be discussing all of this here at the Conservative Refuge.

Hang in there! We will get there!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 65 - 2008 Election Preview

A final thought before the historic 2008 vote, it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, a discussion of the school board issues on the Anne Arundel County ballot. I share some news reports about the grassroots effort to vote "No" against Tricia Johnson and unregistered democratic lobbyist Teresa Milio Birge. You will want to hear this discussion of what is at stake in this vote for the future of real voter input into the school board selection process.

Our blogger roundtable convenes to discuss the slots referendum. Will the voters support this slots plan? What will be the consequences for 2010 if the vote passes or fails? Our blogger contributors share their insight and opinions.

In our closing segment, I share some final thoughts about what is at stake for the conservative movement in this election and preview the work that remains ahead as we focus toward 2010.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Let's Keep the Towel Firmly in Hand

While a more erudite colleague may see defeat even in good debate performances from the McCain/Palin team, the reality is this race is essentially unchanged from where it has been all along.

It will be a close race and the "it's all over" mantra is just Obama spin that the MSM is echoing. (Folks, they did the same thing to Hillary. Unlike that race, however, they are declaring victory before any votes have been counted.)

But Greg, the polls! Three new polls taken in the last couple of days show the race remains as close as ever. CBS News poll gives Obama a 3 point lead. Reuters and Zogby International show the same three-point lead for Obama. Diageo/Hotline Daily Tracker Poll shows just a two point Obama lead. All are statistically insignificant.

But you all know the polls matter little now, have changed and will change in the next few weeks and that the race is truly far from over.

Which brings me back to the debate last night. The notion that McCain needed to hit a "grand slam" is exactly what the Obama folks wanted the storyline to be. (Last time I checked, a series of singles with the bases loaded has a better chance of winning then "swinging for the fences".) As shown, the polls have been tightening since the VP debate and the news has started to move beyond the bailout bill. What McCain needed was not to make a catastrophic error. The debate could have been more exciting but it was not he who made a big mistake.

On the other hand, Obama last night did not realize that America intervened to stop the Holocaust! What stopped it then, Senator! It was not Hitler's mercy but the Allied conquest of Germany which targeted liberation of these camps a a strategic goal. (Didn't he say he had an uncle who liberated Auschwitz?!)

It is further proof of Obama's liberal (and ignorant) worldview and his fundamental misunderstanding of history. He is a dangerous risk as commander in chief and this type of statement is just a red flag.

The MSM will not cover this gaffe any more than Biden's remembrance of FDR on television in the twenties but the conservative media will voters will be aware of it just like Reverand Wright, Bill Ayers and the growing ACORN voter fraud scandal.

This race is close and will remain so which is why the Obama camp and their allies in the media need to convince you otherwise. I don't think we need to help them by drinking their Kool-Aid.

In the spirit of using imperfect sports metaphors, let's keep the town firmly in hand.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Should Dixon be worried?

There has been some local press regarding the recent law giving the Maryland State Prosecutor additional powers.

I recently interviewed the Maryland State Prosecutor, Robert A. Rohrbaugh, Esq., for the Maryland Bar Bulletin. This is one of the few interviews Mr. Rohrbaugh has given.

While the focus of the piece was a primer on the office and what is does, interesting reading for lawyers and non-lawyers I hope, Mr. Rohrbaugh was particularly keen on pointing out his new powers now in place.

The Dixon case was specifically mentioned in the piece and on the mind of Mr. Rohrbaugh. Now that he has additional independent investigative powers, I ask the question:

Should Dixon be worried?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 64 - RNC Live from St. Paul

After a brief summer hiatus, the Conservative Refuge Podcast returns, jam-packed with conservative goodness. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com

A special guest interview with RNC delegate and MDGOP Vice-Chairman Chuck Gast. Chuck gives us an inside view into the Republican National Convention and previews what we can expect in the days to come. The next best thing to being there, Chuck provides a close up of the life of a convention delegate.

I share an update on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. Following up with our previous interview, our friends at Climate Strategies Watch give an excellent criticism of the MCCC's recent report. You need to hear how these onerous proposals will destroy the lives of working Marylanders without making a dent in even the worst case global warming scenarios.

In our closing segment, I share my thoughts and reflections on the curtain closing on WAMD's "Word on the Street" program hosted by my good friend Warren Monks. Warren has given the conservative blogosphere a fantastic opportunity to spread our message and served the folks in Northeastern Maryland with a unique local political show full of insight and humor.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Friday, August 22, 2008

They Got Snoop

From today's Baltimore Sun

"Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson, the actress who played a cold-blooded killer of the same name on the HBO series The Wire, was arrested on minor drug charges yesterday after police picked her up for refusing to cooperate as a witness in a murder trial, records show."



As you can see, Snoop and I are tight










It was always said that Snoop the character and Snoop the actress were not so different. So, let the whole life imitating art discussion begin.

Holla Snoop, I can help.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You Can Still Rock in America

If you listened to the last RedMaryland Radio (and if you missed it check it out when it gets posted on our website) Brian Griffiths and I discussed this article about Barrack Obama and John McCain's favorite songs.

In addition to our insightful political analysis, we thought we would have some fun and create our own lists. Better yet, we let the listeners decide which list they preferred. Being tied at the end of the show, it now comes down to you gentle reader to pick the winner.

Here is my list (caution much awesomeness follows)

1. Extreme “Rest in Peace”

Lyric “Make Love not War sounds so absurd to me/ We can’t afford to take these words lightly or else our world will truly rest in peace.”

2. Metallica “Don’t Tread on Me”

Lyric “So be it / Threaten no more / To secure peace is to prepare for war”

3. Night Ranger “You can Still Rock in America”

No deep political message here just a fun rock song. But, hey it does make me feel good that you can still rock in America, at least until the fairness doctrine takes hold.

4. Guns ‘N’ Roses “ Mr. Brownstone”

Classic tune chronicaling the perils of heroin use. A good lesson for you kiddies.

5. Metallica “Eye of the Beholder”

Lyric "Independence Limited / Freedom of Choice /Choice Is Mad for You My Friend Freedom of Speech / Speech Is Words That They Will Bend/ Freedom with Their Exception"

Think Fairness Doctrine

6. Push Comes to Shove – Jackyl

Lyric "Your political correct world is incorrect I've found/ An angry young man is what I became/ The day that you got full of yourself, and now only you're to blame"

From the guys who brought you the Lumberjack (Rush Limbaugh's timber update theme).

7. Wango Tango – Ted Nugent

Prominent conservative and gun rights activist Ted Nugent’s best known hit, unless you want to include his work with Damn Yankees.

8. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – Twisted Sister

Schwarzenegger campaign theme song. Anti-authority anthem.

Lyric "WE'LL FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE JUST/ DON'T PICK OUR DESTINY 'CAUSE / YOU DON'T KNOW US, YOU DON'T BELONG"

9. Flight of Icarus – Iron Maiden

Classical tale of the deception of technology (and the sun!). Proves heavy metal is educational.

10. “My City Was Gone,” by The Pretenders

Rush Limbaugh theme but also as National Review’s John Miller puts it “the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change: “I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride.”

Friday, August 08, 2008

Working Together the future of the MDGOP and the conservative Blogosphere

Brian Griffiths has given the after action report of the first MDGOP sponsored blogger conference call. It was the first of what will be a series of such calls in the coming months and years and I join Brian in applauding Justin Ready in initiating this process and recognizing the value of these forums and, most importantly, respecting the desires of our readers to be informed.

Brian already mentioned the improving financial status of the party. That was not simply a platitude but Justin directly answered some probing questions confirming that point. While the party has a long way to go to be where it wants to be, and where is was in the salad days of Governor Ehrlich, it has come a long way already.

Most intriguing to me was the clear desire of the party to work with the blogosphere in helping to spread the Republican message. Rather than adopting the parochial view of some short-sighted party members that view the blogs as something to be feared and avoided, we have a state party leadership that recognizes the potential of the alternative media we have created.

Make no mistake, the party recognizes our independence and we all but acknowledged that there will be tensions in the relationship as we fearlessly make the criticisms they never can or will. Even in this first call, there were tough questions. Wisely, however, the MDGOP knows the power of cooperation with the blogosphere is greater than any control could ever be.

To that end, bloggers, and through them you the reader, can expect greater communication and flow of information not only from the party but from Republican elected officials in the future. The party will help to bring profile and gravitas to the blogs who, in turn, will continue to cover stories and present views the party cannot and the local media will not. And this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

I again thank Justin and the MDGOP for beginning this effort and encourage all pro-Republican bloggers to join in future conference calls and participate in what will be a beneficial relationship for everyone.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Refuge Podcast #63 - O'Malley Fiddling While Maryland Burns (jobs at least)

Jam packed with all the conservative goodness you have come to expect it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com

In our opening segment, I share a fascinating article from the Annapolis Capital pointing out how Maryland's economy compares with the national economy as a whole. As liberal tax increases take hold, Maryland is hemorraghing jobs. You need to hear these numbers!

Our blogger roundtable, with regular contributor Brian Griffiths and local attorney and potential county council candidate James Braswell, discuss the recent appointments to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, including unregistered democratic lobbyist Teresa Birge. Is the Governor appointing board members who will support unbridled spending and push for higher taxes? Were more qualified candidates rejected because they lack the necessary political connections with O'Malley? Our blogger contributors offer their insights and opinions.

In our closing segment, we open the Fat Files and I share a report that Asian obesity rates are on the rise. The article highlights the absurdity of the obesity alarmists as they romanticized the life of hardscrabble Asian peasants and objecting to the "malling" of Asia.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain visits old Kline law school haunt

Sen. John McCain today, in an effort to play off Barrack Hussein Obama's campaign stop in Germany, went to a local German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

It is a sad commentary that McCain's campaign has largely been reactive to Obama. No doubt this is in large part due to the mainstream media's coverage of all things Obam but one might hope that McCain thought more of himself if not our party to think that the only way he can win is if the election is a referendum on Obama.

More importantly, though, Schmidt's Sausage Haus is located across the street from where I went to law school. (Now they have a beautiful new building downtown paid with my tuition. Your Welcome! But I digress.)

The food is great and there is a very affordable lunch buffet but in the words of Crow T. Robot "German food is so heavy."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

RedMaryland Radio Tomorrow

Join Brian Griffiths and I as we host another installment of RedMaryland Radio on WAMD 970 am tomorrow, July 16 from 5:30-6:30 pm.



Scheduled to appear is Andrew Lander, Coordinator of the McCain for President campaign on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

We will also be covering the latest political news.

Don't you dare miss it (if you are in the following area at that time)





(H/T Radio Locator)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Little Lutheran Pride

For the close followers of the Conservative Refuge you know that I am a proud Lutheran. Here is a fun video paying homage to some of my fellow Lutherans, a la Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song, by Lost and Found.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=102kvQ1dWoY

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The blogosphere doing the local media's job AGAIN!

Brian Griffiths is again breaking news concerning the unregistered democratic lobbyist that Governor O'Malley has appointed to the Anne Arundel County School Board. O'Malley Watch dutifully picked up the story and put it into a broader context.

Now, Ms. Birge, the unregistered democratic lobbyist in question, is trying to quell any further inquiry by insisting that the Governor's office knew her background before she was selected.

No doubt, after all, that is how she got the job.

Brian is continuing to dig into the background of these nominees who have avoided any real public scrutiny due to the undemocratic appointment process adopted in our county. The local media, for their part, have done little to shed any light for the parents and taxpayers who will be affected by these choices.

The last thing we need on our school board is an unregistered democratic lobbyist who gives every indication of being a "button man" for Governor O'Malley and Superintendent Maxwell to push outrageous budgets and pressure responsible county leaders to raise taxes.

Good work Brian, and let's all spread the word about this unacceptable choice being pushed on us by Governor O'Malley and his cronies on the School Board Nominating Commission.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 62 - Lessons From History

Jam packed with all the conservative goodness you have come to expect it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com

In our opening segment, I have some comments on Politicker.com's P. Kenneth Burns' argument that Ronald Reagan is dead. You will want to hear this spirited discussion of what lies (or should lie) at the heart of the modern Republican party.

Our blogger roundtable, with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and the Examiner's History examiner Mark Newgent, discuss the historical gaffes of Barack Obama and give more detail about the history at issue. Does Obama's reliance on the historical examples of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan justify his positions or actually demonstrate why he is unqualified to be Commander in Chief. Our blogger contributors offer their insights and opinions.

In our closing segment, some more lessons from history as I discuss the Supreme Court's recent habeas corpus decision and the statements of the Obama campaign who want to prosecute the War on Terror as a law enforcement effort.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Conservative Refuge on TV

Tune in tonight as I appear as a guest on The Right Issue with hosts Bill Voelp, Caleb Griffin and Nita Maggio. We will be discussing the Presdential Race, Gun Issues and the growth of local conservative media.

The Right Issue 6pm Comcast Channel 99

and set your DVR to tape The Right Issue every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm on Anne Arundel County Comcast Channel 99

Monday, May 19, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 61 - What is in a Brand Revisited

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com

In our opening segment, a revisit of our discussions of GOP branding. In light of another special election defeat, how can Republicans turn things around? I share my thoughts and welcome your comments on this critical issue facing conservatives.

Our blogger roundtable, with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent, discuss the many issues facing the MTA. With raising gas prices, mass transit is becoming more popular than ever. With violent crime incidents, maintenance and rider delays is our state's system up to the task? Our blogger contributors offer their insights and opinions.

In our closing segment, I discuss the growing conservative media here in Maryland. As a guest on the local cable show The Right Issue I had a chance to share the growth of the conservative blogosphere and its synergy with locally oriented talk radio. As we approach 2010, these outlets will play an increasingly important role.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 60 - 2008 General Assembly Awards

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com

The blogger roundtable, with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent convene to hand out the Second Annual General Assembly Awards. Who were the best and worst members of the General Assembly this year? What were the best and the worst ideas that came of out the 2008 session? Our blogger contributors give their choices.

One year after the school board petition drive, Brian Griffiths and I discuss the Anne Arundel County School Board Nominating Commission as they consider candidates for the two vacancies on our county school board. Have the promises of those who supported this process been kept? Are the members of this commission more capable of picking school board candidates than the voters?

In our closing segment, I offer some thoughts on the departure of John Flynn as Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party and the choice of Justin Ready as his successor.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Refuge Podcast #59 - Post Session Review

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, some news and comment on the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the death penalty. I share Justice Scalia's stinging rebuke of activist judges who would undo the death penalty through "judicial fiat". (H/T Redstate). You will want to hear the details of this important decision and how it should impact the death penalty here in Maryland.

Our blogger roundtable convenes with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent to discuss the recently concluded General Assembly session. Who are the winners and losers coming out of this session? What can conservatives look to as victories and what were the greatest setbacks for freedom in the Free State? Our blogger contributors offer their opinions and insights.

In our closing segment, I offer some of the comments I made on WAMD 970AM Warren Monks' Word on the Street program concerning Barrack Obama's recent "bitter comments".

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Don't be Bitter, Listen to Conservative Refuge Radio!

Listen in as the whole gang joins Warren Monk's and his Word on the Street program tonight from 6-8pm on WAMD 970AM in Aberdeen.

We will be discussing why we vote against our economic interests because we have been duped into believing we have a right to bear arms, are freer with a limited government, that marriage should be between a man and a woman and have taken heavy doses of that old opiate of the masses, religion.


Thank you Barrack Hussein Obama for opening our eyes!


(H/T Radio Locator)



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Refuge Podcast #58 - MD Dems "Wright is Right!"

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, some news and comment about a leading Democrat in the General Assembly who says that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright "speaks the truth." You will want to hear how the liberals in Annapolis support the extreme views of Rev. Wright even as Senator Barrack Obama is denying and denouncing him.

Our blogger roundtable convenes with regular contributor Brian Griffiths to discuss the very latest from the 2008 General Assembly session. Will there be a repeal of the "tech tax"? Will there be real cuts to the budget? Will "Global Warming" legislation pass? What will happen with the death penalty? Our blogger contributors offer their opinions and insights.

In our closing segment, I share a great piece from our friend and guest on the show Richard Falknor noting how the House Republicans have begun to find their "inner fiscal self" but there are still a couple of "rat heads in the coke bottle" undermining the Republican brand. Among the culprits is a prominent Republican here in Anne Arundel county. You will want to hear all the details.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Conservative Refuge on the Radio Again!

Listen in as the whole gang joins Warren Monk's and his Word on the Street program tonight from 6-8pm on WAMD 970AM in Aberdeen.


(H/T Radio Locator)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Institution of Marriage and Family in the Balance

As we have discussed on the podcast on a number of occasions, the issue of gay marriage and redefining family and marriage under Maryland law has been a hot topic in this year's General Assembly session. The most insidious efforts have been to pass seemingly benign bills, often with misleading titles, which would radically alter the way the law treats marriage without the public or legislative scrutiny of the sponsors' true purpose.

From my State Senator, and ardent defender of marriage, Janet Greenip (R-33) comes the following:

Senate Bill 566: Health Care Facility Visitation and Medical Decisions - Domestic Partners is on the Senate floor today for debate and a possible vote. This bill is another in a long line of backdoor attempts to codify same-sex unions and elevate co-habitation to the level of marriage.

Although many will say it does not, this legislation will put the term "Domestic Partner" in law, something the homosexual-rights activists have been striving for.

This bill goes way beyond giving homosexual couples visitation rights, which they already have because of previous legislation. SB 566 would allow any two people, age 18 or older, to enter into a domestic partnership by simply signing an affidavit demonstrating their commitment and having only one other type of confirmation such as a shared renter's insurance policy. Picture this: Two 18 year olds right out of high school enter into a domestic partnership because they are "in love". If one of them gets into a car accident and is on life support, the 18 YEAR OLD partner has the legal right to pull the plug AHEAD of the victim's parents.

This is a radical step towards redefining family relationships but a lot of legislators are not recognizing the serious effects of SB 566. Below is a vote that we took in the Senate yesterday to judge where the support is for the bill. The real vote to on amendments and to move the bill to "3rd Reader" for final passage is today. If this is something that concerns you, please make your voice heard. Contact the senators who voted for SB 566 on the sample vote to let them know your views and spread the word to as many contacts as you can. "


Voting List (This was a sample vote. The real vote is today. Yea is FOR SB 566, Nay is AGAINST):

Senate of Maryland
2008 Regular Session
SB 566 Laid-over Bills Sen. Garagiola Health Care Facility Visitation and Medical Decisions - Domestic Partners
Question is on adoption of favorable report, as amended.
PRESIDING: MR.PRESIDENT
LEGISLATIVE DATE
MAR 12, 2008
29 YEAS 16 NAYS 0 EXC 1 NOT VOTING 1 EXCUSED (ABSENT)
VOTING YEA - 29
MR.PRESIDENT GARAGIOLA KITTLEMAN MUSE
ASTLE GLADDEN KLAUSMEIER PETERS
BROCHIN HARRINGTON KRAMER PINSKY
CONWAY JONES LENETT PUGH
CURRIE KASEMEYER MADALENO RASKIN
DELLA KELLEY MCFADDEN ROSAPEPE
FOREHAND KING MIDDLETON ZIRKIN
FROSH

VOTING NAY - 16
BRINKLEY EDWARDS HARRIS PIPKIN
COLBURN GLASSMAN JACOBS SIMONAIRE
DEGRANGE GREENIP MOONEY STOLTZFUS
DYSON HAINES MUNSON STONE

NOT VOTING - 1
EXUM
EXCUSED (ABSENT) - 1
ROBEY

Please also contact:
THOMAS V. MIKE MILLER, JR., President of Senate
Democrat, District 27, Calvert & Prince George's Counties
State House, H-107 Annapolis, MD 21401 - 1991
(410) 841-3700, (301) 858-3700
e-mail: thomas.v.mike.miller@senate.state.md.us

MICHAEL E. BUSCH, Speaker of House of Delegates
Democrat, District 30, Anne Arundel County
State House, H-101 Annapolis, MD 21401 - 1991
(410) 841-3800, (301) 858-3800
e-mail: michael.busch@house.state.md.us

Monday, March 10, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 57 - Seventh Psalm Authors John Schumacher and Bruce Smith

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

In our opening segment, I have a very special interview with the authors of a new book Seventh Psalm, John Schumacher and Bruce Smith. This wonderfully written action novel, while a fictional account, presents an astonishingly accurate view of the Global War and Terror and serves as a tribute to the brave men and women under arms defending out way of life. The politically correct "literary mafia" tried to keep this book from being published because it was too "Pro-Bush" and dared to glorify the heroism of western soldiers.


You need to hear this interview and buy this book!


I also have an update on the report in our last installment about the disclosure of reimbursements by our county legislative delegation. You will want to listen to hear why so many legislators were afraid of this information getting out and why a number of local polticians will have "some explaining to do."

In our closing segment, some additional information about Seventh Psalm and an update on our discussion of crime here in Maryland.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Criminal Lack of Leadership

If you happened to listen to Warren Monk's Word on the Street program last night, you heard our discussion of the proposal to create a special "DUI" license plate. After reading Eludius' take on the subject, it got me to thinking about the crime issue and how this gimmick of an idea is what passes in Annapolis for "getting tough on crime."

See, I am a criminal defense lawyer. I represent a lot of people accused of drunk driving (Shameless plug alert) and I sit through my share of criminal dockets as part of my job. I know just how lenient the Maryland courts are on not only drunk drivers but many violent criminals as well.

I am constantly surprised how clients who have been pulled over for DUI and have never been in trouble before are scared to death that they may go to jail or lose their license. The fact is for the "run of the mill case" (shameless disclaimer alert) of someone without a criminal record, who hires a good lawyer, gets some treatment and stays out of trouble will likely end up without a criminal conviction and have a modified suspension of their license which allows them to drive to work or, if you refuse the breathalyzer or are "superdrunk", have an ignition interlock on their car. For the most part, the worst part of the experience is paying my bill. (Just kidding, sort of).

Violent assaults get the same lax treatment. While I don't handle as many of these cases, I see them regularly and I know people would be shocked if they knew how many defendants who commit violent crimes walk in and out of Maryland courts everyday. This reality is not just true in the "Big City" but in the relatively conservative suburbs of Anne Arundel and Harford counties. Not only do routine assault convictions not lead to jail time, they often do not even lead to a criminal conviction.

Why?

Let me give you a couple of reasons you may not know first.

Did you know that Maryland has a statute that allows defendants to pay their victims' medical bills and avoid a conviction? It's true. I have seen it used successfully. (Hey, that is how we make the big bucks.)

Do you know about "Probation before judgment"? You may heard of this. Basically, it means that if you successfully complete a period of probation there is no conviction on your record. You can honestly state you have never been convicted of a crime.

PBJ (that is what we call it) is standard operation procedure for a wide variety of offenses and offenders. There are few exceptions to when this disposition is not available and it is a powerful incentive to defendants to plea out cases which is why prosecutors and defense attorneys love it. It really is the next best thing to an acquittal, the proverbial "slap on the wrist".
And that is what most drunk drivers get. And it is why we are not tough on drunk drivers and too many violent offenders here in Maryland.


The mere fact of getting a criminal conviction is powerful to many clients. A "criminal record" affects professional licensure, can destroy any chance at a security clearance and generally hurt the job prospects of many people. I have seen people willing to go to jail just to get "PBJ" when they get out.

That's right. The simple bureaucratic act of having a conviction, something that costs nothing to the taxpayers, would to many be a harsher punishment than time in the poky. In many states, that is exactly what you would get by the way. First time convicted drunk drivers in Georgia serve at least 24 hours in jail. Here we don't even really convict them.

And that is the long way to the bigger point. This "DUI" plate idea does not touch any of this. In fact, it does not even come into play until someone gets a third conviction (which by the way is about how many DUI's you need to actually go to jail in this state).

The sad fact is that there is no one in the legislature, Republican or Democrat, pointing out the outrageous leniency in our system and the inherent danger it creates for every single one of us. Common sense solutions like "PBJ" reform are never even discussed and there is no Republican agenda to counter the liberal, democrat view that punishment is the problem (you know, too many people in jail already) and not the solution to crime (i.e., keep those who commit crime off the street).

I have spoken with Republican members of the Judiciary committee in Annapolis about this. You get the same refrain "Joe Vallario and Brian Frosh will bury those ideas". Rather than confront this liberal lawyer establishment, our guys alternate between "small ball" like Jessica's Law (where they can make great political hay but ultimately do little to make Marylanders safer) and doing nothing at all.

If the Republican caucus can put out an alternative budget which shows a different vision of what Maryland would be like if we ran the show, why can't it be done with the crime issue? The alternative budget is "DOA" but is shows the voters that there really is an alternative.

There is an alternative to a revolving door criminal justice system here in Maryland which puts us all at risk. It would require simple, common sense reforms many states enacted long ago and it would require the leadership of our Republican leaders to see it through and make the case.

Sadly, there is not (maybe this is a nudge, hint hint) such leadership which really is itself a crime.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Conservative Refuge Radio Tonight!!

Mark Newgent and I will be appearing on Warren Monk's Word on the Street program tonight from 7pm to 8pm on WAMD 970 am in Aberdeen.

We will be covering a number of issues in Maryland politics and a couple of surprises so if you are in the area (see below) check it out. (H/T Radio Locator).




Thursday, February 28, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 56 - Mid-Session Review

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, a listener asks to hear more about the recent dustup concerning the request for expenses of our county legislators. The local media misses the real story but you will hear it discussed in this podcast. Listen in and share your thoughts!

Our blogger roundtable convenes with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Op-Ed author, talk radio guest and fellow blogger Mark Newgent to follow up on our General Assembly Session preview. As we work through the midpoint of the regular session, how are the major issues before the legislature proceeding? Our blogger contributors offer their opinions and insights.

In our closing segment, we open the "Fat Files" to discuss two new reports on the obesity scare. First, a new call for an international solution to obesity even though the sponsors admit having no idea what effective measures would be. Second, a proposed state law in Mississippi would make it illegal to serve any person who the state deems to be obese.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun with Numbers

Just when you think all the results of the Maryland Primary have been analyzed to death, let me offer the following.

Candidates for Delegate to the Republican National Convention often include elected officials, party leaders and, yes, mere bloggers. How they did is often correlated to which candidate they were associated with but when you look at those who did not support the winner, John McCain, there are some interesting results.

What is the value of having a well know incumbent support your candidacy? Does the relative vote getting ability of convention delegate candidates say something about their viability for higher office? Which fellow blogger got the most votes?

See below and let the fun and speculation begin.

Results in the following form

Name (congressional district)(candidate affiliation)(total votes)(percentage of votes cast)

First, two of my RedMaryland colleagues Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent ran in their respective districts.

Brian Griffiths (D2) (unaffiliated) 426 .6%
Mark Newgent(D3) (Romney) 163 .2%


Looks like Maryland's "Most Influential Blogger" has the bragging rights here.

How about members of the General Assembly?

Let's start with the boys with the Citizens for Better Government

Del. Nic Kipke (D1) (Giuliani) 2241 1.1%
Del. James King (D3)(Giuliani) 1034 1.1%
Del. Steve Schuh (D1)(Giuliani) 3262 1.7% (Schuh ran as an alternate)

For the self-appointed leaders of the MDGOP renaissance, this is not an impressive showing. Schuh even campaigned with robocalls.

Combined they got fewer votes than Del. Tony McConkey.

Del. Tony McConkey (D1)(Huckabee) 15672 7.5%

Before you chalk all this to the candidates they supported compare them to the following:

Del. Jeannie Haddaway (D1)(Thompson) 6250 3.0%
Del. Richard Sossi (D1)(Thompson) 2937 1.4%
Del. Susan McComas (D1)(Giuliani) 3414 1.6%

Del. Joe Boteler (D2)(Thompson) 1880 2.6%
Del. Tony O'Donnell (D3)(Thompson) 1819 1.7%
Del. Gail Bates (D7)(Thompson) 2017 3.5%
Del. Warren Miller (D7)(Thompson) 1202 2.1%

The Paul Delegates in D1 averaged 4180 votes for 2% of the total.

Every Republican delegate in the race, regardless of who they supported, got more votes than Delegate Milquetoast. Slots vote backlash? Does it say something about a King/McConkey matchup for the 33 Senate seat in 2010?

What about the Repbulican State Senators? Surely, more well established politicians solely representing a larger area can draw votes just based on name recognition, right?


Sen. Alex Mooney (D6)(Romney) 10540 5.5%
Sen. David Brinkley (D6)(Thompson) 6531 3.4%
Sen. Janet Greenip (D3)(Romney) 4842 4.9% (her aide Justin Ready got 6696 votes)
Sen. Allan Kittleman (D7)(Romney) 3666 6.4%



Sen. Nancy Jacobs (D3)(Thompson) 2672 3.7%
Sen. Bryan Simonaire (D2)(Romney) 2613 3.6%

Good news for a future Mooney Congressional run? All you Simonaire haters, what does this say to you?

But former elected officials and former candidates were on the ballot as well. Does it mean anything for their future viability? Let's take a random sample and I will leave it to you to speculate.

David Boschert (D1)(Romney) 7500 3.6% (former delegate and congressional candidate)
Dr. Gary Applebaum (D3)(Giuliani) 1908 1.9% (2006 congressional candidate)
John White (D3)(unaffiliated) 512 .5% (beat Applebaum in 2006 congressional primary)
Scott Rolle (D6)(Giuliani) 4730 2.4% (fmr. Fred. County SA and AG candidate)

And just for fun, here are some results for some present and former party leaders.

Does it help to be Anne Arundel GOP Chairman? Let's see how the current and some former chairs did.

Jerry Walker (D3)(Thompson) 884 .9% (current AAGOP chair)
Mike Collins (D3)(unaffiliated) 591 .6% (deposed AAGOP chair)
Mike Malone (D3)(unaffiliated) 545 .6% (highly regarded former AAGOP chair)

I guess is does not help much.

The real winners were the McCain delegates who largely were not elected officials or well known members of the GOP community. The elected officials who jumped on the Romney, Giuliani and Thompson bandwagons had varying degrees of success in overcoming their candidate's departure from the race.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I got a "B" from him in law school

My old civil procedure professor from law school, Brad Smith, has a great piece on the McCain dilemma for conservatives. It summarizes the basic reason we movement conservatives cannot easily bring ourselves to support this guy.

Read it here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 55 - Conservative Soul Searching

Your source for conservative, Republican news, views and insight it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, I share the thoughts of conservative leaders and commentators on the burning issue on the minds of conservatives, how to deal with a McCain nomination. I share a piece from Michelle Malkin and lead a discussion about how conservatives can continue their struggle in a positive manner. Listen in and share your thoughts!

Our blogger roundtable convenes with regular contributor Brian Griffiths and special guest Brian Gill to discuss the issue of crime. As we chronicle how liberal leaders in Annapolis have created an environment which promotes crime, what can and should Republicans do to present a better alternative to Maryland voters? Our blogger contributors offer their opinions and insights.

In our closing segment, an update on our discussion of the Citizens for Better Government. In addition to what has been reported on the Conservative Refuge, I share an update on the group's response to the growing public criticism arising out of their recent campaign finance report. You will want to hear what questions the group will answer and what they will not disclose publicly and make up your own mind.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com

Monday, January 28, 2008

Breakdown of the Kipke interview

As the controversy about the Citizens for Better Government continues to grow, it seems clear that many have not gone back and listened to what Delegate Kipke said on the Conservative Refuge Podcast and compared it to the group's recent campaign finance statement.

While I would still urge everyone to go back and listen to the entire 20 plus minute interview in context, let me break it down a bit to show why there has been such a firestorm of criticism on the heels of the group's recent disclosures.

I will give the time in the show and the summary of the statements made. (Again, don't take my word for any of this listen to this interview for yourself and visit the links provided.)

6:30 Delegate Kipke explains the group is changing from a PAC to a Slate so that the Delegates can have "full control over how the money is spent."

7:30 Delegate Kipke acknowledges the change was based upon concerns about Lawrence Scott but personally vouches for the character of the group's members.

8:20 Delegate Kipke repeats that the Delegates wanted to control how the money is spent.

14:45 Delegate Kipke assures donors that they need not be worried that the money spent by the group was going to go to Lawrence Scott or that he would benefit in any way.

16:10 Delegate Kipke says that the group is not a money making scheme for Lawrence Scott.

From the campaign finance report, we know that all of the money that was spent was funnelled through Scott Strategies, Inc. in apparant contradiction to the above statements and personal assurances by Delegate Kipke.

This is the most damning aspect of this whole story. Mr. Scott received the money and directly controlled how it was spent. The group has refused to make any further disclosure of expenses and will not admit or deny whether Mr. Scott received any consulting fees.

8:05 All the organizers have "invested equally."

16:35 All of the organizers have "invested our own money."

According to the group's own finance report, no contribution from Delegate Kipke appears and the contributions from Delegates Schuh and King come from campaign not personal accounts. [Correction - Friends of Nic Kipke did report a donation to the slate before the filing deadline. I apologize for the error.]

Again, despite the public statements that each of the Delegates "invested our own money" nothing in the state's campaign finance database supports that claim. The donations that were made were from campaign accounts, which included the donations of others. Also, no in-kind donations appear negating any claim of that type.

19:25 Delegate Kipke mentions (and I wholeheartedly acknowledge) his reputation for honesty.

The above statements along with Kipke's reputation were intended and, in fact, did quell the criticism of this group as they headed toward their fundraising dinner. The group's only statement filed under penalties of perjury, however, appears to contradict many of these statements.

Why is this important? Let me share with you a portion of an email from a listener named Erran.

"I listen to all of your podcasts. I think you can do an 'I told you so' podcast with a pretty clear conscience. If these three delegates are going to become the face of the local party, the party should demand total honesty from them. They all seem like nice people but I can't say that I trust one of them although I trusted Kipke the most of the bunch until this."

" Kipke seems like a stand-up guy and how he could be manipulated to lie is beyond me. I suspect King and Schuh put him up to it. Someone in the local Republican party should put these guys to the test. Get them to come onto your show to defend the lies they are telling. I don't have access to the masses like you do but the only commodity the party has given its many public struggles in Maryland is honesty. I hope you will take up the cause to flesh this out so that these three start playing team politics."

I think that says it all.

My Endorsement for President

I announced this on the most recent podcast, but it was inadvertently left off the RedMaryland group endorsement.

I think good endorsements begin discussions. My opinion is just that and has no more value than any other but here is some food for thought.

President – Mitt Romney

Like many of my colleagues here, I was a devoted FredHead. Without my first choice, the question comes down to which of the remaining, viable candidates would be the best standard bearer of our party. While imperfect, Mitt Romney at least talks the talk and embraces and seeks to promote the orthodox Reagan conservatism our party needs to espouse.

I see this as a Romney versus McCain race. I despise John McCain. With every fiber of my being, I resent the maverick, independent often anti-conservative that is the persona of Senator McCain. More than his opposition to tax cuts, his championing of amnesty for illegal immigrants (a position he said after South Carolina he has not changed), his assault on free speech, his membership in the Gang of 14, I oppose John McCain because he it the poster child for the arrogant, holier than thou, independent modern view that partisanship is beneath the intelligent and politically minded.

Why would Republicans elect a man as their nominee who has such open disdain for the party he seeks to lead? It is why Tom Delay, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin and so many other movement conservatives cannot support him and why I cannot either. Our party is a team working together to accomplish a governance based upon the bedrock principles so eloquently espoused by Ronald Reagan. A maverick who rejects those principles so often and resists being a member of the team should not be our captain.

Mitt Romney would wear that “C” on his uniform with pride. He has an impressive executive record as a businessman, Olympic organizer and Governor. He is a decent, faithful, family man. He would make the Bush tax cuts McCain opposed permanent, vigorously oppose the amnesty for illegals McCain co-sponsored and lead the fight against the radical jihadists who seek to destroy our way of life.

Mitt Romney seeks the nomination of a principled, conservative led Republican party and would lead it to victory.

He deserves that nomination.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Response to the Citizens for Better Government

Below is my response to the objections of Delegate Nic Kipke to the criticisms of the Citizens for Better Government. As you can read, not only do I address the Delegate's concerns, I also point out that his prior e-mail fails to address the substance of the criticisms made by many local Republican activists and donors.

"Nic,

We did speak more than once. I expressed my concerns many times regarding the way the group was organized and how things would be conducted. You came on my show and said everything would be above board, Mr. Scott would not control the money spent, there would be advisory groups and it was not true. I have no doubt you would have a new story for each of these inconsistencies.


I reported nothing until it was reported in the media. I noted that this report, as the media already stated, was in contradiction of your public statements and to the assurances you made to my audience. I linked and read from your publicly filed campaign finance report and told my audience to look at it themselves. Others who have added to the story did the same.
Your email, other than questioning my motives (which I expected to happen), does not answer the substantive questions raised by not just myself but others.

Why is there no transparancy about how the money was spent?


Why was the fee paid to Mr. Reagan not disclosed in the report?

Why does the slate pay its expenses through Scott Strategies, Inc. rather than directly?

Why was the only payment from the slate made to an entity tied so closely to Lawrence Scott?


This played precisely to the concerns raised by many which you addressed by publicly assuring everyone that you Delegates not Mr. Scott would control the money.

Why did the organizers say for months that they had raised over $125,000 when no such amount was collected and then tell the press they raised $200,000 with full knowledge their campaign finance report would show the opposite?

Why did you say (or at least give the clear impression ) that you contributed to the slate when you knew that was untrue?

Questioning my motives or my intent does not address these fundamental questions. Show me where my facts are wrong.

I am sure Ehrlich said what he said. He probably believed you when you said you raised 3-4 times the amount you have. The "pledges" story is wearing a bit thin.

I find your hiding behind the party to cover for your obvious lies disturbing. It is precisely because you wrapped yourselves in the party, acted in the name of Ronald Reagan, took the good name of many Republican elected officials and then inflated your contributions, understated your expenses and created a slush fund for someone who many (you know you spoke to so many who said it) view as shady at best.

As I said, it was hard for me to say but I was not going to let it go despite the potential impact on our friendship.

If you want to end this controversy, let me suggest the following as a start:

1. Publicly detail all of the expenses of the slate to date. Every penny from the slate to the final vendors. Create transparancy to your donors about where the money went.

2. If you want to maintain that there are "pledges" for an additional $130,000 disclose the pledges. As documented, you have been saying since at least October you had 25 pledges of $5,000 each. Now you say that you did not have time to "send invoices" and you are surprised people have doubts? Come on.

You can choose to attack me instead.

Greg"

I will update with any public answers to these questions or any additional disclosure (or more likely additional attacks on yours truly) along with much more in the next podcast.

New Plan - Kill the messenger!

It seems the boys over at Citizens for Better Government were more than a bit miffed at my and Brian Gill's posts about the groups recent public disclosures.

The group's appointed spokesman and confidence man Delegate Nic Kipke wrote me the following:

"Greg,

Your recent blog post disappoints me. I surely thought you were the kind of person to check your facts before spreading mistruths. I am especially concerned that you would not call me before spreading inaccuracies. Your actions make me think you are more concerned about your own self-promotion than the wellness of the republican party, which needs all of our support. If you had bothered to check the facts, you could not help but call the Reagan Tribute an amazing success!

We met each and every goal for this event, including our financial goals. In fact, Gov. Ehrlich called our event "the beginning of the reemergence of the Maryland Republican Party." When we planned our event we chose Michael Reagan because he spreads his father's unifying republican message. However, because of his contract withhis radio station, he is only able to travel on a limited basis. The only day he had available was January 7, which was not great timing for us, considering session began on January 9. However, we decided to go with this date because of the amazing quality of the speaker. As you probably know, Delegates are restricted from collecting contributions during session. Soi nstead of trying to rush to get all of the checks in, we decided to send invoices to our sponsors after session.

It had always been my belief that you had our party's best interests at heart. Lately, I am beginning to question your motivations. You should have called me if you had concerns, instead you wrote without consideration for the whole story (reminds me of the Baltimore Sun). Finally, it is my hope that we can find some common ground to work togetherto build our party. It is important to me, that despite our differences, westand united as it is in our unity that we can defeat the Maryland Democratic monopoly.

Sincerely, Nic Kipke"

That's right, the gang who believes they are single handedly resurrecting the MDGOP believes the guy who just wrote about his desire to destory the Baltimore Sun is in league with it.

My full response is the subject of the next post but a couple of thoughts.

First, it is obvious that Delegate Kipke did not listen to what I said as he fails to address most of the substantive issues raised by myself and others.

Second, the arrogant attitude that the actions of elected officials cannot be questioned without some ulterior motive is on full display in this email. Don't like the message, kill the messenger is the standard strategy of the guy who really runs the Citizens for Better Government, Lawrence Scott. That is why a previous county GOP chair called him a purveyor of "slash and burn politics" and why funding a group that runs its expenditures through his consulting company is a very bad way "to work together to build our party."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 54 - Where did the money go?

With perhaps our most controversial show yet, it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, I give you an update on our discussions of the Citizens for Better Government. The group's recent campaign finance report puts the lie to many of the public statements by Delegates Nic Kipke, Steve Schuh and James King and confirms many of the suspicions about the group previously discussed on this podcast. You need to listen to the details of the group's report and learn more about this breaking scandal that will have people talking!

We also are joined by special guest, Brandon Wright of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, to discuss the state of the retail gas market. How did we get to $3 a gallon gasoline and what role does the local gas station play? In this informative interview, Brandon Wright illuminates the story not being told in the mainstream media.

In our closing segment, I hope to begin a broader discussion by giving my contribution to the Red Maryland group endorsements for President and for Congressman from Maryland's First Congressional District.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4487 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 53 - Global Warming O'Malley Style

The very latest news, views and insight into conservative, Republican happenings it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In this installment, we have a special guest interview with Paul Chesser of Climate Strategies Watch who gives the real story about Maryland's Commission on Climate Change. You need to hear how national environmental extremists have imported their radical global warming agenda to Maryland with the enthusiastic support of Governor O'Malley.

Our blogger roundtable, with our regular contributor Brian Griffiths and special guest (and recent newsmaker) James Braswell, convenes to discuss the ongoing Presidential Race. With votes now in Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina, have the nominating contests become any clearer? What will be the decisive factors as the candidates continue to head toward the Maryland primary? Our blogger contributors offer their insight and opinions.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4252 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com

Monday, January 14, 2008

Refuge Podcast #52 - 2008 General Assembly Session Preview

The very latest news, views and insight into conservative, Republican happenings it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, some news and comment on the call for "collaboration" by Annapolis' liberal leaders. You will want to hear the brazen hypocrisy of venal, partisan elected officials calling for bipartisanship and cooperation.

Our blogger roundtable, with our regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent, convenes to discuss the upcoming session. What will be the hot topics for the session? Will there be more tax increases, an abolition of the death penalty and legalized gay marriage? Our blogger contributors offer their insight and opinions.

In our closing segment, we make another visit to the "Fat Files". I share some good news that the "obesity epidemic" is overblown and convey new scientific findings showing that "you no longer need worry so much about being obese".

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4252 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com

Food for Thought for the Blogosphere

If you are like me, you are a fan of HBO's The Wire. The final season of this show holds a mirror up to the media (namely the Baltimore Sun) and shows how it affects all aspects of life in the big city. You may have seen a special promotional piece by David Simon, the creative force behind The Wire, explaining what to expect from the fifth and final season of the show.

As Simon laments the slow death of the city newspaper, he makes some fascinating and intriguing comments on us in the blogosphere. Though unintentionally, he throws down the gauntlet of what role we bloggers will play when the newspaper dinosaur is finally slain or (in his view) is completely emasculated by the diminution of political and social reporting in favor of human interest stories and perfunctory journalism.

Simon's comments present a serious challenge, nay opportunity, to us bloggers as to how the important stories affecting our lives will be told. It is a question we bloggers need to answer.

Make no mistake, Simon is a liberal democrat and we would agree little on solutions. Howver, he candidly acknowledges, as a former Sun reporter, that the way every story is told and the way every editorial decision is made emanates from a subjective point of view and that many journalists want to affect social change by reporting. His lament is that selling newspapers has replaced this "noble calling" and the result is that a closer inspection of politicians, policy and institutions is left by the roadside.

Simon says bloggers do a great job of providing commentary and presenting information from a different point of view but inevitably link to some reporter who has done the hard work of gathering the information and telling a story. This, in his view, is the eternal value of a newspaper and that the industry made a mistake by giving it away for free (by putting it on the Internet).

Simon is not entirely wrong. We bloggers, if we truly want to end the monopolistic influence of the Sun or the Capital or the Gazette, need to be able to tell the stories which are important to people. As long as we simply link to the reporting done by others, they control the agenda and perpetuate their built in advantage of a larger audience.

The blogosphere must concentrate more on telling stories, making news and giving our readers not just opinion but information they cannot get anywhere else. This does not mean that we must become full time reporters but we have an opportunity to wrestle away the mantle of media from the elites who have controlled it for so many decades. Our victory will not be complete until we do that.

Many of my fellow bloggers have done this. Mark Newgent's work examining the Governor's Commission on Climate Change, the in-depth reporting of the the Special Session shenanigans and the lawsuit which brought them to light and even the soap opera that is the Anne Arundel County Central Committee have broken real news and often have driven the local reporting in the newspapers. (Not to mention, the yeoman's work of the O'Malley Watch gang.)

We have contacts in government and the community. We have many of the same resources the overworked newsrooms have (specifically the Internet). We are educated, net savvy and can write well. We also have the passion to tell the important stories.

The opinion page is covered, now let's work on filling the front page.

I say, let's take up this challenge and work for a future where the blogosphere can truly replace newspapers.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Conservative Refuge on the Radio

I will be a guest tonight on the Warren Monks show on WAMD 970AM from 6:30-7:30 (appx).

I will also be joining my friend, fellow RedMaryland contributor and O'Malley Watch radio representative Mark Newgent.

Should be a great segment.

No online feed but here is a map of the broadcast range for the station.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Refuge Podcast # 51 - The Stakes in Iowa

Beginning our second year of podcasting it is the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by visiting here:

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

In our opening segment, some news and comment on the lawsuit to overturn the recent special session. I share some information you have not heard elsewhere as well on the very latest news in the case. I also relate portions of an editorial in the Baltimore Sun showing why the left just does not "get it" when it comes to the rule of law.

Our blogger roundtable, with our regular contributor Brian Griffiths and special guest David Kyle, convenes to discuss the Iowa caucus. What would the victory of certain Republican candidates say about the future of our party? Will there still be a Republican nomination fight when Marylanders vote? Our blogger contributors offer their insight and opinions.

In our closing segment, the very latest from Iowa and some thoughts about what is at stake in the Presidential nominating process.

Share your thoughts and feedback!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

This installment of the Conservative Refuge is proudly sponsored by Carpe Diem Consulting, LLC, specializing in forensic accounting, litigation support, business valuations and expert testimony in the areas of white collar criminal defense, contract disputes and other litigation matters. Contact John DeLuca and his associates at 410-305-4252 or via email at jdeluca@carpediemconsult.com