Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Latest on District 3B

As we have been reporting here, here and here, former Republican Delegate Rick Weldon has resigned his position in the House of Delegates. The Frederick and Washington County Republican Central committees will be picking his successor.

As we have said, this decision will be closely watched as the Maryland Republican Party heads into the 2010 election cycle. Will these local party officials select someone who has a solid conservative pedigree or will the decision be dominated by local party politics with the result that a local political insider with no greater ideological loyalty than their own personal ambition will join the Republican caucus in Annapolis? What will this choice tell to activists as they are being asked to support GOP candidates in the coming year? Will this be a local version of the mistakes made by local party officials in NY-23?

We will know soon as the choice is likely to be made on or about January 6, 2010 with any candidates required to submit their application no later than December 29, 2009.

As we predicted, additional potential candidates have come to the fore. One is former Frederick County Commissioner John Lovell. Mr. Lovell told the Frederick News Post that he wanted to be a "placeholder" and will not seek reelection in 2010. Good strategy since his last campaign resulted in him finishing 9th out of ten candidates for the Frederick County Board of Commissioners.

More disturbing about Mr. Lovell, though, is his past support for higher taxes, namely his vote for a hotel tax in Frederick County. This is exactly the mindset we need less of in Annapolis not more. How can the GOP make fiscal conservatism and opposition to the O'Malley tax increases central themes next year when their own local committee members choose tax raisers?

No doubt the fact that this process will play out during the holiday season will keep many from watching this process as closely as they should. That is why it is so critical that Maryland conservatives continue to inform themselves and let the Frederick County Republican Central Committee (http://www.frederickgop.org/ email them at info@frederickgop.org ) and Washington County Republican Central Committee (email their Chairman PaulaLampton@yahoo.com) know we are watching.

Again we invite the candidates for this appointment to address the readers of this blog.

Below is the official notice from the Frederick County Republican Central Committee:


Frederick County Republican Central Committee
FCRCC to Nominate Delegate to Maryland General Assembly
Frederick, MD - December 21, 2009: Delegate Rick Weldon (3B) has resigned from his legislative position in Maryland's House of Delegates effective upon the appointment of a replacement to his seat by the Governor. According to Maryland State's Constitution, the Party of which he was elected will be responsible for nominating a replacement and providing that name to the Governor. Delegate Weldon's term ends at the conclusion of 2010, with a successor to be elected in the 2010 Maryland General Elections next November. Although there are no official timelines for this replacement, the Frederick County Republican Central Committee (FCRCC) and the Washington County Republican Central Committee (WCRCC) have been working together to ensure that a recommendation for replacement is delivered to the Governor expeditiously. Once a name is presented to the Governor, he will have up to15 days to make his official appointment.

The FCRCC has developed a process to ensure that anyone interested in this position will have the opportunity to demonstrate their intent. Any interested party will need to adhere to the guidelines developed by the committee.

The vacancy announcement and application materials for the office of Maryland State Delegate will be posted on the FCRCC website on Monday, December 21, 2009. The website address is http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102900722557&s=6&e=001iER719SqF7HrZFDAJ03zyKs8w3RipowOCKEPE-dsZogHvbovBFSa7WgIdhbQbEVWhIaILTiRjyjtLmrxogt-GnfVWyVYuJAmgKLCJmT-BblaREcXmk_Quw==. Applications and other information can be downloaded in a PDF format from the website or picked up at the office of Dino Flores at 129 West Patrick Street, Suite 5, Frederick, MD, 21701 between the hours of 8 and 5 Monday thru Friday. His office telephone number is 301-682-5060.

Applications and related documentation must be completed and sent via Certified US Mail post marked or hand delivered (between the hours of 8:00AM and 5:00PM) no later than Tuesday, December 29, 2009. Mail or deliver to the attention of: Dick Cheney, 10613 Victorian Avenue, New Market, MD 21774. Any application materials received after this date will be deemed to have not been timely filed. All applicants must also leave a message with all of their contact information on the FCRCC voicemail system at 301.662.0550with notification that their application has been sent or delivered.

Once the Nominating Committee has reviewed and evaluated all applications, they will refer their top three recommendations to the entire FCRCC and WCRCC. Personal interviews and final selectionis scheduled to occur on or about Wednesday, January 6, 2010. Final notification of all meetings will be posted at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102900722557&s=6&e=001iER719SqF7HrZFDAJ03zyKs8w3RipowOCKEPE-dsZogHvbovBFSa7WgIdhbQbEVWhIaILTiRjyjtLmrxogt-GnfVWyVYuJAmgKLCJmT-BblaREcXmk_Quw==, in addition to all applicants receiving personal notification.

For further inquiries, please contact Frederick County Republican Central Committee Chairman Kelly Schulz at 240-285-5540, or kmsremax@aol.com.

#####
=====================================================================

Your Frederick County Republican Central Committee

Dick Cheney - Secretary
Dino Flores
Mike Hough
Katie Nash
Carol Powell
Mary Rolle
Kelly Schulz - Chairman
Billy Shreve - Vice Chairman
Bryan Smith - Treasurer

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Time For Decision

As my colleague Brian Griffiths has reported, Delegate Rick Weldon has announced his resignation from the House of Delegates. While I will leave Delegate Weldon's political post-mortem to others, this action creates the opening I reported about previously.

The decision is now in the hands of the Frederick and Washington County Republican State Central Committees as to who will represent District 3B in the House of Delegates. In talking with committee members, it seems there may be many individuals wishing to be considered. I am also told that the process will be open and transparent. Good news.

In that spirit, I invite all Maryland conservatives to contact the committee members and let them know that we are watching and that we expect their choice will reflect not only the citizens of District 3B but the best values of our party. You can do so via email at info@frederickgop.org and for the chairman of the Washington County Republican Central Committee at PaulaLampton@yahoo.com.

One candidate wasted no time announcing his intent to seek Delegate Weldon's seat, Michael Hough. As I reported earlier, Mr. Hough is already running an active campaign for this seat. Here is what he had to say:

"I have been actively campaigning for this seat for almost two years with the full expectation that I would face the judgment of voters in 2010. My family, friends, and supporters have worked tirelessly during this period and we have achieved a great deal to this point. We have raised approximately $60,000 from almost four hundred individuals, gained support from a number of prominent Republicans including Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Senator Alex X. Mooney, Delegate Joseph Bartlett, and seven other members of the Maryland General Assembly. In addition we have begun a grassroots effort and knocked on over 1,000 doors this summer in order to introduce myself to voters.

I also believe as a Ronald Reagan Republican, I would best represent the core conservative values of the Republican Party."

In addition to the supporters mentioned in this announcement, Mr. Hough has also received the support of Delegate Nic Kipke (R-31).

As I stated before, I urge all conservatives to be involved and pay attention to this process and invite any other candidates for this position to share with our readers why they should be selected to succeed Delegate. Weldon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A NY-23 Scenario in Maryland?

It appears that former Republican Delegate Rick Weldon may be resigning his seat in the General Assembly to take a job with the City of Frederick. If he does, a very interesting decision will have to be made by the Frederick County Republican Central Committee (H/T Mike Netherland). The choice of Weldon's replacement by these party elites has the potential to be a miniature version of the debacle in NY-23 (which seems appropriate as Maryland is "America in Miniature").

While the die is far from cast, sources close to the committee tell me that there are two primary candidates seeking the job if it becomes available.

The first is central committee member and long time conservative activist Mike Hough. Mike is the former leader of the Maryland Republican Assembly which seeks to elect conservative Republicans to office. Mike is also a declared candidate for the District 3B seat and has reported approximately $30,000 raised and sources close to his campaign say that he expects to have over $50,000 cash in hand in his January report, a handsome sum for a single member district nearly a year before the election.

Given his background and active campaigning in conservative Frederick County, District 3B comprises arguably the most conservative part of Senator Alex Mooney's conservative District 3, Mr. Hough would seem to be the natural selection for any opening.

Surprisingly, however, another member of the central committee, Katie Nash, has been quietly attempting to get the job for herself. Little is known about Ms. Nash as she lacks the experience or track record of even the 30ish Mr. Hough. What makes some cast Ms. Nash in the Dede Scozzafava role, however, is not her youth but her views on the issues. She is widely reported to be pro-choice and has on multiple occasions posted on her facebook wall comments which seem to show great sympathy for the gay marriage movement, even to the point of praising Equality Maryland for pushing Obama to do more. Without a record of achievement or public positions, these few public statements seem the only clues about what a Delegate Nash may do in the General Assembly.

Which begs the question, if the situation would arise, why would any central committee consider putting a political unknown into the House of Delegates? It would not be the first time that a central committee got it wrong on what is arguably their most important job (remember Senator Bobby Neall?).

For conservatives, Mike Hough is exactly the kind of candidate we say we want. He is talented and unwavering in his conservative beliefs. He has worked not just to get other Republicans but conservative Republicans elected. He has shown that he can withstand the crucible of Annapolis and remain true to his principles.

So why would any conservative Republican, let alone a member of a central committee, ever consider appointing someone else, especially someone with more red flags than a Chinese May Day parade?

It is important that Maryland conservatives, not just those in Frederick County, get informed on this issue and let these committee members know that we are watching. Any process to select Delegate Weldon's replacement should be as open and transparent as possible and every candidate needs to be publicly scrutinized.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The irony of using the name Scott and "party unity" in the same sentence.

As our erstwhile colleague and member of the MDGOP Central Committee Mike Schwartz has reported, the effort to replace outging MDGOP Chair Dr. Jim Pelura is focusing on one candidate, Audrey Scott. With Chris Cavey nobly dropping out to avoid a contested fight for the chairman job, it begins to appears that Sec. Scott's ascension is a fait accompli.

Now, don't get me wrong. Audrey Scott is a longtime Republican leader in this state and has served honorably in a variety of elected and appointed posts. I do not question her qualification or ability for the job as chairman.

Nor do I disagree with the need for party unity. The non-stop backbiting of Jim Pelura since he began as chairman has served no useful purpose and I will be happy to see it end.

But there is a great irony in the conventional wisdom that making Audrey Scott the MDGOP chair will promote comity and unity within the Republican party.

Why?

Because as we have documented here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, her son Lawrence Scott is recognized as one of the most divisive forces within Maryland Republican politics.

Mr. Scott is well know for his questionable tactics in his work for various Republican primary campaigns. Among these are assertions of false endorsements via robocall and misleading signs at polling places, allegations that he supported multiple candidates in the same primary and his misleading use of a fundraising entity (that ended up spending over eighty cents on every dollar for expenses and self promotion without giving a dime to GOP candidates, its expressed purpose). One senior MDGOP official told me he was a "purveyor of slash and burn politics". Republican primary slash and burn politics by the way. Ask Delegate Tony McConkey or Gary Applebaum about being in a primary fight with a Scott managed candidate on the other side.

Now if I were, oh I don't know let me think of a name, State Senator Ed Reilly who will be involved in a bitter, divisive and no doubt negative primary fight with one of Mr. Scott's top clients, I don't think I would take much comfort that the party would regulate any impropriety in that race with Mr. Scott's mom running the show. No doubt Senator Reilly is not going to be the only candidate in a GOP primary next year on the wrong side of Scott Strategies, Inc.'s cavalcade of stars. After all, what a great marketing ploy for your campaign consulting business than to say my mom runs the party.

Now it may be unfair to visit the sins of the son on the mother. No doubt some will dismiss this criticism or me for that matter. But every member of the MDGOP central committee should consider these issues and Ms. Scott should address them now before we set our party up for dissension and division (with the potential of a compromised chair due to at least the appearance of a conflict of interest) next summer when these primary fights are the hottest.

See, that would be ironic given she is being chosen in the name of party unity.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I am Starting to Understand Newgent's Mancrush

I know that it has been a while since I have written here and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that people still come to visit in hope of reading my insipid rantings disguised as keen insight and thoughtful prose on the political environment. Having been consumed by the black hole that a four week trial creates I can attest that no light or blog postings can escape.

But during my hiatus from commentary, I did have time to "read" Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. I use quotes because it was via audio book during my commute. Given the sleep deprived state I often found myself in while listening, I think it sunk deeper into my subconscious.

For some time, I have given my RedMaryland colleague Mark Newgent a hard time for his mancrush on Jonah Goldberg. We are talking about a guy who seriously considered naming his son Jonah and appeared to be "physically excited" when he heard of Mr. Goldberg's visit to a recent Maryland Young Republican event.

But arriving late to the party and having read Mr. Golberg's triumphal work on the origins of modern liberalism and its close familiarity and lineage with 20th century fascism, especially its idolizing American iterations, I am starting the see the point.

If you have not read the book. Do so now. You will never read a more erudite explanation of the sources and nature of modern liberalism than this book. Much will be familiar and understandable but, for me, I have never seen the pieces put together so well.

I found myself often "rereading" (rewinding) to listen to passages repeatedly. I expect I will buy a hardcopy just so that I can highlight, doggear and quote it. I do not foresee myself writing about the latest "crisis" in modern politics without acknowledging Goldberg's salient point that liberals have been looking for the moral equivalent to war to justify a return of the governmental equivalent of Wilson's "War Socialism" of World War I. Economic depression, the War on Poverty, Global Warming and the "Politics of Meaning" have all been noted to serve that purpose to varying degrees of success. Why not then the obesity epidemic, the latest economic slowdown, swine flu or the next crisis to serve that end as well.

Nor do I expect that I will view liberal versus conservative without being reminded of the thorough and systematic contrast Golberg draws between them. The Hegelian, statist totalitarian (as the term is defined by its creator Mussolini) liberal unalterably and diametrically opposed to the individualistic, liberty disposed conservative faithfully defending the classic liberal ideals upon which our country was founded. There is no middle ground in this battle of ying and yang. While Goldberg may attempt to avoid the moral judgment that liberals have bad intentions or that all things liberal are bad, the unmistakable essence of his factual recitation is that liberals and conservatives can never coexist but are eternally at war for the soul of this country. As Lincoln said, we cannot live half free and half slave. We cannot be determined to submit to a Godstate in the name of some false "security" and be the free, industrious people that our founders and forebears were.

So even if the fascism of liberals is as Goldberg says the gentle hug of a nanny state (as described in Brave New World) versus the boot in the face of freedom forever (of Orwell's 1984) we will still but just as unfree.

These ideas are so profound and so much deeper than our modern political discourse seems to allow. How many of our elected officials of any stripe could intelligently converse on overarching principles which guide their view of government and their historical origins and context let alone that of their opponents?

For any conservative, this is a must read.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Limbaugh's Rebuttal

If you have not heard it, here is a part of Limbaugh's response to the fradulent outrage about his bid for NFL ownership. (Warning if you think the outrage legitimate you will not get the joke here.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conservative Refuge on the Small Screen

I wanted to thank the folks who produce the TV show The Right Issue for having me on again to discuss national, state and local political issues. It was a great time.

If you are missing this show, check it out on Anne Arundel Comcast Cable Channel 99 Tuesdays and Fridays at 6pm or just visit them on the web http://www.therightissue.com

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Taking a Bullet Intended for Someone's Foot and Other Bad Advice for the GOP

There has been a great deal of discussion about the recent comments made by Joyce Thomann, ostensibly under the imprimatur of the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County. If you have not heard about this, here is some background. Personally, like most Republicans, I would prefer this story go away. A real debate is emerging, however, about how Republicans and/or conservatives should respond to the left's united attack premised upon what have fairly universally been regarded as "unfortunate" comments and some have called me out for my thoughts on the matter. So, here goes.

I do not believe that anyone has an obligation to defend these comments or Joyce Thommann, especially given that she herself has admitted they were wrong by apologizing for them. Why should any elected official, candidate or party leader expend their credibility defending the indefensible? Why is it cowardice to say that the comments were "inept" and that Thomann was "right to apologize" (which is what County Executive Leopold said) or that they are "unfortunate" as the party is trying to grow (which is what Councilwoman Vitale said)? Why should aldermanic candidates who sincerely disagree with the statement endorse it?

Make no mistake. This entire issue is an effort by Judd Legum to raise his profile as he runs for a Delegate seat in the Annapolis area and fits perfectly into the hard-left's efforts to brand all Republicans as extremist kooks who can't handle a black President (epitomized by Olbermann's nightly rantings). Legum, Olbermann and their blogger buddies are scumbags trying to score cheap political points. The local media is happy to dive in because it is a simple, sensational story that fits in their template that Republicans are extremist kooks. There are plenty of other examples of the same storyline, be it the hypocritical infedelity of Gov. Sanford or a local GOP official posting a joke stating that Michelle Obama's relatives are apes. It is a tactic of the left to promote these stories.

So what do we do?

One "defender" of Ms. Thomann said that her statement was "careless" and that she disagreed and, and this cannot be repeated too often, Ms. Thomann apologized for the comments and admitted they were "insensitive" and a poor choice of words. This was not an erudite comparison of Obama's agenda and the tenants of National Socialism, a la Jonah Goldberg, it wasn't even an accurate metaphor of the speed of Obama's agenda and the Congress and the conquest of Europe. Rather, it was a ham-handed attempt to set aside reason and logic and instead use the hyperbole and shock value of the name "Hitler". It was "careless", "inept" and "insensitive" and destroyed the credibility of the legitimate point of a need for urgency in resisting the President's agenda. It was the stupid rant of a woman whose zeal far exceeds her judgment and who, frankly, should have more sense but doesn't.

The Mike Netherland/David Kyle/Don Dwyer's of the world do not see it this way. While some may choose to remember the good works of Ms. Thomann despite her recent error, the "ultra-defenders" believe what she said was "nothing inappropriate", that she was merely "saying what she believes" and to not defend her to the utmost is "spineless" and raising our "hands in surrender and throw Mrs. Thomann to the thought Gestapo". (Talk about hyperbole!). They revoke the conservative bona fides and threatened to destroy anyone who does not endorse these statements. (By this logic, of course, Thomann herself might have some explaining to do for apologizing and saying that the President is "an honorable man and a dignified public servant and as such he's worthy of our great honor and respect". Buy hey what's rationality among friends.)

The fact is, though, this course of "going down with the ship" to defend the indefensible and refusing to recognize that people on our side can go beyond the pale is exactly what the left wants. Why do you think the Capital was so quick, after ignoring his emails for years, to publish the castigation of RWAAC by Mike Netherland the day after he issued it? It feeds their template, damages our credibility and distracts from the real issues where the conservative message is making headway.

But Greg, you say, what about the hard lefties crying "McBusHitler" for years? They made crazy comparisons for years, why can't we? Well, for one, we in the blogosphere have used this term as a shorthand to describe the loony left who has no credibility. I talked about this in the "Nut Ball Box" segment of my podcasts.

Do you really think taking the same tact is the right way to go? An over the top, crazy comparison we criticized for years is now okay because it is made by someone on our side?

Some say yes. That is their right. I respectfully disagree and think intelligent, credible, principled conservatives with spines can see this approach as no recipe to compete in the marketplace of ideas or any legitimate political debate.

So, we don't have to defend it, or excuse it.

The fact is some other Republican may say something stupid again or say something stupidly again. I hope they don't. But if they do, I will not pretend the Emperor has no clothes and say how brilliant their comment was.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Theology on Tap

Fox 45 news did a piece recently on my church's Theology on Tap gatherings. This is where a bunch of guys get together to drink beer and talk about God (hey, it is great excuse to drink beer and we are Lutheran after all.) The piece does little to actually cover what we were discussing (homosexuality) but is interesting nonetheless.

Check it out and look for yours truly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Let the Fun Begin!

Long the subject of retirement rumor and speculation, Senator Janet Greenip (R-33) confirmed to the Annapolis Capital that she will be retiring not at the end of her current term but within the next few weeks.

For those not in the know, District 33 is one of the most Republican in the state and a legion of current and former elected officials, among others, have been maneuvering for Senator Greenip's seat if she were to retire (Some even if she did not.).

This announcement will send shockwaves through the Republican community in Anne Arundel county and make what would have been a wide open primary next year into a free for all before the Anne Arundel County Republican State Central Committee in the coming months.

Consider this. All three of the sitting Delegates from District 33 as well as two current members of the County Council want the job and would be able to make legitimate arguments for the appointment. Throw in former elected officials, like former Delegate David Boschert, and even Kendall Ehrlich, rumored to want the job, and the possibility of another opening created by the appointment and you have the recipe for political feeding frenzy the likes of which the Maryland GOP may have never seen.

This story will be riveting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Refuge Podcast #69 - Mid Session Review

The latest news and the views of Maryland's leading conservative opinion makers await in the next installment of the Conservative Refuge Podcast. You can listen by clicking the icon below:



You can catch up on past installments by visiting http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

The blogger roundtable with Mark Newgent and special guest Jason Rheinstein discuss the latest from Annapolis as the 2009 General Assembly Session heads into the final stretch. How will the key issues of this year's session be resolved? What surprised lay in store? Our blogger contributors offer their insight and opinion.

I also share some listener feedback to our report on the Citizens for Better Government. I also share a response from the group itself.

Listen in and share your thoughts!

Spread the word!

Greg Kline
Host, Conservative Refuge Podcast

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Refuge Podcast # 67 - Where the Money Went, Now we Know

The original podcast covering conservative, Republican politics is back with a hard-hitting report follow-up report on the Citizens for Better Government detailing where the money went. You can listen to this controversial report by clicking here:





I predicted that these statements would also be proven false when the group issued its 2009 campaign finance report.

As we detail, I was more right then I knew.

You need to listen to the details of the group's report that shows that they raised only a small fraction of what they claimed, lost nearly $30,000 last year, spent over $40,000 in fundraising expenses, nearly $10,000 in legal fees and have only a tenth of the money they claimed without reporting a single dollar in contributions to candidates or the Republican Party.

Listen in for all the details of this scandal!

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 18, 2009

Is it still Maryland, My Maryland?

Perhaps you have seen the most recent iteration of the long time controversy over Maryland's state song "Maryland, My Maryland." Del. Pam Beidle (D-32) has proposed changing the lyrics to the state's song after receiving letters from a bunch of fourth graders. Let's break this down a bit.

The common sense reaction to this is no different than those mentioned in the well stated objections to efforts to outlaw "beer pong" namely there are more important problems yet to be solved that should garner Delegate Beidle's attention. But this is a cultural issue and provides a teaching moment for both the failure of our public schools to properly teach the history of this state and to demonstrate the indoctrination of public school children led by the close knit cooperation of teacher's unions and liberal politicians.

Also, I cannot ignore the exhortation of our friends at RedState to act. To paraphrase our state song "RedState should not call in vain, Maryland My Maryland."

I am fond of saying that someone walking into the General Assembly in session will never mistake it for a MENSA convention. But Delegate Beidle's statement that she "never thought much about the lyrics" of our state song shows an astounding ignorance, nay disdain, of the history of this state from someone who sits in a citizen legislature nearly four centuries old. Should I be surprised when I hear her colleagues refer to the Maryland Supreme Court (our Court of Appeals predated the SCOTUS by about a century) or their own chamber as the Maryland House of Representatives (which has about a century and a half over Congress)? Probably not but it still irks me.

Luckily for Delegate Beidle, a plucky and apparently historically precocious group of 9 year olds in Glen Burnie has en masse enlightened her about the state song and urged her to change it. What serendipity? Having an elementary school age daughter I know how much kids that age really care about 150 year old folk songs.

The more cynical of us, however, might just say that these kids were indoctrinated with a false portrayal of the history of our state and its song and, prompted by their teacher, wrote their local commissar, I mean Delegate. The fact that Delegate Beidle wants to change the words to those composed by a former head of the State Teachers' Union might lead these same cynics to see a contrived effort to justify a change to the 77 year old established state song which has weathered annual such challenges for decades.

The "new" lyrics are insipid and pointless. They have no relevance to anything of historical or cultural note in Maryland. Rather they are mindless pablum which now have the imprimatur of political correctness.

Our state song was composed at a time of great crisis for our state. Precisely like our national anthem, they encapsulate a period in Maryland's history when she was under assault by those who sought to impose their will upon her citizens. For those of you who were also not taught this period of history let me give you the highlights. Marylanders were certainly not of one mind but tended to have a great deal politically and culturally in common with Virginia and other border south states. In 1860, Marylanders voted for John Breckenridge for President (the same guy who won in Mississippi, Alabama, and the other original Confederate states). Lincoln, got only 2.5% of the vote (who says the Republicans have not made strides in this state.).

Knowing perhaps that 97.5% of Marylanders voted against him, President Lincoln was acutely concerned about the possibility of Maryland secession. While historians have debated the issue, most Marylanders recognized the futility of secession and it was unlikely to ever happen. Taking no chances, however, Lincoln arrested prominent Marylanders suspected of secessionist leanings and imprisoned them in Fort McHenry (yes, ironic) without charge, due process or writ of habeas corpus for years. General Benjamin "Beast" Butler landed troops at the Naval Academy and occupied Annapolis along with the rail line to Washington. This caused the General Assembly, of which Delegate Beidle is now a part, to flee to Frederick. Guns were placed on federal hill in Baltimore with orders to fire if unrest arose (the Washington Monument was among the first targets).

It was in the midst of this that our state song was penned. It encapsulates the fear and dread of real Marylanders who saw their fellow citizens jailed by a Federal Government for no good reason, who saw Federal troops occupy their land and property like they were in rebellion, which they never were. Invoking the zeal for liberty of the "Old Line State", Ryndell called for what I think most Marylanders would call for today under the same circumstances, resistance.

That is why the song resonates and has relevance to 21st century Marylanders. Its theme is not slavery (which Lincoln never touched in Maryland) or white supremacy but the impassioned plea of a free people to resist an oppressive national government. The original words of this song also speak to a real time in Maryland's history which should never be forgotten, whitewashed or assailed as wrong or evil.

Sadly, too many citizens of this state have no real connection here and even too many native Marylanders have never been taught or taken the time to learn about this critical period of our state's rich history. That is why we are so vulnerable now to the PC thuggery of ignorant, vapid politicians.

Let us defend our state song and our inherent resistance to oppressive government which is so deeply rooted in Maryland, My Maryland.


(By the way, a great book on this period is A Southern Star for Maryland and my favorite rendition of Maryland, My Maryland is by Bobby Horton which is on my 11 year-old daughter's iPod.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Refuge Podcast # 67 - Third Annual General Assembly Preview

For the third year in a row the Conservative Refuge Podcast brings leading Maryland conservative commentators together to preview the General Assembly Session. You can listen by visiting here:


http://media.libsyn.com/media/theconservativerefuge/2009-01-20-23-18-04.mp3

In our opening segment, I discuss the local reporting on the Anne Arundel school budget. During recessionary times with local tax revenue dropping, the local unelected school board considers a massive increase in spending and the local media hails it as reasonable. You need to hear the latest from the county's crony-filled school board.

Our blogger roundtable, with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent, convenes for our 2009 General Assembly Preview. Will 2009 be another year for tax increases in Maryland as the State faces a $2 Billion deficit? What are the other issues which will come to the fore over the next 90 days? Our blogger contributors share their insight and opinions.

In our closing segment, another installment of the "Nut Ball Box." With the peaceful transition of power in Washington, innumerable conspiracy theorists predicting a police state or Bush coup d'etat have been exposed for the nuts they are.

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, January 07, 2009

Refuge Podcast # 66 - The Future in Obamanation

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

http://theconservativerefuge.libsyn.com/

Our blogger roundtable, with regular contributors Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent, convenes to discuss the recent election both nationally and here in Maryland. Can the Maryland GOP turn the tide in time for the 2010 election? Our blogger contributors share their insight and opinions.

More thoughts on the future of Maryland Republican politics in our second segment. In contrast to other conservative commentators, I discuss the reality that we actually have a strong "farm system" here in Maryland. Agree or disagree, this is a segment that should get people talking.

In our closing segment, another installment of the "Fat Files". I share the latest from nanny-state legislators seeking more tax revenue who want to tax everything from soda to overweight people directly! You have to hear the latest proof that fat is the new tobacco.

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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.

Bob Rohrbaugh is Having a Busy Week

The Maryland Special Prosecutor has been having a busy week as the grand jury assigned to him winds down its work on Friday.

So far, a Baltimore County Councilman, Baltimore City Councilwoman and private developer Ronald H. Lipscomb with long noted ties to Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon have been indicted.

Will the Mayor be next? I have been saying for some time she has reason to worry.

By the way, in the shameless plug department, my firm's blog dedicated to our white collar criminal practice has much more on all these issues. Please check it out and feel free to give us a call if that next indictment has your name on it.