Monday, January 11, 2010

Are We Forgetting Something?

As my colleague passes along the good information about Wednesday's March on Annapolis there is some concern that some of the organizers of this event may be at best ignoring one of the biggest issues of concern to conservatives affecting how liberty and prosperity here in Maryland.

The issue, illegal immigration.

A recent report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) outlines the costs of illegal immigration to Marylanders. I urge you to read this report.

Here are some startling facts. The illegal alien population in Maryland is approximately 250,000 quadrupling since 2000. Maryland’s illegal immigrant population costs the state’s taxpayers more than $1.4 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $790 per Maryland household headed by a native-born resident.

With these figures, this issue certainly deserves the same attention as increasing taxes and overall excessive spending in Annapolis. Most conservatives would agree.

According to some immigration activists, leaders of AFP and other organizations leading Wednesday's protest don't view illegal immigration as a major issue and view programs such as E-Verify which seeks to stop companies from hiring illegal aliens as an unnecessary hardship. Others have commented that immigration is simply a "social issue" that has no import to the debate about the direction our country is going.

This view is no better epitomized by Dick Armey of Freedomworks' support for open immigration.

I don't believe most of the good folks going out on Wednesday would support such an agenda or fail to see illegal immigration as harmful to our liberty and prosperity. As former Governor Ehrlich said "Citizenship should mean something" and the leaders in Annapolis (and of the Tea Party Movement) should get that message as well.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Split Decision on 3B

It appears the Frederick and Washington County Republican Central Committees could not agree on a replacement for outgoing Delegate Richard Weldon. As reported here, the Frederick County group picked Mike Hough and the Washington County committee picked Charles Jenkins.

Now it appears Governor O'Malley will have the final choice.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Decision Time for 3B

Tonight the Frederick County Republican Central Committee will interview and vote on the replacement for former Republican Delegate Rick Weldon. They have narrowed their choice to three finalists, Mike Hough, Charles A. Jenkins and John R. Lovell, Jr.

I and my RedMaryland colleague Brian Griffiths have been commenting on this race repeatedly and invited discussion not just from the candidates and members of the central committees making he ultimate choice but all Maryland conservatives.

While Brian and I disagree on the import of social conservatism in this choice, a reflection of discussions many Maryland conservatives are having, we both agree on one thing.

As Brian puts it:

"Now, when it comes to this vacancy in District 3B, the issue becomes more of state level issues. What issues should be the most important when it comes to considering the ideology of any successor to Weldon's seat? The most important need to be:

Fiscal Restraint
No On New Taxes
A Commitment to the Reduction of the Size of Government."put it:

As I put it:

"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."

Now to the candidates. As I reported and sourced before, former Frederick County Commissioner John Lovell both against tax cuts and or higher taxes. The same is true of Charles A. Jenkins, which you can read here and here.

In fact, here is a telling quote from Mr. Jenkins

Either way, Mr. Jenkins said, "It's kind of a no-win situation. The reality is if you don't (raise taxes) you're going to have to make cuts in services.

With Maryland facing continuing deficits do we really need a Republican member of the House of Delegates who sees the choice of higher taxes and reducing government as a "no-win situation" or Republicans with a record of raising taxes and expanding government on the local level.

That is why I support Mike Hough and urge the Frederick and Washington County Central Committees to do the same. Mike has signed the Maryland Taxpayers Association "No New Taxes" pledge. He has supported anti-tax conservative Republicans for years. For him, the choice of higher taxes or smaller government is an easy one and not a "no-win situation".

And for the record, he is a social conservative too.