Opps! Some Voters Receive Republican Primary Ballot That is Incorrect

Ballots for the Sept. 14th Republican primary had to be rushed back to the printer, after a last-minute error was spotted on them. The initial paper form instructed party members to select up to seven candidates for the Republican Central Committee, while it should have told voters to pick up to nine, according to Evelyn Potter with the Cecil County Election Board.

The problem developed after the Republican Party increased the number of seats that were open on the committee, following the last election.  Somehow that revision didn’t make it on the official form for the fall 2010 primary, the official noted.  To help prevent errors of this nature, the state provides a sample  for stakeholders to examine and proofread, but after no objections were reported the proof went into printing.

Once the problem surfaced last week, it was too late for officials to correct the ballots for those casting absentee votes.  So the Election Board, with the approval of the Central Committee’s leadership, started inserting special instructions on colorful pink sheets of paper in the ballot mailings.   Forms for the primary on Sept. 14 and early voting are being corrected, Evelyn added.

Beyond absentee ballots, any citizen surfing over to the official state web site to get an online ballot or any media (legacy or new) using that Internet portal as a source to keep readers informed, would have received an incorrect form.  That’s the situation with Someone Noticed, for we published the state’s product on August 15, as a reader service.   We noticed other Eastern Shore newspapers have printed sample ballots in their voters guides this week, but we’re not sure what legacy media in Cecil County has done along those lines.

We were first alerted to this mistake by a representative of the Republican Central Committee early this week so we followed up on the story in order to alert voters and readers to the problem. 

Link for obtaining your sample ballot from the Maryland Elections Center

This is a corrected copy of the Republican Party’s Sample Ballot

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53 responses to “Opps! Some Voters Receive Republican Primary Ballot That is Incorrect

  1. Two points of clarification should be noted; one, the sample ballots are posted for anyone to review at the local election board office, no ballots are mailed individually to candidates or committees, second the sample ballot provided in this article is for District 36 only. There are two other Districts in Cecil County, 34A and 34B. These ballots will differ for state delegate and senator races. The Cecil County Board of Elections should be commended for the excellent job they did to correct the error. It should also be noted that not one absentee ballot was mailed without the 8-1/2×11 inch Pink paper which advised the voter as to the error and the corrective measure. All voting machines including those used for Early Voting have also been corrected.

  2. Pingback: Check out Sample Official Ballots & Glance at Campaign Finances | Someone Noticed

  3. Joe:
    Thanks for sharing your perspective.
    1. Window of Opportunity to Inspect — Correct, that’s essentially what Evelyn Potter stated and what we reported, though you added a few more details. There’s a given time-frame for examination. Once that window of opportunity closes, the process moves forward. She didn’t say that they mailed them to anyone, just that they were made available for inspection.
    2. Other Ballots for Different Voting Districts — This is just a sample ballot for illustration purposes. That’s why there’s a link suggesting readers surf on over to the Maryland Center for Elections where voters may obtain a sample ballot specific to their voting district since there are a number of differences in each district. Here’s the link again from our original and follow-up posts.

    http://www.mdelections.org/voter-registration/status/

    3. Election Board — It does seem that the Election Board followed its procedures in this important process.
    4. Ballots Other Than Absentee – As reported, the state is able to correct the early ballots and the ballots used on election day since there was sufficient time after the error was spotted. As reported, the absentee ballots are affected. Also anyone visiting the digial data warehouse to get a copy of a sample ballot may have received an incorrect copy, as the citizen journalism site did. Without some alert to voters, they would have no error spotting opportunity, so we hope this story alerts citizens using that source.

    Thanks Joe for your added comments.

  4. This is just another sad account of how you have to check on the work of EVERYONE if you’re expecting accuracy. I don’t know if we can assign blame to the ever-increasing amount people are asked to do – with fewer resources – or to the amount of information everyone is expected to process….

    If you use drive-thru’s at fast food establishments – you know that you have to check your order before continuing on – or expect something to be inaccurate. But, that’s something you have to do now whenever you are expecting another human being to deliver something to you – check and check again and demand accuracy…

    I find it deplorable that there’s even the entertainment of an excuse that “others” could have caught this error on the ballot and that they could have reviewed it and asked for the correction…. The Board of Elections should actually show up for work and make sure anything that is approved by the electorate is implemented on THEIR OWN TOOLS and paperwork. No one should have to double check their work. If they expect that, then turn over part of your salary or hourly pay to anyone who catches an error. That would probably get others to look more closely at your work – and I bet you will look it over a time or two more just so you don’t have to give up any money.

    I think that’s a wonderful idea, don’t you?

    Wayne

  5. Wayne: Interesting point you make there. If I were responsible for party advocacy, I’d sure make sure I checked it, in accordance with whatever the appropriate error-spotting procedure was, such as visiting the board office. These things are too important.

  6. Not what I call excellent.

    Somebody sure didn’t get it right

  7. Marty:

    Thanks for posting your opinion on Someone Noticed. It’s obvious there was a problem in the process, but where the oversight(s) occurred would require a lot more digging. Probably it starts with the initiating failure to make sure the right instructions are on the ballot initially, but then there’s the issue of proofreading by all stakeholders. We would think that when you’re involved in these types of things, there’s nothing more improtant than getting the ballot right. If we were a stakeholder group involved in promoting a party’s candidates, we’d want to check just to make sure. A little caution never hurts. Look at what’s happened with ballots in other elections.

    But too, if we were a candidate, we’d take a quick glance also, just to make sure it’s property listed and the spelling is correct.

    Thus based on all this we suspect there was more than one oversight along the way as often happens with these sorts of things. Whatever the case, based on our interview with the election board, it appears they moved promptly to correct it.

    About the only thing we could add is that it wouldn’t hurt to let people know more broadly so they don’t get confused. We saw over on Facebook that a few people had pulled electronic ballots and without a broader alert, they wouldn’t be aware of the mailing.

    Anyway from our standpoint, we were informed about it by an official from the central committee, so we were able to put out a reader alert.

  8. prisoner number seven

    Perhaps this kind of thing happens when your Central Cmte is composed of people who don’t care enough to even attend meetings. Two or three individuals have been carrying the load and are stretched pretty thin — anorexic! The revolving-door RCC has had regular turnover in the past 4 years because people did not fulfill the obligations of their positions, yet some of these same people are on the ballot for various elected offices this year. Why put someone in a position of responsibility if they couldn’t even maintain a position on the Central Committee?

    Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul — Douglas MacArthur

  9. Prisoner Number Seven,
    Very good point, the only remaining members who were elected in 2006 are Bill Killough, Keith Baynes and myself. Neither Bill or Keith are running again. Keith served the committee well for over 20 years. We did expand the committee in 2007 in accordance with state law to nine. One of those two members is stilling serving and doing a great job(Bob Amato) and the other is unfortunately deceased. Currently , we are trying to get help for election activities and very few of those running have stepped forward to help!

  10. Quiet Numbskulls, I’m Broadcasting

    Joe you say the election board did an excellent job. I accept that if you say say. Course that leaves another question. How come the Republican Central Committee didn’t check the ballot and catch the error. Democrats checked and they didn’t have any problems.

    Quite Numbskulls, I’m try to get us votes.
    Moe

  11. Wake up Moe, Early Voting has begun. The error was corrected prior to the mailing of sample ballots. The voting machines have been corrected. Larry and Curley got the word. I saw them at the polling place under a blue pop-up.

  12. Moe,
    I really wish that everyone would use their real name instead of some cybername that they have to hid behind. Bottom line is the problem was found by the Central Committee, corrected by the local and state election board, and no voter was disenfranchised. Furthermore, there are 22 people who could have been affected by this error, why did some of them not check the ballot?? I know they must have been watching TV Land, perhaps the Three Stooges, but more like Lost in Space.

    • Joe & Bob:

      We’re always astonished how many people hide behind the cloak of the Net. If you’re advocating a position, it’ll strengthen your argument if your name is on the piece. That’s somethng we always check for to help us evlauate validity when reading on the Net. If we see a name we recognize and believe, we give that real consideration and evaluate it critically.

      When we started this blog to focus on costructive news for the Town of Elkton we decided immediately that anyone surfing over to Someone Noticed owuld immediatley identify the publisher and we also sign our comments. The reason we decided that was that we had a clear purpose and it strengthened our arguments.

      We’re surprised when new blogs sprout up and publish material without anything indicating whom the publisher or author is. How can you deal with serious issues, especially in politics, when you don’t identify yourself. There has to be a reason for that, which probably isn’t for constructive dialogue or for trying to constructively influence decisions.

  13. IT TAKES MORE THAN CALLING YOURSELF A PATRIOT, TO ACTUALLY BE ONE.

    The local group calling itself “The Patriots” are crying foul because another local group calling themselves “The fiscal conservative team” has used a phrase, “TEA PARTY TESTED, TEA PARTY APPROVED” on an ad placed in the Cecil Whig voter’s guide.

    One of the members of the Patriot’s Group posted a letter on Nancy Schwartzler’s (Of S.P.C.A. infamy) Blog, The Cecil Times.

    The posting states that the “fiscal conservative team” members have not shown the patriots “enough respect”. This is rather scary. Political organizations that demand to be shown respect, rather than earning it, are known to have required people to thereafter show respect with a hearty “Zeig Heil”.

    I would ask “the Patriots” to prove whether they even are a “Tea Party” group. What national or state “Tea Party” group has recognized them or have they worked with? Even if they are a “Tea Party” group where do they get the authority to judge the legitimacy of other, so called, “Tea Party” groups? After all, the term “Tea Party” is somewhat nebulous.

    I called Delegate Smigiel to ask him about the term “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” which was used on the ad, he responded that “in addition to the significant activities that many of the individual members have working with various Tea Party organizations, each member of the “Fiscal Conservative Team” had to pledge to adhere to three basic “Tea Party” principles:

    1. No new taxes.
    2. Cut government spending.
    3. Foster the creation of private sector jobs.

    Smigiel said anyone who pledged to adhere to these Tea Party principles was free to join the Fiscal Conservative Team.
    Those who pledged adherence to these Tea Party principles are “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” according to Delegate Smigiel.

    The Patriots now have some new answers due. Before going out to protest the congressman’s visit one of their founder’s sent out an E-mail to their membership to remember not to wear their “Patriot Shirts”. (Which is a black T shirt with a symbol on it)

    For a group that tries to color itself as patriotic they appear to know little about history or are choosing to ignore the significance of past symbols. Don’t they know that Hitler and Mussolini had brown shirts and black shirts for their operatives. That these organizations demanded the respect of their political adversaries?

    There are hundreds if not thousands of various local, state and national “Tea Party” organizations. It seems very egocentric for this one local group to be arguing that they will be the sole determiner of who is or is not a Tea Party approved or tested candidate.

    At this time it appears the local Patriot group should worry about policing their leadership to make sure they operate on a respectable, professional level.

    Most Tea Party event sponsors warn the participants to be on the look out for the lunatic fringe who will look to associate themselves with the Tea Party in order to gain from their momentum and to distort the message to be a more radical one.

    The local Patriots should be real careful about challenging the legitimacy of anyone’s claim to be Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved because it is they whose actions are suspect at this point.

    Now, we have the Republican Central Committee sending out the dictates of this “Patriot’s” group by E-mail telling everyone not to vote for the candidates they oppose. Could that be because they are the opponents of the current central committee members? If the Republican Central Committee is able to get an E-mail out to all Republicans telling them to not vote for the “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” candidates because the Patriots group has not been shown proper respect, Why couldn’t the Republican Central Committee have used its E-mail abilities to send out notice to all republicans that there was a problem with the absentee ballots in that it told people to only vote for seven not nine people?

    Could it be that voting for seven and not nine helps Carabetta and Amato? Could it be that by not sending out the E-mail alert to republicans to get the word out about the faulty absentee ballots they did not have to bring attention to their incompetance in not bothering to check the sample ballot for errors?

    I do agree with Joe on one issue, I think these bloggers should use their real names!
    Dixie Bear

    • Let me begin by agreeing with you and Joe that bloggers should use their real names. You have been misinformed. The Republican Central Committee sent nothng via e-mail telling all Republicans not to vote for candidates the “Patriots” oppose. The Republican Central Committee has no e-mail list. The Republican Central committee leadership responded to the ballot problem by alerting the MD GOP headquarters, the MD State Board of Elections and the Cecil County Board of Elections as soon as the ballot error was discovered. All parties worked together as mature, responsible, adults. The machines were re-programmed to reflect the correct “vote for no more than nine” message. Sample ballots mailed to all registered GOP voters contained the correct “vote for no more than nine” message. Absentee ballots sent to all GOP voters included a bright pink 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper (insert) with a notification/correction in bold black print. All candidates appearing on the ballot had the opportunity to review the sample ballot posted at the Board of Elections. The Republican Central Committee is not mandated to and has no responsibility for checking sample ballots for accuracy. All candidates appearing on the ballots, as well as anyone visiting the MD Board of Elctions website, had been notified via their calandar of the opportunity to review the sample ballots for accuracy. I fail to see how voting for seven versus nine benefits ( Chairman) Carabetta and (Vice Chairman) Amato. If it were up to me I would prefer that the ballot include only my name with the statement VOTE FOR AMATO.

    • I’ve gotten a number of phone calls from people in the last 72 hours about what’s been happening with the upcoming primary, and specifically about the issues of endorsements, representations of approvals, and other political tricksterism (dirty and otherwise) – both in Cecil County and throughout the 36th.

      I write this as someone involved with the Tea Party movement, quite literally, since the beginning. Someone who stood with John O’Hara (author of the first book on the Tea Party movement) and Brendan Steinhauser (one of the organizers of both last year’s and this year’s 912 Events) at the 1st Tea Party in DC in February of 2009. Someone who has worked with the leaders of all six major national Tea Party organizations, is a member of the Tea Party Federation, and worked with local organizations here in Maryland and around the nation.

      So, I think I’ve got something to say about the Tea Party movement.

      Now, one of the cautions I’ve given to people is that, in reality, ANYONE can start a Tea Party organization. And you can spot legitimacy, based upon words and deeds. It’s why, for instance, I’ve said that Brian Murphy is NOT a Tea Party Candidate, as he never participated in any of the major Tea Party events in Maryland over the last 18 months.

      That being said, when it comes to Cecil County, the Cecil County Patriots ARE the Tea Party organization, and Jackie Gregory and her sister ARE the leaders of that group. When I’ve gone on the radio here in Maryland to talk about tea party events, I have, more than once, referred specifically to the hard and successful work of Jackie Gregory – someone who epitomizes the true grassroots nature of the movement. She is emblematic – a stay-at-home Mom who nonetheless can break down a complex piece of legislation like Cap-and-trade and do a thorough analysis of it. Then, when she confronts her Congressman, she can stand her ground and not be bullied like so many others.

      That’s what a Tea Party Patriot does.

      So, it concerns me when anonymous critics attempt to denigrate that work – and the efforts she and her sister have made in putting together an organization in Cecil County. It concerns me when people lend nefarious aspects to mistakes or missteps they might have made. This is a movement of real people, people who are not (THANK GOD!) political professionals (and as we’ve seen in the last 72 hours, those so-called political professionals can make SERIOUS mistakes and misjudgments).

      As someone who has worked for nearly 2 decades in conservative activism, I take great notice when the spectre of Nazism is raised as a way of tarnishing a conservative group (and not just because I was born Jewish). All too frequently, the left has done this (while misunderstanding the more-apt comparison of the far left to the Third Reich and other fascist and totalitarian systems).

      Here, “Dixie Bear’s” comparison is simply outrageous – but then, that was her intention, quite obviously. But her comparison makes manifest one of the great themes of the 2010 election cycle (and I’m going to use ALL-CAPS for emphasis here): THE OUT-AND-OUT CONTEMPT THAT THE POWER STRUCTURE HAS FOR THE ELECTORATE!

      You see, Ms. Dixie Bear, Delegate Smigiel, Senator Pipkin, and all other elected officials owe Ms. Gregory, her sister, the rest of the Cecil County Patriots, and all other voters their respect BECAUSE THEY ARE VOTERS. Moreover, the Cecil County Patriots are owed respect because they are CONCERNED, CONSERVATIVE, and MOTIVATED voters – so concerned and motivated that they have banded together to form a citizens group.

      In Republican Primary Circles, these people are known as “THE BASE” – voters who are so motivated by their personal commitment to the issues that they are most certainly going to come out to the polls.

      They are, in fact, the very voters that Del. Smigiel is trying to court through his “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” effort.

      God forbid that you are affiliated with Del. Smigiel in any way – because if it were to appear that Del. Smigiel were trying to court voters that his team doesn’t respect, well, that’s the deepest form of political dishonesty.

      You see, I don’t seen anything nefarious ON THE SURFACE in Del. Smigiel’s effort. Del. Smigiel has also been a steadfast supporter of the Tea Party movement. In my opinion, there is no better Constitutional Scholar in the Maryland House of Delegates, someone who has courageously stood in opposition to the many tyrannies proposed by the majority party in Maryland. He, too, has spoken at major Tea Party events, and I consider him a good friend.

      Now, does this give him the right to create a “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” sticker and endorsement power? It gives him justification and credence – anyone has that right.

      In terms of each of the candidates he endorsed, the proof is in the pudding, as I am fond of saying. I can’t speak to any of their individual records (except Ted Patterson, who has my deepest respect for his long-time efforts. But I know Ted.). Besides, I wouldn’t dream of speaking ill, or otherwise trying to play around in internal Cecil County debates.

      But to answer your question: as a state-wide and national tea party leader, when I think of the Tea Party in Cecil County, I think of the Cecil County Patriots and Jackie Gregory (and her sis). And I take great offense at and comparsion of them, or their efforts, to the Nazis.

      • Thanks, Mr. Langer, for this important comment. Since you are not from Cecil County you are surprised, as well as rightly offended, at what we know is a persistent pattern by Mike Smigiel (AKA huggy bear, dixie bear, P7, etc) to invoke Nazis and fascism to tar his opponents.
        Smigiel has posted comments using the names of convicted Nazi war criminals on his blog to attack his enemies. This is part of his modus operandi. It is deeply offensive, and Smigiel knows it is, but he persists. The pattern of language, grammar and misspellings makes it clear that the ‘bears’ on here are Smigiel, Mr. Langer.
        For those who don’t know, Mr. Langer is a leading figure in tea party and conservative groups and causes on the Shore, in Queen Anne’s county and with his Washington group. His comments on his experience with the local “Patriots” group and its leaders are informative and, given his stature in the movement, very credible.
        Which means that the Smigiel and friends attempts to demean, attack and marginalize them are not to be believed.
        Mr. Langer has also spoken out elsewhere against the vicious, personal last minute attack on Del. Dick Sossi. The sleazy picture used in that flier could only have been taken by another Delegate or his aide on the House floor. We have a good idea who that was.
        If Smigiel et al have alienated local tea party voters and a leader like Mr. Langer, and are reduced to attacking fellow Republicans, heaven help the rest of us. What tactic is too low for them next?

      • Andrew Langer: What is your opinion of the sleazy, negative, and quite expensive hit-piece mailings against Delegate Dick Sossi? What is your opinion of someone who funds this type of attack through Dick’s opponent?

        • Bob, Mr. Langer has posted on his own Facebook page and on Mr. Sossi’s page about how upset he is about the attacks against Sossi. He has also said he is amazed that Smigiel/Pipkin have shown direspect to the voters and that the “Peter Principle” is at work in Dist. 36. (Rising to their own level of incompetence…) And this is from a very, very conservative Republican.

  14. With one week to go before the election let’s all be adult and stop making any false or slanderous remarks about the other canidates. We have stepped up to try to make the world we live in a better place and whether you agree with someone’s position or not show it in the election booth.
    If people are afraid to use their real names then what validity do their comments have. I am not ashamed of anything I have to say and if it offends someone then I am sorry but I am really tired of all this bickering. I hope we can all get past this and do what we think is right and stop attacking each other.
    Remember VOTE this election and let your voice be heard. This is the best way.

    Bill Feehley, CPA
    For
    Treasurer of Cecil County

  15. Billye Jo Jackson

    In reply to Donna Caudell’s and Al Reasin’s letters in the Cecil Times (whose editor is Nancy Schwartzler, former SPCA board president). I did not read Delegate Smigiel’s political advertisement as being an endorsement by the Tea Party and there was no mention of the Cecil County Patriots. I read it as his pledge to the citizens to reduce taxes, reduce spending and support job creation. Isn’t that mostly the same agenda of the Tea Party? So what is Caudell’s and Reasin’s problem with Smigiel using the Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved. Donna Caudell’s advice to not vote for the Pipkin-Smigiel team is not within the standards of the Tea Party. It is political advice and using her word”unconscionable”. Al Reasin made the comment “this is a sad day in politics”. He is correct especially when he and Caudell are trying to ruin honest candidates political careers.

    We as Americans are concerned and frustrated beyond our limits.
    Give us credit to make our own decisions. Don’t make it more difficult with misleading statements.

  16. Dixie Bear and the one and only BJ,
    Ah, such Kool-Aid you have sipped. Big Mike tells you, or writes for you, what you want to hear. If Mike said he was the king of england, and Queen E. said, no, he is not, I guess you would say, “well, there are a lot of kings and who is to say he is or is not the King.”
    Agree or not with the tenets of the Cecil County Patriots/tea party, but using their label to advance your own political career and those of your young acolytes is at best a joke and at worst a lie.

  17. Dixie Bear,
    Please come out of the cyber-closet, but I suspect you will not. Think about what you are saying, why would we go to great efforts to correct an error not caused by the local central committee, if we were somehow going to benefit? Why not do nothing and reap the rewards that you contend that just two candidates would benefit from?? How about the other five slots?? Who was going to benefit from that?? Do you think you have a bit of a logic problem?
    Oh, if you do come out of the cyber-closet bring Robert(a) Moore and Moe with you, it will make for some good entertainment! I have voter registration forms for them too.

  18. Louise, (Schwertzler—Cecil Times—etc. etc.)

    If they were holding Tea Parties in Cecil County before there was a Patriot group, when and where did the Patriot group get the authority to claim they are the only game in town? Why don’t you just admit that Jackie and Donna are using the name and organization to fund their own campaigns. I wonder what the rank and file members of this good organization think about the leadership taking the funds to do robo calls to attack fellow conservative republicans?

    Speaking of the robo calls, I saved mine and it appears to be illegal in that it violates the Federal and State law. I am sure the rank and file will enjoy being associated with the embarrassment to come from this ill thought action.

    I saw on Smigel’s blog today that he addressed the AFP group last night and gave the crowd the Tea Party -Tested Tea Party Approved test which they cheared. I guess the arguments that he and the others in the Fiscal Conservative Team had no connection with Tea Party activities is totally false. I guess now we will have three known liars in this election, The “I lied to the F.O.P. Sheriff, Ted {I don’t know when or where I ever met them} Kolodzey, and the We are the only Tea Party in Town Patriots.

  19. Mike “Dixie Bear” Smigiel, you are definitely in meltdown. I loved your middle paragraph. The legality comment (veiled reference to a lawsuit). was classic Smigiel. I thought your Robert Moore second paragraph about your husband working two jobs was a hoot BUT when you bragged about the Americans For Prosperity cheering their own message while passing it off as a Tea Party message you surpassed even your own prior deceits. The real irony is that you did so as a warm-up act for Lord Pipkin. [sentence removed by Someone Noticed] . . . Get a real job.

  20. prisoner number seven

    Wow! It seems that Bob Amato, err… Diogenes, has named just about every Republican outside his narrow clique as an enemy. Perhaps he believes in that “vast right-wing conspiracy” that Bill Clinton keeps referring to. I think they make pills that help with that now.

    It is interesting that he chose as his pen name a cynic who refused to recognize that Plato had anything to offer the field of philosophy. Time has proven Diogenes wrong just as time is proving that the old Republican Club’s elitist attitude has harmed the party. At least he didn’t accuse me of being a character from a 1960’s TV show as Louise did. Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  21. prisoner number seven

    Yes, Bill, I could use my real name but I know too well the retribution of the Republican Club’s political machine. Your comments are akin to Heinrick Himmler calling on the French Resistance to publish a membership list in order to prove their patriotism.

    • Prisoner #7 seems to be stuck in the same time zone as Dixie Bear. What’s with the WWII references? I think you are confusing Republican organizations. You probably mean the Republicans of Cecil, Young Republicans, Cecil County Spending Project, Republican Women’s Club, Republicans of Cecil Fiscal Conservative Team and Republican Fiscal Conservative Central Committee Team Conspiracy to Take Over Cecil County Political Machine.

  22. Now, hold on there! MIKE. We need your investigative expertise here. WHO are the REAL Tea Partiers? Are they the upstart, Johnny Come Latelies, the ones called the “Patriots.” I’m pretty sure that’s the group that announced a big July 4th, Independence Day rally to take place on Route 40 — and then cancelled at the last minute. Then they told their Cecil County band of brothers and sisters to get in their cars and drive over the Conowingo Dam to Bel Air, and barge in on the Harford Tea Party event . Or are they the original Tea Party group that held to first rally near McDonalds the year before? But that organization just seemed to evaporate when the “Patriots” group rode into Cecil and seemed to take over the operations. I don’t know. I am so confused. Or are they the “Tea Party Tested, Tea Party Approved” assemblage that I saw smiling out at me from the recent, professionally presented, “who-to-vote-for-in-next-week’s primary” advertisement. (They all seem like very nice people.) Or maybe it’s the nice, dedicated gentleman with the American flag that stands out on the highway each week. It all seems a bit confusing. Since you’re such a well known blogger and have connections with Elkton government leaders, maybe you could ask the Elkton mayor to make a call to Sarah Palin in Alaska. He probably has her number. If anyone would know about which Tea Party is the real Tea Party, I bet Sarah would. I’ll watch Someone Noticed to see what you can find out. But please sort it out before the primary. I need you to tell me who to vote for.

    • Zogloba:

      Most interesting this blogsworm as different factions of the Cecil County Republican party compete to see which slate gets the privilege to claim it supports true tea party principles! The issues has been churning in the blogosphere for a couple of weeks.

      Now It made the daily newspaper. Today the Whig reported that the Cecil County Patriots were angered because the other slates headed by Senator Pipkin and Del Smigiel advertised that they were “Tea Party Tested and Tea Party Approved.” That caused the Cecil County Patriot’s to say the slate had “hijacked the group’s name and cause.” The paper quoted Delegate Smigiel as saying “I think it is quite arrogant of the Patriots to think that they are arbiters of the entire Tea Party movement.” J. P. Weber, an organizer of the Annapolis Tea Party added in print that “Smigiel has been with the Tea Party since its inception. The reporter also observed that “Delegate Smigiel and Senator E. J. Pipkin have been at the forefront of the Tea Part movement for several years in Cecil County. I think that largely sums up the way the newspaper handled it.

      Indeed Zogloba as usually happens in Cecil County politicis this is a confusing tangle and there’s not much help in sorting out the real nature of the matter. But you can bet there’s a great deal of below the surface Republican politics in this back and forth arguing that has the web spinning as each side posts message back and forth, largely unsigned.

      What we can tell you on this cool Thursday evening as the midnight hour approaches Cecil County once again is this. The Whig had it right when they reported that Delegate Smigiel was in the forefront of the movement that advocated Tea Party like principles long before we had a a group that identified itself as the Cecil County Tea Party. We recall several intense county budget sessions when there was no such organization, but the Delegate and Senator were there arguing in support of everday citizens that simply wanted taxes lowered. The Charlestown meeting in that pre-tea party era was particularly intense. Over a few years the political and public pressure increased until this year the county for the first time in a long, long time held the line on a tax increase. Of course that caused real political infighting since the Republicans held a majority on the county board.

      Sometime after that along came that first group you made reference to the Cecil County Tea Party and they were always there with them as they formed the movement and held rallies. Whatever happened to that group or if there are two groups comepting, we not privy too. Nor we familiar with the internal politics of these Tea Party or Patriot Gruops in the county.

      But we were very surprised to see this argument about who supports tea party princples because we never had any question about that since they always met the test of advocating for those principles from our standpoint of someone watching outside the groups and reading the news. They were doing that long before the movement had taken shape nationaly and locally. Certainly these sorts of disruptions can’t be helpful, if they have a common goal of arguing for lower taxes and smaller govenrment.

      We suspect that this has lots more to do with old fashioned Cecil County Republican politics and control, as some want to maintain what they have. Generally the power structure hates to give up the status quo since it has served them well. It also had a lot to do with who is going to control the Republican ticket. We suspect much of this comes out of the internal politics of the Republican party especially when there were internal fights over the Republican controlled board raising our taxes, after the campaign said they wouldn’t do that. We also suspect it some lots to do with the FOP labor contract argument that just kept the county swirling around too as Senaor Pipkin and Del Smigiel stood with the rank and file deputies. Again we’re not sure about the internal Patriot politics that drives this, but this larger fight as members of the Republican Party’s central committee and other elected officials jump into the fight over which slate is tea party tested and tea party approved. Again that’s our take.

      As for asking Mayor Fisona for assistance in fact-finding, we don’t think he’ll be of any help. We’re working on another story on Elkton’s labor force and have been trying to get a comment from the official so we have something from a formal source. Thus far it appears we’re going to have to move the story without comments from the local official so don’t look for anything on the Tea Party, when we can’t get that local info. I guess we’re going to have to run the story as it stands, but we wanted to try once more before we publish so we don’t get hauled into Delegate Smigiel’s journalism 101 posts, like some other legacy media is.

    • Zogolba:

      See above. As a leader in the Tea Party movement both nationally and here in Maryland, I know who immediately comes to mind when I think of “tea party organization in Cecil County”.

  23. Mike Dixon: I’d like to comment on your analysis of Tea Party endorsement issue. It has nothing to do with what you describe as different factions (slates) of the Cecil County Republican Party competing for the right to claim adherence to Tea Party principles. There are two slates put forth by the Republicans of Cecil (club). One team is running as a slate for Central Committee and the other team for county and state government positions. Some are on both slates. There are no other slates running as “Republican”. Six members of the Cecil County Patriots have joined together to share efforts and advertising in their individual candidacies for Republican Central Committee. They are not registered as a slate under the Maryland election laws. They have neither sought nor received an endorsement from the “Patriots” organization or any “Tea Party” group. Their advertisement claims no affiliation or endorsement of any kind. The Republican Club of Cecil County has endorsed no candidates and has provided no candidate funds either directly or through it’s PAC. Seven of the twenty two candidates for Central Committee are running as individuals with no shared efforts or funding. Other Republican candidates for state and local offices in Cecil County are running as individuals. You refer to a power stucture that determines “who is going to control the Republican ticket”. There is not now nor has there ever been such a power structure. Any qualified individual can file to run for any office without permission from any other individual or group. That is the strength of our system of government. It seems that the local disagreement is simply over whether an individual or slate can claim to be “Tea Party approved”, as in endorsed or certified in some manner. I feel that I have a good perspective on this issue since I serve as Vice Chairman of the Republican Central Committee, President of the Republican Club of Cecil County, and am a candidate for Central Committee.

    • Bob: Thanks for sharing your perspective on this.

      When I say slate I’m not using that term in a formal way as defined under Maryland Code and procedures governing elections. A faction could just as easily be more appropriate. There are cleary a couple of camps with very different agendas at play here as competition heats up between the two factions or camps and the fighting gets down to the level of who can claim to best support the principles of the tea party.

      As for my assertion that it’s about who is going to control the political structure here locally, there a couple of things to consider. In any system there is a formally identified structure, and, of course, that was not what I was talking about. Often far more powerful is the behind the scenes control of organizations and structure and then apply that concept to politics. Oh my! That, in my opinion, is much of what this is all about, who (informally and behind the scenes) is going to control much of what gets done. There’s definitely a political fight for control going on, which is my perspective.

      That fight about which slate, camp, faction, cohort or cluster gets to claim the best title for supporting tea party principles. Oh what an argument that is. I’m sure the Democrats enjoy that one with great delight. (Notice what’s happening in Delaware.) Who holds the title of being the champ of tea party principles. I’m not famliar with the politics of the local tea party at all, and don’t see that name in print locally much since the early effort, where I did see high visibility activity. I’m not sure if this new group is a rebranding or if it is a more conservative faction of the tea part group. So who has the right to award that title? I thought the Whig actually summarized the situation rather well, and I summarized their reporting in my earlier piece as they gave their take on how tea part oriented one faction was.

      Anyway you certainly a Vice-Chairman of the Republican Central Committee have the insider track on lots of what’s going on. But that’s my take on the situation looking at it from a distance. I still think my interpretation of this unfolding scene is valid. Perhaps I’ll pull it together, tighten up the content some and produce a local commentary/news story for the front of Someone Noticed since Zogloba challenged me to do that in a humorous sort of way. I think we’ll forget calling Sarah Palin.

      Anyway I appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

  24. prisoner number seven

    Wow! Diogenes has pretty much named every Republican group except his old time Republican Club of Cecil County. With friends like this, who needs enemies? The Democrats thank you for your help in this election cycle.

    • P#7: I thought you feared retaliation. Does that mean you don’t fear the “Fiscal etc. same group in every organization” club ?

  25. Hey Bob, tell the world how you and Joe prohibited those setting up the Republican Central Committee webb site from including any thing about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights because it was too “Ron Paul” like. That does’nt sound like a very Tea Party friendly thing to do.

    How about asking the Young Republicans to work the chicken dinner, to provide workers, to bring specific items with the promise that they would share in the profits from the event and then breaking your promise and refusing to give them their share of the money they earned. Do you think that will entice more Young Republicans to get involved?

    How about asking Terri Moore to set up the Lincoln day dinner then having her decide to hold her own dinner with Santori as the guest speaker. Were you and Joe looking out for the Republicans when you allowed the Lincoln day dinner to be hijacked by Terri Moore?

    When Robert Hodge was called out by the Young Republicans for promising not to raise taxes and then breaking his campaign promise and allowing the property taxes to be increased why did you and Joe defend Robert and chastise all the Republicans who called him out for having broken his no new taxes promise?

    Your leadership has been one of self interest and not that of the party, there has been no principled leadership but rather one of self interest and ineffectiveness.

    • Hey Ted, The Central Committe has nine members. Joe and I each have a vote. A majority of the members voted to retain some original language from the prior website, removing some Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty talking points. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are definitely welcome on the site. I am not involved in the Tea Party controversy. How did that John Birch Society seminar you touted turn out.

      The “YR’s” were well aware of the rules and did not comply by providing the minimum number of workers. The “YR’s” were lucky to get anything. Maybe you could entice actual young Republicans by conducting the local franchise as a bona fide club rather than as an “in name only” way to give credibility to your personal agenda.

      Tari Moore was not a Central Committee member on a Lincoln Dinner committee. You could have participated. The dinner did not take place for several reasons and it was committee decision, confirmed by the Central Committee, to not hold a dinner. Rod later arranged for Rick Santorum to speak at a Reagan Dinner sponsored by the Republican Club. A successful Lincoln Dinner with Gov. Ehrlich was subsequently held by the Central Committee. As I recall you did not help with or attend either event. Tari Moore hijacked nothing.

      Robert Hodge as well as the other two Republican Commissioners including Jim Mullen were “called out” by the so-called YR’s in a letter to the Whig editor that the Central Committe would not authorize. You composed and signed the letter as YR President, but I doubt you received authorization of the membership or any other officer since the “YR’s” were not meeting at that time.

      Please give examples of my “leadership of self interest and not that of the party”. If you had bothered to attend conventions, community outreach events, and Central Committee sponsored dinners, and had attented Central Committee meetings more frequently you would have seen leadership. The Central Committe has been effective in spite of your disruptve behavior and petulent attitude. Republican voter registration has increased at a rapid rate and the bank accounts are healthy. You should know that because you, as a candidate for House of Delegates, received substantial funding . You also are aware that you expended virtually no effort in raising those funds. You also do not participate in community outreach events to provide candidate information and party promotion. You are a parasite on the Central Committee.

      I could give more examples of your self interest, but I am tired from having spent over twelve hours at the Central Committee booth at RiverFest.

  26. Bad news Bears! Tomorrow’s Patriot Day Celebrations have been cancelled because the local Patriot’s group has charged the Federal Gov’t with stealing their name to use for the memorial day. Patriot’s Spokeswoman Jackie G said Obama ain’t been at none of my Tea Parties so he ain’t no Patriot.

    Love Huggy Bear.

  27. Act II
    3. The Central Committee never asked Tari Moore to set up the Lincoln Day Dinner, the Republican Club of Cecil County had their own event with Senator Santorum (R-PA) at the Chesapeake Inn. The event was very nice. Where you there?? The Central Committee had it’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Charlestown at the Wellwood with Gov. Bob Ehrlich as a guest speaker. Where you there???
    4. Robert Hodge and fellow commissioners voted to make cuts to the constant yield in 2009 and cut taxes this year. The first time that had been done in a long time. Where were you for all those years the constant yield was exceeded?? Hibernating no doubt! Go Back to sleep and take your cubs with you.

  28. Dixie Bear,
    You must have been in hibernation for long periods of time because you did not the facts when crawled out of your cave. Since you refuse to use your real name, I can not directly meet with you to show you the facts, but here they are:
    1. The Republican Central Committee never refused to post the Constitution or Bill of Rights. What we refused to do is allow our website to be used for twitter and facebook because of the very actions that have been going on here and the inability to control inappropriate content.
    2. The Young Republicans and Republicans of Cecil(ROC) each received a half share of the proceeds because they failed to follow the rules. Neither club provided the required three workers each, furthermore they failed to bring supplies in the quantity required, showed up late for work and then some members falsified the time sheet. Nice fiscal conservation team they make. It was only by my good graces that they got anything because there was enough votes to take that action had I broken the tie vote. If you come out in the light I will show you the time sheet. To be continued…….

  29. Joe,
    Seriously dude? So where’s any reference on your site to the Bill of Rights or the Constitution?
    I thought Republicans were all about transparency? So now you want to control people’s comments so you won’t put up Facebook or Twitter for fear of what? That you might actually have to interact with the public?
    I heard rumors about the hoops that other Republicans have to jump through to share in the fundraisers… RIDICULOUS!! Either they did the work or they didn’t.
    And there’s a rumor RAMPANT in our fair county that you didn’t even bother to check the sample ballot for errors. Aren’t you the Chairman of the Republican Committee? Whose job is that in the committee?

  30. Mr. Joe “Care Bear” etta

    [sentence removed by Someone Noticed. Submission continues below as submitted] . . .

    Terri was on the committee to set up a Lincoln day dinner for the central committee. That dinner was cancelled after she said she could not get anyone to speak and then she found Sen. Santorum and instead of setting him up for the Republican Central Committee she took a page from the Robert Hodge School of public service and steered the benefit to her own self interests. Only much later was a Republican Central Committee dinner held.

    Your arguments about the young republicans and republicans of Cecil not contributing are absolutely false. That is why you went into a closed session of the Central Committee to do your dirty work. It was no different then going to Hodge’s place to decide how you will distribute the Republican Central Committee funds amongst the candidates. Your distribution idea is all backwards. Give virtually nothing to the incumbant State races where the races are the most expensive and throw bundles of cash at your cronies.

    Why not do the fair and smart thing of just publishing a sample ballot and checking off all republicans in the general election then sending it to all the Independant voters? That way everyone would get the same amount of bang for the buck and you could not be accused of playing favorites. Ohhh thats it, you would not be able to play favorites if you treated all republicans as equals.

    And your last point about Robert Hodge sticking to constant yield is hilarious. You do remember that he promised to hold the line on taxes then raised them, don’t you? You also remember that when Smigel and Pipkin called him out on it you and the Central Committee took the ridiculous positon that it could have been worse and that it was wrong for any republican to criticize him? You also remember that when Smigel and Pipkin put in the bill to force the Commissioner’s to stick to constant yield that Hodge hired a lobbyiest costing the taxpayers of Cecil County over $6,000 to fight the tax cap! It was only after the introduction of this legislation and the following battle that the Commissioners for the first time in 20 years reached constant yield and prevented a tax increase. You want to credit Hodge for doing what he was forced to do and what he fought against doing?

    Did you ever thank Pipkin or Smigel for their work in the legislature for making this happen? No, in fact I can’t remember the Republican Central Committee under your lack of leadership doing anything to support our Pipkin or Smigel.

  31. For all those comments on the chicken BBQ i’ve been working it for 7 years now. NO the YR’s didnt do their share. There have been rules set up for years, and the rest follow the rules, the YR’s must follow the rules. Frankly, they shouldnt have recieved any money. I guess rules mean nothing to some folks. If any club wanted part of the proceeds then they follow the rules. I made sure i took time off work, to be on time, all supplies where there on time and ready to use, and finally I helped clean up. When everyone doesnt follow rules then things do not get accomplished on a time line, which is exactly what happend. The YR’s lack of planning and choice not to follow the rules we were late starting.

  32. As far as the lincoln day dinner, and TARI Moore. It was Rod W that got Sen. Santorum. Its hard for who ever is writing this crazyness probably because they have never been involved with getting a larger name. Guess what, its on the speakers terms not yours. The RCCC can do what they want when they want. They need not have approval from the Central Committee.

    Second Point, it was Ted Patterson that wanted to talk in closed session, not Joe. So who ever pointed that out, ur wrong. Ted didnt want to argue, especially since it was Carrie Taylor [Note from Someone Noticed - Words removed from sentence] on the BBQ sign in sheet. He then wanted to have a closed session because he wanted more money for him, but didnt want to look greedy in front of other folks. Joe wanted to do it in front of everyone. Get ur facts straight. You’re a coward that wont list your name, so I’m glad your not out there.

  33. Phoebe and Huggy Bear (Two peas in a pod)
    Comments for Phoebe:
    I never stated that there were references to the Constitution and Bill of Rights on our web site. So what is your point? There was never a motion by a member to do such, but if a member make a motion we will entertain it.
    The committee voted not to use social media at this time because of a lack of content control. People like yourself would use it for their own agenda and not in the best interest of the Republican Party.
    You said it; “you heard rumors”, will I have heard rumors also but I check them out first. Again, for the last time, every club that obeyed the rules got an equal share of the proceeds. Want to see the books, then come out into the light!
    The responsibility to check the ballot falls on each and every candidate. So, using your theory 20 people failed to do their job. Two responsible candidates did their job, found the problem, and administratively corrected it without fanfare. Perhaps our state delegation could pass a bill to have all candidates or respective central committees approve the ballot. You are protesting to much about a problem that is solved. Are you possibly doing it for some favored candidates??
    Comments for HB:
    The Central Committee historically holds its Lincoln Day Dinner in late April or May to avoid weather problems and to allow legislative members to attend without conflict of interest. There is no conspiracy or hijacking, relax you can sleep well in hibernation. Oh, by the way please give credit where credit is due, Rod Wittstadt secured Sen Santorum.
    The committee voted to go into executive session to discuss the pay out to clubs, based on a motion made by Mr. Ted Patterson, again sleep tight.
    The distribution of funds was done in a fair and equitable manor and each proposed expenditure was voted on. Fair consideration was given to the candidates span of control and ability to raise funds. For instance, state level candidates typically get large donations of PAC money, very few county level candidates have that fund raising ability. You just told me something I was not aware of, that Ted Patterson is one of my cronies! Funny, I did not see my picture there right next to Ted on all those high dollar mailers that have filled my mailbox lately. He by far was voted the largest pay out of any candidate. By the way, please explain to the voters why the “Fiscal Conservative Team” is spending big dollars to gain seats on the Central Committee when the position pays nothing?? Does this fit with their stated objective??
    Yes, we met at the GOP HQ that has been generously donated by Commissioner Hodge and that host signs and literature for all Republican candidates. Sleep tight HB.
    We will look at every strategy involving our direct mailing once the primary is over, thank you for the suggestion. No favorites here, you can sleep tight.
    The County Commissioners lowered taxes, however it got done. The last time I checked there were five members of the Board of Commissioners, Robert is only one vote. What did the others vote to do? Our job on the Central Committee is not to attack a fellow Republican, please understand the position. Perhaps a little sleep will help.
    Yes contrary to your beliefs, I have helped them in many ways. For example a month ago while Ehrlich sign team was out putting up signs we noticed a downed Pipkin/Smigiel sign at Cayots Corner. The team led by Robert Hodge and including myself, my wife and Ed “Hudson’s Dad” Dedrick repaired the sign using our materials and labor. Furthermore, I have more than once purchased a table at Del. Smigiel’s crab feast which is held outside Cecil County and attended other fund raisers at my expense. They both will receive checks from the Central Committee after the primary. Please check the campaign fiance reports before you come out of hibernation.
    Sleep tight, there are no conspiracies, the sky is not falling and the sun will rise tomorrow…..

  34. Wow, I’m sorry, I meant WOW.

    Now I remember why I stepped back from the political fray for so many years…. Republicans eat their own and I can’t begin to bear the thought of associating with those who think the likes of OWE’Malley, BO, M. Bush, etal are worthy of leading anything beyond the outhouse cleaning brigade.

    Huggy Bear, beyond the fact that you’re even less informed than me, you’re just plain a couple of cards short of a full deck. Look around your den for the missing cards, then come to play.

    Let me summarize the essence of the “TEA party tested….” fiasco for those of you breathing up there in the Stratosphere…. ya ready? Here we go:

    Oh wait, before I get rolling, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m the only member of the Patriots steering committee who’s not yet been heard from.

    1) Unless someone can show me another group of activists in the county actually working the proverbial grass roots to build a solid foundation of conservatism upon which a rational ruling majority can be built, we’re it, so no-one else can claim the title within Cecil County.
    2) From my first moment of involvement, our internal goals have been to maintain ourselves as NON-PARTISAN and to encourage people to take a pro-active approach to fixing what ails us as a society. That means NO endorsments, no approvals, no organizational support of any kind. We’ve been faithful to that objective.

    Based on those two irrefutable facts, as a group the Patriots steering committee took justifiable offense to the “TEA Party Tested…” claims because it conveys an untrue impression to those within Cecil County who share our values and goals but have not been active in the organization.

    I don’t recall anyone claiming that NO-ONE on that Slate can lay a legitimate claim to that motto. That said, it can’t be legitimately denied that some among that Slate have, in fact, “declined” to participate in the work done by the only active game in town that’s not an expressly R entity. I’ve heard that some among them have been knocking the Patriots efforts, at least in part because we WON’T take a partisan stand. I know for a fact that at least one member of the Slate who was originally active with the Patriots has made grossly misleading, if not willfully false statements about a primary opponent after “declining” to face that opponent in an open debate. THAT is both gutless and in my view, childish. However, since I’m a Reagan Republican who refuses to provide fodder for my real opponents in the General, I’ll not go tossing any names into the discussion (but YOU know who you are).

    I don’t give an unmentionable rodent body part about activities elsewhere in the State… THIS debate concerns the impression conveyed to people in Cecil County who are not involved in the process beyond showing up on Election Day and touching the screen.

    I doubt that the Slate intended to be misleading, but it can’t reasonably be denied that many will be misled. It also can’t be denied that the claim in question damages our credibility as a non-partisan organization. Yes, we are predominately Republicans, but we’re CONSERVATIVES FIRST. I’ve told meetings more than once that the Democrats among us should NOT leave their Party, they should rather become involved within their Party and dethrone the radical libs that control it. Before anyone gets their undies in a wad, I’ve no idea about the nature of the local party, but I defy anyone to claim with a straight face that the State and National Dem Party don’t fit my description. The truth of the matter is that JFK , Truman and Humphrey would not likely get past the NH Primary in today’s Dem Party. Jefferson would be calling up the militias against them. Anyone who denies that is simply profoundly ignorant about the history of those four Dem icons.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I certainly don’t see how the actions of our Annapolis delegation on the FOP issue reflects TEA party goals. When the State usurps the authority of the local commissioners and imposes it’s will upon the people who have to find a way to pay for that State action, it can hardly be described as supportive of smaller, less intrusive gov’t of the people , by the people… THAT qualifies in my mind as just another unfunded mandate and should NEVER have happened. I don’t care that the rank & file deputies wanted it, I’m not even saying they didn’t deserve the ultimate result. BUT, the battle should have been fought and the decision reached here in Cecil County, not Annapolis. Mssrs Smigiel and Pipkin could have served as mediators or advocates, but they had no business imposing their solution on the Commissioners.

    For what it’s worth, I firmly believe my arguments as presented here justify either a retraction of the “Tea Party Tested…” claim, or a widely publicized acknowledgement that the local TEA party organization endorses no-one for office, not even members of it’s own leadership team, and that it did NOT endorse this slate of candidates.

    That said, how’s about we on the R side of this little debacle put our big boy and girl undies on and focus on beating Dems in November instead of giving them rocks to throw at whoever wins our primaries.

    • Nick Cusmano: I was ready to hand you the lamp except for your statement “I doubt that the Slate intended to be misleading”. While I realize you were just making nice, it is wasted on the Slatemasters. You are obviously a well read man. I am reminded of the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog. The Slatemasters can’t help it. It is their nature.

    • Nick,with all due respect, I followed this issue closely. (FOP) If you read the bill that they introduced you would see that it was meant to have it brought to vote of the citizens. I thought that was the essence of the Tea Party movement–for elected leaders to LISTEN to the citizens.
      In what way could a long standing problem have been better solved than by asking the US what WE wanted from our government.? Personally I would have liked the opportunity to have it voted on, once and for all. Apparently, the Commissioners disagreed.

  35. Diogenes:

    Being new to this site, I can’t be sure but I think there may have been a vote of confidence in that comment… then again, it may have been a discrete slap.. who knows. ;-) .

    In either case, if you were thinking of handing me the lamp with which to lead others from the wilderness, thanks but I’ll pass if it’s all the same to you. Those who know me know that my plate is quite full.

    As far as the “Slatemasters” go, early in my post I admitted to having been out of the fray for a long time… so I’ll leave the determination of what’s in the heart of others to those far wiser than I. However, it seems to me the “…in their nature” … part can be equally true whether it’s fundamental cause is a matter the of willful desire to deceive or simply the result of chronic self-delusions of grandeur.

  36. Mr. Cusmano: Discrete slaps are not in my nature. Handing over the lamp is my decision, acceptance is yours. Honesty is not a chore but a blessing. Willfulness indicates a deliberate choice. You seem to be a modest man not in the sense of a fig leaf, but rather in the realizaion that we learn and grow as long as we live.

  37. Ah, interesting reading; seeing who will say what, under what name. Nick, thanks for your input and all those who were transparent; it is refreshing to read statements made by real people. Usually, then, the missives are more fact oriented and less just nasty personal attacks.

    All take care and be safe.

  38. Phoebe:
    There were multiple reasons that the Founders established a Representative Republic rather than a Democracy and that the States followed suit. High among those reasons are that Democracy is doomed to failure as a result of (in no particular order):

    1) Votes cast by a largely un-informed electorate
    2) The ease with which those who stand to gain can mislead.
    3) The tendancy of people to vote their own interest over that of society at large.

    I do not believe you’d find many among TEA activists who favor abandonment of our Representative gov’t in favor of the tyranny of a system in which those chosen to make the tough choices hide behind democratic referenda whenever it gets too hot.

    I stand by my position that long standing issues such as FOP should be fought out and decided locally with no interference from Annapolis. If We the People want another part of our gov’t Unionized, daily rsidential trash pickup or a security guard posted outside every suspected drug house in the county, yet those whom we’ve elected say “NO”, it’s our responsibility to replace them rather than allowing them to retain “power” that they are unwilling/unable to use.

    Most people cast their referenda votes based on the tiny summary squeezed onto the ballot, having made NO effort to read, let alone understand, the actual bill. For that reason, I oppose their use.

    In my veiw Messrs Smigiel & Pipkin were/are more than welcome to advise, cajole, press or promote postions on local issues to whatever extent they deem appropriate. However, should the locally responsible elected Commissioners remain unable to reach an agreement satisfactory to them and those for whom they are acting, that local impasse should stand until new Commissioners can be elected or those presently in Office can be convinced to change their minds.

    Do you really believe that if the majority of input being rec’d by the Commissioners favored the desires if Messrs Smigiel and Pipkin on this issue, they would have continued to stand against it? My money says they were standing in support of the views voiced by most of those contacting their offices or them directly. THAT is how the system is supposed to work.

  39. Pingback: Commentary: Question of Whether They Support Tea Party Principles Causes Blogswarm | Someone Noticed

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