The Maryland Republican Party is in a celebratory mood and with good reason after having won back the governor’s mansion after an 8-year run by Democrats and gains in the state house that gave them  the highest number of state delegates in their history.  They’re still in the minority by a large margin but their election showing has buoyed their hopes for the future.

That improved mood was evident at the state party convention this past weekend at the Turf Valley hotel and conference center in Howard County which was attended by approximately 300 delegates and guests as they basked in the November victories and elected party officers for a two-year term.

While there were a few contested races, there was a glitch in the voting during one of the contests when the complex formula used to calculate votes failed.

I say complex because three years ago delegates narrowly voted to approve a formula based on how the counties voted for the gubernatorial candidate.  The net effect was to reward the more Republican areas of the state with more weighted votes at the expense of heavily Democratic counties.  In essence they the out the one-man, one-vote principle and made it impossible for anyone trying to simply count votes to see how their candidate was doing.

There are 303 central committee members that are eligible to vote in a state party election.  Thanks to the convoluted formula, there are 540 point something total possible votes.

When the formula failed state party chairman Diana Waterman was left in a lurch as the person who devised the formula had left the convention and another person who could have helped couldn’t be found.  They eventually fixed the problem and voting continued, but if one-man, one vote (what a concept!) had been in place as it should have been , this problem never would have occurred.

Many of those running for office this past weekend professed their support of the return to this simpler and more logical method, but delegates have heard this before with no action being taken.

The Republican Party is on the upswing in Maryland, but this issue divides many central committees and creates rifts that will prevent the party from moving forward in a big way.  It’s not easy being a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, but the ill will among various central committees  threatens to stall further progress and the state party hierarchy needs to  get their heads out of the sand an fix this if they want to move forward as a unified party.

 

 

hogan2 (1)

Republicans in Maryland are partying today like it’s 2002, after businessman Larry Hogan beat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown by a 51.5% to 46.8% margin and in the process becoming the first Republican to hold that office since Bob Ehrlich won a dozen years ago.

Hogan ran a smart campaign by focusing on jobs, taxes and the state of the Maryland economy, reminding voters that the O’Malley-Brown administration was responsible for over 40 tax increases during the last eight years and that i was time for a change which fit perfectly with his Change Maryland group which he started several years ago and served as the base for his campaign launch.

This election was much like 2002 when Ehrlich, ran against Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend- who added her maiden name in an effort to try and woo voters who liked the Kennedy clan, but who was a very weak candidate much like Anthony Brown was this year.

Brown was handicapped by the tax and spend record of the Democrats and failed miserably in trying to spark any enthusiasm from the Democratic base.

Even so, the race was Browns to lose with a 2-1 registration advantage that should have all but guaranteed him a victory.

Instead he stumbled much like Townsend did by losing counties that O’Malley had either won or was competitive in his two victories.

Here were the keys to Hogan’s victory;

Baltimore County – won by 52,000 votes which is comparable to Ehrlich’s 64,000 vote margin in 2002.  In 2006 the margin was just 8,000 votes and in 2010 he lost by 1,000 votes.

Howard County- won by 5,000 votes.  Ehrlich’s margin of victory  in 2002 was 10,000, but lost Howard by less than 700 votes in 2006 and 10,000 in 2010.

Montgomery County- lost by 61,000 votes. Ehrlich lost by 67,000 in 2002, but that grew to 78,000 in 2006 and 109,000 in 2010.

By winning Baltimore and Howard and reducing the deficit in Montgomery, Hogan robbed Brown of the votes he needed to offset the traditional Republican strongholds on the Eastern shore and Western Maryland and cleared a path to victory.

Hogan was criticized by some Republicans for spending so much time and money in Montgomery County, where it’s virtually impossible for a Republican to win, but the goal wasn’t to win as much as it was to get 40% of the vote.  Hogan fell short of that with almost 37%, but that was far better than Ehrlich’s 30.5% in 2010 comparable to Ehrlich’s 38% from his winning campaign in 2002.

The Brown campaign may go down as the worst Democratic gubernatorial effort in Maryland history, as he garnered 43,00 fewer votes than Townsend- who was the standard bearer of bad campaigns until yesterday and was a whopping 275,000 votes less than O’Malley received in 2010.  All this while Hogan increased the Republican vote totals by 70,000 and was more than Ehrlich had managed to get in the last two elections.

While winning the governor’s race is a big deal in deep blue Maryland, the reality is that Hogan will be severely limited in what he can accomplish over the next four years as he still faces an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature, but any progress he makes by blocking and  slowing down ruinous Democratic policies will be a victory for all Marylanders.

Hogan

One of the biggest surprises of this election season has been the governor’s race in Maryland where Republican businessman Larry Hogan is taking on Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown turning what should have been a runaway victory for the Democrats into an increasingly tight race that is attracting national attention.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.  Hogan, who runs a real estate firm in Anne Arundel County, served as former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s Appointments Secretary and entered the race with probably the best name recognition among the four Republican candidates and easily won the primary as expected.

His next task was to focus on Brown and how to beat the incumbent Lt. Governor in a state where the Democrats hold more than a 2-1 registration advantage, and who also had raised millions of dollars for the race.

Rather than get bogged down in social issues which may matter to conservatives, but are poison in deep blue Maryland, Hogan chose to focus on an economic message of jobs and taxes- especially the latter since the O’Malley-Brown administration has been responsible for over 40 tax increases in their eight years in office, including a one-cent increase in the sales tax and a gas tax increase that pegs the taxes to the increase in inflation.  What a brilliant idea! Peg a tax increase to inflation-which we know will increase by some measure every year and therefore guarantee a stream of revenues to the Democratically controlled legislature forever even though taxpayers aren’t guaranteed raises to pay for the taxes.  And by the way- both the sales tax and gas tax hits the lower end of the economic scale the hardest- a group that the Democrats are supposedly the champions of.

This strategy, which the Brown campaign had dismissed is working for Hogan as Democrats who are tired of the increasing tax burden are increasingly warming up to Hogan’s message.  That forced Brown to pledge in one of the debates to not to increase taxes during his term- which voters are having a hard time believing considering his track record in Annapolis.

With the polls showing an increasingly tight race, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has put the weight of the Republican Governors Association behind Hogan with money and his endorsement.  Christie has come to Maryland to help Hogan, capping it with an appearance Sunday in Baltimore to a packed house of enthusiastic and reenergized Republicans.

While Hogan has been eating into Brown’s base, his best hope is for a scenario like 2002 when Robert Ehrlich beat incumbent Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to become the first Republican governor in Maryland in 36 years.  There are some similarities to that race with Brown, like Townsend being a weak candidate and with Democrats showing little enthusiasm for Brown.

A measure of that lack of enthusiasm are the appearances of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, which drew small crowds and those that came mainly wanted pictures of the politicians and didn’t come to hear Brown.

Brown still has the edge in this race thanks to the Democrats large registration advantage, but thanks to his weak campaign, an-off year election and early voting numbers that were designed to help the Democrats showing that they are not very interested in this race spells trouble for Brown.

Democratic apathy though will not be enough to propel Hogan to victory. Republicans must turn out to vote and the independent/unaffiliated voters-which is the fastest growing group of voters in the state also need to cast their votes for Hogan in above average numbers.

Republican voters in Maryland often complain that their vote doesn’t really matter.  While that may appear true in most years this year is different and their votes are crucial if they are serious about ending one-party rule in the state.

Cathy

While most websites noted the death of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy by focusing on his rags-to-riches story of building the largest chicken chain in America, the liberals at TheWire.com decided to take a parting shot by labeling Cathy as “polarizing” in its obituary.

SEP 8, 2014 8:13AM ET / NATIONAL

Chick-fil-A’s Polarizing Founder S. Truett Cathy Has Died

The wire pointed to an article in Forbes to back up their claim that Cathy was polarizing, but that article focuses on Cathy’s son Dan who is the president and CEO of the company.

In 2012, Cathy inadvertently occupied the center of a national firestorm when comments he made against same-sex marriage were widely reported just as ballot initiatives to legalize gay marriage were being introduced in four states.

Even if the same-sex brouhaha was about S. Truett Cathy, it still isn’t a reason to call him polarizing.  The company is private and can say and do what it wants.  If customers don’t like it they can take their business elsewhere, which some did. At the same time conservatives rallied behind the company and turned out in droves to show their support after the media and the LGBT bullies pounced on the company.

What irks liberals in the media is that Chick-fil-A continues to prosper despite holding to Christian principles which include closing on Sundays which is unheard of in the fast food industry.

Cathy is probably having a big hearty laugh in heaven.

 

 

 

Jennifer_Lawrence

The weekend release of nude photos of over 100 Hollywood celebrities who apparently had their iCloud accounts hacked has stirred anger and outrage from those that were exposed in more ways than one.  While the hacking is clearly illegal, all the anger and angst at the pictures spreading across the web are being directed at the wrong target.

As comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted, if you don’t want your nude pictures on the web perhaps you shouldn’t take any, or at least not store them where they can be hacked.

Gervais was hammered to what Hollywood saw as insensitive though it was just common sense.

Are Hollywood stars narcissistic? Yes.  Why else would you take nude photos of your beautiful and often cosmetically enhanced body?  And don’t tell me you haven’t sent a few of those pics to paramours in an effort to excite them.  We know that happens all the time.

It is always beyond me why those in Hollywood or otherwise cry foul when nude pics or sex tapes wind up in the public domain, either free or for a fee.

Just admit your a narcissist and move on.  And don’t take any more nudie pics unless you want to repeat this episode in the future.

Hillary

Hillary Clinton, whose book tour hasn’t exactly gone as planned, defended her high college speaking fees by saying she donates those fees to charity- The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Clinton was trying to fend off criticism of the massive wealth she and Bill have accumulated since leaving the White House, when she made her comments to ABC’s Ann Compton.

All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation.

That’s generous of her. While the donated money doesn’t add to her family’s wealth it does keep them in the spotlight and advances their personal agenda which could benefit her if she decides to run for president again in 2016.

Clinton said the point of her speaking tours isn’t to collect money, but to spar debate about income equality- and based on her $200k plus speaking fees makes her the poster child for income inequality. That just shows how out of touch she really is.

Hillary’s college speaking fees have come under fire recently when students as the University of Nevada Las Vegas demanded that she turn down the $225,000 the university is scheduled to pay her for a speech in October. This has led to an investigation of Clinton’s speaking fees at other schools which has shown that she has found the college speaking circuit very lucrative.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the former Secretary of State as she has been criticized for saying that she and Bill were “dead broke” when the left the White House and struggled to pay their mortgages (plural), and that they weren’t “truly rich,” despite earning over $100 million since 2001.

In 2012, the Democrats made a big deal of Mitt Romney’s vast wealth, but at least he built businesses and created jobs. Hillary’s wealth has been created by writing books and giving speeches,- not exactly something that benefits the middle class and gets Americans working again.

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Photo by Rex C. Curry Associated Press

As expected Sen. Ted Cruz easily won the presidential straw poll at the Texas state Republican convention this past weekend in Ft. Worth, but the margin of victory over Gov. Rick Perry was the real story. Cruz, the freshman Tea Party Senator, “cruised” to victory with 43.4 percent of the vote.  Coming in a distant second was Dr. Ben Carson-who wasn’t even at the convention with 12.2 percent, narrowly edging out Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who garnered 12.1 percent of the vote.  Finishing a disappointing fourth was Perry, who spoke at the convention and is leaving office after a record 14 years leading the state.

Perry who ran for president in 2012, but flamed out after a disastrous debate where he lost his train of thought, is believed to be a potential 2016 candidate and has been relatively popular in Texas, but he left the convention badly wounded with his poor showing.

In general straw polls don’t matter that much and are generally conducted with 1,000 or so votes.  But in Texas there were over 5,000 votes cast and Perry just totally fell flat.  If he has finished a distant second that would have been okay, since Cruz has become a star on the national stage.  But not only did he finish fourth he trailed Ben Carson who is gaining greater national prominence but has never held public office and has avoided any discussion of any presidential aspirations.

Perry wasn’t really ready to run in 2012, and it’s still early, but to badly lose a straw poll in his home state can’t be good for his chances going forward.

 

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