MDCANIt isn’t easy being a conservative in Maryland, and if last weekend’s MDCAN  Turning the Tides conference was any indication, it won’t get any easier in 2014.

The conference hosted by what was original called Maryland Conservative Action Network, and is now the Maryland Citizen Action Network, had been building steam since its first conference in 2011 with 100 plus attendees, growing to an estimated 350 last year.  But since that conference, the organization has lost two key players, and decided to change its name slightly, making some conservatives wonder whether or not MDCAN was trying to move away from its conservative roots.

This slight bit of turmoil showed this past weekend when the organization held its fourth conference with just over 100 registered attendees and maybe 75 actually in attendance.  But that shouldn’t really be that surprising as the agenda was more workshop oriented and lacking any star power whatsoever.  There wasn’t a politician in sight- which might be a good thing in many cases, but in an election year its inexplicable.

Admittedly, last year’s attendance would have been hard to top, but it is an election year and a great opportunity to get conservatives energized for the elections.  And politicians will show up for an audience of almost any size, especially when you’re Republican in Maryland.

Now there’s nothing wrong with nuts and bolts training, but it shouldn’t be the main feature of a conference that has built a reputation for discussing the hot political topics and was creating a buzz around the state.  All of that is lost now.

While there was some controversy during the youth panel when immigration came up, MDCAN really lost credibility when it allowed Scott Strzelczyk of the Western Maryland Initiative to explain why he thinks that part of the state should secede and that there should be 200 states, not 50.  No wonder the liberal media thinks conservatives are kooky.

Maybe next will be better, but I wouldn’t bet on it.