Be sure to read an important update on Ryan Miner from April 2014.
Ryan Miner is still a thorn in the side of the David Vogt campaign. Miner was originally scheduled to be in court yesterday (9/5/13) on his DUI charges after he was stopped on the way home from the Anne Arundel County Lincoln Dinner earlier this year. Before he left the event, he drunkenly accosted Dan Bongino outside. Due to a scheduling conflict, his trial has been moved to 9/26/13 at 9 a.m. in Westminster.
I spoke with an attorney about what sort of punishment Miner might get if he were to make a plea bargain on the charges. I was told that the best case scenario for Miner (which is an unlikely one) is that he gets Probation Before Judgement (PBJ) and liberal terms of probation. The worst case scenario would be spending a weekend in jail. Somewhere in the middle is the possibility of PBJ with strict terms of probation which would give him plenty of other opportunities to screw up.
Miner abruptly left David Craig’s campaign after the confrontation and drunk driving charges. The primary reason he was working for Craig was because of his hatred of Bongino, who fired Miner from his 2012 campaign. After Bongino announced he was running for Congress instead of Governor, rumors of Miner helping out Vogt started popping up almost immediately.
As more evidence of Miner’s role in the Vogt campaign emerged, I wrote about it. I pointed out what I’d found about Miner running social media for the campaign and I also sent an email on July 24 to Vogt’s email address that I’d sent media inquiries to (and received responses) before. I never received an email response from Vogt. On August 8, I sent along a copy of a criminal complaint filed against Ryan Miner and reiterated my inquiry. I still got no response. On August 10, Vogt’s campaign account unfollowed me on Twitter.
Vogt had been ignoring questions from others on Twitter for weeks asking about my previous reports on Miner and on his role in the campaign. On August 21 during a Twitter Town Hall a questioner asked “Vogt” about the questions I had raised.
I put Vogt’s name in quotations because it’s not clear exactly when Ryan Miner might be tweeting and when Vogt himself might be. (Most well-run campaigns and elected officials use a system that makes it clear when the actual candidate is tweeting and when it’s a staffer.)
Here was the August 21 question:
Before his exchange with Vogt on August 21st in which he made 4 tweets, Troy Mathis had made 5 whole tweets in the prior year. Mathis still hasn’t made another tweet since the end of his August 21st exchange with Vogt. Mathis has a blog with three posts on it that were all made in a three month period ending in January of 2011. I’m not going to say Mathis was put up to the tweets by the Vogt campaign. Instead, I’ll leave that up to my readers to decide.
Here are Vogt’s replies that night (read from the bottom up):
Vogt’s campaign finally confirmed what everyone already knew – that Miner was involved in the campaign. He (or Miner if it was him making the tweets that night) dodged any of the actual issues involved with having Miner on the campaign. There have been other people on Twitter who keep bringing the issues up to Vogt and get ignored usually. However, yesterday Vogt got questioned:
Then Vogt answered and I decided to jump in:
After that Vogt never responded. Taking Vogt’s tweet to its logical conclusion – Scott Markle lives in the 6th District, would he be allowed to volunteer for the Vogt campaign? Would Don Dwyer be allowed to volunteer for the campaign? I could really take this to its logical extreme and name some pretty heinous people and ask if they would be allowed to volunteer for the campaign. I wonder if David Vogt himself actually saw the above tweets. It would actually be worse for him if he did. Maybe he can claim it was all Ryan Miner’s handiwork as he finally throws him under the bus, like many other campaigns already have done.
Let’s review Miner’s situation before we continue on today’s events.
Ryan Miner took a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to assault and harassment after being charged with hitting his ex-fiancee with a police baton, posting topless pictures of her on the internet, waiting outside her employer and residence, and threatening her with a gun held to her head.
- Miner claims he was fired from a “great opportunity” due to his anti-gay remarks.
- He was fired by WHAG and barred from the property.
- He was fired by Don Munson after the information on his stalking and harassment charges and conviction came out.
- He was fired by Dan Bongino’s campaign for multiple reasons, some of them related to harassment.
- He abruptly left the David Craig campaign after his drunken confrontation and DUI became news.
- He apparently was let go from the Knowland Group, his full-time employer after the same news.
These are the standards the David Vogt campaign is setting when it has Ryan Miner running their social media.
Later, @atholton had Vogt’s press secretary Cam Harris jumping on him via Twitter about the earlier exchange.
After the Twitter exchange I excerpted above, a decent amount of time later (long enough for Vogt staffers to call the cavalry), two people came to defend Vogt against the mean man picking on him. One was a young lady whose name and Twitter handle I won’t include to protect the ignorant. She was obviously not familiar with politics and didn’t have a political Twitter feed at all. From the looks of her Followers and Following she may be a friend of the Vogt family who was called in to defend his campaign.
The other person was someone named Danny Turner started spouting the same slogans that have made Vogt a virtual Johnny One Note on Twitter. If you look at some of Turner’s later tweets last night he says something interesting:
Turner also has another Twitter account here. I’ve looked through both of them for other things that he might have tweeted. One of the things I found:
Common law courts are a part of the Sovereign Citizen movement. The link above about the document to read can be found here. Be sure to go to the link to see exactly what is being discussed straight from the horse’s mouth.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has featured an article on the Sovereign Citizen movement.
The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing.
In the news recently:
On August 22, 2013, David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman were arrested for plotting to abduct, torture and kill Las Vegas police officers in order to attract attention to the sovereign citizens movement. They reportedly attended sovereign citizen philosophy training sessions, bought guns, and found a vacant house for their activities. The two allegedly planned to torture and kill police officers and are alleged to have created videos explaining their actions and why officers had to die.
It would appear that Turner is involved in the Sovereign Citizen movement. I remember in the 1990s when I first heard of sovereign citizens, common law courts, militias, and all of the things that go along with that. Are those fringes where Vogt is counting on getting enough support to win the election?
Vogt has already admitted there are no standards for those helping his campaign, even ones with responsibilities as formal as Miner’s.
I don’t know how the primary will turn out, but birther Brandon Rippeon is looking more and more credible everyday compared to Vogt. I can imagine what the Democrats and John Delaney would do to Vogt in a general election if they did a really deep research dive. I can’t imagine the fundraising impact of the things detailed above.
David Vogt served honorably as a Marine. The nation owes him its thanks for that. However, that doesn’t mean he is above political criticism, especially when it is well-deserved.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.