UPDATE: Here’s a picture of Larry Hogan speaking at the event for Paul Comfort that was posted on the Change Maryland Facebook page. The picture was originally captioned, “Larry speaking to the crowd at tonight’s event in Queen Anne’s County.” After that it was edited to say, “Larry speaking to the crowd at tonight’s event for Paul Comfort in Queen Anne’s County.”
I had never heard of Paul Comfort before until Michael Swartz posted a link to Comfort’s campaign NationBuilder site on a post I made on Facebook about a previous post here. It turns out that a fundraiser for Paul Comfort for Queen Anne’s County Commissioner is why Hogan won’t be in Waldorf tonight at a GOP event attended by David Craig, Ron George, Charles Lollar, and Brian Vaeth.
When I initially wrote about Hogan missing tonight’s Charles County GOP Lincoln-Douglass Dinner (which will be attended by all the other candidates), I noted that scheduling conflicts happen a lot. I wondered aloud what kind of event it might be to cause Hogan to pick it over an event where all his opponents would be present, but Hogan’s campaign did agree to send Boyd Rutherford after being asked, I also speculated as to whether Hogan might avoid trying to be in the same room as Bishop E.W. Jackson Even when I later posted information that turned out to be wrong – that Hogan’s conflict was “apparently” a Lions Club event of some sort, I didn’t criticize the decision anymore. I even hinted that it could be just sour grapes from people in Charles County who were supporting their local candidate, Charles Lollar.
However, now we know that instead of going to an event that will help raise money for all Republicans in Charles County, Hogan is going to help put money in the campaign account of a candidate (Paul Comfort) that will be used against two other fellow Republicans running in the prmary. In fact, Paul Comfort was fired as County Administrator in Charles County in 2009.
The event tonight is at 6 p.m. at Annie’s Steakhouse in the Kent Narrows. It’s mentioned on Comfort’s website.
However, something funny happens when you go look at Comfort’s campaign Facebook page.
On February 7, the campaign announced via Facebook that Larry Hogan would be special guest at a Comfort fundraiser on February 28 (even though the status incorrectly indicated that was two weeks away instead of three.)
I’m pleased to announce that Larry Hogan, the leading Republican candidate for Maryland Governor and founder of Change Maryland, will be the special guest at my fundraiser event two weeks from tonight. The Comfort for Commissioner Dinner will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM at Annie’s Paramount Steak & Seafood House in the Kent Narrows. Tickets are only $40 per person and $75 per couple. Sponsorships are available.
On February 13, the Comfort campaign posted a picture of Larry Hogan on Facebook along with this note:
Only two weeks left for you to get your seat at our Comfort for Commissioner Fundraiser Dinner on Friday, February 28 at 6:00 PM at Annie’s Paramount Steak and Seafood House in the Kent Narrows. Come meet our special guest – Larry Hogan – founder of Change Maryland and Republican Candidate for Maryland Governor, enjoy a great Annie’s buffet dinner and support my campaign for Queen Anne’s County Commissioner all for only $40 per person and $75 per couple.
Reserve your seat now at www.comfort4commissioner.com!
Fast forward to February 21 and you will see that Larry Hogan’s name is not included in a Facebook post on the event (emphasis added):
One week before my Comfort for Commissioner Fundraiser Dinner at Annie’s Paramount Steak and Seafood House in the Kent Narrows – Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM.
Looks like we are going to have a full house!! I’m excited that so many existing office holders plan to attend as well many new friends and other candidates.
Take time today to reserve your seat by going to my website and ordering your ticket… www.comfort4commissioner.com
Your name will be on our reserved list at the sign in table. Come enjoy an Annie’s Buffet Dinner with all the “fixins”, meet the Republicans [sic] leading candidate for Governor and hear about my plan to keep Queen Anne’s County a great place to live, work and play. Thank you.
Then, last night, this was posted on the Comfort campaign’s Facebook page and Hogan’s name is missing again:
I attended several events this week and heard from many folks who are supporting my campaign and plan to attend our fundraiser event tomorrow night. Thank you.
We have a full house but still room for you. Feel free to stop by Annie’s Paramount Steak House in the Kent Narrows tomorrow night (Friday, 2.28) at 6:00 PM for a fun time of food, fellowship and figuring how we can make our county and state a better place for all of us.
My earlier email inquiries didn’t yield a response from the Hogan campaign for most of the day today. However, I finally received an email later this afternoon (3;41 p.m. in my inbox) from the Hogan campaign which says:
Larry is the keynote speaker at a major event on the Eastern Shore, which he was already committed to.
There’s still no mention of where he’s going from the Hogan campaign in a reply to me where I directly asked what the conflict was.
Now, the issue has shifted from the scheduling conflict itself (and the fact that Hogan won’t be at the Charles County GOP event) to the fact that it appears the Hogan and Comfort campaigns have been trying to hide the fact that Hogan was speaking at the Comfort fundraiser since February 21 at least.
The Comfort campaign was proud to tout Hogan’s appearance on Facebook on February 7, and even put a picture of him up advertising the appearance on February 13. Then on Febuary 21, his name was dropped and no pictured was included – just the line about the “leading candidate for governor.” Then on the day before the event when they were still trying to get people to come to the event, the Comfort campaign’s Facebook page made no mention of even a “candidate for governor” let alone Larry Hogan.
The whole thing smells just a bit fishy because of the apparent deception.
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.