House Bill 1513, an emergency bill, was filed on February 28, 2014 and referred to the House Rules Committee. The bill was filed by the Harford County Delegation, which is chaired by Delegate Rick Impallaria (above.)
Here’s the bill’s synopsis:
Altering the membership of the Harford County Republican Party Central Committee; providing that specified Republican Party members of the House of Delegates who represent Harford County shall be members of the Central Committee; providing that the Republican Party members of the House of Delegates on the Central Committee may vote on matters, as specified; prohibiting a member of the Central Committee from holding any other elected office in the county; making the Act an emergency measure; etc.
From the bill summary itself:
FOR the purpose of altering the membership of the Harford County Republican Party
Central Committee; providing that certain members of the House of Delegates
who represent Harford County are ex officio members of the Harford County
Republican Party Central Committee; providing that the members of the House
of Delegates on the Harford County Republican Party Central Committee may
vote on certain matters but may not vote on certain other matters; prohibiting a
member of the Harford County Republican Party Central Committee from
holding any other elected office in the county; making this Act an emergency
measure; and generally relating to the Harford County Republican Party
The law this bill would amend deals with central committees from other counties.
This is what is being proposed for the Harford County GOP Central Committee:
Summarizing this bill as I read it:
- As ex officio members, it would give Republican delegates from Harford County a vote to fill vacancies on the GOP Central Committee or to vote to kick people off the Central Committee. It would prevent them from voting on other matters.
- This bill also would prevent central committee members from holding any other elected office in Harford County, unless that committee member is also a delegate.
Current members of the Harford County Republican Central Committee according to a state website are:
Derek J. Howell, Chair (chosen by County Central Committee)
Lori Brown; Amy Hopkins Daney; J. Scott DeLong; Frank A. Dupree; Timothy P. Impallaria; Carol MacCubbin; Patrick L. McGrady; Teresa Reilly; Joan Ryder; David Tritt; Kim Wagner.
The Harford County GOP website replaces Dupree with Jeff McBride and also lists Reilly as Vice Chair.
Candidates who have filed to run for the Central Committee in June: Sharon Beam, Jean Elaine Beulah, Jessica Blake, David Buchanan, Jan Christensen, Edward John Daly, Eric W. Daxon, Wayne Definbaugh, Scott DeLong, Joe Fleckenstein, Christopher Brian Gannon, Patrick Haggerty Jr., Christina M. Impallaria, Ricky D. Impallaria, Greg Johnson, Scott Kidd, Larry Kimble, Carol M. Kiple, Carol MacCubbin, Stephen Eric Macko, R. Alexander McArtor, Jeffery Paul McBride, Patrick L. McGrady, Dane Alexander Meserve, Paula R. Mullis, Mark Novak, Mike Perrone Jr., Ryan Patrick Pridgeon, Chad R. Shrodes, Mike Simon, Sam Smedley, and Christina Trotta.
County Council candidates who are also Central Committee candidates: Eric W. Daxon, Mike Perrone Jr., Chad Shrodes.
Board of Education candidates who are also Central Committee Candidates: Joe Fleckenstein and Stephen Eric Macko,
24 candidates are running for 12 central committee slots. Note that two central committee candidates have the last name of Impallaria. Also note that a current member of the central committee who is running again is Patrick McGrady of Maryland Liberty PAC.
One thing that jumps out to me is that, under this bill, Eric Daxon, Mike Perrone, Chad Shrodes, Joe Fleckenstein, and Stephen Eric Macko would have to choose between central committee and the other office they are running for. That would potentially knock down the number of central committee candidates to 19.
After talking to people in Harford County, it appears that this may be the latest salvo in the ongoing feud involving some of the liberty people and some in the establishment. When I wrote about this before, my comments quickly filled up with a bunch of remarks from people, mainly Cecil County Patriots, who were playing shoot the messenger without refuting anything I said. (Of course, the source that told me that Harris was fielding candidates against the Campaign for Liberty (C4L) candidates for Central Committee was an elected official and Harris ally.)
One candidate I talked to in Harford County told me that Delegate Impallaria was talking to people before the filing deadline and encouraging people to run for central committee while trying to intimidate others into not running. He was described as attempting to be a “kingmaker” by my source.
The legislation was filed after the filing deadline, which means Impallaria and the rest of the delegation must not have been too happy with who filed in Harford County. No action has taken place in committee yet apparently and I haven’t found it on a calendar yet.
I have to question the wisdom of these tactics. What is the point of trying to bully people out of the race in the first place other than trying to be the political boss of the county?
This legislation seems to have no purpose other than letting the Harford delegation help kick people off the central committee and fill vacancies. It would seem to be an attempt to sabotage the electoral process in the upcoming election to let the members of the delegation run things no matter who gets elected.
With party unity in the Maryland Republican Party already in the crapper, are Delegate Impallaria and his colleagues more concerned with helping their allies in the county GOP fight over the crumbs?
If you’re trying to hang on to a potentially tenuous grasp on power, are these tactics really the best way to win friends and influence people?
This is just the latest proof that the in-fighting in the Maryland GOP is so fierce because the stakes are so low. No faction bears the full responsibility for the disunity, but they all need to get on the ball to fix it if they want to actually accomplish anything. Otherwise, it’s just being content in holding a worthless office in an impotent political party.
I would hope somebody talks some sense in to Impallaria and his colleagues, if that is even possible.
I have heard of tactics in another county that are similar, without the extra step of emergency legislation being involved. As soon as I confirm details of that county’s situation, I will have more on it here.
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.