Author Archive for Jeff Quinton

Think tank endorses Quinton Report proposal for Hogan admin

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On November 6, 2014, I wrote that “Larry Hogan should do this on Day 1“:

When Larry Hogan becomes governor these O’Malley signs should come down and not be replaced with Hogan ones. The production and installation of these signs might be a small number relative to the overall state budget, but the symbolism is important. It would be further proof of Hogan’s commitment to efficient stewardship of the taxes paid by the hard-working people of Maryland.

I wrote it when I did to make sure that it was seen by Hogan’s transition team in time to forestall any eager bureaucrat in the State Highway Administration from ordering the signs in advance if the incoming governor wanted to make this move.

Months later and just days from Hogan’s inauguration, Thomas Firey of the Maryland Public Policy Institute wrote this on January 15:

Many broad, difficult policy decisions will lie ahead of Larry Hogan when he is inaugurated next week as Maryland’s 62nd governor. But one small, simple action that he could take immediately would have large symbolic value: instruct the State Highway Administration and other agencies to remove and recycle the current “Martin O’Malley, Governor” placards from Maryland’s roadway “Welcome” signs and not replace them.

The placards are of no importance to travelers; I want to know when I cross a state line, but I can’t imagine ever needing to know who the state’s governor is. The cost savings from not changing the placards would be relatively small—perhaps a few hundred dollars per sign—but it’s senseless for Maryland to spend transportation funds on such irrelevant information.

The MPPI’s tag line on their site is “New Ideas to Better the Old Line State” and I appreciate them endorsing my new idea (and I would have appreciated a link or mention as well.)

As I mentioned in November, this idea has been germinating in my mind since O’Malley first took office in 2007 and the media reports mentioned that the signs were swapped out simultaneously with his oath of office, as I recall. It fits in squarely with what Hogan ran on, in my opinion, and it would help set the tone for his administration right from the beginning. Hopefully, it’s something that happens and I hope that bringing it up in November helped start the ball rolling if it does happen. The endorsement by Firey and MPPI would help give the idea further credibility as we head to next week’s inauguration.

Vatican: Pope’s remarks “distorted”

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Father Thomas Rosica, Vatican spokesman, issued this statement:

The Pope’s expression is in no way intended to be interpreted as a justification for the violence and terror that took place in Paris last week. The Pope’s words about Dr. Gasbarri were spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate matter among colleagues and friends on the journey. His words mean that there are limits to humor and satire particularly in the ways that we speak about matters of faith and belief. Pope Francis’ response might be similar to something each of us has felt when those dearest to us are insulted or harmed. The Pope’s free style of speech, especially in situations like the press conference must be taken at face value and not distorted or manipulated. The Pope has spoken out clearly against the terror and violence that occurred in Paris and in other parts of the world. Violence begets violence. Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight.

Aleteia published the statement along with the context – that Dr. Gasbarri was a papal staffer who the Pope joked he would punch in the nose if Gasbarri said anything about his mother. Additionally, the Aleteia article publishes a statement by the Coptic pope and a bishop.

The article also notes that Charlie Hebdo staffers say they don’t want support from Catholics:

What made us laugh the most is that the bells of Notre Dame rang in our honor. We would like to send a message to Pope Francis…: We will only accept the bells of Notre Dame ringing in our honor when it is Femen who make them ring.

This wasn’t the first time nor will it be the last that the current Pope has his words distorted, taken out of context, or mis-translated by those in the media or other groups eager to cast him in light if their own views or biases.

Junipero Serra to be canonized during papal visit to US

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Catholic News Agency:

In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California’s first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra.

“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” declared Pope Francis aboard Sri Lankan Air Flight UL4111 on the way to Manila.

Bl. Serra, a Franciscan priest, lived in what is now California in the 1700s. A Spanish-born missionary, he founded the first nine of 21 eventual missions in California. He worked tirelessly with the Native Americans, and is said to have baptized more than 6,000 people, and confirmed 5,000.

“He was the evangelizer of the west in the United States,” Pope Francis beamed.

Bl. Serra’s canonization will be the latest in a systematic action from Pope Francis to give a boost to evangelization efforts throughout the world.

Serra will be the latest “equipollent” canonization – meaning no miracle was verified and the normal process was waived so that the Pope could declare him to be a saint.

Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September and may also be visiting Washington and New York. It is not known where the canonization would take place, but Serra is entombed at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California (Clint Eastwood was the town’s mayor at one point.)

During the American Revolution, Serra had a collection taken up in mission parishes and sent those funds to General George Washington.

Allegations by some that he mistreated native Americans were dismissed as unfounded during his beatification process. in fact, the truth was reported to be be very different:

Dr. Iris Engstrand, professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of San Diego, described him as “much nicer to the Indians, really, than even to the governors. He didn’t get along too well with some of the military people, you know. His attitude was, ‘Stay away from the Indians.’ I think you really come up with a benevolent, hard-working person who was strict in a lot of his doctrinal leanings and things like that, but not a person who was enslaving Indians, or beating them, ever….He was a very caring person and forgiving. Even after the burning of the mission in San Diego, he did not want those Indians punished. He wanted to be sure that they were treated fairly…”

Sabato: Ehrlich is a 7th Tier Candidate for 2016

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Larry Sabato published his ratings for 2016 Republican candidates before the latest round of Mitt Romney buzz. That latest bit of momentum for Romney wouldn’t change things at the bottom of the rankings, where we find former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich.

Ehrlich is at the bottom of the seventh tier, behind George Pataki and Peter King. Sabato’s description of that tier is, “Newt Gingrich Society — ‘Want to buy a book?'”

Here’s Sabato’s snarky listing for Ehrlich’s key primary advantages:

•**Crickets**
— e-mail us if you can think of one

Sabato also lists key primary disadvantages:

•Lost twice to…Martin O’Malley
•Time has passed him by: “Bob Who?”
•No grassroots support

In all, there are twenty candidates ranked higher than Ehrlich. I think Sabato is on to something re: Ehrlich with the book sales strategy. Ehrlich also may be desperately trying to cling to relevance now that he’s no longer the last Republican to win a statewide election in Maryland (especially after he predicted he would be the last Republican elected governor of Maryland.) of course, jetting away to New Hampshire and Iowa is a bit more glamorous than headlining fundraisers for Pat McDonough.

If both Ehrlich and Governor Martin O’Malley continue with plans for their 2016 bids, Maryland will have the dubious distinction of having a former governor flame out and sink to the bottom in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

MD GOP responds to claims about Boehner, Bongino, NRCC funding

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Earlier this week, I noted a Breitbart Texas story on Louie Gohmert’s challenge to John Boehner that made the claim that congressional candidate Dan Bongino was denied funding from the National Republican Congressional Committee and other national Republicans because he was expected to not support John Boehner for speaker if elected. I made it clear that it was a report from another website and that “if true” it is damning.

I was contacted by MD GOP officials (and not the NRCC or RNC) who disagreed. Joe Cluster, Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party, gave me the following statement:

First, the RNC gave money to the State Party that was spent on his campaign and second the State Party held a joint fundraiser with him to try and help raise him money. I wish the NRCC and the RNC would have invested more in this race, but they never had this race or the Governor’s race on their radar. They did not invest in Maryland until the last minute because the numbers were not there until late in the game at which time they had little resources to offer. Dan was a great candidate and ran a great campaign – unfortunately the MDGOP did not have the resources to invest heavily – but out of the $90k we got last minute from the RNC, $40k was spent in get out the vote efforts in the 6th congressional district. FYI: Alex Mooney openly talked about not supporting the speaker when he was running but that didn’t stop the NRCC, the RNC, and the speaker from investing in his campaign. Why? Because that was a seat they had on their list to invest in. Unfortunately the 6th district in MD was thought un-winnable by the DC crowd. Criticize them for that but not this.

I have left a message for Bongino in hopes of getting his comment on this matter. Earlier in the week he tweeted this linking to the original Breitbart piece by Sarah Rumpf:

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Then yesterday he retweeted a tweet by @anthropocon that linked to my story:
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Report: GOP denied money to Bongino over likely Boehner opposition

Dan Bongino

In a report on Rep. Louie Gohmert’s challenge to Speaker John Boehner earlier this week, Sarah Rumpf of Breitbart Texas reported this tidbit:

One intriguing wrinkle to the mention of Dan Bongino, who came tantalizingly close to winning a Congressional race in Maryland, is that he was unable to get significant support from the NRCC or other official party fundraising operations. A consultant who worked on Republican congressional campaigns last election cycle but did not want to be named told Breitbart Texas that Bongino could not get financial support because it was believed that he would be unlikely to support Boehner or his designated successor.

If true, this is pretty damning. That a potential pickup in a blue state was not funded by the national leadership due to hypotheticals about what might happen in a speaker’s race is ludicrous.

Black Guerilla Family gang gunman tests police security

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Jayne Miller of WBAL reports:

The Black Guerrilla Family gang sent an armed gunman into a Baltimore police station Tuesday to test security, police said.

Police said the man was sent to the Northeastern District station.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has called the incident “alarming.” Batts said he is calling a meeting of other agencies to put them on notice about Tuesday’s incident.

In December, there were warnings issued that the BGF might be targeting police officers. The gang also threatened to “storm” NYPD precincts and “shoot it out” with police.

UPDATE
WMAR has more details:

A man with a handgun and drugs was arrested inside the Baltimore Police Department’s Northeast District station after the man said he was sent to the precinct to “probe security,” police officials said.

The man told police that was sent to the station on orders from the Black Guerrilla Family, although police are interviewing the suspect to the confirm that authenticity of his claim.

The man claiming ties to the gang was taken into custody at about 8:45 a.m., according to Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.