Archive for DC

Maryland Republicans against Trump

Maryland RepublicansThis week, a letter written to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called on the Republican Party to shift money to down ballot races instead of spending it on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. More than 110 people signed the letter, including at least two members of Congress. Several Maryland Republicans also signed the letter.

Former MD GOP Finance Chairman Rob Carter, who also served in the Bob Ehrlich Administration, appears on the list first alphabetically. Current Bowie City Councilman Michael Esteve also signed the letter. Esteve served as the State Chairman of College Republicans. Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland also signed the letter. Griffiths served as Chairman of Maryland Young Republicans and in regional and national office with the YRs.

Heather Olsen also signed the letter. Olsen went to the GOP convention as an alternate delegate in 2008 and served as Chair of the Prince George’s County GOP in the past. Chevy Weiss, former communications director of the MD GOP, also signed the letter.

Other Maryland Republicans

Governor Larry Hogan has also refused to endorse Donald Trump for President. I think he chose wisely in his decision. I do think his staff mishandled the public relations piece of that decision however. They should have made a decisive statement in the beginning instead of kicking the can down the road. That just caused them to be questioned even more about it. Politically, it won’t hurt Hogan. The only real protests have come from the usual soreheads and malcontents who complain about everything. Many of these people also supported Charles Lollar in the 2014 gubernatorial primary against Hogan.

Also this week, former Bob Ehrlich speechwriter and Helen Delich Bentley staffer Richard Cross penned an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun. In the piece, Cross notes that he wrote the Republican convention speech of Benghazi mom Patricia Smith in Cleveland this summer. He also writes that he can’t support Trump and is now leaning toward voting for Hillary Clinton. His piece was picked up by several other newspapers and websites and has been reported on many places as well. I expect he will also see some television coverage and appearances based on his role at the convention and his current voting plans.

I recently wrote about the fact that I left the GOP and won’t be voting for Donald Trump. I first wrote about this decision in a column published by The Daily Beast. I have also now submitted my name to be added to the letter mentioned in this blog post. I, Jeff Quinton, served as the vice chairman of the Laurens County (SC) GOP and as a state committeeman for the South Carolina College Republican Federation.

Plenty of other Maryland Republicans also won’t be voting for Trump or otherwise supporting him I’m sure.

Why I won’t vote for Trump & left the GOP

TrumpDonald Trump is not the nominee of any party, GOP or otherwise, of which I’m a member. I wrote about this decision in a column published last week at The Daily Beast but I wanted to provide more context here.

One quick note since some people expressed confusion or concern – I didn’t write the headline. I mentioned my support  for Pat Buchanan’s campaign in 1996 as a frame of reference.

I changed my Maryland voter registration from Republican to Unaffiliated the night the Republican National Convention officially nominated Trump as its party’s presidential candidate.

As I noted in the column, I won’t be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. There’s very little chance I will vote for Gary Johnson at this point. Jill Stein is the only other candidate on the ballot here in Maryland. So,  won’t be voting for any of those three candidates.  I will write someone in or I may even leave the line for president blank as a protest.

Clinton will win Maryland’s electoral votes no matter what I do. If I hit my head on the way to vote and lost all my principles and voted for Trump, Clinton would still win Maryland.

I will vote for Kathy Szeliga, a pro-life conservative, for the U.S. Senate. I will also vote to re-elect Congressman Andy Harris, who has a great pro-life track record.

Why I Won’t Vote for Trump

I won’t vote for Trump because he is a hateful voice, not an optimistic one. He would fence off Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill. Trump is a moral reprobate with serious character issues, as is Hillary Clinton.

I also noted several reasons for not supporting Trump in my column at The Daily Beast.

As a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst, I place a great deal of importance on foreign policy and national security issues.

The Republican nominee’s appeal to the “alt right” concerns me as well as I noted in my column:

Trump’s appeals to the “alt-right” are nothing but a dog whistle for the fringes of the Republican Party. I have seen them get caught up in questionable conspiracy theories. They post about “false flag” theories after mass shootings that were supposedly were arranged in support of gun control. Jewish critics of Trump have been threatened and ridiculed for daring to question anything the man says. Polls show self-identifying evangelical Christians largely support him—a fact that leaves many observers scratching their heads.

As someone who has worked in the pro-life movement professionally at the national level and as a volunteer locally, I don’t trust Trump’s lip service and ignorance on the issues. Even if some pro-lifers want to sell out to him for power, influence, and access, I don’t think he’s reliable at all on court appointments or defunding Planned Parenthood.

Maybe I would have had more of a struggle on this bittersweet decision to leave the GOP and not vote for its nominee if I lived in a swing state. I’ve voted for the Republican nominee for president every time since 1992. I don’t take this decision lightly and I put a lot of thought and prayer into it.

I don’t support a candidate just because of the “team” they are on. I will continue to pray for our country and our elected officials, no matter who they are.


About Jeff Quinton

DNC email: Cambridge, MD is a “shitty town”

DNCThe Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) finance director referred to Cambridge, Maryland as a “shitty town” in an email that was part of the #dncleaks earlier this week.

Cambridge, in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is home to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman’s birthplace and a museum, several other museums, and many other attractions.

The Eastern Shore is a conservative area. It makes up most of the state’s First Congressional District, which is occupied by Republican Congressman Andy Harris.

The email was sent by Jordan Kaplan, National Finance Director of the DNC.

Capital News Service, via WTOP, had this to say about it:

National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan was asked by a colleague in May about his visit to Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“It was fine. Shitty town and were(sic) only stayed for a few hours. We spent the night in Annapolis.”

Read the whole email.

Other DNC Emails About Maryland

Other emails released by Wikileaks referred to Maryland politics. The Capital News Service story reported on them also.

In one email, Alexandra Shapiro (Mid-Atlantic Finance Director) wrote “This is just sad” when she forwarded an article about a Martin O’Malley fundraiser to retire campaign debt after he withdrew from the race.

Another email leaked involved O’Malley too. After O’Malley complained during a debate about not getting enough time, John Fritze asked the DNC about debate procedures. In a response that was referring to either O’Malley or Fritze, the party communications director Luis Miranda told a colleague, “Hilarious. What a joke that guy is. You can tell (Fritze) on background that it’s entirely up to the networks and leave it at that.”

In another message, DNC finance chief of staff Scott Comer described Chris Van Hollen’s primary victory in the Senate race this year as “so beautiful.”

Another message involves Steny Hoyer.

Brian Wilson of WMAL accused of harassment

Brian WilsonBrian Wilson is co-host, along with Larry O’Connor, of Mornings on the Mall on WMAL radio in Washington, DC. He previously worked at Fox News Channel as anchor and reporter.

On the heels of Roger Ailes’ departure from Fox amid sexual harassment allegations, an allegation has now been made against Brian Wilson by a former employee of the network.

The New York Times reported that Rudi Baktiar accused Wilson of improper behavior in 2006 and that she thinks she lost her job over reporting it. Wilson denied the accusation when contacted Friday.

Specficially, Bakhtiar claims that, while having coffee in her DC hotel lobby, Wilson told her he wanted to help her get a permanent job and then said, ““You know how I feel about you, Rudi.”

After that, Bakhtiar says Wilson repeated himself after her response. She alleges that she asked him what he meant and he responded:

“Well, I’d like to see the inside of your hotel room,” adding that he wanted a friends-with-benefits relationship.

Bakhtiar says she was told to report the incident to Human Resources and that her on-air appearances ended and she was eventually let go. The reason given for her firing was due to her job performance.

Wilson denied the allegations to the Times and said, “I take strong exception to the facts of the story as you have relayed it to me, period. Beyond that, I will have no further comment.”

Bakhtiar admits she is risking a lawsuit from the network for violating provisions of a settlement. She told the Times that her lawyer was contacted by Fox News after their inquiries.

The full story discusses an environment where sexual harassment was prevalent according to multiple former employees. These are the latest accusations following an internal investigation that started this week after former host Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of harrasment. Reportedly, current host Megyn Kelly also alleged harassment by Ailes as part of the internal investigation.

More on Brian Wilson

Wilson’s departure from Fox News made news too.

Howard Kurtz, who was then at The Washington Post, wrote:

Fox insiders say Wilson has had temper issues. In one story involving guns, they say, Wilson was furious after a producer removed the sound of gunfire from his taped piece, even going so far as to knock over file cabinets.

Another story by Betsy Rothstein, who was the editor of FishbowlDC then, noted:

As some may know, Wilson had a very brief stint as the DC Bureau chief, but things were turbulent. He had a number of personnel problems, including temper tantrums and threatening producers in the newsroom with his outbursts.

Another story at FishbowlDC included more details:

Insider reports reveal that Wilson went haywire when a producer tried to replace a shot in one of his TV packages. Wilson reportedly “yelled” and “kicked a chair.” The producer then went to Human Resources to report the incident. Next thing you know, Diane Brandi, of legal affairs in New York, comes to Washington. Sources say Fox News employees said they wouldn’t feel comfortable if Wilson returned to Fox News.

Politico reported in June 2007 on Wilson:

Brian Wilson has been the Fox News D.C. bureau chief for less than six months and already he’s making an impact. Two weeks ago, he had to write an apology letter to Rep. John Conyers for using B-roll of him that was intended to be footage of indicted Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson.

Paper ignores DOJ criticism of Bob Ehrlich

EhrlichA publication I generally only refer to as “a local newspaper” reported tonight on the fact that former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich sent a letter in support of convicted conman Wayne Simmons ahead of the latter’s sentencing in federal court. They made no mention of the fact that federal prosecutors were critical of the former governor’s letter in their sentencing memo.

The story in the Capital-Gazette by Phil Davis just discusses the letter that was sent by Ehrlich to the court and describes the details of it and the case.

Davis totally omits the whole point of the original blog post by William Cooke (and the one I wrote yesterday.) In addition to that, Davis gives no credit to Cooke, who uncovered the letter and the other documents from federal court records.

Ehrlich Story Not First Gaffe for Paper

This Ehrlich letter isn’t the first time the Capital Gazette has had trouble giving credit where it was due when a blogger was concerned.

During the 2014 Republican Primary for Anne Arundel County Executive, I  wrote a piece on an altercation involving then-candidate Steve Schuh with a staffer of then-County Executive Laura Neuman. Rema Rahman, who worked for the Capital Gazette then but works for Roll Call in DC now, wrote a story on the incident without giving credit to The Quinton Report. After I pointed that out in a follow-up and also corrected a misspelling of Schaffer’s name, her original story was updated to correct the spelling but stil failed to give credit.

I’m not surprised Cooke failed to get any credit in the Phil Davis story on the Ehrlich letter. I’m not really surprised Phil Davis missed the actual point of Cooke’s post either – that Ehrlich was called out in a federal court document for the contents of his letter supporting Simmons.

Other larger and more esteemed publications and broadcast outlets do a much better job than the local newspaper in Annapolis ever does in giving credit where it’s due to bloggers or other media platforms breaking stories that they then report on.