Archive for Maryland

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.

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

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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.

Doctor loses license over assisted suicides

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Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore anesthesiologist who made national news as “The New Doctor Death” held the hands of six elderly Marylanders as they asphyxiated themselves with helium and then covered up their suicides, officials said in a state order they filed this month to strip him of his medical license.

The suicides are among nearly 300 nationwide that Dr. Lawrence D. Egbert said he helped to arrange as an “exit guide” for the right-to-die group Final Exit Network.

[…]

The Maryland Board of Physicians, which conducted a two-year review of his actions in the state, said they were unethical and illegal and revoked his license.

Egbert plans to appeal. He is awaiting trial in Minnesota and has been arrested in Georgia but received “no punishment” there or in Arizona. The Sun couldn’t get the Board of Physicians or law enforcement to confirm any criminal referral or investigation.

In opposition to church law, Heather Mizeur (a Catholic) pushed for assisted suicide legalizationp as part of her failed primary campaign for governor. It appears there may be a push during the 2015 legislative session for legalization by activists including a group called Compassion & Choices.

I would hope the general assembly would have the common sense not to pass this legislation and I wouldn’t expect Governor-elect Hogan to sign it.

Bob Ehrlich headlining January 5 fundraiser

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With the gubernatorial inauguration of Larry Hogan approaching, Bob Ehrlich – a man who is being bandied about as a potential long shot presidential candidate – is headlining a fundraising luncheon for Delegate Pat McDonough.

Without further comment, here’s the McDonough invitation email:

Dear Friend and Supporter,
I am going to kick off the New Year with a special event on Monday, January 5th at the Silver Spring Mining Company in Perry Hall from 12 noon to 3 PM with a hot buffet, including their famous sour beef and dumplings. The Silver Spring Mining Co. is located at 8634 Belair Rd. For driving directions, please call 410-256-6809. This event will feature former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich as our guest speaker. Governor Ehrlich will offer comments on the challenges that the new governor will face and important state issues. The Governor is an exciting and important guest at this time because, in addition to being the State’s former chief executive officer, he is testing the waters for a possible run for the Presidency of the United States. Bob Ehrlich’s broad experience will present us with the rare opportunity to discuss both state and national issues. I hope you can join us for this interesting afternoon. Of course, an update on the Rain Tax issue will be presented. The drawing for the Rain Tax Raffle will be held at this event.

As you may know, Maryland legislators are not permitted to raise funds during the General Assembly (Jan. 14th until April 13th). This will be our last event until the summer of 2015. My family wishes your family a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year! Pat