Archive for Maryland

Trump’s Speed Demon Hispanic Advisor

HispanicToday, the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump will hold a meeting of the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump. The event, at Trump Tower in New York, will include members from twelve states.

One member attending the meeting is lobbyist Jose Fuentes Agostini of Maryland. Earlier this month (on August 1 at 3:23 p.m.), Agostini was stopped by state police in Anne Arundel County. Online court records show that Agostini was charged with driving his 2017 Porsche at a speed of 95 mph or more in a 65 mph zone.  The case is marked as prepaid guilty so I presume he already paid the fine.

The picture above shows Agostini speaking on a panel at the National Hispanic Bar Association ahead of the 2000 elections. In the 2012 cycle, He bundled over $105,000 in contributions for the campaign of Mitt Romney and over $138,000 for all candidates.

Since 2000, He has contributed to campaigns including those of Spencer Abraham, George Allen, George W. Bush, Miriam Ramirez, Marco Rubio (Presidential), Carlos Romero-Barcelo, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Agostini also contributed to Marco Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and to Phil Crane’s Fund for a Free Market America.

From 1997-2000, he was served as an appointed Secretary of Justice (Attorney General) in Puerto Rico. He has worked at Morgan Meguire, a government relations (lobbying) firm in DC and at Reed and Smith, LLP. He currently serves as Chairman of Eastport Strategies, LLC – which is another DC firm.

Agostini graduated from law school at the American University of Puerto Rico after receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Tampa. He serves as Chairman of the Board at Operation Opsail, where one of his fellow board members is former Senator Chris Dodd.

Trump and Hispanic Voters

The National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump has members from twelve states. However, only one of these members hails from California. The council also includes six members from Texas, four from Florida, and three from Colorado.

A story from Fox News Latino this week notes in its headline that “Trump has deepened wedge between GOP and Latinos.”

From the story:

Indeed, a new Fox News Latino poll shows that Latino party identification since 2012 is leaning even further toward the Democrats, with 60 percent choosing it as the party they identify with, compared with 21 percent identifying as Republican — a 6-point increase for Democrats since 2012.

“With his emphasis on ‘building a wall’ on our southern border to keep out ‘rapists and criminals,’ Trump has apparently magnified the natural issue advantage the Democrats enjoy among Hispanic voters,” said a summary that accompanied the poll, written by report co-author and  Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducted the Fox News Latino poll along with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.

As for their view of the parties, 60 percent of Latinos reported having a favorable view of the Democratic Party, compared to only 25 percent for Republicans. The poll sampled 803 Latino registered voters, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

MD GOP Del. Impallaria charged with DWI

impallariaMaryland Delegate Rick Impallaria (R-Essex) was charged with driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol Thursday evening at 8:12 in Ocean City. Bryan Sears of The Daily Record was the first to break the story.

Impallaria was parked illegally as he got into his pickup truck and started the engine on 82nd Street. A police officer noticed that he had an open container of alcohol and initiated a traffic stop.

According to the story, Impallaria failed to complete a field sobriety test and blew a 0.07 on a breathalyzer test.

He attended a Senate Republican Caucus reception at the nearby location of Ropewalk Tavern an hour earlier. In fact, Impallaria was quoted in a story on the reception by Michael Dresser of The Baltimore Sun. The reception was held to coincide with the Maryland Association of Counties conference.

More on Impallaria

Senator J.B. Jennings, who represents the same district in Harford and Baltimore Counties, hosted the reception Thursday night. Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Pat McDonough serve as Impallaria’s seatmates in the House.

It will be interesting to see if any Republicans call on Impallaria to resign. Several delegates from both parties called on former Delegate Don Dwyer to resign after his drunk driving and boating arrests. The MD GOP refrained from condeming Dwyer.

Will Szeliga, who is running for the U.S. Senate against Chris Van Hollen call on him to resign? Will McDonough, who is running for Congress, call on him to resign? Will Governor Hogan call on him to resign?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:

Red Maryland blogger Brian Griffiths becomes the first person to call on Impallaria to resign.

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.

Baltimore: #10 Most Liberal City

Baltimore CityForbes.com lists the Most Conservative and Most Liberal Cities in America in a new feature. Baltimore ranks 10th on the Most Liberal Cities list.

The ranks are based on an article in The Economist, “which pulled data from an MIT study on how city governments reflect their constituents’ politics to produce a ranking of cities with populations of over 250,000.”

The cities ranking ahead of Baltimore are (from 9th to 1st): Buffalo, New York City, Detroit, Minneapolis, Boston, Oakland, Seattle, Washington (DC), and San Francisco.

The most conservative cities are (from 10th to 1st): Aurora (CO), Tulsa, Omaha, Anaheim, Arlington (TX), Jacksonville, Colorado Springs,  Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City, and Mesa (AZ).

More on Baltimore

The last time the city had a mayor who wasn’t a Democrat was from 1963 to 1967. Republican Theodore McKeldin served his second stint as mayor those years. Other mayors since then have included Nancy Pelosi’s father, William Donald Schaefer, Curt Schmoke, and Martin O’Malley. Since O’Malley there was the criminal Sheila Dixon and the current incompetent chief executive Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Violent crime in the city is much higher than the national average. In 2015, there were 344 homicides. That is second only to 1993 when there were 353 homicides.

It’s the same city that had massive problems with its speed camera program. Member of City Council are also considering a $15 minimum wage and warnings labels on soda and other sugary drinks. The city is so liberal that the Georges Soros-founded Open Society Institute has a major outpost here.

Another example: then-President of City Council Stephanie Rawlings-Blake authored legislation at the behest of Planned Parenthood that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs. These signs had to note that the centers did not provide abortions or referrals for abortion. A similar law in Montgomery County was struck down. A lawsuit against the city by one of the centers has still not completed its way through the judicial system.

What do you expect from a city where Red Emma’s is the a liberal hangout in town and an openly Marxist group that helps stir up as many problems as possible?

O’Malley ally politicizes MD flood deaths

O'Malley ally Jim RosapepeState Senator Jim Rosapepe, Democratic Party ally of former governor and failed presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, has already politicized the deaths of Saturday night’s Ellicott City flooding.

The Baltimore Sun reports on Rosapepe’s comments implying climate change is at fault for the flooding that caused two deaths.

Specifically, Rosapepe asked, “Did climate change kill two people in Ellicott City this weekend?”

Other comments from Rosapepe in the article in The Sun:

“It would be very naive if we did not see this as part of climate change. Those of us who live upland are really impacted by climate change, and this is the perfect example.”

“It’s a little bit like terrorism, in that we don’t know what nut-job is going to shoot someone else. But we do know that there are nut-jobs out there that are likely to shoot someone. So we have to prepare ourselves.”

“Ellicott City was built for the climate of the 19th century. It’s beautiful, and that’s why we love it. But it needs to be built to be safe for the 21st century climate.”

Rosapepe’s Praise of O’Malley

In 2015, Rosapepe wrote what I termed a “love note” to O’Malley in The Hill ahead of what became an embarassing presidential campaign.

Among other things, he called O’Malley a “Pope Francis Democrat” wh o would run on his Catholic values – while ignoring the fact that Pope Francis has consistently spoken out against abortion and in favor of traditional marriage.

Rosapepe’s comments on the flooding in Ellicott City this weekend are channeling his hero O’Malley. O’Malley never let the chance to be a partisan hack go to waste. O’Malley even went after the George W. Bush administration well after they were gone from Washington during a press conference ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

It’s shameful that Rosapepe would give this interview less than 48 hours after two people lost their lives in Saturday night’s flooding.