Bacon fire shuts down interstate

baconOn Monday evening, I-68 in Cumberland, Maryland was shut down for six hours after a truckload of bacon and other pork products caught on fire.

According to the Cumberland Times-News, “the truck was loaded with a variety of pork products including ribs.”

The fire shut down eastbound I-68 from 6 p.m to midnight Monday.

One county employee outside the Allegany County 911 Center reported smelling the aroma of bacon burning while outside. Fire Department officials told the media that “a portion of fire hose was damaged beyond repair by bacon grease than [sic] fell onto it.”

More on Bacon

In 2014, I wrote about a lobbying group that bought space on billboards in Allentown, Pennsylvania trying to get the Allentown IronPigs from selling bacon at their concession stands.

In 2015, with the help of IJReview, Senator Ted Cruz made machine-gun bacon:

In 2013, HuffPo reported on a company making bullets using pork:

South Fork Industries, based in Dalton Gardens, Idaho, claims its ammunition, called Jihawg Ammo, is a “defensive deterrent to those who violently act in the name of Islam.”

The bullets are coated in pork-infused paint, which the company states makes the ammo “haram,” or unclean, and therefore will keep a Muslim who’s shot with one of the bullets from entering paradise.

“With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels,” the company said in a press release earlier this month.

The company’s website bills the bullets as “Peace Through Pork” and a “peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam.” There’s a related line of apparel that feature slogans like “Put Some Ham in MoHAMed” and a target poster that says “Give Em a Spankin with some Bacon.”

It was also reported earlier this year that a Texas group is training to stop a Muslim “uprising” using bullets dipped in bacon grease and pig’s blood.

Latinos for Trump founder: 14 bankruptcies

Latinos for TrumpMarco Gutierrez, co-founder of Latinos for Trump, appeared on MSNBC Thursday evening. If you live under a rock, you may not have heard what he said.

In addition to those comments, his business credentials appear to be sketchy at best. He and his wife have filed a total of 14 bankruptcy cases. California revoked his real estate license in 2011 for surreptitiously taking money out of a client’s account, illegally collecting fees, and for engaging in real estate activities on a suspended license.

Gutierrez told Joy Reid last night that, “My culture is a very dominant culture and it’s imposing and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re gonna have taco trucks on every corner.”

The remarks took the internet by storm overnight with memes, hashtags, and countless posts. The comments followed Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico and subsequent remarks on illegal immigration in a Phoenix speech.

Since then, several members have left the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump.

More on the Co-Founder of Latinos for Trump

Marco Gutierrez attended the University of Phoenix and received a degree from Kaplan University, according to his Linkedin profile. He also lists himself as an autodidact under his education.

Gutierrez appears to have started his career as a used car salesman. He also worked for Mortage.com and Realty World, according to his profile. He was also the founder and owner of Hidalgo Properties in Antioch, California for almost six years. He currently lists himself as the founder of Pepito International and Vice President of Operations for the American Dream Housing Agency Corporation.

A Facebook page for Pepito International is not active recently and also goes to a web domain that has no actual site on it. The American Dream Housing Agency page on Facebook has only been liked by four people.

A court record that reads like a soap opera reveals that Gutierrez and his wife Jennifer filed a total of fourteen (combined or individual) bankruptcy filings. The records also reveal that Marco Gutierrez had his real estate license revoked by the State Department of Real Estate in 2011.

Gutierrez lost his license “for various violations, including the surreptitious taking of money from the bank account of Mr. Oscar Garzon, the illegal collection of fees in advance of a modification for the same individual and his wife, and for [Gutierrez] acting in the real estate field on suspended licenses.”

Also from that court record, Gutierrez and his wife filed “a total of 14 bankruptcy cases (either jointly or individually).”

Another firm, Home Retention Team, was doing business without a real estate license in California. Both members of the Gutierrez couple were involved with HRT as well. Other records from the Department of Real Estate show more details.

Marco Gutierrez, co-founder of Latinos for Trump, also lists multiple awards from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) on his Linkedin profile. He gave a handful of small contributions to the NRCC with his occupation listed as owner of Hidalgo Properties.

The Facebook profile of Mr. Gutierrez also shows his pictures with plenty of luminaries from the GOP and the right, including Tomi Lahren of Blaze TV (pictured with Gutierrez in the above photo.) Be sure to read the vitriol and venom he has received from commenters (many of them Latino) on his public pro-Trump status updates.

Some people might find it just a bit ironic that the co-founder of Latinos for Trump lost his real estate license over shady practices and has filed, along with his wife, fourteen separate bankruptcy cases.

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.