Larry Hogan reaches out to Democrat donors


I received a copy of a fundraising letter dated February 24, 2014 that was sent by the Hogan campaign. My source of the document is a long-time registered Democrat. I’ll make no comment on the fact that Hogan sent the fundraising  letter to registered Democrats other than to say he is really trying to make sure he raises the seed money needed (over $250K) since he is going for public financing. I do wonder if any other candidates have reached out to Democrats this way. (Charles Lollar organized Democrats for Lollar efforts in Baltimore City and other areas.)

Here’s the first page of the letter:


Page one includes content that looks familiar if you’ve seen other Hogan campaign literature and statements. Additionally, Hogan claims to not be a politician. He also uses the caps-lock key to tell the recipients that matching funds are “NOT TAXPAYER DOLLARS.”

The language about the matching funds being a 12:1 match is included again in a Hogan solicitation. The letter notes the first $250 will be matched of every contribution and also asks for contribution levels up to $2500.

Here’s page 2 of the letter:


Page two cites material you’ve seen before as well if you’ve followed Hogan’s campaign. The line that other campaigns have mocked before is included as well. I won’t mock it, since it cites internal polling but I also wonder about how the language of the sentence is constructed compared to what the internal data actually say. That sentence: “We have a 30% better chance to beat Brown than Gansler does, and a 36% better chance than Ehrlich had in 2002.”

Much of the rest of the letter isn’t new either. The postcript includes an ask for donations at levels starting at $100 and going up to $4000.

One long-time registered Democrat receiving this letter doesn’t prove it was only sent to Democrats. It does prove it was sent to Democrats, however. As I said, I’m not slamming or praising that audience for a fundraising letter. I am just pointing it out.

2,142 cases of cognac stolen from Baltimore County business


The Baltimore Sun reports:

A burglar stole a truck and used it to take 2,142 cases of cognac last Sunday from a business in Dundalk, Baltimore County Police said.

At around 5 a.m. March 16, someone entered a fenced-in lot in the 7000 block of Quad Avenue through an unlocked employee entrance and took the truck, according to a police report. The person then hooked up the truck to a chassis that was carrying a cargo container, which was filled with the cases of cognac.

The burglar fled the scene westbound on Quad Avenue.

Looking at a map, that is the location of Winner Distributing. Winner, which was just bought out earlier this year, is the local Anheuser-Busch distributor. F.P. Winner, Ltd. is an associated company that distributes other brands of alcoholic beverages.

Note: the graphic above is just a representation of a cognac bottle. The specific brand or brands stolen was not identified in news reports.

Rep. Jeff Duncan: Boehner “doesn’t have the support of the conference”


Jonathan Strong writes:

“My sense at the present time that the Speaker doesn’t have the support of the conference,” says South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan about John Boehner.


The discussions behind closed doors, which have picked up dramatically in past months, are still at the early stages, and it’s not clear whether Boehner will even come back. There are also still nine months left in 2014 – an eternity in politics.

But based on interviews with a broad array of plugged-in Republicans over the last several weeks, it seems unlikely the transition into 2015 will pass through peacefully.

“There are conversations being had,” Duncan adds.

Strong also discusses possibilities Boehner might not run for re-election as speaker and reports one unnamed Republican Member of Congress saying that 40 members already oppose Boehner. Possibilities for Speaker might be Eric Cantor or Jeb Hensarling, with Cantor as the frontrunner if Boehner were to not run.

Boehner’s spokesman says he’s running again and Cantor’s spokesman says he support Boehner as Speaker, so all of this discussion may be for naught ultimately.

For the record, Jeff Duncan lives in my hometown and represents the 3rd District, where I used to live.

Hogan not the only campaign going to gun shows


After my post last night on the campaign of Larry Hogan reaching out to 2nd amendment supporters by campaigning at a gun show, I heard from more than one source close to the campaign of Ron George pointing out they had been campaigning at gun shows too. One person in particular pointed out that George’s running mate Shelley Aloi attended an antique gun show in Timonium the weekend before the gun show Larry Hogan attended this past weekend.

I got no good answers from the complainers when I pointed out:

  1. nobody from the campaign told me about it (which was the same situation for the Hogan post I made)
  2. the campaign made no posts on social media about it during or after the stops

The George campaign’s official communications and social media structure dropped the ball on this matter while their candidate is running around posting  through his personal Facebook account about issues with debates and the latest in the Red Maryland-Joe Steffen wars.

The Quinton Report in the City Paper on Peroutka, Dwyer, and DINOs


Van Smith of the City Paper writes about issues in Anne Arundel County surrounding the candidacies of David Whitney (a Democrat) and Michael Peroutka (a Republican.) Specifically, he discusses a Daily Kos post by Jonathan Hutson (treasuer of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee whose wife Betsy Bury is a candidate for  Central Committee.) Hutson talks at length about Peroutka, Whitney, and Don Dwyer.

From the City Paper story:

As evidence, Hutson cites the Democratic candidacy of David Whitney, one of the contenders in the June 24 primary in which Bury is running. Whitney is a pastor and lead instructor of Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), co-founded by Christian lawyer Michael Peroutka, the former Constitution Party presidential candidate given a hard look by City Paper a decade ago. Peroutka is an important player in the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center dubs a neo-confederate group.

While Peroutka still has influence in the League of the South, he is no longer a board member. Hutson did note that Whitney is chaplain for the Maryland Chapter of the League.

Smith continues with the latest:

Today, Peroutka is a GOP candidate for Anne Arundel County’s Republican Central Committee, andreportedly came close to filing as the Republican Party’s candidate for Maryland attorney general. Jeff Quinton of the conservative blog The Quinton Report has been giving Peroutka some straight-shooting attention. Cato Institute senior fellow Walter Olson emailed City Paper in February about Quinton’s reporting on Peroutka, calling the theocratic political-philosopher a “wackypants anti-gay crusader,” a less caustic characterization than that offered by the gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign in 2012, when they dubbed Peroutka an “active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer.” City Paper also highlighted Peroutka in coverage of the successful same-sex marriage campaign in Maryland that year.

As I noted before, Peroutka has, on more than one occasion, made strong, unequivocal statements against racism.

Smith goes on to tie Dwyer and John Moran in based on Hutson’s post:

Hutson’s portrayal of the current political situation in Anne Arundel County includes fact-packed descriptions of Maryland state Del. Don Dwyer, an IOTC veteran, and former Republican, now Democrat John Moran, a Baltimore police officer and perennial GOP candidate in the county who was a passenger on the boat Dwyer crashed while drunk in 2012, injuring children. Moran is running to be a state delegate in District 31A, and Hutson writes that he is a manifestation of Dwyer’s “Democrat in Name Only,” or DINO, movement that seeks a rightward shift in the party of the left.

Hutson’s dKos post discusses Dwyer’s attendance at events involving Peroutka as well as Dwyer’s involvement with the IOTC. Hutson also discussed Dwyer’s plan for Operation DINO to make the Democratic Party more conservative in Maryland.


A Week in the Life of Speaker Michael Busch


Be sure to read a Capital Gazette story on Speaker Michael Busch from Sunday.

An excerpt:

This morning, the first up is an amendment exempting businesses near the state line. It fails, 87-45.

Alexandra Hughes calls to a page, “Can you print me the vote?”

She’s an attorney, a Princeton University graduate, and the speaker’s deputy chief of staff — some may say his bulldog.

Moments later, she’s handed the vote. She leans against a desk, highlighting the names of Democrats who voted for the amendment.

Beidle, Bromwell, Conway, Minnick, Wood.

Next, an amendment excluding publicly traded companies. It fails, 91-43.

“Can you print me the vote?”

More highlighting. Hughes shows it to Busch.

“It is an election year,” he says.

For two hours it continues: Debate. Vote. Print. Highlight.

“I just want to keep them in the back of my mind,” Hughes says.

I also wrote about Alexandra Hughes this weekend. I wrote about witnesses who saw her go to the press room in the State House and scream at a reporter for reporting on a closed-door meeting she was participating in.

The Quinton Report on on Gun Rights


Twitchy wrote about Oliver Willis’ reaction to a tweet I made last night:

The original tweet related to Larry Hogan campaigning at a gun show over the weekend.

Here’s Twitchy’s tweet of it as well:

Read what you missed over the weekend


Chinese officials in a region near the Great Wall made vendors stop selling t-shirts showing President Barack Obama as former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong ahead of a visit by First Lady Michelle Obama.

In an “unofficial” vote, the region surrounding Venice voted by an overwhelming margin (89%) to secede from Italy.

At the Young Democrats’ convention in Annapolis, Anthony Brown only defeated Heather Mizeur by five votes in a gubernatorial straw poll.

Larry Hogan campaigned at a gun show in Timonium Saturday.

An aide to Speaker of the House Michael Busch left a closed door meeting to go scream at a reporter in the State House press room because that reporter had tweeted and blogged about the closed door meeting.

I noted the details of David Craig’s campaign swing to Wicomico County last week.

Sunday was the 2nd anniversary of the Rain Tax passing, and Delegate Steve Schuh is still defending his two votes for it.

In news that was previously unreported - Scott Wade Markle, former President of the Carroll County Democratic Club, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on March 14.

Brian Vaeth filing motion to remain on ballot


Last week, Brian Vaeth was disqualified from running for Governor and he said he planned to appeal that decision. He later blamed a complaint from another Republican running for Governor for getting him removed from the ballot.

Today, Vaeth is filing a motion against Linda Lamone of the State Board of Elections in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He is asking for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order in his motion, which he is filing pro se.

Here’s the conclusion from Vaeth’s filing:

For the reasons presented in this motion and accompanying memorandum of law, plaintiff demands that this Court to rule that the provision found in Article II,§ 5 of the Maryland Constitution is unconstitutional under Article I of the Maryland Declaration of Rights and order the defendant to place his name on the ballot, as directed by law.

Vaeth’s complete filing is below.

Brian Vaeth's Motion

Steve Schuh and the 2nd Anniversary of the Rain Tax


Today (March 23) is the two-year anniversary for the Rain Tax vote in the House. Steve Schuh, the only Republican to vote for the Rain Tax twice, has doubled down on his support for the state bill and is blaming all the problems on Anne Arundel County for bad implementation.

In his “Background on the ‘Rain Tax’” (which is linked to from a Schuh campaign press release),

1. He admits to supporting the state’s unfunded mandate on the counties.

2. He says the bill does not mandate a tax, and instead “authorizes” a fee.

The bill clearly requires the county to “adopt and implement…a stormwater remediation fee”, and the other counties he cites as examples – like Carroll – had to fight the state threatening outrageous penalties to avoid it.

3. He calls forcing the county to create a fee to cover an unfunded mandate “complete flexibility.”

Schuh has been all over the map with misleading statements on the rain tax trying to rewrite history and obscure his bad record.