“Pro-Choice” is NOT Pro-Liberty

LibertyThere are some Republicans in Maryland this primary season – multiple candidates or their supporters – who have a hard time with the concept that the truly pro-Liberty position is the pro-life one.

They justify their pro-abortion position by talking about things like personal choice and keeping government out of our lives. The former is straight out of the abortion industry’s talking points while the latter is an attempt to co-opt Tea Party language to justify the killing of innocent life.

In 1809, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Maryland Republicans: “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

Let’s look at what Senator Rand Paul said at a speech just over a year ago (I witnessed it from the front row):

“Some have said to me that ‘you’re big on all this liberty stuff, why do you want to restrict a women’s right to choose?'” he said.

“And I say, you know what? The government does have some role in our lives. One of the main roles that government has is restricting you from harming another individual, which gets us back to the original debate. When life begins, there is a role for the state so it’s not that I’m against people choosing things. I’m in fact, one of the biggest believers in choice, in liberty. But you can’t have liberty if you don’t protect where your liberty originates from and that’s your right to life,” Paul explained.

Stephanie Slade has written at Reason.com about Sen. Paul and why she is a pro-life libertarian. Her story notes that the attacks on Paul for this position came from Salon.com, among other left-wing pro-abortion outlets.

I’ve written before about Libertarians for Life, which is a group within the national Libertarian Party. That group is based here in Maryland and they have some principles they wrote about that pro-Liberty Republicans who support abortion need to think about:

  • Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
  • Abortion is homicide — the killing of one person by another.
  • One’s right to control one’s own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
  • A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother’s body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
  • No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally “de-person” any one of us, born or preborn.
  • The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

Kristen Walker Hatten of New Wave Feminists also wrote a great piece on “Why Libertarians Should Be Pro-Life on Abortion.”

The above arguments don’t rely on religion at all, if you’ll notice. Secular Pro-Life also does a lot of good work in this area as well.

Watch Rand Paul discuss Liberty and the Right to Life

I will be discussing this issue in-depth this week. I’ll name names and look at specific candidates and their supporters as well.

Kasich campaigning in Annapolis Tuesday

kasichGov. John Kasich will return to Maryland Tuesday for a Town Hall in Annapolis at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Jennifer Road. More details are available on the campaign website.

Kasich also appeared (with Bob Ehrlich) in Maryland last week, with a town hall meeting at Historic Savage Mill and two other stops that included a Baltimore fundraiser.

The polls still currently show Trump winning Maryland in the popular vote but that doesn’t mean that Trump will have the best day in Maryland on the 26th.

Kasich could win delegates in Maryland

The Baltimore Sun story on the Wednesday visit discusses the lay of the land in the race currently:

Kasich has won only one state — his own — and polling has indicated Trump has a significant lead in Maryland. However, most of Maryland’s delegates are allocated by congressional district, and so Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz could capture some delegates for the GOP convention this summer even of Trump wins statewide.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump will also be appearing in Maryland this week.

Candidate built campaign website on Homestead


You remember Homestead don’t you? As a free web-hosting site back in the 1990s, they were a slightly more upscale version of Geocities and Tripod. When I built websites for state and local candidates in the mid-to-late 90s , candidates invited mockery for building on these hosts.

One of the 14 candidates for the U.S. Senate in the Republican Primary is hosting her website through Homestead.

Lynne Richardson, a candidate who claims to be a “social moderate” and a “fiscal conservative” is the head of the Perry Hall-White Marsh Business Association.

The fact she is running, along with most of the other candidates in the primary, show that the filing fee ($290) is too low for that office (as well as the other lower ones for other offices.)

Getting back to the point, the site is awful and could’ve been so much better using something as simple as Squarespace. It makes me wonder about Richardson’s business, which supposedly offers website design and redesign services.

In addition to questioning their web services, I’d question their marketing materials and copywriting services as well, based on the website copy that is sorely in a need of a proofreader.

The site has links to Homestead’s services at the bottom, which is likely part of their requirements.

More importantly, when you get to the main page on the site there is absolutely nowhere telling the visitor where they can donate online.

If you happen to click on the contact link on the top nav of the site you will go to a page that includes a contact form and a PayPal donation link. However, that’s the only place I see any way to donate on the site.

It doesn’t appear Richardson has raised enough money to even be required to file a report with the Federal Election Commission yet, which isn’t a surprise based on the lack of optimization of the site for acquiring email addresses or contributions.

I know this is low-hanging fruit, but it’s important to look at and I’ll do the same for other sites over the next week and a half.

Kathy Szeliga rides motorcyle in new ad

kathy szeliga

Kathy Szeliga, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, debuted her new television ad over the weekend in advance of the April 26 primary. The Baltimore Sun called it, “an energetic introductory spot in which the state lawmaker rides a motorcycle, touts her status as a grandmother and criticizes Washington.”

More on the ad from The Sun:

“Washington is broken,” Szeliga, the House Minority Whip says to the camera. “Career politicians and D.C. insiders, they’re just not going to fix it.”

The ad — the first from any of the GOP candidates in Maryland — name checks Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and touts Republican efforts in Annapolis to roll back the “rain tax” and lower tolls. About halfway through the ad, Szeliga hops on a motorcycle and takes a spin.

“It’s only 52 miles from my house to D.C.,” Szeliga says, “but can you think of a place that needs more change?”

Szeliga’s campaign did not detail the extent of its investment, but public FCC files indicate she has purchased broadcast airtime on Baltimore’s major networks and has committed roughly $100,000. That figure may not represent the full extent of the buy.

Also in the past week, Szeliga was endorsed by Maryland Right to Life in the Primary. She is a member of the National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus and has a strong pro-life track record.

Watch the Kathy Szeliga Ad

In the next two weeks, be sure to follow my coverage of the primary races from a pro-life perspective.

Szeliga has a long list of endorsements on her website that I won’t try to include.

MD GOP candidate hosting Delaware fundraiser

MD GOPEarlier tonight, I had someone ask me what was going on with Mark Plaster, candidate in the MD GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District, hosting a campaign event in Delaware.

After I did a quick search, I didn’t even bother to contact the Plaster campaign or anyone else, because the event information on his campaign website is pretty self-explanatory for why the event is being held in Wilmington in May.

From the campaign website:

Come meet (or remeet) Mark and Rebecca Plaster. Mark is running for US Congress in Maryland after a career as a Doctor, two tours to Iraq with the Marine Corps, and starting a now-successful publishing company out of his basement! Mark and his family spent many years in Wilmington and are returning to reconnect with friends & family, and update everyone about the campaign. Mark is the sort of man we want in Congress, and he needs your support to get him there!

The fundraiser is on May 2.


Assuming Plaster wins the April 26 MD GOP primary, he will be raising money for the general election campaign against Rep. John Sarbanes, who received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. If not, he’ll be helping retire his campaign debt. I assume he will win.

Plaster has been named a Young Gun by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) this cycle.

His endorsements on his website include one recognizable name, Rep. Andy Harris. The rest are mainly doctors (and a retired admiral) who knew him through his illustrious medical career. Notably, Maryland Right to Life did not endorse Plaster or his primary opponent, Thomas “Pinkston” Harris.

MD GOP & Out of State Campaign Activities

In 2014, the campaign of Charles Lollar kicked things off with a bang – driving around the state in a Lollar-branded bus with Delaware license plates on it.

Also in 2014, former former MD State Senator and MD GOP official Alex Mooney came back  from West Virginia and hosted a fundraiser in Montgomery County (with Bob Ehrlich) and one in Baltimore County (with Rep. Andy Harris) for his congressional campaign, which he eventually won.

As far as Democrats go, I seem to recall an issue with Martin O’Malley raising money in New York during one of his bids for governor, but I haven’t been able to find an article  backing that up yet.