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.

Could Trump really lose South Carolina?

South CarolinaIn 1976, Jimmy Carter was the last Democratic nominee to win South Carolina in a presidential election. Could Hillary Clinton be the first Democrat to win the Palmetto State in 40 years?

A poll commissioned by the South Carolina Democratic Party was released by Public Policy Polling. Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by a margin of 41% to 39%. Gary Johnson receives 5% and Jill Stein  got 2%.

Clinton wins 84% of Democrats in the poll. Trump only receives 77% of Republicans. Both Trump and Clinton are viewed favorably by only 38% of respondents. Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 55% of respondents while Trump’s unfavorability rating is 56%.

The same poll asked about favorability/unfavorability of other politicians in the state. Lindsey Graham’s favorability ratings show him underwater. His favorable rating comes in at 30% while his unfavorable rating lands at 54%. His unfavorables stay pretty much the same across the board among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Tim Scott and Nikki Haley fare better in the favorability rankings. Respondents gave Scott a favorable/unfavorable ranking of 45/28. He has the same poll numbers for his re-election bid in November. Respondents gave Nikki Haley a favorable score of 48% and an unfavorable score of 39%. Her favorable number dropped 8 points from the 56% it was last fall.

Be sure to read the full release of the poll that includes crosstabs and the language of the poll questions.  PPP is a Democratic Party firm so there might be some degree of house effect in their polling. However, these numbers look bad for Trump even if you assume they are off a bit.

Jonathan Last of The Weekly Standard summed things up nicely about the state of the national race:

Trump isn’t just behind in the big battleground states. No, what should scare sense into any sophisticated Republicans is that Trump is clinging to bare leads in Utah, Kansas, and South Carolina. He’s behind in Georgia. This is not a presidential race. It’s The Poseidon Adventure.

Nate Silver of 538 even noted the SC Trump-Clinton numbers match his model:

As a native of the Palmetto State who has observed politics there for a long-time – and even participated in them – I would still be really surprised if Trump lost the state. The fact that it’s even close at this point should be a concern for his campaign. Of course, if he loses SC, he would definitely lose the whole thing. There’s a good chance Trump would lose the whole thing even if he squeaked by there.

Just a reminder, I’m not voting for Trump and I left the GOP recently.

More on South Carolina

More results from the PPP poll:

  • 84% of voters support background checks for all gun purchases, including 82% of Republicans.
  • 81% of voters support barring gun ownership for people on the terror watch list, including 85% of Republicans.
  • 77% of voters support a raise in the minimum wage to ten dollars, including 67% of Republicans.
  • 78% of voters supported student loans being refinanced at lower rates.
  • 53% of voters support LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

In closing, I would still be a bit surprised if Trump lost SC, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he won by a single-digit margin.

Why I won’t vote for Trump & left the GOP

TrumpDonald Trump is not the nominee of any party, GOP or otherwise, of which I’m a member. I wrote about this decision in a column published last week at The Daily Beast but I wanted to provide more context here.

One quick note since some people expressed confusion or concern – I didn’t write the headline. I mentioned my support  for Pat Buchanan’s campaign in 1996 as a frame of reference.

I changed my Maryland voter registration from Republican to Unaffiliated the night the Republican National Convention officially nominated Trump as its party’s presidential candidate.

As I noted in the column, I won’t be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. There’s very little chance I will vote for Gary Johnson at this point. Jill Stein is the only other candidate on the ballot here in Maryland. So,  won’t be voting for any of those three candidates.  I will write someone in or I may even leave the line for president blank as a protest.

Clinton will win Maryland’s electoral votes no matter what I do. If I hit my head on the way to vote and lost all my principles and voted for Trump, Clinton would still win Maryland.

I will vote for Kathy Szeliga, a pro-life conservative, for the U.S. Senate. I will also vote to re-elect Congressman Andy Harris, who has a great pro-life track record.

Why I Won’t Vote for Trump

I won’t vote for Trump because he is a hateful voice, not an optimistic one. He would fence off Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill. Trump is a moral reprobate with serious character issues, as is Hillary Clinton.

I also noted several reasons for not supporting Trump in my column at The Daily Beast.

As a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst, I place a great deal of importance on foreign policy and national security issues.

The Republican nominee’s appeal to the “alt right” concerns me as well as I noted in my column:

Trump’s appeals to the “alt-right” are nothing but a dog whistle for the fringes of the Republican Party. I have seen them get caught up in questionable conspiracy theories. They post about “false flag” theories after mass shootings that were supposedly were arranged in support of gun control. Jewish critics of Trump have been threatened and ridiculed for daring to question anything the man says. Polls show self-identifying evangelical Christians largely support him—a fact that leaves many observers scratching their heads.

As someone who has worked in the pro-life movement professionally at the national level and as a volunteer locally, I don’t trust Trump’s lip service and ignorance on the issues. Even if some pro-lifers want to sell out to him for power, influence, and access, I don’t think he’s reliable at all on court appointments or defunding Planned Parenthood.

Maybe I would have had more of a struggle on this bittersweet decision to leave the GOP and not vote for its nominee if I lived in a swing state. I’ve voted for the Republican nominee for president every time since 1992. I don’t take this decision lightly and I put a lot of thought and prayer into it.

I don’t support a candidate just because of the “team” they are on. I will continue to pray for our country and our elected officials, no matter who they are.

About Jeff Quinton

Baltimore: #10 Most Liberal City

Baltimore 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.