Archive for David Vogt

MD Right to Life makes primary endorsements


Maryland Right to Life released some endorsements in primary elections this year. In the Governor’s race, they have yet to make an endorsement. I suspect that their decision will be between David Craig, Ron George, and Charles Lollar. Craig and George have a long pro-life record and Lollar has consistently shown that he understands the issues involved and is pro-life. Larry Hogan could get the endorsement, but I am not sure that he should.

In congressional races they have endorsed Andy Harris, who officially has a primary opponent (who has no chance), and Dan Bongino, who faces a primary opponent with little proof of his existence if you look for him online. MDRTL also endorsed incumbent Senator David Brinkley over Delegate Mike Hough in the primary for Brinkley’s senate seat. Other endorsements in senate races include Gail Bates, Bryan Simonaire, and Ed DeGrange.

In house races, Kathy Afzali, Barrie Ciliberti, and Kelly Schulz were endorsed by MD Right to Life in District 4. That means that Mike Hough’s slate had two candidates endorsed, but not Hough himself or David Vogt. In District 31B, MD RTL endorsed Nic Kipke and Megan Simonaire, but (at least for now) not Don Dwyer. You can also read the rest of the endorsements in house races.

In county races, the campaign of Tony Campbell for Baltimore County Executive and David Marks for Baltimore County Council were endorsed. In Montgomery County, Robert Dyer was endorsed for county council.

I am not sure when the next round of endorsements will be made but there are definitely some names missing from the list that should be on it. I assume they are still making decisions in those races since no other candidates are endorsed yet.

David Vogt and Barrie Ciliberti report anemic fundraising totals


David Vogt only raised $2300 between February 13 and April 8 according to a report he filed earlier this week. Barrie Ciliberti, who is on a slate including Vogt, Kathy Afzali, and Mike Hough, only raised $3750 between February 24 and April 8.

Looking at Vogt’s fundraising, he reported raising $2300 and spending $0 yet somehow managed to have a $1657.50 bank account balance at the end of the filing period (instead of $2300 which is listed as his cash balance in a separate box on the form.) Vogt had problems with getting his on-hand balance right in his congressional campaign before he bailed on that bid.

$1000 of Vogt’s contributions were:

  • $500 he gave to his own campaign
  • $250 in a personal contribution from Kathy Afzali
  • $250 from Mike Hough’s campaign committee

Of the $2300 in total receipts, 43.5% came from Vogt or other members of his slate. Vogt received $1000 from B&E Associates GP in Hagerstown. That business has only given money to Bob Ehrlich (in both 2006 and 2010) before. B&E Associates shares the same address as Ewing Oil Company and Prudential Bowen Realty in Hagerstown. Vogt had three other donors who gave him a combined total of $300.

The lack of expenditures listed on Vogt’s finance report is troubling since he had a much-publicized campaign kickoff event in Brunswick on March 23 that included free lunch to those who attended. There are no in-kind contributions listed on the form for food or for anything else. Additionally, all of Vogt’s contributions, except the Hough one in February, were in March. Vogt had been pushing to raise $5000 in the first fifteen days in April on Facebook. Through April 8, those efforts produced no results.

Barrie Ciliberti reported a cash balance and bank account balance at the end of the period that were the same, unlike Vogt. Ciliberti reported that he raised $3750 and spent $941.90 leaving him with $2808.10 on hand.

He received $250 from the campaign account of Mike Hough and $250 from the campaign account of Kathy Afzali. $200 came from other people with the last name of Ciliberti. His largest contributions were from Monocacy Crossing, Inc. and Robert K. Regan, who both gave $1000 each. He received $1000 combined from three other contributors.

Ciliberti’s largest expense was $642.50 to a printer in Seattle for brochures. Most of his other expenditures were for campaign field expenses and reimbursements and a small amount for postage.

Afzali, Vogt, and Ciliberti have a primary in June that will also include Kelly Schulz and Wendi Peters.

Here’s the Vogt report:

David Vogt's campaign finance report – April 15, 2014

Here’s Ciliberti’s report:

Barrie Ciliberti Finance Report, 4/15/14

Confirmed: Mike Hough’s slate in District 4


On March 11, I wrote about the “the newly-formed slate of candidates that includes Senate candidate Mike Hough and House candidates [David] Vogt, Kathy Afzali, and Barrie Ciliberti.”

Here’s what Joe Steffen wrote about the matter on March 13:

So, anyway, based upon some rumblings I was hearing, I asked Michael Hough if he was running as part of a slate, and here’s what he told me:

“No slate as of now.  I’m willing to do joint things together if there are delegates who are conservative and want to work together.”

So, as of right now, Michael Hough is slate-less.  When I thanked him for his answer and told him that I’d seen a few things hinting that he was in a slate with “Vogt and others,” he added:

“Right now it’s just me, but not opposed to working with others as long as they are conservative.”

I followed up Steffen’s report with a clarification based on Hough’s remarks to him while also pointing out that Hough has a slate for Frederick County GOP Central Committee candidates.

The following palm card is out in the wild now:


The literature above refers to Hough, Afzali, Ciliberti, and Vogt as “Maryland’s Conservative Team” while saying they “will fight to cut the O’Malley/Brown budget, lower taxes, defend the 2nd Amendment, and protect life.”

Additionally, note that the authority line includes each candidate’s campaign separately. So, technically this may not be a “slate” under election laws, but the candidates are indeed working together, which many laymen would refer to as a slate regardless of the legal technicalities involved.

As I noted before:

I have to wonder what Hough gains by this slate if that’s what is happening. I would think he would be a strong candidate alone and might be dragged down by all of the house candidates listed.

Hough has a lot of campaign money that could help all of these candidates out, but he’s a strong conservative candidate in his own right, so I’m not sure what he gains from this arrangement.

On February 19, I reported that Hough was going to lose his House GOP leadership position due to his Senate bid. I got denials from Minority Leader Nic Kipke and other sources in Annapolis. Then, the next day, Hough resigned his leadership position. Then there are denials of the slate report that ultimately end up being the truth.

Hough faces incumbent Senator David Brinkley, who voted for taxpayer-funded abortion, in the primary. Vogt, Afzali, and Ciliberti are facing Wendi Peters and Kelly Schulz in the primary.

Online problems continue to plague campaigns


I’ve previously written about problems in execution various candidates have had for social media and email platforms. This time I have an item for three different campaigns.

Authority lines are one issue. Here’s what John Wagner pointed out in a December 2013 story about many candidates and legislators not having authority lines on their Twitter account:

Under regulations issued in 2010, all candidates in Maryland are supposed to include an “authority line” when they promote themselves on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Violations are subject to a fine of up to $500.


With new enforcement powers that were included in legislation passed this year, [State Board of Elections official Jared] DeMarinis said the elections board intends to start cracking down on candidates who aren’t following the rules.

A reminder about the social-media requirements was included in a memo that the board sent in September to candidates, their chairman and their treasurers. There are also reminders on the board’s campaign finance Web site.

I noticed yesterday that Mike Hough, via his @houghforsenate twitter account had an authority line, but it was an incorrect one. The authority line was attributed to Hough for Delegate. After checking to make sure his current campaign organization was indeed called Hough for Senate, I made this tweet:

Shortly thereafter, the profile was changed to correct the authority line. This was apparently just an oversight made back in February when Delegate Hough announced he was running for senate.

There’s another candidate in District 4 running for delegate with authority line issues. David Vogt has no authority line at all on his Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Here’s his Twitter account profile for @Vote4VogtTeam:


UPDATE:  Almost a month after he filed, Vogt’s campaign corrected the Twitter account shortly after I made this post today (3/17/14)

This is something that should have been taken care of when Vogt entered the race for delegate after dropping out of the congressional race. He withdrew from the congressional and filed for delegate on February 20. Vogt had another Twitter account (@Vote4VogtMedia) affiliated with his congressional campaign, but it has been inactive since November.

Vogt also neglected to put authority lines on his campaign Facebook page. (UPDATE: His campaign added an authority line to the about section on the Facebook page shortly after I posted this also. That was something they previously neglected to do since February 20.)

Here’s the main view:


Here’s the full about page:



Moving on from the authority lines, the next issue is a minor one by comparison.

Today, the campaign of Charles Lollar posted a link on Facebook to a message from Art Laffer. It was clear when you clicked on the link that the message had originally been sent as an email. However, when you go to the page from it being linked in Facebook or elsewhere the code for variables (for mail merge) show like this:

Dear {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }},

This relates to the message text being manually posted into a blog post (NationBuilder does not auto-generate web versions of emails)  from the original email without the codes being removed. As I said, it’s not a huge deal but it’s something that can be fixed moving forward.

Here’s what it looked like:


As I’ve noted,  I have critiqued campaign/political emails and social media on more than one occasion before. Most recently a critiqued a poorly executed David Brinkley email and a brutally ugly Larry Hogan email. Additionally, I pointed out the problems in another Hogan email.

I previously wrote about ethical issues with Wade Kach emails. I did the same for an email sent by Kathy Szeliga and got a very nice response and reaction from her about it. I also criticized a Maryland GOP email sent out in April. Additionally, I was critical of one of the worst political emails I’ve ever seen sent by the Lollar campaign (that was in addition to writing about all the twists and turns while the Lollar campaign website was down for 11 days.) I wrote about the Maryland GOP sending out a 1300-word email on the 4th of July and the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli sending out an 1100 word email. These are all subjects I have written about before based on my experiences being  involved in the process of creating and sending political emails all the way up to the point of clicking on the big green send button in the email system.

No Chick-Fil-A for Sunday Event for Vogt


After I initially wrote about David Vogt’s Spring Fling event advertising Chick-Fil-A for lunch on Sunday March 23, I sought comment from corporate communications at Chick-Fil-A.

I received the following statement from Chick-Fil-A’s corporate communications:

We were unaware of this event in Brunswick as all local promotions are handled by our independent Restaurant Operators.  As you can imagine, serving high quality, fresh food and living by our corporate values, such as Closed on Sunday, are two of the most important priorities of our company.   Because of our steadfast commitment to these principles, our food will not be served at the  event on Sunday. We look forward to serving Brunswick the other six days of the week.

After I initially speculated food might be reheated from Saturday, a Frederick County GOP activist noted that wasn’t the case and that it was a regular occurrence for managers to prepare food on Sundays for events. The above statement from Chick-Fil-A confirms what I thought – that is still a violation of the corporation’s Closed on Sunday policy. I also confirmed from a local source yesterday that Vogt is a manager for Chick-Fil-A.

UPDATE: Joe Steffen notes that doomsday prepper and former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett will be Vogt’s special guest at the event and has more background on the Chick-Fil-A situation.

Report: Blank Slate for Hough


I previously reported that Mike Hough or other members of a slate that included him, Kathy Afzali, Barrie Ciliberti, and David Vogt might appear at David Vogt’s Spring Fling later this month. Since then, Hough told Joe Steffen that he was not a part of a slate now but wouldn’t be opposed to working with other conservatives in the future. It would appear that Hough was floating a trial balloon or backed off after the negative reaction to some of the others listed on what was supposed to be his slate.

However, there are slates in the race for Frederick County GOP Central Committee.

Hough’s slate for Central Committee includes his wife (who has never been to a CC meeting), Ted Dacey, Mary Rolle, Michael Hill, Jason Miller, John Bates, and Cynthia Houser.Then there is the Republicans for Frederick County slate (which is effectively the Campaign for Liberty slate backed by Collins Bailey.) On this slate are Darren Wigfield, Jason Laird, Jason Vinyard, Ben Reddington,Mike Bowersox, Russ Burdett, Edward Allen Heine, Joel Lea- Wilson, and Matt Salomon. The rest of the candidates not affiliated with either slate are Joe Parsley, Mike Catoe, Cyndi Schaff, Regis Gamble, and Daniel Cowell.

Getting back to the other story involving Vogt’s Spring Fling, I heard from  a Frederick County activist that managers go in alone on Sundays and prepare food for events being held on a day Chick-Fil-A is closed. I have inquired with Chick-Fil-A’s corporate communications office and they are gathering more information so they can answer the question of whether this would be a violation of their corporate policy.

I also have confirmed separately that David Vogt works in management at a Chick-Fil-A in the Frederick area.

David Vogt claims to be serving Chick-Fil-A at a Sunday event


UPDATE: A local GOP activist in the Frederick area notes on Facebook that Chick-Fil-A provides food for numerous Sunday events and that a manager will go in on Sunday alone to prepare the food. I’ve already emailed corporate communications at Chick-Fil-A and I’ve heard back from them and should be hearing back from them again. I will continue to update the situation.

David Vogt has a Spring Fling event scheduled on March 23 in Brunswick. He stated today that a special guest will be at the event now, and I’m hearing speculation that this will be the first public appearance some ore all of the members of the newly-formed slate of candidates that includes Senate candidate Mike Hough and House candidates Vogt, Kathy Afzali, and Barrie Ciliberti. I have to wonder what Hough gains by this slate if that’s what is happening. I would think he would be a strong candidate alone and might be dragged down by all of the house candidates listed.

Getting back to the Vogt Spring Fling;  that event on March 23 will feature a “Free Chick-Fil-A Lunch.”

The first question that comes to mind: how will Vogt afford that?

Then, the next question that comes to mind: does Vogt realize Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday?

If so, then that means he is going to be pre-ordering and picking up the sandwiches or party trays on Saturday and reheating them on Sunday for that event. That brings up all sorts of potential food safety issues. Everybody knows Chick-Fil-A closes on Sunday, so who will want to show up for day-old chicken sandwiches or nuggets?

Other candidates running for the House of Delegates are Kelly Schulz and Wendi Peters, who was just endorsed by Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

Here’s the flier for the event:


Bartlett’s wife and his former chief of staff running for Frederick County Council


UPDATE: I hear that Ellen Bartlett will likely withdraw – that she was trying to scare Bud Otis out of the race before he ended up filing for an at-large seat. There are other Republicans running in District 1.

Ellen Bartlett, wife of former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, is running for District 1 for Frederick County Council. Bartlett’s former chief of staff Bud Otis is also running for county council. However, Otis is running for an at-large council seat.

Of course, Bud Otis was previously fired (or forced to resign) by Bartlett for disloyalty after allegedly trying to set up his own campaign for the congressional seat . Rep. Neil Parrott even said that Otis tried to line up support for a bid while Otis was still working in Bartlett’s congressional office.

In 2011, the following was written about Bud Otis working for Bartlett:

On Mr. Cox’s departure, Harold F. (Bud) Otis, Jr., took over. His strongest credential apparently was that he shared Mr. Bartlett’s Seventh-day Adventist membership. Before being summoned to Capitol Hill, he was president of the church’s Family Enrichment Resources, infamous within Seventh-day Adventist circles for producing and selling a videotape Biblical series. Coming off a controversial and troubled stewardship, Mr. Otis markedly restricted access to his boss.

During my Washington years, I saw this frequently. In order to keep their jobs, Capitol Hill staffs shut off elected officials from most matters the employees choose to ignore. In every instance, the representative or senator was defeated at the polls, sooner or later. But I’m sure “Bud” Otis has his retirement well planned.

Otis was most recently seen working for the failed congressional campaign of David Vogt. Otis reportedly left the Vogt campaign in the weeks before Vogt announced he was quitting. It was rumored that both Vogt and Otis were running for county council. However, Vogt decided to run for the House in District 4.

A recent article indicated that Roscoe and Ellen Bartlett have been living in West Virginia. They apparently didn’t see their Maryland home and she is living there.  Her filing today indicates an address on Buckeystown Pike in Frederick.

Another candidate gets into the House Race in District 4


On the same day word gets out that Ken Timmerman is not running in District 4 (because he’s running for Lt. Governor on the ticket of Charles Lollar), another Republican candidate files for the already crowded race.

Barrie Ciliberti was a Delegate from Montgomery County from 1995-1999. He has been a college professor and is a member of the hard left American Association of University Professors. Since moving to Frederick County, Ciliberti has already unsuccessfully run for the county Board of Education. He has served as special assistant for ethnic affairs for the Republican National Committee.

With Timmerman out and Ciliberti in, it may mean a bit of a taller order for candidate David Vogt, who has never run for office before aside from the congressional campaign he withdrew from. Other candidates include incumbent delegates Kelly Schulz and Kathy Afzali. Wendi Peters is also a candidate.

The fact Ciliberti couldn’t manage to win a seat on the board of education would seem to indicate he might have trouble in this primary – especially with his background as a college professor and a member of the AAUP.



Mike Hough to announce Wednesday he’s challenging David Brinkley


As I noted on February 7, Delegate Mike Hough was considering a Republican primary challenge to incumbent Senator David Brinkley. Brinkley, the Senate Minority Leader, represents District 4, as does Hough.

I am now hearing that Hough has asked to meet with Brinkley tomorrow to inform him that he is indeed running against him. Hough plans to officially announce sometime after that.

This leave incumbent delegates Kelly Schulz and Kathy Afzali running for re-election in the GOP primary. Additionally, Wendi Peters and David Vogt have officially announced as candidates. Ken Timmerman is said to be running as well. Peters has officially filed while Vogt has only set up his campaign organization to raise money so far.