Author Archives: mdgopinsider

About mdgopinsider

University of Maryland Government and Politics Major

Dan “Jonestown” Bongino

Dan Bongino has posed the question on his Facebook page:  “If you have a minute would you mind briefly sharing your experiences with the MD State GOP? Either good or bad, I would like to see what they are doing well or what needs to change.”


Some Maryland conservatives continue to drink from the vat of “Bongino Kool Aid” by the gallon.  Given their continued reaction to “Jonestown” Bongino, one might have thought he had won, or even have run a halfway competitive race.  To hear them, electing Bongino, not Romney, should have been the top priority for Maryland Republicans.

Inconvenient questions are not being asked, such as how does Bongino actually compare with other Maryland Republican US Senate candidates?

Nevertheless, here are the numbers:

Bongino (2012) – 693,291 Wargotz (2010) – 655,666 Steele (2006) – 787,182 Pipkin (2004) – 783,055

Consider the two Senate candidates who both ran more US Senate competitive races: State Senator E.J. Pipkin and former Lt. Governor Michael Steele.   Both had records as elected officials.  In fact, both had won races to win positions formally held by Democrats. (Even Eric Wargotz had been an elected official in Queen Anne’s County, although that county has fewer people than some condo associations in the state.)

Dan Bongino has no public record to point to. None.  He has never won votes beyond the Republican base.   In fact after Bongino won the primary in Spring 2012, he never stopped running to pick up still more primary votes. Faced with a skeptical questioner on the campaign trail, Bongino thrilled his supporters by giving the hapless voter what for.  Feels good to true believers, but it does not win many additional votes.

To answer Bongino’s question:  The state Republican Party should have recruited a more experienced – and yes, more credible- candidate for the US Senate.  It should have been of the stature of our Congressional candidates such as Nancy Jacobs or Tony O’Donnell.   Did anyone try to recruit Blaine Young, Pat McDonough or Alan Kittleman?


Chris Cavey’s “Show Me the Money” Plan for Republican Party

Earlier this week, former Baltimore County Republican Chairman Chris Cavey offered his “Show Me the Money” plan for the Maryland Republican Party.  (see another)

This is the same Chris Cavey who was defeated in 2010 as the Baltimore County Republican Chairman by the former head of Republicans for Obama.  However, in doing so County Republicans avoided being tarred by Cavey’s participation in the Ehrlich 2010 Election Day antics.

According an indictment filed by the State Prosecutor of various Ehrlich campaign aides, Cavey was in the infamous Ehrlich campaign “war room” at the Westin Hotel as the Director of Field Operations, at which Ehrlich aides hatched their “Relax” robocall.  (see p 7, para 13.) The call resulted in the criminal conviction of Paul Schurick and Julius Hanson for sending over 100,000 to African-American voters the following phone message:

“Hello, I calling to let everybody know that governor O’Malley and President Obama have been successful.  Our goals have been met. The polls are correct, and we took it back.  We’re okay. Everything is fine.  The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight.

Congratulations, and thank you.”

Politics does not any sleazier than this.  In fact another prosecutor could easily have swept Cavey in with an indictment as a co-conspirator with Schurick and Henson.  So it is in this context that Chris Cavey offers his personal “to do list” for Maryland


1.      Pay the Maryland Republican Chairman a salary.

2.      Let non-Republicans vote in the Republican primary

3.      Require candidates to collect “petition signatures” to get ballot access

4.      Let Central Committees endorse candidates

5.      Move away from incumbent endorsement,

6.      Be a business- “it will breed success and “spawn additional investors.”

Every single point on his plan involves rewarding  handful of party insiders, the Chris Cavey’s, Lawrence Scott’s and Kevin Igoe’s, with more power to determine who can and cannot run for office as a Republican.  And more importantly for them, reward them with jobs, consulting contracts and more money.

Everybody under the Cavey plan would need to hire the political consultants to get petition signatures or to get their Central Committee’s endorsement. Principled Conservatives would especially be more vulnerable given the “Open” primary suggestion, since these are intended to further weaken conservatives.   Under Cavey’s “Move away for incumbent endorsement” platform plank, Republican legislators will need to staff up with Central Committee Chairmen like Cavey was in order to be prepared to avoid primary fights.

Maybe this goes to show why in 2009 Audrey Scott seemed the proverbial “knight on a white horse” compared to wannabe State Chairman Chris Cavey.  We are lucky the party never decided to “Show Cavey the Money.”

Chairman Mooney Crushes Rebellion

smiegelThis past Saturday, instead of delivering a vote of no confidence to Alex Mooney or Reince Preibus, rather unexpectedly, the Maryland Republican party rebuked the Cecil County Republican Central Committee, Sen. E.J. Pipkin  and Del. Michael Smigiel instead.

This past November Cecil County voters elected their first ever County Executive, Tari Moore.  That she is a Republican should be a source of pride for Cecil Republicans.  However, Moore’s being a Republican has led Pipkin, Smigel  and County Chris Zeauskas to think that they now are entitled to play the role of “Boss Tweed” of Tammany Hall  and dictate appointments to the County government. Moore outflanked them last week with a slick legal maneuver to switch party registration to independent.

At the convention, Resolutions committee Chair Andi  Morony (a Smigiel flunky and long-time Audrey Scott hack) offered a resolution not just condemning Moore, but demanding she resign an office she had not even been sworn into yet. Despite a one-sided presentation, the party convention saw through the Pipkin-Smigiel  power grab and turned the big fat bullies down flat.  The resolution was tabled.

Congressman Andy Harris has publicly said he would welcome Harris back to the party and expects that she will return soon. Moore need not worry about returning to the Republican Party and a future Republican primary.  Moore has already beaten “Boss” Zeauskas  once in the 2010 primary, and then won the 2012 primary for County Executive.  In short, Cecil pipkinRepublicans have already rejected the  Pipkin -Semigel-Zeauskas combination.

Baltimore County Chairman John Fiastro Jr. didn’t fare much better at the convention.  Having only just been elected in the past few weeks as the County’s Party Chairman, he decided to begin his tenure by taking on RNC Chairman Reince Prebius with a no confidence resolution.

It doesn’t get much dumber than that, since Preibus already has the votes to win..  This also serves as an explanation as to why in 2010 the voters in Legislative District 42 opted to elect  two Republicans, Susan Aumann  and Bill Frank, but passed on electing Fiastro.

But then, give Fiastro some credit.  He at least got his resolution on the floor, even if it was turned down.  Brian Griffith’s kamikaze attack on Alex Mooney crashed before it even took off. No doubt he will be reminded of his harsh comments about volunteering out of state when he tries to run for national YR office.  One suspects that Brian’s chances of ever following in Nicolee Ambrose’s heels are slim and none.

Do you have confidence in the leadership of Maryland GOP Chairman, Alex Mooney?


Answer only if you answered No, to question 1.




She’s Back!

With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?
Originally Published in the Baltimore Sun


by Marta Hummel Mossburg


OCTOBER 23, 2012
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<!–MPPITransparency is critical to the effective participation of citizenry in a democratic government. In order to hold members of government accountable for
their actions, citizens must be able to find relevant information without undue burden.


Republicans in Maryland often wonder why they lose. The letter sent last week by Michael Steele and Audrey Scott to Maryland Republicans urging them to vote for expanded gambling is a perfect example of how the party solidifies its minority status. <more>

Sounds like old Audrey is back. This time she is shilling for the Taxpayer funded casinos who want to come to National Harbor.  This is a one of Martin O’Malley’s pet projects, why a former MDGOP Chair and unsuccessful candidate for Republican National Committeewoman would support one of O’Malley’s pet projects.  Answer she is Audrey Scott.

Rep. Ryan is a great VP pick by Governor Romney.  I am certain that Rep. Ryan will mop the floor with Lunch bucket Joe, in the debates.



Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Below is Congressman Ryan’s biography:

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is in his seventh term in Congress representing Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.  He is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he has worked tirelessly leading the effort to reign in federal spending and increase accountability to taxpayers. He also serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he has focused on simplifying the tax code and making health care more affordable and accessible.

In January 2010, Ryan gained attention nationwide after unveiling his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a proposal to eliminate the federal deficit, reform the tax code, and preserve entitlements for future generations.

Representative Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin on January 29, 1970. A fifth-generation Wisconsin native, Ryan was the youngest of four children born to Paul Ryan Sr., who worked as an attorney, and Betty, a stay-at-home mom.

In April 2000, Ryan proposed to Janna Little, a native Oklahoman, at one of his favorite fishing spots, Big St. Germain Lake in Wisconsin. Later that year, the two were married in Oklahoma City.

The Ryans reside in Janesville with their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam. The family are parishioners at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Upon entering Congress in January of 1999, Ryan was the youngest member of the freshmen class at the age of 28. Prior to running for Congress, Ryan served as an aide to Republican Senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, former U.S. Rep. and Vice Presidential Candidate Jack Kemp, and as a speechwriter for Education Secretary William Bennett.

Ryan is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned degrees in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.  He is an avid outdoorsman and is a member is of his local archery association, the Janesville Bowmen.



Young begins to make mark on state Republicans

 From the Maryland Community News

Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Young begins to make mark on state Republicans
Ryan Marshall Staff writer

Marylanders won’t elect a new governor for more than two years, but Blaine R. Young — the sometimes combative president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners — has already started to attract attention on the Republican side of the race, according to some political observers.

Young, who has set up a gubernatorial exploratory committee, has developed a fairly impressive reputation within state Republican circles, said Don Murphy, a former state delegate who served as chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee and has worked on numerous campaigns, including U.S. Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential effort and state Sen. David Brinkley’s unsuccessful 2012 congressional primary bid.

“He’s getting noticed, that’s for sure,” Murphy said of Young.

Part of the political buzz around Young has been generated by his appearance at the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield on the Eastern Shore on July 18.

The event is considered one of the most important annual political gatherings for Maryland politicians and potential candidates, and Young showed up with about 80 supporters.

Murphy said a respectable showing for a candidate two years before the election would be between 20 and 40 supporters. He said he’d never seen a turnout like the one Young produced nearly two years before the party primary is held in June 2014.

Mike McKay (R), president of the Allegany County Board of Commissioners, who went to the clambake with Young’s supporters, said the people in T-shirts touting Young’s campaign caused a stir among the 2,000 or so attendees as they moved through the crowd.

“It did get a lot of buzz there,” McKay said.

If you can’t put on a good show at Tawes, it can be taken as a signal that you’re not quite ready for prime time, Murphy said.

The appearance put Young on the radar in some political circles around the state, assuring that, at least for now, he would be mentioned regularly as a possible GOP gubernatorial candidate.

“This was an opportunity for him to burst on the stage, if you will,” Murphy said.

Travel has become a way of life for Young as he moves throughout the state trying to gather support and the money to take advantage of it.

“It’s all about raising money right now,” Young said.

He has formed a committee to raise money for a gubernatorial campaign, but has not officially filed as a candidate.

Young, who hopes to raise between $300,000 and $500,000 by the end of the year, said he’s raised about $150,000 so far from events in Frederick and Montgomery counties, and on the Eastern Shore. He has an event scheduled in Cambridge in mid-August, he said.

He expects it will take about $1 million to run a statewide primary campaign.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) spent nearly $14 million on his 2010 re-election campaign, while Republican challenger and former Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. spent more than $8 million on the race.

Finding a strategy The rural counties on the Eastern Shore and in Western Maryland could be crucial if Young wins the Republican nomination, said state Sen. Joe Getty (R), who represents parts of Carroll and Baltimore counties, and served as the political director for Ehrlich’s successful 2002 campaign.

He said Young faces some of the same challenges Ehrlich did that year.

The Republican candidate will likely lose heavily in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and in Baltimore city, and will have to make up those votes in the rest of the state, Getty said.

Getty said he doesn’t know Young well, but thinks he has seized on some tax and economic issues that have broad appeal, such as a desire to rein in spending and reduce regulation.

“That’s where I see the campaign in 2014 heading,” he said.

Del. Michael J. Hough (R-Dist. 3B) of Brunswick said he thinks Young has a compelling story to tell voters as the owner of a small businesses, Interstate Mobile Advertising Inc. and Yellow Cab of Frederick, Brunswick and Mount Airy.

Hough said he thinks Young’s history as a fiscal conservative will add to his popularity.

Young and his fellow commissioners have cut government spending and laid off county employees, showing that he’s not afraid to make unpopular decisions to reduce the size of government, Hough said.

Along with overperforming in the rural counties, Young would likely have to win in Baltimore County and woo disenchanted Democrats and independents who are looking elsewhere after eight years under O’Malley, Getty said.

In 2002, Ehrlich, who grew up in Arbutus and served the area as a congressman, won the state by 66,000 votes, and captured Baltimore County by 65,000 votes, Getty said.

He said Ehrlich was able to capitalize on voters who were searching for alternatives after eight years of Gov. Parris Glendening (D).

“There was definitely a Glendening fatigue,” Getty said, noting that he senses some of the same sentiment with O’Malley now.

Getty said he is not currently supporting any potential candidate, and will wait to see how the Republican race develops before deciding if he will choose a side.

Harford County Executive David Craig and Annapolis real estate developer Larry Hogan, who served as Ehrlich’s appointments secretary, have also been mentioned as being among the possible candidates for the Republican nomination.

Matthew Verghese, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said the party wouldn’t comment on the record of any unofficial candidate.

Divisive figure Young has been a vocal critic of what he sees as excessive taxes and regulation in Maryland, and has vowed to veto any tax or fee increases if he’s elected governor.

In February, the commissioners passed a controversial ordinance proposed by Young to make English the official language of all county business.

If elected, Young would be the fifth Frederick County resident to occupy the governor’s mansion, but the first since 1854, according to the The Historical Society of Frederick County.

Young was active in the 2011 founding of the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition, an alliance including Allegany, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick and Washington counties aimed at increasing its members’ collective voice in Annapolis and countering the influence of more populous counties, such as Montgomery, Prince Georges and Baltimore.

Along with the bully pulpit that comes with the commissioners’ presidency, Young is also host of “The Blaine Young Show” on 930 WFMD. The radio show has been the source of ethics complaints against Young, but the Frederick County Ethics Commission has ruled the forum does not present a conflict of interest.

He would have to give up the show if he officially declares as a candidate, which Young said is contingent on meeting his fundraising goals of at least $300,000 by the end of the year.

If he does declare, an announcement wouldn’t come until the summer or fall of 2013, although he said he hasn’t settled on a definitive date.

Whatever happens, Young’s sometimes abrupt political style has won him both fans and critics.

Supporters see him as a “straight shooter,” said Washington County Commissioner Jeff Cline (R).

But his opponents see him as sometimes unreceptive to the opinions of others.

“I don’t think he listens to or intends to listen to any points of view other than those who agree with him,” said Myrna Whitworth, chairwoman of the Frederick County chapter of the Democratic State Central Committee.

Young seems aware that he can be a divisive figure.

At the recent opening of a county park in Urbana, a speaker discussed how parks and playgrounds are often where children first learn to interact with one another.

During his own remarks, Young joked that perhaps he should visit the newly opened playground to work on learning to play well with others.

McKay said he thinks Young has what it takes to win over voters and mount a successful campaign.

“There’s an energy there,” he said.

© 2012 Post-Newsweek Media, Inc./Gazette.Net