State, Wicomico County Must Manage Expectations for 2015

I’m not a pessimist.  No, really I’m not.  I sincerely hope that 2015 will be a GREAT year for Maryland and for Wicomico County.  While I HOPE that 2015 will be a great year, I’m a realist.  I expect this year to be a good year, IF we can agree on a definition of “good”.

We still have a few weeks until Larry Hogan is sworn in as governor.  Bob Culver, while starting off well, only has a few weeks under his belt as Wicomico’s County Executive.  Both the state and county face significant fiscal challenges.  Hogan and his team appear to be working around the clock to address severe revenue shortfalls for both the current and next fiscal years.

Starting with a mound of problems it is important that both Hogan and Culver be allowed the opportunity to address issues which they inherited.  Voters, particularly Republican voters, should allow both the opportunity to succeed before calling either out for failing to fulfill their respective campaign promises.  This is precisely why it is important that GOP activists and Republican-leaning bloggers need to manage expectations for 2015.

Monoblogue’s Michael Swartz believes that the County Council and Culver will be “working from the same political playbook”.  That remains to be seen.  Councilmen Ernie Davis (D-1), John Hall (R-4), John Cannon (R-At Large), and Matt Holloway (R-At Large) are all on record as wanting to fund a new West Salisbury Elementary School.  The only reason Hall, Cannon, and Matt Holloway voted in favor of a bond resolution without funding for West Salisbury was because Culver had pledged to not sign such a resolution.

Swartz also notes that the chief impediments to an elected school board are now gone with the departures of former County Executive Rick Pollitt, former Del. Norm Conway, and former Del. Rudy Cane.  That is true as far as it goes.  However, there is no more vocal opponent of an elected school board (and particularly a fully elected board) than Cane’s replacement – Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-37A).  While all of Wicomico’s incoming delegation may be freshmen, Sample-Hughes is the only House member from the majority party in Annapolis.  Even more distressing is the County Council’s seeming lack of concern in asking Annapolis for a fully elected school board.

Most of the heavy lifting in Wicomico County will have to be done by Culver.  This is by design.  He controls the budget.  Because so much of the state budget is comprised of mandatory spending, Hogan will have less control than Bob Ehrlich.

Both Hogan and Culver need to continue making their respective cases for decreases in spending.  Maryland voters need to press their Senators and Delegates to cut spending.  Only then will Hogan have the opportunity call for reducing taxes.  Culver will need support to continue pressing for less spending.  Even then, lowering tax rates will prove difficult.

Those of us who want to see a better, more competitive state and county need to manage our expectations.  Neither Hogan nor Culver have magic wands to wave.  They can succeed.  We need to give them time to do just that.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It took Martin O’Malley eight years to put Maryland in its present condition.

photo courtesy of SBYNews

Share Button

Wicomico GOP Latest Source of Dem $$

Wicomico councilwoman, and District 37-A House candidate, Sheree Sample-Hughes has stumbled upon a new source of campaign cash.  REPUBLICAN elected officials!

That’s right!  The most liberal member of the Wicomico County Council can count the likes of Wicomico council president Matt Holloway, appointed councilman John Hall, and Wicomico sheriff Mike Lewis among her most ardent supporters.  Even Lewis’ chief deputy has contributed to Sample-Hughes’ race.

140122_RepublicansForSample-Hughes_600x650

In a twisted sense of irony, voters should remember that Sample-Hughes has implied that Lewis and his department are a bunch of racists because of a drug raid and chase on Salisbury’s west side a few years ago.  Now Lewis and his number two are helping Sample-Hughes to climb the political ladder.

It will be interesting to see the response of the local Republican party.

Share Button

Maryland Board of Elections Cries Foul

What happens when the powers that be don’t want to bother with the niceties of an election but would rather proceed directly to a coronation?  You ignore the law and all appearances of propriety.  At least that is the case when Maryland elections chief, and O’Malley / Brown ally, Linda Lamone decides to issue a ruling allowing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s campaign to raise money during the 2014 General Assembly session.

In theory, Lamone works for the State Board of Elections.  Unfortunately for the people of Maryland, Lamone seems to thing that the board’s only purpose is to rubber stamp her actions.  Such was the recent case where Lamone chose to bypass the Attorney General’s office in seeking an opinion as to whether Brown’s running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman could raise money for the Brown / Ulman ticket while Brown is expressly prohibited from doing so.  Lamone then issued a ruling without bothering to consult the board – the people she supposedly reports to.  Glynis Kazanjian, at Maryland Reporter, details Lamone’s actions and the reaction of one courageous board member.

Why bother with elections when bureaucrats can rule our lives?

Share Button

Beggars of the Shore

With the Maryland General Assembly in session, rural Maryland is once again preparing itself to raped and pillaged.  Expect our taxes to be increased – yes, even in an election year – and yet more of our individual and corporate liberty to be taken away.  What can we do?  One option is to follow the advice of Salisbury’s Daily Times and become sycophants and beggars.

In today’s editorial we are encouraged to drop our collective pants and take it with a metaphorical smile:

… What’s needed is persistence, public relations strategy and a reasonable amount of patience. In addition, Shore delegates and senators need to step up their efforts to find common ground with their counterparts from more populous areas of the state.

One hindrance to progress is that Shore legislators sometimes find it easier to preach to their local choir about the wrongheadedness of Annapolis (and Washington) rather than roll up their sleeves and make incremental progress on very complex issues. As a result, local voters often re-elect officials who speak their language on key issues, but don’t necessarily get better results. …

Translation:  We need to suck up to the Annapolis ruling class so that they will only take away 90% of the money and property that they were otherwise planning to.  We need to become MORE, not less, dependent on Annapolis.  We need to beg to keep SOME of what is already ours by right.

Expect to hear more of this vein in the coming months as the Daily Times prepares the case to re-elect the likes of Del. Norm Conway (D-38B), Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38), Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt (D), Wicomico Councilman Matt Holloway (R), and Wicomico Councilman John Hall (R).

Imagine if we were living in 1776.  Following their logic we should not have stood up against the British crown.  We should have accepted whatever tyranny came from London and hope that we could retain a tiny bit more of our lives, liberty, and property by “building relationships” and “working with the King’s government” as they continued to take what is ours.

By the logic of Michael Killian and his minions at the Daily Tory, Patrick Henry was wrong and the members of the Continental Congress weren’t accomplishing anything because they stood up for what was right rather than what was expedient.

Share Button

Lewis Wins Senate Seat … Barely

NORFOLK, VA – If an anticipated recount doesn’t change the outcome, Del. Lynwood W. Lewis (D-100) will move to the Virginia Senate this session.  In yesterday’s special election to replace Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam, Lewis defeated small businessman and first time candidate Wayne Coleman by 22 votes (0.1%).

Over 20,000 voters from Accomac, Northampton, and Mathews counties, along with a small section of Norfolk, braved the bitter cold to cast their ballots.  In unofficial results Lewis received 10,197 votes and Coleman received 10,175.

Read more at the Daily Press and the Virginian-Pilot.

Share Button

Coleman for Virginia Senate

Tomorrow is another election day … at least on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Voters in Virginia’s 6th senatorial district, which includes the ESVA along with sections of Norfolk and Mathews County, will have the opportunity to elect a replacement for Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam.  They will choose between Del. Lynwood Lewis (D-100) and Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman.  The choice is simple.  Coleman exemplifies the values on which the people of Accomac and Northampton counties take pride in – hard work, individualism, devotion to family and community, and fiscal responsibility.

Coleman personifies Eastern Shore values.  Virginia needs more small businessmen (and women) like Coleman in the General Assembly, not more lawyers like Lewis.  Lewis, while living on the Shore, has shown himself to be a poster child for “Richmond values”, voting for tax hikes, more spending, and growth in state government.

Lewis obviously hopes that the historical parochialism of Virginia’s Eastern Shore will be enough to get him to the Senate.  The ESVA has always been the “red headed step-child” of Virginia.  The state government routinely neglects to even include the Shore on official images of the Commonwealth.  Shore residents can hardly be blamed for their inherent parochialism.  However, when Shore voters have chosen folks from across the Bay to represent them in Richmond they have been well-served.  While I may have my own problems with Sen. Tommy Norment (R-3), does anyone (other than Bill Fears) honestly argue that he did not serve the Shore well?  Northam played on the ESVA’s inherent parochialism to defeat Nick Reras and voted more like a senator from Arlington County than the Eastern Shore.

Sending Lewis to the Virginia Senate is akin to “cutting your nose off to spite your face”.  Akin to Shore Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, Lewis tosses his “Shore values” in a bin* when he crosses the Bay on his way to Richmond.  In Richmond he has represented the Democrat Party, NOT the 100th District or the Eastern Shore.  Coleman will represent, and fight to protect, those Shore values irrespective of where he resides.  Why?  Because they are not just “Eastern Shore values”.  They are Virginia values.  They are American values.

* – Thanks to Maryland Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B) for his now famous analogy from the 2010 election.

Share Button