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Thoughts From CPAC Day 1

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Let me start by saying that I look forward to CPAC every year. This is my sixth year of going, and I always have a great time. There are great people in the conservative movement, there are great speeches, and other great events. But the great thing about CPAC is not the politician’s speeches, but the ability to meet and network with so many great people from across the country. I love being able to meet and talk with folks from all over about what is important to them.

After CPAC ends for the evening, the fun continues at the great parties. I was able to finally meet some of my blogger friends; it is always great to put a face to a name or twitter handle. Tonight I was fortunate to attend the IJ Review party and then Blog Bash. I got some great tips from fellow bloggers that I will be sure to incorporate.

Well that’s all for tonight, Day 2 of CPAC starts awfully early. Keep on fighting the good fight!

Larry Hogan To Announce Candidacy for MD Governor Tonight?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Update: Larry Hogan told a crowd of about 1,100 people that he would announce his intentions in January. In other words he announced that he will announce.

Tonight kicks off the two day Maryland GOP Fall Convention. Among the highlights for the evening is an announcement from Larry Hogan on whether he will be running for the Republican nomination for Governor. Larry Hogan is the founder of Change Maryland which is a non-partisan grassroots organization comprising of over 65,000 concerned Marylanders. Change Maryland notes that they added 40,000 new members to their grassroots army just this year.

Hogan, who is expected to announce his run for governor tonight, will be joining the gubernatorial race after some of his supporters have urged him to run. Apparently many of his supporters are not happy with the current crop of GOP candidates for Governor, which includes David Craig, Ron George, and Charles Lollar.

There are several receptions tonight we can be attended for free without purchasing a ticket to the convention.

There are also tickets still available for the MD GOP Convention:

For those who can’t make the convention, you should be able to listen to the live stream brought to you by Red Maryland:

Joe Cluster in as New MD GOP Executive Director

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Maryland GOP Chairman Diana Waterman announced on Monday that Joe Cluster has been hired as the new Executive Director. Cluster is the replacement for David Ferguson, who left suddenly in late August. Chairman Waterman said in a statement:

“Joe has extensive experience in Maryland politics, he knows the people and the places very well. He came with great recommendations and I believe he will be a great asset to our team. I look forward to working with him and have full confidence he will help me build a better and stronger Maryland Republican Party.”

According to the release, Cluster has worked for former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele as his Director of External Affairs from 2004-2007, and prior to that in former Governor Ehrlich’s Appointments Office. Cluster has also worked for GOPAC, the Republican National Committee, and twice for the Maryland state party. In 2002 he ran the MDGOP’s Field Operation which helped elect Governor Ehrlich, and in 2004 he was the Politcal Director.

Joe Cluster said the following in a statement:

“As a Marylander, I am truly grateful for this opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party. I look forward to working with Chairman Waterman as we fight for Marylanders against the ever-encroaching government in Annapolis. I love this state and will work tirelessly to make Maryland a competitive place for Republicans to run and win.”

Cluster told the Washington Post in an interview that he plans to make fundraising his priority. He specifically hopes to target corporations who currently only donate to the Maryland Democratic Party. He indicated that he hopes to steer resources toward picking up Republican seats in the General Assembly.

If you want to learn more you can tune into Jackie Wellfonder’s radio show “Raging Against the Rhetoric” tonight as she interviews Joe Cluster at 8PM.

Source: MD GOP Press Release
Washington Post

MD GOP Executive Director David Ferguson Out

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

David Ferguson is out as the Executive Director for the Maryland GOP. Here is a copy of an email from Diana Waterman to all Executive Committee members.

Dear Executive Committee Member:

David Ferguson is no longer working as Executive Director of the Maryland Republican Party. We thank Mr. Ferguson for his twenty-one months of service to the Party and wish him the best in the future. Del. Justin Ready, who has been working closely with the Party on our Pathfinder’s Program and candidate recruitment, will be assisting me and the rest of the Board in the coming days. We will be conducting a search to fill this position quickly. Interested parties may submit their resume to

The Annapolis Pathfinders training schedule for this Saturday will still be taking place.

Thank you,

Diana Waterman
Chairman, Maryland Republican Party

Jeff Quinton, of the QuintonReport, is reporting that on Monday Ferguson left in a huff. According to multiple sources of Quinton’s, Ferguson threw his office belongings out of the window, stormed into a meeting Diana Waterman was having and told her he was leaving. She was heard coming out of the conference room saying “What the hell just happened?” and found that Ferguson’s office was cleared out.

Ferguson also is Principal at Ferguson & Associates, which is a marketing, advertising, and public relations firm.

MD Senator E.J. Pipkin To Resign 8/12

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Maryland Senator E.J. Pipkin will officially resign on August 12th, 2013. He plans to move his family to Texas, where he will be pursuing a Masters Degree in Sport Management at Southern Methodist University. In a statement he wanted to resign now to offer time to his replacement to serve in office, and then run for reelection.

Here is a portion of his statement:

One’s responsibilities to family and oneself often change the direction of life. So, it is with regret that I am resigning as Senator from District 36. My last day will be Monday, August 12, 2013. I will carry with me both the bitter and the sweet memories of the past eleven years. My family will be moving to Texas, where I will pursue studies at Southern Methodist University for a Masters of Science in Sport Management.

I chose to resign now, rather than serve out my term, which ends in January 2015, in order to give the Republican who fills the 36th District Senate seat the advantage of serving the people until he or she runs for re-election.

Senator Pipkin frequently sparred with Senate President Mike Miller. The Washington Post reports that Senator Miller wishes him “nothing but success in the future. Senator Pipkin had a strong work ethic, was knowledgeable on the issues and served his constituents well.”

Now the question is, who will replace Senator Pipkin? The most obvious first speculation would be fellow District 36 representative Delegate Mike Smigiel. Delegate Smigiel, whom I had the pleasure to meet earlier this year, is a strong conservative candidate who has served Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties well since 2002. Yes, District 36 is spread across 4 counties. If Delegate Smigiel replaces Senator Pipkin, who would replace Delegate Smigiel? Will anyone else vie for Senator Pipkin’s seat?

Senator E.J. Pipkin Press Release
Washington Post

Del. Don Dwyer Sentenced to Jail Time for Boat Accident

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Delegate-DwyerThe boating accident on the Magothy River injured 7 people including himself and 5 kids. His alcohol level at the time was .24, which is three times the legal limit. According to WBAL, Delegate Dwyer was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and 1 year of supervised probation. He has filed an appeal, and the sentence will be postponed while under appeal.

On January 8, Delegate Dwyer spoke out on Facebook about the boating accident:

In the past year I have faced both personal and professional challenges that were extremely difficult for me. As a result, and regrettably so, I turned to alcohol to cope. As many of you know, this culminated in a serious boat accident in August when the boat I was operating was struck by another vessel.

In that post, he said that in order to prevent a prolonged problem with alcohol, he voluntarily entered and completed an alcohol intervention program.

Delegate Dwyer also just held a “Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ” on May 11th, where they were selling raffle tickets to buy an AR-15 and AK-47.

Del. Don Dwyer’s Facebook Page

Can Democrats Change The GOP’s Platform?

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Why do Democrats try to dictate or change the Republicans strategy?

Last week I was watching “21 This Week” which is a local cable political show in Montgomery County. I will spare you a complete review of the show, but it was pretty good considering that it is a cable access show. In that episode Elbridge James, Board President of Progressive MD, opined that the Republicans need to change their principles if they are to “re-raise out of the dead the Republican Party.” What exactly was Elbridge trying to accomplish?

Eric Cary, Republican Activist, had a good rebuttal that I will expand upon here. In the last two Presidential elections, Republicans nominated a moderate Republican to be their nominee. This obviously didn’t turn out well, and now we are stuck with 8 years of an ultra-liberal President Obama. Democrats would have you believe that John McCain and Mitt Romney didn’t win because the Republican message is bad, outdated, and out of touch. If only we would cave on our principles, then maybe we could get elected. If we would just become more liberal, maybe democrats and independents would vote for us.

Sorry, but caving on our principles is the last thing that we need to do. What we need to do is to fix our primary process, and instead of getting the one moderate from the primary, if we could somehow figure out how to get one of the best conservative candidates, we would have a chance to win. Now I know some of you will think that politicians that are more moderate will do better in the general elections, and that is generally true. The problem however, is that if you can’t even get your own party to vote for you, then these moderate Republicans stand no chance.

The other BIG problem facing our party is that of getting our message out. Democrat activists are quick to belittle our message as tired, but think about how hard it is to become a Republican. As young children, most of us enter public schools where most teachers are Democrats. Children are taught liberal principles from the start. They learn about pollution, acid rain, global warming, and saving the planet. They do not learn about starting their own business, or managing money. They don’t read the federalist papers. These days, they are even changing the Pledge of Allegiance to remove the words “under god.” This onslaught of liberal messaging continues into college where the professors become even more liberal. A couple of weeks ago, one professor even required his students to literally stomp on a piece of paper that had the name Jesus on it. Once a young person finishes school, unless you purposely try, any newspaper, radio, or television source you see is heavily slanted left.

To become a Republican is a challenge because generally events in your life guide you to become more conservative. That is one of the major reasons why Republicans are cast as older people. It takes time to get over the constant liberal messaging. You have to become tired of seeing how much money comes out of your paycheck. You have to learn not to be jealous of successful people, but realize that you too can become successful. You must grow tired of politicians constantly spending more and more of your tax money. Here in Maryland you have to become sick of higher gas taxes, higher sales taxes, higher property taxes, higher income taxes, higher tolls, more speed cameras, and higher fees and fines. Even after all of those new taxes, somehow Governor O’Malley and Maryland Democrats still seem to rely on selling bonds (creating debt) to make ends meet.

Eventually you have to say ENOUGH. Too many people coast through life, seemingly too busy to pay attention, or too overwhelmed by all of the information required to become informed. It is far easier to just tune politics out and just focus on ourselves and our family. The Republican Party is the party of lower taxes for everyone, not just businesses or the rich. The GOP is the party of decreasing government spending, eliminating wasteful and often duplicative programs. We are the party of reason, but usually we keep our opinion quietly to ourselves. We don’t shout our opponents down like the liberals do. The liberals are supposedly the party of tolerance, but try disagreeing with a liberal and watch out! You see, the Republicans don’t need to change our principles, we need to need to say “Enough!” We need to stop the out of control spending, stop the creation of new taxes, and lower the current taxes. But most of all, people generally agree with those things, but they don’t hear that message from us. Instead they hear from democratic strategists, unions, and liberal news sources all of the things that in their liberal opinion that are wrong with our party. Well… ENOUGH!

What do you think? Should we listen to the liberal strategists and change our principles, or should we start speaking up and taking a stand?

2016 Elections

Primary - 4/5/2016
General - 11/8/2016

Races to Watch

U.S. Senate

Barbara Mikulski (D) is retiring.

Top (D) Candidates
Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen

All 8 House Seats are up for election.

Current Representatives
1st - Andy Harris (R)

2nd - Dutch Reppersberger (D)

3rd - John Sarbanes (D)
Top candidates Dr. Mark Plaster (R).

4th - Donna Edwards (D) - running for Senate
Top candidates Anthony Brown (D), Glenn Ivey (D), George McDermott (?)

5th - Steny Hoyer (D)

6th - John Delaney (D) - may run for Senate
Top (R) candidates David Vogt (R), Kathy Afzali (R), Neil Parrott (R), Mike McKay (R).

7th - Elijah Cummings (D) - may run for Senate
Top candidates Calvin Ball (D), Corrogan Vaughn (R).

8th - Chris Van Hollen (D) - running for Senate
Top (D) candidates Kumar Barve, Valerie Ervin, Kathleen Mattews, Jamie Raskin
Top (R) candidates Frank Howard - potential