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April 14, 2010

Gov: Murphy To Announce Running Mate Friday

I just an email from the Brian Murphy for Governor campaign indicating he will be holding conference Friday at 4:30pm where he says he will announce his Lt. Governor candidate that will run on his ticket. What I found interesting were the names of the people who will be joining him, according to the email.

Brian will be joined by: Jim Pelura, Former MD GOP Chairman; Charles Lollar, Candidate for U.S. Congress; Carmen Amedori, Candidate for U.S. Senate; Jerry Walker, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Council; Eric Cary, Candidate for State Senate; Stephen Wright, Candi­date for Harford County Executive

Now I guess this doesn’t necessarily mean these other candidates for ohter offices are supporting Murphy over Ehrlich in the primary, but I am sure a lot of people will come to that conclusion….

The email indicates the conference will be held at 4:30pm on Lawyers’ Mall in Annapolis, MD

April 13, 2010

Ehrlich, O’Malley Coming To Howard County

It looks like the Gubernatorial race for Maryland is starting early as Both Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich will be in Howard County two days apart in about three weeks. It will start with an appearance by Ehrlich at the Republican’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner on May 11th. Then two days later, according to the email just sent out by the Howard County Democrats, Martin O’Malley will be the guest speaker at the annual Democratic dinner.

Ehrlich won Howard County in 2002 and ended up being elected Governor. O’Malley won Howard County in 2006 and ended up being elected Governor. My guess is we will be seeing more of both as the year goes on….

It’s Official – TAG Comes Up Short

The Howard County Board of Elections has finally gotten around to reviewing those final signatures they didn’t get to last week and has changed the status on their front page to OFFICIAL.

Petition CB59-2009
OFFICIAL Petition Statistics Summary as of 4:00pm on 04/13/2010.

Valid Signatures required for Referendum to Continue: 2501
Signatures Submitted: 3491
Signatures Reviewed: 3491
Valid Signatures: 2139
Invalid Signatures: 1352

This was pretty much done last week, but looking forward to future petitions, those attempting should keep in mind the 38.8% rejection rate this petition effort encountered. To reach the 2,500 valid signatures in the future for the first deadline, they should strive to get at least 4,100 signatures to overcome the signatures that get rejected and plan on well over 8,000 signatures in the overall effort to get at least 5,000 valid signatures.

Personally I would have liked to seen the petition drive succeed in getting the issue to the ballot despite my opposition to the referendum overall, but the fact that they fell this far short from even the first deadline shows the people in Howard County are clearly not as angry about the development of Downtown Columbia as those opponents would have you believe….

April 9, 2010

A Republican Challenger for Ehrlich?

Well the first HCRC First Friday Happy Hour since the news of Bob Ehrlich entering the gubernatorial race is over and, not surprisingly, the bumper stickers were being distributed to anyone and everyone who wanted one. I got mine.

But what what was unexpected, to me at least, is there was another bumper sticker available for someone else, which I also picked up.

Who the heck is Brian Murphy? Well apparently he is someone who has decided to challenge Bob Ehrlich in the Republican primary for Governor and actually showed up at the Happy Hour and was making his rounds and introducing himself. Now I don’t think he has much of a chance since most Republicans seem already invested in Bob Ehrlich despite his late start in the race, but I guess anyone who wants can throw their hat in the ring and make a go of it. Brian Murphy has a website here if you want to know more. One side note and advice for Brian Murphy, the older gentleman working for Murphy in charge of passing out his palm cards probably needs a little lesson in tactfulness and civility. Walking around the room and shoving the palm cards at people without even an attempt at a verbal exchange probably is not going to help to get people to warm to Murphy’s campaign….

An Excuse To Party

It’s that time of month again – The Howard County Republican Club First Friday Happy Hour. Of course it really is the Second Friday Happy Hour because the “First Friday” happened to be Good Friday and I believe Republicans did not want to hold a party on Good Friday for the fear that someone might mention the word “Jesus” and end up offending Shane Pendergrass. Today’s Happy Hour will be a “multi-club” event with clubs from many other counties coming to town. The event will be held at Mangia’s in Woodbine and if the crowd last month when there was technically only one club hosting is any indication, the crowd will probably be spilling out into the street this time.

Also, check out the new fresh coat of paint that the HCRC has done with their website. Not bad.

April 8, 2010

TAG Runs Out Of Signatures

Well if it wasn’t over yesterday, it is now. The Howard County Board of Elections updated their website again today and it doesn’t take a mathematician to see TAG has now failed to get the 2,500 signatures they needed.

Petition CB59-2009
UNOFFICIAL Petition Statistics Summary as of 4:15pm on 04/08/2010.

Valid Signatures required for Referendum to Continue: 2501
Signatures Submitted: 3491
Signatures Reviewed: 3370
Valid Signatures: 2144
Invalid Signatures: 1226

The math shows only 121 signatures left to review with TAG still needing 356 signatures to reach the magic 2,500 number. Not sure why after reviewing 3,370 signatures the Board of Elections couldn’t spend a little more time to finish the final 121, but maybe it takes longer than I thought. Unfortunately, this failure makes Russ Swatek’s bold claim in his Letter to the Editor seem a little hollow.

Knowing that many — we believe the majority of — citizens share our concern, we decided to take this issue to the people and began the process of petitioning the rezoning bill to referendum. To put the issue on the ballot requires us to obtain the signatures of 5,000 registered voters.
….
We were welcomed, thanked, and quickly filled up page after page with signatures. Last Friday we turned in over 3,500 signatures for validation. We are continuing to sign up voters and have little doubt we will be able to submit the required 5,000, plus a healthy margin to cover invalidated signatures, by the final deadline.

Apparently it was not quite enough to cover the “invalidated” signatures. I still wished this issue made it to the ballot, but I think it is clear at this point that whatever opposition there is to the new Downtown Columbia bills, it clearly is not as vast as the opponents claim.

April 7, 2010

TAG Not Even Close

I decided on a whim to check out the Howard County Board of Elections website to see if they had any progress on TAG petition drive. Sure enough they and the news is not good for the TAG Group.

Petition CB59-2009
UNOFFICIAL Petition Statistics Summary as of 3:30pm on 04/07/2010.

Valid Signatures required for Referendum to Continue: 2501
Signatures Submitted: 3491
Signatures Reviewed: 2343
Valid Signatures: 1442
Invalid Signatures: 901

Based on my math, that is nearly a 40% rejection rate. They need 2,500 and only have 1,148 signatures left to add to the 1,442 valid signatures they already have. That means they would have to get 1,058 out of 1,148 signatures to be valid…not very likely….

Debating The Debates

This is almost humorous but is telling how nasty this upcoming Maryland gubernatorial campaign is going to go. Yesterday I saw this item on Bob Ehrlich’s Facebook page which he then almost added to his website.

Statement from Bob Ehrlich Tuesday, April 6, 2010

“We welcome Governor O’Malley to the Kendel and Bob Show this Saturday on WBAL Radio 1090 AM in Baltimore. We will host the governor from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for a one-time discussion on our show. I look forward to playing host this Saturday as I have every Saturday for the past few years. Rather than bringing in a moderator to fill air time, I will personally host Governor O’Malley for a one-on-one conversation about the record tax increases, job losses, and budget deficits that have hurt Maryland families and small businesses in recent years. I look forward to a civil conversation about the challenges facing our state.”

This was followed up with this statement from Bob Ehrlich.

“Governor O’Malley has declined my offer of a one hour, one-on-one discussion on the ‘Kendel and Bob Show’ on WBAL Radio this Saturday. A great way for Marylanders to learn about our respective visions for the future is with a simple one hour discussion between the two of us on the airwaves. Sadly, he appears to disagree. Nonetheless, the offer for this Saturday stands.”

I thought – whatever. These “pre-debates” never really happen anyway even though both sides always claim they want to have full open debates. The only thing we always end up with is the scripted debates weeks before an election moderated by some left-wing newspaper journalist that really never provide any new information or real debate at all. So then today, martin O’Malley sends out an email with this statement.

Since Ehrlich’s entry is coming so late in the election, I proposed kicking the campaign off with an hour-long debate this Saturday morning on Maryland’s future broadcasted by WBAL radio. There are so many important issues facing our state right now. I think the Maryland public deserves to hear about our plans and ideas as soon as possible.
We made it really simple for Mr. Ehrlich. We offered to do it during the “Bob and Kendel Show,” at a time he was available, on his radio station, in the studio he uses, with moderators from his station.

And he still turned us down.

Whether Bob Ehrlich thinks he’s ready to debate the issues yet or not, our offer stands. We’re ready and waiting to compare our records and our plans to move Maryland forward.

Now I was confused. I started with the news that Bob Ehrlich claims he opened up an offer have a discussion with Martin O’Malley on his local radio show and then claimed O’Malley turned him down. Then I get news from O’Malley claiming Ehrlich turned HIM down. How can both possibly be true? Turns out, as usual, the debate is over the debate and The Baltimore Sun indicates the real issue is whether there would be a moderator or not. O’Malley wanted a moderator while Ehrlich just wanted a one-on-one discussion. Personally, I would prefer Ehrlich’s approach and i am not saying that just because I support him. There is nothing worse than a preening moderator injecting his/her opinion into a debate.

On a side note, I do find it laughable that Ehrlich is still hosting his radio show even though he is all but declared as a candidate. Apparently since he is not officially a candidate until July, he can still do a radio show on public airwaves until then. But then again, Martin O’Malley has his own stenographers disguised as “reporters” at The Baltimore Sun, so all is fair….

April 5, 2010

Weekend In DC

I hope everyone was able to enjoy the fantastic weather this weekend. We started out Saturday morning with a private tour of the Holocaust Museum.

I won’t say much about the museum other than to say it was very sobering. I’ve been to a former Concentration Camp in Dachau years ago, and just going through the museum reminded me about overwhelming learning about this entire sorry episode can be. One thing it reminds me of though is no matter what is happening in my life or how bad things may be, there were people who went through a lot worse than I could ever imagine. But that was just a precursor to the day outside and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

I took a crap load of pictures, but this was my favorite with the Jefferson memorial in the background.

The trees themselves run around the Tidal Basin.

We had originally planned to walk around the basin but the number of people made that almost impossible and we abandoned it but we got too far. Here is a shot of the people just sitting in front of the Jefferson Memorial.

Just another shot of the Blossoms with the Washington Monument in the background.

One side note – to show how current things can be, I saw this stump as we were walking part the way around the Tidal basin.

While it may look like an ordinary stump, the sign on the stump said the following:

Not exactly Howard County related, but I am sure that many Howard County citizens made their way down….

April 2, 2010

Merdon Endorses Kittleman For Executive

It’s hard to break any Howard County news around here with Wordbones and HoCoRising prolific posting, but I think I might have finally beat them to something newsworthy. I don’t think the endorsement really comes as a surprise, but in my fundraising letter yesterday from Trent Kittleman was a separate letter from the 2006 County Executive Candidate on the Republican side, Chris Merdon, offering his full-throated support for Trent Kittleman as County Executive.

And in case there was any doubt, Chris does state within the letter he has no plans on running for office this year.