Monday, January 23, 2006

Literate Candidates

Well the 2006 Republican Primary Season has opened with a whimper. To be sure, there have been the obligatory bull roasts and backslappings that have defined Republican politics in this state for generations.

For those of us who rely heavily on the written and published positions of each candidate, though, there is only silence, for the most part. In District 33A (my district), the man to beat is Tony McConkey. A likeable guy and, I assume, staunch conservative. But we don't hear much from him. He seems to be taking a back seat to the more senior members of the GOP delegation, perhaps respectfully so. But he faces at least one serious challenger in Greg Kline.

Mr. Kline is by far the most literate of the three contenders (am I missing any 33A candidates? I'll get to Carrie Geldart in a minute.). And because he is literate we are familiar with his positions on current issues and thus familiar with how he would conduct himself in the House of Delegates. Who knows, though...maybe he will clam up once elected. I hope not.

I would have thought, and still hope, that Mr. McConkey would rise to the occaison and defend his record and publicize his positions. Since he was elected, he has grown distant. A third candidate, Carrie Geldart, from my neighborhood, has taken no substantive position on any of the recent issues. But keep checking her website for some content on the Issues page of her website(

I think a debate is in order and have floated the idea. The challengers have both expressed to me their willingness to particiapte in a debate. The incumbent has not responded and we are left to assume that he doesn't see any benefit to his reelection campaign to debate the issues with his challengers.

May the most literate candidate win!

Mike Netherland

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Message to Wal Mart

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Jan 16, 2006 10:43 PM
Subject: A Message to Wal Mart
Cc: "Letters, Kapital" < >,,, ,

Dear Mr. President, Chairman, Members of the Board, Shareholders of Wal Mart,
Please do me, the state of Maryland, the cause of conservative Republicans everywhere a huge favor, and abandon Maryland. I don't know how many thousands of jobs will be lost, how many other businesses will have to downsize or close all together as a result, and I don't care. Whatever the impact, it will be worth a million times what it cost just to see the liberal Democrats in Maryland eating so much crow in their last terms in office.

And folks, it would be worth a million times more than that to see this happen to Del. Michael Busch, Speaker of the House of Delegates, leader of the campaign to override Gov. Ehrlich's veto of the "Wal Mart" bill ....AND the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce's 2005 Delegate of the Year!!

Yes indeed. Many of the AAACCC's member businesses will be adversely affected, no doubt, by Wal Mart's partial or complete withdrawal from the anti-business political environment apparently supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Of course, I have addressed the Chamber's leadership before in similar e-mailed correspondence, but I'm sure they are just too busy trying to find other ways of making life difficult for Republicans in Maryland.

It is comical that the AAACCC President Bob Burdon actually had to announce the Chamber's support of the Governor's veto. Might there have been some doubt that the area's premier business organization would support another area business? Hmmmmm. In his "Business Break" column, Mr. Burdon reflects on the beginning of the 90-day General Assembly session as a time when politicians begin making laws and begin to assess "how legislation emanating from that discourse will impact the business community in our state."

He goes on, after rationalizing the Chamber's sucking-up to Del. Busch, to assert businesses have suddenly become "...very wary of excessive government regulation in what should be a free market economy." After a while you start to wonder who Mr. Burdon is addressing in his letter. High school kids? Here's a tip for Mr. Burdon and the rest of the AAACCC:

Democrats: Bad for Business
Liberal Democrats: Worse for Business.
Del. Michael Busch: Liberal Democrat....someone of whom businesses should be vary wary.

Oh, and another thing to remember: When Democrats organize, it is generally to make the free market economy less and less free, less and less of a market. When businesses organize, it should be for the opposite reason. Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Monday, January 02, 2006

Compromise for the Permanent Minority

Regarding the "debate," one-sided though it might be, over the merits of the School Board selection reform bill, I have word that our Republican leaders are compromising with the Democrats. Delegates Leopold and Dwyer are indeed supporting what has become known as the Love Bill because it represents a compromise and, well that's the best we can hope for, being that we are in the minority.

So the debate on the merits of the bill is largely academic now that the bill will most certainly be approved. The new debate now turns to the benefits of compromising, again. I may be going out on a limb here but I cannot recall a single instance in the last twenty years when the Republican agenda has been advanced by compromise. I mean truly advanced. So I will predict that the policy born of the Love Bill will be bad, and will be used to make Democrats appear as though they are doing something while the Republicans gripe on the sidelines. And when it fails, the Republicans in Anne Arundel County will be blamed, somehow.

It will be our fault that the school board is now selected by an unelected commission of God-knows-who from the TAAAC/MSTA. After all, the county GOP delegation co-sponsored and voted for the thing. "They griped about the Nominating Convention and now they're griping about the Commission!" the Democrats will say, over and over and over... . It won't take a professional communicator to make the sweetest hay for the Democrats out of whatever happens.

The best possible outcome would be for the Republicans (that's us) to refuse to go along with the charade, forcing the Democrats to defend their claptrap. Oh...but it isn't their claptrap....It's ours, or more precisely, it's John Leopold's claptrap. Trying to explain this to my son a few minutes ago, I came up with this:

You see Mike it's like this: There's this rotten footbridge called "Compromise" spanning the divide between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Dems sit on the other side trying to get us to come across the bridge, to compromise (you see, they never have to cross the bridge to compromise). Well, Leopold has crafted a bill and set out across the bridge to deliver it to Del. Love of the Democrats. If that wasn't bad enough, Leopold stands at bridge and beckons his fellow Republicans across. "C'mon!" he yells. "The Dems are willing to compromise! Come over and stand with us!" Sure, the bridge will hold one, nimble member of the GOP. But the bridge will surely fail under the weight of the whole delegation, now stampeding toward the bridge.

But why would Del. Leopold do such a thing? We will never know because Leopold doesn't have the guts to defend his compromise. I can only assume he was led to believe that doing so would get him re-elected.

We will reap, once again, what we have sown, and we will eat the bitter fruit and moan and groan, and profess shock and dismay as though it has never happened to us before. Meanwhile, the teachers union-suckled board and public school system are busy erasing "Nominating Convention" and replacing it with "The Commission" on signs, letterhead and websites and everything becomes even darker.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park