Sunday, September 09, 2007

AA County GOP - Hope It's Not Contagious

Shortly after the below was posted, I received a phone call from John Flynn, one of my heroes in Maryland State GOP politics and Executive Director of the State GOP.

He took the time to assure me that the rumor I described in the original post, and message to the ThePublicSquare was indeed just that, a holdover from the former leadership of Mike Collins and his supporters. Here's what he had to say in a message destined for the Square:


Yes, the rumor you heard is wrong as is the one that the State Party is trying to get involved in the First Congressional primary race. The State Party has no interest in getting involved in primaries, and in fact, we have advised all of the campaigns in the First Congressional District primary race that the State Party will be neutral until after the primary. Later this year, the State Party will be considering new by laws language to prohibit any financial or in-kind aid to any primary candidate by the State Party. That would be a departure from what the State Party has done in the past. Unfortunately, your father received the same misinformation that has been making its rounds. As a long time Public Square member, I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.
Best regards,
John Flynn
Executive Director
Maryland GOP

I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this. He assures me that while this is a State Party policy, the AACO party also has no intention on modifying its bylaws to permit Primary endorsements.

I have avoided commenting on this subject which has reached a news story, mainly because I don't know the people involved. It seemed to me a manifestation of the personality cult, like we had in high school. So I wrestled with the sickening idea of taking part in the cult, trying to get "in" and pretending to be loyal to one side or the other. I decided to opt out and content myself with watching from the sidelines.

Until this afternoon. I was informed by my father whom many of you know, that there were among the "winning" side of the show people who would have the State GOP endorse one Primary contender over all others. Long-time subscribers to ThePublicSquare will recognize this beast as I have pointed him out in the past. Curiously enough, the State Party under the "leadership" of chairman Kane floated this balloon during the Primary season in which Wayne Gilchrest faced his first serious challenger.

I had thought the idea, which was roundly ridiculed by the influential conservative thinkers of TheSquare, was long dead. The rationale then was that Primary campaigns are a "waste" of resources that would be better spent on a losing campaign against the Democrats. That was pretty much it. Excuse me! What did the Party intend to do, you know, instead of holding a Primary? I don't remember there being an answer. Perhaps those receiving this can assist me.

How, indeed, would the Party select it's champion? In order to conserve precious resources for the general election, prospective GOP candidates would simply sign-up. The County Politburo would meet in secret and the personality cult would welcome a new member into its fold. Then they would trot out the anointed candidate to the jeers of an ever-dwindling base. Those other candidates, I guess, would be free to campaign against the endorsed, or the favored one. But what would be the point? In order to conserve campaign resources, the State (and County) party would back their man and discourage the others from running. Remember the 11th Commandment, they would chide. Party unity, they would chant. Go along to get along, eh? And so a machine would be born.

I wouldn't mind it so much if it was a winning machine. This one, unfortunately would be destined to turn out failure after failure. The County party would hasten its slide into obscurity.

The liberals would have a field day with this idea, too. In a last ditch grasp for power, the Maryland State GOP has decided to turn their Primary into a giant rubber stamp, and endorse State Sen. Bullroast Backslapper for congress. Primary voting in the GOP would be a mere formality as candidates vie for the Party nod.

I hope I am wrong. I hope that my dad heard or read wrong.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park


David K. Kyle said...

Isn’t incumbent protection the really just the same thing as a primary endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Actually, John Flynn is lying to you.

In fact, the bylaws change he is recommending for the Winter meeting makes it possible for the State Party to get involved in primaries with just a 2/3rds vote of the MDGOP Executive Committee. Currently, in the absence of a clear pathway for endorsement of the MDGOP in primaries, endorsements are prohibited.

It also doesn't even prevent the National Committeeman, National Committeewoman, and State Chairman from voting unanimously to allow the RNC to spend money in a race (the 2006 workaround Kane used to justify endorsing in primaries). This is an RNC rule and the bylaws specifically mention that they are not to conflict with RNC rules.

But don't take my word for it, ask somebody to post Flynn's bylaw changes to your public sqare and see for yourself. The provide a clear path for the party establishment to endorse in primaries and don't eliminate the RNC rule which permits endorsements in primaries (rule 11) I believe.