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2010 Election Richard Falknor on 07 Sep 2010

Christian Adams Moves to Clean Up State Election Rolls

ADD-ON September 14:  Veteran Washington-based broadcast journalist Wes Vernon yesterday spotlighted “Thomas Perez: Obama’s one-man Gestapo” Faithful readers will recall that Maryland GOP luminaries delegate Tony O’Donnell, and John Kane supported the Perez Senate confirmation. They have never explained why, and MD GOP chairman Audrey Scott declined to comment on their bizarre support for the former Casa de Maryland board chief. Scroll down to What is the Perez-O’Donnell-Kane Connection? for more details.

 * * * * *

“Having more voters than living humans tells you something is wrong. In West Virginia, one county reported 113% of the voting age population was registered to vote. Baltimore, Maryland, reported 104% of voting age citizens on the rolls. ” . . . . “Ponce de Leon wasted his time looking for the fountain of youth in Florida — he should have gone to Maryland, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, or Tennessee. These states report that they didn’t remove a single dead voter from 2006 to 2008. ” . . . . “Many counties in other states also have amazing longevity. Large numbers of counties in Alabama, Rhode Island, and Virginia report removing no dead voters in two years. Whatever they are drinking there, I’d like some quick.” – – J. Christian Adams (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Former Department of Justice election lawyer Christian Adams tells us today in his Pajamas Media post about “Doing the DOJ’s Job for Them: Demanding Valid Voter Rolls Before November” —

“As the saying goes:if you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself. If Americans don’t want dead and ineligible felons participating in elections, they will have to clean up the mess themselves, as Attorney General Eric Holder won’t do his job by enforcing the integrity protections in the ‘Motor Voter’ law passed in 1993.”

Explains Adams:

“Motor Voter struck an important balance — it sought to increase voter registration, as well as ensure voter integrity. Welfare offices and motor vehicle offices became voter registration centers. But the law also required states to conduct list maintenance to ensure ineligible names don’t pollute the voting rolls. Dead people, ineligible felons, and people who moved away must be removed from the rolls by state election officials.(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky tonight chimes in with his National Review on Line (NRO) post “There Really Is Something Rotten in the Justice Department” – –

“When I was in the Civil Rights Division, we actually investigated this problem and filed lawsuits against several states to enforce this provision of the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act].For trying to enforce federal law, we were labeled as ‘vote suppressors.’ No, we just wanted to fairly enforce the law that Congress had passed, something the Clinton administration had failed to do. It did not file a single lawsuit in eight years to enforce this provision.”

But key DOJ player Tom Perez sees his job differently, says Adams —

To opponents of effective list maintenance, Section 8 exists to threaten states who conduct robust purging programs. When Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez said that the DOJ is actually performing Section 8 functions, it was to advise states not to clean up voter rolls — as compared with my aim of enforcing the law against states who neglect to clean up the rolls. A nicely played trick of the tongue on his part.”

All conservatives — including those in Virginia or Maryland –should support activist Adams’ efforts to employ “private rights of action” to clean up voter rolls. 

Faithful readers, however, will recall Assistant Attorney General Perez’s two fans in the Maryland GOP Establishment:  Tony O’Donnell and John Kane.

What is the Perez-O’Donnell-Kane Connection?

Maryland conservatives will note the failure of the Old Line State’s GOP Establishment to demand some public accounting from House of Delegates Republican leader Tony O’Donnell and former state chairman John Kane (husband of Republican lieutenant governor candidate Mary Kane) for supporting the Senate confirmation of former Casa de Maryland board chairman Tom Perez to be assistant attorney general.

The longer we wait for an explanation, the more we ask what was the O’Donnell-Kane-Perez deal?

Last November 23, we emailed GOP state chairman Audrey Scott –

“What action is the Maryland Republican Party taking to distance itself from Mr.Tony O’Donnell’s support — on House of Delegates stationery –of a highly questionable Obama administration nominee (now confirmed) to the Justice Department?

We emailed Mrs. Scott again last December 4 when we received no answer.  Mrs. Scott remains mute on these arcane matters like Maryland GOP support for Obama nominee, Tom Perez, whose reach touches free political speech, and secure and honest voting places.

Just a month ago, we revealed more about Marylander Perez —

More Today on Tom Perez, and His Two Maryland GOP Fans

There is something profoundly amiss in the Maryland GOP Establishment of which not addressing the O’Donnell-Kane-Perez connection is just one —  albeit egregious — example.

Today the Potomac Tea Party Report (PTPR) declares in their continuing coverage of the “Rule 11” controversy about party interference in the contested Maryland GOP gubernatorial primary —

Audrey Scott you are no Sharon Day

One commenter on a related PTPR post wrote – –

“As a person who was in attendance at the Campaign for Liberty meeting I wanted to mention that Audrey was asked outright if she had to choose between party and principle which would she choose; she chose party. She did say that that choice had never happened. I believe in this rule 11 debacle she picked party over principle, but unfortunately party does not win with this move either. We all lose when we are caused to faction.”

We weren’t at that meeting.  Perhaps Mrs. Scott might have misspoken. [UPDATE: link to Scott video] But the exchange is symptomatic of a widespread lack of grassroots trust in the Maryland GOP Establishment.  The exchange also illustrates that Establishment’s own discomfort with providing any kind of public accountability. Reasonable observers, moreover, will likely conclude that Mrs. Scott acts under the direction and following the approach of gubernatorial candidate and former governor Bob Ehrlich.

Fortunately in next Tuesday’s primary election, Maryland conservatives will have the opportunity to vote for new and principled Republican candidates for a variety of state offices.

2010 Election Richard Falknor on 19 Aug 2010

Kratovil, Nye, Boucher: Sign Obamacare Repealer Petition!

These three Maryland or Virginia Democratic representatives, Frank Kratovil, Glenn Nye, and Rick Boucher, have something important in common. They all voted against Obamacare on final passage.

Now – – during the Dog Day recess – – is the time for Maryland and Virginia conservatives publicly to press each of them to commit to signing the Obamacare Repealer Discharge Petition when the House of Representatives returns in September.

Signing the Obamacare Repealer Discharge Petition (the underlying bill, H.R. 4972, was introduced by  Representative Steve King on March 25) is a way for these three members genuinely to reaffirm their opposition to freedom-denying Obamacare – – not just by having cast a “no” vote (a vote unneeded for final passage and very likely approved by Speaker Nancy Pelosi) to get their Blue Dog or, in Boucher’s case, Medicare-preserving, tickets punched.  The Weekly Standard talked about Glenn Nye’s position before the March 21 final vote.  Frank Kratovil explained his position just after the vote.

Here is the relevant question for these three House Democrats: What has changed since your earlier objections that keeps you from signing the Obamacare Repealer Discharge Petition?

Last July 12 in our post
Obamacare Repealer: Members Must Sign Discharge Petition
, we quoted Discharge Petition author’s Steve King’s overall plan – –

“Republicans just need to sign a repeal bill, bring forth a discharge petition, use the discharge petition as a litmus test against Blue Dog Democrats in the November elections, win back a majority, pass a repeal bill in the new Congress, endure Obama’s inevitable veto of it, shut off the funding for the 2011 and 2012 enactment of Obamacare, and, finally, elect a new president in 2012.” Representative Steve King (Underscoring Forum’s.)

And we showed how National Review on Line’s Ramesh Ponnuru put Republican health-reform strategy in a larger context – –

“NRO editorialized recently that the basic House Republican health-care strategy this year should have three facets. First, House Republicans should co-sponsor a simple, straightforward repeal bill. Second, Republican challengers should urge Democratic incumbents—especially those who voted against Obamacare—to co-sponsor the bill as well. Third, Republicans should continue to promote alternative health-care reforms such as tax credits, interstate purchase, and so forth. While the party’s message should include a ‘replace’ component, its legislative tactics this year should focus on repeal.(Underscoring Forum’s

Here is our paraphrase of how some key conservative voices are explaining the nuts and bolts of why we want not just all our Republican House members – – but also those Democratic members who voted against Obamacare – – to commit to signing the Discharge Petition right away.

With a repeal bill unlikely to come to the House floor this year, the next best thing is discharge petition #11.  If this discharge petition gets signed by 218 members, then Speaker Pelosi would be forced to bring H.R. 4972 to the House floor for an up or down vote on repealing Obamacare. The discharge petition also provides concerned citizens and grassroots groups a single legislative target to focus their attention.

170 Republican House members (out of 178) have now signed the Petition.

These three (one Maryland and two Virginia) Democratic representatives who voted against Obamacare last March 21 should publicly commit to signing the Discharge Petition to help speed this simple Obamacare Repealer to a House vote.

Bringing them to a better mind on signing the Discharge Petition is really a job for Tea Partiers at the rallies and public appearances of the three Democratic incumbents.

2010 Election Richard Falknor on 05 Aug 2010

Can Palin’s Move Compel Real Debate in MD GOP Primary?

We won’t predict the electoral effect of Sarah Palin’s endorsement yesterday of Brian Murphy in the Maryland GOP gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, September 14.

But we hope the former Alaska governor’s highlighting of businessman Murphy will bring the Maryland GOP Party apparatchiks to their senses and shame them to stop playing favorites in this contested primary.

And perhaps by 2014, the Maryland GOP Establishment can bring itself to help recruit – – in time – – several strong candidates to be selected by GOP primary voters for other statewide offices such as that of the Attorney General.

Ann Corcoran of the Potomac Tea Party Report in her illuminating
Rule 11 fiasco: An example of the ‘Ruling class’ at work in Maryland urged – –

” . . . readers to visit my previous post, Some Republicans disrespect Tea Partiers, demonstrate they are firmly in the ‘ruling class,’ and note that this thoughtful report below demonstrates the disdain that the Maryland Republican ‘ruling class’ has for us, the Conservative ‘country class.’

The Tea Party movement nationally (along with the often allied conservative “base” of Republicans, Reagan Democrats, and Independents) has been searchingly critical, not just of the Obama Administration and the many hard-left House and Senate Democratic members, but also of incumbent Republicans and their past support of the all-too-frequent governmentalism of the Bush presidency.

And certainly many if not most of the House of Representatives GOP have subsequently tried to respond to those criticisms constructively.

But apparently, being part of the Maryland GOP Establishment means you never have to say you’re sorry. Second Amendment defender Jim Purtilo described his version on November 11, 2006 of “the apology you’ll never hear from Bob Ehrlich.”

As faithful readers know, we have written at some length over the years of the missteps of the former Ehrlich administration, of Mr. Ehrlich’s current campaign, and of the fecklessness of some Maryland GOP state lawmakers and party leaders

The former Ehrlich administration had managed to alienate low-tax advocates and fiscal conservatives, values voices, and Second Amendment defenders.

Pundits not close to Maryland – – and who express surprise at the Palin endorsement – – often don’t “get” that fact.

Mr. Ehrlich may (or may not) have since come to a better mind on conservative concerns, but everyone needs to hear what this new mind may be, if any, and the former governor needs to the convince voters — hardened in the new Tea-Party era — he means it.

Let’s Have Ehrlich-Murphy Debates Before the September 14 Primary!

At the very least, the public force of governor’s Palin’s endorsement of Mr. Murphy should enable Maryland Republicans to insist on several debates between Brian Murphy and former governor Bob Ehrlich.

The Old Line State faces a multiplicity of “fiscal” and other “societal” choices.  These choices are often closely linked. Lower taxes means politicians getting their arms around the soon-to-be crushing public-employee pension problem. Turning a blind eye to illegal immigration leads to higher taxes and pressure to expand government services — to say nothing of a variety of other worries. Growing jobs means curtailing state and local anti-business regulation. Required “diversity programs” in Maryland universities will likely not foster an entrepreneurial culture among graduates. “Crony capitalism,” or helping “favored” businesses may be a Maryland tradition, but it is no path to prosperity.

Voters on the center-right need to hear specifically what immediate public actions Mr. Ehrlich and Mr. Murphy would recommend if elected – – and what each of their visions are for the longer term.

Republicans and The Bigger Political Picture

Angelo Codevilla in his magisterial essay America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution (which we recommend to all our readers) explains what conservatives or “the country class,” not just in Maryland and Virginia, but nationally, now face – –

In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class.  . . . . Few Republican voters, never mind the larger country class, have confidence that the party is on their side. Because, in the long run, the country class will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans, those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party in an unmistakable manner, or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.“ (Underscoring Forum’s.)

2010 Election Richard Falknor on 12 Jul 2010

Obamacare Repealer: Members Must Sign Discharge Petition

UPDATE JULY 14! Kudos to Virginia Republican Representative Robert Wittman and veteran Virginia Republican appropriator Frank Wolf who signed (scroll down) the Discharge Petition.  Maryland conservatives will want to urge Democrat Frank Kratovil, and Virginia conservatives will want to urge Democrats Glenn Nye and Rick Boucher to sign the Discharge Petition.  The three Democrats voted against Obamacare on final passage.  Signing the Discharge Petition will give the three members an opportunity to restate their opposition to that freedom-denying legislation.

* * * * * 

“Republicans just need to sign a repeal bill, bring forth a discharge petition, use the discharge petition as a litmus test against Blue Dog Democrats in the November elections, win back a majority, pass a repeal bill in the new Congress, endure Obama’s inevitable veto of it, shut off the funding for the 2011 and 2012 enactment of Obamacare, and, finally, elect a new president in 2012.” Representative Steve King

National Review on Line’s (NRO) Ramesh Ponnuru two weeks ago wrote  – –

“NRO editorialized recently that the basic House Republican health-care strategy this year should have three facets. First, House Republicans should co-sponsor a simple, straightforward repeal bill. Second, Republican challengers should urge Democratic incumbents—especially those who voted against Obamacare—to co-sponsor the bill as well. Third, Republicans should continue to promote alternative health-care reforms such as tax credits, interstate purchase, and so forth. While the party’s message should include a ‘replace’ component, its legislative tactics this year should focus on repeal.

. . . . . . . . . .

Republican challengers need to pressure Democratic incumbents, especially the ones who voted against Obamacare, to support repeal. (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Readers are encouraged to consider all of Ponnuru’s well-reasoned piece.

Here is our paraphrase of how some key conservative voices are explaining the nuts and bolts of why we want all our Republican House members – – and those Democratic members who trumpet their vote against Obamacare – – to sign the discharge petition now – –

With a repeal bill unlikely to come to the House floor this year, the next best thing is discharge petition #11.  If this discharge petition gets signed by 218 members, then Speaker Pelosi would be forced to bring H.R. 4972 to the House floor for an up or down vote on repealing Obamacare. The discharge petition also provides concerned citizens and grassroots groups a single legislative target to focus their attention.

Tea Partiers and conservatives in Virginia and Maryland should take pains to be sure that all their Republican U. S. Representatives, and those Maryland (Frank Kratovil) and Virginia Democrats (Rick Boucher and Gerald Nye) who voted against Obamacare don’t stray from the fold at this crucial time.

Here is a July 1 link listing the 109 House members who have already signed Mr. King’s discharge petition.  Members are now returning after the July 4th recess, and the House will meet tomorrow July 13 at 2 PM.

Maryland and Virginia: In addition to Democratic members Mr. Kratovil, Mr. Nye, and Mr. Boucher, two Republicans (from Virginia) who have not yet signed are Frank Wolf and Robert Wittman.

They all should sign the discharge petition allowing Steve King’s simple Obamacare repealer to come to the House floor for a vote.

2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 03 Jul 2010

Brian Murphy Signs No-New-Taxes Pledge: Yes, It Matters!

Gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy’s signing the no-new-taxes pledge is a major step forward to highlight taxpayer protection in Maryland.

Businessman Murphy is among the few heavy-duty statewide GOP contenders to sign the pledge in the last decade.

Former governor Bob Ehrlich did not sign the gubernatorial no-new-taxes pledge in 2002 nor in 2006, and apparently discouraged GOP legislators from signing the state-legislator no-new-taxes pledge during his governorship. Senate candidate Michael Steele took pains not to sign the national pledge in his 2006 campaign.

In Keedysville in Washington County national blogger, and local Tea Party organizer Ann Corcoran writes in her Potomac Tea Party Report “Why I’m supporting Brian Murphy’s MD gubernatorial campaign.”

Sometime property-rights advocate Corcoran explained – –

“Some of you are saying, who is Brian Murphy? That’s what I find often when I mention him to friends.  And, why is that?  Why don’t we know his name?

Mostly because the Maryland Republican establishment has already tried to decide for Republican voters that only Governor Bob (Ehrlich) can beat the incumbent Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley.

So, let me understand this logic. Former Governor Ehrlich promises to be marginally better than the current Democratic governor on issues such as spending, taxes, and just possibly keeping Maryland from becoming even more of a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants.

His four previous years as governor were lackluster at best, so much so that grassroots folks didn’t work hard for him in 2006 and he subsequently lost to Mr. O’Malley.  Now we are expected to make the leap of faith and assert that only Ehrlich can beat O’Malley, huh!”

Readers should weigh the entire Corcoran post.

We wonder what reasoning Mr. Ehrlich has in this Maryland fiscal crisis for not signing the no-new-taxes pledge.  We hope he can revisit his thinking and come to a better mind.

Maryland is infamously a “sanctuary state” for reportedly 250,000 illegals.  Illegal immigrants of course can supplant citizens and legal immigrants in hiring. This is particularly aggravating during this apparently extended period of high unemployment. Illegals burden (for at least $1.4 billion) the Maryland taxpayer. They populate gangs – – in Montgomery County which is reportedly Mr. Ehrlich’s political target in this election, but of course elsewhere in Maryland.

Our national culture, not just in Maryland, seems conflicted about American exceptionalism. If our teaching and media class do not believe in America’s outstanding contribution to human freedom abroad and constitutional government at home, how can we expect immigrants, legal or not, to assimilate and adopt the American Dream?

Mr. Murphy has said he supports an Arizona-like measure for Maryland.  Mr. Ehrlich’s position is not clear. We didn’t see the word “immigration” under issues on his website.

Certainly on the national level, there are strong, putatively Republican-friendly organizations pushing for amnesty, notably the Chamber of Commerce.  Whether the Chamber and some major employers will keep Mr. Ehrlich from developing effective public positions aimed at ending Maryland’s role as a “sanctuary state” remain to be seen.

There are other serious statewide concerns.  Maryland has $51 billion in public-employee pension liabilities, as well as a related challenge ($15 billion) in paying for public-employee health and other benefits.  These pension and related liabilities dwarf many of the other fiscal concerns in Annapolis.  But public pensions are a burden that has been growing for some time with deep-dyed bi-partisan complicity.

We would like to hear chapter and verse from both candidates on how they would cope with overpromised and underfunded Maryland public pensions.

Robust Republican primaries are essential — particularly this year — to advance our cause.  If there ever was a year in which conservatives could win even unlikely races, it is this one. 

2010 Election &Conservatives &Tea Parties Richard Falknor on 21 Jun 2010

Labor Unions or Tea Parties: Who Will Win the House?

We believe that organized labor  – –  AFSCME, SEIU and others – – has for some time been carefully preparing to keep the Democratic majority in the U. S. House of Representatives.  They are already organizing in key districts.  Labor, we are told, is confident that they can succeed in keeping their majority in the House.

We rate this threat as serious.

One illustrative part of their plan is the legislative railroad they are running to rush the DISCLOSE bill to enactment.  Hans von Spakovsky tells us what is driving the DISCLOSE legislation – –

“The real effects of the DISCLOSE Act will be to deter political speech (including criticism of incumbents, such as its chief sponsors, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)) and political advocacy by corporations and associations that Democrats don’t want participating in the American political process. It includes both absolute bans on independent political advocacy and new, burdensome disclosure requirements. Schumer admitted when he introduced the bill that ‘the deterrent effect should not be underestimated.’ During a House Administration Committee hearing, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) made no bones about the fact that he hoped this Act ‘chills out all . . . I have no problem whatsoever keeping everybody out [of elections]. If I could keep all outside entities out, I would.’

Of course, the ‘deterrent’ and ‘chilling’ effect is meant to hit corporations — including nonprofit associations like Citizens United, the conservative advocacy organization that brought the original lawsuit — but not unions, which are exempted from most of the provisions of the bill. No surprise there, since unions support Democrats almost exclusively, with huge amounts of money. And the majority party is moving this bill at a breakneck pace through Congress to have it in place for the November elections, because Democrats fear November will be their election Waterloo.

The DISCLOSE Act would ban certain government contractors from engaging in any political speech, yet unions that represent government employees, and organizations like Planned Parenthood that receive large amounts of federal grants, would not be affected. American companies with American workers and American officers could be banned from speaking if a small minority of their shareholders are foreigners, yet unions with foreign officers and foreign members could spend as much money on political advocacy as they want. And many of the new disclosure provisions imposed by the act were made onerous and burdensome for the specific purpose of deterring political speech.” (Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

The Main Battle

It would be wonderful to take back the U.S. Senate, but that is unlikely. And winning governorships is also particularly important as states undertake post-census redistricting.

But for conservatives and the center-right in general, taking back the House is the main battle – – and the Tea Partiers will have to be part of the assault forces.

Should the House remain in Democratic hands in 2011, there will be no check on the Obama Administration.  Their operatives will wreak “vengeance” on our side and in particular on by-then-demoralized Republican members of the Congress.

On this blog over the last few years, we have taken second place to no one on the center-right in our detailed conservative criticisms of the GOP Establishment and of the records of a number of incumbent House and Senate Republicans.

But both we and the Tea Partiers have had our strong say – – and Deo volente, we all can make that continuing scrutiny of US House Republicans a priority again after Tuesday November 2. 

Tea Partiers Must Weigh In For GOP Challengers
( and for GOP Incumbents )

In Maryland, Dr. Andy Harris must replace Representative Frank Kratovil in the U. S. House.  In Virginia, entrepreneur Keith Fimian must replace Representative Gerry Connolly and state senator Robert Hurt must replace Representative Tom Perriello.

Tea Partiers should not underestimate the planning and organizing ability of organized labor nor the manpower available to them.  Keeping the House in Democratic (labor) hands is vital to their vision of where they want to go as well as keeping their rice bowls filled. 

Remember – – theirs is not our limiting goal to get the government “off our backs” or to downsize it so we can get on with our traditional lives. Their drive is to reshape all our lives under their rules.

In their view, they are very close to the prize. If they win in November, they are not going to be magnanimous to those they saw as obstacles.

Tea Partiers will have to work out locally how they help these GOP challengers.  It is not for nothing that the Republican leadership has been called the stupid party (in contrast to the Democratic leadership, whom some call the evil party).  Based on what we saw in 2008 and later, Republican House campaigns can be inept. 

GOP challengers who are very good on policy may be less adept in local political fighting. 

This year, some challengers who have been somewhat content-light in the past will have to work with Tea Partiers some of whom are almost content zealots.

Other challengers may fear using “politically incorrect” messages, even if they are persuasive and well-grounded.

Our suggestion for Tea Partiers would be to help as independently as they can in getting out the vote in the key Congressional districts and getting out the word through their own means to the voters on what Tea Partiers see as the central weaknesses of the Democratic incumbents.

But make no mistake. As we learn of the number of foot soldiers and grasp the ideological commitment of organized labor in battleground Congressional districts, we don’t see how our GOP challengers can prevail without the people and the smarts of the Tea Partiers.

2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 25 May 2010

We Can’t Roll Back the Hard Left With Third Parties

Jane Jamison, our CPAC blogger* colleague from the East Side of San Francisco Bay, wrote today in her “California: If Tea Party Goes Third Party, You Elect Democrats” – –

“After all, this is California.  Since when does anything here make any sense? Why should I expect a year of  tea party voter unrest  to produce any positive change or result? Why should I expect California Republicans will be able to recapture the state?

This is the state, after all, where it is apparently more important to ‘look’ good than to ‘be’ good.Unemployment is 4th highest in the nation at 12.6%, budget deficit is at $20-billion (let’s say 20 billion-‘ish’ because no one really wants to bother about how bad it is). We are paying $100k/year  to retired teachers and we have to lay off ‘live’ teachers in the class room to do so. 

But hey, your weather sucks and ours doesn’t! So, I’m constantly told, it’s all worth it.

Let me unwind what is happening in these two prominent California races and what MIGHT happen:”

Lessons for Maryland and Virginia?

First of all, California, our most populous state, is still the eighth-largest economy on the planet and has been a trend-setter for our chattering classes and for many other (younger) Americans as well.

Second, conservatives may be able to learn from the missteps of Tea Partiers and grass-roots conservatives in the Golden State — while there is still time at home in the mid-Atlantic.

Blogger Jamison elaborates – –

“The Tea Party in the Bay area has been very active all year on the health care reform issue.  In recent months, many of the local tea parties in the San Francisco bay area appear to be ‘morphing’ into campaign structures for the six (and a few others) independent, or ‘fringe’ Republican candidates. There have also been an unknown number who have peeled off to register in various third parties.  There is a candidate asking to be written in by Tea party members.  There is another candidate who is pulling between 1 and 2% who is still actively campaigning, and asking for money. If these various and sundry ‘fringe candidates’ pull the rest of the undecided vote, then as much as 20% of the voters, many of them tea party members, will split their vote among many hopeless candidates and will assure that Meg Whitman, the more ‘liberal candidate’ in the campaign, will become the nominee. That will happen because the conservatives in the state are too proud to cooperate.”

But Jamison who publishes Uncoverage.Net emphasizes – –

“What I am saying is, Tea Party nation, you have worked all year standing on street corners with signs, writing emails, faxing, and going to meetings.  Much effort has been expended. At the end of it all….now…you are choosing to stay ‘divided’ and by doing so, will ensure that a Democrat will be governor of California this fall.”

You will profit from reading her entire post.

The Really Heavy Lifting Begins After November

We would add yet another lesson for Tea Partiers and conservatives in every state:  our work has only just begun next November when our candidates are elected or re-elected to the Congress and state legislatures.  If we realistically expect a conservative performance from these elected or re-elected members, we must work right along with them in the next Congress or the next session of the General Assembly in shoulder-to-shoulder ways that organized conservatives have not done before.  Otherwise we are ceding our conservative agenda entirely to the GOP leadership in the Congress and the General Assemblies of Maryland and Virginia.  And we know how well they have done with that over the last decade. 

Message to Republicans lawmakers:  expect to have a continuing exchange with your Tea Partiers and your grass-roots conservative base after your election or re-election in November. 

Message to Tea Partiers and the grass-roots conservative base:  your leisure time can never be the same during the Obama Administration if you want to stay free in any traditional meaning of the word. Give up any fantasy of finally sending a “good man” or “good woman” to the Congress, Annapolis, or Richmond — then leaving all the law-making and oversight “details” up to them while you go off to the golf course or tennis court or cultivate your garden, resuming a “normal” not-very-political life. 

Without your continuing counsel and support, these lawmakers will be swallowed up, to a greater or less degree, by the Beltway Establishment.

Here, and here (h/t John Berlau) are stories about a fellow named Scott Brown from Massachusetts illustrating our point.


2010 Election &Conservatives &Illegal Immigration Richard Falknor on 04 May 2010

Flash Points 8: Finish The Fence| Christie Fixing NJ Court

UPDATE MAY 5! Today’s Washington Examiner: “Heather MacDonald: Arizona law is hated because it could be effective” – – “The Arizona law, were it to be widely emulated, threatens to disrupt the calculus of illegal immigration. There are 650,000 state and local police officers in the U.S. If a significant portion of those officers received the mandate of the Arizona law—to inquire where practicable into the immigration status of an individual they have legitimately stopped, if they have a valid reason to believe he is in the country illegally—the balance between law enforcement and law-breaking would be changed enough to likely deter illegal border crossings and to persuade many illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to return to their home countries rather than face arrest and deportation.”

Don’t Forget The Fence!

 The Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald reminds us “Why We Need a Border Fence” on NRO today – – 

“The only reason for not creating a border fence that I can see is ambivalence about whether we really want to prevent illegal entry.”

Author MacDonald explains – –

“The logic of the Arizona law is that by increasing the chance of detection, it will discourage illegal aliens from entering in the first place and encourage those already in the country to leave on their own. Undoubtedly, many people will respond to the law as intended; the deterrent effect would be even greater if more states followed Arizona’s lead and discarded their actual or de facto sanctuary policies. But for other illegal aliens, the threat of detection and deportation is apparently not particularly meaningful. I don’t know whether the rate of illegal reentry (which is a felony) is higher for serious criminal aliens compared with illegal aliens who do not commit other crimes. But clearly, better interior enforcement, while a necessary part of restoring the immigration rule of law, cannot succeed in the absence of a truly secure border.” (Underscoring Forum’s)

Illustrating the problem of illegal reentry, MacDonald declares – –

“The record for reentry goes to a Mexican aggravated felon apprehended in Florence, Ariz., on May 22, 2009, who had been deported nine times, following 51 documented arrests under 16 different aliases. The runner-up is a Mexican arrested for assault causing bodily injury on June 9, 2009, in Starr County, Texas, who had been deported five times and was convicted of attempted murder in 2005. More typical is a Guatemalan drug dealer apprehended in Dallas on Aug. 7, 2009, who has been deported twice, and whose lengthy criminal history includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (legalese for shooting someone) . . . .”

* * * * *

Governor Chris Christie:
Bringing Accountability to the New Jersey Supreme Court

“Wow!” says The Corner’s Kathryn Jean Lopez – –

“A friend with Garden State blood who knows judicial fights e-mails:

The news out of New Jersey that the Guv is not going to reappoint Justice Wallace is beyond superlatives.  This is unprecedented, and the Guv should be strongly applauded for taking this principled stand against ‘business as usual’ in Trenton.”

From governor Christie’s office yesterday:

  • former Federal prosecutor’s Christie’s thinking about that court’s proper role – –

“My problem is that the Supreme Court in this state has seen itself as a superior branch of government, not a coequal branch of government. They are not a superior branch of government.” (Underscoring Forum’s)

National Review’s Duncan Currie explained last October in “The Swamps of Jersey: How the Garden State fell into decline” some of the fiscal consequences of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s rulings – –

” . . . [T]he court has handed down a series of rulings aimed at shaping New Jersey’s school-funding framework. The debates have typically pitted the suburbs against the cities, with predictable racial overtones. What the supreme court has advocated, and lawmakers have devised, is essentially a large-scale wealth-redistribution program. Many suburbanites resent the fact that their tax dollars are used to subsidize dysfunctional schools in cities such as Newark, Paterson, Trenton, Camden, and East Orange.”(Underscoring Forum’s)

Will New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s example energize Maryland conservatives? Perhaps the grass roots – – –   perhaps the Tea Parties.

But one can almost hear voices of the Maryland GOP Establishment palpably uneasy about recitations of Christie’s initiatives: 

“We can’t follow the Christie approach here. No, sir, we have too many government employees and too many registered Democrats to govern on so-called conservative principles. Sure, we can attack O’Malley’s sales-tax hike – – but forget about that wide-ranging no-new-taxes pledge. That would be crazy. You won’t hear us nattering on about government restructuring or big spending cuts. We are pragmatists!”

2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 29 Apr 2010

Maryland’s Illegals: Asking GOP Gubernatorial Contenders

Scroll Down to see Brian Murphy’s Take on Maryland Illegal-Immigration – – Bob Ehrlich “has not studied the bill” – – Virginian Virgil Goode’s “The Real Immigration Solution” and Casa de Maryland’s 2006-2007 “Donors and Supporters”- – The House of Representatives RSC’s brief “Arizona Immigration Law: Picking up the Slack?”

As nearly everyone knows in Maryland, there are two Republican candidates contending for that party’s nomination for governor:  former governor Bob Ehrlich and Montgomery County business executive Brian Murphy.  A glance at their platforms here and here gives one at least a scent of where they promise to go in terms of governing. We didn’t see, however, the word “immigration” on either of their “issue” lists.

In these politically tumultuous times, concerned conservatives seek more than the usual Republican bromides. We are hopeful that candidates Ehrlich and Murphy will want to give us their specifics on all the key issues. 

This article considers how the candidates might come to grips with the estimated 250,000 illegal immigrants in Maryland.

Maryland As a Magnet State for Illegals

The state of Arizona has just enacted SB 1070 (“Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”) which “declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.  The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.”

“Attrition Through Enforcement” — Arizona’s 560,000 Illegals

Here and here are analyses of the new law itself by former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Author Mark Krikorian expands on the policy behind the Arizona law and its possible effects.

Here is the Center for Immigration Studies “Fact Sheet” on the Arizona law.


Arizona, moreover, has had the E-Verify program in place since January 1, 2008.  According to scholar Krikorian, ” . . .an earlier Arizona law requir[ed] all employers to use E-Verify for new hires. Even the state’s chamber of commerce acknowledged that the E-Verify bill wasn’t as bad as their jeremiads during the debate would have suggested . . . .”

State Costs Arising from the Maryland Illegals

The Federation for American Immigration Reform declares “that Maryland’s illegal immigrant population costs the state’s taxpayers more than $1.4 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $790 per Maryland household headed by a native-born resident.”

A Menu of State and Local Actions

Visiting Heritage Fellow Matt Mayer listed possible state and local government steps to cope with illegal immigration.

Lawyer Mayer advised that “state and local government action should be aimed at ‘remov[ing] or reduc[ing] the economic incentives for unlawful presence.'”

A Few Questions for the Candidates

With the foregoing expert commentaries under our belts, all of us will be better prepared to ask some probing questions.

  • Would candidate Ehrlich or Murphy, or both, propose as governor a similar attrition-through-enforcement law (paralleling Arizona’s SB 1070) for Maryland?
  • Would candidate Ehrlich or Murphy, or both, propose as governor legislation requiring all Maryland employers to use E-Verify for new hires?
  • What other steps would they propose as governor – – by legislation or administrative action – – effectively to cope with the problem of illegal immigrants in Maryland?
  • Or does candidate Ehrlich or Murphy, or both, believe that concerns about so-called “undocumented immigrants” are much overblown?

What is important – – in these quite perilous times – – is that conservatives not shrink from asking hard questions at whatever gatherings they encounter these Republican aspirants to the governorship of Maryland.

Stay tuned for more possible Maryland gubernatorial candidate questions – – as well as questions about policies Virginia Republican governor Bob McDonnell should now be recommending to his Commonwealth.

* * * * *

Gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy replies:

“Thanks for the questions.       

1)  Enforcing our laws and protecting our citizens will be a top priority of my administration. I am not opposed to steps as drastic as those taken in Arizona, but I am not sure they are warranted, yet, in Maryland. I look forward to working with Governor Brewer to understand what Arizona is facing, how they got there, and what policies we should enact in Maryland to avoid the same fate.

2)       I want to be careful that I fully understand the cost implications to employers (and therefore employees) of any system like e-Verify, but I fully support appropriate verification of all new hires in Maryland.  Maryland’s sanctuary status is immoral and unsustainable.”

* * * * * 

Bob Ehrlich: “Ehrlich spokesman Andy Barth said the former governor has not studied the Arizona bill, but opposes illegal immigration.”

 * * * * * 

Marylander Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch draws our attention to Virgil Goode’s “The Real Immigration Solution” posted here on FrontPage.com, and in her Potomac Tea Party Report the Washington County blogger points us to Casa de Maryland’s list of 2006-2007 “Donors & Supporters.”

* * * * *

Readers can also take in the House of Representatives Republican Study Committee’s (Updated) Policy Brief   – – “Arizona Immigration Law: Picking up the Slack?” 



2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 04 Apr 2010

Can Tea Partiers Win A No-New-Taxes Pledge from Ehrlich?


“The tea partiers are focusing on the expansion of government — and its threat to the independence of citizens.”Michael Barone

The Opportunity

Tea Partiers in Maryland and elsewhere represent a fresh force in American politics, and one not chained to party apparatus.  In Maryland, they are perhaps the only group capable of successfully encouraging the likely Republican candidate for governor, Bob Ehrlich, to run explicitly on a smaller government no-new-taxes platform. 

Specifically, they should ask Mr. Ehrlich to sign the gubernatorial no-new-taxes pledge  — -which Mr. Ehrlich declined to do during his first term.

They should also consider urging Mr. Ehrlich to make Maryland competitive for real (private sector) jobs by advancing the abolition of the state corporate tax along the lines one analyst recommended for Virginia – –

“Abolishing this tax, with a date certain 12 to 24 months in the future, creates a “wow” factor for growth while still building tax revenue until the actual implementation. This window buffers state revenue while building the base that culminates in a sustained growth of revenue created by an ensuing 0.5 percentage point to 1 percentage point expansion in the annual growth rate of Virginia’s GDP. This roughly translates (on the low end of expectations) to creating new jobs for the entire city of Bristol — population 17,000 — every year.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

The Challenge

Maryland Tea Partiers need to raise the concerns most crucial to them with candidate Ehrlich and without getting any organizer’s “permission.” 

The fundamental question is whether a sometime centrist like Bob Ehrlich can reinvent himself as a leader in the fight against a disciplined movement of the left aimed at controlling Maryland’s economy and society. Old-fashioned Annapolis horse-trading skills alone won’t do the job. To be really effective, Mr. Ehrlich will have to spend more time with the grass roots and less time among the Annapolis governmentalists (of both parties). And he must grasp the serious nature of the left’s political force – – now reenergized by the enactment of Obamacare — that Americans are up against nationally as well as in Maryland.

Of course, Mr. Ehrlich will have to win over the values and Second Amendment voices that were estranged from him in 2006.  But that is a subject for a coming post. Stay tuned!

* * * * *


  • Is candidate Ehrlich breaking away from the big-government folks? Baltimore Sun’s Julie Bykowicz writes today  “TV reporter-turned-candidate joins Team Ehrlich” “Barth has been a reporter for WMAR, Baltimore’s ABC affiliate, and for WTTG, Fox in Washington. In 2006, he ran for the House of Representatives seat vacated by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin. A registered Democrat, Barth lives in Columbia.” 
  • Will the former governor sign a no-new-taxes pledge? A Republican stalwart emails: ‘Good luck with this. I don’t see it happening. Ehrlich had no respect for the county central committees and he had no respect for the grassroots workers. Since he still blames Bush for his loss, I don’t see him being any different if he is elected this go round.'”

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