Are You Will To Take The Plunge?

Al, Dave, and Steve are!  They’re ready to show you just how hard core they are, and what they’re willing to do to prove it.  Yes, that’s right, you heard it here. These boys are  participating in the Polar Bear Plunge on January 30th at Sandy Point.   On the Slate for Fiscal Responsibility Team, we have Dave Aughenbagh and Al Nalley, candidates for delegate in District 12A, Steve Whisler, candidate for county council in District 1, and several other proud patriots.  Now, if you ask me, I’d say they are all a bit looney, but they’re in for a great cause.  Plungapalooza 2010 benefits the Special Olympics, which “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for citizens with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.” (Plungapalooza website)

I’m sure you’re all sitting there wondering two things:

1) How can I help? Well, there are two ways really, you can get in your skimmies and take the plunge as part of our team, or you can open your checkbook and make a donation.  Either way, we’ll take it.  Our goal as a team is $5000.  We need all the help we can get to make it.  Are you with us?

2) Are you plunging, Hillary?  Um, in a word, NO!  I’m more of a open my checkbook kind of gal.  But I’m in for a donation.  You bet your “suits,” I am!

Is It Personal or Is It Politics?

After Bryan Sears released his article highlighting our opponent’s and their “fundraising” committees for the Baltimore County Council races, it’s come to my attention that certain candidates have felt personally “attacked.”  Okay, really just one candidate was upset, particularly over my op ed piece here on the blog, but seriously, THIS IS A CAMPAIGN!  Who is on your campaign committee, especially your “fundraising chairmen” and their practices, are fair game.  To be this early in the race, before the gloves even come off, and getting your panties all up in a wad, seems a bit premature to me.  I mean, don’t you think “unfriending” people on Facebook is more of a personal attack then an op ed piece where you, yourself, weren’t even the centerpiece?
It’s not my place to question someone’s integrity.  Maybe these opponents really think that Smith and Gildea are in this for the good of the candidates.  However, if they truly believe that, then they’re naive.  Here’s my opinion.  I think Smith and Gildea are building a war chest, not for these candidates, but for Executive Smith himself.  See, he can’t run for another term (gee, I wonder where else we could use some term limits), so the only way to maintain his political power is to build a machine equipped with lackeys that he can control.  Of course, I have no proof this.  That’s why they call it an opinion, but it makes sense to me.  They interviewed candidates to see if they were, what, worthy of their “help.”  No one devotes that much time and energy (and money) to something, or someone, unless they have something to gain from it.  So, my question is this:  What would Smith and Gildea have to gain from these investments?  And let’s just say (and I hope this doesn’t happen) that their “friends” win these seats.  Do you expect me to believe that their influence ends there?  What about Executive Smith’s influence?  Where does that end? Or when?

At this point in the game, it’s not about personal attacks.  I honestly hope that the people in this campaign leave the mud on the ground where it belongs for the entirety of the race.  But if our opponents are going to take every single criticism personally…well, you know what they say, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the fire.  And “unfriending” us on Facebook?  Don’t you think that’s just a tad bit childish?  However, please, don’t take that too personally.

Hear Bryan Sears take with Bill Vanko about his War Chest article on WBAL.

On a Lighter Note: Let It Snow

It’s official.  The weather lady says it’s going to snow and it’s going to be a big event.  Yada, yada, yada!  What excited me was what she said at the end of her segment.  Listen closely and pay attention to a very special date.  I might just be looking at my first ever White Christmas.  I know it’s selfish, but I’m totally praying for it.  I’ve never woken up in my own house with snow on the ground, and I’m super excited about the possibility…even if it’s only a 40% chance at this point.

I’ll keep you guys posted!  Oh and for the record:  Since the Pennington’s have moved to Maryland, we have never had a snow event as big as the one they are predicting for tomorrow.  This may turn out to be the wildest winter ever (at least for those of us born and raised in the South).

Also, good to note, that the first snow fall of the season, for the last 6 years, has been on December 5th.  Guess when we moved to Maryland?  Yep, 6 years ago!  Hhmmmm, coincidence?  I think not!

What are you “snowy” day activities?

I Always Liked Steele

Now I think I like him even more.  If we’re going to be smacking down Democrats…sign me up.  And kudos to Justin Ready (@justinready) for making it to The Hills.  Don’t know what I’m talking about, check it out here. Fun times!

Press Release: Baltimore County Republicans Ask Democrats:

BALTIMORE COUNTY REPUBLICANS ASK DEMOCRATS:

WILL YOU SUPPORT THE SMITH-GILDEA DEVELOPER CANDIDATES?

Contact: Chris Cavey

The Baltimore County Republican Party today denounced efforts by two prominent Democrat powerbrokers, Michael Paul Smith and David Gildea, in their efforts to pack the next Baltimore County Council with politicians sympathetic to over development of our County.  The story was first reported by Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing.

“Under Jim Smith and his Democrat cronies, Baltimore County has become a political cesspool, polluted by big money from Democrat developers and their special interests that are paying for access to power,” commented Baltimore County Republican Party Chairman Chris Cavey.  “It’s time to drain this political cesspool and reform the County Council in 2010. Only the Republican Party offers real reform and accountability.”

Cavey is asking all Democrat candidates in Baltimore County to clarify whether they would back the Smith-Gildea candidates if they proceed to the general election.  “Will self-styled reformers like Jim Brochin, Bobby Zirkin, Steve Lafferty, and Ruth Baisden denounce such a brazen effort to stack the County Council with candidates handpicked by the Smith-Gildea development cartel? Are they willing to close a blind eye to the deepening corruption within the Council chamber and hope for some of the same cash flow and support.”

Bryan Sears jumped right on this in his blog, Strange Bedfellows, as did Ann Miller on Examiner.com.

Please spread this press release to any and all people you know, have met, brushed by in a check-out line, or have seen breathing.  It’s important that we get the word out about the strategy’s of our opponents.  Getting in bed with development lawyers…there’s no coming back from that.  Really, there’s not.  The people need to know who these men are associating themselves with, and who else is going to do that?

And These People Win Elections?

I just don’t get it.  Why people choose to support Democrats is beyond me.  There all about the money and the power.  Sure they preach about the little people, feeding the poor, taking care of the disabled, but look at how they run their campaigns.  They appeal only to the rich and deep pocketed.  In an article today on ExploreBaltimoreCounty.com, Bryan Sears pointed out how three Democrat contenders in Baltimore County were filling their war chests.  How, you ask?  Well, that would be with $1000 a plate fundraisers and a committee headed up by none other than a couple development lawyers.  Michael Paul Smith, who also happens to be Executive Smith’s son, and David Gildea (also highly connected to Exec. Smith) have pledged their undying support to County Council candidates Tom Quirk (running against Steve Whisler), Gardon Harden (District 5), and Cathy Bevins (District 6).

Of course these candidates have made a pledge of their own.  They’ll accept these guys help and money, but would never return any special favors.  Sure, like these men are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.  When business owners and developers show up at a $1000 a plate fundraiser, they mean business.  They’re in it for themselves.  They want these people to win because it means something for them.  Why else would they care?

Democrats in Maryland have proven that they are not pro-business, just look at our employment tax, property tax assessments, and all-around hostile tax environment they’ve created.  The one benefit to being the underdog in a completely blue state means that, for once, they can’t point fingers and blame the elephant in the room.  So if these big developers are showing up at these fundraisers, then it means that there is something in it for them.  And on a side note, I’d ask how many of these deep pockets are even from within these districts.  Of course, I have no idea, but it certainly begs the question.

Bryan wrote, “Some community activists say they are concerned over the attorneys’ fundraising for candidates because of the council’s role in zoning and development.”  Activists?  I’d be interested to hear what everyday people walking down Frederick Ave would think about this.  “Whose call do you think they will return first? The developer who gave them $1,000 or the attorney who raised them $50,000?” Donna Spicer, a Loch Raven activist shared with Mr. Sears (how do you define activist anyways?). What about the housewife looking for a sidewalk for her kids to walk to school on?  When do you think her call will be answered.

Another interesting quote in the article came from Cathy Bevins.  “‘I know what it costs to run for County Council,” Bevins said. “I’m going to need $100,000 to $125,000. I’m not going to raise that having $25 (per person) fundraisers.'”  Do you need me to interpret this for you?  Basically they’ll take your vote, but the money is what really matters to them, so if you don’t have tons of it, then you’re not all that important to them.  Really?  And these people still get elected.

Actually, in 2010, let’s hope they don’t.  We have a strong slate of candidates, especially for County Council.  Steve Whisler is all about the people.  Sure, he knows it takes money to run a campaign, but it takes people to win and election.  I’m proud to “work” for a man who listens to the concerns of those around him, whose platform is built on a foundation of community service, who knows who he wants to work for and why.

The last quote I’ll pull from Bryan’s article comes from none other than Tom Quirk himself.  “But this is an important election,” he said, “and there will be a lot of change in the council, and it’s more important than ever to elect the right people.”  I couldn’t agree more, Tom.  Whisler in 2010.

Got Plans Next Wednesday? You Do Now!

Come on, it’s not like you have to go that far, and it is for a good cause (sort of).  The Southwest Area Education Advisory Council is hosting an Elected Official Meet & Greet next Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm at Catonsville High School.

There will be mingling.  There will be remarks.  And if we show up and play our cards right, there might even be a little intimidation.  Don’t you think it’s about time they stand up and take notice of us?  We shall see.

Here a list of the confirmed officials scheduled to be there (drum roll please):

·       Congressman John Sarbanes (tentative) – Representing
Maryland’s 3rdDistrict

·       State Delegate Adrienne Jones- Representing District 10

·       State Delegate James Malone- Representing District 12A

·       State Delegate Steven DeBoy- Representing District 12A

I have to point out a missing name, that of a certain County Councilman.  Oh well, we’ll have to send a stand in.  Steve, I hope you’re available.

For more information, contact Brian Bailey (also running for County Council, on the other side) at  443-618-5404

Be there or be on my hit list (or off my Christmas list for that matter).  Okay, so making idle threats is probably not the best way to get you there, but think about, don’t you think it would be a good use of your time to go, ask questions, and turn some heads.  I’m just saying, that’s all.