Quirk, Burn’s Rising Sun

When you apply for non-profit status as a church, you understand that you must remain politically neutral.  If you don’t, you could lose your tax exempt status.  Maybe Delegate Emmit Burns, who also happens to be the pastor at the Rising Sun Baptist Church in Woodlawn, didn’t get the message.  Or maybe he just missed that clause when setting up his church.  Either way, I’d say they’re far from neutral.

This morning I was sent an anonymous message (at least as far you’re concerned) about a particular visit to said church this past Sunday by our very own councilman, Tom Quirk.  Now for an elected official such as himself to attend a worship service violates no rules, but when the pastor of the church, also an elected official, publicly calls Quirk his “money man,” things get a little murky.  Apparently when Burns ran out of money during his costly and most unopposed campaign, he turned to Tom.  Okay.  First of all, why?  Quirk was running in a highly contested race, whereas Burns was practically a shoe-in.  But let’s put that aside for a moment.  The question you must ask yourself is why any of this is pertinent to one’s walk with God.  Oh wait, I forgot to tell you why Tom was in attendance this past Sunday.  It seems he decided to give a sizable donation to the church.  Now why would someone do that?  Give money to a church he doesn’t attend?  I certainly understand slipping a $20 bill into the offering plate as it passes.  That’s just good form, but to be called to the front and recognized…that had to be a fairly large chunk of change.

Let’s back up a bit.  During the campaign, Quirk attended on several occasions and each time recognized from the front.  Hmmm, careful Delegate Burns, because that could be construed as an endorsement, and a sizable donation at the conclusion of a successful bid for office could be interpreted as payback.  Who knows though?  Maybe Councilman Quirk has been making his rounds to various churches in the area spreading the wealth so to speak.  If that’s the case, I’d be happy to give him the name and address for my church.  After our sound equipment was stolen last month, we could certainly use it.  However, something tells me that’s not the case.

This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard of overt bias coming from Del. Burns and his congregation.  During the primary, Rising Sun hosted a Democratic forum for candidates.  By mistake, our friend, Rich Reinhardt, a candidate for Clerk of the Court, was invited.  After speaking, people in the audience actually applauded.  They seemed to agree with his platform.  Then again, they thought he was a Dem.  Once they realized that he was actually a Republican, Delegate Burns asked him to leave.  He wasn’t even allowed the time to gather his materials and they were not returned to him after the fact.  For all intensive purposes, he was thrown out.  Now I could be wrong, but, outside of the Reinhardt debacle, I have yet to hear of a Republican being invited to Rising Sun.  If I’m wrong, I’ll be happy to retract, but I’m guessing I won’t have to.

.The amazing thing is that I’m sure they will continue to promote Democrats at Rising Star because really, who’s going to check into it?


The MDGOP Line Up

Look at that, I complain about not knowing all the candidates and poof, this nifty pdf file just shows up in my inbox.  Hats off to Tom Henry for putting this together and Steve Chan for disseminating.

Read through it and let your Central Committee representative know who you would like to see if those roles.  We are, after all, elected by you to represent you as Republicans.  Unlike the actual elected officials in Towson, Annapolis and DC, I will actually listen to your ideas, concerns, and snide remarks and take them all into consideration.

I will warn you to make an informed decision.  This is not a popularity contest.

Clearing My Chest

If you haven’t heard about the recent upheavals in the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, you’ve probably been living under a rock and need to crawl out of it.  Maybe you don’t even know what the Central Committee is, what it does, or why it’s relevant.  If that’s the case, I was in the same boat a little over a year ago.  Augie and I have a plan to educate our base as to the inner working for both the state party and the central committee, but for now, just know that they’re important to our movement.  I’m not going to go into deep detail, one, because I can’t and two, because it’s not necessary.  But I do think it’s time I get a few things off my chest.

People say that the Dems must be having a love fest over all this elephant brawling, and maybe they are.  But it’s not like they have anything to boast about.  Seriously, working on the Whisler campaign, we saw all kinds of back stabbing and slander coming from the other side.  The difference was this; For the most part, they hide their animosity between a myriad of fake smiles and flat pleasantries.  I’ll give them this though, they certainly have mastered the art of keeping it all in the family, a lesson I believe the members of the Central Committee (including myself) are learning the hard way. 

Regardless of what has happened in the past, we have to find a way to move forward.  Frankly, we’re stuck together for the next four years and tasked with seemingly insurmountable assignments, raise money and get Republicans elected.  Neither of these goals would be easy to reach in the best of circumstances, and no one could call our present conditions anything close to good much less best.  Not only have we managed to make a mockery of ourselves in the local press, we’re also facing serious additions to the already bumpy road, AKA redistricting. 

Anyone care to hear my solutions?  A couple things come to mind.  For starters, we have to choose to be the bigger people.  Swallow our pride, extend the olive branch and do whatever the hell we can do to work together.  Basically, get over ourselves.  It’s not about us.

Secondly, I think it’s time to turn our attention to Annapolis.  This Saturday, all of the central committee members from across the state will descend upon the Doubletree Hotel to vote in a new MDGOP Executive Committee.  There are many candidates that have thrown their hats into the ring vying for such positions as Secretary, First, Second or Third Vice Chair, and most importantly, Chairman.  Most of these contenders are solid, credible activists with a genuine heart and commitment to the party as a whole.  And it’s up to us to decide who should reside over this party for the next four years. 

Now I’m not going to sit here and clamor on about who the best candidates are.  In fact, I don’t even know who all is in this thing.  I just know I get emails, letters, and a few phones call each day.  Seriously though, it seems like someone could come up with an Excel spreadsheet or something listing all the candidates.  Don’t look at me.  I hate Excel…just ask Leslie.  Point being, I don’t know even know who I’m going to vote for yet…except for who Mike Pappas tells me too (Right Pappas Smile).

When I first dove head first into politics, I thought the state party to be irrelevant.  I still do for the most part.  So, whoever takes over this new executive committee will be tasked with casting a widespread yet focused vision across the state that will inspire people like us to see the bigger picture.  Here in SW Baltimore County, we have one of the most amazing teams.  We’re passionate, hard working and quite frankly, we kick ass.  But not every area of the state operates that way.  And if we’re so disenfranchised from the state party that we develop a tunnel vision for our particular area, I’m quite sure that we’ll never win.  We have to be part of the bigger whole. 

If you’re able to make it down to the convention this weekend, look for your central committee members, Leslie Tinker, Steve Chan, Gloria Murphy, and me, Hillary Pennington.  We’d be happy to show you the ropes, listen to your input and even buy you a beer.  Oh, I forgot that part didn’t I?  Friday night is basically one big party, so definitely don’t miss that part. 

Stay tuned…it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  Make sure you don’t fall into a pothole.

Let the Maryland conservative grassroots movement begin!

Don Irvine, Chairman of Accuracy in Media

Maryland Young Americans for Freedom hosted a meeting on Saturday at the Stained Glass Pub in Glenmont where YAF affiliates from national and local conservative groups met to discuss the future of Maryland and the importance of grassroots movements like ours.

Key speakers during the meeting included Don Irvine, Chairman of Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia; Brendan Madigan, former Conservative Republican candidate for Comptroller in 2010; Sam Hale, candidate for Maryland State Chair; Jordan Marks, Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom; and Tonya Tiffany, who spoke to us about the Maryland Conservative Action Network.

Young Americans for Freedom celebrated its 50th birthday this

YAF MD State Chair Adam Cassandra

year, but it is just getting started in Maryland. YAF State Chair Adam Cassandra spoke about the future of YAF in Maryland, and how we are really working on starting chapters in both high school and college campuses. We are in the midst of starting our own chapter at UMBC and are looking forward to providing students on our liberally-drenched campus with an outlet for their conservative opinions.

Part of the grassroots conservative effort has to do with communication. It is crucial for different groups to have some sort of unity in order to spread the word. Tonya Tiffany brought our attention to the Maryland Conservative Action Network, which provides the opportunity for different groups to coordinate ideas and events in order to get the information and ideas to everyone in the most effective way. There is an Inaugural Conference event on January 8th at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland, from 9:00am – 5:00pm during which Charles Lollar and numerous other outstanding conservative figures will be speaking about this wonderful opportunity. Please register ahead of time for $40 in order to guarantee a spot. Otherwise, it is $50 at the door. More information can be found at the MD CAN blog: http://mdcan.wordpress.com/.

Jordan Marks, Executive Director of YAF

It can often be discouraging to be anything other than a Democrat or liberal in this deep-blue state in which it is nearly impossible to get a Republican elected, which was seen all-too-clearly in the 2010 elections. That is why Maryland needs this grassroots conservative movement to motivate citizens on principle and progress on the foundations that make this country great. Jordan Marks, Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom, stated his desires, which are certainly shared by everyone by conservative Marylanders everywhere: “I would love to see Maryland get taken over from the bottom.” This is the epitome of grassroots, and it all starts with you and me.

Get Involved: Swearing in of the NEW County Council

(only if you can spare the time)

Swearing in of the “NEW” Batimore County Council and the First “NEW” Council session

Let’s be there to welcome in the fresh-council; and remind them of the campaign promises made! Swearing in is at 10am and the first council meeting is at 2pm. Please try to attend one if not both events, we need you to keep the pressure on, bring family, friends, and neighbors.

We will not be testifying or pushing any agenda, yet!

Wear your favorite AFP tee shirt, and let’s send a message to all the freshmen/women that we are still very active and plan to keep a very close eye on all that will be happening in our County!

DATE: December 6th

Swearing in starts at 10:00am
the first council meeting starts at 2:00

LOCATION: Towson Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue Room 205  Courthouse
Towson, MD 21204  Second Floor