Maryland: The Land that TEA Forgot?/A Monoblogue Post

I actually sent this in to PJM early this but they decided not to run it for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a little bit off-message, or perhaps we are a true backwater of conservative politics.

Last year in Virginia and New Jersey, the first successes of the TEA Party movement swept unabashed fiscal conservatives Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie into office.

Similarly in Pennsylvania, the latest polls show Republicans with wide leads in statewide races for governor and U.S. Senate. Next door in West Virginia, a Republican has a good chance of taking over the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat stalwart Robert Byrd.

Even where the polls aren’t as friendly, such as Delaware, they garnered national attention when a TEA Party-backed upstart in Christine O’Donnell upended longtime moderate Republican Congressman Mike Castle in the September 14 primary. O’Donnell made her final push to victory after getting financial backing from the TEA Party Express and the endorsement of Sarah Palin.

Yet as all that political turmoil roils states which border Maryland, TEA Party activists there bemoan the fact that they’ve been bypassed by the excitement.

Sarah Palin’s endorsement of TEA Party favorite Brian Murphy did little to help his campaign for governor as he was spanked by a nearly 50 point margin in the September 14 primary. While Delaware voters turned their political world upside down by going against the state’s establishment Republicans and selecting O’Donnell, Maryland’s state GOP apparatus placed their support behind former governor Bob Ehrlich almost immediately after he formally announced he would seek the office again. The move angered conservative activists but more mainline Republicans bought the argument that only Ehrlich could unseat current Governor Martin O’Malley – who defeated Ehrlich in 2006.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, Ehrlich trails in the latest Rasmussen Poll by 8 points, which is larger than his 2006 margin of defeat. A similar (and more recent) poll by Gonzales Research has Ehrlich down 5.

Of course there are bright spots for conservative activists in some portions of the state. Andy Harris is a TEA Party favorite who is giving freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil all he can handle in a spirited First District race that’s also a rematch, from 2008. Even more popular is the man challenging Steny Hoyer in the Fifth District, Charles Lollar. He’s a dynamic speaker who has excited crowds anywhere from a small campaign event to the 9-12 rally in Washington, D.C.

But for two TEA Party believers I spoke to, the lack of good choices on the Maryland ballot is disheartening.

Read about the Two Tea Party Patriots here.

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Local Salisbury candidate outlines views and beliefs

In this time of American uncertainty, I would like to discuss my viewpoints for Wicomico County. I am a candidate for an at-large seat on the Wicomico County Council, but I am not a career politician or part of the establishment.

My viewpoints are:

# Principle over party

# Limited government

# Fiscal responsibility within the city, county and state

# Low taxes for everyone

# A common-sense government

# I am pro-business, for this is where citizens will find jobs

# I do not believe in a centralized police force

# I do believe in an elected school board

# I believe in more town hall meetings where people can voice their opinions and frustrations.

# I believe in private property rights for all, not just farm owners.

# I believe in the representation by elected officials, and not in those who become career politicians steering America towards a position which is contrary to that of the American people.

# I believe the answers to our problems come from the people and not from politicians, nor the government.

These are difficult times that we live in. If your decisions about our county reflect my own, I ask for your vote on Sept. 14 in the Republican primary.

Christopher D. Lewis

Brutally Honest: Interview with Chris Lewis

Learn more here.

Campaigning as usual bad for one businessman

Onetime TEA Party organizer and Wicomico County Council hopeful Chris Lewis is also a business owner. And while he’s not a complete stranger to the political process, recent events surrounding his downtown Salisbury deli have left a sour taste in his mouth.

It started last week when a representative of Andy Harris’s campaign contacted Lewis about stopping by his deli as part of a business tour through Salisbury’s downtown area. Last Monday the stop was called off, only to be re-added to the schedule the next day on one stipulation – Lewis, who supports Andy’s GOP opponent Rob Fisher, would have to take Fisher’s signage down.

“I had no problem with that,” said Chris. But just hours before the scheduled appearance to discuss economic issues with the businessman, Andy’s campaign backed off.

Oddly enough, incumbent Congressman Frank Kratovil had campaigned in downtown Salisbury days before with Mayor Jim Ireton. But Lewis’s deli was skipped as Kratovil was “picking and choosing” which businesses to enter.

That was an attitude Chris didn’t care for too much. “If they win, they’re still supposed to represent you,” he said. “If I want someone to act like a Democrat, I’ll vote for the Democrat.”

Needless to say, the snub by Harris didn’t sit well. There’s “no way I can support (Harris),” said Lewis. His staff “made a bad call” by canceling the appearance and playing politics.

Lewis, who reluctantly registered as a Republican after years of being independent – including a 1998 County Council run as an unaffiliated candidate – in order to facilitate ballot access, is running for one of the two at-large seats on the Wicomico County Council. He’ll need to survive the September 14 primary against two other opponents to advance.

Read more here.

Sharptown/MD American Legion Candidate Meet and Greet

SHARPTOWN AMERICAN LEGION MEET AND GREET

LOCATED AT 204 STATE STREET IN SHARPTOWN
**VERY MUCH OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**

AUGUST 29TH FROM 2-4PM

FOR THE PEOPLE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO ASK QUESTIONS OF CANDIDATES DIRECTLY. NO PREPARED SPEECHES WILL BE GIVEN.

SOME OF THE CANDIDATES INVITED:
-CHRIS LEWIS
-BRIAN MURPHY
-ROB FISHER
-ANDY HARRIS
-BOB CULVER
-MATT HOLLOWAY
-RICHARD COLBURN
-STEVIE PRETTYMAN
-JOHN BAKER
-MIKE BREWINGTON
-ED TAYLOR
-RUDY CANE
-MIKE CALPINO
-DUSTIN MILLS

THIS EVENT IS PLANNED BY CHRIS LEWIS FOR WICOMICO COUNTY COUNCIL AT LARGE.

By authority of Ralph Cordrey, Treasurer

**Bringing accountability, accessibility, responsibility and representation back to local government.**

Right Coast Job Inteveiw: Chris Lewis Wicomico County At Large

Playing favorites?

Yesterday I detailed Thursday night’s NAACP forum and bemoaned the lack of participation by challengers. However, several different sources have chimed in to comment that these same candidates were unaware of the event.

It’s noteworthy to mention that, aside from the various Central Committee posts, there are 13 incumbents running for county office and I believe all but one was in attendance. (I honestly don’t recall seeing Karen Lemon, who is running unopposed for Register of Wills – but she may have been there.) On the other hand, only 8 of 16 challengers were there and none of them were what you would consider “Tea Party” candidates. (For the purpose of this discussion, these would be County Executive candidate John Wayne Baker, County Council at-large candidates Mike Brewington and Chris Lewis, and District 2 challenger Mike Calpino. In the group you have two Democrats, a Republican, and a Libertarian, so it’s not exclusionary by party.)

Allow me to contribute my two cents to the story. I only heard about the event because I peruse candidate calendars to create my weekly Election Calendar, and it was on Joe Ollinger’s website that I saw the note about the NAACP forum being held. In fact, my original mention of the event had it beginning at 6 p.m. and not 7:00 because there was no time listed and I was going from memory of similar forums in 2006.

I received my personal invitation from the e-mail account of Orville Penn (who was the moderator) on Monday last – it was sent late Sunday night. The addressee was NAACP Wicomico (a common tactic to verify the e-mail got out) and it was cc’d to 20 candidates, mostly Central Committee members but also aspirants for State’s Attorney, Judge of the Orphans’ Court, Register of Wills, Clerk of Courts, amd Sheriff. It also appears that Penn received the information from the Board of Elections website, so if a candidate did not list an e-mail he or she was skipped.

Read more here.