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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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.

Rob Fisher for District 1 in Maryland/Issues

Jobs

The current Congress has spent the vast majority of their time trying to force-feed a massive and unpopular health care bill down the throats of American taxpayers, at the expense of creating jobs and solving the unemployment crisis. In parts of the 1st District unemployment is 14% with no signs of slowing. We must work together to remove obstacles for American businesses, not create more barriers for growth, and allow them every opportunity to prosper. As a small businessman, I am deeply concerned that the Federal Government continues to forget that consumers spend money not Banks or Corporations. We need to develop new ways for consumers to feel safe in putting money back into the economy.

Government Spending

Our country is bankrupt, yet Congress is intent on ballooning the deficit even higher while proposing massive tax increases to pay for health care and climate bills the majority of Americans don’t want. We must work quickly to get our fiscal house in order or risk leaving today’s problems at the doorsteps of our children and grandchildren. Every member of Congress has a duty to spend our tax dollars wisely, and as your representative I pledge to vote against any bill that increases the deficit without real and immediate benefits to Maryland taxpayers. It is shameful that on the same day that the House of Representatives reinstituted the PayGo mandate, they passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling again. These actions show that they have no interest in controlling spending but are interested in raising taxes to pay for more government intervention in the Free Enterprise system.

Education
E ducation is the key to creating the kinds of high-paying jobs that will help the 1st District thrive and prosper in the 21st Century. Our leaders in Maryland and Washington, D.C. must do more to encourage college graduates to stay local and settle in their home communities. That means providing good jobs for them to come home to when they finish college. When in Congress I will work to stop the brain drain of math and science degrees that is currently limiting American businesses from reaching their full potential and help bring those jobs to the 1st District and the Eastern Shore.

Read More and Contact information here.

Phone Number is 443-859-8176

Fisher For Congress/1st District/Maryland

Rob Fisher to Run For Congress

(Salisbury) Republican Rob Fisher today announced he will run for Congress in Maryland’s First District after submitting a Statement of Candidacy to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). A small businessman, veteran and Eastern Shore native, Fisher is looking to bring real leadership to Congress that puts the needs of Maryland residents first.

“At a time when the people of the First District are struggling to make ends meet, Congress is more concerned with forcing job-killing legislation down the throats of taxpayers instead of helping lead us through these turbulent economic times,” said Fisher. “Maryland deserves a representative with real-world experience who will put people ahead of party and bring an entrepreneurial spirit to Congress. I pledge to be a tireless advocate for my constituents and make job creation my first priority.”

A serial entrepreneur who has run several successful small businesses in the First District and the Capitol Region, Fisher knows first-hand the challenges faced by small businesspeople and the barriers to success that have been championed by Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats. Fisher’s current company, Secure Infrastructure Solutions — a Cyber Security firm helping to safeguard America’s National Security assets — has been able to grow and expand despite the terrible economic conditions of the past two years.

“My company has grown in spite of Congress, not because of it,” said Fisher. “Small businesses need government to be their loudest cheerleader, not their biggest detractor.”

Fisher will run an issues-based, grassroots campaign that will focus on the needs of the residents of the First District. His campaign will be opening offices on the Eastern Shore, Anne Arundel County and the Baltimore area.

“The First District needs a Congressman who will put Maryland first,” said Fisher. “Career politicians have had their chance. It’s time for Congress to show real leadership, listen to the people’s concerns and find innovative solutions to our country’s problems.”

Mr. Fishers office number is 443-859-3342.

Read more here.