I attended the Post-Legislative Forum for the Western Maryland delegation the other evening. As expected, since I try to stay informed about what goes on in Annapolis, there wasn't anything new revealed. However, I found it interesting and quite refreshing to hear Senator Chris Shank honestly state:
They don't even pretend anymore that there is One Maryland [a MD slogan from several years ago]. There are two different states.
He went on to say that "West Maryland" as in "West Virginia" begins at Frederick County [minus Senator Ron Young]. He gave an example where he read an article in the Montgomery County Gazette entitled, Montgomery Leaders Celebrate 2013 Annapolis Session, where their delegation was celebrating the victorious session. The article states:
Maryland’s gas tax increase, repeal of the death penalty and sweeping gun control legislation were cause to beat the drum Wednesday in Montgomery County.
They clearly see the world differently and speak another language. Our delegation, except for maybe Delegate Donoghue and Senator Young, all voted against all of these bills...as they should. We elected this delegation to speak for we-the-people of our districts and we expected their votes to represent our beliefs. Needless to say, this room on this night did not have the feel of a celebration.
I found his forthrightness to be especially brave and commendable because Senator Shank was recently applauded in a Herald-Mail op-ed for "representing the county well in his new role." To paraphrase the op-ed, it stated that he was ineffective as a delegate but that he is now more effective as a senator because he isn't causing as much trouble.This is highly unusual for Senator Shank to be spoken of in any way but with disdain by this newspaper. Senator Shank could have rested in the open arms of this Liberal newspaper and those who are in their camp. He could have decided to go along to get along as our senator in the past was known to do. He may have even brought home more pork next session and used it for his re-election campaign as other senators past and present do. But no, Senator Shank represents the people who elected him. He didn't take the political bait. He said:
I don't have a solution for you. I want to be positive, but I am not going to sugar-coat it for you. We are a minority in Annapolis. They don't even look our way unless they need something. They don't even pretend anymore. There are two Marylands.
The gun-control issue is a prime example of the differences between the two Maryland states. He said that this issue created the most passion than any other issue past or present. He received approximately 10,000 emails and hundreds of phone calls asking him to vote against the bill, most coming from Washington County. I personally witnessed the turnout at the hearings that often went way into the night with people wanting to testify against the bill. There were people lined up from the hearing room all the way downstairs and out the door! Yet, the majority went along with Martin O'Malley's agenda. Our delegation did not, except for Senator Young.
During the Q&A part of the meeting, a man stood up and asked what we all have been asking ourselves since the last presidential election and then maybe even more so after this horrific legislative session:
Why should I vote? We are powerless.
I thought that I would hate to be the one expected to answer that question. I thought this is going to be painful to watch. Not so. The delegation spoke without hesitation, beginning with Senator Shank:
During the gun-control debate I had several military veterans who said to me, "Do not make my service in vain and do not make me a criminal." Continue to vote to honor and support them. We have to exercise our right--our obligation--to vote, to run petition drives, and use the courts to fight for our rights and our freedoms.
Senator Edwards said:
Many times in history one note has made a difference. We have to let the opposition know that we are there. Many people died so that we can vote.
Delegate Parrott said:
We in the delegation feel the same way sometimes. We see those typically on the other side come to us and say, "I agree, but we have to vote with the leadership." Our votes encourage them. Who knows they may be in leadership one day and vote with us. One vote can make a difference. They scramble in Annapolis for that one vote!
Delegate Serafini said:
There are consequences if they don't vote with the leadership. They will take your chairmanship, move your office...petty stuff.
It is clear to me that there are indeed two Marylands. In fact Maryland looks like a microcosm of our country. The United States is deeply divided with each side having a different perspective and speaking a different language. For now it looks like the Conservatives are a helpless, hopeless minority. But I'm old enough to remember when it was the reverse. I used to think that one campaign could turn everything around. I wonder if this time though there has been permanent damage to our rights, our Constitution, our monetary system, and to our system of economics to be able to turn it around again. One thing I do know...we have to keep fighting and we have to keep voting, just as our delegation so aptly explained.
Many (not just a few as in other times) are talking about secession on the state level and the national level. Is that crazy talk? Is that extreme? Can it be done peaceably? I guess that's a topic for another time.
They both like to adjust their glasses. They both lie. They’re both guilty.
ALOHA, ALL!! All you need to know about the Benghazi hearing can be summed up by the exchange below between Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin and Juan Williams. It’s obvious that Williams didn’t even see the testimonies from the whistle blowers – just like most of America probably didn’t. If they were watching TV on Wednesday, it was with baited breath to see if Jodi Arias got away with murder (she didn’t.) None of the major networks covered the Benghazi hearing live. Fox News covered most of it. So ask yourself: will justice be done for those brave Americans who lost their lives in Libya? Don’t hold your breath. Unlike Jodi Arias, Hillary & Obama will get away with it. Besides,Hillary’s a better liar than Jodi. (Read more HERE)
The citizens of Arizona and across the country are reacting strongly to the recall campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona. As previously posted in SGP Action, an organized and calculated recall effort was launched just weeks after Sheriff Joe was re-elected this past November.
Today, The Conservative Business League, which is supporting the will of the voters by fighting off this unwarranted attack, released a statement and update today:
Conservative Business League Updates Progress On Save Sheriff Joe Campaign
Strong results in fundraising, social media and email signups all indicate significant support for their attempt to block the recall of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Phoenix, AZ, May 6, 2013: The Conservative Business League (CBL) announced today that they are encouraged by the massive amount of grassroots support shown thus far for their campaign to block the recall attempt of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. CBL states that the momentum is clearly against the recall and is steadily building.
Between Facebook, Twitter, email signups and donations, the campaign reports that it has generated almost 4,000 supporters in the past month. Further, this support has translated into almost $10,000 in donations. CBL states that these donations will go directly into paying for campaign workers on the ground. In fact, CBL has already put significant private resources into this effort.
The campaign also noted that Arpaio has received multiple bomb threats in recent weeks – a clear indication that the campaign is turning ugly. The campaign remains undeterred in the face of such bullying and fear tactics.
Bob Thomas, member of the Board of Directors, said that the campaign is off to a great start, and the CBL is well on its way to reaching its goal of stopping the recall. “We recognize that this recall effort is about more than just Sheriff Joe, and we are making aggressive moves to stop it. The recall was filed mere weeks after Sheriff Joe was reelected – meaning that it had nothing to do with his performance and that it was politically motivated. We’re very encouraged by the grassroots support we’ve received over the past several weeks. This is an issue that clearly resonates with the voters who don’t want to see their vote overturned by bullies and community organizers.”
Ron Ludders, also a member of CBL’s Board, commented on the recall itself: “This is the same thing the professional Left tried to do with Scott Walker in Wisconsin. We firmly believe that this campaign is of interest on a national level. This recall is the next step in the attempt to spread the Colorado Modeli across the nation and turn reliably conservative states more liberal, as they did in Colorado in 2006ii.” The outpouring of grassroots support from across the nation shows that folks know how important it is to stop the recall.”
CBL cautions that this fight is not over. The recall campaign has recently announced that it has reached benchmarks of signatures gathered, and they have marshaled support in the liberal blogosphere. Huffington Post and Phoenix Weekly are doing everything they can to keep this recall alive. Those behind the recall have until May 30 to gather the minimum number of signatures required to get the recall on the November ballot, and they are more than halfway there.
The Save Sheriff Joe campaign urges all those interested in stopping the recall to visit www.savesheriffjoe.org and www.facebook.com/RallyToSaveSheriffJoe for more info and to get involved.
Find out more about the CBL at www.conservativebusinessleague.com.
i The Colorado Model, explained at RedState.com: http://www.redstate.com/laborunionreport/2011/12/28/the-colorado-model-the-lefts-stratagem-for-turning-red-states-to-blue/
Our US Senate is expected to pass a bill today to make it easier for states to collect taxes for online purchases from sites such as Amazon and ebay. Hence, businesses (customers) in states that currently do not have to pay sales tax will pay taxes for all online sales (purchases). For example, if one lives in New Hampshire where there is NO sales tax, but ordered from Ohio where there is an 8% sales tax, , the New Hampshire business (Customer) would consequently have to pay sales tax on their sale (purchase). Why would anyone from New Hampshire order anything from Ohio, or any other state? Is this a war on business? Is it a war on hard working families who will ultimately be the ones paying even more?