Dirk Haire, longtime counsel to the Maryland Republican Party and to the campaign of Gov. Larry Hogan, will be the state GOP's chairman for the next two years.
Haire beat runner-up William Campbell by a 4-1 margin in the leadership election Saturday, said Joe Cluster, the state party's executive director. Campbell is a former Amtrak official who has run for state comptroller.
Cluster said Haire is a good choice for the role because he has worked closely with party leaders for a decade.
"It keeps continuity," Cluster said. "There's been a lot of efforts to build up the party, and he's been part of those efforts."
Haire was supported by state Del. Kathy Szeliga, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the election last month. Hogan opted not to make an endorsement in the party leadership contest.
Haire is a construction law attorney with Fox Rothschild LLP in Washington.
The state GOP is focused on 2018, when Gov. Larry Hogan tries to become the first two-term Republican governor in Maryland since Theodore McKeldin, who served from 1951 to 1959.
A Hogan win in 2018 would give Republicans a role in the next round of legislative and congressional redistricting in 2021. Democrats have dominated that process, turning a state that sent four Democrats and four Republicans to the House in 2001 to one that now sends seven Democrats and one Republican.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by more than two to one.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016
A month after a presidential election in which voters reaffirmed Maryland's position as one of the bluest states in the nation, state Republicans will gather Saturday to choose new leadership — a contest likely to signal the direction the party will take heading into the 2018 governor's race.
Four candidates are running for a shot to lead the Maryland Republican Party, which will play a central role in working to re-elect GOP Gov. Larry Hogan and prove that his upset win two years ago in a Democratic state was not a fluke. The job will also involve bringing together a fractious party split even further this year by President-elect Donald Trump's campaign for the White House.
Some Republicans said they view the race as the latest internal struggle between long-established centrists and newcomers who backed Trump's campaign. Whatever the outcome, Republicans seem to agree that re-electing Hogan in 2018 is the paramount goal.
"2018 is the biggest election of our lives," said Brian Griffiths, a former member of the GOP's executive committee and influential blogger. "Once Governor Hogan wins, that means the Democrats will not control redistricting, and then we can draw fair congressional districts for the first time in generations."
Officials are due to draw new congressional and legislative districts during the term of the next governor in 2021. In the past, Democrats have dominated that process, which has allowed them to turn a state that sent four Democrats and four Republicans to the House in 2001 to one that now sends seven Democrats and one Republican.
A Hogan re-election would give Republicans some say in the next round of redistricting. The governor has backed an independent process, as is practiced in California, New Jersey and other states.
Hogan has not made an endorsement in the contest for the party chairmanship — even though it will be important for him to have an ally in the position. Steve Crim, Hogan's 2014 campaign manager and current political adviser, said the governor decided to stay out of the internal race because he "believes in grass roots-up leadership."
One candidate for the job, Sajid Tarar of Owings Mills, was the head of American Muslims for Trump. He spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this year, which Hogan decided against attending.
Tarar "is a terrific fit for the chairman of the party and is exactly what we need to show the world that we are indeed inclusive of everyone," said Joe Collins Jr., a member of the Baltimore City Republican Central Committee who helped organize Trump's campaign in Maryland.
"As far as I am concerned, there is no other qualified candidate to run the party, and the others running for chair are ancient relics of a party that is done with the same old cliches and busted ideas," he said.
Others — including state Del. Kathy Szeliga of Baltimore County, who ran a disciplined but ultimately unsuccessful campaign for Maryland's open Senate seat this year — are backing Dirk Haire, a lawyer and longtime party activist who has also served as Hogan's campaign attorney.
"He is smart and helpful and involved," Szeliga said. "He possesses all the qualities that I think are necessary."
The next chairman is to be selected by more than 300 county party officials on Saturday and will serve a two-year term. The winner will replace Diana Waterman.
"The biggest job of the next chairman and the next leadership will be to make sure that we re-elect Governor Hogan and hold our seats in General Assembly," Waterman said.
Maryland Republicans had an outstanding year in 2014. Not only did Hogan beat Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown in an upset, the party picked up several seats in the General Assembly.
Since those successes, the state GOP has also significantly improved its fundraising.
But while the wins had some state Republicans pining for a more purple Maryland, last month's presidential election appeared to deflate those aspirations. Democrat Hillary Clinton captured nearly 60 percent of the Maryland vote, giving her one of her largest margins of victory anywhere in the country.
State Republicans caution against reading much into the results in a presidential election year, when turnout is traditionally higher than in gubernatorial election years.
They also point to Hogan's high popularity, which has crested 70 percent in Baltimore, a Democratic stronghold, along with more traditionally Republican parts of the state.
Several Democrats, including Del. Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, are considering challenging Hogan in 2018.
The other candidates running for the Republican Party chairmanship include William Campbell, a former Amtrak official who has previously run for state comptroller, and William T. Newton, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Maryland's 7th Congressional District this year.
Tarar said he wanted to focus on expanding the party's tent, "opening up the doors for diversity," and building a connection between Trump's White House and the Hogan administration. He said he was disappointed Trump didn't perform better in Maryland, which has not backed a Republican for president since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
"I was hoping for and I was looking forward to the state of Maryland becoming a red state," he said. "That's one of the reasons why I'm running."
"Maryland has historically been a difficult state for Republicans," he said. "I believe we are making very good progress on changing that."
I am ecstatic for Carrier employees! Their bosses just decided to keep shop onshore. What a relief for hundreds of workers. Merry Christmas Indiana!
We don’t yet know terms of the public/private deal that was cut to make the company stay, but let’s hope every business is equally incentivized to keep Americans working in America.
Foundational to our exceptional nation’s sacred private property rights, a business must have freedom to locate where it wishes. In a free market, if a business makes a mistake (including a marketing mistake that perhaps Carrier executives made), threatening to move elsewhere claiming efficiency’s sake, then the market’s invisible hand punishes. Thankfully, that same hand rewards, based on good business decisions.
But this time-tested truth assumes we’re operating on a level playing field.
When government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent. Meanwhile, the invisible hand that best orchestrates a free people’s free enterprise system gets amputated. Then, special interests creep in and manipulate markets. Republicans oppose this, remember? Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember? Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail.
Politicians picking and choosing recipients of corporate welfare is railed against by fiscal conservatives, for it’s a hallmark of corruption. And socialism. The Obama Administration dealt in it in spades. Recall Solyndra, Stimulus boondoggles, and all their other taxpayer-subsidized anchors on our economy. A $20 trillion debt-ridden country can’t afford this sinfully stupid practice, so vigilantly guard against its continuance, or we’re doomed.
Reaganites learned it is POLICY change that changes economic trajectory. Reagan’s successes were built on establishing a fiscal framework that invigorated our entire economy, revitalized growth and investment while decreasing spending, tax rates, over-reaching regulations, unemployment, and favoritism via individual subsidies. We need Reaganites in the new Administration.
However well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses.
Gotta’ have faith the Trump team knows all this. And I’ll be the first to acknowledge concerns over a deal cut by leveraging taxpayer interests to make a manufacturer stay put are unfounded – once terms are made public.
But know that fundamentally, political intrusion using a stick or carrot to bribe or force one individual business to do what politicians insist, versus establishing policy incentivizing our ENTIRE ethical economic engine to roar back to life, isn’t the answer. Cajole only chosen ones on Main St or Wall St and watch lines stretch from Washington to Alaska full of businesses threatening to bail unless taxpayers pony up. The lines strangle competition and really, really, dispiritingly screw with workers’ lives. It’s beyond unacceptable, so let’s anticipate equal incentivizes and positive reform all across the field – to make the economy great again.
Trump recently Posted:
The U.S. is going to substantialy reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. ...... without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!
There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border. This tax will make leaving financially difficult, but.....these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged.
Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The authors of this statement do not make an obvious team. Over the past four decades we have never voted for the same presidential candidate. We’ve worked in White Houses of different parties. One of us was a senior aide to a presidential candidate who sought to replace the president the other worked for.They propose no 'specific' reforms to the current "broken" system. By THAT omission, we rightly understand that these self-declared "reformers" have absolutely no intention of holding future leaders "accountable". Their project is to perpetuate the extremely 'lucrative' brokeness in the system.
We’ve differed on major policy issues. One of us vigorously backed the war in Iraq; the other just as vigorously opposed it. We’ve publicly debated many times, usually focusing on our differences. These disagreements persist.
But we write now to stress what we have always agreed on, because the times demand it. The basic institutions and principles of liberal democracy are under assault. Many of us who are defenders of this distinctive form of self-government have tended to take for granted widespread agreement on these principles; we have had confidence in the strength of these institutions. This is a complacency we can no longer afford.
So as a Democrat and a Republican, we want to say this: We stand together in defense of the institutions of world order conducive to peace, prosperity and freedom that the past 12 presidents, 6 of each party, have worked to build and uphold. We stand together in defense of constitutional, orderly, and civil self-government that respects civil liberties and equal rights and the rule of law, and rejects bigotry of every kind. We stand together in our conviction of the continued vitality of the American Dream, secured by engagement with a hopeful future based on pride in the accomplishments of the past.
And we stand together against an alternative right disdainful of the traditions of American conservatism and a vocal left that blends socialist economics with identity politics. We stand together against a dangerous impatience with the legal forms and constitutional constraints that are guarantors of our liberty. We stand together in defense of an open, generous liberal democracy as the strongest foundation for addressing the very real challenges that we face and the legitimate frustrations with the status quo that we feel.
Our form of government, in short, is fundamentally sound. Not so our parties and our politics. It is in this spirit that we make the case for a New Center, one that does not split the difference between Left and Right but offers a principled alternative to both. Its core tenets—Opportunity, Security, Accountability, and Ingenuity—can respond to the challenges of the present and chart a path to the future.
Opportunity means that all Americans should be able to go as far as their gifts and drive can take them. But gifts mean little without the chance to develop them, and drive means little without a chance to exercise those gifts. Equal opportunity does not mean equal results, but the invisible hand does not create equal opportunity. Nor does inclusion suffice in the absence of vigorous economic growth.
The policies best suited to enlarge opportunity are a matter of important debate, but we need such policies. Without them, too many Americans will feel excluded and will be excluded from the American Dream.
If opportunity is a distinctive principle of American government, security is a basic purpose of every government. The reasons are clear: not only do all peoples crave safety and stability, but also the lack of security generates fear. A fearful people cannot face the future with confidence. Fear can lead to the embrace of policies that are counter-productive, abroad as well as at home. We all know the line from Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We are apt to forget his explanation: fear “paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Fear is a problematic motivator and an even worse guide.
Although the quest for security is fundamental, a degree of risk and uncertainty is inherent in human life. This is why the quest for absolute security is self-defeating, at home and abroad. The harder we try, the greater the cost to other things we value, such as economic dynamism and productive relations with other nations.
Accountability is a basic principle of free governments and free societies. Through our collective choices, we create a framework of offices and institutions we believe are compatible with the public good, and we authorize individuals to act within this framework. The people have a right to expect that when powerful individuals are acting without regard to the public good or lack the competence to promote it, they will be held accountable for their mistakes. The 2008 financial bailout infuriated Americans across the political spectrum because it appeared to violate this principle. More broadly, many Americans have concluded that economic, social, and political elites are gaining wealth and power at the expense of ordinary people. Such a conclusion puts attachment to our governing institutions at risk.
Americans see ourselves as problem-solvers, and we’ve solved a lot of them over the centuries. If machines aren’t working, we fix them, and similarly for our institutions and policies. In the depths of the Great Depression, FDR called for “bold, persistent experimentation.” Ronald Reagan, who voted for FDR four times, emphatically agreed. The American ingenuity that has produced a stream of world-changing inventions can also reshape the way we govern ourselves. If our budget process no longer works the way it was intended, we can fix it. If our political parties have forgotten how to cooperate and even how to govern, we can do something about that too.
Americans do not believe that the status quo is the best we can do. We will tolerate mistakes along the way, but we will not tolerate the unwillingness of those in power to institute needed reforms. We know that American ingenuity, which usually finds a way to succeed in the private and voluntary sectors, can be effective in our public life as well.
Opportunity, security, accountability, ingenuity–these are the pillars of a New Center. We do not know what policies a New Center will yield. Nor can we predict what institutional form or even party alignment it will take. But the alternative to a coherent and effective New Center is a degree of public discontent that could end by undermining democratic self-government itself. For the sake of liberal democracy and republican self-government, we should take Lincoln’s words to heart: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, announced November 23 that she wanted to seek 2016 recounts in three battleground states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
In less than 24 hours, she had raised more than the stated $2.5 million goal to do so. She then changed the goal to $4.5 million as the donations continue to roll in. As of November 25, Stein had raised more than $5.4 million with a $7 million goal. She has formally asked for a Wisconsin recount, which will be conducted starting next week.
The election results in all three states were very close, although Donald Trump leads in all three states (Michigan is still so tight that the Associated Press has not formally called it, but Trump was declared victor in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania). That propelled Trump to an Electoral College victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton (were Clinton to have won all three states, she would be president.)
Trump’s lead in Michigan: 12,882 votes. His lead in Wisconsin: 24,081. His lead in Pennsylvania: 68,814. Stein received 1.39 million votes in the 2016 presidential election overall.
The Stein efforts come on the heels of a group of professors and lawyers urging the Clinton campaign to seek recounts in those three states after uncovering what they claim are anomalies in the Wisconsin returns. However, other data experts have said any anomalies can be explained by demographic variables and have ridiculed the accusations.
Some thought the Stein fundraising was wrong – or even a scam – because of how difficult it would be to overturn the results.
The renewed scrutiny on the election results from the three states gained more prominence November 22 when New York Magazine ran an extensive article entitled, “Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing State.”
The article reported that a group of data experts and lawyers “which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.” Halderman then wrote a detailed explanation of his theories on Medium.com.
The group’s central theory is that a foreign government could have hacked the election because of what they argue are suspicious patterns in voting results in Wisconsin (which other data experts say can be explained away by education and race variables). The Clinton campaign and various intelligence agencies have accused the Russian government of staging a series of hacks that hurt Clinton’s chances during the campaign, including hacking into the emails of her campaign chairman, John Podesta. The group seeking the recount has not proven any election hacking or manipulation.
In a statement, Stein said, “After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable.”
Twitter was burning up with news of the Stein efforts. Some found the fundraising ironic because they believe Stein and other third-party candidates cost Clinton the election. Indeed, Stein received more votes in Michigan and Wisconsin than Trump’s margin of victory.
On the crowdfunding website, Stein wrote on November 23 that Wisconsin’s recount had now been funded (the deadline for a recount request is November 25), but more money was needed to fund recounts for Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Stein fundraising site says:Congratulations on meeting the recount costs for Wisconsin. Raising money to pay for the first round so quickly is a miraculous feat and a tribute to the power of grassroots organizing.
Now that we have nearly completed funding Wisconsin’s recount (which is due on Friday), we can begin to tackle the funding for Michigan’s recount (due Monday) and Pennsylvania’s recount (due Wednesday). The breakdown of these costs is described below.
On November 23, the Stein/Baraka Green Party Campaign launched an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections. With your help, we are raising money to demand recounts in these three states where the data suggests a significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals.
The website says Stein is not seeking the recounts to help Hillary Clinton. Rather, the site says, “These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is.”
The website also says that the organizers can’t guarantee a recount will happen and pledged “to use the money for election integrity efforts and to promote systemic voting system reform” if recounts don’t happen or more than enough money is raised.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
from the Wall Street Journal
Since when does a weekend gathering of “nearly 275” white nationalists in a country of more than 320 million people warrant front-page coverage in major newspapers? Since the election of Donald Trump, apparently.
The same media outlets that insisted Mr. Trump wouldn’t beat Hillary Clinton have spent the past two weeks misleading the public about why he did. Breathless coverage of a neo-Nazi sideshow in the nation’s capital—where antiracism protesters almost outnumbered attendees, according to the Washington Post—helps liberals illustrate their preferred “basket of deplorables” explanation for Mrs. Clinton’s loss.
The reality is that Mr. Trump didn’t prevail on Election Day because of fake news stories or voter suppression or ascendant bigotry in America. He won because a lot of people who voted for Barack Obama in previous elections cast ballots for Mr. Trump this time. In Wisconsin, he dominated the Mississippi River Valley region on the state’s western border, which went for Mr. Obama in 2012. In Ohio’s Trumbull County, where the auto industry is a major employer and the population is 89% white, Mr. Obama beat Mitt Romney, 60% to 38%. This year, Trumbull went for Mr. Trump, 51% to 45%. Iowa went for Mr. Obama easily in 2008 and 2012, but this year Mr. Trump won the state by 10 points. Either these previous Obama supporters are closet racists or they’re voting on other issues.
“Trump switched white voters in key states who were blue-collar primarily—coal counties, manufacturing counties,” the Republican strategist Whit Ayres told me this week. “These are blue-collar whites who voted for Barack Obama. And that’s a very uncomfortable thing to admit by the left. It’s much easier to say a ‘basket of deplorables’ elected Trump. But I’m sorry, that just does not conform to the data in those states that made a major swing from one party to the other.”
Part of Mr. Trump’s strategy was to turn out lots of Republicans who stayed home in 2012, but the president-elect appears to have won white voters by a margin similar to that of Mr. Romney. However, Mr. Trump was able to muster an Electoral College majority by taking advantage of lax support for Mrs. Clinton in the metro areas of large, consequential states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. That the Democratic nominee failed to speak to the concerns of Obama voters is not the fault of the alt-right.
“Trump swept the areas that keep the lights on and the motors turning,” demographer Joel Kotkin wrote recently. “Trump seized on the widespread sense that American life was destined to get worse from generation to generation. Americans wanted opportunity for the next generation, not a managed decline.” The press mostly missed this story because it was so focused on the candidate’s tone and temperament. What mattered most to the media was Mr. Trump’s character flaws—and it was inconceivable that voters would have different priorities.
Around two-thirds of the electorate consistently told pollsters that the country was moving in the wrong direction. Mr. Trump represented change. Millions of people in the nation’s interior ultimately decided that they didn’t have the luxury of obsessing over his personal shortcomings. They haven’t had a raise in a decade. College is no longer affordable. Health-care costs were supposed to come down, but premiums have risen. Mr. Trump, they decided, may be crude and unpolished in manner, but he also sounded like someone who could shake things up in Washington. By contrast, a vote for Mrs. Clinton was a vote for more of the same.
Not everyone on the left is blaming racist voters for Mrs. Clinton’s defeat. Sen. Bernie Sanders credited Mr. Trump with understanding “the anger and angst and pain that many working class people are feeling” and added, “I come from the white working class, and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to where I came from.” It’s no coincidence that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader from San Francisco, is now facing a leadership challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents areas that flipped from blue to red this year.
Yet regardless of the facts, most liberals and their friends in the media continue to view Mr. Trump’s victory through a self-serving racial lens. Today, race is the Democratic Party’s organizing principle. Group identity is a doctrine and group grievances are to be nurtured and exploited politically no matter the damage to civil discourse. It’s the type of thinking that allows the left to be outraged that the likes of Steve Bannon have Mr. Trump’s ear, and indifferent that the likes of Al Sharpton have had Mr. Obama’s.