Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Campaign for Liberty Meeting Announcement

From the Harford Campaign for Liberty:
Friend of Campaign for Liberty,

Please join us at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Forest Hill at 7pm on Tuesday, February 28 at 7 PM and let’s get to work for freedom!

You are not alone, and you are a powerful force. Find out about our latest victory for Liberty in Harford County and prepare for upcoming battles.

Join us Tuesday night to learn more about Maryland’s latest attempts to strip you of your property rights.

What Harford County officials don’t want you to know!(Hint: it is soundly condemned by the Republican Party, is designed to destroy YOUR property rights, and Harford County IS in involved in it!)

-Join the fight to and learn about your new Councilmanic district and prepare for battle this property rights power-grab.

-Our governor thinks you should be paying MORE for a gallon of gas! Find out what you can do…

-Update on the most recent local and statewide assaults on your property rights and learn how you can fight back.

-Five minutes of hard truth that got the Judge fired from Fox!

-Just what IS the American View of foreign policy. Have we gone the way of Rome–and will our fate be the same?

Get connected with people and work together to make a difference and build a freedom movement here in Harford County.
Refreshments will be available.

February 28, 2012 at 7 pm
Knights of Columbus Hall
23 Newport Drive
Forest Hill

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gay Marriage Opponents Get Cracking in Maryland!

from the Washington Post
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Same-sex marriage opponents have taken the first steps to bring legislation legalizing gay marriage to referendum.

Delegate Neil Parrott said he filed draft language for a referendum petition with the state board of elections Friday, a day after the Senate joined the House in approving a bill to allow same-sex marriages. Gov. Martin O’Malley endorses and plans to sign next week.

The board has a week to consider the submission and if it is approved, Parrott and others will begin collecting the 55,736 signatures needed to bring the measure to the November ballot.

“The process is started and really the goal is to make sure the citizens of Maryland can vote on this very important bill,” Parrott said.

Gay marriage advocates said they will fight to make sure the law is upheld and that they think it is inappropriate to leave the issue to the discretion of voters.

“It’s sad to me that anyone would think that it’s OK to put up the rights of a minority to a popular vote,” said Lisa Polyak, chairwoman of the board of directors for the gay rights organization Equality Maryland. “We have children, we have lives, we have jobs and we just want to go about them with integrity.”

Last year, Parrott, a Washington County Republican, successfully led a petition drive on a law granting in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.

The petition, driven largely by allowing signers to download forms and submit their signatures by mail, is the first successful state-wide referendum attempt since state abortion laws were upheld in 1992.

Parrott said he will use the website created for that drive, mdpetitions.com, to bolster signature collection on the gay marriage bill.

“It makes it much easier for people to get involved who could never have gotten involved before,” he said. “Before you had to know someone or know where the petitions were going to be. This allows people from the furthest parts of Maryland to be able to get on their computer and participate in the referendum process.”

Parrott says his group plans to turn in at least double the required number of signatures to ensure enough match the state’s strict policy for validating the names.

Maryland requires that in order to be counted, voters signing the petition must provide a printed name and formal signature that match their name on the state’s voter registration rolls. However, the state Court of Appeals relaxed the measure a bit last year when it ruled that signatures do not have to be legible.

“You have to make sure the petitions are legal,” Parrott said. “The I’s are dotted, the T’s are crossed and if they’re not, we know those aren’t going to be counted.”

He would not identify other groups working on the petition drive, but religious organizations, including the Catholic church, have pledged to help overturn the law.
...meanwhile, the Democrats brag that have already stacked the Courts to rule opposition to gay marriage "unconstitutional".
...Governor O’Malley has appointed three new members of the Court of Appeals…The new judges that Gov. O’Malley has appointed will ultimately decide that [traditional marriage is unconstitutional], as they have in almost every state that’s visited this issue, including California…So we will win. (5:10 to 7:56)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Governor Likely to Bust Harford County School Budget

from the Baltimore Sun
In a sign the House may be moving closer to the Senate position on shifting part of the state's teacher pension costs to the counties, the delegate who chairs the House Appropriations Committee said Wednesday that the lower chamber is considering such a move.

Del. Norman Conway, a Wicomicom County Democrat, said Gov.Martin O'Malley's proposed pension shift is "still in play" despite vocal opposition from many county leaders.

"We've recognized that at some point we're going to have to Become partners with the counties on retirement issues," the chairman said.

Conway is one of the most influential members of House Speaker Michael E. Busch's leadership team. The Senate has previously passed a similar measure but the idea has yet to pass muster in the House. But this year the governor has projected such a shift would trim $240 million from the state budget. If the General Assembly doesn't accept the change, lawmakers will have to find another way to reach its goal of closing a roughly $1 billion shortfall.

The appropriations chief said House leaders are sensitive to the need to protect counties from any sudden shift of the burden, which O'Malley wants to offset in part with unpopular income tax changes that would benefit the counties. Those changes involve phase-outs of deductions and exemptions for the top 20 percent of Maryland taxpayers.

Like Senate President Thomas V. Miller the day before, Conway said House fiscal leaders are preparing a "doomsday budget" that would balance the budget entirely with cuts. O'Malley has proposed what he calls a "balanced approach" in which cuts outweigh revenue-raisers by about 2-1.

Conway acknowledged that any further cuts could affect such items as education and health care -- the two areas where the bulk of Maryland's non-transportation spending goes.

"All these things are out there and all of them can be cut," he said.

But Conway also noted that his committee routinely prepares such all-cuts budgets as a way of presenting delegates with the choices they need to make if they don't want to add new taxes.

"It does get attention," he said.

Conway also said House leaders are exploring alternate approaches to raising taxes. One that he acknowledged he's taking a look at is an extension of the sales tax to services -- an oft-proposed measure that tends to become a full-employment program for Annapolis lobbyists.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bring on the VOTE!

from the Maryland Daily Record.  
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled Friday that a referendum to challenge a new law granting in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants can go forward on this November’s ballot.

In his opinion and ruling, Silkworth rejected arguments from Casa de Maryland attorneys that the new law appropriates funds and is therefore exempt from referendum.

Joseph Sandler, counsel to Casa de Maryland, which challenged the petition, said he will appeal the ruling.

Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington County, who founded the group MDPetitions.com to strike down the law by referendum, said Sandler’s intention to appeal was “completely expected” but that appellate courts would probably side with Silkworth.

“The lower court ruling sets a huge precedent,” Parrott said. “It’s a hurdle that’s too high to overcome. … The other side simply doesn’t have a good case.”

He said the higher court would clearly see that the new law is a policy bill with no appropriation attached.

“The Maryland Dream Act makes no reference to revenue or appropriations, but solely discusses new eligibility requirements for in-state tuition for a specified class of people,” Silkworth wrote. “Any future impact on the state’s budget that could result from the Maryland Dream Act is merely an incidental result of a law aiming to change policy.”

Parrott said the ruling was a victory for Marylanders who believe the state should follow existing federal law.

“I think it is very positive news for all Marylanders,” Parrott said Saturday. “Now we are going to be able to have the chance to vote on whether to give our hard-earned money to illegal aliens to subsidize their education.”

Sandler said Saturday that Parrott has repeatedly contradicted himself by saying the bill will “cost taxpayers all this money, but yet he says it’s not an appropriation.”
Next batter up for referendum - same sex marriage!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just How Out of Touch is YOUR MD Representative?

from the Baltimore Sun
The Maryland House of Delegates voted 72-67 Friday night to approve a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. The legislation now goes to the state Senate. Here's how delegates voted.

Voting Yea – 72; (70D/2R)

Alston, Tiffany T. (D)
Anderson, Curtis S. (D)
Barkley, Charles E. (D)
Barnes, Benjamin S. (D)
Barve, Kumar P. (D)
Beidle, Pamela G. (D)
Bobo, Elizabeth (D)
Bohanan, John L., Jr. (D)
Bromwell, Eric M. (D)
Busch, Michael E. (D)
Cardin, Jon S. (D)
Carr, Alfred C., Jr. (D)
Carter, Jill P. (D)
Clagett, Galen R. (D)
Clippinger, Luke H. (D)
Conaway, Frank M., Jr. (D)
Costa, Robert A. (R)
Cullison, Bonnie L. (D)
Dumais, Kathleen M. (D)
Feldman, Brian J. (D)
Frick, C. William (D)
Frush, Barbara A. (D)
Gaines, Tawanna P. (D)
Gilchrist, James W. (D)
Gutierrez, Ana Sol (D)
Guzzone, Guy J. (D)
Hammen, Peter A. (D)
Harrison, Hattie N. (D)
Haynes, Keith E. (D)
Healey, Anne (D)
Hixson, Sheila E. (D)
Holmes, Marvin E., Jr. (D)
Hubbard, James W. (D)
Hucker, Tom (D)
Ivey, Jolene (D)
Jones, Adrienne A. (D)
Kach, A. Wade (R)
Kaiser, Anne R. (D)
Kelly, Ariana B. (D)
Kramer, Benjamin F. (D)
Lafferty, Stephen W. (D)
Lee, Susan C. (D)
Love, Mary Ann (D)
Luedtke, Eric G. (D)
Malone, James E., Jr. (D)
McHale, Brian K. (D)
McIntosh, Maggie (D)
Miller, Aruna (D)
Mitchell, Keiffer J., Jr. (D)
Mizeur, Heather R. (D)
Morhaim, Dan K. (D)
Murphy, Peter F. (D)
Nathan-Pulliam, Shirley (D)
Niemann, Doyle L. (D)
Oaks, Nathaniel T. (D)
Olszewski, John A., Jr. (D)
Pena-Melnyk, Joseline A. (D)
Pendergrass, Shane E. (D)
Reznik, Kirill (D)
Robinson, A. Shane (D)
Robinson, Barbara A. (D)
Rosenberg, Samuel I. (D)
Ross, Justin D. (D)
Simmons, Luiz R. S. (D)
Stein, Dana M. (D)
Summers, Michael G. (D)
Tarrant, Shawn Z. (D)
Turner, Frank S. (D)
Valderrama, Kriselda (D)
Waldstreicher, Jeffrey D. (D)
Washington, Mary L. (D)
Zucker, Craig J. (D)

Voting Nay – 67; (26D/41R)

Afzali, Kathryn L. (R)
Arora, Sam (D)
Aumann, Susan L. M. (R)
Bates, Gail H. (R)
Beitzel, Wendell R. (R)
Boteler, Joseph C., III (R)
Branch, Talmadge (D)
Braveboy, Aisha N. (D)
Burns, Emmett C., Jr. (D)
Cane, Rudolph C. (D)
Cluster, John W. E., Jr. (R)
Conway, Norman H. (D)
Davis, Dereck E. (D)
DeBoy, Steven J., Sr. (D)
Donoghue, John P. (D)
Dwyer, Don H., Jr. (R)
Eckardt, Adelaide C. (R)
Elliott, Donald B. (R)
Fisher, Mark N. (R)
Frank, William J. (R)
George, Ronald A. (R)
Glass, Glen (R)
Glenn, Cheryl D. (D)
Griffith, Melony G. (D)
Haddaway-Riccio, Jeannie (R)
Hershey, Stephen S., Jr. (R)
Hogan, Patrick N. (R)
Hough, Michael J. (R)
Howard, Carolyn J. B. (D)
Impallaria, Richard K. (R)
Jacobs, Jay A. (R)
James, Mary-Dulany (D)
Jameson, Sally Y. (D)
Kelly, Kevin (D)
Kipke, Nicholaus R. (R)
Krebs, Susan W. (R)
McComas, Susan K. (R)
McConkey, Tony (R)
McDermott, Michael A. (R)
McDonough, Patrick L. (R)
McMillan, Herbert H. (R)
Miller, Warren E. (R)
Minnick, Joseph J. (D)
Myers, LeRoy E., Jr. (R)
Norman, H. Wayne, Jr. (R)
O'Donnell, Anthony J. (R)
Otto, Charles J. (R)
Parrott, Neil C. (R)
Proctor, James E., Jr. (D)
Ready, Justin D. (R)
Schuh, Steven R. (R)
Schulz, Kelly M. (R)
Serafini, Andrew A. (R)
Smigiel, Michael D., Sr. (R)
Sophocleus, Theodore J. (D)
Stifler, Donna M. (R)
Stocksdale, Nancy R. (R)
Stukes, Melvin L. (D)
Szeliga, Kathy (R)
Valentino-Smith, Geraldine (D)
Vallario, Joseph F., Jr. (D)
Vaughn, Michael L. (D)
Vitale, Cathleen M. (R)
Walker, Jay (D)
Weir, Michael H., Jr. (D)
Wilson, C. T. (D)
Wood, John F., Jr. (D)

Absent - 2; (2D/0R)

Rudolph, David D. (D)
Turner, Veronica L. (D)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Democrats Circumvent Regular Order to Assure Passage of Gay Marriage Bill

from the Washington Post
A pair of Maryland House committees are planning to vote jointly Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. on same-sex marriage legislation, according to several delegates.

A majority vote would send a bill sponsored by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to the full chamber for a high-stakes debate later this week.

O’Malley and his allies have been scrambling in recent days to persuade a majority of delegates to support the bill in the House, where a similar measure failed last year. In recent weeks, the governor has stepped up outreach to Republicans.

This year’s bill was assigned to two House committee: Judiciary and Health & Government Operations after concerns arose that the House leadership lacked the votes on Judiciary to move the measure to the floor.

Word that the two committees will vote jointly Tuesday was immediately protested by some opponents.

“This combined vote manipulates the process to ensure passage,” Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil) said on Twitter.
Update 2/15 - it passed, of course.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Maryland Governor Heart's Gays!

from the Baltimore Sun
Gov.Martin O'Malley said that his same-sex marriage bill could be voted out of a House committee as early as this week, but acknowledged that he's still a few votes short on the floor.

"People always make their decisions against deadlines," O'Malley said to reporters after giving an address at an Annapolis rally. "The bill has been heard in the House and is likely to move. Exactly when will be up to The Speaker of course."

An aide to Speaker Michael E. Busch said no plans on the bill have been finalized.

Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Brian Frosh said that he too believed the House was set to move the bill this week, and is waiting on that chamber before sending the Senate version of the legislation to the floor.

Frosh said he won't wait indefinitely. "If they keep twiddling their thumbs we'll take a vote," Frosh said.

An Annapolis insider said that the governor met with undecided delegates last week, and will be trying to nail down a final vote count in the chamber early this week. "Right now there is a lot of soul searching going on and a lot of people will be making their decisions finally in the next few days," O'Malley said.

The governor told some supporters Monday that the bill is still a couple votes shy of the 71 needed for passage in the House. The Sun wrote about some of the undecided delegates last week.

O'Malley made an unscheduled appearance at the night time rally for his bill. Opponents held their own event in the end of January.

Also speaking with GOP Sen. Allan Kittleman, the only Republican state lawmaker to support the bill. He said that his vote last year in favor of the same-sex marriage legislation was "the most significant of his life" and added that he's "never thought twice about it."

Another speaker Monday night was Baltimore Del. Keiffer Mitchell, who was instrumental pushing the bill last year. "I know things look bleak," Mitchell said. "And sometimes people look down and wonder where the votes are."

He added that he is still confident his side will prevail.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Calling All Demagogues

from the Baltimore Sun
MSNBC commentator Rev. Al Sharpton cut a web video supporting same-sex marriage legislation in Maryland and hosted MD Gov. Martin O'Malley on his cable show this evening to talk about the issue.

Sharpton says in his video: "As a Baptist minister, I don't have the right to impose my views on anyone else." He added: "If committed gay and lesbian couples want to marry, that is their business, none of us should stand in their way."

The governor was on the show live for about six minutes and stuck to his usual talking points -- saying the bill is about fairness and equality. He noted that he "dialed up" the religious protections in the legislation this year.

Asked about today's decision by a federal court to knock down a ban on same-sex marriage in California, O'Malley said: "I hope it has a persuasive influence on those delegates that are still open minded."

"He's looking at me," joked Del. Robert Costa, who allowed The Sun to watch the TV apperance from his office with a group of delegates. Costa is who is one of the few House members who has not taken a position on the bill.

O'Malley earned groans from the group for one remark. Sharpton asked O'Malley about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's position that same-sex marriage should be settled by referendum in that state.

O'Malley said that New Jersey's governor, who is overweight, wants to "have is cake and eat it too" by giving advocates a path to success via the ballot box and still saying he'd veto the legislation.

"A fat joke" yelled one delegate who was watching.

"Right to the middle!" yelled one other one.

"Always picking on the fat guy" chimed in another.

A joint hearing on O'Malley's same-sex marriage bill is set for Friday. Last year a similar measure passed in the Senate, but was pulled from the House floor because leaders were a few votes short.
See you at the ballot box, Governor. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gay Marriage is Maryland's No 1 Legislative Priority?

Once Again Annapolis' Elites Demonstrate Just How Out of Touch They REALLY Are!
from the Baltimore Sun:
Two House panels have scheduled a joint hearing on legislation legalizing same-sex marriage for next Friday at 1 p.m.

The House version of the bill was introduced Wednesday, the day of Gov. Martin O'Malley's State of the State address, and referred to both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Health and Government Relations Committee.

The hearing will be held on the first floor of the House office building in rooms 170 and 180. Those chambers can be joined by removing a temporary partition that separates them.

Baltimore Del. Luke Clippinger, who is managing the bill for the proponents, said that last year's hearing was "very good and civil" and expects the same this year.

The hearing is expected on go on considerably longer than the one held Tuesday in the Senate. Far more lawmakers will attend. And, since the bill has never before been referred to HGO, the testimony will be new for many of the lawmakers.

Last year's House hearing went on for eight hours.