Friday, October 31, 2014
Total - 307,646 (8.31%)
Democrats - 189, 175 (9.28%)
Republicans - 87,035 (9.17%)
Total - 430,573 (11.65%)
Democrats - 287,057 (13.84%)
Republicans - 89,393 (9.31%)
Total - 219,601 (6.33%)
Democrats - 140,341 (7.17%)
Republicans - 58,522 (6.32%)
An election integrity watchdog group is suing the state of Maryland, alleging that it has discovered massive and ongoing fraudulent voting by non-U.S. citizens in one county. But because of the way that the non-citizens are able to cast votes in elections, the fraud is likely happening in every single county and subdivision across the state. The group believes that the illegal voting has been happening for years.
The group, Virginia Voters Alliance, says that it compared how voters in Frederick County filled out jury duty statements compared with their voting records. The group’s investigation found that thousands of people in Frederick County who stated that they are not U.S. citizens on jury duty forms went on to cast votes in elections. Either they failed to tell the truth when they were summoned for jury duty, or they cast illegal votes. Both are crimes. The same group previously found that about 40,000 people are registered to vote in both Virginia and Maryland.
It is a federal crime to cast votes if you are not legally eligible to vote. Non-citizens, whether in the country legally or not, are prohibited from voting in most local and all state and federal elections. Yet the VVA investigation found that hundreds of non-citizens have been voting in Frederick County, Maryland. One in seven Maryland residents are non-U.S. citizens.
“The lawsuit is the equivalent of the lookout spotting the iceberg ahead of the Titanic,” state Del. Pat McDonough told the Tatler. He added that the group’s investigation found a voter fraud “smoking gun.”
Maryland state law makes it easier for non-citizens, both those present legally and those in the country against the law, to vote. Maryland issues drivers licenses to legal and illegal aliens. Driver’s licenses in turn make it easier under the Motor Voter law to register to vote. Maryland also offers copious taxpayer-funded social programs to non-citizens in the state.
The group filed suit in Baltimore’s U.S. District Court on Friday. They are suing the Frederick County Board of Elections and the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Del. Pat McDonough (R-Baltimore and Harford Counties) detailed the alleged fraud in a Maryland press conference today. He is calling for a special state prosecutor because the fraud may be taking place statewide, with significant impact on Maryland elections. Maryland currently holds 10 electoral votes in presidential elections. McDonough is also proposing legislation including voter ID to close the loopholes that he says non-citizens are using to cast votes.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
from CBS News:
CANADENSIS, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police say they're using a device similar to a weather balloon in their search for a suspect in the killing of a state trooper last month.
Trooper Tom Kelly, a state police spokesman, said Monday the Ohio Department of Transportation donated the use of the large, unmanned Mylar balloon.
He says the device provides troopers with a similar level of technology and coverage at a fraction of the cost of traditional aircraft. It's also silent.
Kelly says the balloon is experimental and among several technologies they're using in the search for 31-year-old Eric Frein.
Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing Trooper Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding Trooper Alex Douglass.
Monday is day 45 of the search.
The manhunt is affecting Halloween in the area. CBS affiliate WYOU-TV reports that trick-or-treat night in Barrett Township was canceled. Instead, a "trunk-or-treat" event was held Sunday at a local school's parking lot, where costumed children went from car to car looking for candy.
Pennsylvania state police say they have a new silent ally in their search for suspected cop-killer Eric Frein -- an unmanned balloon equipped with high-resolution cameras. The Ohio State Department of Transportation has loaned the “eye in the sky” to act as a quieter, low-cost alternative to helicopters and other methods of aerial surveillance.
Hundreds of state troopers have taken part in the manhunt for Frein, 31, who they suspect is hiding somewhere in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania. The “survivalist” allegedly ambushed state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing Trooper Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass. The 45-day manhunt costs roughly $500,000 every week it persists.
The balloon had been scanning Ohio prisons for potential fugitives, and will be tethered nearly 500 feet above the Pocono Mountains, where Frein is thought to be hiding following a number of unconfirmed sightings. It is 15 feet in diameter and made of Mylar, and costs only $1,000 to deploy, according to Fox News, compared to noisy police helicopters, which cost nearly $2,500 an hour.
The balloon’s cameras can spot people over 3 miles away. Police officials say they believe Frein is pinned down in an area stretching more than 5 miles.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Things appear to be tightening in Maryland, where a poll leaked to The Daily Caller shows the gubernatorial race is “extremely close – only 2 points, 46 to 44, separate Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Republican small businessman Larry Hogan.”
One should always be cognizant of outliers — and it’s worth noting that this survey was commissioned by the Maryland Republican Party. It’s also true that polls conducted by Gonzales this cycle have tended to show the race tighter than others — but as the Washington Post noted, Gonzales “does not have a partisan track record.”
With those caveats out of the way, let’s assume for a minute this survey is accurate. This would represent a nine point swing from a week ago, when, according to the RealClearPolitics poll average, Hogan was down by eleven points.
How could this be possible? I mean, what has happened in the last week? For one thing, President Obama — not welcome on the trail in red states — campaigned for Brown in Maryland, where crowds began streaming out during his speech, leaving empty bleachers behind.
Could it be that President Obama is such a drag on Democrats that he even hurts them in…Maryland? That’s one possibility. Another factor: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the head of the Republican Governor’s Association, has also been stumping hard for him.
Whether or not these events represent causation or correlation, is unclear. But it seems unlikely that Gov. Christie would be visiting Maryland so often — so late — unless there were a reason.
from Harford Campaign for Liberty:
October 28, 2014
7 pm – 9 pm
Knights of Columbus Hall
23 Newport Drive
Forest Hill, MD. 21050
Do you wish you knew more about the candidates running for office in Harford County? How they vote, where their funding comes from, what policies they create for their departments?
Past behavior is sure to inform future action. Join us at our last meeting before the election and have some of these critical questions answered.
How relevant is voter fraud? We’ll share some useful information on how to identify and combat this enemy of liberty.
Children Welcome – Separate Room in Back
Visit our website http://www.harfordliberty.org
Sunday, October 26, 2014
What next with these ebola professionals, an irrepressible urge to go bowling?
Saturday, October 25, 2014
When the Federal and State Government's Won't Act to Protect the Borders, The County Must Step In...
from The Dagger
from Harford County government:If you ask me, rule 4 is perhaps a fatal deficiency on behalf of county planners. Given the federal government's irresponsible travel guidelines, soon there will be more than "Patient Zero's" from West Africa to worry about and test. Two of America's four known ebola patients NEVER travelled to West Africa.
Harford County Government has initiated planning and procedures to deal with the Ebola virus. The Department of Emergency Services is coordinating the county’s efforts among various agencies, departments and organizations.
County officials received a briefing on the Ebola virus from the Harford County Health Department and the University of Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Health System on Thursday in the Harford County Council Chambers. More than 100 people from Harford County Government, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the three municipalities, Harford County Fire and EMS Association, Harford County Public Schools, Harford County Public Library and the District Court of Maryland among others attended the 90 minute briefing.
Immediately following the briefing, the Department of Emergency Services formed a workgroup to establish protocols for county fire and EMS providers, law enforcement personnel and hazardous materials technicians who may be called upon to respond to medical emergencies involving patients suspected of having the Ebola virus. The Harford County Health Department, Upper Chesapeake Health System and the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) are providing technical assistance to the workgroup.
“Harford County is joining scores of other jurisdictions throughout the country in developing special protocols to deal with patients suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus,” said Rick Ayers, Harford County Emergency Manager. “The Emergency Preparedness Branch of the Department of Emergency Services is helping to coordinate our local process and is working closely with all segments of the emergency services,” Ayers added.
Also commenting on preparations for effectively dealing with the Ebola virus, Russell J. Strickland, Director of DES said, “The key to successful intervention is to proactively plan and prepare for such medical emergencies. Harford County is taking appropriate steps to effectively mitigate such incidents should they occur in our county.
To view the Harford County Health Department presentation on Ebola, visit: http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com/ebola-presentation/
To date there have been no reported cases of individuals contracted the Ebola virus in the State of Maryland.
EBOLA EDUCATION AND PREPARATION IS A TOP PRIORITY IN HARFORD COUNTY
From the Harford County Health Department:
Wednesday, Emergency Management called together over 100 county partners at the County Council Chambers to listen to the Health Department’s Ebola information presentation and learn about the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s preparations for the possible care of an Ebola patient.
The health department has a dedicated section on its website www.harfordcountyhealth.com about Ebola. However the most important messages are: 1) The Ebola virus is hard to catch. 2) A person can only catch Ebola by coming in contact with the blood or body fluid of someone who has received a diagnosis of Ebola. 3) A person is not contagious unless they show symptoms. 4) A person is not tested for Ebola unless they have traveled to an area with Ebola such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea AND the person is showing symptoms. 5) Ebola is NOT spread through air or water.
The Health Officer, Susan Kelly, stated, “County residents are much more likely to get the flu, which is spread through the air, than Ebola and therefore it is very important for everyone to get the flu vaccine this year.”
For more information, visit www.harfordcountyhealth.com or contact Molly Mraz at 410-877-1045.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
More than 60 percent of donors to congressional candidates in Maryland gave more than $1,000 and the state ranked 31st in the nation for inequality between small and large contributions, according to a report released Tuesday by groups supporting campaign finance reform.
The study, which considered political donations made for the primary election, found that 122 large donors in Maryland outspent 2,440 people who gave less than $200 -- underscoring the influence a small group of wealthy donors can have on political campaigns.
Maryland PIRG Foundation and Demos released the report.
"The voices of small donors in Maryland are increasingly drowned out by the spending of a small cadre of large donors, and ordinary citizens are the ones who lose out," Maryland PIRG Foundation Director Emily Scarr said in a statement.
Maryland's congressional primaries were particularly sleepy this year, which may have influenced the outcome. Incumbents in particular often receive a higher percentage of large donations when they're not facing a strong challenge -- and, therefore, are not actively fundraising.
Both groups support a bill by Rep. John Sarbanes that would create a matching fund and a $25 tax credit for small donations. The Baltimore County Democrat has emerged as a leading voice raising concerns about the influence of money in politics.
Monday, October 20, 2014
President Barack Obama sought to rally support for Anthony G. Brown's gubernatorial campaign at an event in Prince George's County on Sunday, telling an enthusiastic crowd that the lieutenant governor is offering a better vision for the middle class than his Republican opponent.
In his first appearance on stage with a candidate running in this year's midterm elections, the president sounded themes from his own campaigns, arguing that Brown's positions on education and the economy represented a message of hope and that Republicans were peddling fear and cynicism in races across the country.
With just more than two weeks to go until the election, Brown and Republican Larry Hogan are working to coax voters to the polls on Nov. 4 and for early voting, which begins Thursday. Hogan worked the crowds at an oyster festival in St. Mary's County while the Obama event was clearly aimed at engaging African-Americans to turn out for Brown.
"You deserve leaders that don't root for failure, don't try to re-fight the old battles, don't try to peddle fear," the president told about 8,000 people — mainly African-Americans — packed into a high school gymnasium in Upper Marlboro. "If you want good policies to continue in Maryland, you've got to vote for it."
Hogan will also have outside help in coming days from his own party's leaders. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for instance, is expected to attend several events for him on Tuesday.
In Leonardtown, Hogan did not make a formal speech but stopped in on vendors and chatted with customers at the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival.
Billy and Susan Johnson of Morganza sat in the corner of an arts and crafts pavilion, selling the dried flowers they raise on what used to be the family's tobacco farm. As Hogan wandered by, their faces lit up.
"Hey, it's the celebrity!" Billy Johnson said not to Hogan but to his daughter, Jaymi Sterling, who recently starred in a television ad that pushed back on Brown effort to paint Hogan as weak on women's issues. "I just saw you on TV!"
Sterling laughed as Hogan spoke with three potential voters who decried the so-called "rain tax."
"He'll get a lot of St. Mary's County support," said Susan Johnson, a self-described conservative who had spent part of the morning putting Hogan placards up on the family's farm.
Speaking to an overflow room before the Brown event, Obama told supporters that "this will be a done deal if you vote."
Though his approval ratings have slipped in much of the country, Obama remains popular in Maryland, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1. That is particularly true among African-American voters, 98 percent of whom have a favorable view of the president, according to a recent statewide poll.
Obama has headlined a bevy of fundraisers for Democrats, including one last month in Baltimore, but Sunday's visit to Maryland was the beginning of a more aggressive public campaign schedule. Obama left Maryland on Sunday for Chicago to campaign for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. He is also set to visit Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in coming days.
Michelle McDonald, a 48-year-old dance teacher, brought her 6-year-old son, Elijah, to the Brown rally to see the president. McDonald said she believed the event would inspire young people to turn out.
"Hopefully it can be a motivator," she said. "What it means to me is beyond words."
The president's address was interrupted by a protester holding a sign that read "#NotOneMore," a reference to a campaign by immigration advocates who are upset the administration has delayed executive action on deportations until after the election.
A steady stream of people, meanwhile, left the event shortly after the president began speaking. It was not clear whether they were escaping the gym's heat — at least one person was carried out by stretcher — or for some other reason. Many carried signs and wore T-shirts for Brown, and many had waited hours to attend.
Brown, who would be the state's first African-American governor, led Hogan 49 percent to 42 percent in poll conducted earlier this month for The Baltimore Sun.
As Hogan stood in the sun in St. Mary's County, wiping a garlic-and-Old Bay sauce from his fingers after downing another raw bivalve, Floyd Owens of Leonardtown approached and gripped him on the forearm.
A member of the local Rotary Club, he told the Republican that he and his wife love Maryland, in part because their children and grandchildren live here, but will have to leave the state when they retire thanks to high taxes.
"We can't stay here," Owens said.
Hogan said he'd heard similar stories while traveling across Maryland and told Owens it would be part of his mission as governor to cut many of the taxes that make it hard for retirees and others on fixed incomes.
Hogan's brand of low-key retail politicking seemed a good match for the event, and as he sat at a picnic bench, he said that was fitting for the kind of campaign he has tried to run.
Since he's being outspent by a roughly 7-1 ratio, he said, his best chance has always been to get out and meet as many people as possible.
"I love getting out and meeting the people," he said. "And I love oysters."
Sunday, October 19, 2014
from the Baltimore Sun
No longer are prescription pills the drug of choice in Harford County. It's heroin, and it's dangerous, Harford's top drug enforcement officers say.
"The heroin problem is bad. It is epidemic and that's the way we're treating it," Capt. Lee Dunbar, of the Harford County Task Force, said.
With Harford approaching two years of increasing heroin overdoses and deaths, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, however, because the numbers are starting to level out and hopefully will be on the decline, Dunbar said.
Harford's heroin problem received national attention last Wednesday when the National Geographic Channel featured Baltimore's heroin problem on one of its episodes of "Drugs Inc.: The High Wire." The channel is majority owned by Fox.
The show called Baltimore, with an estimated 60,000 drug addicts, "the heroin capital of America," though the accuracy of the number has been disputed. As Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik noted after previewing the documentary, it's a number that has never been confirmed.
But the dealers who are making money hand over fist selling heroin in Baltimore are branching out into wealthier suburban counties like Harford, where they can make more money, according to the National Geographic film.
Heroin that can be sold in the city for $10 to $20 can be sold for $50 to $100 in the county, according to a Baltimore drug kingpin in the TV show, who says the risk is greater, but so is the reward.
"I'm gonna take my chances out there," the drug kingpin says.
While he never says "out there" is Harford County, part of "Drugs Inc." focused on the Harford County Task Force and its efforts to eradicate what are called "commuter dealers," people who buy their drugs in the city and sell them in the counties.
The last 15 minutes of the hour-long episode covered two investigations by the task force, one in which they were following a man they suspected of buying drugs in the city and then selling them in Harford, and the other in which they were targeting a woman, who was believed to be dealing drugs from her apartment.
The episode was filmed in August 2013, but what viewers saw in the show is still going on, according to Dunbar, who worked with the producers of "Drugs Inc." and rode with them during the filming.
The switch to heroin
In 2010, 30 Harford County residents died from overdoses on prescription drugs, and as local law enforcement began crackdown down on their use, they saw a spike in the use of heroin, which was cheaper and easier to get than prescription pills.
To combat use of prescription drugs, law enforcement started by trying to educate the public about their dangers, pharmacists about how to dispense them and parents about to control them in the home.
"That made pills harder to get," Dunbar said. The supply went down, the demand was still there and when the price of prescription drugs went through the roof, users turned to heroin.
"It gives a similar high at a cheaper rate, but it's a more dangerous high," he said.
Users are going from a highly regulated opiate to something that's not regulated at all and it has extremely dangerous consequences.
"It's playing Russian roulette," he said.
According to the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, in 2010, 30 people died of prescription drug overdoses and 12 died from heroin overdoses; in 2011, 15 died from heroin and 15 died from prescription drugs; in 2012, 14 died from heroin and 20 from prescription drugs; and in 2013, 22 died from heroin and 14 from prescription drugs.
"The problem still exists. We're holding steady with the epidemic. We hope to round the corner and see the number decline," Dunbar said.
In researching the heroin trade for its episode on Baltimore, producers of Drugs Inc. followed the Harford County Task Force and its activities in combating drugs.
Task force members trailed a man through Baltimore City, where he made several stops. Once back in Harford County and suspecting that he had picked up his supply to sell locally, task force members stopped him and searched his car. While they found no signs of dealing or distribution, police did find drug paraphernalia and suspected drug residue in his car. He was not, however, charged.
The arrest and search were filmed by the Drugs Inc. crew.
"You guys like 'Drugs Inc.' or something? Really? That's pretty cool because I watch 'Drugs Inc.' a lot," the man says to the police.
An admitted addict, the man also says: "It's as easy to get drugs as it is to get a pack of cigarettes at the gas station. That's anywhere around here."
He started out on prescription drugs but explains, "It's cheaper to get heroin, you know, and that's just, it's a terrible thing, no pun intended, but it's more bang for your buck."
"It's not like we ever choose this life, it's not like we wanna live like this, you know," he said. "It's just not worth it."
The man's story is like a lot of others in Harford County, ones the task force deals with every week, if not every day, Dunbar said, like the woman who was the target of another task force investigation featured in the TV program.
"Drugs Inc." crews filmed a confidential informant setting up a drug deal with her, which police then used that as probable cause to raid her apartment, where several other customers were waiting to buy drugs.
Also an admitted addict, the woman said she began dealing for the money.
"What people make in a 40-hour paycheck, I can make in three or four hours selling. And then who wouldn't want that money. Make 300 working 40 hours, I make 300 working two hours. It's the money," she says on the TV show.
She was charged with two felonies in that arrest and is awaiting sentencing, Dunbar said.
What drug is next?
One of the biggest challenges the task force faces is trying to determine what next trend is in drug use.
It was prescription drugs, now it's heroin, but what's the next trend?
"One of the things we're looking at is a synthetic drug, that they'll come out with something that mimics the high of an opiate," Dunbar said.
In the meantime, he said, they have to do their best to control what they know about, to keep the number of overdose deaths down.
"That's our main objective, as law enforcement," he said, "the preservation of life."
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Of all the state health insurance exchanges which were rolled out in conjunction with Obamacare, Maryland’s was certainly in contention for the biggest disaster of the bunch. Warned for an entire year before launch of the impending disaster, the state plugged on forward anyway. The point person on the project was Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, who eventually abandoned the entire effort and firing the developer, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, in April of this year. It seemed that no amount of money or effort was going to bring the site back from the grave and they decided to start over from scratch with a new contractor.
It was also clear that the state would need to take legal action to recoup the many millions of dollars they had flushed into the site. Oddly, though, even with that much of the taxpayers’ money on the line, that action suddenly ceased this week.Officials from Maryland’s health care exchange in April fired the contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and vowed to seek court actions to recoup the money.If that date of November 15th sounds familiar, it’s the same day that you’ll be able to find out what your new Obamacare premiums will be. It’s also, by complete coincidence I’m sure, after the election. So why should Maryland care so much about that? The candidate for Governor is none other than the aforementioned Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Both sides have struck a temporary deal so state officials can focus on the second year of ObamaCare enrollment that starts Nov. 15, according to The Baltimore Sun.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley told The Sun that officials are still “evaluating claims that we may pursue in litigation.”
I’m probably just being cynical here, but you don’t suppose he doesn’t want any headlines about the legal actions reminding everyone what a technical catastrophe his project was right before the election, do you? Naw… I’m probably being overly suspicious as usual.
Electricity prices are soaring in states generating the most wind power, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Although U.S. electricity prices rose less than 3 percent from 2008-2013, the 10 states with the highest percentage of wind power generation experienced average electricity price increases of more than 20 percent.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the 10 states in which wind power accounts for the highest percentage of the state’s electricity generation are:Iowa – 27%The wind power industry claims switching from conventional power to wind power will save consumers money and spur the economy. However, data from the top 10 wind power states show just the opposite. From 2008-2013 electricity prices rose an average of 20.7 percent in the top 10 wind power states, which is seven-fold higher than the national electricity price increase of merely 2.8 percent.
South Dakota – 26%
Kansas – 19%
Idaho – 16%
Minnesota – 16%
North Dakota – 16%
Oklahoma – 15%
Colorado – 14%
Oregon – 12%
Wyoming – 8%
The 2008-2013 price increases in the top 10 wind power states were:Iowa – 16%With the sole exception of Oklahoma, every one of the top 10 wind power states saw its electricity prices rise at least 14 percent. For each of these states, electricity prices rose at least five times faster than the national average.
South Dakota – 25%
Kansas – 26%
Idaho – 34%
Minnesota – 22%
North Dakota – 23%
Oklahoma – -2%
Colorado – 14%
Oregon – 16%
Wyoming – 33%
The electricity price increases in states producing the most wind power don’t tell the whole story. Federal and state taxpayer subsidies to wind power producers hide additional costs of wind power. The federal wind power Production Tax Credit (PTC), for example, gave wind power producers 2.3 cents for every kilowatt hour of wind power production last year. With U.S. retail electricity prices at 10.08 cents per kilowatt hour, the PTC allowed wind power producers to hide over 20 percent of wind power costs. This allowed the wind power industry to charge the American people still more money in backdoor tax bills, in addition to the higher retail electricity prices documented above.
Higher electricity prices in states producing the most wind power are taking a devastating toll on disposable incomes and the overall economy.
In Colorado, for example, electricity consumers spent $5.3 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Colorado electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Colorado electricity consumers would have spent only $4.8 billion on electricity. That’s $500 million in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Colorado’s 2 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $250 from the average Colorado household in 2013.
In Minnesota, electricity consumers spent $6.4 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Minnesota electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Minnesota electricity consumers would have spent only $5.4 billion on electricity. That’s $1 billion in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Minnesota’s 2.1 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $476 from the average Minnesota household in 2013.
In Kansas, electricity consumers spent $3.8 billion on electricity in 2013. Had Kansas electricity prices risen at merely the national average from 2008-2013, however, Kansas electricity consumers would have spent only $3.1 billion on electricity. That’s $700 million in excess electricity costs in 2013. If we divide that up among Kansas’ 1.1 million households, the extra electricity costs drained $636 from the average Kansas household in 2013.
The wind power industry’s fallback position is wind power benefits state economies, despite rapidly rising electricity costs, because the switch from conventional power to wind power generates jobs within the wind power industry. This argument, however, amounts to nothing more than a misleading head-fake. Shifting electricity production from conventional power to wind power does not create any net new jobs – it merely shifts jobs from one sector (conventional power) to another sector (wind power). Jobs created in the wind power industry come at the price of eliminating jobs in the conventional power industry.
Worse yet, the jobs shifted to the wind power industry fail to equal the number of jobs eliminated in other sectors of the economy for two important reasons.
First, wind power employs very few workers. After the tremendous start-up costs necessary to build wind turbines and place them in industrial wind farms, operational wind power facilities employ few workers. Nor does wind turbine manufacturing adds many jobs in top wind power states. Of the world’s top 10 wind turbine manufacturers, only one is located in the United States. Wind turbine manufacturing jobs are created in places like Germany, Denmark, and China more than in the United States.
Even among the top seven manufacturers of the wind turbines that are deployed in the United States, only one is located in the United States.
By contrast, conventional power plant operation requires far more workers than wind farms. More jobs are created in the conventional power industry even while electricity production costs go down. And unlike wind power jobs, nearly all U.S. conventional power plant manufacturing and operational jobs go to American workers – and especially to workers within the resident state of the conventional power plant.
Second, higher electricity prices caused by wind power kill jobs throughout the entire state and national economy. For example, when the average household in Kansas spends an extra $636 on electricity each year due to unnecessarily high electricity prices, that means the average Kansas household spends $636 less on other goods and services. The aggregate effect of such reduced spending in the Kansas economy (equaling $700 million in Kansas economy-wide reduced spending in 2013) eliminates thousands of jobs that would otherwise be created or sustained throughout all segments of the Kansas economy with higher consumer spending.
Any way you cut it, wind power is needlessly raising living costs, reducing living standards, and destroying American jobs. Fortunately, states can easily rectify the problem by repealing renewable power mandates and taxpayer subsidies that perpetuate higher electricity costs and widespread job destruction.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
from the Baltimore Sun
Marylanders really, really want to get more of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind, a new poll finds. Most also apparently back government mandates to make it happen, even if they have to pay a little more for their power.Wind and Solar energy costs 2-5 times what coal or nuclear costs to produce. That isn't $1 or $30 a month more.... that's $500 to $1,000(+) a month more. If the pollsters were honest, they'd go back and ask them if they're willing to see their utility bills TRIPLE. They don't, because they know that the poll answers would change.
The survey by George Mason University comes as environmental activists prepare to launch a campaign to press Maryland lawmakers to double the state's renewable energy goal, even though there's been only modest progress to date toward the current target.
The poll also comes in the closing weeks of a hotly contested race for governor. Although the Democratic and Republican contenders have said little about energy policy, recent interviews found they differ over how far the state should go toward promoting wind and solar.
In querying more than 2,000 residents, George Mason detected growing support for renewable energy, with 78 percent favoring development of more solar generation while 69 percent back offshore and land-based wind. Those ratings are 7 to 10 points higher than in a similar poll of Marylanders the school did last year.
(A majority also favor more hydroelectric generation, though it's unlikely any more dams will be built.)
Both surveys were done in partnership with the Climate Communication Consortium of Maryland, a coalition of environmental, academic and other groups.
About 44 percent of Maryland’s electricity now comes from coal-fired plants, while another 40 percent comes from nuclear facilities, with natural gas the fuel for another 8 percent of the state's power.
Half of those asked said they'd like to see the state get less of its electricity from burning coal, while opinions were split on natural gas. Forty-nine percent favor increased gas use generally, the poll found, but only 28 percent are still on board if it comes via "fracking," the slang term for drilling using hydraulic fracturing. The state has a de-facto moratorium in fracking for gas, but is nearing the end of a three-year study of environmental and health concerns.
Nearly three-fourths of those polled supported the state's current clean-energy mandate, which requires that 20 percent of electricity in Maryland come from renewable sources by 2022. The state is only about a third of the way to that goal now, but 65 percent of those asked support doubling the target to 40 percent by 2025.
Surveys like this often draw criticism because those polled are not queried about the depth of their commitment. George Mason did ask, and a majority said they'd be willing to pay more, ranging from $1 to $30 or more a month.
In recent interviews, the two men vying to be Maryland's next governor differed over whether the state should subsidize renewable energy development.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said he believes it's a key part of what the state should be doing to fight climate change, even if it means asking residents to pay a little more for their electricity. Brown's current boss, Gov. Martin O'Malley, pushed through the current clean-energy mandate as well as a plan to have Maryland ratepayers pay up to $1.50 a month extra to subsidize development of a large offshore wind project. Brown argues the push will generate jobs while also helping the environment.
GOP candidate Larry Hogan, though, said he opposes government subsidies for wind and solar projects. Though he said he supports increasing renewable energy, Hogan said Marylanders already pay higher-than-average power bills, so he wouldn't ask them to pay any more. He expressed impatience with the O'Malley administration's cautious approach to fracking, and said he's convinced it can be done safely, and would encourage its development if elected.
ps - The poll responders were self-selected. 65% of those polled told the questioners to go "pound sand" and didn't respond to this eco-populist endeavor. The survey was mailed to 6,401 households in the state of Maryland, randomly selected from within each of four regions of the state. We sampled at the regional level to ensure the final data was generalizable to these distinctly different geographic and cultural areas of the state, as well as to the state as a whole, weighting the data at both the state and regional levels in accordance with U.S. Census population distributions. Households that responded to the survey in 2013 were not re-contacted in 2014. The survey was fielded from March 17 to June 10, 2014 with a response rate of 35%
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The presidential election is two years distant, but that hasn’t stopped some in the GOP from already deciding who would make “acceptable” Republican candidates and who would not, based on their perceived degree of fidelity to conservative principles. The arbiters have all but hung a sign in the 2016 window of opportunity that reads, NO RINOS NEED APPLY.*McCain sold out the nation to "Establishment Republicans" in the 2008 Wall Street bailout, so don't you DARE NOT call him a "Conservative".
It seems almost unconscionable for this assessment to be ballyhooed even as we find ourselves in the midst of a crucial election to determine the leadership of the U.S. Senate, and the direction of America’s future. Certainly, this would seem to be a time for Republicans to pull together and concentrate on that immediate objective, even if it means encouraging the election of moderates in states where more right-leaning candidates would not likely have a chance of success.
My last statement will be disputed by those who regard themselves as the only “true” Republicans and who harbor the unshakable sentiment that the majority of Americans would elect a “real conservative” if only he or she were the GOP standard bearer.
On what basis do political litmus tests assay whether a Republican candidate’s conservative core is gold or dross? Some have meager public policy records by which to be judged, but they are anyway. Ted Cruz finds himself in the conservative plus column, although his actual resume of service is pretty thin. The same could be said for Rand Paul, who was a physician before he became a senator from Kentucky just a few years ago. There is nothing “wrong” with this; both are excellent men whom I expect will go far. Politics was never intended to be a lifelong career, anyway. But the judgmental fate of Republicans like John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, etc., who have been around politics awhile, suffers in the final analysis, because in order to be effective, governance often requires a degree of compromise. It is easier to sound like a conservative than to act like one in today’s political climate.
Marco Rubio is a case in point. For a while, he was identified as a darling of the Tea Party, until he decided to look at the immigration crisis in a slightly different light. Suddenly he became a pariah of sorts, accused of abandoning conservative credos for the practical consideration of solving a national crisis over which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have dogmatically dug in their heels.
One might ask who exactly determines the definition of a “conservative”? I have heard the answer stated in this way: a conservative is someone who upholds the Constitution of the United States as it was set forth by the Founding Fathers. But there were differences among those guys, too, and the document was composed in rather broad terms, bound together by a spine of fundamental principles, but not by any specific proscribed means by which to effect them.
Nor am I convinced that everyone who voices an opinion about the tenets of conservatism is actually a Constitutional scholar.
Holding Republican candidates’ feet to the fire, for example, based vaguely on what one supposes Ronald Reagan would have done in similar circumstances is unproductive. Reagan was a wise, effective and much-respected president, despite the fact that he was at one time an active and prominent liberal. He saw the light, as many others have. But his past beliefs did not deter Republicans from embracing him -- or conservatives from regarding him the embodiment of their political philosophy.
What the Republican Party requires in a changing world is inclusiveness, not exclusivity. As the metaphor goes, it’s past time to build a bigger tent and encourage more people to enter it, even if they are not, by some standards, as “conservative” as desired. Yet little effort has been expended in that direction. Instead, there are self-appointed bouncers posted at the flap of the tent to make certain that those who want in have the “right” credentials. Let’s not forget that the GOP is a public political party, not a private bash from which some should be excluded at will.
It’s pure chutzpah, really, for one Republican to insist that another is a Republican in Name Only. Persistence in this kind of factionalism encourages Republicans to consider running as third-party candidates, which has too often resulted in election losses for the GOP. And if winning elections is not a top priority for some conservatives, it should be. Sitting smugly on the high horse of principle is riding for a political fall.
When John Kerry was nominated to challenge George W. Bush in his second term as president, there were some who derisively suggested that he would pick John McCain as his running mate. (Despite McCain’s extraordinary valor and service to our country, there are those who question his “true” conservatism.) *McCain quickly quashed the rumor, remarking that he was “comfortable “ in the Republican Party. After all, he said, “It’s my home.” So let’s stop denigrating fellow Republicans as RINOS -- and show them respect, instead of the door.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Democrat Anthony G. Brown holds a modest lead over Republican Larry Hogan in Maryland's race for governor, but many voters have not firmly made up their minds and the outcome is far from certain, according to a new poll conducted for The Baltimore Sun.
The poll by OpinionWorks of Annapolis found Brown leading Hogan 49 percent to 42 percent.
Though Brown has a 7-point lead, the poll found his backers are less solid in their conviction than Hogan supporters. And many in Brown's camp are younger voters, a bloc that historically is less likely to vote.
"Hogan has a much more engaged, committed base of support right now," said OpinionWorks President Steve Raabe.
"This is not by any stretch a locked-up race," Raabe said. "You can still see Brown winning comfortably. But you also can see Hogan winning."
The poll of 800 likely voters, conducted Oct. 4 to Oct. 8, has a 3.5 percentage-point margin of error.
In a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-1, Brown has a built-in advantage. The challenge for Brown is to motivate his supporters to cast a ballot in the Nov. 4 election, Raabe said.
"It's very clear that for him, this is a turnout game," he said.
In Brown's home county of Prince George's, he is favored by a commanding 84 percent of voters, including Democrat Joseph Webb, a high school English teacher.
Webb told a reporter he sees Brown as "a better bet" for the state and plans to vote for him. And he said most people he knows also like Brown — but he's not sure whether they feel strongly enough to go to the polls.
"The question is whether or not these people are going to get out and vote," said Webb, 70.
Brown also leads in Baltimore, largely thanks to voters such as Colette Miller, a 55-year-old supervisor at a distribution center.
The West Baltimore resident said she met Brown when he visited her church. "He gave a good speech," she said. She said she likes Brown's policies, especially his pledge not to raise taxes.
That Brown would be Maryland's first African-American governor has only slightly influenced her decision, said Miller, who is African-American. She doesn't have a high opinion of Hogan and does not accept his arguments that the O'Malley-Brown administration's policies have hurt Maryland's economy.
"Martin O'Malley did not get this economy screwed up," she said.
While Miller said she has made her decision, a quarter of Brown's supporters said they could change their minds. Only 13 percent of Hogan's voters say the same.
"The jury is still out on exactly what I think of Brown," said Latasha Vanzie, a Democrat and small-business owner from Owings Mills who is leaning toward Brown. "I'm not very impressed with him so far, but he's our only option on the Democratic side."
Vanzie, 39, said she met Brown at a fundraiser for health care-related businesses. While she really likes and respects his military background, she said, she was disappointed at his answer to her question about changing the way the state budget is built.
"There's no way I would stay home" on Election Day, Vanzie said. "But my mind still hasn't been completely made up."
Hogan's prospects of catching Brown are enhanced by the rock-solid support of Republicans, which is especially strong in GOP-dominated rural counties.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Werner, Joseph (Democratic)
Glassman, Barry (Republican)
President of the County Council
Thornton, James "Jim" D. (Democratic)
Slutzky, Richard C. (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District A
Guthrie, Dion F. (Democratic)
Perrone, Mike Jr. (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District B
Woods, Joe (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District C
Kazimir, Gina A. (Democratic)
McMahan, James V. "Jim" Jr. (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District D
Shrodes, Chad R. (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District E
Kreamer, Barbara Osborn (Democratic)
Vincenti, Patrick (Republican)
County Council - Councilmanic District F
Smith, Joseph C. (Democratic)
Beulah, Curtis L. (Republican)
Trostle, Steven (Democratic)
Cassilly, Joseph I. (Republican)
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Neuman, Robert Jay Jr. (Democratic)
Reilly, James (Republican)
Register of Wills
Hopkins, Derek K. (Republican)
Bane, Jesse (Democratic)
Gahler, Jeffrey R. (Republican)
Peck, Bob (Unaffiliated)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District A
Mullis, Frederick A. (Non-Partisan)
Robinson, Jansen M. (Non-Partisan)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District B
Frisch, Robert "Bob" (Non-Partisan)
Runyeon, Laura (Non-Partisan)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District C
Krchnavy, Alysson L. (Non-Partisan)
Voskuhl, Joseph L. (Non-Partisan)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District D
Reynolds, Nancy (Non-Partisan)
Simon, Mike (Non-Partisan)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District E
Gauthier, Rachel (Non-Partisan)
Kaff, Arthur (Non-Partisan)
Board of Education - Councilmanic District F
Fitzpatrick, Thomas (Non-Partisan)
Hitchings, Michael R. (Non-Partisan)
Friday, October 3, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
John Boehner predicted Tuesday that “very few” Republican lawmakers would vote against him when he seeks a third term as Speaker of the House.
In an interview with USA Today, the Ohio Republican pushed back against a report in The Hill that pockets of Tea Party conservatives are plotting to oust the Speaker when the 114th Congress meets in January to elect its House leaders in a public vote.
Boehner also dismissed suggestions that his leadership team would strip committee assignments from GOP lawmakers who vote against him.
"I just don't think it's necessary," Boehner said of possible retribution.
A handful of likely incoming GOP House freshmen have already said on the campaign trail they won’t be backing Boehner as Speaker, however.
And some incumbent Republicans who are cruising to reelection, including Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), have stated publicly that Boehner needs to go.
“Time’s up,” Gosar told The Hill in a recent interview. “I’m tired of the status quo of what’s going on in Washington, D.C. America’s tired, America’s angry and they’re scared, because they don’t have leaders in Washington, D.C.”
In his interview with USA Today, Boehner praised Jeb Bush and said “he’s got a real shot” at winning the 2016 presidential race because of his strong record as former Florida governor.
"He has a record of serious, big reforms," Boehner said.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
The state’s new marijuana decriminalization laws take effect Wednesday, and Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies will have to use their judgment in deciding whether an amount of suspected substance found on an individual might exceed the weight considered a civil offense under the legislation.
Under the law, passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this year, amounts of marijuana under 10 grams will no longer draw a criminal penalty. Instead, first-time offenders will pay a $100 fine, with repeat offenders facing fines of $250 and $500, as well as the possibility of being ordered into an educational program.
But the law does not change penalties for drug paraphernalia or marijuana trafficking; putting pot into a pipe or selling it remains a criminal offense. Adding to the uncertainty around the law, Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies and their counterparts in several other local jurisdictions will have to use their discretion to determine whether an amount of marijuana seized from a person weighs 10 grams or more–official weights will be determined only at precincts, according to agency spokeswoman Cristie Kahler.
“The feasibility to conduct road-side weighing was not practical,” Kahler said in an e-mail to The Dagger. “Deputies will use their training and experience to make a good faith estimate, on scene, before taking the marijuana to the precinct to weigh. This seems to be the general movement from several surrounding jurisdictions.”
The agency policy, which was reviewed at a command staff meeting Monday, was developed in consultation with Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly and through “work sessions” at the state level, Kahler said.
“In an effort to develop this policy, agency members spent countless hours attending work sessions around the state to better understand the implications of the new law and create polices to outline how law enforcement officers would uphold the law,” she said. “Part of that process did include consultation with our Harford County State’s Attorney. Discussions have been held surrounding all aspects of the law from the standpoint of Patrol, Evidence Collection, and the Harford County Narcotics Taskforce.”
Individuals suspected of possessing more than 10 grams can be arrested pending a weigh-in at a Sheriff’s Office precinct, Cassilly said, comparing such action to a DUI suspect being arrested until chemical breath tests are completed. It was not immediately clear how many deputies would be trained in weighing marijuana; Sheriff Jesse Bane declined a phone interview Tuesday in lieu of an in-person meeting with The Dagger later this week.
Kahler added that the new policy would be reviewed at “roll call training” for deputies. That training will include how to identify 10 grams of marijuana, as a supplement the drug recognition training all deputies receive as recruits.
In the months leading up to the new law, both Sheriff Jesse Bane and Cassilly said the law as written creates a variety of potential problems for both deputies on patrol and prosecutors in the court room.
In an interview with The Dagger in May and at several other forums at the time, including a county council meeting, Bane expressed opposition to the change and called marijuana legalization a matter of public health.
“I keep emphasizing this, that the drug issue is a public health issue…and that makes it the number one problem in the county, in my opinion,” he said. “The THC substance is not a substance that is supposed to be in the brains of our children.”
In a June interview, Cassilly criticized the law as written, calling it a “godawful mess,” and said that Harford’s judges had begun handling cases which would fall under the new law in different ways.
“We’ve got judges that are basically saying this new law is coming,” he said at the time. “If you charge someone now, it may not come to trial until after the new law is in effect.”
“I’ve got nine judges, I’ve got judges looking at it differently. Some say the law is going to be different in five months, some go by what the law is now.”
Kansas Tea Party supporters are threatening to sit out the state’s pivotal Senate election, potentially dealing another blow to the reelection hopes of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).
Though schisms within the GOP base rarely have such an outsized impact on a general election contest, the lack of support from the conservative base could be devastating to the vulnerable Roberts’s chances against surging independent Greg Orman.
Multiple sources tell The Hill that a group of Tea Party leaders in the state are meeting Wednesday to try to decide whether they should go to bat for the incumbent this fall or sit out of the race entirely.
Aware of the vulnerabilities it faces, the Roberts campaign has been engaged in a full-court press to mend fences with conservatives over the past few weeks and regain some of the trust lost during the bitter primary fight against radiologist Milton Wolf, whom the senator beat by a closer-than expected margin.
“It all comes back to whether or not there’s an agreement reached. I don’t know if there’s going to be,” said Steve Shute, a city councilman in Gardner, Kan., and Tea Party activist.
“The longer this delays, to find results, the greater risk there is that Kansas turns blue or purple,” said Shute, who’s been acting as a moderator between conservatives and the campaigns of Roberts and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R).
Ever since Democratic nominee Chad Taylor was removed from the ballot, giving Orman a one-on-one shot at toppling the GOP senator, the Roberts campaign has been parading Republican establishment and Tea Party figures through the state to help boost the struggling Roberts.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) campaigned for him last week and he nabbed the endorsement of rising conservative star Ben Carson on Tuesday. Sources also tell The Hill that Roberts bringing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in to stump for him next month, another figure with serious conservative clout.
But for disaffected Tea Partyers in the state, it might not be enough. Many were livid over Palin’s decision to campaign for Roberts, saying she should have reached out to grassroots supporters beforehand.
The endorsements, they say, won’t convince them Roberts is worth saving. Conservatives want to secure a number of commitments from the campaigns of both Roberts and Brownback, who faces his own tough reelection fight.
The Wednesday gathering will follow a two-hour-long meeting and conference call Friday that took place between junior-level representatives from Brownback’s campaign, Roberts’s campaign, state party executive director Clay Barker and about 10 conservative activists and Tea Party leaders, organized by the state party chairman at the request of Shute.
“We talked through a lot of issues, a lot of items, and it was for the most part civil, cordial and, I think, constructive,” Shute said of the Friday meeting.
In large part, the Tea Party’s demands center on the investigation launched by a Kansas medical ethics board into Wolf’s controversial postings of patient X-Rays and off-color commentary to his Facebook page, which helped sink his campaign when the details of the posts and the investigation were leaked to the press. Conservatives believe the leaks and the probe were politically motivated, and an inappropriate use of a state agency to knock out a political candidate.
“They’ve just done some nasty, ugly, backhanded stuff here and things they shouldn’t be doing, and it’s a frightful despotism,” Rob Wood, another conservative activist engaged in the negotiations, told The Hill.
Shute declined to confirm the parameters of the demands from conservatives, but conversations with members of both wings of the party indicate that they include, but aren’t limited to, Brownback intervening to dismiss the ethics investigation into Wolf.
Conservatives are also demanding Anne Hodgdon, a member of the state organization that launched the investigation — and who conservatives believe not only triggered the investigation but leaked the news of it to the press —be removed from her post and barred from ever working again in any state agency.
In addition, they’re calling for the resignation of top Kansas GOP officials and for the state party to adopt a resolution declaring that if Roberts doesn’t complete all six years of his next term, Wolf would be named his replacement. And they want Kansas to institute a runoff primary, as well as for state party leaders to agree to meet more often with conservatives.
One of the Brownback representatives engaged in the Friday talk also met with Shute on Tuesday for lunch to continue discussing a potential compromise.
Privately, members of the Brownback and Roberts campaigns and state party officials have scoffed at the list of demands, which they see as at best baseless and at worst illegal, like the call for Brownback to call off the investigation.
But Kansas conservatives warn they should heed their demands, lest Roberts lose the race due to dissatisfaction within the base.
Wood said conservatives are “outraged” at what he called the “nuclear options” used by the establishment in Mississippi and Kansas to defend incumbents facing primary challenges.
He declined to confirm any planned or past meetings, but did say he and others have expressed their concerns to the campaigns and want an answer soon — or else.
“We’re giving [the Roberts campaign] every opportunity to win this race if they want it, but they’re running out of time,” said Wood. “If they get it done by the end of this week we could hit the ground and get it done.”
Roberts’s staff and even the senator himself have been reaching out to Tea Party activists in the state with personal phone calls.
“Like any campaign, we have been actively reaching out to grassroots leaders across the state,” said Roberts campaign manager Corry Bliss, who noted the prominent endorsements and said conservatives are “rallying” around Roberts.
“We are all united on the most important issue of this election, making sure Republicans gain control of the Senate — and that can’t happen without reelecting Pat Roberts.”
Some activists in the state, however, aren’t convinced.
“Here in the state of Kansas we are still mightily peeved at Pat Roberts, his staff and everybody on the campaign,” Kansas Tea Party supporter Chuck Henderson told The Hill during a Saturday phone conversation.
Henderson said conservatives feel that they were “abused badly during the entire campaign” because Roberts only showed a fleeting interest in their concerns when it was clear their frustration with him could jeopardize his hold on his seat.
“And now people are beginning to get phone calls from staffers begging us to come in and help him out,” Henderson scoffed.
He added, in disbelief, “And after all of the meanness and nastiness, for Sarah to show up and just declare the Tea Party is supporting him?”
Some have begun to express a begrudging willingness to support Roberts if control of the Senate comes down to Kansas.
Henderson said conservatives see Orman, the independent, as a clear “liberal Democrat, and the risk of Republicans losing the Senate could cause conservatives to “hold our nose and vote for Roberts.” He said that, regardless, he “will not lift a finger for him” to get out the vote.
If Kansas isn’t key to Senate control, however, Henderson said there’s no question conservatives will stay home.
“Our consideration is, if Republicans don’t need him [to hold the Senate], to let him swing in the wind,” he said.