Looks as if Howard County Republicans, both as a formal organization and in the form of a small number of wackadoodles conservative activists, have brought Howard County's citizens its own special holiday presents. These gifts come without a gift receipt and with a "no takeback" policy, but with gifts like these, they will be pretty easy to reject come election time in June and again in November.
Both gifts can be found within this innocuous-looking holiday video. The video is brought to us by something called "PUSH Howard County", which I believe somehow flows into lovers of goats, Confederate sympathizing neo-Nazis, and Roy Moore's uber-sexy leather vest and cowboy hat ensemble.
Anyway, the video purports to be from "Howard County's Republican County Council candidates" and brings holiday greetings from candidates Raj Kathuria in District 1, John Liao in District 2, Lisa Kim in District 4, and Jim Walsh in District 5. Hmmm.
As an aside, it's a shame Lisa Kim's husband's old business isn't still operating, because Lisa could've used the video as an opportunity to promote it. Those old PG County roots run deep, after all. Wonder how, as a mother, she reconciles that to her children?
But there is a glaring, factual omission. The video leaves out David Yungmann, who is indeed, still a very viable and strong candidate for County Council in District 5. That's really an ignorant oversight on the part of the makers of this video. And a slap in the face to Mr. Yungmann and although I'm guessing he's not bothered by it one bit, if I were a Republican voter in HoCo, I would be. Because the tacit message inferred in the video is that the other Districts' candidates have chosen a side in the District 5 primary. So, this video is not brought to you by "The Republican candidates for County Council", but by "a little cabal who are allied under the banner of whatever 'PUSH Howard County' is." Both this organization and these four candidates bear watching more closely. Because what it seems they're attempting is called "Republicannibalism", which is the ostracizing of more reasonable Republican candidates by their alt-right opponents. This extremism should be rejected in whole by any reasonable voter and organization, regardless of party affiliation.
And the less glaring omission the video indicates is that there is no Republican candidate in District 3. But unlike in District 5, this isn't a lie of omission. It's a statement of fact. Because, with a little over a month before the filing deadline, there remains no Republican candidate in District 3 for County Council.
I don't buy it. As one will recall, there was no Republican Council candidate in District 3 in 2014 either. Which was largely seen, recognized, and acknowledged as an effort to suppress the Democratic vote in District 3 in 2014 and tip the County Executive's race towards Allan Kittleman. And honestly, that strategy worked. And it looks like that strategy is at work again. And in this case, the effort is to suppress the vote in District 3, which largely overlaps with State District 13, in an effort to hinder the ability of the "Team 13" slate to bring out the vote for their own candidates, and in so doing, negatively affect Calvin Ball's campaign for County Executive.
Except-- really? First, are we to believe that for eight years, there isn't a single Republican who has come forward in the district of Dennis and Sandy Schrader, and Marty Madden and Diane Wilson and Donna Thewes and Jeff Robinson and many others, to run in this district? C'mon, man. How can the Howard County Republicans legitimately call itself a group interested in governing in this county without fielding a candidate in this important race?
Second, sure, there are four good Democratic candidates for District 3. And a strong ticket for the state legislative district that covers most of it. And if I were an active Democratic strategist in this county-- and I was for a long time-- I would be working with the current Senator and Delegates and Councilmember and the County Executive candidate's campaign and run up the damn score in District 3. Because if the Republicans are going to thumb their nose at District 3's Independents and freethinking Republicans, the Democrats ought to embrace them. Run up turnout higher than it already is and bring 80-20 margins home for all the Dems running in District 3. Down to the damn Judges of the Orphans Court. Make the HoCo GOP suck on their ignorance.
And third, and finally, hold up District 3 as proof of the Republican failure to lead in Howard County. That this has been the legacy of Allan Kittleman's "whole county" approach to governing. That District 3 remains ostracized and left without a seat at the table in terms of Republican leadership. That District 3 is the district the Republicans forgot. And decided not to care about. That's a message that plays countywide. Deciding not to compete is a form of voter suppression, pure and simple. It's a legitimate political strategy, but it's not bold thinking. It's not even mild thinking. It's a bit cowardly.
What about anything above is incorrect or inaccurate? Not a thing. Will HoCo Democrats do anything about it? Ahh, that's to be seen.
So much meaning in a one minute video! And I bet the only meaning people were supposed to get is that John Liao is fun, what wearing the Santa hat and all.
Let's be careful out there.
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