George Owings for Gov or George Owings Ploy (GOP)?

George Owings, former Delegate and Veteran Affairs Secretary under Bob Ehrlich, is considering a primary challenge to Governor Martin O’Malley.

Owings is an old-school Southern Democrat. His is a lost breed of Democrat who avoids controversial social issues and thinks government has an important role to play, but also believes in low taxes and responsible spending.

Thus he has absolutely zero chance of winning a Democratic primary in Maryland.

So, why is he running?

A George Owings Ploy (GOP)?

A George Owings Ploy (GOP)?

The benefit of a blog is sometimes you can float a theory without hard evidence. Anytime we do that here, we will make sure to tell you this is just a theory and not a fact.

Now, let us theorize:

George Owings was asked to jump in the Democratic primary by former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich. In 2002, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s no name primary challenger Robert Fustero garnered nearly 20% of the vote. The discontent in the primary will divide democrats only 6 weeks before the election. Owings will run almost entirely on the platform that O’Malley raised taxes and didn’t control spending which sounds eerily familiar to what Ehrlich will be running on in 2010 if he jumps in. In return for Owings entering the race, Ehrlich will help him raise some money behind the scenes and will give him another job in his Administration.

The entire theory above is just that, a theory. I don’t have phone records or emails to prove all of this has occurred, but it sure sounds plausible doesn’t it? Look forward to seeing your comments.


O’Malley Praised for Stimulating Website

Governor Martin O’Malley is receiving praise from the Good Jobs First advocacy group for the website he created to show how Stimulus money is being spent. Washington Post Reporter John Wagner has the full story up HERE . Colorado, Washington, West Virginia (the real question is whether any of their residents can actually use the website…), New York, and Pennsylvania are the other top sites according to the group.

You can visit Maryland’s Stimulus website by clicking HERE

Here is a fun map that shows projects in your county.

Eastern Shore protester “hangs” Kratovil

They like to get serious down on the shore.  When it comes to the government meddling with certain “inalienable” rights like healthcare, some folks get a little crazy. Take this man

H/T to Joe Albero of SBYNews who posted the following gem on his site:

Eastern Shore protester gets "real" - courtesy Joe Albero/SBYNews

Eastern Shore protester gets "real" - courtesy Joe Albero/SBYNews

Albero, hardly a wilting daisy when it comes to political opinions, called out the amateur craftsman and anyone else looking to make a similar statement:

I firmly believe in any one’s first amendment rights. However, there comes a time when that right is abused and IMHO this is one of them.

To The Kratovil Family, my apologies for posting this image but it had to be done and these people had to be called out for their actions.

This little stunt went national this week and has only helped Frank Kratovil in the process. Protestors like these accomplish the exact opposite of what they intend. 

Healthcare reform deserves a vigorous debate, but these actions are inexcusable. 

Apparently, Americans For Prosperity anti-tax protesters joined in the festivities, but AFP denounced the action, according to Politico.

O’Malley/Smith in 2010?

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith has over $1,000,000 in his campaign account and is term limited so what is he going to do next?

Democrat insiders are starting to wonder if Governor O’Malley will have Lt. Gov. Brown on the ticket in 2010. The two have had an aloof relationship since they took control of the State House in 2007. O’Malley and his team do their thing, while Brown does BRAC.

The theory goes that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown will take a job in the Obama Administration to build up his national stature and connections before coming back to Maryland in the future and running for a federal office (Senate or Congress). If Brown leaves before the 2010 election, O’Malley will add Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith to the ticket as his running mate.

The Obama folks have already snatched up Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Transportation Secretary John Porcari, so another high-profile Maryland pick doesn’t look out of the question.

This would make a lot of sense if Republicans nominate Bob Ehrlich. For Ehrlich to win, he needs large numbers in Baltimore County. Jim Smith could help O’Malley win Baltimore County. If the Democrats win Baltimore County it is next to impossible for a Republican to win statewide.

The question for O’Malley is does he lose support among black voters. He’s already fairly unpopular among the state’s black electorate (as far as being a Democrat with soft numbers goes.) Anthony Brown was O’Malley’s Michael Steele in the 2006 race, a dynamic the Ehrlich/Cox ticket knows well.

Brown has never been a part of O’Malley’s inner circle, and the whiz kids on the second floor of the State House seem more intent on giving Brown something to keep him out their hair than looking to the decorated veteran for advice.

The question for Brown is what does he gain by staying with O’Malley? Not that much, really. 2014 is a long way off and the field already looks crowded from here, with one big dog, a la Gansler, preparing for that battle.

Now what about Smith? What does he gain from running with O’Malley? Aside from a cushy job as the governor’s number 2, it looks like the governor becomes the big winner in this deal.

Who is is Andrew Langer

Immediately after the last Maryland GOP Executive Committee meeting an email went out to reporters, bloggers, and Republican officials from supporting embattled MDGOP Chairman Jim Pelura and attacking MDGOP 1st Vice-Chair Chris Cavey and candidate for governor Mike Pappas.

Until today 15WestSt was anonymous.

Numerous sources in Republican circles have confirmed Andrew Langer is the author of the email. The text of the email also echos much of what Andrew Langer has said to individuals around the state after the meeting.

Mr. Langer is a relatively new Maryland resident who works in DC and lives in Queen Anne’s County. He is actively involved in the Charles Lollar campaign (for who knows what now) and MDGOP Chairman Jim Pelura appointed Andrew Chairman of the MDGOP Commission on Environmental Solutions.

Why would Mr. Langer write this email? Well, he has long been a Pelura supporter, not necessarily because he thinks Jim is doing a good job, but because he sees his own influence directly attached to Jim remaining in office. Also, Mr. Langer views Chris Cavey and Chuck Gast as threats to his own future goals. Why would he attack Mike Pappas in the email, well at that time it was thought that Charles Lollar and Mike Pappas would be battling in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

Much criticism has been leveled by Chairman Pelura supporters about the leaks to the press. It is interesting that one of his biggest supporters is one of the biggest leakers.

Here is the full text of the email sent by

On Saturday the Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution of no confidence in Chairman Pelura by a vote of 20-10.

However there is not any immediate impact of the resolution. Pelura told the meeting he had no intention in resigning.

Under the by-laws, only a full vote of the entire state Central Committee at a convention can remove the Chairman, and a two-thirds vote is required. Counties representing a potential weighted vote of about 50% at a convention opposed the resolution, including Anne Arundel, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Wicomico and Worcester. The other counties and all the officers voted except Pelura for the resolution. Pelura did not vote.

The Committee rebuked candidate for Governor Mike Pappas on several occasions. Pappas was representing Baltimore County because Chris Cavey votes as First Vice Chair. First Pappas attempted to prevent Pelura from presiding at the meeting as Chairman. This effort was defeated. Later Pappas attempted to close off discussion, although Charles County Chairman Charles Lollar was attempting to be recognized. The Committee voted down the Pappas resolution and Lollar was given a chance to speak.

Repeated criticism was also directed at First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey for his press comments criticizing Pelura. Some members called on him to resign if Pelura remained as Chairman.

Suggest a cut?

On July 21, 2009, Governor Martin O’Malley asked Marylanders for their suggested budget cuts ( The website description says “In the past two and a half years…we have made some difficult choices to balance our state budget.”

Why do WE need to give OUR opinion if WE have already made tough choices?

My choice: cheap wine to go with cheap gimmicks.

Pelura lost and got a promotion, seriously

For those politicos in the state living under a rock, the MDGOP Chairman, Jim Pelura, has received a no confidence vote from the party’s Executive Committee. While this is not a binding vote it does show that the leadership has little faith in him.

I don’t want to get into the issue of who is right or wrong. I want to point out an interesting fact that I think many people have forgotten but is extremely relevant right now.

In 2006 Jim Pelura lost a race to serve on the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee. The winner received more than twice the number of votes Pelura received. Note that Pelura actually came in third behind now MDGOP 2nd Vice Chair Chuck Gast who also lost his bid for Central Committee.

After being rejected by his fellow Republicans in his home county what did Pelura do? He ran for Chairman of the party and Republican leaders decided to elect him. The real reason Pelura won is because Louis Pope pulled out because he didn’t want to lose his cushie National Committeeman spot but the fact remains they elected a guy who couldn’t even win in his own county. Now Republican leaders are wondering why the party is floundering. Hello, you elected a loser – literally.

If the guy can’t even win a central committee race where only Republicans are voting, how in the world can Republicans trust him to run a successfully statewide multi-level campaign operation in 2010?

There is an old saying (or maybe it’s fortune cookie wisdom) that goes like this, “If you want others to take you seriously, you must first take yourself seriously”

Here is a hint for Republicans in 2010: Take yourselves seriously and don’t trust a guy who lost his own campaign.

For those who want the documentation of his loss, visit this Anne Arundel County Board of Elections site here click on the 2006 Primary Results and view pages 233-236.