Pelura’s Fake Olive Branch

We told you about Jim Pelura going to the RNC, hat in hand, to beg for money. We told you about Maryland GOP Chairman Jim Pelura’s hack Andrew Langer leaking confidential information to the press. (Andrew Langer refutes it here) Now the Washington Post has Jim Pelura making an insincere offer to Republican legislators.

The Washington Post printed an e-mail/letter exchange between Pelura and House Republican leaders Tony O’Donnell and Chris Shank.

“In an e-mail last week, Pelura informed O’Donnell and Senate Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard) that he had asked Mykel Harris, chairman of the Prince George’s GOP Central Committee, to head a commission to develop the contract. The commission, Pelura wrote, would include state and local Republican party officials, members of GOP clubs and other Republican activists.”

This is more than just a dumbfounded chairman on his last leg attempting to reach out to the people who could make or break him, this is a slippery PR ploy to make him look like Mr. Unity. How do we know? Because the legislative contract was already written by Charles Lollar – former MDGOP Tax Commission Chair and unqualified gubernatorial candidate and Pelura confidant – who posted it to his web site here:

So, Jim and Charles, and Prince George’s County Republican Chairman Mykel Harris, have already written the agenda. They just need to legitimize it thus giving inspiration to email the legislative leaders.

Their first mistake was attempting to play Del. Shank and Del. O’Donnell as a couple of novices (Tony’s taken his lumps going after bigger fish than Pelura.)

Tony and Chris wrote back that they need to take the lead, not some broken party apparatus:

” ‘The Contract with America, in 1994, was developed by experienced policymakers in the Congress under the leadership of the House Minority Whip at the time, Newt Gingrich, with assistance from many other members like Dick Armey of Texas,’ O’Donnell and Shank wrote. ‘The policymaking experience and political expertise for such an endeavor similarly exists within our joint caucus membership. … We know the policy, and we know how such policy relates to winning elections.'”

And they let Jim know they’re still not friends.

“‘We continue to have a lack of confidence in this chairman to prepare the party for statewide quadrennial elections just 15 months away. He seems to want to focus efforts into the policy arena while falling down on core fundamentals of party building activities. It is our political opinion that the state party chairman should excel at some very fundamental items before he delves into the realm of policy making. In our opinion, the chairman should be focused on improving the fundraising performance of our state party. He is still paying off debt that he has incurred years later, and we are less than five months away from being in a quadrennial statewide election year. … Maybe he hopes someone in Washington will magically send us a bailout for the Maryland GOP. How does the MDGOP criticize the Dem’s for out of control spending, a bailout mentality, or spending beyond their means, with this situation hanging out there?'”

Ouch.

*As a side note, it was this blog that first used the terms “bailout for the MDGOP” which was then picked up by Baltimore Sun and now used in an email from the GOP House Leadership.

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McDonough for Gov? Not so much

Delegate Pat McDonough R-7 announced on WCBM radio this week that he was considering running for Governor. This just adds another office to the long list he has said he was “considering” since 2006. First it was the Senate seat being vacated by Andy Harris, then the County Executive race, and now a race for Governor. Next thing you know he will be talking about making a trip to Iowa…

GA Harrison over at RedMaryland has a good conservative response to McDonough considering the race.

Pat McDonough is a one-trick pony – Illegal Immigration. He even had Tom Tancredo do a fundraiser for him earlier this year – need this author say more?

Delegate McDonough is not a credible candidate. This author’s assessment is that he probably just wanted to get his name in the news again which he accomplished. Delegate McDonough makes a good delegate and should probably stay there.

One interesting question does come to mind: Will Pat be able to keep his radio show on WCBM or will he have to give it up? Wouldn’t allowing him to continue to get all of that airtime to promote himself and his candidacy be a campaign contribution from the station itself? I guess the same question can be asked about the Ehrlich’s on WBAL. Will they have to give up their show?

Shank vs Munson, Old vs New

The 2010 cycle could produce some very interesting primaries for Republicans across the state. Today we will highlight one of those potential primaries.

Maryland Republicans may have a Republican Primary in Senate District 2. According to sources in Washington County, Minority Whip Chris Shank is looking to move up to the State Senate and is considering a primary challenge to Senator Don Munson.

Delegate Shank is widely known to be considering a run for Congressman Bartlett’s congressional seat when he retires. The Senate would be a much better stepping stone for a congressional run than a Delegate seat. Also it would put him on par with Senator Alex Mooney who is also a leading contender for Congress when Bartlett retires.

Delegate Shank would give Senator Munson a run for his money, though if he loses, he can kiss his congressional hopes goodbye.

When we think of Shank and Munson it is new school vs old school.  Washington County is in the transformation from old to new. Will Shank assume the risks?

What’s Jack Johnson Running for?

The Washington Post’s “Maryland Moment” blog has a great scoop.

Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson is “very much, definitely” considering a run for statewide office.

The County Executive is term limited in 2010 from seeking office again.

Wagner also provides these tidbits:

Johnson said he has been raising money, and plans to embark on a statewide listening tour after Labor Day to “see what interest there is” in him running.

Johnson said his tour will include visits to the Eastern Shore and the Baltimore region, and that he “should have a good feel” by November of whether he’ll throw his hat in the ring.

Asked if he was considering a run for governor, he said he’d “just stick with ‘statewide office’ ” as his answer, implicitly declining to rule out a challenge to incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

Back in February, Jack Johnson had floated this idea to the Gazette Editorial Board but he had been pretty quiet since then.

As an African American candidate, Johnson should be able to count on the African American community as  a strong base in a Democratic primary. When you add in that his home base is in PG County and the Greater Washington Suburbs of Montgomery and Charles (which make up nearly half the Democratic Primary vote), Johnson could be a serious contender.

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.