Moving the Primary Date – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again – Part 1
Westminster - And now the Democrats in Annapolis, in all their wisdom, have introduced a House of Delegates’ bill to fulfill their blind obsession to change next year's Maryland State primary from the second Tuesday in September to June 20; “in the voters’ best interests”. But of course!
What we have here is a failure to communicate. They wants it. They gets it.
What we really have here is a bold-faced attempt by the majority party, drunk on power and arrogance and seeming unaccountability, to gerrymander the election process. Gerrymander is the operative word here. Can you say: “2002 Maryland Legislative District Plan as Ordered by the Court of Appeals, June 21, 2002.” It never ends.
Memo to the Maryland Democratic Party; the voters are a lot smarter than you think.
Apparently, now the bright lights in the Maryland Democratic Party feel they need some extra time to rearrange the deck chairs on the USS Maryland Democrat Titanic in order to avoid hitting an iceberg called: changing Maryland voter attitudes away from the Democratic Party – to the Republican Party. The election of Governor Bob Ehrlich in 2002 (the first Republican governor since Spiro Agnew in 1966; in a state where Democrats outnumber the GOP 2-to-1) was only the tip of the iceberg bob-bing up to the surface. The Democrats are rightfully worried that the rest of the iceberg is huge and now it is steaming their way.
The wolves in sheep’s clothing want to explain that they are only beneficently acting in the voters’ best interest; so that the voters can have more time to come to know where the (Democratic) candidates’ stand on the issues; or become more familiar with the issues; or once they get to know us all over again, they’ll come to like us all over again; the last election is not a trend, it was a fluke, or… Oh, Mahoney. Err, I meant “baloney”? (No I didn’t.)
Let’s face it! In the last gubernatorial election, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was a bright, well-intentioned, well-meaning, likeable-enough candidate for governor who didn’t have a clue. She ran a fiasco of a campaign that had no direction, no theme, no message and no sense, except to toss out those famous Maryland Kennedy Democrat tennis shoes and expect the Maryland voters to do their lemming routine.
Come a little closer. I want to whisper to you a little secret. There really is an 800-pound gorilla in the room. It wasn’t her fault. She was just a manifestation of the majority party taking on water, and now the iceberg is chasing it. The election of 2002 was just a crack in the ship’s hull. The USS Maryland Democrat Titanic is taking on water and this bling - bling iceberg thing named “Bob-bing” certainly isn’t going away. Other than rhetoric, obstructionism and unpleasantness, the Maryland Democratic Party has no plan, no theme, no message and no sense of bearing anymore.
Now, let’s go back to that House Bill. It read: “AN ACT to add new section 4A-2(c-1) to Article 33 … title “Election Code”, … to repeal and re-enact, with amendments, Section 5-2(a) of the same article, …” “Section 5-2(a) The primary elections by the political parties FOR CANDIDATES FOR STATE OFFICES AND STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE; shall be held throughout this state on the [second Tuesday after the first Monday in September], SECOND TUESDAY AFTER THE FIRST MONDAY IN JUNE.”
Was this House Bill 5; introduced in the 2005 Maryland General Assembly Session?
Try Chapter 560 (House Bill 11), introduced in the 1969 Maryland General Assembly and approved on May 14th, 1969.
It’s déjà vu all over again. Meanwhile, back to the future, Senate Amendment No. 2 to House Bill 5, offered on: April 9, 2005, at: 7:21 p.m., in the waning moments of the 2005 Maryland General Assembly read: “8-201(2) A primary election shall be held: (i) in the year in which the Governor is elected, on the [second Tuesday after the first Monday in September] THIRD TUESDAY IN JUNE; …”
House Bill 5 (and Senate Bill 287), sponsored by no less that 66 of the 141 delegates, was approved by both houses; but the “Voters Rights Protection Act of 2005” died when the conflicting versions failed to be reconciled. Apparently, it will live to see another day, if the leadership of the bright lights of Democratic Party has its way.
So, what was going on in 1969 that is causing us to relive another dark moment in partisan power politics (read: desperate measures) on the part of the Maryland Democratic Party? (And why is history repeating itself?) House Bill 11 was pre-filed with all the intentions of changing the 1970 primary to the spring, but before it passed the 1969 Maryland General Assembly, the primary date was amended back to September. Why?
Well, a strange thing happened on the way to the State House in a Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly on January 6th, 1969. The thirty-ninth Vice President of the United States, that’s why.
And that is where we will pick up the saga of the USS Maryland Democratic Titanic in Part 2 tomorrow.
Moving the primary date to the spring is like that homeless New York City garbage barge a number of years ago. What a strange trip it’s been. And, if you can believe it – there’s more.
In Part Two we’ll talk more about what a disaster the election of 1966 was for the Maryland Dixiecrat Party (err, I mean the Maryland Democrat Party); and how, if the Democratic Bright Lights have their way, it will illuminate the way to a GOP win-win situation. A little sunshine can really sanitize things.
Let the sun shine in.
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org