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As Long as We Remember...

December 11, 2007

Democrats Divide Again

Roy Meachum

Comedian and cowboy Will Rodgers coined one of my favorite sayings: "I belong to no organized political party: I'm a Democrat."

That particular definition applies very much to the Frederick County branch, still reeling from its loss of total power, as my recent column said (Another Political Cabal: November 20).

Jennifer Dougherty seems intent on further disorganizing the party. What I did not recognize in the earlier piece was how little Democratic help she really has.

Everybody who's anybody acknowledged the terrific campaign Andrew Duck ran the last election by giving him their endorsement shortly after the ballots were counted.

In those ranks stand such past Dougherty stalwarts as Commissioner President Jan Gardner, Delegate Sue Hecht and both female aldermen. When asked by a reporter, Marcia Hall and Donna Kuzemchak affirmed they could not back their former City Hall colleague.

Among the ex-mayor's non-supporters we must count the majority of party members who turned her out in the Democratic primary. That earned her the dubious honor of becoming first City Hall incumbent to be knocked out that early.

She had been equally unsuccessful when earlier she had run for the mayor's office and a place on the county commission. She had been a total loser until Jim Grimes was rewarded by being sent into retirement. That's what his 2002 campaign was really all about.

From day-to-day, until after Labor Day that year, nobody knew whether he would seriously seek another term. He didn't. Ms. Dougherty triumphed by default. Yet she ruled Frederick as though by divine decree.

Her boasted experience over those four years was chiefly devoted to firing people who disagreed with her, storming and reaming employees who stuck it out and baiting aldermen who showed the slightest sign of independence.

I was wrong, in the November column, when I postulated she might have been assigned to take on Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. I was seriously wrong when I assumed anybody thought seriously she could win anything. She can't.

The Sixth District encompasses much more than Frederick; it comes out of the west and extends to the door steps of Cecil County, sharing with other districts along the way. She remains largely unknown outside this county, except for media reports that consistently have cast her in an unfavorable light.

Whatever money spent on the ex-mayor's latest political charade helps ensure Dr. Bartlett another term. Campaign tactics against fellow Democrats profit the GOP by weakening their opponents in future elections.

In other circumstances, Republicans and independents might have a good chuckle at the sorry spectacle presented by Jennifer Dougherty and her family. Democrats and people who care deeply about the community are not amused.

Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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