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November 28, 2008

County Democratic Party's Castration--Part II

Roy Meachum

A vacuum resulted from the political retirement of the most powerful Good Ol' Boys. Rushing in to fill the space was a female cabal led by Del. Sue Hecht. When did I first discover that reality?


In 2002, with Jennifer Dougherty's election to City Hall the year before, Ms. Hecht and others involved must have felt they were on a roll. That year the delegate was challenging State Sen. Alex Mooney. She received substantial help from Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, who designated an aide to work with her – and gave tons of money: in the hundreds of thousands. How much exactly? I was told two figures and don't know which is right.


Among the Good Ol' Girls, the Senate president’s funding was taken as a blessing on high. Taken for a sign Ms. Hecht had reached the upper heights on the Maryland political scene. No one bothered to consider the truth: Mr. Miller wanted Mr. Mooney out of his hair.


As a freshman senator, the Frederick County legislator had bedeviled Senator Miller to no end. Furthermore, the Republican called into play national fund sources; he used their money to support his party all over the state.


Local Democratic women thought they – especially Ms. Hecht – had arrived. They encouraged other female party members to get in on the rising tide. They were so certain that summer they crowded a table at Lynnfield Events Center for a rally staged by Walter Mills, WFMD's demon barber.


Mr. Mills organized property owners into Defenders of Citizens Rights; everybody with a nose in county politics was invited. I was there to observe a sight I never expected to see – not in Frederick County. Nor anywhere in the nation except possibly San Francisco. A group of ladies clustered around a table oblivious to any possible interpretation. They lacked a sign saying "Men Stay Away." It was not needed.


A few weeks later, at a Brunswick parade, an event that virtually demands local candidates march along, Delegate Hecht brought new Mayor Dougherty. They were both soundly booed, and for some time. I never heard how the pair interpreted the raspberries. I can guess that the crowd was dismissed as no better than anyone expected in the former railroad town.


Of course, Alex Mooney won, but Maryland Democrats took care of their own, so to speak. Ms. Hecht was appointed to the largely ceremonial job of vice-chairperson of the state party. She reclaimed her former position at Heartly House. When the emphasis was on political ambition, a man was found to replace her. After her 2002 defeat, he quietly disappeared into dust.


After elected to her former delegate's slot in 2006, she took the experience and contacts made throughout the Sixth Congressional District to boost Ms. Dougherty's challenge of Roscoe Bartlett. Despite the heavy official endorsements he received – including that of Delegate Hecht – Andrew Duck went down in flames during the primaries earlier this year. Since it was a primary, independents and Republicans couldn't vote. Looking at the results, it is possible to project that all active party members selected the ex-mayor this spring.


In November's general elections, Ms. Hecht could rally only super loyal party members. Given a chance to weigh in on Ms. Dougherty, independents and Republicans, joined by some Democrats, gave Dr. Bartlett the same overwhelming majority he received against Mr. Duck in the previous election.


Ours has always been a contentious mess. Again Will Rogers famous quote: "I belong to no organized political party – I am a Democrat."


The fatal flaw built into Delegate Hecht's approach and strategy may be simply put: she and her crew are attempting to instill organization in their fellow Democrats. It will not work. The quick-growth spurt among those who register as independents testifies of general disenchantment with both parties.


As education spreads among the American people, we are less inclined to go along, letting someone else speak for us. Look at the last three presidential elections. While Democrats control more states than Republicans, the GOP edged close enough, in 2000, to make a controversial ending. By and large, George W. Bush's legions that rallied to keep him another four years in the White House turned against him this November.


Sue Hecht and her female cronies fail to recognize the omens she encountered in 2002. There's talk now County Commissioners President Jan Gardner is listening to the same sirens' song that lured the delegate to take on Senator Mooney. Against the popular Ms. Gardner, he'll win again. That's said with no cheering on my part. While I like his family, the state senator leads the opposition to everything I believe America stands for. Most of all, free speech.


The genuine enemy county Democrats deal with is the lack of qualified males who have not been castrated by the rush of women who have virtually taken over their party.


What a pity!


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