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Advertise on the Tentacle

July 9, 2010

“Real” Candidates

Roy Meachum

Editor and Publisher John Ashbury attached to Fridays’ the list of filed candidates for state and county races, since before most of us felt a political urge, one way or another.


The key to the opening paragraph is “filed.”


“Tout le monde en parle” is a charming phrase that means “all the world is talking about it.” That’s French also for “everybody knows,” which applies to celebrities who already announced – but not sent in the papers to make their candidacy official. Blaine Young departed his widely talked-about WFMD radio show but not before “tout le monde” knew the reason.


Republican hopeful Robert Ehrlich was not on last Saturday’s WBAL talk program; Clarence Mitchell IV was. He’s running again to become governor of Maryland. Once filed the Federal Communications Commission ruled no political wannabe can use the publically owned airwaves free of charge. Paid commercials, on the national level, project the image of big businesses paying to get officials of their choice.


Locally state Sen. Alex Mooney goes into his re-election campaign loaded with “foreign” rightwing cash. “Tout le monde” has discussed for years how he’s gathering money from contributors outside the county, which makes them foreign. And in a big way.


Nobody will outspend the now-settled husband and father whom I once dubbed “my littlest Fascist.” Not even Frederick’s longtime mayor, Democrat Ron Young, who looks poised to capture his party’s nomination in the primary contested chiefly by Don DeArmon who’s run several times for office, including the state senate. And lost them all.


When Senator Mooney first went to Annapolis, nearly 12 years ago, this column dubbed him “a Katzenjammer Kid” for all the juvenile tricks played on senior members of the General Assembly. The other “Kid” was Joseph Bartlett, who announced right before the deadline that he would not vie a fifth time for his delegate’s desk. He registered for re-election on June 1.


Street talk has it that the congressman’s son is not running because of a sit-down with his parents. I’ve heard his mother particularly wanted him to depart the political scene. At one time his family encouraged his aspirations to succeed father Roscoe Bartlett, who has been in Congress since January 1993. The story that dates back to his ill-fated marriage was that he never cared for politics but his wife was very enthusiastic for la vie politique – political life – to keep the column’s French flavor.


There are lots of people who hone to jump into his 4A seat, including GOP’s Kathy Afzali, who’s been in the hunt since March. Filing after Joe Bartlett’s intentions reached the street are fellow Republicans and political veterans Dino Flores and John “Lennie” Thompson.


Mr. Thompson left the Board of County Commissioners after four terms; he’s rumored to be in the race because primarily he wants the health insurance that goes with the job. He was nearly dumped in 2006. The county Republican Committee’s chair Kelly Schulz decided to twin her chairmanship of Frederick’s Ehrlich for Governor with a run of her own for District 4A. She’s a nice, bright lady.


As for the other incumbent, we met when Paul Stull was still running the vocational school in the county system; he wants to hang on for four more years. The very nice guy should make it.


In another column, we will explore the wannabe list for county commissioner, which includes David Gray who romped through elections four years ago, gathering the most votes of the majority party. But his prospect this November does not appear bright, maybe even grim.


’Til then: Abientot, mes ches amis!


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