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August 10, 2010

No Class Political Acts

Roy Meachum

As my fellow Democrats can attest: Partisanship is not a big thing with me.


Over nearly 26 years of writing columns on Frederick, I have verifiably written more favorable words for Republicans than what Will Rogers referred to in his saying: “I belong to no organized political party; I’m a Democrat.”


As county commissioner and Annapolis delegate, Anita Stup flew her GOP broom triumphantly – with all my hot air helping hold her up. When New Market’s David Brinkley draped his Frederick district’s state senate seat in Republican red, I cheered. Although late Democrat Charles H. Smelser still ranks high on my favorite politicians’ list, I soon became an enthusiastic booster for David Brinkley and remain in the ranks supporting him.


On the other hand I was fascinated by Alex Mooney when Ms. Stup brought him along to my traditional New Year’s Eve party; before “my littlest Fascist” – as I used to call him – completed his first legislative session, she and I detested what he had become.


In essence, my late friend Vince Mooney’s boy has prostituted his senatorial power to a national radical movement; his day job’s pay is provided by a not-for-profit organization dedicated to turning voters into zombies for their cause. The group bragged about journalists whom they programmed to speak only as the movement spoke – not the truth they observed in work.


Sometimes referred to here as Katzenjammer Kid, the state senator has earned gross disrespect from leaders in Annapolis, which he kisses off by dismissing them as Democrats, with all the disgust he packs into that word. The hectoring line doesn’t play with fellow Senator Brinkley.


A Republican official in overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland can sweat a very frustrating hard-row-to-hoe. In the best interest of Frederick County, the man from New Market practices patience and politeness. These qualities, supplemented by others, are the very reason why Gov. Martin O’Malley called David when presented with different recommendations from Washington and Frederick Republican Central Committees for a delegate seat not in his district.


As you know, Mr. O’Malley leads the state Democratic Party but the replacement for elected Del. Rick Weldon had to be from the GOP; that’s how the system works.


Mr. Mooney proved his great muscle by getting the people in Frederick to anoint Michael Hough; the senator knew he could count on his long-time employee – and protégé – to goosestep at his orders. Charles Jenkins was another matter entirely. His local public service record was long and capped by his election to the Frederick Board of County Commissioners; he’s generally a great guy. That why the Washington Republican Central Committee passed his name along.


In any event, David Brinkley gleefully recounted the conversation that ensued when the governor called for his view on the two nominees. His story Saturday carried no negative references to Mr. Hough, but he relished telling how he praised Charles Jenkins up to the skies. Then he introduced Sheriff Chuck Jenkins to the partisan GOP crowd gathered to show support for Delegate Jenkins. (The two Charles A. Jenkins are in no way related, as they laughingly told the crowd; they agreed between themselves how each would be addressed. It works.)


The former Republican Central Committee president, Sheriff Jenkins joined Senator Brinkley in pledging to work hard to keep the appointed delegate in the state capital. Their enthusiastic strong endorsements were very impressive to my aging journalist eyes.


The no-class referred to the column’s head was how Senator Mooney and protégé Hough had littered the road to the farm that Michael Parrote loaned for the party. The strung-out display was in bad taste, at least; it could be taken as desperation from Charles Jenkins’ opposition, recognizing that the incumbent delegate had triumphed earlier.


Whatever. The Ehrlich-Mooney-Hough placards would have been better replaced by cow manure; at least it would help grass grow greener.




I misread Marge Neal’s Frederick News-Post story about Board of Education candidates engaged in what the paper called a feud. My esteemed colleague Adam Avery took the effort to point out racist words were wrongly attributed to one of the contest’s African American candidate. publisher and editor learned several years ago I sometimes get things wrong; John Ashbury earned his editorial spurs on Baltimore’s Evening Sun. It turns out both seasoned journalists read respected reporter Neal’s writing wrong. We regret the two-of-the-bod’ of us.


On the other hand, I remain firm in my final judgment: in taking their personal spitting contest public neither deserves serious consideration for running Frederick County Public Schools as an elected Board of Education member.


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