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October 20, 2010

Do or Die, Stay with Kai

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – Why haven’t I sold my house in Middletown since I now live on Malaysian Borneo? The answer lies in the fact that I want to return to Frederick County at some point with my wife and son.


When that will be I am not sure. I learned just recently not to make many plans. I have a son on the way despite a vasectomy.


My feelings were reinforced during my recent visit. I visited Middletown and showed my wife Frederick County. She loved the place in autumn, the best time of year, but I have to bring her back in February at some point, the time of the deep snows.


We met old friends who welcomed her into their homes and hearts. You know the ones, where you sit down and pick up a conversation as if you had never left, sharing stories, getting updates on the children and eating a grand meatloaf dinner. And including her, listening and more importantly understanding her life here in Borneo.


I never really thought of myself as a conservative. I think conservative means to conserve or keep things the way they are. When it comes to Frederick County I am a conservative. I want the rolling hills, farms, less congestion and bucolic way of life. That’s what I want to come back to.


This time of year, if I lived back in Frederick, I would be campaigning for the Democrats. Now, I watch the debates over the Internet and on Facebook. The Republicans seem very angry, uncivil and rude. They seem to want to take a sledge hammer to their opponents and don’t want to debate the issues according to Roberts’ Rules of Order – or any other civil code.


Frankly, they and their supporters scare me. If they are elected to the Frederick Board of County Commissioners, I perceive, they will stomp all over the county implementing their agenda. The idea of a civil discourse and debate seems foreign to them. If elected, I fear they would run roughshod, casting aside the wishes of the people.


They say you can’t fight fire with love, only with fire, and my torch is Kai Hagen. Let’s take a real hard look at what he stands for.


A Balanced Budget: Everybody stands for that, like mom and apple pie. The only problem is the recipe on how to make the scales swing to zero. The Republicans seem to think we can build our way to this end. But if we keep building, we lose the quality of life that attracts people here in the first place. Kai Hagen ensures we will continue to have that quality of life without sacrificing a balanced budget.


Excellence in Education: That’s another apple pie issue. An uneducated population means drugs and crime because without excellent schools the graduates cannot get jobs.


Smart Growth: Planned communities arranged in clusters, ecologically friendly, schools nearby and attached to existing traffic patterns. This is development with the land and the current population as the priority and not townhouses and tract housing marching across a farmer’s field.


Anti Developers: Most developers are like the bankers who brought America to its knees and caused the massive unemployment we face today. They want to build and build for maximization of profit – their profit. And the cheapest and most profitable way is to string houses and condos in lines on fields. They don’t care about the people, the land or even the houses they build. Smart growth and planned communities are a threat to them, an alien concept, because it may cut into their profits.


I don’t begrudge any man for making a profit for his work and labor. I don’t see any problems with investors earning a reasonable return on their investment. But the operative term here is reasonable. Just like the bankers who almost ruined America economically because of unmitigated greed, most developers will ruin Frederick County. It’s a way of life, the ground water and the education system. They back unscrupulous Republican candidates who, if elected, will do their bidding.


I know Kai Hagen will stand up to these villains and their operatives. He will make sure I will return to a Frederick County that preserves the quality of life that will nourish artists, educate children, provide a respite for commuters and, since I will soon be one, sooner than I think, a haven for those walking closer the end of their journey.


. . . . . . Life is good. . . . .


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