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November 11, 2011

Flood Petering Out

Roy Meachum

As noted before, the present political mood is “Throw the bums out.” Next-door Virginia epitomizes the national trend. Reacting to Democrat Barack Obama’s 2008 moving into the White House, in the three votings since his inauguration, the Old Dominion elected Republicans to all the top state jobs: governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, in 2009.


The 2010 results gave the GOP two-thirds of the House of Delegates, which enabled the party to carve congressional districts to its great advantage. In Maryland, the long-invested Democrats did what they have “always” done. Yet there is a heartening message Tuesday for the state Republicans and especially in the Sixth District, which includes Frederick.


Expecting to gain absolute control of Virginia’s Senate, GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell faltered Tuesday; it looks like the outcome will wind up in parity for both parties — which may affect Mr. McDonnell’s hope for the number two slot on a Mitt Romney ticket. By the way, the four women charging sexual harassment by presidential candidate Herman Cain caused a dent in his polled approval rating. Gallup reported he declined from 34 percent to 25 percent, as of Monday.


Tuesday’s column on the referendum for the “killer” abortion measure in Mississippi, sponsored by most state Republicans, fell short. Among the leaders to turn back the bill was the very popular – and soon to become ex-governor – Haley Barbour, who expressed doubts about its constitutionality. And I made a mistake in the piece: it had no Roman Catholic diocesan support. While the Vatican endorses most anti-abortion legislation, Mississippi’s extremism went too far for the men on Rome’s Tiber River.


Around the country, incumbents kept their offices, including the Democratic mayors in Baltimore and Philadelphia and their Republican counterpart in Indianapolis. Democrat Steve Beshear had the Kentucky governor’s office key in his pocket Wednesday morning. But this summer’s Brown University graduate Alex Morse came out with more ballots than 67-year-old Elaine Puta, who spent 14 years on the City Council before reaching for Holyoke’s top job. At least the “throw the bums out” still was in effect in that Massachusetts’ city. But elsewhere, the flood seemed to be slowing down. Voters no longer looked for party labels before they pulled the levers.


Certainly, there could be different faces in Frederick offices in 2013, depending on how far the surge has reached, especially in the county Board of Commissioners’. But maybe the non-partisan wave of judging candidates on their own merits has not reached East Church Street’s Winchester Hall yet; it may have stopped short of Thurmont, Walkersville, Brunswick, Middletown, etc.


We’ll see next year, especially with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett.


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