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As Long as We Remember...

October 11, 2012

Above The Law?

Zachary Peters

Former state senator and current chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, Alex Mooney, has some explaining to do regarding an ethics investigation into his involvement in Congressman Roscoe Bartlett’s campaign.


This should come as no surprise to anyone who has any knowledge of Mr. Mooney. From the start, it’s been his belief that he is the heir apparent to Representative Bartlett’s congressional seat. When he realized there was no chance for him to win in an eight candidate Republican primary this year, he quickly withdrew his candidacy and tucked the money he raised away for a future campaign, all the while acting as chairmanship of the Maryland GOP.


After losing his conservative seat in the Maryland Senate to Democrat Ron Young, a loss in a congressional primary would certainly be the nail in his more than halfway closed coffin.


During his mediocre leadership of the state party, he’s also been working for (not volunteering for) Congressman Bartlett’s office and campaign. Shouldn’t the chairman of the party be more focused on all of the Republican candidates throughout the state, rather than just one? It makes sense as I know that most county central committee members, especially during primaries, are very serious about supporting all candidates rather than their favorites, regardless of personal preference.


The latest ethics complaint against Mr. Mooney (there have been a few) is in regard to his newest position in “Community Outreach” with the Bartlett campaign.


While attempting to manage the Maryland GOP in a heated election season with many conservative candidates fighting to defeat liberal incumbents in our heavily Democratic state, Mr. Mooney has also taken a paid job working for Mr. Bartlett. How convenient. Keep in mind that Mr. Mooney left his job as executive director of the National Journalism Center for this position in Congressman Bartlett’s office. Why would he do that?


But you shouldn’t worry about it since Mr. Mooney himself certainly is not. He said in an interview with The Gazette: “The ethics law doesn’t apply to me because I have a lower-level job,” he said.


So, apparently if you work for a candidate, make less than $90,000, the ethics rules do not apply to you. Interesting!


On paper, Mr. Mooney makes $3,000 a month from the Bartlett campaign, yet claims to only make $2,000. Something doesn’t add up here.


If you are going to take the responsibility of being the head of a political party for a state, Republican or Democrat, it’s only fair to put your own agenda and future political goals aside and devote your efforts into your party’s cause and your party’s goals. Nothing more, nothing less.


If Chairman Mooney was not so worried about securing himself a future congressional seat, maybe candidates like Dan Bongino, Ken Timmerman, Nancy Jacobs, or Frank Mirabile would have better chances at unseating their liberal incumbent opponents.


I’m no Democrat, but I find it difficult to get behind my state GOP as a whole when these shenanigans are going on behind the scenes. Put your own agenda aside, at least until after the election, and do your job.


Unlike previous Maryland GOP Chairman Audrey Scott, I value principles over party. I’m beginning to see a trend in the state party leadership….



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