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March 8, 2013

Control Room to State House?

Roy Meachum

More than several letters-to-editor to the local papers glowingly supported the Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young’s quest for Maryland governor. He’s parlayed a WFMD radio host into a political career.


Blaine imbibed running for office together with mother’s milk; his father, now state Sen. Ron Young, occupied Frederick mayor’s desk longer than anyone in modern times. I met the commissioners’ chief when he was barely a teen-ager, and like his dad, a Democrat; then came his parents’ divorce. He was an idolater of county political boss, Dr. James E. McClellan; named his elder son after “Doc.”


In a November 27, 2012, column, I was wrong. I urged Blaine to run for county executive, not realizing the newly approved charter that created the position forbade him from owning any company coming under local jurisdiction. He has a piece of Frederick Yellow Cab. The rules for being governor are different.


My greatest fear, as I expressed, was the man wouldn’t get elected.


We have opposite political opinions; his view favors getting elected in the county, where most voters registered are Republicans. On the state level, Maryland is known widely as a Democratic suzerainty. There is a substantial number who calls themselves Independents. Generally, in elections, they reflect the majority – whatever the issue.


The rare GOP member elected to the State House has come because of a Democratic split. Bob Ehrlich was the last Republican governor because Baltimore’s Don Schaefer and state Senate president Mike Miller didn’t trust Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, whose picture is displayed over my stairs; together with Ellen Sauerbrey, whom I preferred over Democrat Parris Glendening, in 1994.


That bodes ill for the man whom I consider like a son.


Commissioner Billy Shreve and he have made a pact, I’ve heard, consigning Mr. Shreve to the county executive. Blaine’s choice is only to re-election to a board that’s gutted of all authority. And he’s publically stated he won’t do that.


Regarding the GOP nomination next year, the current commissioners’ president faces stiff competition in Larry Hogan, Jr., who is another political legacy; his father was a Prince George’s County executive and a congressman. Doing real estate business in Annapolis, he represents the eastern branch of the party, which has more finances and power.


When I moved to Frederick, in 1983, Mayor Ron Young ran everything in the city; he talked of a state office, preferably lieutenant governor in tandem with Baltimore’s Don Schaefer who lived in State House for two terms. The call never came. Ron wound up moving City Hall from the old Opera House to a building erected for a county courthouse, as the Civil War raged.


At least the son is making the bold attempt at 43, which he will be in 2014.


On the other hand, the father became Frederick’s youngest mayor when he was 34; elected alderman at 30. He established the Young political dynasty. Son Brad Young successfully contended for the Board of Education in 2010. City aldermanic President Pro Tem Karen Lewis Young, now Ron’s wife, is a mayoral candidate this September.


At any rate, 2010 was a banner year for Republicans; they won all county offices; unfortunately, the census conducted resulted in rearranging of the congressional districts, including the Sixth. Roscoe Bartlett lost in 2012, taking all strength for appointments with him. I’ve several times written columns on the GOP diminishment, as shown in November national election. Bad news for Blaine Young!


Personally I wish him well. It looks like his future domain will be the WFMD Radio control room.


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