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As Long as We Remember...

March 13, 2014

Outrageous Central Committee Proposal

Chris Cavey

About a week ago, the Republican members of the Harford County Delegation proved they have been in Annapolis too long and they are infected with the fever of big government and single party control. They submitted a bill (HB1513) which would allow that specific delegation members would have certain powers over political offices elected by the public.


This emergency bill would make each member of that delegation members of the Harford County Republican Central Committee under specific circumstances – like replacing the current members, which the registered Republican voters of Harford County elected! Quite a bold act and done presumably to keep those who disagree with them from that committee.


They are in need of an exorcism. This smells of what the Democrats try each decade during redistricting. It is a group, serving in power, specifically changing the law to suit their needs without regard to the thoughts, or prior ballots cast, of the GOP primary voter in Harford County.


Trust me; I understand their fear, membership in a county Republican Central Committee is like being from the political island of misfit toys. Some of us are a little strange and outsiders don't always feel as if we have all our pieces or parts but typically when Election Day comes it is always a different story.


Over the past 20 years, I have spent all but four as a member of a central committee, including seven of those years as a county chairman and four years as a state party officer. I understand, more than most, that committee members are opinionated and sometimes belligerent. Most meetings are like herding cats in heat, but members are typically very devoted and work tirelessly for GOP candidates and our beloved party.


County committees have over the years manned phone banks for hundreds of hours and posted thousands of signs. They have worked fairs, festivals, nights and weekends promoting both the party and GOP candidates. These same people have suffered through dinners, club meetings, monthly committee meetings and long boring state conventions – all without a single hour of payment. However, there are several elected officials who owe their seat in the legislature due to the diligence of a central committee.


The Harford County delegation is made up of experienced incumbent legislators who undoubtedly have higher name recognition and greater individual war chests than all the Harford County Central Committee candidates combined. I would hope those incumbent delegates could influence the outcome of a mere central committee race the old fashion way – by slating up with their favorites and pushing them to victory – rather than then legislating themselves into positions of power.


Due to the fact this is "inside baseball," the public has not picked up on the outrage of those who understand. What is really happening is this: legislation has been proposed that would allow a small band of public officials to "fire" party officials the GOP voter elected on the Primary Election ballot. If this bill is passed, these legislators will in effect be saying to all Harford County Republicans – “You didn't vote for the right folks – we know better and will replace them for you."


Perhaps this obtuse thinking is just a knee-jerk reaction to deeper issues in Harford County. Regardless, I hope this is one Republican bill which dies a quiet death in committee.


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