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As Long as We Remember...

March 26, 2014

Be Aware of Frederick’s Charter Election Slate

Patrick W. Allen

Political election slates are not new, but they are an interesting technique to combine weak candidates together to benefit the electability of the group.


History is repeating itself insofar as the 2014 Frederick Charter Government election mimics the same slate strategy employed by Republicans during the 2010 Board of County Commissioners election cycle.


If the Republican strategy is to put the same people in office for Charter Government, who have held office in commissioner government…then why did Frederick County vote to adopt a new government?


A new government should be governed by new governors…period. The era of Frederick family dynasties and retread politicians should be put behind us.


It’s been commented many times that Frederick County is the laughing-stock of Maryland. And for good reason. Have you been to a Board of County Commissioners’ or Planning Commission meeting recently? It’s like going to see Ringling Bros. without the popcorn (food, beverages and applause for cogent public speakers is not allowed).




Why Are Election Slates Created? Whether you study political science or the science of politics, election slates have always been used to reach disparate constituencies to ensure that the weakness of one candidate on the slate is propped up by the real or perceived strength of one or more candidates on the slate…resulting in the entire slate being successfully elected to office…hence the current voting block on Frederick County’s Board of County Commissioners with Blaine Young, Kirby Delauter and Billy Shreve.


Well, they’re doing it again. This time, Democrat-turned-Republican Mr. Young is running for Charter Government’s county executive; Mr. Shreve is running for a Charter Government county council At-Large seat; and Mr. Delauter is running for a Charter Government council seat from District 5 (northern Frederick County, Thurmont area).


While opponents keep reminding us that these guys said they were “one term” public officials, the opponents are not factoring in that Mr. Young, Mr. Delauter and Mr. Shreve were only talking about the Board of County Commissioners. Charter government is a whole new ball of wax, so all bets are off and self-imposed term limits do not apply.


Mr. Delauter and Mr. Shreve, who stand no chance of getting elected on their own, are taking advantage of Mr. Young’s Blaine For Governor (or whatever it’s called these days) war chest to fund Blaine Young for County Executive campaign events…inviting Mr. Delauter and Mr. Shreve as “special guests,” who will present their vision for Frederick County to the masses that show up for free drinks, free food and free entertainment provided by one of Mr. Young’s campaign co-chairs.


See how easy that works? Right in front of you…abracadabra…and you never saw it coming.


It is important to note that not enough Frederick County Republicans support all three candidates on this slate. But, enough Frederick County Republicans support one or more candidates on this slate to aggregate a winning election night vote total for the three.


The best way to describe a three-person political slate is by example.


So, using the example of the Three Stooges:

·       A percentage of movie goers like Larry the best and the other two, not so much.

·       Another percentage of movie goers like Mo the best, but tolerate the other two.

·       The final percentage of movie goers like Curly and just a little bit of Larry and Mo.


Well, there you go. That’s why movie goers bought tickets to see the Three Stooges, and that’s why they’ll turn out in November to vote for the Blaine-slate. The right-wing voters get the one they like the most, and the other two are just collateral baggage along for the ride…and a rubber-stamp vote on county business.


This is a good example of demonstrating the psychology of so many Frederick County right-wing voters…sheeple constituents who blindly and gladly provide campaign money, in varying degrees to each candidate, in order to ensure the election of their favorite as well as the political election slate.


Three Is Not Enough. Working on their political calculus and expectation of victory in November, 2014, the Blaine Slate is still two persons short of repeating a voting bloc majority in the new Charter Government which they currently enjoy as members of the Board of County Commissioners.


The slate will need the executive position as well as at least four County Council seats to block any opposition to their business as usual, or business as we decide approach to governance.


The rest of the “our way or the highway” team can easily be filled out with Republican and Democratic candidates running for County Council District and At-Large seats…Harold “Bud” Otis, Dwaine Robbins, Wayne Creadick, Jonathon Pocius, Tony Chmelik or Fred Ugast. A small group to pick from, but Mr. Young only needs two more guaranteed votes on his election slate team…and several of these have already publicly endorsed Mr. Young’s campaign.


The rest of the Republicans running for council seats do not have the money, name recognition or street cred to make it past the primary in June.


Two candidates in the aforementioned list deserve additional comment.


Harold “Bud” Otis, former chief of staff for Congressman Roscoe Bartlett and recently resigned Board of County Commissioners appointed chairperson of Frederick County’s Ethics Commission, appears to have taken a $25 exit from his sworn ethics oversight responsibilities to file as an At-Large candidate and is simply running to maintain his “I’m With Blaine” credentials. His chances of garnering more than a few hundred votes are slim.


Dwaine Robbins, a registered Democrat, is another interesting candidate. It’s not unusual in Frederick County for Democrats to jump ship and join the Republicans…look what Blaine Young did as the former chairperson of the Frederick County Democratic Central Committee before looking for greener and more profitable grass on the Republican side of the aisle. Mr. Robbins may very well be another Blaine Young.


Now, for the Democrats who want to get up in the bridle over calling out one of their own, if your former Central Committee chairperson (Blaine Young) can jump ship for more politically profitable opportunities as a Republican, then don’t be surprised to find another one in your midst.



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