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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

September 17, 2018

The Apple Ballot Blues

Jason Miller

It's that time of year again, fellow citizens. The time of year when local Republican candidates, and local Republican leadership, issue gripes and complaints about the Frederick County Teachers Association’s Apple Ballot, those candidates recommended by that group in an effort to garner your vote.


In recent history, the race for Board of Education (BOE) in Frederick County has taken a back seat within Republican Leadership circles. Yet still, these same Republican pundits bemoan the spending habits of the BOE, and the progressive rubber stamp board that pushes its partisan agenda of liberal at every turn.


Unlike Republicans, Democrats find, recruit, successfully fund, and support their progressive candidates for the BOE. Democrats do it with the precision of a Swiss watch.


Democrats understand that the BOE race is nonpartisan in name only. The Apple Ballot has crushed many a conservative candidate for BOE with its reach to over 100,000 local voters.


Democrat candidates for the Board of Education are aided by their cash flush union allies during every election cycle. A nonpartisan endorsement from an extremely partisan union is the Midas touch for progressive candidates. The efforts behind the Apple Ballot historically benefit Democrats unable to reach the thousands of voters that Apple Ballot mailers reach easily.


Some progressive pundits went into overdrive this past week as the teachers union endorsed Democrat Karl Bickel for Frederick County sheriff. Never before has the FCTA endorsed a candidate for sheriff – until now.


Is there any surprise that the Apple Ballot would branch out and back a progressive for Sheriff? Nope.


Anyone who gives their brain half a chance can see the benefits of an endorsement like this for Mr. Bickel. Maybe this will be the wakeup call that local GOP leaders need to start taking the Apple Ballot seriously from here on. There may be some serious political maneuvering afoot.


The timing of a recent attack memo by the Maryland Public Defenders Office under Paul DeWolfe aimed at our current Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, plus Bickel's Apple endorsement, is suspicious. Isn't it just conveniently timed that questions were raised by Mr. DeWolfe on how youth offenders are treated in Frederick County's own detention center which was followed closely with an Apple Ballot endorsement of Sheriff Jenkins’ opponent?


Perhaps the progressive FCTA leadership team needed a justified reason for an endorsement of Mr. Bickel. Several FCPS teachers stood against the sheriff's participation in the federal government’s 287-g program immigration in a public hearing.


The odds are that Mr. Bickel should lose again for the same reasons he lost when he faced Sheriff Jenkins in the previous election. The FCTA endorsement could be new political life for Mr. Bickel.


The Apple Ballot has been the local Democrat's most effective Republican vanquishing tool during every election cycle. The union’s endorsement seems to be made of some kind of Conservative Kryptonite that casts a spell of ineptitude on the Frederick County Republican Central Committee (FCRCC), and the several GOP related clubs when they attempt to deal with the Apple Ballot’s aftermath.


Any candidate on the current Apple Ballot is nothing more than a progressive teachers’ pet. Each name has been bought and paid for by the teachers union, or the candidate has paid to play with their pledged support of progressive education causes. It just goes to show that every bushel of Apples has at least a worm or five.


Frederick County conservatives will dance a jig when local Republican leaders and activists stop complaining and insulting the Apple Ballot and actually start doing something meaningful to challenge it.


The madness of ignoring – and yet not ignoring – the Apple Ballot needs to stop. It is leading the Frederick County GOP in circles and giving conservatives the Apple Ballot Blues.


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