Monday, December 5, 2011

RECALL BLAINE YOUNG: Frederick Residents Seek Recall Rights // Backlash Against County's Tea Party Government

UPDATE: The News Post has issued an editorial endorsing recall rights in Frederick County: 
At a recent public meeting, some county residents requested that the state delegation help them in their wish to recall some or all of the current members of the Board of County Commissioners.

Sen. David Brinkley suggested that it might not be the best method for unhappy voters to deal with local government. He also hinted that getting traction in Annapolis for recall legislation would be difficult because of the state's traditional resistance to it.

Despite that, we urge the local delegation to craft a recall bill and introduce it in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Maryland voters deserve the right to mount a petition to recall their elected officials. It should be a rigorous process, one that is not subject to frivolous or narrow concerns, purely political motivations, or to a small number of disgruntled residents....

And despite the fact that Brinkley may be right about the fate of such legislation, our local delegation should stand up for its constituents' rights and initiate this important discussion in the State House.

The Frederick News Post is reporting that Frederick County residents are petitioning the Maryland legislature to grant voters recall powers:
Some Frederick County residents want the power to recall their elected leaders, and on Saturday, they asked state lawmakers to help them get it.

Legislation that would arm voters with the option to remove officials midterm could make them feel less helpless between elections, said advocates of the measure. A few said they would be interested in ousting some sitting commissioners.

"How soon can you get that recall through?" Dave Twigg of Tuscarora asked the county's legislative delegation....
"We the people have no recourse and must sit idly by while those who are elected cause great harm," said Ed Hinde of Frederick.

When officials have a pattern of acting in their own benefit, undermining smart growth and failing to act in the public interest, voters should have the right to eject them, he added.

There is little doubt in Maryland Juice's mind that the request for recall power is obviously aimed at Frederick County's Tea Partier Blaine Young, the President of the Board of Commissioners. During the 2010 national Republican wave, Republicans took control over the Frederick County Board and began implementation of a radical Tea Party agenda. Indeed, we previously reported on various controversies involving Mr. Young, and the News Post foreshadowed this recall effort with an editorial this summer:
From our own perspective, the radicalization of politics as engendered by the tea party can only lead to a backlash similar to the one that created the movement in 2009.

There is a growing dissension to the way the Board of County Commissioners, particularly Commissioners President (and tea party darling) Blaine Young, are conducting business. Whether that opposition will gather any gravity by the 2012 election is yet to be seen. They are becoming more vocal.

The editorial was prompted by Mr. Young's efforts to privatize core government services in Frederick, but since then the Tea Party has gotten even more out of hand. Here are a couple more Blaine Young initiatives from recent Frederick News Post articles: 

1) Outsourcing Government Services (read full article): Though Mr. Young's effort to privatize Frederick's government was tabled, he is proceeding to push privatization and outsourcing at every opportunity:
"The internal audit division is the first Frederick County agency to come under scrutiny in the search for opportunities to cut costs and increase efficiency....
Commissioners have been looking at outsourcing as one way to save money and streamline services. The effort has stirred up anxiety among county employees and some criticism from the public, especially after a consultant reported in June that privatizing about 520 government positions would yield significant savings....

"This whole thing with privatization has been rushed through without even thinking it through at the beginning," said [Commissioner David] Gray, who along with Commissioner Paul Smith voted against sending out the request for proposals.

Bonnie Bailey-Baker, co-president of the county's League of Women Voters, was also critical of the process. 
"The outsourcing has been divisive, and there is a terrible morale problem" among county employees, Bailey-Baker told commissioners at Tuesday's meeting."
2) Scapegoating Immigrants (read full article): We previously reported that Blaine Young wants to drive undocumented immigrants out of Frederick and into Montgomery County. It seems he now has a plant to try and achieve this:
"If approved, a plan proposed by the Board of County Commissioners would establish English as the county's official language, require area businesses to use the E-Verify system, aim to prevent illegal immigrants from living in rental properties and prohibit day labor sites and soliciting employment in traffic."

Maryland Juice will be keeping tabs on this story!

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