Thursday, March 1, 2012

Anne Arundel Young Dems Call on Council to Fill Democratic Vacancy // Party Leaders Silent on "Gooks" & "Ghetto" Flap?

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice has been writing about the pathetic spectacle in Anne Arundel County, where the six remaining members of the County Council are deadlocked in a 3-3 tie over how to fill a vacancy on the body. The seat was previously held by a Democrat who was booted for failing to pay his taxes. Since then, the Council has attempted to fill the vacancy but remains deadlocked over the issue of race -- after over 100 rounds of balloting. The Anne Arundel Young Democrats are now speaking out.

Three Republicans want to fill the vacancy with a former State Senator who happens to be a white male, while the Democrats and one Republican want to fill the vacancy with a Marine Corps Reserve lieutenant and NSA employee who happens to be a black male. If the County Council sticks with typical, cliche crony politics and appoints the former State Senator, the Anne Arundel County Council would become a 100% white-male body for the first time in decades.

The three Republican Councilmembers who have a big problem supporting the African American candidate are content to leave the seat unfilled, given that the Democrats are one seat short at the moment. In the course of their unethical power-grab, the Republicans also ignited of firestorm of controversy over their views on race relations in the Free State. One GOP Councilmember Dick Ladd referred to Asians as "Gooks" during their meeting to fill the vacancy. Ladd's "apology" was to say that he still didn't think "Gooks" was a slur. Another GOP Councilmember John Grasso called Glen Burnie, Maryland -- which he represents! -- a "ghetto."

WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP?: It seems difficult to imagine that Democratic Party leaders couldn't put an end to this in a second if they wanted -- and yet the shenanigans continue. Is Senate President Mike Miller unwilling to intervene? Is he on the wrong side of history again? Is he not going to throw his weight into this battle? Or is it that he no longer holds much influence? What's the point of having a Party Leader who doesn't -- you know -- lead the party? This is getting tiring. MIKE MILLER -- IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO YOUR JOB -- STEP ASIDE. P.S. Your job is not to further crony politics. Tell your buddy to drop out of the race. Seriously.

Luckily, the Anne Arundel Young Democrats are at least speaking out. What was that I was saying about generational change? Hometown Annapolis today reported:
The Anne Arundel County Young Democrats sent a letter to the County Council this week, asking the six councilmen to break the tie over whom to appoint to the District 1 seat.

Councilmen are mired in a 3-3 deadlock between Peter Smith of Severn and Mike Wagner of Glen Burnie. District 1 has been without a council representative since former councilman Daryl Jones went to prison for failure to file taxes on Jan. 23. The council must appoint a Democrat from District 1 to replace him.

“We cannot stay silent while nearly 5,000 Anne Arundel County young Democrats go without representation,” the group’s secretary, Patricia Swanson, wrote in the letter.

Though the group isn’t endorsing a candidate, Swanson wrote that deference should be given to the two Democrats on the council, Jamie Benoit and Chris Trumbauer, both of whom are supporting Smith.

“As young Democrats, we sincerely hope you will not allow the people of District 1 to go another month without representation,” Swanson wrote.

Time for the Next Generation of Democratic Leaders to Start Re-Aligning the Ship. No More Waiting for Superman.

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