Chairman's Message - January 2019
Happy New Year!
I look forward to working with you all as we face the challenges and opportunities of a new year. The Republican Party in Montgomery County is 130,000 strong and together we can accomplish great things. While the challenges that lie ahead are daunting, they are by no means insurmountable. We are in the midst of revamping our organizational efforts and re-connecting with other groups that have similar goals. So, with your help, we will be ready to seize these opportunities and face these challenges as they come.
As we go into the 2019 Maryland legislative session, I can only wish we had four more senators to support Governor Hogan’s veto power, because he’s going to need it! The Democratic machine in Annapolis seeks to expand the folly of a $15 minimum wage statewide. This is more than double the Federal (or Virginia) minimum wage. Higher minimum wages will force some businesses to cut staff, while others might close entirely. If you still have a job after that, sure, you'll make more money. If you don't, well, finding a job just got more difficult. And the choice for small business owners will be simple: automate, understaff, or get out! Good intentions don’t make bad results any better. And what this policy really does is say that if a job isn’t worth $15 an hour to a business, then it shouldn’t exist. If a business can’t make ends meet without employing people for less than $15, then the business shouldn’t exist. And if you don’t have the skills to earn $15 an hour, then move to Virginia. Bottom line: it’s more good news for the economy – and by that I mean Virginia’s, not ours.
Again, Montgomery County’s delegation to Annapolis is pushing to allow “ranked choice voting” in our county. Let’s not be fooled! It seeks to marginalize protest voting against an unpopular candidate and would ensure that Democrats win in tight elections. How? Let's say the votes in a Legislative District are 47% for the Republican, 46% for the Democrat, and 7% vote for the Green Party candidate (either as a protest vote or because they actually want the Green Party candidate to win). Ranked choice voting says that those 7% of voters would then be instructed to list their 2nd and 3rdchoices – and their 2ndchoice would most likely be the Democrat. Result? The candidate who received the most votes doesn’t win! In three-way or four-way contested elections in Montgomery County, the Democrat will almost always be the beneficiary of ranked choice voting. They know that Democratic candidates will sometimes be unpopular, encouraging people to vote third party in protest. The Democrats’ response to this: “That’s cute – but you still have to vote Democrat eventually. Now get in line.”
But there is good news, too! On Friday night, Governor Hogan’s Emergency Commission on the 6thCongressional District (CD6) met for the first time, with the goal of re-drawing the map in time for the 2020 election. We will be following this closely, as they work to undo the harm: the intentional splitting up of the conservative parts of western and northern Maryland to disenfranchise them. And it’s no surprise that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh intends to fight this every step off the way.
He seems to have forgotten that in a free country, the people choose their representatives, not the other way around. The Democrats’ way reminds me of a poem by Bertolt Brecht:
Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
Let’s not forget the new CD6 will still contain a significant part of northern Montgomery County, and we need to be prepared to win it! I hope those of you who are actively involved with this project will stay with us, and those of you have been on the sidelines will see this as an opportunity to join in.
So now is the time to get involved, and here are some great upcoming events:
The Inauguration of Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford is on Wednesday, January 16, at 9 AM – 3 PM at the Maryland State House. And that night, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM, there will be an Inaugural Gala at MGM National Harbor.
Locally, plans are underway for the MCGOP Lunar New Year event in early February, with details to follow.
Finally, the MCGOP convention will be on February 23rdat the Gaithersburg Hilton. So far, our confirmed speakers are Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, WMAL’s Larry O’Connor, RNC National Committeeman David Bossie and Delegate Neil Parrott
Thank you once again for all of your support (past and future), and with your help, we will return a Republican to office in Montgomery County in 2020!
Alexander A. Bush