Don Dwyer takes the stage at Pelurapalooza
Pelurapalooza is entering day four, and another elected Republican has jumped into the fray. Red Maryland has obtained a message sent out by Delegate Don Dwyer from Anne Arundel County:
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 6:33 PM
Subject: MSG from Delegate Dwyer
It is very unfortunate that there is now a public battle brewing within the Maryland Republican Party. As with any organization there are bound to be differences but to allow those differences to destroy the organization is simply absurd.
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I was very disappointed to hear our dirty laundry being aired on WCBM this morning and personally believe that the issues should have remained Party business. Now it’s everybody’s business because once again, someone decided to leak it to the press.
Foolish. Simply foolish.
I am equally disappointed that with the impending election cycle we are enthralled in an internal Party battle where elected colleagues and friends are spreading rumors and misinformation like wildfire.
I have been personally contacted by a Senator and a Delegate who specifically told me that Chairman Pelura was not paying that staff salaries and that we were
going to loose the West Street GOP office.
Another individual revealed that he had heard that the staff had not been paid for nearly two months and that the party was on the verge of filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
I have until today, stayed out of this conflict but I can no longer sit by and watch the Maryland Republican Party implode because of what appears to be self serving agenda of a select few in the Party leadership.
Wanting to get the FACTS, I called Marcia today at the Republican Party Office. Fortunately, Marcia is the one person outside of Chairman Pelura who could accurately address the rumors of staff not being paid. You see, she is the person who writes the pay checks. She told me at 2:40 today that everyone has been paid up to date and NO ONE has gone without pay.
Secondly, I called Chairman Pelura personally and asked if he was considering filing bankruptcy. He emphatically replied NO and indicated that there is a large line of credit available should he need it. Instead, it seems that he has opted to limit spending and reduce debt. I see that as a good thing.
In closing, I simply ask that each of you look at the facts before passing judgment. If you are concerned about the finances ask to see the books. If you are concerned about people not getting paid, ask the payroll person. If you have concerns about the Chairman, ask to meet with him but for the sake of the Party let’s stop fighting among ourselves and show Maryland that we can come together and lead Maryland to a brighter future. I would urge you to confirm a rumor before running with it.
If this episode is all so much inside baseball, then Dwyer’s message amounts to an intellectual stolen base. While I agree that public airing of internal disagreements is unfortunate, it is though, the natural outcome of a distinct failure to resolve those disagreements. A fact Dwyer glosses over.
Instead of addressing the heart of the issue—the miserable status of the state party apparatus under Jim Pelura’s leadership—Dwyer chooses to focus on rumors.
The Maryland Republican Party is in bad shape. Whether or it is in danger of losing the West St. headquarters, belies the point. If, as Dwyer claims, Pelura “opted to limit spending and reduce debt,” then that means there is no spending on core party functions, like voter registration (registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, and there were more new independent voters than Republican voters in the 2008 primary), raising money, messaging, and candidate recruitment and training. Given Pelura’s strategy rather than furthering MDGOP’s mission, money raised goes toward debt service. An amount which comes to $57,000 when you factor in vendor debt not just the $10,000 owed on the credit line Pelura touts.
While it is technically true that the party is not going to lose West St. and payroll has been met, the sad reality is that all the effort has been put toward keeping the doors open and the lights on. How is the party supposed to fund efforts to retain and increase Republican ranks or support candidates? In classic case of friends like this who, needs enemies, the progressives at Maryland Politics Watch, in noting the stark financial gap between state Democrats and Republicans, snarkily suggested a new organization: Democrats for Pelura.
To be fair, not all of the party’s woes are of Pelura’s making, he inherited a mess. Still, that was nearly three years ago. In that time, he’s been handed a Democratic governor, who can’t shoot straight, and a growing national backlash against big government collectivism both in Maryland and the nation. The key function of party chairman is to have an apparatus ready to take advantage of those opportunities. Pelura simply hasn’t done the job, and we are facing a situation where Republicans could squander a huge opportunity in 2010.
Will Republican candidates have to write off any support from the state party in 2010? I hate to say it, but that is now an all too imminent concern going into next year.
Some say this is a case of moderates assailing conservatives. That meme is just another distraction. We’re all conservatives to one extent or another. Yes we have our philosophical and policy differences, after all William F. Buckley had to referee James Burnham and Frank Meyer at National Review, but look what they accomplished.
However, the issue is about competency and results, and so far Pelura hasn’t shown competency or produced satisfactory results. Instead of focusing on the basics he has engaged in petty feuds with elected Republicans and indulged personal grievances against other party members. Pelura has not been able to get beyond treading water, and at some point he can no longer blame others for his failures.
Republicans can no longer afford to live with those failures.