The irony of using the name Scott and “party unity” in the same sentence.
As our erstwhile colleague and member of the MDGOP Central Committee Mike Schwartz has reported, the effort to replace outging MDGOP Chair Dr. Jim Pelura is focusing on one candidate, Audrey Scott. With Chris Cavey nobly dropping out to avoid a contested fight for the chairman job, it begins to appears that Sec. Scott’s ascension is a fait accompli.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Audrey Scott is a longtime Republican leader in this state and has served honorably in a variety of elected and appointed posts. I do not question her qualification or ability for the job as chairman.
Nor do I disagree with the need for party unity. The non-stop backbiting of Jim Pelura since he began as chairman has served no useful purpose and I will be happy to see it end.
But there is a great irony in the conventional wisdom that making Audrey Scott the MDGOP chair will promote comity and unity within the Republican party.
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Because as we have documented here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, her son Lawrence Scott is recognized as one of the most divisive forces within Maryland Republican politics.Mr. Scott is well know for his questionable tactics in his work for various Republican primary campaigns. Among these are assertions of false endorsements via robocall and misleading signs at polling places, allegations that he supported multiple candidates in the same primary and his misleading use of a fundraising entity (that ended up spending over eighty cents on every dollar for expenses and self promotion without giving a dime to GOP candidates, its expressed purpose). One senior MDGOP official told me he was a “purveyor of slash and burn politics”. Republican primary slash and burn politics by the way. Ask Delegate Tony McConkey or Gary Applebaum about being in a primary fight with a Scott managed candidate on the other side.
Now if I were, oh I don’t know let me think of a name, State Senator Ed Reilly who will be involved in a bitter, divisive and no doubt negative primary fight with one of Mr. Scott’s top clients, I don’t think I would take much comfort that the party would regulate any impropriety in that race with Mr. Scott’s mom running the show. No doubt Senator Reilly is not going to be the only candidate in a GOP primary next year on the wrong side of Scott Strategies, Inc.’s cavalcade of stars. After all, what a great marketing ploy for your campaign consulting business than to say my mom runs the party.
Now it may be unfair to visit the sins of the son on the mother. No doubt some will dismiss this criticism or me for that matter. But every member of the MDGOP central committee should consider these issues and Ms. Scott should address them now before we set our party up for dissension and division (with the potential of a compromised chair due to at least the appearance of a conflict of interest) next summer when these primary fights are the hottest.
See, that would be ironic given she is being chosen in the name of party unity.