No To Brinkley As Minority Leader

Tomorrow the Republican senate caucus meets to choose a minority leader. The presumed front runner is the former minority leader, Senator David Brinkley. The GOP should not return Senator Brinkley to that position.

Our opposition to Brinkley is based on three salient facts. Senator Brinkley is morally compromise. Senator Brinkley is politically compromised. Senator Brinkley has done diddly squat to increase the number of Republican senators in Annapolis.

I know there are a lot of libertarians out there who don’t get excited over the private lives of politicians unless they are conservatives. All during the 1992 campaign, Clinton’s surrogates were everywhere mouthing the mantra “private morality isn’t public morality.” Except that it is. If a man will cheat on his wife and family, people whom he has given his sacred word to honor and cherish, what chance do you, the taxpayer, have? None. Clinton proved that morality is a binary issue. More importantly, a morally compromised politician loses the ability to speak to moral issues, issues that are every bit as important to the world our children will inherit as any fiscal issue. Brinkley’s alleged cavorting with an employee is not only an affront to his marriage but demonstrates a disregard for his responsibility to run an efficient and effective office.

Senator Brinkley’s voting record marks him as a squish on virtually any issue vaguely related to conservatism. He voted for the job killing (can we still say “killing”) Greenhouse Reduction Act and he led the Vichy Republicans in their vote for O’Malley’s budget. None of this should persuade a party which professes to believe in smaller government and fiscal prudence (not to mention mere financial solvency) to make Senator Brinkley their leader.

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In the rest of the country, 2010 was a wave election which saw Nancy Pelosi replaced as Speaker of the House, Harry Reid clinging to a very slim majority in the Senate, and the GOP controlling the governorships and state legislatures in 26 state. In Maryland we didn’t notice that because we were too busy having our butt handed to us.

Part of the reason for that is the absolute disarray of the Maryland GOP. Part is because of the actions of Senators like Brinkley who did very little to increase the number of Republican senators. A quick look at contributions by Friends of David Brinkley shows that he contributed a total of $4,000 to candidates for the Maryland Senate. $1,000 went to Chris Shank — on the day before the election. Another $1000 with to Bryan Simonaire (won by +24%) and $2000 went to Joe Getty (won by +45). So in competitive races Brinkey contribute a big fat goose egg. Chris Shank might as well have received a goose egg. And Brinkley finished the election cycle with $40,000. (Not to single out Brinkley but his ally, E.J. Pipkin, gave zero to Maryland Senate candidates and finished up with $44K in the bank.) What did Simonaire and Getty do, or have yet to do, to qualify for this rather unprecedented largess?

So why are Maryland Senate Republicans even considering electing Brinkley as their leader? Why not just elect Mike Miller and be done with it?

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