Power at Any Cost

We’ve got ourselves another drama in the Anne Arundel County Delegation of the House of Delegates, where Speaker Mike Busch is trying to pull out all of the stops to retain Democratic Control of the Delegation.

For the backstory, in 2002 Anne Arundel County was divided so that four districts are contained solely in Anne Arundel County(Districts 30, 31, 32, and 33), with a partial district (District 21) comprising primarily of Prince George’s County. At that time, any partial subdistricts in the County shared one vote for the entire subdistrict, while the other Delegates in the Delegation got full votes. That was perfectly fine for Democrats until the Republicans took a 7-5 majority of the seats in Districts 30-33 after the 2002 General Election.

The Democrats, always known for taking defeat gracefully, voted prior the inauguration of the new Delegates, to change the rules to allow a full vote for all three members representing District 21; even though none of the Delegates even lived in Anne Arundel County.That gave the Democrats an 8-7 majority in the Delegation, allow them to retain control over local bills. This led to a lawsuit filed by Delegates Don Dwyer and Herb McMillan challenging the constitutionality of this, which went all the way to the State Court of Appeals where (surprise) the Court sided with the Democrats.

Fast forward to now, where the Republicans will have an 8-7 majority under the new rules based on the defeat of career politician Virginia Clagett by returning Delegate McMillan. And one of the items on the agenda for the new Republican majority is to right the wrong of 2002 and provide more accurate representation on the Delegation. Needless to say, that does not sit well with one delegation member: Speaker Mike Busch.

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Busch is already trying to strongarm Republican members of the Delegation to keeping the status quo; a status quo that can be preserved if only one member of the Delegation does not toe the party line. Busch has already reassigned Delegate Dwyer and Delegate Tony McConkey to smaller office spaces on the second floor of the Lowe House Office Building in retaliation for even thinking about this agenda item; to galvanize his point, Busch moved two of the three Democratic Delegates from District 21 (again, Prince George’s County residents) to their spaces in the “Anne Arundel” section of the Lowe Building. Busch is also leaning heavily on other Republican members of the Delegation to preserve the status quo.

Needless to say, this is no time for any of our Republicans to turn out to be the weak link in the chain.

What this story does do though is remind us why we must stand up to the Democratic majority. The Democrats in Annapolis believe that power is their birthright, a birthright that must be maintained at all cost, even when it must be exercised in ways that are illogical or immoral. And the Democrats in Annapolis believe that the retention of power is their most important job, even more important than taking positive steps to fix the economy and improve living conditions for Maryland’s middle and working class families.

What Busch is doing has nothing to do with what’s best for Anne Arundel County, but it has everything to do what’s best for Mike Busch and his Democratic majority…

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