It was a pretty interesting weekend. Saturday morning, I had a couple of meetings, then went shopping with my daughter in preparation for the MDGOP Reagan Ball, so I missed the buzz on Twitter and Facebook that Alex Mooney resigned. Fellow Maryland bloggers wrote about this development here, here and here. For many of us (especially the Red Maryland crew), it wasn’t a big surprise, and now the obvious question is, who will be the next Chairman? But I’ll get to that shortly.
Back to the Reagan Ball. In all honesty, it was fantastic evening, but that was largely due to the awesome showing by ‘Team Bongino’. I estimate around 30 people from the Bongino grassroots groundforce, possibly more. We also had prime billing with this banner for Dan Bongino, thanking his supporters.
Here is another picture with part of our crew:
Forgive the quality of the cell phone pictures, I forgot my camera. Regardless, you can see we had a strong showing of support for our favorite candidate and friend Dan Bongino. The Bongino campaign sponsored the event and Dan presented the very generous amount of $5,000.00 to the party’s National Committeeman, Louis Pope.
I was a bit leary of attending considering my recent musings on the MDGOP and some of their leadership, but it was honestly a good time. The band was fantastic, the food was pretty good, and spirits were high. I even had a pretty decent conversation with Diana Waterman. She reached out recently after my blog posts and suggested a meeting, which will take place at a future date. I have reiterated to the many people that contacted me after those posts, and I do so again for you readers, that my posts were never meant as a personal attack on one individual, but an overall reflection of my extreme disappointment with many in leadership within the MDGOP. With that said, I truly hope we can learn from our mistakes and move forward towards our common goal, or what I hope is our common goal, of getting good conservatives elected. I suppose the problem is, we have different definitions of conservative, but I’ll save that for another blog post.
The big news of the day was Dan’s Facebook announcement, which you can read below.
Friends & Supporters,
Paula and I cannot thank you enough for your support and encouragement, both during and after the election. Although the results were not what we intended, I am proud of what we accomplished and honored to remain in the fight.
I would like to update you on rumors you may have heard about my interest in the Anne Arundel County Executive position and the MDGOP Chairman position. I will not be seeking either position at this time, although I am extremely grateful to all of those who emailed and called in their support to a number of elected officials.
Regarding the decision making process for the vacant Anne Arundel County Executive position, I have chosen to disengage from a process that has become weighted towards insider politics. This County needs a reformer, not an insider, and any illusions otherwise are driven by a political agenda and not the sentiments of actual voters on the ground.
Regarding the MDGOP Chairmanship, although I respect the MDGOP Party infrastructure for their recent outreach initiatives and I feel the Party is headed in a better direction, I have chosen to take my platform and my commitment to a Maryland government that is citizen-centric, rather than insider-driven, to the people via a continued, robust grassroots effort.
I would encourage all of you to visit his Facebook page, and read some of the comments, very encouraging! Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, there were naysayers who criticized the decision. Dan addressed those people on tonight’s episode of The Broadside, and if you weren’t listening in, you can catch the podcast which will be posted some time tomorrow.
While on the show, Dan reiterated that he wanted to clear up the rumors regarding both positions. He again expressed his disdain for ‘insider politics’ and emphasized that he would not be ‘making deals’. Regarding the MDGOP Chair, he said he felt the party is moving in the right direction, but still has work to do. He has offered suggestions and it will be up to the party leadership whether they take them or not.
One of the co-hosts of the show, Andrew Langer addressed some of the naysayers in a Facebook comment, which I posted twice for emphasis, because it was spot on.
Here’s the thing… it’s idiotic for some people to take potshots at folks for making rational political decisions (ie, deciding not to do something), when their own political history is replete with examples of the candidates they’ve been running having spectacularly flamed out in idiotic runs of their own.
Indeed, it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and offer criticisms while maintaing a tunnel vision viewpoint instead of viewing the big picture. As many of the comments on Dan’s Facebook post expressed , supporters feel he is destined for bigger and better things. Dan made it clear on the show that he is definitely running for something in 2014, but is not ready to announce anything at this time. He expressed that his decision was based on what’s good for his family and what he feels is good for the party. I for one, continue to admire and respect the man for putting principle above any personal aspirations and opting out of an “insider baseball political office”.
One of the things Dan mentioned tonight was that he felt “philosophical conservatives are being annihilated”. To be successful in a campaign or as a party, the focus needs to be on three things, “media, money and volunteers”. Dan clearly excels at all three, which is why many hoped he’d step up and get the party back on the path to prosperity. He made is choice, and now is the time for the ‘old guard’ to realize there are monumental changes that need to take place moving forward. My concern continues to be, whether they will be receptive to suggestions given by others, or will they keep the Karl Rove mentality and further alienate the grassroots. I like Dan, still have hope we can bridge the gap, but the ball is in their court.