Dear Republican Central Committee Member:

You may be aware that the Harford Delegation has introduced a bill to take control of the Republican Party. These are my personal observations based on events on the ground.

HB 1513 will make the State Delegates of Harford County members of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County.  It will enable them to remove and add members to the Committee.
 
HB 1513 was brought before the Chairman of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, Ann Healey (D-22) 301-858-3961 anne.healey@house.state.md.us , by the Harford Delegation on Friday March 7th. 

HB 1513 could move forward at any time.  This is no time to be complacent. 
 
It also appears very likely that the Harford Delegation led by Rick Impallaria, Pat McDonough & Kathy Szeliga will try to get the bill onto the floor House by a petition of members. 

Please contact your Delegates today and tell them to oppose HB 1513.  The bill is based on lies and disinformation.
 
This bill, if enacted, has the potential to affect members of every County Central Committee in the state.  What happens in Harford will not stay in Harford. 
 
Here’s the real story. 

As you read on you will see that Delegate Impallaria is trying to muscle HB 1513 into law.

If successful, the result will be the addition of Harford County’s 7 Republican State Delegates as ex-officio members of the 12 member Republican Central Committee of Harford County. 
 
One of the reasons offered by the Harford Delegation for the bill is to quickly replace any RCCHC member that may resign between the Primary in June and the when the new Committee is seated in November. 

This is a red herring.  The RCCHC made provisions for that possibility at its January meeting.  No interference by the Harford Delegation was required.
 
More troubling is that the bill is introduced as Emergency legislation, meaning that it takes effect immediately upon passage with the signature of the Governor. 

Emergency is defined in the last paragraph of the bill to mean it “is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and safety.” 

Really?

You will see there are other more immediate motives at hand like political retribution and ambition, namely the removal from RCCHC of members with whom the delegates disagree politically. 

Whatever happened to the GOP’s “big tent” we hear of so often?
 
Impallaria’s method, and that of McDonough, Minority Whip Szeliga and the rest of the delegation, is the use of misinformation, disinformation and outright fabrication to justify Bill 1513.

As you will read at the bottom of this piece, Impallaria represents to fellow Delegates and Senators that his version of events are the facts in the case. 

They very clearly are not.  This is obvious to anyone who has spent 15 minutes examining the facts.
 
You will see Impallaria’s email where he attempts to abuse the local courtesy privilege with other Delegates and Senators to grease the skids for the bill. 

Also, you will see the Delegate’s canned responses to constituents with misinformation and fabrication here and here.  

My comments to their misrepresentation of the facts are in red on the linked documents.
 
The responses to concerned constituents by Delegates Impallaria and Szeliga display stunning ignorance of the Constitution and By-Laws of the party of which they are erstwhile members, as well as ignorance of the most recent activity of the committee to which they demand to be seated. 

Delegate Impallaria doesn’t even correctly reference the name of the Republican Central Committee of Harford County properly in his talking points to constituents, Delegates and Senators.
 
At its January meeting, the Republican Central Committee of Harford agreed to provisions for filling any vacancies which might arise between June primary and the seating of the new Committee in November. 

The Committee agreed that any vacancy would be filled by the appointment of the person receiving the highest vote total in the June Primary.  If a second vacancy should occur, the person receiving the second highest vote would then be appointed. This is recorded in the January 2014 minutes of the RCCHC.

This method was then submitted to the MDGOP for review.  It was found to be legal and acceptable.
 
The vacancy contingency is totally provided for and totally fair, that is unless you are a state delegate with an axe to grind and you don’t mind grinding it on the necks of the voters of your county so you can overturn an election and set up your own politburo. 

If the Delegates want to be on the RCCHC they should run for it in 2018.  If they want their friends on then they should support them in the primary.
 
Impallaria and Szeliga then try to justify the bill by misrepresenting the events surrounding the appointment of the most recent member of the committee. 

That vacancy was filled in accordance with the By-Laws of the RCCHC and the MDGOP. Due to a deadlocked vote of the RCCHC to fill a vacancy, its Chairman submitted a candidate for appointment by the dually elected Chairman of the MDGOP, Alex Mooney.  

The appointment was not made “by someone from West Virginia.”
 
When you consider this sequence of events and the facts it is clear that Delegates Impallaria and McDonough are engaged in one of their famous personal vendettas against those with whom they disagree politically.

Delegate Impallaria blew past the pretence of his canned disinformation campaign when he admitted on the Tom Marr program Tuesday March 11 there were members of the RCCHC he wanted removed.  The real game was then revealed.

The Republican Party in each County and the MDGOP are private entites, independent of government. Impallaria, McDonough, Szeliga and crew have no more right to insert themselves on the Republican Central Committee of Harford County that they would to insert themselves onto the board of any private company in the County. This is an extremely dangerous precedent. It co-opts the independence of the party and its rightful decision-making process.
 
In addition, in his talking points Impallaria attempts to spin the fiction that there have been multiple attempts to remove members from the RCCHC for frivolous reasons.  There was only one hearing for removal of a member and it was many years ago.  It was also not successful.
 
Sadly, Delegate Szeliga has now been pulled into the muck as well. 

Worse, to make HB 1513 become law the Harford Delegation will have to collaborate with such luminaries of the Democrat party like Maggie McIntosh, Joe Vallario and Dave Rudolph to get their agreement to get the bill out of Rules Committee and to the floor. 
 
Unfortunately, the collateral damage in this war will be the voters of Harford County.  Harford voters will see that their GOP State Delegates couldn’t care less about their vote. 

They will also see these Delegates couldn’t care less about other county central committees or the reputation not only of Republican Party of Harford County specifically but the MDGOP and GOP in general.  

HB 1513 is a subversion of the electoral process based on personal animus and ambition.  Period.
 
What Central Committee member could not be opposed to this bill?  There are many principled reasons to oppose it. 

There is also the self preservation angle. 

If HB 1513 becomes law you could be the next member or county committee in the figurative crosshairs from your county’s state delegates. 

It is clear the goal here is to remove members from the Committee so the Delegates may pack the Committee with their handpicked cronies. 
 
Our party can’t win nationally without conservative activists/voters as well as independents.  This is even more true in Maryland where Unaffiliated voters, formerly known as independents, outnumber the GOP. 

How are we to win those folks again? 

This controversy has the political blogs and media buzzing. 

Here are a couple interesting takes on the intrigue: 

      Red Maryland: Impallaria Temper Tantrum
      Quinton Report: Impallaria Strikes Back
 
This activity is unacceptable. It is not how Delegates who claim to be conservative should operate.  It is not how a conservative party that claims to revere the Constitution and the rule of law operates or allows its elected officials to operate. 

The Constitution of our party has to have meaning as well.  This type of conduct would be totally unacceptable in the Code of Conduct in the Employee Handbook of practically any private business or organization in America. 
 
If HB 1513 becomes law what will be the County Committees and the MDGOP’s pitch to voters to convince them to become Republican? 

What will be the answer to a voter’s objection that “there little difference between the parties so why should I become Republican?” 

What are we selling?  What do they see?  Are we adding or losing registration statewide?  Are our coffers overflowing?  Is the GOP winning new friends and allies?  Is it building on the coalitions made in 2010?  Are we hurting or helping the Democrats and Socialist Progressives with this bill? 

How would you rate each of those categories on a  +10 to -10?  Are we collectively in the positive or negative in that accounting? 

This bill if enacted is highly likely to cost the MDGOP in registration as people change their affiliation in disgust.  It certainly gives no reason for conservatives and Unaffiliated voters to enlist in our ranks. 
 
Central Committees across the state should be watching closely. 

Now is the time for County Central Committee members across the state to make their views known to MDGOP leadership and to these Delegates and demand they withdraw the bill. 

If successful, this toxin will come to a Central Committee near you. This is elitist Soviet Style politics at its finest. 
 
As Republicans we need to ask ourselves some questions.  Is this the best we can do when we are being thumped by the Democrats on a daily basis in the General Assembly? 

Wouldn't all this energy be better engaged to produce some results towards regaining some of our liberty and freedom, and perhaps a win or two against the Democrat Socialists in Annapolis, instead of managing the decline of the state we love??
 
It will be mutually assured thermonuclear destruction if the bill proceeds. 

Isn’t it nice to know the MDGOP is about to be blown to atoms during election season by a troika of political jihadis and their minions so they can get their jollies and settle their personal scores? 
 
Machiavelli said is best in The Prince:

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”  “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”
 
You can say that again Niccolo.  In Spades.

In Liberty,


Scott Delong
Member, Harford County Republican Central Committee
 
 

Impallaria Response

Szeliga Response

Bill Text