Calvert GOP looks to 2014

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Calvert GOP looks to 2014

Huntingtown, MD - 5/18/2013

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By Marty Madden

Left to right, Congressman Andy Harris and Calvert Republican Central Committee Chair Ella Ennis
Left to right, Congressman Andy Harris and Calvert Republican Central Committee Chair Ella Ennis

“This has been a great week to be a Republican,” said a beaming Congressman Andrew P. “Andy” Harris. The man who represents Maryland’s First Congressional District was the featured speaker at the Calvert County Republican’s 2013 Lincoln - Reagan Dinner May 16 at The Hall in Huntingtown.

The week’s news and the buzz in the Nation’s Capital have focused on three vexing issues plaguing the Obama Administration—last September’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya; the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) alleged targeting of conservative political action groups and confiscation of Associated Press telephone records by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“This administration doesn’t realize its role in government,” said Harris, the lone Republican member of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation. Of President Barack Obama, Harris declared, “He would be much more comfortable in the days of King George.”

Harris, who spoke briefly and then answered questions from attendees, described the Benghazi incident as “an example of very bad foreign policy. The messages sent on foreign policy around the world are dangerous.”

Harris stated that in using the IRS as a mechanism of harassment of political organizations “they picked the wrong agency because every American hates the IRS.”

Harris predicted the animosity toward the income tax collection agency would also spell doom for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) known pejoratively as “Obamacare.” “It’s crumbling,” Harris, a medical doctor, said of PPACA. “They are desperate.” Since components of the healthcare initiative are to be implemented by the IRS, the current scandal could sound the death knell for Obamacare.

Harris indicated the convergence of the ongoing controversies could prompt the unraveling of the Obama Administration. He predicted more administration officials “will be thrown under the bus. The heads will start rolling.”

During the question and answer segment, Harris, who previously served in the Maryland General Assembly, labeled recent gun control measures passed in Annapolis “a feel-good solution. That’s a broken system and it’s not going to make me any safer in the state of Maryland.” Harris said the expenditure of $10 million for implementation of additional background checks was money “flushed down the toilet. That is theft.” Of any plans to pass a federal measure to require background checks for gun purchases, Harris stated, “if it passes in the Senate, it’s dead-on-arrival in the House.”

Harris also predicted that a wave of House Democrat retirements will occur in the next election cycle. When one attendee asked if Maryland Fifth District Congressman Steny Hoyer would be one of the voluntary retirees, Harris replied, “Steny still has delusions of grandeur. He thinks he’s going to be Speaker of the House.”

Additionally, Harris said it’s likely Senate Democrats with presidential ambitions will begin distancing themselves from Obama.

While Harris and other speakers encouraged the partisans to work for Hoyer’s defeat in 2014, the man who faced the incumbent in 2012 stated he had other plans next year. Delegate Anthony J. “Tony” O’Donnell announced he would be seeking a fifth term in the General Assembly. O’Donnell, who was recently voted out by House of Delegates Republicans as minority leader, pledged his support for Republican legislature candidates in surrounding jurisdictions.

“I’m going to continue to play a role in this party,” said O’Donnell. “Our liberties are under assault in this nation.”

O’Donnell added that Marylanders were under siege as well. “[Governor Martin] O’Malley is out of control up there, out of control to the left.” He added the Republican Party was the lone force that could halt the trends in Washington and Annapolis.

The Calvert County Republican Central Committee, which organizes the annual dinner, presented its awards to the local party’s Man and Woman of the Year. The male recipient was Calvert County Board of Education Member Joe Chenelly while Darcy Clark, the committee’s e-mail coordinator and web site contributor, received the Woman of the Year honor.

In addition to the Central Committee, Calvert’s Republicans are also organized through the Republican Men’s Club, the Republican Women’s Club of Calvert County, the Republican Women Leaders of Calvert and the Republican Women of Southern Calvert. Central Committee Chair Ella Ennis also recognized local teens who were aiding the Calvert GOP in efforts to register young voters.

In fact comments made by Harris, O’Donnell and Chenelly had a futuristic subtext.

“This is the greatest country in the world,” said Harris. “It’s a country worth fighting for.”

Noting that Dominion Cove Point’s Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Lusby would put Calvert County in a lofty position in the nation’s energy strategy, O’Donnell added, “we’ve got a long way to go.”

Chenelly stated he was determined “to shine a brighter light on our education system. The children of Calvert County deserve the very best and I won’t rest until they have it.”

Contact Marty Maddenat

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