Harford County Republican Central Committee: Democrats Want to Change Law to “Suit Their Current, Weakened Position”

From the Republican Central Committee of Harford County:

The Harford County Democratic Party had their hopes for favorable judicial ruling crushed on Wednesday when Harford County Circuit Court Judge John F. Fader II threw the case out, remarking “You’re asking me to make new law, I’m not willing to do that.”

The Harford County Council had previously followed the suggestion of legal counsel to follow the County Charter and only appoint members to the County Redistricting Commission of political parties that earned more than 15% of the votes cast for County Council. This meant that only nominees of the Republican Party were appointed, since the Democratic Party candidates received less than 12% of the votes cast county-wide.

The Democrats could have legally had a seat at the table if they had only found candidates to run. There were 7 Councilmanic positions including 2 incumbent Democrats, and a total of only 3 total Democratic Party Candidates.

Harford County Democrats wrote the County Charter when they were in power but now they want judges to change the law to suit their current, weakened position.

The Harford County Republican Party is vibrant and healthy. In 2010, for the first time ever, more Harford voters were registered as Republicans than as Democrats.

Today, according to the Board of Elections figures, there are greater than 2,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats.

The Republican Party message of individual freedom, limited government, and the rule of law are winning out in the public, and the future for Harford County is bright as a result.

The Republican Central Committee of Harford County meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Harford County Government Administrative Office Building at 212 S Main Street in Bel Air at 7PM. All are welcome to attend these public meetings.


  1. Bob says

    According to harfordvotes.info, there are about 1,800 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats. With there being about 125,000 total registered voters, that accounts for a 0.7% lead for the Republicans. Congratulations on taking the lead but to me it looks like we have a well balanced county.

  2. Christopher C. Boardman says

    Of course the Republicans were going to win this argument before the court because the Democrats had failed to follow the rules. It was simple enough for the Democratic Central Committee to recruit the candidates for the county offices even if they were stand-ins, so that the votes did not go below 15 percent. What about that, Wendy Sawyer, why didn’t the central committee do that? Would you answer that question, please?
    The Republican comments do reveal some truths about Democrats in Harford County. Even though the registration is nearly equal through trending toward Republicans over the last 25 years, the Democrats have done a poor job marshaling their forces and should have more to show for their efforts. They have steadily lost seats to the General Assembly in Annapolis and have lost numerous other local elections. What is the problem? Why do the Republicans command the loyalty of their registrants but Democrats cannot command their own members?
    Part of the problem is that the only viable Demcratic organization in the county is the New Harford Democratic Club controlled by Art Helton, Jim Thorton and George Harrison, with the help of Ann Helton and others. They simply refuse to change their old, outworn ways and they do things that are counterproductive to the party. For example, the club has gotten involved in numerous primary fights such as the most recent Abedeen mayoral election. Rather than serving as a neutral forum for all Democrats, the club throws its weight and money behind primary candidates. There is also open feuding between the few elected Democratic office holders such as Dion Guthrie, Mary Dulany-James and perhaps others. That should tell you something, that these conflicts are more about who is in charge than representing Democrats.
    The “leaders” of the club are notoriously tone-deaf about these kinds of problems. They refuse to listen to anyone and won’t change anything.
    Now, a proposal that I have championed is for the club, or some otherDemocratic organization in the county, to pursue setting up a ward organization in the county. In other localities, primarily big cities outside of Maryland, each precinct has elections on the precinct level for party members who want to be members of the party organization. This is needed because the central committee system in the county does not work particularly well. Do I need to repeat that it failed miserably in the last election? A precinct-based party organization would enable people who are activists to participate in organizing their own communities. We don’t have that grassroots activity here, and that is where the Democrats need to excel if they are to be successful. However, the “New” Harford Democratic Club is thumbs down on that strategy probably because it would bring new blood into Democratic leadership and break up the control that the old horses still exercise, not that it’s worth very much at this point.
    I know a lot about this because long before I came to Harford County in the mid-1970s, I worked in numerous Democratic campaigns in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and also in Congress. Maryland Democrats run essentially a closed system; it is nominally open but state politics are basically an elaborated good old boy system and Harford County was part of that going back to Senators Cronin and James.
    I was disgusted by what I saw in this county then and was receptive to an overture by the Republicans to run for county council in 1986. I have to give credit to former congresswoman Helen D. Bentley because she overhauled the Republican Party and oversaw effective organization. I got a close-up look at Republican effectiveness then and I still have a decent respect for it, but it was clear I was too liberal to be comfortable among their ranks so I switched back to the Democratic Party. Unfortunatey nothing has changed among the Democrats since then except that there are far fewer elected Democrats.
    Now, as someone who identifies himself as a progressive, liberal Democrat, it is obvious that those in the left wing of the party have very little to cheer about. The center and right wing have been dominated by Art Helton, Frank Kratovil, Dutch Ruppersberger and others. The progressive values of the Democratic party are hardly visibe under their sponsorship. And the White House disappoints too. After all, Barack Obama didn’t have to ramp up the Afghanistan mess but he did with the support of the above and the NHDC. There’s not much left for progressives to support from the leaders of the Democratic Party. The health care bill was a big exception but there was a costant watering-down of it that had to be contained.
    Some writers have suggested that the Progressive Caucua in the U.S. House of Representatives should bolt the party and organize under a new banner. The Green Party is about the only viable vehicle they could go to. But two party system in this country has effectively killed politics as national office-holders from both parties are beholden to special interests, and third parties get short shrift especially in Maryland. In this state election officials tried to strike off the Libertarian and Green Parties from the ballot. Fortunately they did not succeed in that but these parties are severely weakened. Right now our choices as progressives are not very good, even though the things we have been criticizing are valid (such as bloated military spending, Wall Street giveaways, lack of an energy policy, crumbing infrastructure, poor public transportation). It was interesting that Wendy Sawyer disparaged third parties when criticizing Republicans in this recent debacle. But access to political participation should not be the province of members of the two major political parties alone. The system needs the input of third parties which the Republican Party itself was one a long time ago. Hopefully it will not be too late for our political system to be revived and the same old punch drunk politicians who dominate our system will get their pink slips from a reinvigorated and aroused American citizenry.
    If anyone is interested by these views and would like to talk some more about it, give me a call at 410-679-6704.