Imagine you wanted to create the ultimate politician. Many in Harford County wouldn’t consider mixing one part Pat McDonough and two parts Jim Harkins, but I promise you, the combination isn’t as bad as it sounds.
Delegate Pat McDonough is known for a bombastic style that either leaves people loving him, or hating him. It helps with the talk radio profession and in the political world by developing a network of listeners, donors and volunteers that will go to the ends of the Earth for him, and opponents that will attack anything he does. That’s probably why Delegate McDonough’s success rate in Annapolis is so anemic that Popeye couldn’t do much to help even with a field of spinach. For our concoction here we are pulling this bombastic ideologue quality.
Former County Executive Jim Harkins is probably approaching his ninth year helming Maryland Environmental Services, thriving in the O’Malley Administration when most Republican appointees were cast aside in a series of political firings. MES is one of those weird public Corporations that receives no taxpayer dollars, but actually makes money to keep it going and doing public projects. Harkins has succeeded there due to well-heeled friends and because of his reputation of being an adept manager that knows how to run a large organization (I guess Harford County fits there). Of course, Harkins’ governing style led many in Harford County to remember him as one that opened the door for over-development. Those who were employed from the construction of, or employed in, or even living in, one of these Harkins era projects might have the mindset that Harkins made the county “Open for Business.” So it is this skillful manager and free market property rights Conservative that we are adding to the mix here.
The result, in case you were on the edge of your seat waiting for it, is Frederick County Commission President Blaine Young who wants to be the next nominee for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Maryland. Blaine, like Delegate McDonough, is a radio talk show host that is known for his strong stance against illegal immigration. Frederick County had been a leader in turning over illegal immigrants to the federal government, and while this was spearheaded by the Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, Blaine Young stood side by side in solidarity, and doing what he could by pressuring the School Board out there to track illegal immigrant students. They even did a road show to present an anti-illegal immigrant film throughout the state while establishing English as the official language of Frederick County.
But when you get beyond this, you will see that in his short time on the County Commission, Young has flipped the government around and opened it up to business and development while at the same time cutting spending, taxes and regulations. His team got rid of the pensions for County Commissioners (what other part time job has a pension?), cut public sector employee benefits, put money into school construction (he calls it a AFPO School Mitigation Fee Ordinance but it’s essentially an impact fee), and improved the bond rating to AAA.
On a personal level, Blaine Young has some “areas of concern.” Scandal struck in Frederick when Blaine was a City Alderman and the prostitution scandal swirled through town. Blaine was the only famous person’s name in the little black book of the madam, although he swears he only hired the girls to dance for him at parties. He subsequently did not run for any office in the next election and after taking nearly 8 years off, came back to run for County Commissioner, sweeping in a new Republican team in the 2010 election.
He also comes from a big, politically connected family that is Frederick’s own version of the Kennedys. Blaine’s father was the former Mayor of Frederick and now a Democratic Senator in the Maryland General Assembly, Ronald Young. Ronald Young’s 3rd wife, and not Blaine’s mother, is an Alder-woman(?) for the City of Frederick. Blaine’s brother was appointed to the School Board for Frederick County. Blaine started off as a Democrat, chairing the Democratic Party of Fredrick and his first term in office as a self-described “Blue Dog.”
A Blaine Young candidacy will dredge up the past issues of his prostitute hiring, along with painting the Republican candidate as hating minorities. On the flip side, it will put a focus on what a record of government efficiency and reduced regulation can do for job creation. Of course, Commissioner Young will have to first get through a Republican Primary in which former Senate Candidate Dan Bongino, former Congressional Candidate Charles Lollar, former Secretary Larry Hogan and Harford County’s own David Craig are making a push for the top of the Republican ticket. Only to face Attorney General Doug Gansler and his millions of dollars in a General Election.