Sunday, August 21, 2005

Republican Strategies for 2006

The past few years have shown the Maryland Republican party rising from almost nothing to becoming a substantial force in Annapolis. Ehrlich is the most obvious figurehead in the free state's march to conservatism, but the General Assembly has been changing as well. Since 1986, Maryland has gone from 16 House Republicans to the current total of 43. Almost all of the recent talk by Maryland Repubs has been about the upcoming election and the possibility of taking more control of the state.

The Baltimore Sun reported today on the Republican strategy for the 2006 election:

Maryland Republicans, hoping for more clout in Annapolis and an easier second term for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., plan to target as many as 14 delegates and five senators in conservative districts for defeat in next year's election.

Republicans won't name names, but the top of the list is, almost without doubt, House Speaker Michael E. Busch. Other likely Democratic targets include Dels. Steven J. DeBoy Sr., James E. Malone Jr. and Eric M. Bromwell of Baltimore County, Galen R. Clagett of Frederick and John L. Bohanan Jr. of Southern Maryland.

In the Senate, Republicans have set their sights on Brochin, whose district voted nearly 2-to-1 for Ehrlich in 2002; Katherine A. Klausmeier, from the conservative Perry Hall area; Anne Arundel County's James E. DeGrange Sr., John C. Astle and Philip C. Jimeno, and Roy P. Dyson of Southern Maryland.


By far the second most important election battle in 2006, right behind the governor's race, is going to be Busch's reelection. Busch is arguably the most powerful democrat in the state right now, heading up the strong democratic force in the House. He outshines Senate President Michael Miller, who has tended to kowtow to the Governor on numerous issues including slots. Busch has always been an outspoken critic and a man who isn't afraid to buck the power of the overzealous Ehrlich.

The Republicans will most likely not gain a majority in the General Assembly, but that is not their goal. If Ehrlich is reelected, then the Republicans only need to gain enough seats in the Senate and the House to keep the Democrats from overriding Ehrlich's vetoes. If this is the case, we can kiss goodbye to all of state improvements. (Take a look at The League's summary of this past year's list of vetoes: Mandatory health care, equal rights for gays/lesbians, positive reform in the juvenile courts, voting reform - without the veto override, these measures will not be put into law even though they have majority support)

With that being sad, the League urges all Marylanders who care for the future of their state to pay close attention to the above list of names. If it is true the Repubs are going to spend all their time and money on a select list of candidates, then the Liberal side of Maryland has to be cognizant of this effort. With the amount of money the Republicans are sure to raise, they may have a good chance to unseat a few Democrats. But this is only if the Democrats are unable to counter the focused effort of the Republicans. We urge the Maryland Democratic party to come up with a strategic plan that includes a funnel of effort and money to the seats the Republicans are focusing on.

The Baltimore Sun's list potential targets has not been confirmed, and we at the League know it is not going to be acknowledged by any Republican in the near future - the best plan of attack is not to let your opponent know where you are going to attack.

from The League: Reassembled with revisions

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