By Ryan Miner
If you know Robin Ficker like I know Robin Ficker, you would understand why Tom Moore, a former Rockville City Councilman, is leading an effort to oppose Ficker’s cockamamie term limits ballot initiative in Montgomery County. Ficker is an impossibly unscrupulous charlatan – a buzzing gnat, zipping from election to election doing what he does best: losing while making a categorical ass out of himself.
In a complaint filed with the Montgomery County Circuit Court, Moore seeks judicial review of Ficker’s proposed term limits charter amendment because, as Moore claims, Ficker failed to collect enough *valid* signatures.
Moore yesterday updated his website to include a press release that announced his legal challenge to Ficker. Here is a snippet of Moore’s press release:
Although Robin Ficker, the sponsor of this petition, claimed to have 18,000 signatures on his term limit petitions, the Montgomery County Board of Elections said more than 5,000 were invalid. More than 1,200 were signatures of people who are not registered voters in our county, and more than 900 were duplicates.
“No On B” performed a spot check of the signatures the board said were among the 12,573 valid signatures and found that many of them are not valid. Some have no signatures at all, just printed names and addresses, and many have dates that were obviously not written by those who were claimed to have signed the petitions.
Moore claims in his complaint with the Circuit Court that the term limits petition should be declared invalid for failing to have the required 10,000 legally valid signatures, and that the proposed charter amendment should not be placed on Montgomery County’s Nov. 8, 2016 General Election ballot.
I have little doubt that Robin Ficker fudged many of the signatures he collected from Montgomery County residents. If Robin Ficker is attached to any organization or political operation, we should expect foul play. Almost nothing Ficker commits to is above board. (In a seperate column, I’ll explain how Ficker finds clients to represent in court. You’ll need a shower afterwards – I promse.) Just ask the legions of Montgomery County residents who know Ficker and have witnessed over the years elements of his traveling circus act. Ficker is a hornswoggler, a mainstay Montgomery County swindler, and a political gadfly who hasn’t won an election since the late 70’s.
We can debate term limits independent of Robin Ficker. It’s a policy discussion worth having in Montgomery County. I remain on the fence: do term limits flush the sludge through the proverbial political pipes, eliminating career politicians from becoming the moss that often stains bureaucracy, or do routine elections create self-imposing term limits? Do term limits fall under a certain political or ideological purview? So it seems. Is there enough data to prove and support the argument that limiting local officeholders to a set term will vastly improve municipal efficiency? None that I have seen. So, again, for me – I’m on the fence. I am adverse to forming political opinions without having sound data at my disposal. In the case of term limits at the local level, I’m just not there – yet.
But perhaps I would be a bit more sympathetic to the cause if Robin Ficker wasn’t the leader of Montgomery County’s term limits movement. If Republicans hope to score a practical political victory in Montgomery County after years of losing to Democrats (for reasons that are now obvious), why – oh why – would they encourage Robin Ficker to take the helm of something as big as a ballot initiative to impose term limits on members of our county council?
Ficker is unquestionably the most detested political figure in Montgomery County, someone who elicits vehemently negative reaction from most Montgomery County residents. The problem Republicans created for themselves began when they allowed Ficker to attach himself to a movement that they hoped to win.
The term limits squabble in Montgomery County deeply piques my interest; I’ll be sure to keep A Miner Detail’s readers informed on this revolving door of frenzy.
You can read Tom Moore’s circuit court complaint here. More detail, according to Moore’s website, regarding the petition challenge can be found here. And, copies of the petitions themselves may be found here: http://no-on-b.com/petitions.