By Ryan Miner
In a scathing – albeit brutally honest – editorial written by Woody Spong’s hometown newspaper, The Herald-Mail called upon the Maryland Senate to reject Spong’s confirmation to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners.
He’s a snippet of the editorial:
“Spong might be serving on borrowed time, because his appointment still must be confirmed by the Maryland Senate, which is in its 2016 session. We believe we have seen and heard enough from Spong to urge the Senate to reject his confirmation and allow Washington County voters, if they are so moved, to elect Spong at some point in the future should he choose to run.”
Writing that Spong has failed to acknowledge or even apologize for his missteps while serving an interim appointment, the newspaper wrote,
We do not base this position solely on one crude comment or social-media faux pas, although we do believe these are symptoms of a larger problem. Spong has not apologized for the missteps, and in fact has gone out of his way to blame others for exposing his own callus behavior — a clear indication that he does not understand today’s world. At one time, barroom chatter could leak into a professional forum without consequence, but failure to realize that things have changed demonstrates a worrisome lack of judgment.”
After I broke the story last Monday that Spong had shared a racist meme on his personal Facebook page, The Herald-Mail contacted Spong for clarification. Spong did not respond directly but instead left an angry voicemail message for the Herald-Mail, in which he blamed me for sending the newspaper after him.
Herald-Mail reporter CJ Lovelace wrote,
“In his voicemail, Spong condemned Herald-Mail Media for asking about the issue, saying Miner “put you on it,” even though the post was viewable to anyone in Facebook’s public domain.
“For you guys to be chasing Ryan Miner’s (expletive), it’s terrible. It’s terrible,” Spong said in the voicemail. “You might as well call yourself the sleaze newspaper. You think I’m angry? I am. I thought you’d be better than this.”
Concluding its editorial, the Herald-Mail asked the Republican Central Committee to re-examine the list of applicants more suitable to represent Washington County:
“As such, we urge Sen. Andrew Serafini and his colleagues to reject Spong’s nomination, and would suggest that the Central Committee re-examine its list of applicants, where it will find a number of people with the open mind and sense of decorum to represent the people of Washington County.”
As previously reported, a source with close ties to the Maryland Senate Executive Nominations Committee claims that Spong’s senate confirmation hearing will be held on Monday, February 1st, in Annapolis.
Also and according to Republican insiders in Washington County, the Washington County Republican Central Committee is apparently eyeing Robin Wivell, the spouse of Delegate William J. Wivell, to fill Spong’s seat on the BOCC if Spong is denied confirmation by the Maryland Senate.
Should the Maryland Senate reject Spong’s nomination, Mr. Spong would be required to immediately vacate the commissioner seat he currently occupies.