By Ryan Miner
While most serious candidates running for Congress are spending this Sunday afternoon knocking on doors and meeting voters at early voting locations, Frank Howard’s campaign is sending out emergency damage-control email blasts, frantically deriding me, a “Maryland blogger,” because I dared to call out Howard’s steaming pile of political hypocrisy.
Frankly, I don’t care if Frank Howard donated $100K to socialist Democrat Karen Montgomery, the candidate who bested Howard in his 2014 state senate race. I wouldn’t have donated $250 to Karen Montgomery, but I also would not have donated $500 to Martin O’Malley, as did Amie Hoeber in 2010. Either way, A Miner Detail doesn’t give a damn who donates to whom. We know it doesn’t define who a candidate is nor does it matter – at all.
We view candidates positively when they are capable of articulating a set of policy positions for which we value, and we evaluate candidates based on their performance and whether or not they can adequately broadcast a coherent message palpable to voters in the 6th Congressional District.
A while ago, Frank Howard passed our smell test. A Miner Detail has highlighted Mr. Howard’s political positions in multiple articles, giving credit to him where it was due. We believe his positions on most issues are commendable – positions that A Miner Detail fundamentally agrees with and supports.
However, Frank Howard is the wrong person to chastise one of his opponents via a sketchy and cheap robocall for having donated to a Democrat when Howard did the same in 2007.
Howard’s shoddy explanation (seen below) is straight out of the Washington insiders’ playbook. His drive-by excuse fits the perfect description of what we call – please excuse the expression – unmitigated BS. Howard lost the moral high ground to attack Hoeber when he failed to disclose his hefty contribution to his former opponent, Karen Montgomery, a socialist leaning Democrat.
Instead of owning his donation to Montgomery and offering the public a serious explanation into his very generous contribution (as did Hoeber when asked about her donation to Martin O’Malley), Howard instead chose to attack the source who reported the story. A Miner Detail calls shenanigans on Howard’s logical inaccuracies.
Howard’s campaign asked which kind of a Republican candidate I want. That’s easy. I want a serious candidate – one who can articulate a message of liberty, and one who can place policy about pettiness.
That congressional candidate, unfortunately, is not Frank Howard.
Mr. Howard’s latest email blast landed itself in the silly column when it mentioned the occasion where I wished Amie Hoeber a “happy birthday” on Facebook; God forbid. I look forward to sending Mr. Howard flowers and candy by COB tomorrow. Happy Belated Birthday, Frank! Cheers!
So in this instance, Mr. Howard will have to excuse A Miner Detail for failing to take his desperate email blast with even the slightest bit of credibility.
Mr. Howard can continue to overpay his Florida for-hire, high-dollar spinmeister to contort reality into whatever paints Howard in the best light in the final days of a campaign that will not end well come the evening of April 26. We understand and fully expect Howard’s high-dollar spinmeister to make a go at garnering attention at a blogger’s expense. We also understand how desperate Howard’s campaign has become, so it will be no surprise when this sad episode of political desperation backfires, as did Howard’s sloppy robocall.
A Miner Detail does not care if you attack your Republican primary opponents. In fact, A Miner Detail expected you, of all the candidates, to wage a categorically robust opposition campaign. It’s quite surprising at how ineffective you were at doing so.
Moreover, A Miner Detail does not care that your campaign fundraising didn’t qualify you as a competitive candidate. And I don’t care that you cowardly implied that bloggers at A Miner Detail are stumping for one of your Republican opponents. Even if we did lavishly and publicly support one of your opponents (we don’t), could you truly blame us after the campaign you ran?
A Miner Detail does care, however, when you arrogantly attempt to take the moral high ground but fail to report that you, too, made a hefty campaign contribution to one of the worst state senators in Maryland history. This is what we call political hypocrisy at its very worst.
Since you clearly know so little about the 6th Congressional District, take it from me, someone who has been born and raised in this district, is raising his family here, and will remain here for the rest of his natural life:
The 6th District certainly doesn’t need a political showman – someone who flashes a big smile to voters, yucks it up with Western Marylanders like they are homegrown and pretends to understand what matters most in places where they don’t have a clue.
Kim and I already had a front-row seat to your “character” last summer (no need to expound, because you know I am talking about). Character and integrity matter, right Mr. Howard?
If you, Mr. Howard, choose not to act like a serious candidate, then we promise not to treat you as one.
Below is an unabridged copy of Howard’s desperate Sunday afternoon email blast:
Dear Mr. Miner,
On Friday at 9:30 P.M. you sent our campaign an e-mail in which you question why we are calling attention to our opponent Amie Hoeber’s financial support of liberal democrat Martin O’Malley. Then you posted the article without our comment, presumably at some other weird time. So here is our response.
Republicans have been working in the trenches for decades, against all odds, in the bluest state in the country to undo the damage of Democrat Governors. It took the work of Republicans like Ellen Sauerbrey and Robert Ehrlich to demonstrate that victory was in reach if not possible. Without Ellen Sauerbrey’s campaigns in the 1990’s, Robert Ehrlich would not have defeated Robert Kennedy’s daughter in 2002. Without Gov. Ehrlich, Larry Hogan would not have achieved victory in 2014, and Anthony Brown would be continuing lunatic fringe policies of the far left.
When Amie Hoeber was attending private political salons, Ehrlich was giving us an alternative to economic policies driving our state into a ditch. That may not matter to wealthy Potomac residents like Amie Hoeber and John Delaney, but it certainly affects regular Marylanders in Cumberland, Hagerstown and Frederick.
We would have to wait four more years to see the damage: 40 O’Malley tax, fee and toll increases taking $3.1 billion out of the private sector economy each year over and above the existing tax burden; a mass exodus of 31,000 Marylanders moving to other states; the worst Obamacare implementation of any state; loss of major employers like Bechtel and Northrop Grumman to Virginia; the highest unemployment levels anywhere in the mid-Atlantic; higher fees for driver’s licenses, birth certificates, death certificates, higher income, sales and corporate taxes; and the making of Maryland into a subsidiary of the federal government, rushing to embrace Obamacare and pleasing the EPA with a rain tax.
So yes, the Frank Howard campaign will call attention to Amie Hoeber’s contribution to the worst governor in Maryland history. And we’re not done yet.
If somebody wants to somehow equate that with a donation to one out of 188 members of the General Assembly, go ahead and try, but understand the difference.
Frank’s small donation to his local elected official was nearly 10 years ago, three years short of an election cycle, and was made to build good will for a wildlife conservation organization located in the district. That donation was made in consultation with the board of his organization.
You also question who the campaign is working with, our fundraising numbers and where yard signs go. You question if our campaign has received an endorsement from Gov. Ehrlich. We answered it. But given your constant excusing of Ms. Hoeber’s donation to O’Malley, let’s just say again how proud we are to be with Gov. Ehrlich the evening of April 18.
We’ve seen your articles wishing Amie Hoeber a happy birthday and your assertion that she is your kind of Republican. Excuse us for dismissing further questions from you at this time.
We’re not sure what kind of Republican you want. But voters struggling in the weakest economy since WW II and still paying for Martin O’Malley tax hikes, should understand that political insiders like Ms. Hoeber are not part of the problem – they are the problem.