Washington County Republicans launch attacks on 3 BOE candidates

By Ryan Miner 

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Washington County Republicans, in collusion with the radicalized and leftwing Washington County Teachers’ Union, have joined forces this election and are attacking three Washington County Board of Education candidates – Board President Donna Brightman, Wayne Ridenour and political newcomer Pieter Bickford. Three candidates under attack by the Washington County Republicans and the liberal teachers’ union were the top three vote earners in the April primary that was held earlier this year.

The Republican attack on Bickford, Ridenour and especially Brightman is being managed and executed by Jerry DeWolf, a Washington County Republican Central Committee member who, in 2014, served as Dan Bongino’s Washington County coordinator and in 2015/16 was Terry Baker’s congressional campaign manager.

DeWolf, a staunch supporter of the alt-right movement, a perverted and diluted off-brand of fake conservatism supporting Donald Trump, was part of the same Republican Central Committee that, in 2015, appointed the now-disgraced Republican Vincent G. “Woody” Spong to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners.

After Spong’s appointment to the commissioner board, it was widely reported that he uttered a sexist remark to Donna Brightman after a joint meeting concluded between the Board of Education and county commissioners, and, several months later, Spong shared an unquestionably racist meme on his personal Facebook page. During both of Spong’s public faux pas,’ DeWolf was tasked with managing Spong’s crisis management operation, working to deflect attention away from the acting county commissioner’s indiscretions while attempting to discredit Brightman.

After Spong’s racist meme went viral on social media and elsewhere, the self-inflicted wound was too much for the acting commissioner to weather. Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, wrote a letter to Maryland’s Senate executive nominations committee, urging it to reject Spong’s nomination, stating explicitly, “that Mr. Spong is not the choice of Governor Hogan and the administration.”

After the governor rejected Spong’s appointment, the acting county commissioner and former president of the Washington County teachers’ union quickly resigned his commissioner position, blaming the media, myself and others for his inevitable demise.

Soon after Spong resigned his post, multiple sources reported to me that the former school administrator began colluding with the Washington County Republican Central Committee, the Washington County teachers’ union (Neil Becker, specifically) and the Washington County Republican Club, led by Brightman detractor Ginger Bigelow, to deny Donna Brightman another term on the Board of Education as a means of retribution for coming forward in a public letter that denounced Spong’s sexist remarks.

DeWolf is again leading the charge against Brightman (as well as Ridenour and Bickford) on behalf of the Washington County Republican Club and the Republican Central Committee, vehemently attacking the recently-elected president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education on social media and even going so far as to create an attack Facebook page entitled, “Liberate Washington County Board of Education.”

In the photograph above, DeWolf accuses Brightman of being a “left wing liberal hack” because Brightman’s campaign signs are placed next to John Delaney and Chris Van-Hollen campaign signs. The argument itself is so idiotic that it almost deserves no response, but if Jerry DeWolf took the time to get out of Keedysville once and a while and would decide to drive around Washington County, he would see that Brightman’s signs are equally located in between Donald Trump, Kathy Szeliga and Amie Hoeber signs. But, again, that would require effort.

The campaign smear page you see above, created by DeWolf and managed by him, (you can tell it’s DeWolf by his slapdash writing style) has a total of 20 likes. DeWolf is profoundly critical of Brightman, often referring to her as a “liberal” Hillary-Clinton Democrat (she’s not), and claims that Brightman supports the Board having taxing authority (she doesn’t nor has she ever said as much – and it’s illegal in Maryland) and writes incoherently on the budget process – something he clearly and fundamentally misunderstands, otherwise he would understand what MOE actually is (he doesn’t) and how the Washington County Board of Education is consistently ranked as one of the most fiscally responsible Boards of Education in Maryland.

If DeWolf had even the slightest clue, he would understand that the Washington County Board of Education is the lowest in the state on school construction costs and was recently recognized by Maryland’s state Comptroller Peter Franchot for protecting state investments. But DeWolf doesn’t know that. Nor does he care. And, apparently, some Republicans in Washington County don’t care either.

DeWolf and his Republican naysayers are probably not aware that Governor Hogan – a fiscally conservative Republican – actually supported the alternative financing plan that he laments Brightman for supporting- a fiscally responsible funding proposal that was endorsed by conservative Republican state Senator Andrew Serafini (a well-seasoned financial adviser) as an alternative source (PPP’s) for funding the downtown Academic Hub project. We couldn’t possibly expect Republicans like DeWolf to understand the budget, now could we? That would require actual thinking.

On the same Facebook page, DeWolf attempts to directly connect me with Donna Brightman, writing, “Ryan Miner is a democratic hack working for Donna Brightman!!!!”

That’s a new one – even for me. I’m a registered Republican and have been since 2003. I’m 30 now, and the first presidential election that I was legally allowed to vote in was the 2004 presidential election. I proudly voted for George W. Bush. He won.

I’m slowly becoming a libertarian activist in Maryland; I supported Rand Paul for president and am planning to write in Ron Paul when I vote this November. I’m sure Democrats in Washington County wouldn’t want me on their voter rolls or anywhere near them or their candidates. That’s a fact. screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-29-44-am

If I am working for Donna Brightman, as DeWolf accuses, then I must be cheap labor. I would be charging Brightman at least $2K a month for consulting services if that were the case. That’s a pretty standard fee in the industry, but I encourage any interested parties to review Brightman’s campaign finance reports and see just how much she’s paying me. You’ll quickly discover how ridiculous DeWolf’s claims are.

While I hope that Brightman prevails in Washington County’s Board of Education election, that’s the extent of it. DeWolf’s shoddy attempt to link Brightman and me using the picture taken on March 26, 2016 (see above in DeWolf’s posting) is just plain silly – and sad. The photograph you see above was captured at a public candidate event at the Halfway Fire Company banquet hall. I walked over to Brightman, Ridenour and Al Martin to say hello and offer my best wishes. The photograph was apparently taken by Dave Williams, Melissa Williams’ husband.

The adjacent photograph of me standing next to soon-to-be President Hillary Clinton was taken earlier this year on February 6 in Concord, New Hampshire at a Clinton rally. Kim and I spent close to two weeks in the first-in-the-nation primary state in the lead up to its presidential primary, initially volunteering for Sen. Rand Paul (he dropped out of the presidential election on Wednesday, February 3) as well as meeting the majority of the presidential candidates (including most of the Republicans), attending their town hall events and public rallies.

Just to be clear: I am not supporting Hillary Clinton in this presidential election; however; who wouldn’t pass up a photograph with the next president of the United States?

Nice try, though, Mr. DeWolf. I look forward to the day when Jerry has the intellectual capacity to articulate the concepts of liberty, free markets, civil liberties and can discuss with a semblance of coherence concepts of a humble foreign policy.

However, supporting Donald Trump, a fake Republican who will likely suffer one of the most humiliating electoral defeats in American history, doesn’t exactly support DeWolf’s so-called conservative creds. But then again, DeWolf and his Republican colleagues on the Republican Central Committee more so identify with the alt-right movement rather than actual conservatism.

Here are a few basic questions for Jerry DeWolf and his Republican friends in Washington County:

  1. Why are Washington County Republicans supporting Common Core supporter Linda Murray? It’s a well-known fact that Murray is a rabid supporter of Common Core State Standards. How can the Republican Club possibly reconcile its support for her?
  2. Why is the Republican apparatus in Washington County colluding with the radical teachers’ union to elect Stan Stouffer (a former teachers’ union rep), Melissa Willliams (a back-and-forth union supporter and sympathizer) and Linda Murray, a union-endorsed, Common Core supporter?
  3.  Why are Washington County Republicans supporting Board of Education candidates Linda Murray, Melissa Williams and most notably, Stan Stouffer –  three candidates who oppose school choice and support compulsory union dues, otherwise known as “fair share?”
  4. Why are the Republicans in Washington County supporting Stan Stouffer and Melissa Williams, the two candidates who were caught attending a secret meeting in 2014? Remember that? The meeting was held behind closed doors at ethically-challenged Mike Guessford’s former restaurant, Always Rons, to try to help Stouffer’s buddy get a leg up in the Athletic Director job at Williamsport High School.
  5. Why are Washington County Republicans supporting Stan Stouffer, a former teacher who was placed on a performance improvement plan for failing 75% of his students?

Somebody, anybody, take away DeWolf’s social media account. He’s embarrassing himself.

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About Ryan
Ryan Miner is Editor in Chief, Founder and Publisher of AMinerDetail.com. Miner is the sole reporter and columnist at AMinerDetail.com, covering Maryland news, politics, business, education, national, state and local government. Miner is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.

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