With its choice of a replacement for state Sen. Joseph Getty, who was selected to be a part of Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's cabinet, the county's Republican Central Committee has pretty much assured that any legislation proposed by our delegation will surely be shot down by the still Democratic controlled legislature, and possibly by more reasonable Republicans as well.
Central Committee vice chairman Larry Helminiak commented that all of the unnamed finalists were so qualified that "we couldn't make a mistake" and "any choice would have been the right choice." From my point of view, and apparently from that of many influential county Republicans, the Central Committee made a big mistake and made absolutely the wrong choice in recommending Robin Bartlett Frazier for the state Senate post.
Why was she chosen? It has been speculated that the Central Committee wanted to "right a wrong," meaning her defeat for re-election as a county commissioner. What they did was to wrong a right.
Helminiak also is of the opinion that Frazier's political career speaks for itself. With that I do agree. She has proven to be obstinate and unwilling to compromise, even with other Republicans, even if it would be in the best interests of her constituency. I am positive that her personal, strictly ultra-conservative, religious and "my way or no way" style of politics will not do the county any good when the willingness to work with the Democratic majority and more moderate Republicans will be of the utmost importance with a Republican Governor and a Democratic legislature. Her inability to get along with other members of the all Republican Board of Commissioners during her two stints in that office, where she was dumped by the voters after one term each time, is well documented.
Del. Haven Shoemaker, who was a member of the Board of Commissioners during Frazier's most recent term, shares my view that her nomination will do nothing positive for the county. He is of the opinion that her selection was a "nullification of the will of the people" who voted her off of the board. Shoemaker also agrees that Frazier has to "be able to reach across the aisle, which [she has] proven she can't do." Del. Susan Krebs, who declined to apply for the Senate seat because she didn't want to be a part of what she suspected would be a flawed process, declared that the selection of Frazier was "a slap in the face of the voters."
It has been reported that Del. Justin Ready, Carmen Amadori, Richard Rothschild, Dave Wallace, Steve Nevin and Vince Pacelli applied to represent the county in the Senate. Any one of those, except Rothschild whose political viewpoint is similar to Frazier's, would have been a much better choice for the post.
The public wasn't privy to the names of those who applied to the Central Committee prior to the selection announcement. Neither the preliminary list, nor that of those who made the final group from which Frazier was chosen was made available by the committee. Such secrecy is symptomatic of the way the Republican Party leaders in Carroll County like to deal with things, treat the public like mushrooms, keep us in the dark and feed us manure.
After his initial statements, Helminiak has referred all media questions to committee chairman David Jones, who to this point has failed to respond to emails concerning the selection or its process. Secret meetings and back room decision making is no way to operate a supposedly representative government, but our local politicos do so with amazing regularity despite the regular rebukes from those who are charged with upholding the open meeting statutes. Hogan should immediately reject Frazier's nomination and select one of the other candidates.
It has been suggested that Frazier take the high road and decline the recommendation. I expect that to happen as much as I expect it to be 95 degrees tomorrow. As the Baltimore Sun noted in an editorial last week, "the Governor-elect has a golden opportunity to build a competitive Maryland Republican party, so long as his fellow Republicans don't get in the way." Our local Central Committee should take that to heart.
Latest Carroll County Times Opinion
Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Email him at email@example.com.