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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Talking Maryland Politics

I invite you to visit and “join us” to view my new online video political discussion program, Talking Maryland Politics. The video program focuses on political issues in Maryland and features elected officials and community leaders/activists from across the state.
Last week I visited Bethesda in Montgomery County and today on my Blog, are my interviews with Maryland Democratic state senator Brian Frosh, who is running for Attorney General, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett(D), who is running for a third term and long time Democratic politico and attorney Stanton Gildenhorn.
You can watch all of the exclusive interviews on for an introductory low annual subscription fee of only $19.95 a year! 
It is through your membership fee and contributions we are able to bring you quality video programming throughout the year. I encourage you to forward this email to your friends and invite them to "join us"!
Sign up takes only a few minutes and is safely secured by Pay Pal.  Major credit cards and your debit card are accepted.  You can sign up here:
I want to thank the many who watched our first show that focused on the change to charter government in Frederick County, Maryland.
My guests included Democratic candidate for county executive Jan Gardner, Maryland Democratic Party Treasurer and local attorney Robert Kresslein who was co-chair of the charter writing committee, local businessmen and political commentators Michael Kurtianyk and Jim Racheff, Frederick County Teachers Association President Gary Brennan, local activist and Residents Against Landsdale Expansion (RALE) president Steve McKay.
You can watch, for free, my twenty minute interview with Jan Gardner and Steve McKay here:
Each week we will strive to bring you an hour video program, posted on the Blog in twenty minute segments to make for easy viewing.  Of course, they are always available for viewing when you have the time.
Next week we will air a recent interview I conducted with Kevin Grubb who is challenging incumbent Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins in the Republican Primary. 
Also next week, you will be able to view a great interview I had with Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Danny O’Connor who was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.  Former Frederick County state’s attorney Scott Rolle is challenging O’Connor in this election.  
Joining me in another segment is Dave Weaver, the chair of the Judicial Nominating Commission for Frederick County.  Weaver details what is a very thorough nominating process.  
Your suggestions for guests and the issues to be discussed are also welcomed. Email me at
Remember to subscribe today to at the low introductory annual fee of only $19.95 by clicking here:! 
Also be sure to “Like” Talking Maryland Politics on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at TalkMDpolitics. 
Thank You!
George Wenschhof 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Launch of Talking Maryland Politics Blog

I am pleased to announce the launching of my new Blog, Talking Maryland Politics, that will feature a video political discussion program.

The Blog will be a subscription Blog and the annual introductory fee is only $19.95.

Please click on "Join Us" at the top of the page at today!  

The sign up is easy and your payment is secured by Pay Pal. You can use your existing Pay Pal account or it only takes a few minutes to complete your Pay Pal registration.  
Major credit cards or debit cards are accepted. You will create a user name and password to gain access to the Blog for a full year.  At the end of the year, you will be given an option to renew.
I am excited about bringing you elected officials, local activists and community leaders from across the state of Maryland discussing the issues that matter most to you.
The first show will focus on the change to charter government in Frederick County, Maryland and will available for subscribers to view on Monday March 24, 2014. 
Guests will include Democratic candidate for county executive Jan Gardner, Maryland Democratic Party Treasurer and local attorney Robert Kresslein who was co-chair of the charter writing committee, local businessmen and political commentators Michael Kurtianyk and Jim Racheff, Frederick County Teachers Association President Gary Brennan, local activist and Residents Against Landsdale Expansion (RALE) president Steve McKay.
I will strive to bring you discussion from decision makers on topics important to you.  Your membership enables me to bring this program to you. 
Please share the launching of the Blog; event with your Facebook “Friends” and your email lists.   
The more memberships received will allow the annual subscription fee to stay low for everyone.
Future guests will include candidates for governor, attorney general, comptroller, congressmen, state senator, state delegate, county executive, county sheriff and local elected officials from across the state of Maryland.
Your suggestions for guests and the issues to be discussed are also welcomed. Email me at
Please click on "Join Us" at today!
Thank You!
George Wenschhof 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Rolle Wants Voters to Decide

George Wenschhof
Scott Rolle
Former Frederick County, Maryland state’s attorney Scott Rolle(R) is running for Frederick County Circuit Court Judge after failing to receive an appointment from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley(D).
During my interview, neither one of us could remember a Judge being elected in Frederick County.  The last to try was former county commissioner John “Lennie” Thompson, who challenged and lost to Theresa Adams, who was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich(R).
Rolle explained to me the judicial nominating process and said he was one of eight who applied to the judicial nominating commission.  The commission consists of 13 members, 10 of whom are appointed by the governor and he believed the Maryland State Bar Association appoints the other 3 members.
Applicants fill out an extensive application and are also interviewed by the commission.  In this case 5 of the 8 names who submitted an application were forwarded to the Governor to interview and make a selection.
Governor Martin O’Malley(D) appointed Earl Bartgis(D) to District Court Judge and Danny O’Connor(D) to Circuit Court Judge in Frederick County. 
Rolle informed me 2 Republicans; Dino Flores and Rick Sandy were among the 5 names forwarded to the Governor and he felt both were extremely well qualified, adding “if either one had been appointed he would not have run”.
When I asked him “Should all Judges be elected?” he said the selection process was political and few Republicans have been appointed Judge by Governor O’Malley.  Rolle went on to say “there was a strong argument for both appointment and election, but allowing voters to decide is best in this case”.
I asked him “why he felt he was a better choice than O’Connor for Circuit Court Judge?” and Rolle responded with his lengthy trial experience.
Scott Rolle served three terms as Frederick County state’s attorney, an elected position, and told me he has a combined 27 years of experience in court trying cases.  Rolle added “along with my military experience, the lessons I learned have taught me respect for the rule of law”.
In response to my question “did he expect to receive the support from the local legal community?” he said he had received lots of thank you comments since filing.  However, Rolle said “I do not believe voters want to see lawyers deciding this election”.
Another question I asked was “if he intended, if elected, to use this position as a stepping stone to another elected position, pointing out his failed run against Representative Roscoe Bartlett in the 2002 Republican primary election”.
He told me his experience is better suited for the court room than legislative politics.  The term for a Judge is 15 years, which Rolle told me would make him 67 years old, which he believed would be the last step in his career.
As I concluded the interview, Scott Rolle reminded me the election of a Circuit Court Judge was a nonpartisan election and that both he and Judge Danny O’Connor will appear on the ballot without political affiliation noted on both the Republican and Democratic primary election ballot on June 24.
If, one candidate wins both primary elections there would be no general election.  Otherwise, the winner will be decided in the general election held on November 4.

Stuart Harvey, election director for Frederick County Board of Elections, in an email, clarified what will happen if one candidate should win both primaries "Even if one candidate for Circuit Court wins both primaries, their name will still appear on the General Election ballot, with a write-in box below it.  This is what happened in 2004 with Judge Adams and Commissioner Thompson.  Since she won both primaries that year, only her name appeared on the Nov. 2004 ballot."
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Frederick County Deserves More Than a Carnival Barker

George Wenschhof
Blaine Young
The deadline has now passed for candidates to file to run in the 2014 election and there were few surprises for the voters in Frederick County Maryland.
In a poor imitation of Professor Harold Hill from “The Music Man”, Republican board of county commissioners President Blaine Young, holding back tears and using his sons as props, made official what everyone knew, by announcing his run for county executive.
The alleged suspense as to whether he would run was embellished by Blaine stating his 13 year old son would make the decision for him at 6:00 PM on February 25, a mere three hours before the filing deadline. 
Holding up a “Blaine Young for county executive” sign, Blaine proclaimed he had no prior idea what his son’s decision would be.
Reminiscent of George C. Scott in the movie “The Flim-Flam Man”, Blaine would like voters to believe it was a last minute choice, while many believe the appearance of his sons was intended to blunt sure to come scrutiny on Blaine’s personal life.
One thing numerous Frederick County voters can be thankful for is Blaine will not, due to legal constraints, be able to host his radio show while he is running for office.  A platform he exploited while serving in office the past three plus years.
It is likely a weakened Blaine will still easily prevail over fellow commissioner David Gray and former county budget officer Mark Sweadner in the Republican primary. 
However, in a much anticipated contest, he will face a colossal battle with Jan Gardner who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.   
Joining Blaine in the last minute trip to the board of elections was Republican board of county commissioner Billy Shreve who filed for county council at-large.  Shreve, commissioner Kirby Delauter(R), who is running for county council in district 5 and commissioner Paul Smith(R), who is running for Maryland state delegate in district 3-A have given Blaine “carte blance” over the last three plus years to proceed with his reckless and ill conceived privatization strategy, leading me to label them “Blaine and Company”.
Shreve will not have an easy route in the at-large council race where voters will choose two representatives.  The June 24 county council at-large primary will have 8 Republican candidates and 5 Democratic candidates with the top two from each party facing each other in the November 4 general election. 
Former Republican congressman Roscoe Bartlett chief of staff Bud Otis and Billy Shreve will be the early favorites to win in the Republican primary.  With 5 strong candidates, Democratic voters are ensured they will have two competitive contenders for the general election.
In years past, because of voter registration favoring Republicans, one could easily say it would be difficult for a Democratic candidate to win countywide.  But with Linda Norris, Susan Reeder Jesse, David Twigg, Whitney Duck and Steve Bruns in the running, look to see at least one elected in November.
The rearranging of the deck chairs, by proponents for “smart growth” versus proponents for growth continues with the candidates who have filed for the five members of the council elected by districts.
Look to see the Democratic primary produce the winner in November in District 3 with M.C. Keegan-Ayer, Dwain Earl Robbins and Jesse Goode having the most name recognition.
At first glance, all of the county council races appear to be competitive with the exception of District 4 where I place Democrat Jessica Fitzwater, who is unopposed in the primary, as the favorite to win in November.
Even, in northern district 5, long a Republican voter stronghold, early favorite Kirby Delauter will face a primary challenge from Walkersville Burgess Ralph Whitmore.  Whitmore is close to former county commissioner and Walkersville Burgess John “Lennie” Thompson who was a member of the 2006 board of commissioners led by Democrat Jan Gardner dubbed “The Dream Team”.
Frederick County residents have had enough theatrics from Blaine Young over the last three plus years. 
What Frederick County residents deserve is reasonable, fair and effective representation.
Instead of signs welcoming visitors stating “Frederick County, Open for Business”, what are needed are signs saying “Welcome to Frederick County, a Well Planned Community”.
Vote for change in 2014.
Stay tuned.