Thank you for visiting our website

Featuring breaking political news and commentary on local, state, and national issues.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maryland Comptroller Promotes Tax Assistance Programs

George Wenschhof
Josh Pederson, Ryan Trout and Peter Franchot
On a cold January day, Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot (D) was visiting Frederick, Maryland to promote tax assistance programs.
Yesterday, at the Bernard Brown Community Center, he thanked representatives from many local community organizations including Josh Pederson CEO of the United Way of Frederick County, Ryan Trout with the Housing Authority of The City of Frederick, and the Frederick County Financial Literacy Coalition for the work they do in providing financial services and education to residents of Frederick County.
At this tax time kickoff event, he spoke about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and The Earned Income Tax Credit.  These are programs that help low to moderate income families prepare their tax returns and make sure eligible families receive tax credits up to $5,891.
Franchot pointed out that in Frederick County alone, statistics showed “there were more than 10,000 county residents living below the poverty line and another 16,000 considered to be working poor”.
He spoke enthusiastically about how these programs help eligible families who are in need of some extra money, get the tax credits they deserve.
Franchot added “It’s not just the right thing to do morally – it’s the right thing to do economically, because it ultimately puts money back into our local economy”.
Last year, VITA sites in Frederick County helped prepare 300 returns securing more than $400,000 and also helped eligible residents receive Earned Income Tax Credits totaling $100,000.
Across the state of Maryland in 2013, over 18,000 residents were served who received over $30.5 Million in federal and state refunds.  In addition, eligible families received Earned Income Tax Credits of $13.6 Million.  Another $2.7 Million was saved in tax preparation fees.
Franchot said he also supports efforts to promote financial literacy to young people in Maryland and has advocated for mandatory personal finance education for every high school student in Maryland.
Peter Franchot and Jim Racheff
Jim Racheff, chair of The United Way of Frederick County told me "It was wonderful for the Comptroller to take time from his busy schedule to stand with United Way, the Housing Authority and all our partners to bring awareness to the VITA volunteer tax preparation assistance and earned income tax credit programs.”
Racheff added “Helping the more than 26,000 of our neighbors that find themselves struggling in this economy start on a path to financial stability is one of the most pressing issues in Frederick County. The Comptroller has been a strong advocate for financial literacy and we appreciate his continued support and leadership in this area."
Following his remarks, Comptroller Franchot told me “he's focused on making sure government works and that it's working for the people we're here to serve.”
After this event, Franchot visited a local business; Lebherz Oil and Vinegar Emporium, stopped by North Frederick Elementary School which is slated to receive $6.6 Million for construction in FY’15 and checked in at his local office.
Peter Franchot, who has repeatedly told me “he loves his job” has filed for reelection and at this point has no opposition in the Democratic Party. 
William Campbell is the only Republican who has filed for Comptroller. 
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 election is February 25.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gene Stanton Files for Maryland State Delegate in District 4

George Wenschhof
Gene Stanton
The first Democrat to file in district 4, Gene Stanton told me he wants to reduce the gridlock on U.S. Route 270, build on the state’s excellent educational system and is concerned with the runaway growth policies of the current Frederick board of county commissioners.
Stanton said plans show Rt. 270 is scheduled to be widened to 8 lanes by 2030, but he would like to widen Rt. 270 to six lanes from Germantown to Route 15/Monocacy Boulevard as soon as feasible.
Gene would also like to see the Metro Red Line expanded from Shady Grove to Fort Detrick and Frederick Community College.
Stanton, a High School social studies and government teacher, moved to Ijamsville nine years ago.  He feels the planned Monrovia Town Center development is ridiculous and does not take into account the impact new residents will have on local roadways and major arteries.
He likes the rural atmosphere of Frederick County and does not want to see it become another Montgomery County, adding he supports the state’s smart growth policies.
Education is also very important to Stanton, who says he loves being a teacher and intends to continue teaching, should he win election. As state delegate, he wants to move the state’s education system forward, adding kids and taxpayers deserve it.  He believes a strong education is critical for kids to have a future.
Gene Stanton, who grew up in a small town outside of Miami, Florida, is not a stranger to politics.  His father was involved in politics and worked at the Miami Herald newspaper.  Gene said he first registered as a Republican, in part to rebel against his father, and voted for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush for president, before changing his political affiliation.
He worked for Democrat Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns and would like to see today’s politicians get back to the days of compromise practiced by Clinton.
Gene shared with me it was after the 2000 presidential election, which saw Republican George W. Bush win, aided by the vote recount debacle in Florida and a questionable Supreme Court decision, that he and his partner of 24 years; Leonardo, moved to Maryland.  They were married in Vermont in 2009 after the state approved same-sex marriages. Last year Maryland's same-sex marriage law went into effect. 
When I asked him what he thought about the state “rain tax” for storm water management, Stanton told me he was against it and feels “we are taxed enough”.  Stanton added “I will not support new state income taxes under any circumstances”.
He does support Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed state increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 and would also like to see automatic increases tied to inflation.
As delegate, Gene Stanton said he would work hard to see Frederick County receives their fair share back of the state taxes they pay.
He told me he is running because he believes voters deserve a choice, adding he wants voters to get to know him and look at him for what he stands for.  You can learn more about Gene Stanton and his campaign on his website:, on Facebook: at Stanton for Delegate, and Twitter: Gene Stanton.
Voters in district 4 will elect 3 state delegates.  The deadline for candidates to file for election is February 25.  The primary election is June 24 and the general election is November 4.
Incumbent Republican state delegate Kelly Shulz is the only other candidate who has filed at the time of this publication.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot To Visit Frederick

George Wenschhof

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
On Wednesday January 29, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) will be visiting The City of Frederick. 

In the morning at the Bernard Brown Center, the comptroller will discuss the opening of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, before visiting the Lebherz Oil and Vinegar Emporium, a small business.  

The VITA program offers free tax assistance to low to moderate income families.

In the afternoon, he will visit North Frederick Elementary School which is slated to receive $6.6 Million in FY 15 and also stop by the local state Comptroller branch office in Frederick.

I will be having lunch with him and his communications director Andrew Friedson at Brewers Alley in historic downtown Frederick. My interview with the Comptroller will appear on

Wednesday, January 29 

10 a.m. Keynote Speaker: VITA Program
The Earned Income Tax Credit 
Bernard W. Brown Community Center 
629 North Market Street 
Frederick, MD 21701 

11:15 a.m. Proclamation Presentation: Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium 
214 North Market Street 
Frederick, MD 21701  

1:30 p.m. School Construction Visit – North Frederick Elementary 
1001 Motter Avenue 
Frederick, MD 21701 

2 p.m. Comptroller’s Frederick Branch Office Visit 
Courthouse/Multiservice Center 
100 West Patrick Street 
Frederick, MD 21701


If, you want to continue to read articles like this one, please donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!

Caroline Eader a Champion for Zero Waste

George Wenschhof

Caroline Eader
A big thank you is due Caroline Eader who has strongly advocated against the costly and ill advised construction of the Waste-to-Energy (Incinerator) facility in Frederick County, Maryland to handle solid waste disposal.
She has now pointed out there is an "out" to the contract for Frederick County government that will also avoid the widely circulated $3 Million fee for cancellation - see below section from the contract.
(B) Failure of Conditions.  If by the fourth anniversary [January 21, 2014] of the Contract Date [January 21, 2010] or such later date upon which the Authority and [Wheelabrator] may agree, any Construction Commencement Date Conditions in Section 4.3 hereof are not satisfied or waived either party ... may, by notice in writing to the other party, terminate this Service Contract;...Except as set forth herein, neither party shall be liable to the other for the termination of this Service Contract pursuant to this subsection, and each of the parties [NMWDA and Wheelabrator] shall bear its respective costs and expenses incurred in seeking to satisfy the Construction Commencement Date Conditions set forth in Section 4.3 hereof.
The need for termination of this agreement is emphasized by the understanding the partner county in this costly endeavor; Carroll County, has made it known they will not be participating in this project.
I first met Ms. Eader around the end of 2007 or early 2008 following the "infamous" power point presentation by Frederick County government on the benefits to building an Incinerator.
The word infamous is in quotes because it was obvious to me, who at the time was a layman on the subject, that the presentation had been slanted to support the building of an incinerator.
No reasonable comparison was given to expansion of the existing landfill or construction of another landfill.  Nor, was any consideration given to the county government embracing the concept of "zero waste" and the impact this would have on the size needed for a future landfill.
Zero Waste was a new term for Frederick County residents at the time. Advocates Caroline Eader, Karin Tome and others have worked diligently over the years to educate Frederick County residents on the benefits and the necessity of following zero waste principles.
In an effort to shine more light on the options available to the disposal of solid waste, I provided two of the Frederick County commissioners the opportunity to share their opposing views through a series of columns I published on my Blog;
The columns written by Commisioner Jan Gardner (D) who favored the construction of the incinerator and Kai Hagen (D) who opposed it, in August and September 2008, can be read here. 
On November 25, 2008, I followed with a column where I advocated for a cost benefit analysis where I conclude saying: "It would then follow that what is needed is a cost analysis of an Incinerator with a smaller complementary Landfill. Also needed would be a cost analysis of an appropriately sized Landfill supplemented by an increase in recycling and "zero waste" methods - this option would also include the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility and Resource Recovery Park. 
There is a cost associated with both which would be clearly seen after figures were plugged in for these options. It would appear a cost-benefit analysis of these two options would aid the elected officials and the community in this difficult decision making process."
This was obviously not done and another five years have passed without resolution to the disposal of solid waste for Frederick County.  Instead, the county has continued the costly and inefficient method of trucking the waste out of state.
Interestingly, since that time, I had the fortune of spending time on the west coast where I witnessed first hand zero waste practices in place and extremely effective in communities.
It was common to see a 3-Bin system; one for trash, one for compost/yard waste and one for recycling.  The trash bin was a pay as your throw system that was simply based on the size of the bin used.
Bottle deposit fees were also common place and in Oregon, it was common to see large fully automatic containers situated along the outside walls of grocery stores for residents to drop off their bottles and receive their money.  The machines would also crush the bottles and this was picked up on a scheduled basis. 
During my recent interview with Caroline Eader, she also shared a letter that was sent by the Zero Waste International Alliance to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, thanking him for beginning to use the term "zero waste", while also correcting him that he could not support the concept by continuing to pursue incineration of solid waste in the state.
I was most intrigued with the "Ten Year Bridge Plan to Zero Waste", I received from Caroline Eader that was developed by Eric Lombardi of Eco-Cycle.  This plan provides a guide for how communities can transition their waste disposal systems from landfills and incinerators to recycling, composting, reuse and waste reduction.
This is a reasonable strategy and one the Frederick Board of County Commissioners should pursue.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Trout Focuses on Helping Low to Moderate Income Families

George Wenschhof
Ryan Trout
With rumors aplenty on who will be running for the two open seats, I reached out to Ryan Trout to find out whether he intended to run for Maryland state delegate in district 3-a.
The announcements from incumbents Patrick Hogan (R) and Galen Clagett (D) that they will not be running for reelection has fueled much speculation on who will take their place in Annapolis.
Shortly, after sitting down for an engaging two hour interview, Ryan Trout, who had run unsuccessfully for Maryland state delegate in district 4-a in the 2010 election, informed me he would not be running for any partisan election in 2014.
His job as the Family Self Sufficiency coordinator with Public Housing in Frederick falls under the Hatch Act which prohibits him from running for delegate. 
Ryan went on to tell me he also “loves his job and his sincere passion is to make the lives of low and moderate income families better”. He added “one reason why I love my current position so much is I am able to have a direct impact and work with wonderful people every day”.
He spoke extensively about his work and was proud of the services provided to help eligible families becomes self sufficient and obtain home ownership.  The comprehensive program works with 25 families at a time and includes educational, employment and financial training components, leading to home ownership.
In addition to his focus on his employment, Ryan told me he recently became engaged and they are looking to buy a home. Interestingly, he met his fiance Alecia Frisby at the Democratic Tent during the Great Frederick Fair.  Alecia is a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau's Midwestern Office.
Ryan Trout told me that although he won’t be running for delegate, he wants to make sure that low to moderate income residents of the state have a voice in Annapolis.
He told me he supports an increase in the state minimum wage and is okay with individual counties passing legislation that provide for an even higher minimum wage.
Trout also strongly supports new jobs programs, pre-K and K-12 education, as well as career and technical education.
In breaking the cycle of poverty, he believes focus should be on economic rights and education.
He would also like to see Maryland become more progressive and move to Universal Health Care.
I asked Ryan, with his education interest, if he would consider running for a nonpartisan seat on the Frederick County Board of Education. He indicated he would need to get clarification from the Federal Elections Commission. Another thought that had crossed his mind was to submit his resume for consideration for the open slot, resulting from Russ Currey’s resignation, on the Frederick County Democratic state Central Committee.
When I asked him if he was supporting any candidates in the Maryland district 3-a state delegate race, he immediately said Carol Krimm is a dedicated public servant who would do well in that position.
The candidates who have filed so far for delegate in district 3-a are Republican Paul Smith, a member of the Frederick board of county commissioners, Republican Chris Huckenpoehler, Democrat and former City of Frederick alderman Carol Krimm and Democrat Nicholas Bouquet.  Bouquet, who has not made an official announcement, filed on 1-17-2014.
Former City of Frederick alderman and mayoral candidate Karen Young (D) and Roger Wilson (D) have filed a statement of organization with the state and indicated their interest in running for delegate in district 3-a.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 state of Maryland elections is February 25.  The primary election will be held on June 24 and the general election will take place on November 4.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bickel Wants to Restore Dignity to Sheriff’s Office

George Wenschhof
Karl Bickel
During an interview Thursday afternoon, Democrat Karl Bickel repeatedly complained of the lack of leadership in the Frederick County, Maryland Sheriff office.  He told me incumbent Republican sheriff Chuck Jenkins, manages through fear and intimidation resulting in scared employees and low morale.
He said there were good people in the Frederick County Sheriff department and he was running because he wants the opportunity to build leaders in all levels of the organization.
Bickel added he wanted to “restore dignity from top to bottom and that the leadership style needs to change”.
He sent me an email early Friday evening following the interview informing me it was now official and that he had filed to run for Sheriff.  His Treasurer is local attorney and Republican Jason Shoemaker who will also help in managing the campaign.  So far, two Republicans; incumbent Chuck Jenkins and Kevin Grubb have announced they are running for Frederick County Sheriff.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 election is February 25.  The primary election is June 24 and the general election is November 4.
Bickel, who has lived the last 35 years in Monrovia, Maryland recently retired from the U.S. Department of Justice and has a 40 year career in law enforcement.  He previously was the Chief of Law Enforcement Operations with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office when Carl Harbaugh was sheriff and worked with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Karl also told me he had served on the Frederick County Ethics and Human Relations Commissions.
His education includes a Master of Science Degree in Management; Police Executive Leadership Program from John Hopkins University and a Master of Science Degree; Justice from American University.

He also has taught criminal justice at Allegheny College, Montgomery College and American University. 
Due to Hatch Act restrictions, he explored running as an “Unaffiliated” candidate four years ago, falling short of the required signatures needed to appear on the ballot.
In a wide ranging interview, Bickel told me “there were so many problems across the board.., and that the Sheriff department had a bad reputation outside of Frederick County”.
One area Bickel wants to work on is consolidation of services with The City of Frederick and state police.  He believes there is a strong possibility for combining training with the city.
He also wants to see the Sheriff’s office receive more federal funds, something Bickel says Sheriff Jenkins has failed to do, pointing to a $500,000 federal grant Jenkins turned down when it was brought to his attention from former Maryland sixth district Representative Roscoe Bartlett’s office.
When it comes to high profile cases such as the tragic death of Ethan Saylor, who suffered with Down syndrome, that resulted from actions taken from off duty sheriff deputies working as security guards, Bickel believes an outside agency should do the investigation.  When the investigation is complete, Bickel says it is important to immediately share it with the public.
He believes this type of action could well have prevented a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bickel also shared with me an article he had written for a local newspaper where he was critical of the management of the Frederick County jail, where numerous suicides have occurred under the watch of Sheriff Jenkins.
As sheriff, he plans to take a look at current administrative costs and wants to put more deputies on the road. Bickel said he would like to require ranking officers to spend 10% of their time in the field.
Overall, Karl Bickel wants to provide a change in leadership and move the Frederick County Sheriff’s office forward.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Karen Young Lobbies for Medical Marijuana Amendment

George Wenschhof
Nicolas and Byron Moore
Photo by Amy Masser, Baby Face Photography
I spoke to Shannon Moore Sunday evening when she and her husband were in Children’s Hospital with their twins Nicolas and Byron. The twins were there to receive feeding tubes because seizures are keeping them from being able to eat.
The three-year old twins Nicolas and Byron (they call them Nico and Bebo) have a rare genetic disorder called Miller-Dieker Syndrome that causes severe, life-threatening seizures.
Shannon told me she first heard about medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy on a CNN special with Sanjay Gupta.  After considerable research and many conversations with other parents and medical professionals, she believes her children and many others could benefit from medical cannabis. She is convinced the treatment will save the lives of children with epilepsy.
Shannon Moore shared with me many of the key points on why medical marijuana is needed (that can be read here), including, but not limited to, “children with epilepsy take medicines with horrible side effects”.
More important, Shannon points out “cannabis is working on many children with epilepsy. About 15% of kids with epilepsy who are given high CBD low THC cannabis don't see a benefit.  But about 85% of them do, and about 60% of those kids see significant seizure reduction of about 80% or more.  There are a few kinds of epilepsy that have had the most promising results to date: Doose, Dravet, and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes.  I listen with gratitude and some jealousy to parents on facebook whose kids are beginning to walk again, or talk, or eat on their own, or to smile - to play..”.
During a recent social encounter, Shannon shared with Karen Young her plight and her wish to see legislation enacted in Maryland to help her children and others.  Shannon said Karen’s reaction was immediate and she volunteered to help saying “I will go to bat for you”.  Shannon added “it was pretty amazing”.
When I reached former City of Frederick alderman and candidate for mayor; Karen Young, she told me “When she (Shannon) told me that, between the demands of her job and her children, she just didn't have sufficient time to pursue the legislation, I knew immediately what I would be doing.”
She added “Shannon is an amazing woman. She is one of the most knowledgeable people in the region on environmental sustainability. She is both knowledgeable and highly professional. Those who know her professionally would never know what she is going through. She is incredibly strong.” Shannon Moore is Manager of the Frederick County government office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources.
Karen Young, who has filed a "statement of organization" with the state and is considering a run for state delegate in district 3-a, said she immediately reached out to Maryland state delegate Patrick Hogan (R-district 3-a), who indicated his support from the Frederick County state delegation and also met with Maryland state senator Jamin (Jamie) Raskin (D-district 20) in Annapolis.

Delegate Hogan responded to my inquiry in an email and said he had spoken to both Shannon and Karen on this issue.  He stated "Shannon's sons and many other children and adults with similar conditions are not eligible under the legislation that we passed last year, so I plan to help correct that legislatively."

Hogan went on to say "I have spoken to Del. Dan Morhaim who sits on the Health and Government Operations Committee and has been one of the lead sponsors of the medical marijuana legislation. I asked him about a few specific conditions and he said he is in the process of drafting a bill to include various medical conditions that were not covered under the previous legislation. We plan to meet later this week to ensure that his legislation will include Miller-Dieker syndrome and other similar disorders."

Hogan concluded by saying "we are allowing medical marijuana in Maryland, so of course we should make sure it is available to those who can really benefit from it."
Karen said she was also heartened to hear from senator Raskin, who confirmed with me by email he informed her "I spoke with delegate Dan Morhaim, M.D. (D-district 11) after seeing you yesterday, and I will be cross-filing his legislation to expand the availability of medical marijuana by allowing doctors to prescribe it. In this futile, decades-long War on Drugs, at the very least we should get the sick, the injured, and the young off of the battlefield. Please tell Shannon that I am saddened by her story but inspired by her activism and her love as a parent."
It is encouraging to see this bipartisan effort underway in the Maryland state legislature. This common sense legislation is aimed at helping children and families in need across the state. It deserves prompt attention and approval by the General Assembly this session.   
As Shannon stated in an email “Thank you so much for taking the time to listen, and for your willingness to care.  I know that we can move mountains.”
Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wilson Readies Run for Delegate

George Wenschhof
Roger Wilson
Roger Wilson, a Democrat, had already had a long day when he met with me early Saturday evening.  A member of the Frederick Community College board of trustees, he had come from a full day meeting on the budget.
A senior consultant with IBM, Roger, his wife and three daughters have lived in Frederick for the last fifteen years.  All of the girls are in public schools and his wife is a counselor at the Jefferson School.
With three daughters in the public school system, Wilson told me he is committed to see Frederick County receives its fair share of school construction dollars from the state.
Since, relocating to Frederick from Virginia, the 41 year old has been busy volunteering in the community.  Roger spoke highly of the class “Leadership Frederick” that he completed years ago and said it exposed him to the challenges facing Frederick County.
Wilson informed me he also served on The City of Frederick Planning Commission and served two terms on the Fair Housing Commission.
He feels his business experience and public service has prepared him well for Maryland state delegate and has put together an impressive team to help him.  Former City of Frederick attorney Debra Borden is his Treasurer and his co-chairs are Jim Racheff, a local businessman and chair of The City of Frederick zoning board of appeals and Theresa Harrison.
Wilson informed me he had filed a statement of organization with the state which allows him to raise funds and will determine within the next few weeks if his candidacy is viable.
He lives in district 3-a where incumbent state delegates Galen Clagett(D) and Patrick Hogan(R) have both announced they will not be running for reelection.
When I asked him if he had a platform, he immediately mentioned the economy and jobs, higher education and affordable housing for seniors.  He added the themes in his campaign would be leadership, integrity and service.
In regard to job creation, he would support establishing a tax free zone for ten years to encourage businesses to relocate in Frederick County.  Focusing on where growth is taking place such as in cyber security and production of electric automobiles is also what Wilson would like to see.
The closing of BP Solar in Frederick was a disappointment to Roger and he said he would be a delegate championing these types of businesses.
I brought up the recent local discussion on how to pay for needed infrastructure with the proposal by Frederick County board of county commissioners Blaine Young (R) to increase the transfer tax on the sale of homes and delegate Galen Clagett’s (D) proposal to increase the personal income tax. 
Wilson said he opposed both proposals and was okay with the impact fee that was currently in use.
I also asked him about the current effort underway to raise the state minimum wage and how he felt about Prince Georges County and Montgomery County already raising the minimum wage.  He said he believed in local control and would not oppose what counties did and would support the state of Maryland tying the increase of the minimum wage to the cost of living.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 state of Maryland elections is February 25.  The primary election will be held on June 24 and the general election will take place on November 4.
The candidates who have filed so far for delegate in district 3-a are Republican Paul Smith, a member of the Frederick board of county commissioners, Republican Chris Huckenpoehler and Democrat and former City of Frederick alderman Carol Krimm.
Former City of Frederick alderman and mayoral candidate Karen Young (D) informed me she is also exploring a run for delegate and filed a statement of organization on January 9.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Obama Weekly Address

George Wenschhof

President Obama called on Congress to make 2014 a “year of action” for the economy and called for extending emergency unemployment benefits.
In his weekly address, the president touted the gains the economy has made in the last few years, while urging policymakers to do more to boost jobs and put people back to work.

Please donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!

Republican Weekly Address

George Wenschhof

In the weekly GOP address, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) criticized the president’s healthcare law for not being fully in place by 2014, noting that implementation of some of the law’s mandates have been delayed.


Please donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!

Grubb Files for Frederick County Sheriff

George Wenschhof
Kevin Grubb
Former City of Frederick police captain and Deputy Chief Kevin Grubb made it official Friday when he filed for Sheriff of Frederick County, Maryland.
I reported Grubb filed a candidate committee with the state in September of last year and he told me at that time he was considering a run as an unaffiliated candidate.
His filing ensures there will be a contested Republican primary.  Incumbent Republican Sheriff Chuck Jenkins made his run for a third term official on Tuesday.
When I reached Grubb for an comment on why he decided to file, he told me “With 28 years of public service, both in the military,  and with the City of Frederick,  it is a natural progression to run for Sheriff.   I’m excited about the opportunity to run for Sheriff of Frederick County. The citizens of Frederick County will have the opportunity to select their first County Executive and 7 Council Members in 2014, and I think the Sheriff’s Department should play a big part in the successful transition to our new form of government.”
I asked him why he decided to run as a Republican and not as an unaffiliated candidate and he said “I think politics and public safety doesn’t always mix, but it comes down to how people are treated and I’m determined to show Frederick’s citizens everyone can and will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of party affiliation.      
Grubb added he will be inviting supporters to an official announcement soon.
Incumbent Republican sheriff Chuck Jenkins won election two terms ago with a platform centered on illegal immigration and faced no opposition in the last election. 
However, repeated suicides at the Frederick County jail, the death of a man with Down syndrome resulting from actions taken by off duty deputies who were moonlighting as security guards, and two deputies who have been recently suspended as a result of criminal charges, is likely to have an impact on the reelection of Jenkins.
No Democrat has filed for Sheriff at this time.  The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 election is February 25.
Stay tuned..

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Your Donations to are needed.  If, you have been thinking about making a contribution, now is the time!  Your donation of $25, $50, $100, or more is greatly appreciated.
It is with your support I am able to continue to provide news and commentary on local, state and national political issues.
2014 will be a busy year with important elections in Frederick County, the state of Maryland elections and Congress.
With your help, I will be interviewing the candidates for Governor, congressional candidates and candidates running for local offices to help you better understand their positions on the issues important to you.
Make a donation today by going to and clicking on any Donation Button conveniently located in the right hand margin of the web page.  PayPal accounts and major credit cards are accepted.
Thank you!
George Wenschhof

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ron Young Ready For General Assembly Session

George Wenschhof
Yesterday, on the coldest morning in over two decades, supporters gathered at Ceresville Mansion to share a delightful breakfast and listen to Democratic Maryland state senator Ron Young.
In a reelection year, it was also the last day state legislators are able to raise funds because they are prohibited from doing so during the length of the General Assembly session.
Among the supporters present were Democratic candidate for county executive Jan Gardner and Ron’s son Blaine Young, who is the Republican president of the Frederick board of county commissioners.  In what would be a contest between two strikingly different political philosophies, Blaine has delayed announcing whether he will be running for county executive.  Many believe the delay is because Blaine’s current employment at a local cab service and local radio station will prohibit him from being eligible to run based on the legislative requirements for the position.
Also present were local educators, businessmen and elected officials, including Frederick County Teachers Association president Gary Brennan, local attorney Thomas Lynch, Frederick County Democratic state central committee chair Myrna Whitworth and Elizabeth Chung, who is the Frederick County co-chair of the Anthony Brown/Ken Ulman campaign for Governor of Maryland.
Ron Young’s brief remarks touched on some of the bills he hopes to introduce and what he expected to be covered during the 90 day session.
He indicated he will continue to battle to bring back funds to the community he serves and specifically mentioned the Barbara Fritchie house as one project he hopes funding is approved.
Among the bills he plans to introduce are a “Blight” bill, and a bill to help government save money pertaining to legal notices. He also continues to support incentives to build energy efficient new homes and convert existing homes to become energy efficient.
Ron also indicated the contentious “rain tax” or storm water management fee will come up again in this session.
As he concluded his speech, he encouraged his constituents to contact his office with any questions they may have and that he or a member of his staff would get back to them quickly.
After, a twenty year absence, Ron Young, the former four term mayor of The City of Frederick won election as Maryland state senator (district 3) in 2010 beating Republican incumbent Alex Mooney by about 1,000 votes.
So far, no Republican has filed for the seat and with his Republican son Blaine Young seemingly supporting his Dad’s reelection with his presence at his legislative preview breakfast, it would appear Ron Young is a strong favorite for reelection.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 election is February 25.  The primary election is June 24 and the General Election is November 4.
Stay tuned.
Donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Obama Weekly Address

George Wenschhof

President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to extend jobless insurance in his weekend address, citing moral and economic reasons for extending the benefits.

Obama noted that economists that have said that letting the benefits expire would drag down the economy in the months to come.


Donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!

Republican Weekly Address

George Wenschhof

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) delivered the weekly GOP address calling for support of the Gabriela Miller Kids First Research Act, which passed the House on a 295-103 vote in December.

The bill, part of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s “Making Life Work” agenda, would shift $126 million from the party nominating conventions to the National Institutes of Health.

“Instead of funding these conventions once every four years, we’ll make it a daily priority to explore the full potential of clinical trials and advancements,” Harper said in the video address. “Not only for childhood cancer, but for all pediatric conditions – even the most rare genetic diseases.”
Donate today to Frederick Politics by clicking on a Donation Button in the right hand margin of page - Thank You!