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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.