Last night our group of HoCo loco politico watchers gathered again for another Pub Politics bull session. The eight attendees included men, women, Dems and Repubs. There is no formal agenda and anyone can bring up anything for discussion as long as it relates to the loco politico scene. We last met in August.
The first topic battered around was the split in the loco Repub ranks. The Repub members lamented that the local party, much like the national party has divided into two camps. One camp is more closely tied to the tea party movement and is personified by the Loretta Shields, the Chair of the Howard County Republican Central Committee. The other camp is more moderate and personified by Allan Kittleman, State Senator and presumed candidate for county executive in 2014. It is almost as if the Repubs are starting to behave like Dems.
The discussion then moved on to Chris Merdon. Many believe that Chris will attempt to regain his D1 council seat in 2014 when Courtney Watson makes her move for the exec seat. Another Repub, Bob Flanagan is also still interested the D1 council seat. You may recall that Bob narrowly lost to Courtney last time around.
Allan and Courtney are not the only ones eyeing the exec seat either but Guy Guzzone does not appear to be one of them. If Guy does decide to pass this on this race, some speculate that Mary Kay Sigaty may challenge Courtney for the Dem spot in the race. That’s a fight that Allan would no doubt like to see.
The biggest, and perhaps most heated discussion of the evening centered around the recently passed growth tiers legislation. Unless you live in the western part of the county you could be excused for not paying much attention to this but I can assure that the loco politicos are. Rather than doing my own mediocre rehash of the debate, I suggest you check out this post by Tom Coale.
The nice thing about this group is that no one makes personal attacks. For the past two years now we have been able to have spirited discussions about local politics without being offensive. The only rule governing the group is that all must agree on any new participant and that anonymity must be maintained. Last night, one of the newest members informed me that this was commonly known the Chatham House Rule.
It looks like we've let an intellectual slip under the tent.