August 17, 2014

Rascovar column: GOP has a Peroutka problem

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By Barry Rascovar

For MarylandReporter.com

Just what the Maryland Republican Party didn’t need — a theocratic, paleo-conservative candidate who has renounced the General Assembly as ungodly and is deeply involved in a group advocating a white, Christian nation of the South.

Worst of all for the Maryland GOP, this 61-year-old, Bible-spouting secessionist with a bizarre view of government is the favorite to win the November election in Anne Arundel County’s Broadneck Peninsula-Severna Park-Arnold councilmanic district.

His name is Michael Peroutka, a smooth-talking, debt-collection attorney. He ran for president of the United States in 2004 on the Constitution Party ballot line. He got 150,000 votes out of 122,000,000 cast (0.1 percent).

Shocking win by 38 votes

Michael Peroutka mug

Michael Peroutka

Yet in June, he shocked the GOP establishment by winning Anne Arundel’s District 5 council primary by a razor-thin 38 votes.

The Republican nominee for governor, Larry Hogan Jr., disassociated himself from Peroutka. So did the GOP’s nominee for county executive, Del. Steve Schuh. Annapolis Del. Herb McMillan isn’t supporting Peroutka, either, because his views “are the exact opposite of the Republican Party.”

Like the slick lawyer he is, Peroutka is trying to sweet-talk Council District 5 voters into believing he’s an ordinary conservative who rails against the misnamed “rain tax,” abhors all taxes and demands drastically limited government.

It’s a con.

It’s a con game

Peroutka didn’t even belong to the Republican Party until this year.

He and a Christian Reconstructionist cohort, David Whitney, tried to hijack the District 5 election by seeking to win both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

That would have guaranteed a seat on the County Council for this oddball alliance, which centers around Peroutka’s extreme Christian Institute on the Constitution, which he runs out of his law office in a strip shopping center along Ritchie Highway.

Peroutka is out to re-create the Anne Arundel Republican Party, and eventually the Maryland GOP, in his image. His pseudo-conservative rhetoric masks a deep hatred for the Republican Party of Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Here’s what he said last October about the GOP:

“Anyone, including those who identify with the ‘Tea Party,’ who loves America and desires real reform, would do well to disengage themselves from the Republican Party and their brand of worthless, Godless, unprincipled conservatism.”

Infiltrating the ‘godless unprincipled’ GOP and other wackiness

Peroutka isn’t even following his own advice. Instead, he’s infiltrated the “Godless, unprincipled” GOP.

This fifth-column action is part of his campaign to turn the Republican Party into a Christian party that follows Peroutka’s “biblical view of law and government.”

To him, “the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law — PERIOD.”

Any other government actions — what he calls “pretended laws” — are heretical and should be ignored or resisted. No wonder he spoke at a radical Second American Revolution rally last November in Washington. He’s out to dismantle the entire American system of government.

How wacky is Peroutka?

He said last year the Maryland General Assemby is “no longer a valid legislative body” and its actions should be disregarded because they violate God’s law.

Of course, Peroutka is the one who decides what’s legitimate and what is “Godless.”

According to him, “It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give health care to . . . ANYBODY.” Government, Peroutka says, has no authority to take any role in education or alleviating poverty. Government must enforce only the word of God spelled out in the Bible.

Misleading appearance

Peroutka doesn’t come across as a madman. He’s got a distinguished mane of white hair, a grandfatherly look and a soothing voice. How could someone so sincere and seemingly erudite promote such nonsense?

Peroutka is a board member of the League of the South, an Alabama group that openly advocates Southern secession and establishment of a white, Christian Reconstructionist society.

According to its website, the League of the South is “a Southern Nationalist organization whose ultimate goal is a free and independent Southern republic.”

At this group’s meeting last fall, Peroutka called “Dixie” the country’s national anthem.

Should Michael Peroutka win in November, he’s sure to use County Council sessions as a platform for bringing his theocratic notions of government into the proceedings. It will be his launching pad for an internal Republican Party revolution.

Just what the Maryland GOP didn’t need.

It already is struggling for relevancy in the state’s largest jurisdictions. Peroutka’s ravings as an elected Republican leader could be the nail in the coffin for the Republican Party’s hopes of winning over independents and conservative-leaning Democrats.

Can he lose?

Stopping him will be difficult, but not impossible.

District 5 hasn’t elected a Democratic councilman in 24 years. It’s a wealthy, conservative part of the county stretching from Severna Park to the Broadneck Peninsula that ends at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Yet there’s hope in the voter registration numbers: 25,800 Republicans live in the district against 21,100 Democrats and 11,600 independents. Given the GOP leadership defections already announced, Peroutka’s election isn’t a sure thing.

He’s got millions of his own money he can funnel into his campaign, though.

Democratic foe

He’s running against a political youngster, Patrick Armstrong, a 31-year-old retail store manager who entered the Democratic primary to prevent Peroutka’s theocratic colleague, David Whitney, from furtively gaining the nomination.

Armstrong did better than okay in the primary. He trounced Whitney, gaining nearly two-thirds of the Democratic vote in June.

He’s also not, as he put it, “a liberal boogie man. I’m a reasonable person” who grew up in District 5, graduated from Anne Arundel Community College in the district, and lives with his parents in Cape St. Claire.

He’s smart enough to run in this district with a pledge to never vote for a new tax or fee increase but instead “come up with creative ways to find solutions to our problems.”

Being responsible

He’s also wise enough to recognize that opposing the “rain tax” isn’t going to win over district voters who care deeply about the well-being of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the Magothy and Severn rivers that define District 5’s boundaries.

He calls the stormwater-runoff fee “the responsible thing to do.”

With strong backing from state Democratic leaders, Armstrong might give Peroutka all he can handle. But he’s got to get the word out about Peroutka’s dangerous views of government and the U.S. Constitution.

After all, Peroutka is advocating the dismemberment of the United States and turning what’s left into a society ruled by Biblical law.

The problem is that even if Peroutka’s Republican charade is unmasked in time and he loses in November, he will remain the Maryland GOP’s nightmare: In June, he also won for himself a seat on the Anne Arundel Republican Central Committee.

That gives him an opportunity to use the county’s GOP Central Committee as a launching pad for converting Republican governing bodies into advocates for Christian government.

As a central committee member, Peroutka also will attend statewide GOP meetings, where he can poison the well with radical resolutions and speeches meant to Christianize the state party. He’s leading God’s crusade against the Republican infidels.

Ignoring godless laws

On top of that, another Peroutka theocratic soulmate, Joe Delimater, was the lone GOP candidate to file for county sheriff.

Delimater will be on the November ballot against Democratic incumbent Ron Bateman, hoping to win the right to wreak havoc on Anne Arundel’s court and criminal justice system by ignoring laws and government orders he believes are Godless.

What a mess for the GOP.

Peroutka & Co. pose a serious challenge to the viability and future of the Maryland Republican Party.

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Barry Rascovar also writes on his blog, www.politicalmaryland.com. He can be reached at brascovar@hotmail.com.

Related Story

Prominent Dems set up StopPeroutka.com PAC and website

Stop Peroutka home page

 

  • KatieSilverSpring

    “in June, he shocked the GOP establishment by winning Anne Arundel’s District 5 council primary” – this may be the only good part about Petoutka’s run. The GOP could use a shock now and again with their we-know-what’s-best-for-you-candidates.

    As a resident of MD’s LD20 (that would be downtown Silver Spring and The People’s Republic of TakomaPark) where we are routinely conned out of decent candidates, whose actions btw reverberate out of LD20 and across the state to the detrement of all voters and people, I can understand the concern about aberrant candidates but I never see any deep writing about these Progressives. None of us conservatives (and we are here) in LD20 pop up with even TEA Party flags to protest, much less something as perverted as the Dems emblazoning a Confederate flag over their protest ads against this Anne Arundel guy.

    People deserve their vote and the candidates they choose. If you-GOP don’t like who they-voters choose, work harder to get other candidates to run in Primaries and get their info out. If this seems helpless within a District, that is when and where the press needs to be pro-active and dig deep to show who is being trumpeted.

    I don’t like what usually reads to me as a pro-liberal, pro-Dem bias of Rascovar but he is doing the work here that the GOP should be, and should have been, doing (instead of just pumping up their “kind” of candidates).

    Now, Mr Rascovar could you do an expose of why Tom Hucker ran not to regain his Delegate seat but to get a Montgomery County Council seat (which he barely won)? or, why it is impossible to run against LD20 State Senator Jamie Raskin? or, why HIS-approved Delegate candidates won LD20, not the many others who competed? or, why in Montgomery County there is a coalition backing 4 Circuit Court judges so that a newcomer, a US Marine Corps veteran cannot? and, is being labeled as a Baltimore-only-knowledgeable, MontgomeryCounty-ignorant lawyer?
    I’m open to reading your fair-and-balanced coverage of this.

  • InGodWeTrust

    Mr. Rascovar: You are to be pitied and prayed for. You really outdid yourself with your visceral ranting. Only problem for you is that it is wholly and completely a mockery of God – and for that you should be on your knees begging forgiveness. God is merciful but NOT when He is mocked. I doubt it will interest your bedeviled mind, but, up until the time I learned Hogan disassociated himself from Mr. Peroutka, I, as a Republican, had been supporting Hogan financially, yard signs etc., but I immediately then ‘disavowed’ MYSELF from Mr. Hogan for his obviously fake commitment to ‘changing’ Maryland. I truly was shocked at Hogan’s turncoat action on a fellow Marylander seeking to rescue Marylanders from the sinkhole it is in after years of arrogant, one-dimensional thinking (AKA tyranny). Unfortunately for Mr. Hogan, his own behavior is precisely what Mr. Peroutka is so heroically trying to re-educate Maryland couch-potatoes (of all parties) about. I am not even in Mr. Peroutka’s district so I unfortunately cannot cast a vote for him in November. However, any financial contributions I can afford will now be diverted from Mr. Hogan to Mr. Peroutka. The only thread of truth in your vile and Godless rage, is that the MD GOP has a problem – but it’s not the problem your devil-hijacked mind thinks it is. You see, as a result of Hogan, Schuh and McMillan’s showing of their true colors – I have also now disavowed myself from the Republican party.

  • PossiblyPercolate

    Now, if a true journalist, the story from the point of view of the supporting voters.

  • GratefulforPeroutka

    One man’s problem is another man’s solution 🙂 Perhaps people are frustrated with the mainstream Republican and Democratic ideologies and prefer a principled man who sees himself as accountable to God . I find that refreshing and a lot more stable than someone who has no standard outside of his own opinion.

  • karolh

    Believe me, after what we have had in the past running AA Co., it will be a real breath of fresh air to have a God loving man to count on. America needs her God back in government, schools and public life. Our Founders proved that when God is leading in our lives we will prosper and be successful. God must be returned to His rightful place in the hearts and minds of Americans all over this great nation. Mr. Peroutka does not profess to have all the answers or have a quick fix to the problems, he professes to follow our Lord Jesus Christ and follow his teachings for the betterment of AA Co and her people. We the people know the problems, where they originated from and after the years of having a one sided tyrannical leader in our Governor’s mansion and White House, we know Only God is able to correct these problems and stop the depopulation efforts going forth. If God felt the world was over populated, He would not abort babies, kill elderly and Veterans with lack of care or kill masses of people with torture and genocide. First of all, being ALL KNOWING HE would never allow the world to become over populated! Having a Barry in the White House, it is a real downer to find a Barry journalist writing against God and His people. As for getting my vote, a man or woman MUST be a Christian, I have had enough Islamists propaganda trying to convert American Christians and to accept Sharia law. We are America, we are not Islam! There is but ONE GOD and He is the Creator of this world and as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord God of all things. For all Christians, do a search for “George Washington’s Vision – Son of the Republic, Look and Learn”, It is truly priceless with information! God bless Americans and America!

    • John Lev

      // Our Founders proved that when God is leading in our lives we will prosper and be successful.//

      Most of the founders were very much against the entanglement of religion and politics. James Madison for example, who’s known as the Father of the US Constitution, denied nearly every request from a church for funds and recognition such as days of prayer. Then we have the Treaty of Tripoli which speciaffically states that the US was NOT based off the christian religion. This was read aloud in Congress and passed without a single objection and no national outcry was raised about it. It was the first treaty the US entered into. There’s also no mention of religion in our founding docs except in exclusionary terms. Such as the 1st amendment and the “no religious test” clause. There’s much more but this is a brief start.

  • Dale McNamee

    The GOP doesn’t have a “Peroutka Problem”… BARRY RASCOVAR DOES.!

    Hey Barry, do you like the “cultural rot” going on ? Why do you fear Christians influencing laws and governance ? Are you happy with the “anarcho-tyranny” of the left, many of them angry,hateful,atheistic,Christophobic,? Do you like their influence ? Hmm ?

    From your article : ” Delimater will be on the November ballot against Democratic incumbent Ron Bateman, hoping to win the right to wreak havoc on Anne Arundel’s court and criminal justice system by ignoring laws and government orders he believes are Godless. ”

    Well, Obama & Holder are lawless… Ignoring the laws when THEY don’t like them… Is that Ok with you ?

    How about the lawlessness of agencies like the IRS, EPA, etc. ? Is that OK with you because they’re “secular” ?

    As for ignoring laws… What about those who were for abolition of slavery ? ( An accepted law )
    How about those who helped slaves to escape ? They were braking laws they didn’t like…
    What about those who oppose discrimination and Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat ?
    And those who ” broke the law” by sitting in the “white only” sections of restaurants ?

    And what about those Christians in Rome who refused to worship Caesar ? To do so would violate God’s 1st. commandment : ” I am the Lord your God, You will have no oter gods before me ! ”

    And they paid dearly for it…

  • snowmaggedoned

    Peroutka is a known liar and nasty unscrupulous businessman.

    He is a debt collector lawyer who makes his money by buying
    out bad debt from banks that have waived their customers defaulted bad
    debt. Peroutka finds out who these people are and then takes these bad debts to court without telling the customers he is doing so. Since they are unaware that he is attempting to take over their forgiven debt, these poor unsuspecting people don’t show up to court to fight his suits. They end up losing their cases to Peroutka because they were no shows in court.

    Peroutka goes after these forgiven bad debt consumers with rabid abandon and is downright vicious. He pressures these people with illegal harassment to get money out of very “dry turnips”. He works it out with these bad debt customers banks and confiscates all their money out of their bank accounts without any forewarning and eats up every penny they have to their name.

    He is mean and hateful……real Christian of him, don’t you think???????

    Peroutka also shares the same views as his mentor that any woman who willingly aborts her baby and any doctor who performs an abortion is considered eligible for “justifiable killings” under his perception of God’s Biblical authority. He also
    believes that anyone who is homosexual, transgender, or bi-sexual are also
    candidates for “justifiable killings” according to God’s authority in the Old Testament (his interpretation).

    Justifiable killings……is he Christian or does he follow Islamic (Sharia Law)?

    I say he is as religiously radical as any ISIS or Al Qaeda jihadist in his warped Biblical and political viewpoint.

    If Peroutka claims to be a Christian…it isn’t what the New Testament teaches about Christianity. Even Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jim Jones of Guyana fame claimed to be Christians and look how fallen those religious leaders became.

    Peroutka is an impostor who changed his party from the Constitution Party (that advocates a theocracy based interpretation of the U. S. Constitution rather than the true adherence of the Constitution) at the 11th hour last February just before he filed to run for this office. He sinisterly collaborated with the pastor of his church in Pasadena to try to take over the local government. He doesn’t care which party the County Council seat is won in November. He had his lackey pastor David Whitney agree to run for the same position as a Democrat. They colluded together to take over the seat with their very theocratic agenda of local politics here in Anne Arundel County and eventually the entire state.

    I am a Republican in District 5 and Peroutka is not.

    Think I’ll skip the County Council race and leave it blank this General Election. Or maybe I’ll write in a real Republican like Maureen Carr-York who barely lost the election by 38 measly votes although she was outspent 5 to 1.

    If Maureen Carr-York doesn’t win the write-in vote, I would rather have the Democrat and I have never voted Democrat in my life!!!!

  • Snakes on a Car

    How is the League of the South any different from La Raza or the NAACP?