January 15, 2015

Hogan wants more openness, more names in filling legislative seats

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Hogan at podium 1-13-15 cropped

By Len Lazarick

Len@MarylandReporter.com

In filling the three legislative vacancies he has created in building his new administration, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said he’d like to see a more open nominating process used by the Republican central committees and more candidate names for him to fill the seats.

Two GOP committees have already acted to fill the seats opened when Hogan appointed Del. Kelly Schulz of Frederick County to be secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and Sen. Joe Getty of Carroll County as his legislative and policy director. On Tuesday, he also named Sen. Chris Shank of Washington County to be his director of the Office of Crime Control and Prevention, creating a third vacancy.

In Frederick and Carroll counties, the small Republican Central Committees have already named one person for each seat, creating controversy in both counties.

In Frederick for the Schulz seat, the party committee nominated Barrie Ciliberti, a former Montgomery County delegate, who came in fifth in his party primary in which he ran with Sen. Mike Hough whose wife JoeyLynn chairs the central committee. The committee did not interview Wendi Peters, a Schulz running mate, who got more votes than Ciliberti.

In Carroll County in particular, the nine-member party committee has caused an uproar by using a completely secret process to nominate Robin Frazier to Getty’s seat.

Frazier lost her bid to be reelected as a Carroll County commissioner in the Republican primary. She stirred controversy by many positions during her stay in office, including her insistence on praying in Jesus’s name at meetings of the county commissioners, despite a federal court order to stop.

Encouraging more transparency

“We think there could be more transparency,” Hogan told reporters Tuesday. “We’d like to encourage them to make the process more transparent.”

“Our hands are not tied” by the central committee actions so far, Hogan said. “They’re supposed to send three names.”

In fact, the provision in the Maryland Constitution that outlines the process only talks about sending “a name” to the governor, but Gov. Parris Glendening began the custom of seeking three names to choose from.

Senate President Mike Miller also noted that the central committees may have jumped the gun by nominating people before the vacancies technically exist.

Schulz, Getty and Shank were all sworn in again as members of the General Assembly Wednesday, and they cannot be appointed to their new administration jobs until next Wednesday, Jan. 21, when Hogan is inaugurated.

Miller said the central committees should take another vote when the seats are actually vacant.

Article III, Section 13 of the state constitution says a name should be sent to the governor “within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy.”

5 votes for Frazier, 4 for Ready

Three Republican sources familiar with what took place behind closed doors in Carroll County said Frazier got five votes and Del. Justin Ready  (pronounced REEDY) got four votes.

Two of those sources also indicated that Hogan has told Getty to “fix” the problem prior to his appointment.

Getty said given his role in the Hogan transition, “my position is whatever the governor’s position would be” and he would not comment further.

Ready was recently reelected to the House with 34,789 votes and was the top vote-getter in the Republican primary with 10,567 votes. He was presumed to be the leading candidate for Getty’s seat.

Frazier got 1,753 votes in her primary loss to Stephen Wantz, who got 2,563 votes then won the general election.

Ready declined to comment for this story.

Krebs calls it “a sham”

Four-term Carroll County Republican Del. Susan Krebs, the top vote-getter in the general election for three-member District 5, said, “I did not apply for the vacancy because I knew it was going to be a sham. I want people to know that I did not apply.”

None of the names of the people who applied was released, and the vote of the  central committee was not formally disclosed.

“This central committee did not support Hogan,” Krebs noted.

The closed process, political jockeying and lack of public involvement in filling legislative vacancies were not unusual for central committees in both Democratic and Republican parties.

Legislators from both parties have told MarylandReporter.com that they are working on legislation to reform the process.

This might include greater openness in the initial appointment, and requiring that the candidates run for election during a presidential election year if they are appointed in the first year of a four-year term.

  • James Simpson

    Simply disgraceful! Robin Frazier is the most ethical, competent, devoted person Carroll County could have chosen. Len you should know, perhaps you do, that the Supreme Court decided in Robin’s favor re public prayer. See Greece v Galloway. How could anyone not know that, or worse, knowing it fail to mention it.

    • socogissel

      Did you not read? People are rejecting her for far more reasons than the prayer issue.

      When Hogan sings his State of the County address like Frazier did, you let us know.

      • James Simpson

        You are probably one of those democrats who switched registrations in the primary to derail Frazier and vote in the labor candidate. That election was a fraud, bought and paid for by the teachers’ unions.

        • socogissel

          Actually, no. I’m not false, like Commissioner Rothschild and Robin Frazier. They say they are Republicans, but in actuality, They are Authoritative Dixie-crats schooled by all star Dixie-crat, and highest Rothschild campaign contributor, Michael Peroutka. A man that Gov-elect Hogan said views do not reflect the views of the Republican party. So who is the RINO now?

        • John

          Actually a white supremacist named Peroutka, former head of the League of the South, contributed to your candidates a lot more than any unions ever did. You know it, but you’re such a prisoner of your own propaganda that you can’t manage to admit it. Don’t you ever get tired of lying to yourself, Simpson, or are you merely truly that delusional? The so called labor candidate, a fireman and fine citizen, crushed Jesus girl. Get over it and get a life.

    • John

      Simpson read. He’s just incapable of comprehension. He had a job as chief propagandist in Carroll County for a little while, brought in by his buddy Richard Rothschild. It was a temporary position, costly, and unnecessary, that he hoped would become permanent, but Simpson could barely write a decent press release. They fired him. The vote was 3 to 2. Guess who voted in his favor. Rothschild and Frazier. Thus his profound respect for her ethics.

      • socogissel

        Yeah I know who he is and why he supports those two self serving idiots. He was an abuse of misappropriation of tax payer dollars if there ever was one.

  • ksteve

    I’m glad Governor-elect Hogan is seeming to want the central committees to send him three names for each vacancy. That must mean he’s not totally happy with the specific single names the Frederick and Carroll Central Committees have come up with so far and might reject them. Since the Frederick County Republicans in LD4 favored Wendi Peters over Barrie Ciliberti in the primary, surely they’d rather be represented by her than him (no matter how close the latter is to the Hough slate). And it seems obvious that the voters in Carroll County’s LD5 would favor almost anybody over Robin Frazier as their State Senator. They rejected her for reelection overwhelmingly. It’s a farce what these central committees are doing. It’s especially a farce in Carroll County where they did their thing as secretly as possible. I hope Hogan sends those single names back and insists on getting three before he appoints anyone.
    Unfortunately, the state Constitution must be amended and that can occur no earlier than the date of the next presidential election. So it would be impossible to hold an election to fill the current vacancies until sometime after then. However, the proposed constitutional amendment could require that the registered voters in the legislative district and of the political party of the person who has vacated the seat vote by mail in maybe late January or early February of 2017 to elect the person of their choice from among those who file in December of 2016. That would be the quickest and least expensive way to go to ultimately give the people a representative of their choice.

  • Bob

    You quote Krebs who fired her aide for putting his name in and dont ask her about it? Quality journalism as always, Len.

  • John

    Thank you. This was informative and encouraging. The petition against Frazier’s selection now has 3544 signees, and the numbers never seem to stop rising. Each signee leaves a comment explaining why they are opposed. The reasons vary quite a bit, but it’s clear that she is a very divisive and unpopular woman among Republicans and Democrats alike and that county residents despise her. The Republicans far outnumber the Democrats and for the most part it’s not about the prayer issue. It’s about her character, her competence, and her arrogance. The Republican Central Committee is also taking a beating. This is a bad thing for Hogan. If she goes into the senate the bad taste will linger for a very long time and a lot of good will is going to be lost. If the woman had any integrity she would decline the appointment.

  • Commissioner Rothschild

    MD
    CONSTITUTION SEC. 13. (a) (1) …the Governor shall appoint a person
    to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him
    in writing, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, by
    the Central Committee of the political party,.. and it shall be the
    duty of the Governor to make said appointment within fifteen days after
    the submission thereof to him. (2) If a name is not submitted by the
    Central Committee within thirty days after the occurrence of the
    vacancy, the Governor within another period of fifteen days shall
    appoint a person, who shall be affiliated with the same political
    party.

    (Now we’ll find out if the Constitution is going to be
    obeyed…. won’t we? Clearly, the decision rests with the Central Committee, not the governor. The framers did not want a governor from county X determining who would represent county Y.)

    – Commissioner Richard Rothschild

    • WhereIsTony

      If the Govvernor did not have leeway to ask for more names, why involve him at all?

      It seems clear that it is intended to be Gubernatorial decison, otherwise the Constitution would simply have had the Central Committee pick and not give the Governor what would essentially become busy work.

  • George Otto

    FELLOW PATRIOTS,
    Please contact the Carroll County Republican central committee and ask them to respect the process that has taken place to nominate the best vetted conservative to replace senator Joe Getty after he vacates his seat. I know that the committee worked hard and did not take their decision lightly. They need to stand steadfast in the nomination of the most principled and conservative patriot nominee, Robin Bartlett Frazier. Advise them that the usurpation of the lawful duty, by Governor elect Hogan, of the duly elected central committees decision will not be accepted. There is nothing in the Md. Constitution that gives the governor authority to question the central committee’s decision. It looks as if once again party over principle, cronyism and corruption are creeping in. Uncalled for pressure is being brought to the committee by governor elect Hogan and it is possible that someone could be intimidated into changing their vote. The whole thing stinks and is the very reason people are fed up with the GOP. CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS, KEEP YOUR SOULS INTACT, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND SHOW THE WORLD A VICTORY FOR THE INTEGRITY OF OUR CONSTITUTIONS AND LAWFUL PROCESS. MR. HOGAN HAS NO RIGHT TO INTERFERE WITH OUR LOCAL REPRESENTATION AND DECISION, YOU MADE THE CORRECT CHOICE! DO NOT LET OTHERS CORRUPT YOUR DECISION. STAND STEADFAST! YOU HOLD ALL THE CARDS, THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE. ARTICLE THREE, SECTION THIRTEEN. Thank you.
    With you in the Holy cause of Liberty,
    George Otto.

  • George Otto

    Trolls and haters like john should use their real name.you will never be taken seriously