Trump’s Dun­dalk visit un­der­scores chang­ing elec­torate

Cecil Whig - - & - By BRAD KRONER

Spe­cial from the Dun­dalk Ea­gle

— Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump vis­ited the Boule­vard Diner as a part of his visit to Bal­ti­more on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Around 100 sup­port­ers, as well as lo­cal politi­cians, came out to the diner to show sup­port for the nom­i­nee, who had spo­ken at the Na­tional Guard As­so­ci­a­tion of the United States 138th Gen­eral Con­fer­ence & Ex­hi­bi­tion in the Bal­ti­more Con­ven­tion Cen­ter ear­lier in the day.

Trump had lunch with sev­eral po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, in­clud­ing State Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Bal­ti­more County), for­mer Mary­land Gov. Robert Ehrlich and for­mer New York City Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani.

“It was just great see­ing him,” Salling said. “I had lunch with Don­ald Trump. We talked about the is­sues in our state and some of the is­sues in our coun­try. We

DUN­DALK

had a good time.”

Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil­man Todd Cran­dell, who rep­re­sents Es­sex and Dun­dalk, said “it means a lot to th­ese hard­work­ing peo­ple that the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee would come and spend time here in Dun­dalk.”

Dun­dalk, like much of the coun­try, is feel­ing an eco­nomic squeeze as well­pay­ing mid­dle class jobs are dis­ap­pear­ing. Once pow­ered by the steel in­dus­try, which pro­vided tens of thou­sands of well-pay­ing jobs, Dun­dalk is fac­ing eco­nomic strife.

“Right here is a mi­cro­cosm of the coun­try,” Del­e­gate Bob Long (R-Bal­ti­more County) added.

Long ex­plained that he feels Amer­i­can vot­ers “want a pres­i­dent that knows how to run a busi­ness. That’s why (Mary­land Gov. Larry) Ho­gan got elected.”

Lo­cal busi­ness­man Todd Croucher echoed this theme.

“Trump more than any­one else un­der­stands how to run a busi­ness and how im­por­tant it is to have the com­mu­nity in­volved,” said Croucher, who works for Port City Equip­ment.

John Baker, an em­ployee of MAACO, high­lighted Trump’s tax plan as some­thing that will help busi­nesses grow.

“His tax plan is great,” he said. “It’s go­ing to al­low more peo­ple to in­vest in their busi­nesses. He wants to give peo­ple a hand up in­stead of a hand­out. Democrats just want to give peo­ple hand­outs. He wants to em­power peo­ple.”

A De­cem­ber 2015 anal­y­sis of Trump’s tax plan by the Tax Pol­icy Cen­ter showed that “his pro­posal would cut taxes at all in­come lev­els, although the largest ben­e­fits, in dol­lar and per­cent­age terms, would go to the high­est-in­come house­holds.”

How­ever, “[the tax plan] could in­crease the na­tional debt by nearly 80 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by 2036, off­set­ting some or all of the in­cen­tive ef­fects of the tax cuts” un­less dras­tic spend­ing cuts are made, ac­cord­ing to the Tax Pol­icy Cen­ter, which is made up of rec­og­nized ex­perts in tax, bud­get and so­cial pol­icy who have served at the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Larry Ward agreed with Baker, and he said he feels alien­ated by the cur­rent Demo­cratic Party.

“I was raised a KennedyKing Demo­crat, and I don’t rec­og­nize that party any­more,” he said.

Ed Evans, who said he’s still reg­is­tered Demo­crat, said he’s plan­ning to vote for Trump be­cause he feels that the Demo­cratic Party no longer helps work­ing class cit­i­zens.

“The Demo­cratic Party left us. We didn’t leave them,” said Evans, another em­ployee of MAACO. “Dun­dalk’s go­ing Repub­li­can.”

Ellen Kobler, a spokesper­son for Demo­cratic Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz, said the ex­ec­u­tive would de­cline com­ment on the county’s re­cent swing to the op­po­si­tion party. The Mary­land Demo­cratic Party and the Bal­ti­more County Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee also did not im­me­di­ately re­turn re­quests for com­ment.

As Evans al­luded to, Dun­dalk was once a Demo­cratic strong­hold in Bal­ti­more County, un­til 2014 when the sixth district elected an all-Repub­li­can del­e­ga­tion. Ho­gan won the ma­jor­ity of votes in Bal­ti­more County.

How­ever, reg­is­tered Democrats out­num­ber reg- is­tered Repub­li­cans by a 2-1 ra­tio in Bal­ti­more County. In the state of Mary­land, Demo­cratic Party nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton is cur­rently polling at 54 per­cent, ahead of Trump’s 25 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Opin­ionWorks, an An­napo­lis-based poll­ster.

Del­e­gate Pat McDonough (R-Bal­ti­more County) doesn’t cur­rently rep­re­sent Dun­dalk, but he is run­ning against U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger for Mary­land’s sec­ond con­gres­sional seat, which does rep­re­sent Dun­dalk.

“It’s ex­cit­ing, and my elec­tion is highly af­fected by his cam­paign,” McDonough said. “You see Trump signs ev­ery­where. It’s a re­flec­tion.”

Asked for his thoughts on Trump’s con­tro­ver­sial cam­paign, McDonough an­swered, “I think he’s telling the truth.”

Ward said the con­tro­ver­sies sur­round­ing Trump — which in­clude al­le­ga­tions of sex­ism, racism and xeno­pho­bia — have noth­ing “to do with pa­tri­o­tism and the Amer­i­can pub­lic.” Ward ex­plained that he feels Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton has greater con­tro­versy sur­round­ing her, and that she shouldn’t be al­lowed to run.

Ho­gan, who has a 71 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Opin­ionworks poll, has not en­dorsed Trump, nor has he con­firmed who he will vote for.

Still, lo­cal politi­cians have given Trump their en­dorse­ment.

“We have to get this man elected,” Long said.

Lo­cal res­i­dents, hope­ful for a pres­i­dent who will bring jobs to the area, are un­de­terred by the con­tro­ver­sies.

“It’s great,” Evans said. “Hope­fully he makes Dun­dalk great again.”

PHOTO BY BRAD KRONER

Repub­li­can Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date Don­ald Trump shakes hands with for­mer Mary­land Gov. Robert Ehrlich as he walks into the Boule­vard Diner.

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