Hoyer’s home county goes Re­pub­li­can

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro -

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer is one of the most pow­er­ful Democrats on Capi­tol Hill, but he might not be so pop­u­lar back home. The Mary­land Re­pub­li­can Party an­nounced last week that, thanks to a voter-reg­is­tra­tion drive this year, Mr. Hoyer’s home county of St. Mary’s County now has more Repub­li­cans than Democrats.

The state GOP is­sued a news re­lease last week cel­e­brat­ing the shift, which now shows the county to have 24,448 reg­is­tered Repub­li­cans and 24,340 reg­is­tered Democrats — a dif­fer­ence of just 108 peo­ple. Go­ing into 2012, St. Mary’s Democrats edged their GOP coun­ter­parts by 158 reg­is­tered vot­ers.

So what does that mean? It de­pends who you ask.

Mr. Hoyer, the House mi­nor­ity whip who has been in of­fice since 1981, is still a heavy fa­vorite for re-elec­tion against Mary­land Del­e­gate An­thony J. O’don­nell. His home county may be ever-soslightly red but his dis­trict in­cludes large swaths of heav­ily Demo­cratic Charles and Prince Ge­orge’s coun­ties.

The GOP prob­a­bly won’t be tak­ing Mr. Hoyer’s seat any­time soon, but state Repub­li­cans were quick to run with the good news and pile on the long­time con­gress­man — declar­ing him out of touch and the tar­get of a re­volt by neigh­bors who were fed up with his land­slide vic­to­ries and lib­eral pol­i­tics.

“Steny Hoyer is of­fi­cially out of touch with St. Mary’s County,” said David Wil­len­borg, chair­man of the St. Mary’s County Re­pub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. “His sup­port of Oba­macare and his sub­or­di­nate at­ti­tude to San Fran­cisco’s Nancy Pelosi puts him at odds with the val­ues of South­ern Mary­land.”

De­ci­sions, de­ci­sions

Virginia Gov. Bob Mcdon­nell has spilled his fair share of ink writ­ing to Se­nate Democrats this year. Much of it was re­lated to a two-year bud­get that did not pass dur­ing the reg­u­lar ses­sion of the 2012 Gen­eral Assem­bly.

But now he’s ap­par­ently found a new pen pal: Sen. Rand Paul, Ken­tucky Re­pub­li­can and the son of pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ron Paul.

In a let­ter dated March 15, Mr. Paul the younger wrote to Mr. McDon­nell urg­ing him to sign a bill in­tro­duced by Del­e­gate Robert G. Mar­shall, Prince Wil­liam Re­pub­li­can, that would pro­hibit Virginia agen­cies from as­sist­ing in the in­def­i­nite de­ten­tion of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens with­out trial. Mr. Paul wrote that pro­vi­sions in the 2012 Na­tional De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion Act would ex­pand the power of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment by cod­i­fy­ing into law such au­thor­ity to in­def­i­nitely de­tain ter­ror­ist sus­pects, which he ar­gues is un­con­sti­tu­tional.

Whether or not the let­ter sways Mr. Mcdon­nell re­mains to be seen — his of­fice says he’s still re­view­ing the bill. But the gov­er­nor, who of­ten says he’s proud to serve in the po­si­tion once held by the likes of Pa­trick Henry and Thomas Jef­fer­son, had to at least be im­pressed with the his­tor­i­cal flour­ish with which Mr. Paul, an oph­thal­mol­o­gist, penned his let­ter, which in­cludes ref­er­ences to James Madi­son, the Magna Carta and a 2004 dis­sent au­thored by U.S. Supreme Court Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia in which Mr. Scalia writes about the coun­try’s “An­glo-saxon sys­tem of sep­a­rated pow­ers.”

So will Mr. Mcdon­nell side with Mr. Mar­shall, Mr. Paul and other “free­dom-lov­ing Amer­i­cans,” as the Ken­tucky se­na­tor wrote in his let­ter? Or will he fall in line with Mitt Rom­ney, who Mr. Mcdon­nell has en­dorsed for pres­i­dent and who has said he would sign the act?

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