It’s not about party here
Fifty years living in Calvert County has taught me a few things. Whether a candidate for county commissioner or even for state office is Republican or Democrat matters much less than his or her actual priorities and platform. We have had good and bad from each party. What matters is how much they (and we the voters) care for our unique county, our billion-dollar bay, traffic congestion and what we leave for future generations.
I will vote for both Earl “Buddy” Hance (Republican commissioner’s candidate at large) and Jason Fowler (Democrat for delegate in District 27C) because of their platforms, not their party. Hance and Fowler both care about our county and quality of life. Leave party politics to other counties and states. Before voting, look carefully online at the other candidates on the ballot, and not their party.
In Fowler’s campaign mail, he touts his Calvert-oriented platform, while the incumbent, as in previous elections, smears his opponent. Come on, Mr. Fisher, you know Fowler is not the “extreme partisan” your glossy campaign ad claims. Rated by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Fisher (8 percent lifetime voting score and 0 percent for 2018) is tied for last place among 141 members of the House of Delegates. That’s not extreme? Your Republican colleague Del. Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) could, in my opinion, rate higher, but at 38 percent lifetime and 50 percent for 2018, his voting record is much different from Fisher’s. OK, sure, I realize elected officials have to make priority tradeoffs and few would score 100. Fisher also rated an “F” from Food and Water Watch, partly because he voted against HB 270, which nevertheless passed in 2017 with a bipartisan majority, including Clark. This bill requires all Maryland schools be tested for lead in drinking water.
How does Gov. Larry Hogan (R) rate on matters like cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay? Hogan is a businessman and cleaning up our waters is simple good business. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters praises Hogan especially for land preservation, such as the voluntary Rural Legacy Program, which funds priceless forest and farmland preservation in Calvert. While Fisher poses next to Hogan in campaign ads, in fact many of their positions are far apart.
When those many of you, as I also did for decades, commute back to your home in Calvert, please leave your political party behind at the county line. When I recall our earlier county, poor in material wealth, but dignified and civil in public discourse, I am saddened by the nasty partisan social media posts and smear campaign literature of recent years. They have no place in our special county.
The real Calvert party is not about “R” versus “D,” but about barbecues and beer, fishing on the bay, savoring locally grown produce and coming together to save what we love about living here — yes, our remaining rural character, Calvert’s “curb appeal” and the tidewaters that nearly surround us. And about reversing versus exacerbating congestion. These all help maintain Calvert’s high average household income, which in turn means higher discretionary income on which local businesses depend.
Peter Vogt, Port Republic