Tag Archives: Andy Harris

Andy Harris Votes to Increase Deficit $1.5 Trillion

Republican Rep. Andy Harris (MD 1) voted to allow tax cuts of $1.5 trillion dollars without requiring any offsetting spending, increasing the deficit and debt dramatically.

The proposal is particularly anti-Maryland as it would “doom the current deduction for state and local taxes,” which benefits Marylanders disproportionately, as it does residents in New York and New Jersey. Other tax deductions up for elimination that might spread the pain more evenly, such as the home mortgage interest deduction, or closing corporate loopholes, have been ruled out by tweet or as sacred cows. Nevertheless, unlike the bulk of Republicans from those states, Harris still voted yes.

Harris has undergone a Damascene conversion on the deficit and national debt since the Obama years:

His budget never solves the deficit problem, much less begins to pay down the exploding national debt we will leave to our grandchildren. . . . Once again, the House will have to take leadership on reining in the debt and deficit by proposing a budget that makes the tough choices that are necessary to head off a Greek-style federal bankruptcy.

Harris logic says that ballooning the debt by much less than the Republican budget is madness that will cause rack and ruin associated through “a Greek-style federal bankruptcy” when it’s proposed by Obama but not when Trump-Ryan want it.

Even leaving aside the unfunded giveaway to the wealthy that is done in a way that limits benefits to Marylanders, especially more middle-income residents who still deduct, the complete shift on the debt and importance of balancing the books shows the situational ethics and moral bankruptcy of Andy Harris–and the many other Republicans who said more or less the same thing.

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Maryland Republican Trump Tape Reax Summary: Standing by Trump

head_in_sandGovernor Larry Hogan’s Reaction to Trump Tape

This past weekend, 7S spent much time chronicling the reactions of Maryland Republicans to Tapegate. I summarize here in case you sensibly had better things to do this weekend. They run the gamut to everything except a willingness to repudiate Trump:

Full Ostrich: Gov. Larry Hogan continued his perfect record of never criticizing his party’s nominee and disclaiming interest in presidential politics after racing around the country to support Trump lickspittle Chris Christie.

The Szeliga: Kathy Szeliga was “appalled” but Trump still gets her vote. A common approach.

Szeliga Plus: Amie Hoeber upped the weird by utilizing her personal experience of being subjected to sexism to justify her continued support for the sexist candidate. And Hillary bad.

No Apology Necessary: A model for all wingnuts, Sen. Gail Bates excused Trump as she linked to conspiracy theory rants. She holds Allan Kittleman’s former seat in the General Assembly, which shows just how deep the rot has got in the GOP.

Full Trump: Rep. Andy Harris previewed Trump’s tawdry pre-debate presser and invoked Benghazi like the Expelliarmus charm in Harry Potter.

Remember that all of these people opposed marriage equality but there is seemingly no behavior by Trump that cannot be ignored or excused. This is now the Maryland Republican Party.

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Harris Goes Full Trump

Here are Andy Harris’s bon mots on Tapegate:

harrisOr restated, the other party has been morally reprehensible for years, so it’s OK that my party is too. This has already been roundly critiqued on Facebook, which saves me from having to do the work:

harris2 harris3 harris4 harris6

The last point deserves more attention. Lost in the flurry over Tapegate, Trump decided to raise the specter of black criminality around the case of five black men exonerated by DNA.

And here is a prototypical Republican response, which blames Tapegate on Hillary Clinton. Because everything bad in the world must be her fault. Of course, even there were an iota of evidence to back up this claim, it would be shocking, yes shocking, for someone to expose Donald Trump in this manner.

harris5

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The Silence of Maryland Republicans

It’s getting on 24 hours since the unveiling of the Trump tape, which has apparently allowed some Republicans to connect the dots and abandon their horrible nominee. But the overwhelming reaction among Maryland Republicans is to go full ostrich and pretend that this event and Trump are going away.

Kathy Szeliga

Based on a quick examination of her web page, twitter feed, and Facebook page, Kathy Szeliga has neither condemned the latest evidence of Trump’s horrible behavior nor withdrawn her endorsement of the Republican nominee.

As the Baltimore Sun has pointed out, this is part of a long pattern for Szeliga:

With a record like that, it’s no surprise Ms. Szeliga supports Mr. Trump. When he attacked a Gold Star family, she was silent. When he suggested that “Second Amendment people” could take action against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, again, deafening silence. When Mr. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama is the founder of ISIS, she didn’t condemn his words.

So there is nothing Trump can do that would cause Gov. Larry Hogan’s chosen Senate candidate to dump Trump.  Nothing from Larry Hogan about Szeliga’s judgment either even though Szeliga advertises Hogan’s support of her candidacy at every turn. Szeliga’s inevitable hard defeat will be a major blow for Hogan, as evidence that his personal support counts little.

Andy Harris

Nothing on the web page, twitter or Facebook of the sole elected Maryland Republican at the federal level, Rep. Andy Harris, either. Like Szeliga, Harris has endorsed Trump:

I’m going to work for him. I’m going to help him try to win the electoral votes in the state of Maryland because in the presidential election, it’s always a selection between two individuals. No one is going to be perfect, any individual. But Mr. Trump will be a far better choice for this country than Mrs. (Hillary) Clinton.

Larry Hogan

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has been basking in the plaudits and polls for not supporting Trump. However, Hogan has not criticized Trump at all. He just said that he won’t vote for the guy and made this incredible statement:

“I’ve always been a blunt, straightforward guy, and whether you agree with me or not, you always know where I stand,” he said. “I’m not trying to convince anybody how to vote, anyway.”

But that’s simply untrue. Hogan had time to trot around the country to say nice things about Chris Christie, a bully who has now cozied up to Trump, and is a vociferous backer of Trump supporter Kathy Szeliga. In contrast, this self-proclaimed “blunt, straightforward guy” has nothing to say about any of his party’s standard bearer’s bad behavior. Not exactly #HoganStrong.

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Morella Endorses Clinton

Unlike Trump enablers Senate Candidate Kathy Szeliga or Rep. Andy Harris (R-1), former Rep. Connie Morella (R-8) prefers to support the presidential candidate who isn’t a raging racist narcissist willing to say anything to attract higher ratings. In short, Connie Morella (R-08) has endorsed Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton has the knowledge, the experience, and the commitment to lead our country as president and Commander in Chief.  She will reach out to every segment of our society to move our country forward.  I have seen her work across the aisle to get things done and I know her lifelong commitment to families and children. Unlike her opponent, she will not divide, bully, or dismiss us.  She is the right choice in this election and I wholeheartedly support her – and urge my fellow Republicans to look at the choice before them and do the same.

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Delaney Bolts Dems, Harris Defies Tea Party on Key DHS Vote

Rep. John Delaney (D-6) bolted his party and voted in favor of Republican Speaker John Boehner’s proposal for a three-week extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Rep. Andy Harris (R-1) defied the wrath of the tea party, which opposes any bill that does not undo President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, by also supporting the bill.

The failure of Boehner’s bill to pass on a 203-224 vote represented a major defeat for the Speaker. Democrats wanted a clean longer-term funding bill and largely united behind Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to the three-week extension that would leave the country facing the same dilemma in three weeks.

Boehner could have easily passed a clean bill through the House through a bipartisan coalition but refused to allow a vote because it  violated the “Hastert rule” of only moving forward on legislation that commands a majority within the Republican Caucus. As usual, that isn’t working out so well for him.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s strategy has been sound for a number of reasons. First, it highlighted the inability of Republicans in Congress to govern due to their rogue wing. Boehner needs Democratic support to make the House work.

On this specific issue, it looks like a total win for Democrats. Boehner got a one-week extension and will either have to pass a clean funding bill for DHS or shut it down–untenable in the face of Republican trumpeting of the importance of security in fighting the War on Terror in the wake of events in Europe.

Rumor has it that Boehner promised a vote on a clean bill to gain the support from either Republicans who favor that option–if only as it is inevitable anyway and opposing it is just killing the GOP in the public eye–or the Democrats. However, Boehner denies it, which just leaves him twisting in the wind.

While Rep. Delaney issued a press release touting his support for a bill providing back pay for DHS employees in the event of a shutdown, he did not issue a similar explanation of his break from the Democrats on this key vote.

Rep. Harris has expressed pride that the House has held to its position that Obama’s immigration executive orders must be undone legislatively in order for DHS funding to pass. But he has not issued a press release explaining why he did not join tea party representatives in opposing any further funding without achieving this goal.

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MD-01 Tea Leaves

CDMDBeing a member of Congress is as good as it gets in the Maryland Republican Party. I believe Andy Harris will hold this seat for a very long time. However, you never know . . . so maybe this seat will one day be vacant. Here’s who I think might be in the mix:

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan–While a well-known and popular figure on the Lower Shore, Rick has the disadvantage of never having run for anything except for municipal office. Municipal elections in Maryland tend to be low key, low budget affairs. I’m also not confident in his fundraising potential. However, the Salisbury media market is so cheap that even half a million might be enough to wage a real campaign.

Delegate Mike McDermott–Currently challenging Jim Mathias for the District 38 State Senate seat, I’ve heard him discussed as a potential primary challenger to Andy Harris. I’m sure he’d run in an open seat situation. With more fights under his belt after this cycle than most Maryland pols, he could raise at least 500k (which is a competitive sum in this type of Republican primary).

Before he resigned, I’d have rated self funding multimillionaire State Senator EJ Pipkin as the man to beat. But he’s moved to Texas to get a Master’s in Sports Management. Then there was District 37 Senator Richard Colburn (who had challenged then Congressman Wayne Gilchrist in a past election), but he was defeated in the primary by Delegate Addie Eckhart (who now represents 1/5th of the district) and would be wise to take a shot at this seat if she wants to move up further before moving out.

The most dynamic potential candidate by far is soon to be former Delegate Jeanne Haddaway-Riccio, Harford County Executive David Craig’s running mate in his failed gubernatorial bid. The very smart, photogenic former Minority Whip might very well be the choice of national Republicans and could raise $1 million dollars (a substantial sum in this rural district).

Former Bush Administration official Mary Beth Corrrazzo (who I think will cruise to victory in her Lower Shore subdistrict against former Teacher Judy Davis) would be another incredibly dynamic candidate. I believe she could raise up to $2 million, a crushingly large sum here. She would be an even likelier choice for national Republicans.

Former Harford County Executive David Craig would be a strong candidate. A little dull and more moderate than the Republican Primary electorate, but still a very strong candidate from the suburban Baltimore piece of the district.

On the Democratic side, the bench here is weak and we normally end up with sacrificial lamb candidates given the district’s current configuration. Former Congressman Frank Kratovil might be enticed to run in an open seat but would he really give up a judgeship for what is at best a dicey proposition? The former representative would, however,  turn this into a hotly watched race. Kratovil raised just over $2 million dollars in 2010 and I expect he could hit that mark once again.

Former Republian Congressman Wayne Gilchrist is far too liberal (he endorsed Heather Mizeur, the Delegate from the Democratic People’s Republic of Takoma Park, for Governor in the Democratic Primary for Governor) to win a GOP Primary. He’d be welcomed with open arms by the DCCC and could raise the $1.6 million it takes on average to win a congressional seat.

The dominant rumor in the state for the last few weeks has been that soon to be former Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur intends to challenge Andy Harris from her organic farm in Kent County. This is too ridiculous for my tastes. I think she could raise $1.25 million (what she raised for Governor pre-match). I also think she’d lose by twenty points.

District 38 State Senator Jim Mathias would be a stronger candidate with deeper roots in the district and if the DCCC got involved (which I think they would), could raise well over $1 million dollars. But any Democrat would find it very tough to win this heavily Republican turf.

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