Grassroots Republican campaigns are indeed finding it hard to secure money from the national GOP. In some districts, even with a single Republican on the ballot, the GOP refuses to provide any help in the form of volunteers, or even mailing lists of potential donors. Support is often held by a Party until a primary winner is chosen. In the case of Kim Klacik, national GOP support never came even when the Maryland Republicans threw their support behind her in the Maryland primary election vote.
Kim Klacik won her primary election to represent the Republican Party for District 07 in a special election on April 28, 2020. The seat was held for over 20 years by the late Elijah Cummings, who passed away in November of 2019. In July, months prior to his death, President Trump brought national attention to Cummings’ “rat-infested” district. President Trump was likely tipped off by Kim Klacik’s viral videos exposing the filth in the city from a resident’s perspective.
I posed questions to the State Republican Chair that have come up since the recent special election. These questions pose doubt over the stewardship of the Party. I believe it is clear; if the Party is going to move forward, the grassroots cannot rely on state Party assistance.
Special Elections Shenanigans Go Unchallenged By GOP
Before concluding the receipt and counting of all the ballots in Maryland. On May 4th, Kewisi Mfume was sworn in. The final vote count and verification did not occur until five days later by the Maryland State Board of Elections. While this was happening, Klacik reached out to the Maryland GOP for assistance. An email by the chairman was chilling as the chairman of the Maryland GOP replied back: “Jesus Christ himself running as a Republican in that District would lose 72-28 to any Democrat.”
Klacik was polite in her response. The GOP never provided support to the Klacik campaign. The campaign requested coordinating with the outer districts. Klacik wanted to focus on Baltimore City. The GOP requested Klacik to alter her message. They tried to persuade the Kim Klacik campaign to speak about issues that did not address the inner-city problems. When she refused, the response was silence. An equivalent to “there is nothing here for you!”
Open Questions for Maryland GOP
One of the committee chairs responded to me in an email: “The questionable COVID shutdown struck right to the heart of voter contact efforts as door-knocking and public appearances disappeared in the shadow of the Governor’s executive orders.” The email reply, however, obfuscated the issue of support, implying that the COVID-19 virus somehow prevented it. This email never addressed key issues. Did the GOP offer volunteer resources or any campaign help to the Klacik campaign? If the COVID-19 crisis had not occurred, what was the plan for helping the campaign? Was there ever a plan to assist them, and if there was, did the GOP communicate or coordinate that plan to the Klacik campaign?
Other questions still open are: did the Maryland GOP have a conversation with the Klacik campaign to coordinate efforts such as phone banking. Since door knocking was impossible, did the GOP provide any resources for the phone banks? Did the Maryland or county GOP provide any media help, did they arrange interviews with the candidate either nationally or locally? Did the GOP consolidate social media blasts?
Did the Maryland GOP Help?
My investigation results prove that the GOP did not provide a single name, mailing list or resource to the campaign. They provided a minimal amount of social media tweets and Facebook posts about the upcoming special election.
I saw only three tweets sent by the Maryland GOP for the important upcoming Special Election. Here were their announcements:
- 4/15 – No stamp needed for Special Election ballots.
- 4/24 – Last day registration for the Special Election.
- 4/28 – Meme to get Ballots in the mail. Only the April 22nd tweet mentioned Klacik. On Facebook, not a single post discussed the upcoming Special Election.
Other important unanswered questions are how did the Maryland GOP respond when the State Board of Elections changed the rules to allow in-person voting? (They did not.) Did the GOP realize that this was a move designed to help the Mfume campaign (at the behest of a Republican Governor)?
The GOP Silent about Mfume Swearing-in Before Ballots Counted and Certified?
The last and probably the most troublesome question is how could the GOP allow Mfume to swear-in before results were even counted and certified? As chairmen/women of the Republican Party in Maryland, it is his/her job to safeguard the integrity of the Party and the sanctity of the vote. Yet no one in the state leadership made even a whimper. I doubt anyone looking from the outside of the state saw that travesty. (An article by this author for NewRightNewtwork.com is the only source that filed a report about this event).
Unfortunately, the Party chose not to even speak about it. I understand that the Party has to account for their spending, but I sincerely doubt that a response to this issue would have cost anything. With a Republican Governor and a bully pulpit, it would have been an interesting debate to have in the media, don’t you think? Why was Andy Harris, our sole Republican representative in the entire state to the US Congress, silent on this? Is it that Kim Klacik was not “the right candidate“?
Does anyone believe the Democrat Party would have allowed Kim Klacik to be sworn in before the votes were all counted, had she declared victory? If history is any judge, the Democrats would have likely found boxes of absentee ballots not counted. If that did not work, the Democrat Party would have made Klacik wait until as close to November as possible. Instead, the Party did not even provide a whimper in response.
Why Would the Maryland GOP Not Want to Discuss Irregularities?
Why didn’t the GOP use this irregularity to forward a conversation about ongoing corruption in the city of Baltimore and the State of Maryland? I believe that the Party is ignoring this subject as well. Why is no one commenting on these issues? Why are we treating them as if these normal occurrences? They are not! What was the rush to swear-in Mfume since Congress wasn’t even in session at the time?
From an optics perspective – the Party could have gained media attention and calling into question the upcoming General Election in November. It could have been a rallying cry for donations all over the country.
Having worked on several political campaigns over the years, I have learned that money is not the single source of assistance to a Campaign. Help with media and presence, people, lists, phone calling, and assistance with outreach are other important ways to assist. I requested proof from the Maryland GOP to show they provided assistance. Was there any attempt to answer or reach out to the campaign. I found no evidence that assistance was provided (interviews, email, phone logs) to the Klacik campaign,
Maryland GOP Does Not Care about Inner-City Baltimore
The Maryland Chairman’s message to Kim Klacik was clear. Republicans in the inner city cannot count on Republican Party support. Why did the Party erroneously report they helped the Klacik campaign when none was given. At the moment, there is no evidence to support this. How could people in the inner cities ever trust Republicans with this kind of response? At the moment, there is a clear message of no support to the inner cities. This leaves Republicans wondering why they lose every election “72-28.” Ben Franklin rightly said, “God helps those who help themselves.”
Is the State of Maryland helping their candidates win, or is running for office as a Republican an exercise in futility? November is a mere four months away, Will the Party will sit on their hands again, and not assist? This is important to every Republican in our state. Donors to the Republican Party need to understand how their donation money is spent. It certainly is not in supporting candidates for election. If candidates are not supported, their donors should refrain from donating to the Party and instead donate directly to the candidates themselves.
But I believe that the Maryland chairman’s response said it all: “Jesus Christ himself running as a Republican in that District would lose 72-28 to any Democrat.” Instead of recrafting the message, the Party is making it abundantly clear, that they do not care about Baltimore City if they ever did.
Why is Maryland GOP Not Supporting Grass Roots Candidates?
It is abundantly clear, Democrats own the message in Maryland. Do not count on The Baltimore Sun and Washington Post to print anything remotely positive about Republican candidates. But the GOP response in Baltimore City to their message is also clear – “we do not care about you! The inner city can live in the squalor.” It is a horrific view. The Republican Party will sit idly while the city is exploited by years of corruption. Even when it is specifically identified, the candidate that exposed the issue, Kim Klacik, is thrown aside.
How can the Republican Party hope to mount any challenge in any of the districts, if the response from the GOP Chairman is that “there is no hope, why bother?” Why should anyone run for office in Maryland with a Party as unresponsive, and unsupportive as this? I am concerned that great Maryland candidates such as Kim Klacik, Tim Fazenbaker, Zulieka Baysmore, and Jovanni Patterson will be ignored – with these responses from the Party.
The Democrats clearly will work on challenging every seat – and provide resources to their candidates regardless of hope or not. It is how they operate. They feel that the end game is to move the lever… slowly. They have a long-game plan. The Republicans have no such plan and seem to move in reverse. Since Governor Erlich, there has not been a concerted effort for any Republican candidate or for conservative growth in our state. Even Michael Steele, who I once supported Republicans, seems to have moved to the opposite end of the spectrum.
Will Anything Change in Maryland?
Today, it seems expedient for Republican politicians to eat their own, instead of providing support. Kim Klacik, regardless of what you might think, worked hard in areas she should not have had to campaign in (Baltimore County and Howard Counties). The campaign began using precious resources that should have been reserved for Baltimore City. Why didn’t the counties provide needed resources? There is no answer from the Maryland GOP. Klacik ran a great campaign despite those efforts and the Party’s efforts to muzzle her.
However, what has still not been discussed is why did the GOP treat district 07 that way? Why has the Republican Party sat and watched the decay in Baltimore?
It is clear that if the national Republican Party in 2016 would have responded the same way the Maryland Republican Party in 2020 responded, Hillary Clinton would have been sworn in before the votes were counted in November. President Trump was right about Maryland’s district 07. There is a big problem. Instead of supporting his claims that the district has ignored the well-being of its constituents and squandered money, the Party kept quiet. A good chance to defeat a Democrat in District 07 was squandered because the Party did not like the messenger that was selected by the people. That is a shame. But we have seen that before.
- Barr Testimony A Mockery of Government - July 29, 2020
- Baltimore – Why Does my Culture Offend You? - July 11, 2020
- July 4th, 2020 – Is It The Declaration of American Socialism or Independence? - July 4, 2020
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