Local Republicans and Democrats clashed at a carnival this week, and the fans got caught in the middle.
And when I refer to fans, I mean the kind used to get air moving on a hot day.
By all accounts, Monday was a sweltering evening at the Urbana Carnival. As a result, the blue fans passed out at the Democratic tent were popular among carnival-goers eager to stir up a breeze. But some people wanted to cool down without waving a message of support for U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-8th, who is running for re-election. These folks decided they could enjoy the best of both worlds by covering their fan, courtesy of the Democratic tent, with GOP campaign stickers, courtesy of the Republican tent.
At least that's how GOP tent volunteer Mark Schaff remembers it.
Russ Currey, who was staffing the Democratic post with his wife, recalls things differently. He said only one woman seemed to have a problem with the Van Hollen fans and took five or six of them to the Republican tent for redecorating.
"Most people don't care that much," Currey said. "All they want is to be cool."
Currey said the fan-grab especially nettled his wife, Bonita, and she decided to reclaim them.
Schaff, of Urbana, remembered a woman running over to the Republican display, scooping up the fans and delivering some harsh words to GOP volunteers.
To Schaff, Republicans shouldn't have to wilt in the heat just because of their political leaning. He indicated that GOP volunteers weren't amassing the Van Hollen fans, but were simply offering Republican stickers upon request.
"It's freedom of speech," he said. "They don't like the message of the fan."
Currey, of Middletown, said his wife threw away the confiscated fans, but indicated she didn't shout at or berate the Republican tent staff.
"She just simply walked over, collected the fans and walked them back," she said. "It was really upsetting to see them (Republicans) do such childish, immature things. ... It's like middle school."
Rural county coalition picks up new member
A partnership of rural Maryland counties now has a member jurisdiction from the Eastern Shore.
At Thursday's Frederick County board meeting, Commissioners President Blaine Young announced that the Dorchester County Council this week voted unanimously to join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition.
The coalition that formed late last year also includes Frederick, Allegany, Washington, Carroll and Cecil counties. Somerset County commissioners are considering membership, Young indicated.
Clagett receives perfect approval rating
Maryland Delegate Galen Clagett this week reported receiving a 100 percent approval rating from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
Clagett, who represents Frederick in the Maryland General Assembly, holds a 90 percent lifetime approval score from the league, a nonpartisan group that advocates for the environment.
County Democrats plan picnic
The United Democrats of Frederick County are planning to hold a July 26 picnic at Pinecliff Park in Frederick.
Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur will represent President Barack Obama at the event, which begins at 5 p.m. The club provides chicken and beverages, but those attending are asked to bring their favorite picnic food.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Van Hollen, John Delaney and Board of Education candidates have been invited.
Anyone can join the club at the picnic. Annual dues are $20 per person or $35 per family. For details, contact Russ Currey at 301-788-5801 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.