State Delegate David Vogt took to Facebook and the airwaves recently to clarify that he is no longer, or never was, introducing a bill that would “revoke the tax-exempt status of mosques and organizations that are directly linked to the spread and support of a radicalized notion of Islam.”
The email was sent by Vogt’s campaign for the 6th Congressional District seat on Dec. 10.
Vogt’s campaign wrote on Facebook on Dec. 11 that he would appear on a Baltimore radio show to discuss the forthcoming bill and invited people who dismissed the proposal as “ridiculous” to call in to defend their own view.
He has since, however, retracted those views. The bill was given passing mention in a Washington Post article last weekend, and Vogt wrote on Facebook that he was not supporting the bill. Particularly, Vogt stuck to comments he made a week earlier on “Frederick’s Forum” with Pattee Brown and Dave Schmidt on WFMD.
Vogt said the email about the bill was sent while he was on vacation “in the woods of Northern Pennsylvania” and wasn’t easy to get a hold of or respond to ideas immediately.
He said he did not approve the message before it was sent and will not be moving forward with any bill.
“That was a little more extreme than I ever would have wanted to go or come across. And we’ve taken care of that and I’m not going to be putting that bill forward,” Vogt said.
“We still need to have a conversation to make sure that acts of terror aren’t happening,” he said.
Vogt never sent an email to his campaign distribution list clarifying that the proposal had been pulled, thus its mention in The Post.
Vogt said he didn’t send a second email because he wanted to deal with the issue, and the staffer who sent the message, quietly.
The release itself is still viewable online at his email campaign archive.
Change in chair
The Republican Central Committee of Frederick County had a change in leadership recently.
Former Chairwoman JoeyLynn Hough was replaced by new Chairman Billy Shreve in a 5-4 vote.
“Every year, there’s an election. There’s winners and losers. And, unfortunately, this time, I was the loser,” Hough said. “He won, and I lost.”
Shreve did not return calls about the new position, but Hough spoke briefly of her tenure as chairwoman.
“I believe that I’ve done an excellent job as the chair for the central committee for the year I was there,” she said, citing her fundraising efforts.
In our conversation, Hough made reference to her friendship with Shreve. I asked whether that friendship was in the past or present tense.
“We’re on the committee together, so I’m going to continue to do the best I can to make Frederick County successful, and to make it red,” Hough responded.
She will continue to serve on the committee through 2018, the next time all of the committee seats are up for election.
The committee serves as the governing body for the political party in Frederick County, but can also make significant decisions. When Kelly Schulz was named labor secretary by Gov. Larry Hogan in 2014, the central committee appointed now-Delegate Barrie S. Ciliberti as her replacement.
Supporters of Wendi Peters — a former Mount Airy councilwoman who also campaigned for the seat and earned 601 more votes than Ciliberti in the 2014 Republican primary — criticized the committee’s process.
Happy new year!
When the clock struck midnight this morning, a whole lotta politicians were hoping to be kissing one thing: cash.
The final 2015 reporting period for congressional campaigns ended at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Unfortunately for us, the public accounting for those funds is not due to the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31.
It seemed, at least briefly this week, that the new year was going to be really, really new for the Frederick County Council. A draft agenda sent just before 5 p.m. Wednesday listed four (!) new bills that would be introduced for a first reading on Tuesday. A revised agenda released Thursday morning cut three of those measures, noting they would be rescheduled for a later date.
The lone remaining first-reader for Tuesday is County Executive Jan Gardner’s proposal to raise the school and library impact fees levied when new homes are built.
The rescheduled items, for the record: a reconsideration of the county’s historic designation laws, a bill to allow medical cannabis growers in the agricultural districts of the county with a special exception, and revisions to the county’s ethics ordinance.
Looks like I have a lot of hearings to look forward to in 2016.