Leaders in three Frederick County Republican groups are calling County Council President Bud Otis a “bait-and-switch” candidate and want him to resign, weeks after Otis announced he was leaving the party to become an unaffiliated voter.

The heads of the Republican County Central Committee and Frederick County Republican Club — Billy Shreve and Mark Schaff, respectively — along with the vice chairman of Frederick County Young Republicans, Brian Harris, released the statement Saturday night.

The 622-word statement is the longest formal response by the organizations since Otis announced on May 19 that he was leaving the party. Otis said he made the decision in response to “outrageous, mean-spirited” attacks by county leaders of the party to which he formerly belonged.

“I think the direction of the Republican Central Committee is not where the majority of this county is, among Republican voters,” Otis said Tuesday. He said he does not plan to resign.

The statement released from the Republican groups said they wanted to “express a heartfelt thank you for finally acknowledging that you are not a Republican, do not represent Republicans, and we are grateful that you have turned in your card.”

The statement criticizes Otis’ votes on the council, in which he often sided with a three-Democrat minority, before changing his affiliation.

The statement says that Otis campaigned and was elected as a Republican, trading on the reputation of Roscoe Bartlett, the Republican former congressman for whom Otis worked as chief of staff, and former Board of County Commissioners President Blaine Young, whose campaign shared donor information and endorsed Otis’ run for council.

Particular actions that irked the groups’ membership were Otis’ votes on county spending — which have increased the overall budget and allowed the county to assess property taxes above the base rate set by the state of Maryland — and getting rid of an ordinance that set English as the official language of county government.

“Councilman Bud Otis did all of this for his own benefit and aspirations,” the statement read. “He did so because he knew he would never be elected as a Democrat. He used our conservative values, our Party, its members, and constituents all in the name of deception.”

The party leaders said their goal is to allow the central committee to “place a true conservative on the council, which is what the voters of Frederick County intended when they voted.”

The group also suggested that voters should be entitled to a refund of their campaign contributions.

Otis received a little less than $48,000 in contributions during his bid for an at-large position on the council, according to campaign finance reports filed in 2014.

Nearly all of that money was spent; at the end of his campaign, Otis had about $366.21 left in the bank, according to the filings. At a mandatory filing deadline in December, his campaign committee reported that it had not received or spent more than $1,000 in the past year.

Shreve, who is also an at-large member of the council, acknowledged in an interview that Otis would not be legally required to return any contributions, but said he’s heard from voters who want their money back.

At least one person is considering a lawsuit seeking a return of the funds, Shreve said.

“I told them, ‘If you can find an attorney that’s willing to do it, I will bring it before the [central] committee for a vote,’” Shreve said, referring to the possibility of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Frederick County Republicans.

Mileah Kromer, a political science professor at Goucher College, said campaign refunds are typically initiated by candidates who receive illegal donations or money from unsavory donors. Refunds are also typically made or requested during the election cycle, Kromer said.

“This is not the common practice,” Kromer said. “You don’t hear about this every day.”

Kromer said she knew of no legal obligation Otis had to return donations.

Otis said that he will not resign and has received a “tremendous” amount of support since announcing his affiliation change. He said he regarded donations during the election as support for himself, and not the county’s Republican party.

“People donated money to Friends of Bud Otis. And I consider them my friends. They’re calling me and telling me that I am reflecting their positions,” Otis said.

Otis said voters can challenge his record, naturally, but he wouldn’t go back and change any vote he’s cast on the council.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(89) comments

disneynut

You have my full support, Bud Otis. Ignore the local bullies, Billy, Kirby and Tony. Those three need to give back their salary.. they have done NOTHING for this county expect whine and moan. Shame on you three.

AstuteBusinessWoman

[thumbup]

elymus43

Hopefully, the voters will clean house in the next election.

DickD

Except for Billy and Kirby we cleaned house last time. What makes you think the majority will want to change next time. Yes, Billy and Kirby must go, maybe Tony, but the rest don't seem to be a problem.

dbjanda1

Perhaps Shreve should as DeLauter did in the past and not have his name published in public anymore....Kirby's action went worldwide to show his stupidity and Shreve is a follower so follow....Frederick needs the publicity !!!!!!

bmclearen

I am again astounded by actions of the Republican Party and their leaders. In this instance, they are acting like a bunch of children who didn’t get their way. Well so be it. Billie clearly doesn’t like the fact that he now has to please the citizens of Frederick County and not just himself and Blaine Young. I know that politics is politics, but when we get a group like Billie and his other know-nothings that call themselves Republicans while they are working for their own benefit, it makes you wonder. So Billie, go ahead with your “class action” lawsuit, but be prepared to explain some of the other questionable activities that you have been involved in during your tenure with the County Council. Lastly, I have changed my party affiliation a number of times during my lifetime and I would be interested to know if you plan a “class action” law suit against me.

Jake mohorovic

Otis is a good representative unlike the republican bamboozlers.

Boyce Rensberger

Otis gained his office in a general election in which all voters of any party or none could vote. Political parties don't get to say what happens to the winners of general elections. They're relevant only in primary elections.

bosco

Good reminder.

DickD

And to help set a party platform, but do our local committees do that?

elymus43

The voters wanted a charter government system, and what a mess it is now. The old BOCC system was the best system (not counting the last BOCC). Washington county BOCC knows how to handle county business, than Frederick county.

phydeaux994

This mess has nothing to do with the Charter Government system. It has to do with three whiney little malcontents bent on taking Jan, and now Bud, down because they didn't get their way.

Hayduke2

Come on man, get real.

FrederickCountyGOP

The bottom line is Otis is to moderate for a constituency that's to racist, radical and rebellious, Ronald Reagan and George Wallace would be to moderate for Frederick County.

Quisling

Anyone who adheres to a certain political parties agenda needs to learn to think for themselves. Mr Otis is a breath of fresh air in this toxic, infantile political environment.

flamingo

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

threecents

[thumbup]

AstuteBusinessWoman

[thumbup]

William Smith

Bud Otis has made the choice to "govern". Kirby, Billy and Tony should follow his example and stop posturing and obstructing. I did not vote for Bud last time; but I will next time.

fnfn

[thumbup][thumbup]

valerie_dale

So where were these groups, these R party leaders, when the last R majority BOCC led by Young and including Shreve and Delauter actually RAISED taxes?! This Council didn't raise taxes, they maintained the current tax rate. These 3 Republican groups need to read the charter. If there were a vacant seat on the Council, the Central Committee has NO say in who fills it - that is the responsibility of the Council, and if they have a split vote, it is the County Executive who fills the seat, with anyone from any party! Lastly, these R 'party leaders' need to read Tom Freidman's piece in the NYT this morning. Keep up the Good Leadership, Council President Otis!

DickD

Val, if you read the Charter close, the "Central Committee" party affiliation of the person being replaced gets to select three people for the Council to vote on. But if someone changes party affiliation, as Bud has done, who gets to choose, especially if the party affiliation is one party at time of election and then changes to another party affiliation. My interpretation of the Charter is the "Central Committee" of the Council member at the time of resignation. As there is none for unaffiliated, that I know of, they could not select no one. If no one is selected, the choice would be the County Exec, Jan. Now that would start a fight for sure. lol

Bookie

Mr. Shreve:
"Loyalty above all else, except honor."
Thank you Mr. Otis!

richardlyons

Thank you Mr. Otis.

armillary

"At least one person is considering a lawsuit seeking a return of the funds, Shreve said."

Recent letters to the editor suggest that the person Billy refers to is likely Tony's dad.

jthompson

Bud should call the bluff and publicly offer to pay the court filing fee for anyone who desires to sue him for a refund of a campaign contribution.

BlueDawn666

oh interesting....makes sense. Guess Joe has money to burn?

BstD59

If he wants his money returned so badly perhaps we should all chip in and pay the man back. I suspect it was a really small donation anyway.

fredbird

This guy Otis is a fraud. He was elected as a Republican who I voted for. I can tell you that won't happen again. I would not be surprised if Otis registers and runs as a Democrat next time around. Hope he does so everyone can see his true colors.

fredbird, what does elected as a Republican mean?

FrederickCountyGOP

Racist, radical, rebellious

fnfn

http://politicallymoderatechristian.com/the-biblical-case-for-the-rich-being-the-evil-class/ They still "know not what they do".

BstD59

Local issues are not party specific. Few care if someone has an R or a D after their name because the residents of FC want good government for everyone, not just for those with an R or D after their name. Bud may lose your vote but I can promise you that he picked up many, many more by his action.

b1sellers

Yes he has - mine included.

writer

Well said. I agree completely on all counts.

matthewboh

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

hallemd

I didn't vote for him the first time around, but he'll get my vote in the next election and any after that. I will actively campaign for him this time and for Jan as well if she chooses to run again. It means a lot when you take a position and then operate from the principle of doing the right thing for the majority of the people (and not following along blindly to a specific party line or rhetoric). Bud Otis is amazing and has endured a lot of crap from this band of malcontents - but he cares enough about the citizens of Frederick County to "endure and rise above". I salute you Mr. Otis and thank you for your dedicated service.

DickD

Bud would still get a lot of Republican votes and he will pick up many unaffiliated and Democrat too. It is better to be good than a party member, no matter which party.[thumbup]

Doritos

And he will get elected if he chooses to run again by a lot of republicans that didn't vote for him the first time
He has proven he is doing what is best for frederick county not party affiliation

DickD

If he does, he will get more votes than the first time, so what is your point? You want to be proven wrong?

Dwasserba

Oh pooey. Get over it.

DickD

Bud, please tell the Republican committee and "sour grapes" Billy; "Go to hxx." You ran as a Republican with no guarantee you would be one the rest of your life. There are no puppet strings attached, the Republican committee cannot and will not control your votes. Their hand picked flunky, Ellen Bartlett, the goat herder living in Circleville, W.V. lost her election, you won yours. The County won with your election that is all that counts. You might even consider changing parties to Democrat, then resigning and getting appointed again as a Republican. As it now stands, you are unaffiliated, so there is no way the Republican Central Committee will be allowed to hand pick three candidates for the Council, this will leave it up to Jan.

DickD

Should have said, change political party to Democrat, resign, then get appointed by Jan as a Democrat. Only problem with that is it would leave the Council President vacant, until after your new appointment, but that can be arranged too. The Republican Committee just does not control the Council, that is their problem.

DeDeuceCoupe32

Refund? Refund? Billy needs to watch the movie "breaking away".

shiftless88

[thumbup][thumbup] Made me laugh; what a great scene

stjohn42

The people elected Bud Otis, not a slot for party hacks to appoint a "true conservative", whatever the hell that is. Political service in the US has never been about blind obedience to a party line, and should never be. If KD and company want to replace Bud with someone they like better, they will just have to wait until the next election like everyone else.

Frayou

Council President seems to embody what a "civil servant" actions should be. To make responcible decision for the benefit of the people of Frederick County. Important decisions beyond the sole benefit of individual partisan politics. His actions are representative of what is lacking in government overall. We need more "civil servants" such as Mr Otis. Any movement for his resignation should be resisted since overwhelming support suggest he is acting in Frederick County citizens best interest. Future elections will likely reinforce same if he should run for office again.

bosco

Just when you think that Kirby and Billy can't be anymore embarrassing, they prove that they are still capable of stooping to new lows. The people who elected them must be so proud of their choice.

hallemd

Better known as "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" occasionally accompanied by "Tweedle Dumber"................LOL![tongue]

BlueDawn666

See I knew this was going to go over their heads as to why Bud switched to unaffiliated, once again proving that ignorance is indeed an embraced and welcomed virtue around these parts and that scares and saddens me at the same time, the ignorant are having no problem strutting their ignorance for all to see like a peacock struts his feathers.

The 622-word statement is the longest formal response by the organizations...I am shocked that they could come up with 622-word coherent statement, especially considering who the heads are of the Republican County Central Committee and Frederick County Republican Club — Billy Shreve and Mark Schaff. Billy has never struck me as intelligent, he has certainly never shown his intelligence outwardly as to where anyone can see it, then again I guess that is why he was voted backed into office because ignorance is a virtue around these parts, cause ignorance plays well.

Particular actions that irked the groups’ membership were Otis’ votes on county spending — which have increased the overall budget and allowed the county to assess property taxes above the base rate set by the state of Maryland — and getting rid of an ordinance that set English as the official language of county government....again the irony and face palming..they have suddenly forgotten all the crap Blaine did that cost the taxpayers way more than a tax increase will?
Like selling the nursing homes at a loss
Giving out those stupid $100.00 tax rebates to CERTAIN taxpayers and yet cost EVERY taxpayer to process them, but that was fine with them cause Blaine was doing it.
Oh and how much did Blaine's affair cost the taxpayers?
Also that stupid English Only Ordinance could have cost the taxpayers plenty if someone decided to challenge it.
https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/9-19-00.cfm

At least one person is considering a lawsuit seeking a return of the funds, Shreve said....so why do people throw-out this out, it only makes them sound the fool, how much could this ONE person have possibly given that would make a lawsuit worth it? I guess this person is just wanting to make some lawyers rich..LOL

“This is not the common practice,” Kromer said. “You don’t hear about this every day.” no you don't.....only in Frederick County you will again because ignorance is a virtue and the ignorant are proud of their ignorance.

hallemd

And they appear hell-bent on making Frederick a national laughingstock as we saw with "he who shall not be named" last year![angry]

jerseygrl42

being called out by clown/loser shreve should be taken as a compliment...he serves NO useful purpose in govt.

FrederickFan

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

FrederickFan

Just because Shreve and Delauter hide behind the party doesn't make what they do any less dishonorable. I'll vote for the person with integrity over the scoundrels all day long. You have my full support President Otis.

BstD59

I smell Blaine Young behind much of these baseless accusations. The wisest thing Bud did in all the years of his public service was to turn his back on the pseudo- Republicans who mistakenly claim to have ownership of the Party.

shiftless88

Lordy, some times it is so embarrassing to have to say I'm from Frederick.

thevoiceoffrederick

So he pulled Trump, you know the Oprah, Trump interview where trump said if he were to run, he would run as a republican, because republicans are naïve. Look it up, Trump said it and he is doing it and everyone is drinking up his nonsense. A true modern day, snake oil show man, just like Hillary

Near New Market

It's kind of sad that you don't realize how damaging the behavior of Shreve is to the Republican party. Otis is a principled man who wants only to govern the County in both a fiscally conservative but necessary manner. He's got the support of everyone who wanted pragmatic, non-partisan debate about priorities in our county. You just don't get it. This is now beyond embarrassing for Shreve and his group of associates.

thevoiceoffrederick

A principled man? seems he dumped his principles the second it got a little hot in the kitchen and jumped ship. Real men of courage and stature will stand up against those and use his intellect to counter them, not duct, dip and dodge and run away, if Bud was a true leader he would take a bigger voice and stance and become a local party leader, instead he ran away and is playing the victim. I don't remember seeing ole Billy boy running and hiding when the national media came down on him, he took it, and pushed forward, didn't cry victim, put his head in the sand or he may have wined a bit but all bud is doing is cry, cry, cry and run. Strong men and women stand up for their beliefs, bot run and hide the second things get tough. I bet Jan would have raised up and used her intellect to go after those calling her out on beliefs, not run and turned on the party or people that got her elected.

b1sellers

"Strong men and women stand up for their beliefs" Which is exactly what Bud did. Don't know what fantasy world you are living in. And I count not voting and obstructing everything that "ole Billy boy " is doing as running and hiding - while being paid with MY tax dollars. Not a good example to use.

armillary

Billy? National media? For what, losing his keys? Can't cross the street? Or maybe I forgot. Remind me, please.

Nicki

Bud did use his intellect in distancing himself from our local Republicans.

BstD59

Why are we paying Billy out of our tax dollars when he hasn't earned one cent? Funny that he can whine about getting donations back but has no problem taking tax dollars for not working. If anyone should resign it should be Billy...doubt anyone will miss him.

BlueDawn666

to the Voice of Frederick--become a local party leader of what, the Frederick County Republicans..OMG and LOL...

didn't cry victim, put his head in the sand or he may have whined a bit but all bud is doing is cry, cry, cry and run. Strong men and women stand up for their beliefs..but Bud is standing up for his beliefs, he believes that the LOCAL Republican party no longer represents him as Republican, and AGAIN he SWTICHED to INDEPENDENT NOT DEMOCRAT, so Bud can't be an independent thinker and govern that same way, you saying that Bud has to operate in a Borg mentality....well yeah I guess you kinda are..now that is scary. Also how is he turning on the people that elected unless you are saying that you are all a bunch of Borgs..and there isn't an independent thinker among you..oh the shame.

Hayduke2

You are not the voice of Frederick that I come in contact with.

Nicki

I admire strong men and women that take a stand against bullying.

threecents

The Voice, Look Bud was elected to do a job and he is doing it according to his conscience. It would be easier for him to follow Billy, but he chose to serve Frederick. Like it or not Billy is head of Frederick's republican party. and Bud did not want to drink the tea. It is as simple as that. No conspiracy - just a guy with integrity being attacked by people like you.

cctjr64

The Republican Rebels of Frederick County are not calling for Bud to step down and salute him on his voting record on the council and for doing the right things. Remember, Billy Shreve has not voted with the Republicans(Kirby and Tony) over hundred times now.

Hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

jthompson

Bud ain't the first to receive threats from local Republicans. The high-water mark of the Gray BOCC (1998-2002) in terms of camaraderie occurred in 2000 when the Republican Mens Club (forerunner to the Frederick County Republican Club) sent the four GOP members of the board (Gray, Rhoderick, Hogan & moi) a letter threatening "appropriate action" if any of us voted for proposed increases in the County's property and income taxes. Three BOCC members (Gray, Rhoderick & Gardner) supported the increases with Ilona and moi opposed. Ilona promptly and publicly pointed out some hypocrisy in that the author of the letter had also written the BOCC advocating an increase in spending. I promptly & publicly indicated that while I opposed the tax increases I understood why my colleagues were in favor. I promised to come to the defense of my colleagues, regardless of party, should the Republican Mens Club attempt to take "appropriate action" against them. We never heard any more from the Republican Mens Club.

BlueDawn666

Interesting...also since when are WE supposed to care what the Republican Mens Club says, thinks, or does? "appropriate action"...what does that mean exactly? What power do they actually have?
But you know only SOME of Bud's colleagues will come to his defense.

threecents

Billy, you are an elected official, but all you do is obstruct the government. Is that your idea of "Republican Values"? The majority don't disdain you because of your extreme politics. We disdain you because of your extreme obstructionism. Can you and Billy please let government function without all your crybaby distractions? Can you grow up?

MrHitshed

I'm gratified to see three different Republican groups demonstrating their collective stupidity by continuing to attack Bud and keep this story in the news.

Public support for Bud has been overwhelming. Even many Republicans understand that Bud did the right thing.

Every time Shreve's name is printed it should be a reminder that he, Delauter and Chmelik voted against the County budget. They voted to give no funding to law enforcement, public safety, teachers or education.

Why? According to the article, they're all still upset that Bud voted against the old board's English-only ordinance.

Still mad about that? Good grief. It's been a year. What would have been accomplished if it were still in effect? Can any Republican name even one thing?

Shreve, Delauter and Chmelik do not deserve to hold office, and should be voted out at the earliest opportunity.

armillary


Words describe Billy's perspective
like defective, invective, protective
but the adjective that
fits him like a hat
since his scheming falls flat, ineffective.

marylandmirage

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

BlueDawn666

Excellent..armillary

FrederickFan

Now you are showing off, like doing a 360 degree spin with the surfboard on top of the wave. [thumbup][thumbup]

BstD59

An absolutely perfect description, Armillary. Well done you!

MrHitshed

Another walk-off homer for armillary!

marylandmirage

“Councilman Bud Otis did all of this for his own benefit and aspirations,” ... He used our conservative values, our Party, its members, and constituents all in the name of deception.” ******** Whoa! Shades of deja vu! Who has used the political arena for their own benefit and aspirations more than the former controlling hass-oles who controlled the county? Certainly they did not appear to care about what the majority of citizens wanted. They are accusing Bud of using people? REALLY???!!! They are trying to threaten him into resigning, and I am glad that someone is finally standing up to this gang of bullies whose only apparent contribution to this county is to create gridlock when they do not get their own way. No one group of people deceived the citizens of Frederick County when they were in control than Billy, Kirby, and Blaine. When they were in power, they just denigrated, ridiculed and bullied people into getting what they wanted. I am sure they miss those days, and that is why they are trying to bully Bud into quitting. They are quickly becoming the "Do Nothing" party of Frederick County. I did not vote for Bud the first time because I associated him with his supporters at the time, but I would certainly vote for him the next time. We need more leaders like him who are willing to put aside party and put what is best for the citizens of the county first and foremost. Thanks again, Bud!

Hayduke2

Local politics should be about local issues, not Party politics.

public-redux

The Republican "leadership" of FredCo hasn't reflected the views of this Republican for years. Billy, you don't speak for me.

RicoRF

Ditto

DickD

Gladys, thank you for being an honest person with the best interests of the County.[thumbup]

phydeaux994

Hell hath no fury like a Frederick County Republican scorned. Billy Shreve is so consumed with hate for Bud for denying him the Council Presidency. The votes Bud has cast with the Democrats have not been partisan votes. They have been votes to restore decency to the Frederick County Government. Ignore Billy and Kirby Bud, you are doing just fine. Good riddance to the English only ordinance and thank you for the new Ethics Law and a budget that better serves all the citizens of the County.

68vfd

Deficits and higher taxes are better serving?

marylandmirage

Overdevelopment with not enough infrastructure to support it is better? The whole mission of the Billy-Kirby-Blaine statement (then and now) can be summed up in one word: Gridlock.

FrederickFan

What a fool. The last ones to raise property tax rate were Shreve, Delauter and Young in May if 2013.

During their last term, Young, Delauter, Shreve, and Smith gave away $150,000,000 of your tax dollars to residential Developers in exchange for $1,000,000 of campaign bribes.

. If you think voting Republican is a vote against taxes and deficits, you are a maroon.

Hayduke2

Show proof of deficits and higher taxes? Tax rates stayed the same and the budget passed is a moderate one. Making statements with nothing to back it up show that you are simply responding to an ideological viewpoint.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
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