Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Crunch Time in Faulkner Ridge

Several weeks into a formerly crescent-fresh research assignment.  An increasingly immersive…and somnambulate…venture deep into the minds of those who study how humans learn, retain and apply knowledge during moments of considerable stress.  Still in the midst of this journey, hoping to wrap it up soon…at least take a break from it in a couple of days.  You see, an old friend of mine is coming into town this weekend.  He works in the Industry, in Los Angeles. He and I need to lock down a development deal for that movie I pitched a while back, “Smurfs: The Reckoning.”  Guess the studio didn’t go for the hard-R treatment. Thanks for nothing, Disney.

So little time to write in depth about community affairs, yet so many important events are taking place.  The Howard County Council recently passed the fiscal year 2015 budget, which funds our schools, the Merriweather Post Pavilion renovation, HCC, public health initiatives, libraries and many other programs and efforts that directly impact our quality of living.  All while being able to maintain a AAA credit rating (note: in February, Howard County was one of only 40 counties in the United States that obtained this rating, out of over 3,000 counties.  Source: The Baltimore Sun).  This is the 17th consecutive year that the County has managed to secure the highest rating.  That is top-flight fiscal management and our County Executive and County Council deserve credit for a job well-done.

Juxtapose that with the Columbia Association shenanigans and one can see the vivid contrast between responsible governance and clown shoes. Which is actually not fair since a few members of the CA Board seem to have made the acquaintance of Reality and Progress.  The newcomers? That appears to be another story.     

If you haven’t already, you should check out Frank Hecker’s posts on renovating Merriweather.  Just an absolute wealth of knowledge there. All well-presented too.

But the focus of this post is on yet another set of numbers, the first pre-primary gubernatorial campaign finance reports that were due by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Some highlights:

On the surface, disbarred attorney Michael Gisriel appears to be in decent shape.  Gisriel, better known for playing the role of Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy, is sitting on over $86,000 cash-on-hand.  But he owes himself $85,000 in loans to his campaign.  Will he actually spend that money or will he cut his losses?  Even if he continues to cut checks, will it make any difference?  The product he is selling remains Michael Gisriel and I don't know if the voters of the 12th are interested in that offering.  Yes he is on television but I have seen state legislative races where candidates with far healthier budgets spend their way to a fourth-place showing and 15% of the vote (in single-member districts).  They always wish they had kept the money and walked away from the table.  
In other D12 news:

Looking at cash-on-hand, Dr. Clarence Lam places second overall, with almost $74,000 in the bank.  Dr. Terri Hill’s campaign has slightly over $67,000 cash-on-hand following another solid fundraising period. 

Nick Stewart is fourth with a little over $42,600 cash-on-hand.  Eric Ebersole is next, with nearly $29,000 in his coffers.  Rebecca Dongarra is just north of $20,000 cash-on-hand ($20,767).

Rounding out the field are Renee McGuirk-Spence with $13,871, Adam Sachs with $1,607, Brian Bailey with $373, and Jay Fred Cohen, who filed his ALCE (Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures), indicating his intention to raise/spend less than $1,000 cumulatively.

Turning to 9B, Rich Corkran’s committee is in a precarious financial situation.  While he is sitting on $14,959 cash-on-hand, he owes himself $25,000 in personal loans he made to the campaign.  His report shows $12,055 in total receipts for the most recent filing period, that includes $10,000 in personal loans to his effort, another $1,000 from some other folks with the last name “Corkran” and a handful of other contributions.  In the meantime, he incurred over $20,000 in expenditures, largely on terrible direct mail-pieces. 

Meanwhile Tom Coale is showing $40,790 cash-on-hand, with over $26,900 in new receipts.  His is a true grassroots effort indicative of a campaign with a broad and deep base of support.

But my research beckons and I must return to that world. 

Stay tuned, as more will follow.

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