First, I have no personal animus toward Senator Kittleman. He and I have only spoken in-person on one occasion and he was quite pleasant. He seems reasonably thoughtful. Moreover, and this is pure speculation-on-stilts, I assume he makes a fine neighbor. Need to borrow a snow-shovel to get your car out of the driveway? I am guessing he has a spare and would be glad to help you out. Anyway, that is how he comes across.
Even if all of this is true, none of it is a reason to vote for him for Howard County Executive.
He is running a new set of ads that impart the message: vote for the person, not the party. I don’t buy into that line of thinking. The party to which a person belongs should tell you quite a bit about him or her. We aren’t born hard-wired as a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or other. We choose our partisan affiliation. Sometimes, over the course of our lives, we re-visit our decisions because we evolve and/or the party changes. For whatever reason(s), Allan Kittleman decided to stick with the GOP, even in its most recent incarnation – with so much energy coming from its Tea Party wing.
So why did he stay? Well, this is why I encourage my fellow HoCo denizens to check out the website: www.kittlemanfacts.com. The reader can see that the reality of his voting record in Annapolis does not exactly square with the moderate image many folks have of Senator Kittleman. Sure, he tends to adopt more centrist positions on some issues compared to his hard-right colleagues…but take a look at his votes on guns, on education, on the minimum wage, on women’s health issues, and on the environment and one can see that the Senator is actually quite conservative on several important public policy matters.
In addition, he seemed to imply at a candidate forum a few weeks back that a vote for him was a vote to pull the Republican Party in the right (read: correct) direction. If he really wanted to continue fighting that fight (and again, his voting record will demonstrate that he was aligned with less-than-progressive members of the GOP at least on the issues outlined in the previous paragraph), then why not stay in the State Senate and use that as a forum? Why not run for re-election instead of seeking another office? I suppose Kittleman and perhaps his Inner Circle know the answers to those questions. In any event, that goes to his personal motivations, which need to be distinguished from what he would do in the public sphere, if elected.
And how can we predict what he might do? By looking at the choices he has made in the past. Personally, I believe his decision to remain with the Republican Party and a thorough look at his surprisingly conservative voting record on certain issues are what some like to call “telling facts.” And while mud can be washed off, facts cling for a very long time.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.