Two longtime staffers at the MD GOP plan to leave for greener career pastures and Chairman Alex Mooney has picked Del. Justin Ready for an “interim” job as Executive Director. The only problem is that Ready (a fine fellow by most accounts) is an elected delegate and will not be allowed to fund raise when the State Legislature is in session from January to April next year and during the special session expected in October.
Here is what the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday:
Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney announced today that he has tapped freshman Del. Justin Ready to serve as the organization’s interim executive director.
This will be Ready’s second go at the job: The 29-year-old served in the position from April 2008 to July 2009, when he was fired by embattled GOP Chairman Jim Pelura (who resigned after receiving a no-confidence vote by the state board).
“Justin’s experience as a former MDGOP Executive Director makes him the right choice to serve as the interim executive director through the end of 2011,” Mooney said in a statement. Maryland Republcians are searching for a permanent executive director, Mooney said.
The main role of the executive director is to raise money — which could be a problem for Ready, who represents Carroll County and is a member of the House Health and Government Operations Committee.
Ethics rules prohibit state lawmakers from raising money during legislative sessions. In addition to the regular 90-day session in January, a special session for congressional redistricting is planned for October. There’s no word yet on how long that session will last.
Apart from the fundraising restriction, there’s no ethical issue with a lawmaker working for a political party, said William Somerville of the Department of Legislative Services. Somerville said Ready checked with DLS before accepting Mooney’s appointment.
Readers, you know the Dems are ruthless and they will be hammering the potential conflicts any chance they get.
What this says to me is that Alex Mooney (who defeated the establishment’s Mary Kane for the job) is sending a message to that wing of the party (those who went on the hunt against Jim Pelura a few years ago)—-here, it’s all yours, I go in peace. Mooney was elected last December to the chairman post; one year sounds pretty good on the resume wouldn’t you say?
[Update: Now the back story is pouring in. Here is some of the background on why Pelura fired Ready in the first place. So tell me, why were the Grand Poobas of the MD Republican establishment so concerned about protecting Obama, in retrospect it looks to me like Joyce Thomann was closer to the truth than those GOP hand-wringing insiders. Thomann’s statement must have been around the same time that Rush Limbaugh was the only one saying, “I hope he (Obama) fails!” as the oh-so-sensitive Republican establishment was running for cover.]
I haven’t been around long enough to know all the ins and outs [but surely others will fill me in as they are already]. Last night I did go back and read some old newspaper accounts about the piling-on that drove Dr. Pelura from the job and to me this (revisiting the dark days, over and over) makes it look pretty hopeless for the MD GOP to ever get it together to win.
Tea Party-minded Marylanders should beware. I’m not convinced our establishment Republicans really want to win—indeed, we heard such rumblings in the early days of the Petition drive on illegal alien tuition.
I see that Michael Swartz has a post on the Ready appointment as well, here. Read his report and do some googling around yourselves to get a fuller picture and understanding of who the players are in Maryland ruling class politics.