Posted by: Ann Corcoran | October 19, 2011

Annapolis rally was good opportunity to network

The rally for good government organized by the House of Delegates Tea Party Caucus in the Maryland House of Delegates drew an audience of about 200—not the thousands drawn to Annapolis in the past.   The small numbers, however, did not tell the complete story.  Many of those in attendance (it was a work day after all!) were leaders of Tea Parties back home and so it was a good opportunity to network, compare notes, and talk about upcoming events and electoral strategies for the next year.

The Tea Party has really entered a new phase—no longer comprised of the angry (cheerful in comparison to the Occupy____ socialist) masses, but more the focused and increasingly savvy  political campaigners who understand that in order to bring “change” (LOL!), sign-waving bodies are not enough.

I didn’t take notes because I was too busy talking and networking myself for the two hours when one speaker after another took the microphone.   Speakers stood in a group waiting to speak after the first speaker, hardly a Tea Partier, Washington DC uber-lobbyist (see The Hill) Grover Norquist, took the microphone.  You all know by now how I feel about Norquist and even leaving aside his questionable connections (see Rep. Frank Wolf here), as a Washington Republican establishment operative for decades he is hardly the person to headline a Tea Party rally as our poster boy.  But, alas, see the Baltimore Sun yesterday which used a photo of Norquist to headline a story on the special legislative session and the gas tax.

The one successful grassroots effort in Maryland this year—the petition drive to get the issue of in-state tuition for illegal aliens on the ballot in 2012—was not mentioned.

Organizers of the rally were very careful to keep the focus on taxes and redistricting, but by the time we gathered the deals had been struck and the Legislature had already voted for a further gerrymandered state even more favorable to the Democrat Party.  I did get the impression that the Republican leadership in Maryland is trying really hard to keep the Tea Party grassroots safely tucked under its wing.

Early on I saw Del. Neil Parrott (leader of the in-state tuition petition drive)  in the group who appeared to be waiting to speak, but as time went on he was gone—presumably pressing business in the session scheduled to only last a couple of days.   If he could have spoken he surely would have received the loudest applause of the day as the representative who took the chance and made the bravest political move for a freshman Maryland conservative in recent memory.

Another telling sign that state Republican leaders were controlling the message yesterday was the banishment of some ladies holding a banner advocating traditional marriage.  There was plenty of room on the mall for everyone, but these ladies were directed by the police to fold up their banner because they didn’t have a permit to be on the mall that day.  At one point one of the ladies was trying to get Del. Smigiel’s (the rally moderator) attention to get his permission to stay.  I didn’t see what happened, but later saw the ladies holding their banner across the street.

MD CAN networking

The Maryland Conservative Action Network, which I am involved with, had a great opportunity to promote our upcoming conference in Annapolis and sell a bunch of T-shirts.  You’ve heard of the Gadsden flag, well we have the Gadsden crab—see it here—and it was selling well!



  1. Dissappointed to hear that Del. Parrott did not speak and that the turn-out was so low. I think people are really discouraged as it seems the Dems have the redistricting all wrapped up and are moving their focus on to how many more ways Maryland citizens can be taxed and big brothered to death!

    Thanks for being there though! I admire your determination and enjoy your blog.

    • Thanks Debra, stay optimistic!

  2. […] Ann Corcoran reports about yesterday’s Annapolis “rally for good government organized by the House of Delegates Tea […]

  3. […] is a busy guy—on Tuesday in Annapolis headlining a “good government” rally put on by the House of Delegates Tea Party Caucus and on Wednesday firing back at critics in […]

  4. Hi, I was one of the ladies holding the banner (Kathleen Crank, Protect Marriage MD). Delegate Smiegel informed me that I was not a part of the group (news to me) and that he also turned down the prolifers and 2nd amendment people from holding signs on the mall. A gentleman holding a sign against foreclosure fraud was also asked to leave.

    • Thanks for the info. Kathleen, just confirms my fear that some elements in the Republican Party are trying REALLY hard to control the Tea Party message…

  5. […] articles like this one at Frontpage and the elephant in the living room keeps on going—heck, Del. Mike Smigiel used Norquist as the headliner at a recent Tea Party rally in Annapolis.  Don’t these guys read?   And, by the way, if […]

  6. […] doing to banish the anti-gay marriage contingent from Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis when the Tea Party rallied there on October 18th?  Much to the consternation of many of us in attendance, Norquist was the head-liner at the event. […]

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