Posted by: Ann Corcoran | December 12, 2011

Governor O’Malley on PlanMaryland rally: You are all wasting your time here today!

That is what the Governor told PlanMaryland rally attendee Michelle Jefferson as he hurriedly departed the Governor’s mansion this morning with two members of his security detail in tow.   He dashed out of his gate onto Lawyer’s Mall at around 9:15 a.m. apparently on his way to a briefing on his recent India adventure just as the first of about 130 Tea Party and other conservative demonstrators arrived to protest his supposedly soon-to-be-approved PlanMaryland.

Jefferson of ‘We the People Carroll County‘ confronted the Governor and asked that he slow the process to give Marylanders more time to understand just what exactly the plan entails and he quipped, “You’ve had forty years!,” a reference, we presume, to the original Land use planning legislation of 1974.  Then he said rather undiplomatically, “you all are wasting your time here today!

LOL!  And, speaking of wasting one’s time, we learned that O’Malley, in addition to the India briefing this morning (more taxpayer funded trips are planned!) which is where he must have been dashing to after rebuffing Jefferson, was busy tweeting Lady Gaga and inviting her to Maryland to discuss the subject of bullying!  I kid you not!  Read about it here in the Baltimore Sun blog.

The rally

Today’s rally at Lawyers Mall was organized by Senator EJ Pipkin who represents several counties on the Eastern Shore.   The numbers weren’t large—afterall, how many conservatives can just slip on over to Annapolis on a Monday morning when most are busy working and getting children off to school—but it was spirited.  As I said, I counted around 130 people which included county leaders and elected officials from at least eleven counties.

Many delegates including: Nic Kipke, Kathy Afzali, Mike Smigiel, Kelly Schultz, Don Dwyer and Gail Bates were there.  I spotted Senators, in addition to Sen. Pipkin, Chris Shank, Nancy Jacobs, Ed Reilly, and Barry Glassman.  (I’m sorry if I missed someone!)

US Senate candidate Dan Bongino spoke briefly, but no sign of Senator David Brinkley or former Senator Alex Mooney.

I don’t know many county commissioners from other counties, but Jeff Cline of Washington County was there—as were leaders on this issue from Frederick County (Blaine Young) and from Carroll (Richard Rothschild and Robin Frasier).  A very impressive county commissioner, Cynthia Jones from St. Mary’s County gave us a critical piece of information during the afternoon briefing which I’ll tell you about shortly.

The briefing

I wish I could tell you everything we learned in the three hour plus (standing room only) briefing on THE PLAN, but I would have to write a book.  So just a couple of highlights for me.

In response to the continuous drum-beat by State Planning Department head honcho Richard Hall (and fellow pro-PLAN panelists) who said that this PLAN really didn’t do much that wasn’t already legally on the books and that all they were doing was “knitting together” various programs and plans (if I heard the word “knitting” one more time I thought I would scream!),  Frederick County Commissioner President Blaine Young asked the question of the day:  “If it does nothing, why do it?

Earlier Young’s father, Democrat Senator Ron Young (who unseated Alex Mooney in the last election) got tough on Hall too and asked why the heck did he have to go and stir everyone up across the state when basically what the state planners needed he had helped put in place during the Glendening years (remember Smart Growth) and they needed to only implement what they already had available to them in law.   He said Hall (and by extension O’Malley) had “bungled this badly.”

Senator Young got a few cheers for his ‘Why the heck did you do this?’ line of questioning, but the audience was quickly chastised by Committee Chair Joan Carter Conway.

Senator Pipkin stressed that there was indeed an expansion of legal authority in THE PLAN beyond the 1974 plan provisions and Smart Growth, both of which had granted certain authority to state planners by the legislature.  He said that THE PLAN’s provision for a ‘smart growth cabinet’ would basically give power to unelected “friends of the governor” to ride roughshod over local elected officials.  He called it an “executive fiat.”  Pipken said several times that this latest incarnation of PlanMaryland should go before the legislature.

County Commissioner Richard Rothschild demonstrated through a power point presentation that the basic assumptions of  THE PLAN are false to begin with.

How to manipulate a meeting

And, again since I would be writing a book if I told you everything I learned today (Hey, governor, I sure didn’t feel my time was wasted) I’ll wrap up with the testimony presented by St. Mary’s County Commissioner Cynthia Jones.

State Planner Hall had said several times that the Planning Department had held many meetings across the state on THE PLAN over three years. Never mind the fact that they really had no plan on paper for anyone to really examine until recent months! Commissioner Jones described one such meeting in St. Marys:

She reported that of the assembled group she only saw a few people she knew from her county (were ringers brought in from elsewhere?).  But, here is the important part.  She says those attending were broken into small groups with a pre-selected facilitator at the helm in each group.  They were then presented with a list of “Ten Values” and asked to choose their three top values.  Jones reported that the list did not contain any reference to property rights or cost/benefit analysis, both of  greatest concern to her.

She asked the facilitator about this, but he did nothing to address her concerns.  In her group there were four environmental activists and a consensus was reached more in line with their thinking on PlanMaryland.

What Ms. Jones was experiencing was the Delphi Technique, a well established strategy used regularly (so regularly we should be more ready to combat it and not be surprised every time it happens to us!) by the Left to DIRECT A CONSENSUS TOWARD A PRE-DETERMINED CONCLUSION.

They want it to look like the group has reached a consensus to carry forward in the planning process when all the while it is a strategy to isolate the ‘malcontents’ and ‘troublemakers’ who might actually be able to ‘poison’ (in their minds) the thinking of citizens who really may not have heard all the arguments for and against a proposal.   A description by the Virginia Land Rights Coalition of how it works and how to defeat it is here .

Bottomline, do not ever let a government agency, which is holding some hearing or planning session, divide the attendees.  Make sure everyone hears everyone’s questions and concerns.  (There are also a few other strategies to defeat Delphi in that link above, please read it!)

I came away thinking there is some hope that O’Malley could still lose this.  All in all, it was not a wasted day!



  1. O’Malley’s comment (you are all wasting your time here) is nothing more than typical liberal hubris, he assumes that since he is leaving and won’t hear the comments, that the comments will be wasted and go unheeded.

    I believe that by running off to tweet Lady Gaga, that it may indeed be he who is wasting his time, Lady Gaga is a masterful promoter, a masterful promoter of herself, not O’malley. This may not turn out the way he thinks it’s going to.
    If that whole tweet thing is true?

    Anyway, we’ll see how it all plays out.

  2. I attended the rally as well as the hearing today. I too came away with some hope that this ‘Plan TO RUIN Maryland’ will indeed go into the trashcan. In my view, Mr. Rothschild’s FACT-based presentation simply blew Mr. Hall’s ramblings away, and clearly exposed it for what it is: A blatant, executive power grab. I also loved it when, after Hall dodged the question on how many feedback/emails were for the plan versus against it, Pipkin shined the light on Hall’s deceit by informing us the feedback was 4 to 1 (four against the ‘planMD’ for every one in favor of it). Also, I’ve been to other hearings and, like today, find that Joan Carter Conway never fails to exhibit arrogance and disrespect at any panelist who presents a view she opposes. It was not lost on the audience the game she was playing by interrupting Rothschild 2 or 3 times for IDIOT comments like ‘brackets usually mean delete, is that what you mean in this slide? ‘. Quite frankly SHE is a total waste of our taxpayer dollars. Moreover, I couldn’t believe she sat there and coached Hall to add wording to the plan that would supposedly clarify (yeah, right) that no changes would be done if it conflicted with existing state law. It’s not her ROLE to coach presenters at hearings for one thing – but – the beauty of her blatantly-manipulative comment that I think most people concluded is that she actually ended up furthering the case AGAINST the plan by further exposing that if it doesn’t and cannot really CHANGE anything, WHY DO IT ? I so wanted to stand up in the hearing room and shout ‘DO ANY OF YOU ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES C A R E ABOUT THE TAXPAYER DOLLARS BEING WASTED HERE ? ‘
    Final comment on O’Malley’s disgusting quip: The only waste of time going on is all the time he spends trying to convice people that he cares about Maryland. We all know better.

    • IGWT, Thanks so much for your comment. There was so much to say about today and I really appreciate your help in getting more information out. As a matter of fact, if you would like to write a guest column fleshing out other aspects of the day, as you did in this comment, I will post it as a post (where more people will see it).

      • acorcoran – You’re welcome. There actually were some more things I forgot to add. Feel free to insert the following addendum (before my final comment on O’Malley), and post it all as a post:

        Forgot to mention that even before going into the briefing, I was encouraged by two events at the rally. One, we heard IOTC’s Pastor Whitney read from our Maryland Constitution, confirming that O’Malley/Hall’s ‘plan’ would be a total violation of same. He then asked if there will be any delegates principled enough to honor their own oaths of office by calling O’Malley out on this and a string of other usurpations etc. Shortly thereafter, one attendee started a chant ‘Impeach O’Malley’ – upon which I was delighted to hear the crowd unanimously join in.
        Back to the briefing. When Pipkin noted Hall’s claims on gaining consensus after working hard to ‘take the info to at least 3,000 people’, Pipkin asked for a show of hands who opposed the plan. Two-thirds of the attendee’s hands went up. And, I truly had to force myself to stay seated while Democratic Senator Young wrapped Hall’s knuckles for “stirring people up across the State”. Young was clearly uncomfortable while exhorting Hall.
        I wonder if others felt what I felt…what Young REALLY wanted to say to Hall was: ” You IDIOT ! Don’t you realize we’ve had this all set up since back in the Glendening days? and NOW you’ve gone and let out all our secret plans. We’ll NEVER be able to finish ruining Maryland now !!! ” I was so hopeful by the end of the briefing, that I forgot all about the irritating conversation I encountered when I first sat down at the briefing. I asked the gentleman next to me if he was for or against the plan. He replied he agreed in theory but not in practice. I said, “Well to me it’s real simple. It’s unconstituional. End of story. We shouldn’t even be discussing it.” To which he replied, “Oh that Constitution thing is such an inconvenience at times”. I turned my head and rolled my eyes. No matter though, I feel the tides truly are turning.

  3. […] here is the post I wrote last week about efforts by county government leaders and grassroots activists to make their […]

  4. […] “Governor O’Malley on PlanMaryland rally: You are all wasting your time here today!” Potomac Tea Party Report […]

  5. […] Hagerstown Herald Mail today reports on where the Plan Maryland controversy […]

  6. […] Packing you into cities—shades of PlanMaryland […]

  7. […] Plan Maryland hearings that occurred around the state over the last few years or so.  (Go here, scroll down to manipulating a meeting)  You might have attended a local school board forum to […]

  8. […] This particular group of Republican County Commissioners actually hired a lobbyist to help fight O’Malley’s PlanMaryland  (Executive Order signed Dec. 19th, 2011) and then don’t see that inviting DNR in to county […]

  9. […] held those ‘forums’ around the state to promote PlanMaryland.  I told you about it in this post from last December.  Scroll down to the section on “how to manipulate a meeting.”  […]

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