Giving Thanks: Maryland & Virginia Conservative Pioneers
“..we should be thankful for what has been accomplished in both the Old Line State and the Old Dominion.”
By Guest Blogger Richard Falknor
Boots-on-the-ground Maryland and Virginia conservatives have some significant accomplishments in 2011.
They did so sometimes with a little help, sometimes without the aid, sometimes in the face of their respective state’s Republican establishments.
But the spirit of the Tea Party Movement is alive and well among these conservative pioneers.
The Dream Act
In terms of the breadth of public participation, the successful petitioning of the Maryland version of the so-called “Dream Act” to the November 2012 ballot for very modest costs and with, at one point, a reported 30 percent of support from Democrats stands at the head of the achievement line in both states.
This would not have happened without the leadership of freshman delegate and former Hagerstown Tea Party chief Neil Parrott who also “opted for an out-of-the-box way to collect the signatures he needed . . . in his fight to repeal a new state law: He built his own software program to help collect valid signatures online.”
But it would also not have happened if seasoned delegate Pat McDonough had not, over the years, laid legislative groundwork and raised the public awareness of the some of the dangers of Maryland remaining a “sanctuary state” for illegal aliens. Today Mr. McDonough remains on the front lines opposing president Obama’s extra-legal amnesty in Baltimore City.
PlanMaryland and Agenda 21 In Virginia and Nationally
Carroll County, Maryland commissioner Richard Rothschild began alerting, then educating Maryland citizens on the manifold dangers to their basic liberties from the PlanMaryland land-use scheme.
And in Virginia and elsewhere in the US, freshman county official Rothschild came together with like-minded activists to help uncover wider collectivist plans potentially touching all states – - based on the United Nation’s Agenda 21- – as well as on the flawed science justifying these schemes.
Virginia voices we hasten to add –including Tom De Weese of the American Policy Foundation and Rick Buchanan of the Fauquier County Tea Party Patriots — had already started grappling with Agenda 21 and so-called “Sustainable Development.”
Most significantly and with the strong support of fellow commissioner Robin Frazier , Rothschild put together a state-wide conference of national and international experts on PlanMaryland for other Maryland state and county officials.
The leading speaker was Christopher Monckton, an adviser to former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He systematically (and instructively) deconstructed PlanMaryland
Readers can click here to hear Ginni Thomas interview Lord Monckton.
Kudos, moreover, to Rothschild for bringing Monckton here articulately to put these anti-freedom schemes in perspective!
Turning the Tides Conference
Three outspoken conservative Maryland women – Ann Corcoran, Tonya Tiffany, and Catharine Trauernicht – - last year put together the Maryland Conservative Action Network (MD CAN).
Their most recent conference held last month – - Turning the Tides – - was not only a full day of top-level and sophisticated presentations for some 200 activists. It established the Network as a foundational conservative source in the Old Line State.
Political Islam and Sharia
Northern Virginia in particular faces a serious problem with what we call Political Islam.
Concerns about the influence of Sharia touched at least two campaigns for the Virginia General Assembly.
Compounding these concerns was the cancellation by two Virginia Republican groups of appearances of Fred and Catherine Grandy who were slated to talk about the dangers of Stealth Sharia.
Arising from what conservatives viewed as attacks on our Western tradition and liberties, a number of groups and activists rallied to fight back. They ranged from the Abigail Adams Tea Party Patriots to the No Shariah Law in America Project to the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force.
Many individual northern Virginia conservatives moreover joined in what is now a continuing effort to spotlight and turn back the incursions of Sharia in the Old Dominion.
Of all the conservative grass-roots initiatives in Maryland and Virginia in 2011, this one faces the enmity, not just the indifference of that state’s GOP Establishment.
Neil Parrott and Pat McDonough in Maryland, Fred and Catherine Grandy in both Maryland and Virginia, Richard Rothschild in both Maryland and Virginia, MD CAN, and the northern Virginia pushback against Sharia all fostered significant grass-roots conservative advances in 2011 .
Of course, their ultimate success will depend on the ability of these conservative groups and activists to come together as part of larger on-the-ground movements.
For the present, however, we should be thankful for what has been accomplished in both the Old Line State and the Old Dominion.
Non nobis domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.