There reaches a point of every gubernatorial primary where things get absurd. Yet, the Maryland Republican Primary Silly Season seems to have already started.
A senior adviser to former Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele (R) brushed aside campaign finance allegations on Monday, calling them “meritless” and politically motivated.
The Maryland Board of Elections has given Steele 30 days to respond to a complaint filed by a conservative member of the House of Delegates….
….Unlike traditional campaign accounts, Steele’s is a “527” — named for a provision in federal tax law that allows potential candidates a way to raise and spend small amounts of money.
Let’s backtrack to last month, when Republican Delegate Lauren Arikan filed a complaint with the Maryland State Board of Elections regarding Steele’s Exploratory Committee. Arikan’s complaint was related to the Steele camp’s decision to use a 527 committee to raise and spend money for their exploratory efforts instead of a traditional campaign committee.
The Steele team is blaming Delegate Dan Cox for all of this:
Jim Dornan, a consultant advising Steele on his potential bid, called Arikan’s complaint “completely meritless.”
Dornan said Arikan is supporting Del. Daniel L. Cox (R-Frederick), an announced gubernatorial hopeful and a supporter of former president Donald Trump.
“She’s doing his dirty work,” he said. “It’s the kind of stuff we’d expect out of those people.”
That’s where things get complicated. Delegate Arikan made no public statement about the Governor’s race until today, when her office issued a press release.
I'm appalled by the completely dishonest allegations coming from the Michael Steele campaign about me and their false claim that I am working on behalf of anyone other than the people of Maryland in my complaint against Michael Steele's exploratory committee. As a legislator, I am restricted by campaign finance laws. It's not too much to ask that all candidates for Governor play on a level playing field. I look forward to the outcome of my complaint.
I have not endorsed or worked with Dan Cox for Governor. I have decided to stay completely out of the gubernatorial Republican primary. I wish them all the best and look forward to the general.
There was no public connection between the two before this, which made tying Arikan to Cox pointless. It’s even worse now that Arikan has declared her neutrality in the primary.
None of this stopped Cox from elevating the rhetoric and the silliness by issuing an asinine statement dragging the name of Secretary Kelly Schulz into all of this by spelling her name wrong multiple times while trying to create the appearance of a conspiracy:
Seems like an insight to the complete pointless, distracted, and detached campaign that Cox is likely to run.
What are we even doing here anymore? Somebody is filing complaints about Steele. The Steele campaign is accusing Cox of being behind this. The Cox campaign talks about libel and defamation while trying to spin a Trump-esque conspiracy. How is any of this beneficial to defeating whichever radical Democrat advances to the general election?
Know what this really look likes? It looks like two candidates who instead of sticking to the issues that matter are having a pissing contest for second place.
This entire argument is stupid. The name calling is stupid. Want to fight about real issues? Want to fight about real discrepancies in candidate records? Go for it. But this Who Struck John business and these accusations of subterfuge are absolutely silly and beneath the dignity of this primary. Voters deserve better than this nonsense.