Monday, November 22, 2010

Here is a Thanksgiving message from Jeff Bridges about childhood hunger from yesterday's Washington Post:

Will the 12 Days of Christmas return this year, here on this blog? You better believe it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Thanks to the newsletter from Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, I can give you the specific bills where Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich flip-flopped on impact taxes in 2009, before flip-flopping again this year:

Notice one of the bills was " Elrich" (!!)

Both bills gave a tax cut to developers, even as Elrich and the council were raising YOUR taxes!


Taxation - Impact Taxes - Inflation Adjustment - Temporary Suspension
Expected act to temporarily suspend requirement to adjust certain impact tax rates for inflation and generally amend the law governing impact tax rates - Bill 32-09
Introduced July 23, 2009 by Elrich
MFP Worksession: September 21, 2009; 2:00pm; September 29, 2009; 2:00pm; February 8, 2010; 2:00pm
Public Hearing: September 15, 2009; 1:30pm
Expires: January 28, 2011
Development Impact Tax - Deferral
Authorizes the deferral of certain development impact tax payments for a certain period; and generally amend the law regarding payment of impact taxes - Expedited Bill 4-09
Introduced February 10, 2009 by Andrews at the request of the County Executive
MFP Worksession: March 9, 2009; 2:00pm; April 14, 2009; 2:00pm; May 13, 2009; 9:00am; June 22, 2009; 2:00pm; February 8, 2010; 2:00pm
Committee recommends approval with amendments [I'll bet!]
Public Hearing: March 3, 2009; 1:30pm
Expires: August 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I always enjoy passing along comments on today's issues from unusual sources, rather than the same old talking heads.

Last December, I brought you some powerful comments on the quiet explosion of inflation in the United States over the last two decades from the legendary Ritchie Blackmore. Imagine, a guitar hero making more sense, and relevant observations, than any panel of economists I've heard in recent times. And recognizing - as I've only heard Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee point out - the struggle of those living paycheck-to-paycheck ("the people who carry the bags and serve the meals," as Gov. Huckabee so correctly put it) in America today.

So today, I'd like to bring you a speech quite relevant to Montgomery County. Jeff Bridges, one of my favorite actors and one of the best of all time, recently gave a speech on child hunger in America.

Based on my experiences in the county elections this year, it is a speech that many residents of our county need to hear.

One of the moral outrages of this year's election season was the utter lack of discussion of education in Montgomery County. I am shocked but proud to have been the only candidate talking about early education and MCPS funding at every one of the few candidate forums held. Imagine, a Republican who wants to spend more money on education than every Democrat running for office in Montgomery County! That was - and still is - me.

Literally every other candidate favored significant reductions in funding for MCPS, in blatant violation of state law.

Not only am I in favor of full Maintenance of Effort funding for Montgomery County Public Schools, but I also promoted the expansion of serving the most vulnerable young people through county facilities like schools and recreation centers.

In contrast, the County Council was busy slashing those programs and closing those facilities, while preserving full funding in the budget for developers, government employees, and politically-connected nonprofits.

Dr. Jerry Weast has done a great job of starting us in this direction with his meal programs offered through MCPS. Those can be further expanded. But now that a set of politicians who aren't serious about the achievement gap have been (re)elected, who knows who we'll end up with as our next Superintendent, with those folks hand-picking Dr. Weast's successor?

County recreation centers shouldn't be cut back; they should be offering more programs. It is clear to me that we can offer the sort of programs needed to benefit poor children through county facilities. This will save a tremendous amount of money that is currently flowing to the councilmembers' favorite nonprofit contractors. We can address the nutrition, early education and technology gaps that create the "achievement gap" in this way.

At the same time, we need to slash a lot of inefficient, irrelevant and wasteful contracts in Health and Human Services, as I repeatedly said during the campaign. Why have a million afterschool programs of dubious benefit, when we can offer a smaller number of more relevant programs at your local county recreation facility? Working parents also need such programs where children can go after school and have adult supervision. Especially during tough economic times like these. And we need all-day Pre-K for every eligible child.

Yet this council will not do so. Instead, they are preparing a new round of cuts to MCPS, libraries, recreation centers, public safety, and basic maintenance functions while (guess what?) preserving full funding for developers, unions and nonprofits.

It's an outrage that many residents and elected officials apparently don't give a da[rn] about education, the achievement gap, hunger and poverty in Montgomery County.

You will hear the humorously-ironic sounds of rich people eating Filet Mignon during a speech on hunger, in the background. That probably makes it all the more appropriate for Montgomery County, where a majority of voters said, "let's keep going the way we've been going."

Friday, November 12, 2010


All summer, George Leventhal, Nancy Floreen, Marc Elrich and Hans Riemer kept telling us there was no budget shortfall next year.

I kept telling you the shortfall next May would be at least $900,000,000, and that there would be an additional $175 million in teacher pensions shifted to the county from the state.

By October, my opponents began to admit there was a shortfall. But their figure was laughable: $140 million. Even their good buddy Charles Duffy, who shut myself and others out of appearances on his public access show Political Pulse (while giving hours of free TV time to my Democratic opponents at taxpayer expense), said it was a little higher than that at a September debate.

But I corrected him - $900 million, I insisted.

Watch it yourself:

Now, in November - and after the election, conveniently - the county executive has announced that the shortfall is at $200,000,000!

So, let's see, we went from $0 in September, to $140,000,000 in October, and to $200,000,000 in November.

What's behind door number 4?

If you are one of those people who voted for all 4 Democrats: Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal, and Riemer, you must be feeling voter's remorse right now.

I'm trying to do the math that many voters didn't bother to do, and which our reelected council is simply incapable of doing, based on their pathetic record of failure in managing our county's finances:

Continuing at this rate, and adding in some lesser-yet-inevitable "surprises" from the county, we are easily on track for at least the $900,000,000 I warned you about all year. In fact, the truth is, we are already there. The county "owes" $900 million more than it is going to take in in revenue for the FY12 budget in May. They choose to hide that fact by letting the facts out one increment at a time, to support their theatrical claims that each of these was a completely-unexpected new expense.

The news that the state budget shortfall is now at $2,000,000,000 (!!), and that Martin O'Malley has promised no new taxes, means - guess what? - those teacher pensions are coming back to Montgomery County: $175,000,000 worth!!

Come on! The shortfall is real. It is structural, meaning that it is built in to each budget for the coming years. And it is at least $900,000,000 plus $175,000,000 in teacher pensions.

As John Edwards once said, telling 99% of the truth is no longer enough!

Monday, November 08, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

Part I discussed one of the unprecedented ways county elected officials coordinated their campaign efforts with local media.

With this strengthened cooperation, they then provided the local media with a set of talking points. Local papers, radio, TV and associated websites never diverted from this message through Election Day on November 2.

During the spring, the county's financial crisis - and pending revocation of its long-standing AAA bond rating by Wall Street rating agencies - had the media, political and business establishment worried. For the first time, cracks were beginning to appear in the united Democratic front. "Conventional wisdom" began to suggest that at least two At-Large councilmembers would be defeated in the September primary. Hans Riemer and Becky Wagner were preordained by the establishment as the replacements they were most comfortable with.

Even allies such as the Washington Post and Gazette began to mildly criticize the incumbents. The Post went so far as to publish a fairly devastating editorial about their failures. At the time, however, I warned readers of this blog that the editorial left a major escape hatch, that would allow the Post to re-embrace the failed incumbents.

Becky Wagner had by this point indicated that she would not necessarily be a rubber stamp for unions on the council. A minor email dustup between one union and Wagner was detailed on a local Democratic blog. It's obvious that at this point, the establishment determined that they wanted at least 3 of 4 incumbents to return, if not all four. These incumbents may not have been able to manage the finances, but they could raise taxes, and - most importantly - they had the agenda the establishment (developers, media, Democratic business leaders, etc.) wanted. Anyone who had given any indication that they would take a serious approach to the structural deficit - as opposed to the cut services/raise taxes/preserve money for developers, unions, special interests approach - was now out of the running.

But how to convince the public that the inept council should be given another chance?

Create a new narrative.

The new talking points made clear the old council would be back, like it or not.

The talking points were:

1. The fiscal crisis is the result of "good intentions." These councilmembers are good people at heart. They care about the most vulnerable and social justice. They believed the good times would last forever, and spent generously in response to demands from the community for services and just wages. - - This idea was first floated in an odd Washington Post article.

2. The council made big mistakes - but with good intentions! - and has learned from them. This won't ever happen again.

3. Every jurisdiction is facing the same challenges, and this county has fared better than most. (Not true. Montgomery had the largest budget shortfall of any jurisdiction in the region, equal to the state of Maryland's shortfall).

4. This disaster was caused by Wall Street, the housing market and George W. Bush. (Council incumbents bizarrely referred to George Bush frequently during debates).

5. Marc Elrich is no longer a radical from Takoma Park, but a "Man for All Seasons," whom Republicans and Democrats alike should vote for. He has business and developer support, yet still has the support of all of his old liberal allies. Steve Hendrix wrote the infamous puff piece in the Post that drove this message home.

6. Hans Riemer hasn't told us anything specific about what he'll do in office, and if that's good enough for us, it's good enough for you. He's a smart guy, he'll do the right things, even if we don't know what those things are yet. Trust us.

7. Bus Rapid Transit will magically get the 85% of people who refuse to ride a bus to ride a bus. (oh, yeah, it also will be used by developers to flip suburban neighborhoods into urban town centers - no big deal, right?)

8. The incumbents have taken action, formed weak blue ribbon panels that will report back after the election, passed an optional "fiscal and reserves policy" with numbers that don't even add up, and happy days are just around the corner. They've cut a whopping, astronomical 4% out of a 4 billion dollar budget. Wow, that's amazing.

This narrative was pushed by every media outlet in the area.

It's very simple: if this narrative doesn't change, no Republicans can win.

It didn't change. Republicans lost.

Sure enough, the Post used the escape hatch and endorsed 3 out of the 4 incumbents, despite having editorialized on their incompetence mere weeks earlier. The Gazette, unions and business groups followed suit - incredibly, endorsing politicians who had only hurt their members.

Voters didn't know the extent of our fiscal crisis, and many did not bother to research the issues or the candidates before voting.

How many county council at-large debates were covered by the Post. Gazette. Sentinel, Examiner, and TBD? ZERO.

How many articles about me were run in those same media outlets? ZERO.

It was a total blackout. If a Republican candidate wins a debate in the middle of a forest - will anyone know? Of course not.

Democratic candidates were able to save much money on signs, advertising and mailers, with the media doing all the heavy lifting for them.

It's outrageous.

Friday, November 05, 2010


An Exclusive Report
The so-called "ombudsman" of the Washington Post wrote a waste of an article 2 months ago, admitting that the Post had failed to cover the Montgomery County elections. A waste, because the lack of coverage never changed. All the while, there was extensive coverage of Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer. It was the Republican challengers who were not covered, and that was intentional.

Something the ombudsman also admitted seemed to escape public notice. He referred to a secret meeting between the Montgomery County Council and the editors (and reporters?) of the Washington Post. A meeting, never disclosed to Post readers, at which the current council demanded more coverage of their actions.

They got it, as anyone who read the Post during the election knows. Plenty of "council-in-action" coverage of council sessions and parroting of the incumbents' revisionist (and simply fantastical) talking points, yet no coverage of candidate forums, Marc Elrich's ethics scandal or Hans Riemer's K Street Money Machine.

There are many questions about this private meeting that remain unanswered. First of all, since when does a newspaper have a meeting with political candidates to discuss giving them more coverage? Second, why were the Republican candidates not given a similar opportunity to meet with the Post, and similar coverage during the election? Third, where did the secret meeting take place, who was in the room, is there a transcript, was it on county property, was it held during council business hours at taxpayer expense? The questions are endless.

We're still waiting for the answers to these questions, just as Republicans waited all year for the Post, Gazette, Examiner, TBD, Sentinel, etc. to cover the County Council At-Large race.

We have a right to know.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


The Democratic-Operative-Posing-as-"Reporter" costume.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Here's an interesting item from yesterday:

Did you vote for anyone outside your own party? Why/why not?

"I'm familiar with [county council candidate Robert Dyer] and I liked the way he approached the council. I'm in real estate development and I think he'd be the best in that position in the area. The county council — just the stuff that comes across their plate, you need to have someone familiar with those issues." — Jay Shepherd, 42, of Kensington, a registered Democrat. Shepherd voted for Dyer (R), an At-large candidate for the Montgomery County Council, because of his knowledge of zoning and development.
Thanks to all who voted for me yesterday, and to all of the supporters who put out yard signs and distributed literature. And to my volunteers for dealing with the frigid temperatures of an Election Day frost.

I'm too exhausted this morning to do justice to the topics we need to discuss about this travesty of an election. No Republican candidate should feel badly about their campaign this morning. Republican candidates were robbed in this election. And, apparently, a lot of (supposedly) angry independents and Republicans didn't bother to vote yesterday. And many who did, didn't bother to do their homework on the candidates and issues.

I've never quit before, and I'm not going to start now. I'm going to keep working and advocating on the issues I have up to this point.

Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer have little to be proud of this morning. They barely moved a muscle in this election; their Big Money contributors, and dear friends at the Washington Post, Gazette, Sentinel, Examiner, TBD, etc., etc. did all the heavy lifting for them. And they did it with a smile. Free campaign ads that reach voters countywide every day in those outlets for Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer - good deal. Wish I could get in on that. No need to spend funds, or do the hard work of campaigning door-to-door like I had to. Just let the Post, Gazette, Sentinel, Examiner and TBD handle it all.

The half-dozen taxpayer-funded cable channels that the Democrats hijacked and used in winning this election apparently weren't satisfied that they got the job done. Oh, no, they're just getting started.

At your taxpayer expense, those "PEG" Comcast channels were airing Montgomery County Democratic Party spokespersons' absurd "commentary" on this election.

Instead of being gracious "winners," and acknowledging the efforts of Republican candidates, those spokespersons - some employed by your tax dollars - chose to pile on instead.

With sneers and derision, they - and others in the local media - are already telling Montgomery County that the Republican Party "couldn't field any legitimate candidates who could gain any support."

That is the biggest bunch of hogwash I've ever heard. It is a cover-up attempt to distract the public from the fact that the Post, Gazette etc. did not print one word about the Republican candidates all year beyond the obligatory profile before the election. NOT ONE WORD. And just the first example of how they continue to control the narrative of county politics in this new election cycle - because they won't let you, the citizen, know what the opposition has to say.

The reporters from the Gazette and Post were at the one, critical council at-large debate two weeks ago - and did not write stories about the debate! Unbelievable. In fact, all local papers provided only council-in-action stories in the final, pre-election editions. When there is no new input to change the election narrative... ...the narrative doesn't change. Slick strategy.

I demonstrated an extensive knowledge of the issues, the county government, and the facts and figures in debates and in the laughable "interviews" with the editors from the Post and Gazette. Many voters told me they were impressed with my grasp of the issues, and my detailed plans (while my Democrat opponents had no details at all about what they are going to do).

It's bad enough that you guys have to buy and steal elections with outsider/lobbyist money and total, iron-fisted control of the local media message (plus 6 of your own TV stations!) - don't make it worse by lying about the GOP candidates.

You can't stop lying about Republicans, but guess what - I can't stop telling the truth about you. So stay tuned for election analysis, and continued coverage of what's really going on in Montgomery County, that you can only find right here at

The idea that Montgomery is a "blue" county is a myth. It only retains Democratic control because the media controls the message from start to finish, and guess who controls the local media?

Monday, November 01, 2010



Thank you for visiting and being one of the voters who actually researches the candidates and the issues. That is why you are here.

Even if you disagree with my positions, I hope you will consider the fact that - unlike the other candidates - I have presented detailed plans for the challenges Montgomery County faces. You know exactly what I will do, if elected.

You can read the plans at

Here are videos you can watch to learn more about my agenda:

"If you know what to do..."
I tell Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer what you've been wanting to say all year:

"They Have Failed"

"Robert Dyer Blasts County Council for Failures in Clarksburg"

"Robert Dyer on 'Smart Growth'"

"Welcome to Fantasy Island"

"Stay Classy, Montgomery County"

Robert Dyer Transportation Plan

Robert Dyer Fiscal Plan

Robert Dyer on Helping Small Businesses

Robert Dyer on Outsider Money Influencing Montgomery County Council At-Large race
Read more about Hans Riemer's massive donations from K Street Lobbyists here:

Robert Dyer on Protecting Wheaton from Out-of-control "Redevelopment"

Elect Robert Dyer, and Those with Disabilities and Special Needs Will Finally Have an Advocate on the Council!

Many more videos on the Robert Dyer Channel at

Here are my positions on some "hot button" issues:

I am the only Republican candidate who supports the Purple Line:

I am the only candidate who supports full, maintenance of effort funding for public schools. The great irony is, I support spending more on education than the candidates on the Apple Ballot!

I am the only candidate who has put forward a detailed Fiscal Plan that will eliminate our structural deficit ($900,000,000 next May as of now, plus $175,000,000 in teacher pensions the state will transfer to the county next year). Read the plan at, or watch the videos above ("If you know what to do..." and "Robert Dyer Fiscal Plan").

I oppose the Ambulance Fee.

Thanks for voting, and for your support if you decide to vote for me!

There's been quite a bit of activity since I announced a last minute Get-Out-the-Vote competition. If you missed it... If I am elected, there will be a Robert Dyer Victory Party in the weeks after the election.

The party will be held in, or near to, the precinct/neighborhood that elects Robert Dyer with the highest percentage of the vote (this allows smaller precincts an equal chance).

How many neighbors can you turn out?

Take the challenge.

Which neighborhood will be known as the one that made history in 2010 by electing Robert Dyer to the Montgomery County Council At-Large?

It could be yours! Tell those slumbering voters on your street to get up out of that easy chair and meet you at the polling place tomorrow!

One man and one chance to make a difference in the quality of life in Montgomery County.

Give me a boost at the polls, and your neighborhood will be publicly recognized as the engine for change in Montgomery County when the Victory Party is held.

It's a great day to be in Montgomery County, but tomorrow will be even greater when we bring Change Beyond Belief to the county council.

County Council Candidate Has Accepted Tens of
Thousands of Dollars from Lobbyists Outside of County

A Exclusive Investigation!

The story the Washington Post, Gazette and Examiner refused to cover is now a exclusive! Here is the latest update on Hans Riemer, George Leventhal and Marc Elrich attempting to buy the election, with Big Money from outside of Montgomery County.

But Hans Riemer takes the issue to a new level, by accepting a Fort Knox worth of money not only from donors outside of the county, but with a large slice of it coming from K Street lobbyists in Washington, D.C. and beyond. This puts Riemer out of step with Barack Obama, who has said he will not accept campaign contributions from lobbyists. So shouldn't supporters of President Obama in Montgomery County be concerned about Hans Riemer gaining election with lobbyist donations?

Examine the following report I've compiled to inform the voters of Montgomery County, because - as you know if you read them regularly - the Post, Gazette, Examiner, and Sentinel all declined to provide any substantive coverage of this election.

The fact that you are here, and reading this, means that you are one of those citizens who takes the right and duty of voting seriously enough to research the candidates. And you therefore know that you didn't get the full story you needed from the local media - and that was intentional on their part.

So here's an example of the kind of reporting they failed to do, and I took the time to compile it for you:

Hans Riemer has a war chest of contributions from sources that raise questions about what he will do if elected:

- Hefty checks from a Who's Who of D.C. area developers and development attorneys with pending projects from Clarksburg to Bethesda.

- A major percentage of contributions are from outside of Montgomery County and the state of Maryland.

- Most puzzling are the massive checks Riemer has received from lobbyists, unions and other national entities outside of the county:

Penguin PAC - $1,000 [A Federal PAC affiliated with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D - Ohio) who has advocated increasing the Federal debt - an interesting point given Montgomery County's fiscal crisis, that Riemer is taking funds {and direction?} from a fiscally-irresponsible Congressman]

SEIU - Annapolis, MD - $2,000

Mid-Atlantic Political Action Committee (Out-of-State PAC) - $4,000

Mid-Atlantic Community Fund (Washington, D.C.) - $2,000

John Larson for Congress (Federal Committee) - $500

Richard Neimand, Neimand Collaborative (Washington, D.C.) - $1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000

Julian Haywood, Washington, D.C. (lobbyist with "Heather Podesta & Partners") - $250 + $1,000 = $1,250

Allan Rivlin, D.C. (partner with Peter D. Hart Research Associates) - $200

Julian Epstein, D.C. Lobbyist/Attorney - $500

William Clyburn, Clyburn Consulting (lobbying firm) - $500

Margie Omero, D.C., Democratic pollster - $500

Friends of Jim Clyburn, South Carolina - $500

Julia Norell, D.C., Lobbyist - $150

Justin Gray, D.C., "Government Relations," - $1,000

Naomi Weinberg c/o Bain Capital, MA - $500

Kendall Meek Campaign Account. D.C. - $1,000

Jennifer DiJames of D.C. "Big Business" Lobbying law firm Williams and Jensen - $500

Spencer Adler, D.C. Attorney - $500

Chaka Burgess, Silver Spring, MA - Amgen, Inc. - $500

Alison Byrne Fields, SVP/Managing Director, DDB Issues & Advocacy, D.C. - $100

Camelia Mazard; Doyle, Barlow & Mazard "Regulatory" Law Firm, D.C. - $1,000

Anita Estell, D.C., "Anita Estell is considered a pioneer in the Washington, D.C. lobbying community." - - $1,000 ...and many, many, many more!

Wow. Even Scrooge McDuck might need some time to count all that up, but I hope you'll take time to do the math before voting on Tuesday - where is all this Big Money coming from, and why is it being given to Hans Riemer? Ask yourself the questions that the reporters from the Post, Gazette, Examiner and Sentinel have failed to ask the candidates. And at some point, ask the Post, Gazette, Examiner and Sentinel why they never asked those questions, never covered the election, and never provided the kind of information voters need to make informed decisions.

Hans Riemer has coasted all year, with little to no scrutiny from the media, and has offered no specifics on what he would do if elected. He has misled firefighter unions and ambulance fee opponents alike, flip-flopping at every turn.

His rapidly-changing positions become even more troubling when combined with his campaign treasure chest.

Why are K Street lobbyists so concerned that Hans Riemer be elected to the Montgomery County Council?

Clearly, they expect something in return for such massive sums, with checks as large as $4,000. I cannot recall such an influx of outside money in a county race in my time in politics here. Riemer joins Marc Elrich and George Leventhal ($16,000 from unions outside of the county) in accepting huge sums of outside money.

The question all three must answer is: What have they promised these donors in return for their blockbuster checks? And how will those promises affect the quality of life in Montgomery County?

I asked Hans to clear this up for the voters at our only General Election debate:

But he declined to answer those questions. If you run into him on Election Day, make sure to ask him about these massive lobbyist contributions - why did he accept them, when President Obama has said he would not do so? And what do his contributors expect him to do in return?

The people of Montgomery County have a right to know. It's too bad the local media is too busy trying to elect Hans Riemer, rather than ask him the questions voters want answered.

Don't you think we can do better? We can have a more ethical council by electing candidates like me, who are not beholden to developers, unions or... ...K Street lobbyists(!!).

Robert Dyer will answer only to you.

Who do Hans Riemer, Marc Elrich, and George Leventhal have to answer to in return for Big Money from outside of Montgomery County?

Ask them.

Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich has long claimed to not accept contributions from developers, and uses the slogan, "No Developer Influence."

The facts say otherwise.

First of all, Elrich has received a massive check from Realtors PAC - a development interest if there ever was one - and another from a real estate lawyer who has contributed to many other candidates.

Second, last September Elrich called for an impact tax cut for developers, even as he was approving tax increases for you, the taxpayer. He flip-flopped again during this election season, after hearing that I was calling for collection of impact taxes on all new development.

Third, do you agree it is possible for developer influence to take other forms besides checks? Yes! The vaunted Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce PAC endorsement - and corresponding check! - came from a group that represents numerous development interests.

What's so odd about the BCC Chamber's endorsement of Marc Elrich that makes it stand out?

Not only did Elrich vote for the 300% Energy Tax increase that destroyed small and large businesses countywide, but he favors rent control!

Can you imagine a Chamber of Commerce endorsing a candidate who supports rent control? It's happened. I'm sure any apartment building owners who pay dues to the Chamber are thrilled about that endorsement.

You know who else is probably not-so-thrilled?

The Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. The BCC Chamber, in its questionnaire and interview, appeared to support and represent the squad's best interests.

So I wonder what the BCC Squad thinks of the Chamber's endorsement of Marc Elrich. Elrich not only heartily supports the dangerous Ambulance Fee (I oppose it), but... get this:

Marc Elrich is the only politician in the history of Montgomery County to attack the BCC Rescue Squad - he did so with harsh public criticism of the squad in 2007.

So why would developers, and developer-backing newspapers like the Post and Gazette, endorse a candidate with a record and agenda like Marc Elrich?

It's actually pretty simple.

First, Marc Elrich voted for both the White Flint and Science City sector plans. If anyone was really concerned about responsible growth, they would have stood up at that moment. Why did he vote YES! for both?

To get these endorsements, I submit. He now portrayed himself - as did a very sympathetic and supportive Post reporter, Steve Hendrix - as a "Man for All Seasons" during debate speeches.

Second, Elrich's Bus Rapid Transit plan has developers dreaming again about what they can do in places like Aspen Hill and Olney.

All they do is, put a BRT station in Aspen Hill, and suddenly those shopping centers become one, massive "high-density, mixed-use" urban "Town Center." And the existing businesses get run out of town (and we didn't even know it was a town!).

No wonder developers are lining up behind Marc Elrich.

This Man for All Seasons is a Man for All Development.

So don't be fooled. Robert Dyer is the candidate to vote for if you favor responsible growth. We can and should have growth. But we need the infrastructure to support it, and the burden can't be shifted to the taxpayer. We can grow in the White Flint area, but we need the Rockville Freeway and other projects to handle the resulting traffic volume.

Marc Elrich: No developer influence?

I'll buy that for a dollar.