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.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


My opponents have proclaimed that Montgomery County faces a gloomy, dystopian future of poor services, high taxes and a dysfunctional, outdated transportation network.

They are correct - if Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer are elected this Tuesday!

But if we elect me - Robert Dyer - for County Council At-Large, I have a more optimistic prediction.

Montgomery County is potentially the most powerful jurisdiction in the United States, if not the world. We have the most educated and skilled people in the nation residing within our borders. We have outstanding small businesses that will grow tremendously if we simply elect the right people, reduce taxes and spending, and attract the large aerospace employers my jobs plan seeks, that will lift all economic boats.

So why are we in stasis and a state of paralysis? Because of our failed elected officials!

What if they are reelected? I predict things will not only go the way they have warned us, but even worse.

The recession is not over. On recent weekend evenings, I have ventured to the Kentlands and the Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg. I found both commercial centers to be nearly dead on a Friday evening! Where have all the people gone?

The signs are all around us. Bobby's Crabcakes just closed its doors in the struggling Rockville Town Center. Unemployment is up, and will continue to rise if my opponents are elected. A second recession is coming. Nobody wants to admit it, but all the indicators are there. People are spending less, especially in less-wealthy areas of the county.

County businesses are hurting, and so are many of our residents. My opponents believe everyone here is rich, and can afford to pay a 300% Energy Tax increase, an 8% property tax increase, and even a new Development District Tax!

Without new leadership on the council, and a Fiscal Plan such as the one I've proposed, our county will be hit hard by the second recession. Only responsible fiscal policies can put us in a position to prosper during tough times, and continue to provide essential services. The incumbents have proven that they cannot make those responsible decisions. If they were capable of doing so, they would have done it already! Do you really believe they were just holding back until their next term? Give me a break!

It's time for you to deliver a Wake Up message to the Ritz Carlton County Council this Tuesday!

Don't vote for Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal and Riemer...


My detailed Fiscal Plan (read about it, or watch the video at will balance our budget so we can reduce taxes, and have more money for services, economic development and the most vulnerable.

As the only candidate who supports FULL FUNDING for MCPS, you can trust that I will not let our schools go backwards by cutting education funding. Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal and Riemer are all on-the-record supporting bigger cuts to MCPS with each coming fiscal year, larger class sizes, more portable trailers, and removing all of the 9 remaining county police officers who protect our schools - putting your child's safety at risk!

I would never take such an irresponsible action, and that's what this decision boils down to for you on Tuesday: Who do you trust?

Who do you trust to manage the public's money and the county's finances?

The ones who ran the finances into the ground and have no clue what they're going to do about the deficit if reelected? (Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal, Riemer)

Or the man who has a detailed Fiscal Plan, and is ready to tackle the deficit on Day One?

(Robert Dyer)

Elect Robert Dyer, and we will not only weather the coming financial storm, but exceed all previous economic accomplishments, by putting the full resources of our county to work.

That requires leadership, and I am prepared to take on this responsibility on your behalf should you choose to elect me this Tuesday.

So please visit my website and examine my detailed plans, and then consider that my opponents have not given you similar details about what they would do if elected. Doesn't their lack of specifics worry you, when combined with their record of failure?

In unsure times, cast a sure vote for a safer, more prosperous Montgomery County: Robert Dyer for the Montgomery County Council At-Large!

Special Announcement!

If I win an At-Large seat on the Montgomery County Council this Tuesday, there will be a Robert Dyer Victory Party sometime after Election Day. To recognize my most die-hard supporters, the party will be held in (or in the vicinity of) the precinct in the county that has the highest number/percentage of votes for Robert Dyer! (I add percentage, because it is more fair to those who live in precincts with a smaller number of voters).

So don't forget to vote on Tuesday - and bring your neighbors to the polls to vote for Robert Dyer, too!

Which neighborhood in Montgomery County wants change the most? Which neighborhood will have bragging rights to the highest turnout for the candidate who will transform our government into one that serves the people, not the other way around?

We'll find out Tuesday night!

There's still time to round up those voters who have told you they're going to sleep through the election. There is too much at stake for people to stay home - traffic gridlock, keeping my Democratic opponents from taking our schools backwards with less money and larger class sizes, bringing JOBS to Montgomery County, and fixing our fiscal crisis before the county goes into bankruptcy.

Show Montgomery County where the real power is - turn out the highest vote for Robert Dyer and replace the county political machine on the "kingmaker" throne, delivering a mandate for balanced budgets, traffic relief and high-wage aerospace jobs:


Friday, October 29, 2010


Exclusive Video!!!

The weekend is just about here, so start it off by watching this entertaining video from the Montgomery County Council At-Large debate sponsored by the Citizens League of Montgomery County.

This was one of the best moments from the debate, now in an exclusive video for your enjoyment:

Enjoy your weekend, and get ready to vote for Robert Dyer on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


If I am elected, those with disabilities and special needs will finally have an advocate on the council. Whether it is ensuring snow is removed from county-owned sidewalks, or that we have a full spectrum of programs in our schools for special needs students and their parents, disability issues will be among those at the top of my agenda.

To that end, as I announced back in April, I have pledged that - if elected - I will have one staff member who will be appointed to work on disability issues.

Here is a video with more of my comments on the need to finally have an advocate for the disabled on the Montgomery County Council:

This video also has an update on the Americans With Disabilities Act violations at Damascus Elementary School, for those of you who have been following along on here about that since last year. The update is very encouraging.

Have a great day, and don't forget to vote early tonight, or on November 2, for Robert Dyer for the Montgomery County Council At-Large!

Exclusive Video!

One major issue coming before the next council will be the Wheaton Sector Plan. If elected, I will ensure that any "redevelopment" benefits the people who live there now. There is no need for a full-scale "redevelopment" of this vibrant, diverse downtown area. It would be much cheaper for the taxpayer if we would help keep the properties well-maintained, and address crime and transportation issues. The worst thing that could be done in these terrible economic times would be to allow developers to come in like a wrecking ball, and force out current residents and small businesses. Many are Asian-American and Latino-owned, among the variety of ethnic backgrounds represented. We've already lost some of the best restaurants and shops in Wheaton, thanks to our developer-beholden County Council.

Hear about my different approach in this video from an Asian-American candidate forum this past August:

If you live, work or own a business in Wheaton, you have a clear choice in this election: Elect me, and I will represent your interests on the council when the Wheaton Sector Plan is voted on. In contrast, my opponents want to replace what's there now with a Disneyland of mixed-use towers. They aren't working for you; they're working on behalf of a hypothetical new, wealthy group of residents they believe will move to the "new" Wheaton after the "old" one has been replaced.

That's why it is critical that you get out and vote - early, or on November 2nd. Without Robert Dyer on the council, developers will run wild in Wheaton. They're even going to eliminate a park dedicated to our veterans!

It's outrageous.

I think we have a great community in Wheaton. I've spent quite a bit of time there during my lifetime in Montgomery County. I've patronized the businesses. I've walked, driven and taken Metrobus through Wheaton a million times. That's one of the problems you have, when candidates like Hans Riemer are new here, and don't know the history of the area. I do.

The challenges in Wheaton can be met without massive redevelopment. Those problems came from the failed leadership on our county council, such as the terrible tax and regulation regime they've created, and their failure to take the real problem of gang activity seriously for years.

I'm confident that we can help Wheaton reach its full potential, and retain diversity, without creating a climate where rents for apartments and business tenants force people to leave, and we end up with five new Starbucks and empty luxury condos in Wheaton Triangle. That's my opponents' plan.

I hope you'll consider voting for me instead, because I believe we can only move this county forward if we all move forward together.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Is it ethical for Ashton Kutcher to serve on the editorial boards of both the Washington Post and the Gazette at the same time?

I'm afraid that their County Council endorsements have been the grand demise of whatever relevance either paper had in the area - they simply have no credibility left.

What a joke.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Just in time for Early Voting, I have two new videos for you this morning.

One is on the massive amount of outside-the-county funds that Marc Elrich, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer have accepted, and are using to "buy" council seats.

Elrich and Leventhal have $16,000 from unions outside of Montgomery County. This was reported once by the Post, but the media has ignored it since. Not only is there the issue of outsiders meddling in our elections, but Phil Andrews has raised the question of whether or not this was an attempt to evade the $6,000 limit on contributions.

And then, you have Hans Riemer's massive donations from K Street lobbyists, from whom he has received checks as large as $4,000 each (!). Think about it: why would someone who doesn't live in Montgomery County be concerned enough that Hans Riemer be elected to the council that they would write a check for four thousand dollars?!

Obviously, they want Mr. Riemer to do something for them once he is elected. What would that be? Riemer, Elrich and Leventhal did not answer the questions I raised in this opening statement:

Then, I spoke about how we can help small businesses in Montgomery County:

If you are voting early, you can watch these - and many other - videos on my website, and also read about my positions on the major issues there.

When using the electronic voting machines at your polling place, MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE SUMMARY SCREEN before you finish voting, to make sure the candidates you voted for are all listed on the summary page!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Democrat Calls Republicans, Tea Party Racist at
MoCo Citizens League Candidate Forum

Another Exclusive!!!

I participated in what was mostly an excellent debate last evening, until one candidate brought things to a wacky close with some truly "out there" comments.

Democratic County Council At-Large candidate Hans Riemer cracked under pressure during last night's MoCo Citizens League debate, held at the County Executive Office Building in Rockville. In his closing statement at what had - up to that point - been a substantive debate on fiscal and transportation issues, Riemer suddenly and bizarrely launched into a rant about "racism." He said the Republicans in the race were not "Connie Morella Republicans," and - in an apparent attack on my Republican colleague Mark Fennel - asked the crowd to "think about that for a moment. What would it be like to have a Tea Party candidate on the Montgomery County Council?" And went on to say that, in his opinion, "the Tea Party is associated with racism."

You can read the first mainstream media account of the moment here:

I would disagree that this was merely a "stumble" or "gaffe" by Mr. Riemer. Rather, it was an outrageous attack on Republicans, using one of the most highly=charged rhetorical weapons in the English language: "racism." Nothing remotely related to race had even been discussed during the forum.

In my years in politics, and as a county resident, I've never witnessed a candidate charge another with racism, especially when there was no factual justification for doing so.

This was a firebomb thrown by Riemer, and this sort of inflammatory language is not part of a civil discussion in Montgomery County. I don't know how they debate in California, where Riemer recently relocated here from, but we have some level of civility here in the county.

My personal analysis is that, first of all, this reflects the fact that Riemer is new to the county, and hasn't acclimated himself to politics Montgomery County-style.

Secondly, Riemer's outburst demonstrates something about his character and potential operating style on the council. When a candidate who is - according to the local media - a frontrunner in an election can go off the handle like this when keeping quiet would be the best strategy, that indicates something about his or her judgement. When unsubstantiated charges can be thrown about at whim, that is not the type of level-headed councilmember we need in these challenging times.

This might have become apparent sooner, had Riemer been challenged by the media during the preceding months, or had he had to participate in more debates like this after the primary. Instead, the League of Women Voters and other groups damaged their reputations (and should be in danger of losing their IRS tax-exempt status) to help the vulnerable Democratic candidates get through this election. That is shameful.

I have to say that at least Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen and George Leventhal did not stoop to this level of attack. And I commend Mark Fennel for his mature and even response to an outrageous smear by Hans Riemer. He came out the better man of the two in this episode.

Finally, may I suggest that Riemer's trash TV-style attack indicates desperation on his part? Hans Riemer - and Nancy Floreen, who was practically shouting by the end of the debate, for that matter! - are hearing footsteps. It's the sound of myself, Brandon Rippeon and Mark Fennel catching up behind them.

Stay tuned for video from the debate (I don't have video of Hans Riemer's George Allen-style moment, however - thanks to me inviting reporters - we have media witnesses to the incident).

There should be a firestorm of controversy about Riemer's outburst in the closing weeks of this election. This type of behavior is just completely unacceptable in Montgomery County politics. There was booing, hissing, shouting and more from both Democrats and Republicans in the audience. Several attendees got up and left the room in protest when Riemer continued his attack.

I think there will be a bipartisan reaction to this at the voting machines on Nov. 2.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Please attend the biggest event in the final weeks of the campaign: a Montgomery County Council At-Large debate, tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7:30 PM, in the county Executive Office Building Cafeteria (near East Montgomery and Monroe St. at ground level).

This is your only chance to hear the candidates (including me) debate the issues before Election Day.

If you cannot attend, you can visit to read my detailed plans for fixing our structural deficit, transportation, education and other issues - and watch videos from previous debates!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I'm sorry, I didn't know Ashton Kutcher was on the editorial board of the Gazette.

I'll comment on the Gazette endorsements, just as soon as I'm able to stop laughing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Elrich Puff Piece an Example of
Media Overkill, Desperation to Save
Endangered Establishment Democrats

Another Exclusive!!!

I've been getting a lot of positive feedback on my post yesterday about this Washington Post article that seemed to have been written by the Marc Elrich campaign itself.

Read my detailed desconstruction of the piece here:

I have some additional thoughts today on this example of journalistic activism on behalf of the county Democratic Party by the Washington Post.

Thinking about the article, I realized that there was little to no original material or reporting involved. It is simply a fleshed out version of speeches Mr. Elrich has given all summer at candidate forums. The talking points are precisely the same as the ones in those speeches. Since when does journalism involve articles based on the talking points of the subject?

Again, when does a piece change from an article into an in-kind contribution to a campaign?

Then there is the issue of this vulgar display of power by the Post. We're in the final weeks of the campaign. Marc Elrich has over $100,000 in campaign contributions. The Post has written articles featuring his quotes every week this year. He's "gotten his message out" beyond all reasonable measure.

Why the need for this heavy-handed, victory puff piece?

It suggests that Mr. Elrich and his colleagues are far weaker than the "prevailing wisdom" suggests. And rightfully so. They have a record of utter failure. They've offered no new ideas or even any specifics of what they will do if elected/reelected.

Sounds like they and the Post are scared. And they've been running scared. They have yet to agree to a single debate this fall, and they just threw senior citizens overboard, demanding that organizers of a long-scheduled senior issues debate tomorrow cancel it. Of course, they'll never admit that, but, come on, this was scheduled months ago. Only they could have stopped it, as all Republicans were going to attend.

You can give them a real scare by voting Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal and Riemer out of office on November 2.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

This morning's "article" on incumbent councilmember Marc Elrich (D - At Large) is not only another example of the local media's continued policy of featuring only Democratic candidates in the At-Large council race. Moreover, it is a blatant whitewash designed to boost Elrich in the upcoming election, at the expense of his opponents.

Most notably, the advertorial - by Steve Hendrix - completely covers up the fact that Mr. Elrich is under investigation by the Montgomery County Ethics Commission. It characterizes Elrich's ethics scandal as a personal and private disagreement between him and County Executive Ike Leggett. Leggett then goes on the record to say he not only still supports Elrich, but is making a personal contribution to a candidate under an ethics investigation.

What Hendrix and the Post failed to mention, is that this is an ethics scandal, not a disagreement. I am opposed to the Fillmore project. The difference is, I'm not getting paid to oppose it, as Mr. Elrich is. The Fillmore's competitor has made a recent $2500 contribution to the Elrich campaign. In other words, Elrich's actions on behalf of this business stand to profit that competitor, from which he is accepting money. This is a clear ethics violation.

It is also one that the local media is avoiding like the plague.

As for Elrich's radical transformation into a pro-developer councilman, that is easily explained, but the reporter didn't bother getting into the details.

You know, such as that Elrich's Bus Rapid Transit could be used to "radically" redevelop areas like Aspen Hill and Olney into dense, urban centers. And that, oh, there were those little matters of Elrich voting "YES!" on Carmageddon East (White Flint Sector Plan) and Carmageddon West (Science City), which included a resounding endorsement of a 9 mph top speed for rush hour travel.

And, gosh, Mr. Hendrix is just completely unaware that Elrich received $8000 from unions outside of Montgomery County. Gee whiz, who knew?

The article also claims that Elrich is wildly popular in Poolesville. Hold on a minute. I'm laughing so much, I have to stop typing here. Okay, they didn't mention that only Democrats were voting in the Democratic primary. Minor detail. I would like Mr. Hendrix to present Elrich's agenda on a wide variety of issues to a large group of Poolesville residents, and then quote their responses in the Post. Wildly popular in Poolesville? Mmm, not quite.

This is yet another piece of work from the Post that really demands reporting of a different sort: reporting on Mr. Elrich's campaign finance records as an in-kind contribution from the Washington Post. And another example of the local media's truly strange obsession with giving Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer unlimited, free publicity. Despite the fact that they could probably launch their own newspaper with the massive, six-figure campaign accounts they all have.

The only question as pressing as the Post's motivations in helping Mr. Elrich return to office despite his and his colleagues' records of utter failure, is when are the Republicans in the At-Large race going to receive their own puff-piece prominently presented in the Washington Post?

Having contacted the Post's ombudsman twice about their total blackout on the Republicans in the At-Large race, I have received no response. The ombudsman admitted weeks ago that the Post did not provide adequate coverage of the campaigns, beyond the favored incumbents and Hans Riemer. Yet he and the Post have taken no action to correct this. In fact, the problem continues to get worse. I've found the "ombudsman" to be a weak one, who can barely criticize the newspaper that employs him.

I laugh when people claim TBD (I think it stands for To Boost Democrats) is a "Post-killer." TBD could only succeed if it provided the hard-hitting coverage the Post does not in Montgomery County. Every time I complain, they tell me to contact the reporter for the county. When I do, she never writes anything or covers any event. Don't even get me started on Bruce Dupuyt, who - as one of many self-appointed armchair kingmakers in Montgomery County - believes he doesn't even have to answer messages from the unwashed masses regarding his failure to have an At-Large council debate on his program.

TBD is not a serious news outlet. It is a cross between Next Door News (remember that?) and a Twitter feed. Is your elected official incompetent or corrupt? You won't find out from TBD. You will find out that there is a hipster street fair going on somewhere in DC, and that the donuts are ready at the Krispy Kreme down the street. Gee, thanks guys, I couldn't survive without knowing that.

This is why you have to come here, to this blog, to find out what's really going on in Montgomery County - because the local media is too busy trying to elect Democrats to report on the real stories.

"And that's the way it is."
"And so it goes."
"Good night and a good tomorrow."
"Good luck and be well."
"Good night and good luck."
"Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not."

Pulitzer, please. Oh, by the way, the donuts are ready.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Last night I participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the CHI Centers and Arc of Montgomery County at the Lone Oak Center in Rockville.

This was an important forum for me, as I have been an advocate for the disabled over the last decade in the county. The primary focus was on developmental disabilities, and the lack of funding for service providers. State and local governments are both to blame, and there is a massive waiting list for DDA services.

The first thing I pointed out was my pledge to have one member of my staff - if elected - who will focus just on disability issues. With 1 in 10 residents of the county having a disability, you can understand the need and benefit of having such a staff member in my office.

I had to stay on message about my Fiscal Plan (read it at, upon which every thing we want to fund in any budget will depend. If the new council fails to pass such a plan, we will continue slouching forward as we are now, with less money for schools and the most vulnerable each passing year.

I hope to have some video from the forum uploaded for you soon.

We know that the current At-Large members of the council have failed the disabled. They've cut taxi coupons for the disabled by 50%. They've reduced Ride On service. They don't clear sidewalks after snowstorms. They even froze their contract for public garage cleaning with the Arc of Montgomery County! Remember, Ike Leggett and the council said that developmentally disabled workers had to lose their hard-to-come-by jobs in order to keep golden government employees on the county payroll!

It's outrageous.

It's time for a change on November 2nd, and a new council that actually advocates for the disabled. Make sure to get out and vote. Protect the most vulnerable by voting out these most politically-vulnerable failed councilmembers.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Leggett, County Council Offer Fright Fest to
Spook County Voters into Approving Ambulance Fees

Beholden to developers and public employee unions, and unable to fundamentally restructure government in the manner my Fiscal Plan (read the plan at would, County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council are now threatening to continue their scorched earth budget cuts that again put public safety and seniors at risk. All for political gain.

Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Reimer all support the dangerous Ambulance Fee. Elrich and Leventhal received $16,000 from unions outside of Montgomery County. And all four have received tens-of-thousands of dollars in cold, hard cash from the employee unions. Add that to their six-figure campaign accounts, courtesy of the developers, and you quickly understand why this outrageous pattern continues.

Because they dare not offend the developers, unions and other special interests that get them elected, Elrich, Floreen and Leventhal have left 80% of county expenditures off the table when cutting the budget. As a result, they could only cut 4% out of the
$4,000,000,000 FY-11 budget(!!) And since they avoid the fat and cut essential services instead, county residents are less safe, and the vulnerable more vulnerable, than they were 6 months ago.

Here we go again.

Now Leggett and his council allies are proposing new cuts, if you dare to vote against Ambulance Fees.

Despite spending $17.2 M on a gas station and dive bar, $172M+ on the Webb Tract, $5M on an infantile pedestrian safety campaign, $2M on a log cabin, etc., etc., they now claim they are in need of $12M!

That's some new math for you.

As you read in my previous post, they've already put our lives at risk with their cuts to the police budget.

Now they're going after fire and rescue resources, putting more lives in danger. Will you vote on November 2nd for councilmembers who are willing to put your life at risk, for their own political gain?

Here is what the Washington Post reports will be cut, if you choose to elect Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal and Riemer:

"roadwork, sports academies for at-risk teens, services for elderly residents, library hours and drug treatment"

"15 ambulances (110 firefighter positions); two rescue squads (eight firefighter positions); six engines (84 firefighters); and five ladder trucks (52 firefighters)"

They are also going to further their ongoing attack on our volunteer firefighters by cutting $1M from their budgets. Hard to believe that newspapers, organizations and chambers endorse candidates who live on Fantasy Island, and believe that one day the county will be able to afford 100% career firefighter staffing of fire stations countywide. Not to mention their complete ignorance and disrespect for the central roles many volunteer departments play in their communities. Try getting through the week without our volunteer firefighters on duty - it's not possible. Think about that before you vote for these Democrats.

This continues the pattern of outrageous political tactics by Leggett and Elrich, Floreen and Leventhal. For shame, for shame.

On November 2, you have the power to put Safety First once again in Montgomery County.

Halloween may be arriving early for Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal and Riemer, but if you make the critical mistake of voting for them on November 2, they will only have tricks for you and your family.

But when you come out to vote, you will make throwing these people out of office a real treat for the citizens of Montgomery County.

Cast a sure vote for public safety, volunteer firefighters and to stop the Ambulance Fee - permanently! - by voting for Robert Dyer!

Friday, October 01, 2010


The Montgomery County Council has once again put the safety of the public at risk for political gain.

Cuts to the police budget ended up in the pockets of developers, non-public safety county employees and other special interests.

Now officers are forced to tell the public about the disturbing results. Not only have I heard directly from officers regarding the effect of the council and executive's reductions, but also in news articles, such as one on the recent crime wave in Montgomery Village, reported by the Gazette.

Officer Diane Tillery, with the community services division of the Montgomery County Police, led a neighborhood watch training Monday night for South Village, Sharon Woods, East Village and East Gate, communities where residents said they are feeling increasingly unsafe.

"We are no longer a patrolling police department. We are a responding police department," she said. "We respond to calls for service. We've lost the luxury of being able to simply drive around. We don't have the manpower."

Is this a situation you feel comfortable with as a county resident? One where officers recognize a shortage of man/womanpower and resources, but elected officials are apparently out of touch with reality? Including an increasing gang population which, if this council is reelected, could one day present a threat such as residents of Baltimore now deal with on a daily basis.

Is this what you want? To be less safe in Montgomery County, just to have a (D) after every councilmember's name? I don't believe the voters are that partisan, to put politics before safety, as the council has.

It's time to make a change on November 2nd, and elect a council that will put safety first.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

We've already heard about the Montgomery County Council's new "fiscal and reserves" policy this past summer. It was the fantasy plan that did not cut a dime from the FY12 budget, did not renegotiate a dime of employee compensation (which accounts for 80% of expenditures), said we could have 10% reserves when we couldn't afford 6% (no giggling, please!), said there was no deficit next year, and - best of all - was not mandatory. So it wasn't only a fantasy, but the council was under no legal obligation to follow the policy!

In other words, it was a hoax.

Are you ready for the latest of several hoaxes that the local media has reprinted without questioning them?

The council knows it is fully responsible for the development disasters in Clarksburg.

Watch video:

Scrambling in an election year, the councilman who had the greatest oversight responsibility for Clarksburg, Mike Knapp, has introduced a bill to give his colleagues and his council record something to hide behind. (Other headlines, by coincidence of course, not related to the election in any way! No, sir!: "New Clarksburg Development to be Wonderful," "New Clarksburg Fire Station: Coming Soon!!!! I'll buy that for a dollar. How about, "Gold Mine Discovered! County Council to Share Loot with Clarksburg Residents if Reelected!" That would be too over-the-top, I guess).

It has been presented to the public as not only a bill to end the development taxing district in Clarksburg, but as the end of the concept in general.

As you know, these taxing districts are a fourth level of taxation for residents of developments such as those in Clarksburg. They were invented in a joint effort between developers and the councilmembers they control. The idea was novel: transfer costs that developers should be responsible for, such as roads and sewers, to the residents.

Watch video:

In other words, the council gave a tax cut to the developers, and a tax increase to the residents of Clarksburg. Developers say that if they can't have these districts, gosh darn it, they'll just have to charge a higher purchase price for the homes. As original pioneers in the New Clarksburg can tell you, they paid premium prices for their homes in the early years, and received no discount. So what was that lower price argument again?

Local media are touting the new bill this week. Unfortunately, it's a fake. Examine the fine print. (And forget that Knapp let himself and his colleagues off the hook about the missing Clarksburg grocery store, and that the reporters didn't hit him with tough followup questions!)

A blue ribbon commission will be formed. And - sometime, oh after the election maybe - somebody somewhere will decide just how we get this sum of money from the county, developers, and - guess who? - the homeowners! (Let's just hope they don't charge the citizens $10,000 for serving on the board, as they did with the arbitration scam).

That's right: the county is not going to demand the cost from the developer buddies. Oh no, it's going to come in great part from the homeowners and you, the taxpayer - even if you don't live in Clarksburg.

And that's the other drag on the council's hopes for good election year vibes - the same day as they announce a supposed end to the taxing district in Clarksburg, the county just happens to unveil a taxing district for White Flint!


Don't forget, that original White Flint district plan was to tax residents beyond the "New" White Flint. This was a trial balloon floated by the county, and was met with howls in response. The county has tried to play that idea down recently, but it's too late: they've already given themselves away, and there's no way to put that genie back in the bottle again.

Now, you might be saying, "What do I care? I don't live in Clarksburg or White Flint." Here's where this week's hoax, and the ultimate imposition of the taxation districts in those areas affects you:

I submit to you that the taxing district scheme is a clever new tactic to work around the property tax charter limit restriction. And that there is a plan to impose such districts countywide.

How? Well, we know that the developers have joined with politicians and the media that serves both of them, to condition the public to accept the fantasy of "smart growth."

Part of the fantasy of "smart growth," is that building buildings helps the environment (no giggling, please). So they propose turning all residential neighborhood shopping centers into urban "town centers." "Walkable communities," they say. Translation: dense, urban development. More residents, more cars, more gridlock, more strain on utilities. A surprise announcement will be made: "Good people of [Westbard, Woodley Gardens, Aspen Hill {your neighborhood name here}: in order to further the Common Good and Welfare of thine town center, we hearby impose a Taxing District."

You, the existing residents, will then pay a fourth level of taxation to fund infrastructure. Since this council has a clear record of failure in building infrastructure (Watch video: , the tax would end up as a slush fund. This would fund tax cuts for developers, and give the council more money to transfer to the developers, unions and non-profits that get them elected. Good deal.

Bad deal for the taxpayer.

Don't believe the hype. The only real Clarksburg bill is one that clearly states that residents are permanently and clearly exempt from funding infrastructure the developers are responsible for.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Quote of the week:

"There's not all that much difference between the Democrats. But there's a ton of difference between us and the Republicans."

- Marc Elrich (D)

Monday, September 27, 2010


As regular readers know, it doesn't take much convincing to get me to head out to our rural areas in Montgomery County. This past Saturday was Poolesville Day, and I was in the parade at 10 a.m.

If you haven't been there before, don't wait for the next Poolesville Day to make a visit. Taking Route 28 to get there, you will gradually pass into a simpler time. After riding past the site of the irresponsible "Science City" megadevelopment approved by my opponents - which is currently a pastoral farm - you will soon find yourself in Darnestown (which happens to be the hometown of fellow Republican At-Large candidate Brandon Rippeon). One of the odd juxtapositions on 28 is in Darnestown, where a new Harris Teeter store sits in the center of a historically agricultural town.

Anyway, around the bends and up and down the hills. Including one dangerous curve where a burned-out, once sizable farmhouse stands at a distance from the road. Is it a haunted house?

Once on White's Ferry Road, the Poolesville water tower eventually appears over the trees in the distance. It's a more traditional tower than my favorite, bulbous Damascus water tower. So, for those keeping track at home, Poolesville and Germantown have traditional towers; Damascus has the most interesting one; and Mount Airy is somewhere in between (the new one by the Greene Turtle and California Tortilla). Then there's that one near Germantown on Rt. 27...

Finally, Poolesville ES was around the bend. I pulled up to the check-in table, and found out I was number 50. Then I had to go around the circular driveway to get back out. There were dozens of cheerleaders and band members warming up in the lots in front of the school. I followed the directions to get into the right spot in the parade lineup. I have no way to know for sure which candidates were there, but the only other County Council candidates I saw were Robin Ficker and Craig Rice. Aruna Miller, a Democrat running for Delegate in District 15, was directly behind me in the parade. Scott Graham, a Republican running for the same seat was there somewhere, too. More on that later.

Once the parade started, it turned the corner onto Fisher Ave. You will find a wide variety of buildings along this main street, everything from shopping malls and McDonald's to the historic John Poole house and Bassett's restaurant.

There was a great turnout, and lots of supportive people. Like Damascus and other rural areas of the county, Poolesville is Robert Dyer country. I saw a lot of familiar faces, too, in the crowd and at the booths that lined the parade route. You could smell the fresh pies being sold by the Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic Church. Among other appetizing scents was the grill of Republican District 15 Delegate candidate Scott Graham. If you want to know about cooking, ask a firefighter, they are usually great chefs. I think he was in the parade at that moment and other people were working the grill. Another District 15 Republican candidate for Delegate, Sylvia Darrow, was in the parade as well. I also saw council candidate Robin Ficker along the way (and his ROBIN FICKER - TERM LIMITS signs along the way on Rt. 28).

Just past the town hall was a collection of tractors. I heard loud mooing coming from an animal exhibit. Republican cows in Poolesville are supporting Robert Dyer, but unfortunately, farm animals cannot register to vote.

There were guides in historic clothing outside of the John Poole house. The parade ended by Bassett's restaurant. When you continue down the street, you pass the water tower, which actually has homes right beneath it. I also spotted a classic Monte Carlo SS.

I'm looking forward to my next visit to Poolesville, and remember the candidate who will protect these rural towns - that are the real America and the real Montgomery County - from urbanization and massive development: Robert Dyer.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Suspend your disbelief for a moment. Now, tell me if the following description sounds like you:

You enjoy paying Draconian taxes. You enjoy spending hours in traffic gridlock every morning and afternoon.

You are willing to work harder and pay more, and even cancel your vacation, so that Montgomery County Government employees can have bigger salaries, more perks, guaranteed pensions and even an additional $7,000,000 worth of paid vacations.

You don't care if you have electricity or water. You're delighted to find out that your child's class size has increased this fall as the result of budget cuts in education.

And now, you are ecstatic to find out that Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer are attempting to buy council seats with hundreds of thousands of developer, union and special interest dollars. You look forward to paying more taxes in the future.

You don't even mind people who don't live in Montgomery County deciding the outcome of our county elections, by giving Elrich and Leventhal $8,000 cash apiece.

All of the above makes you want to vote for them even more, according to the Gazette and Washington Post!

Just read these quotes:

"Likely winners"
"All nine [Democrats] will advance to the Nov. 2 general election, where they are expected to win..."
-The Gazette

"If the four [Elrich, Floreen, Leventhal, Riemer] are victorious come November - as many assume they will be..."
-The Washington Post

What is the basis for these statements? A majority of Democrats, as well as all Republicans and independents, have yet to cast a vote on the general election field of 8 candidates in the At-Large race. The incumbents have a record of historic failure, and Mr. Riemer has all the same union endorsements and positions on the issues as the incumbents. Residents are furious, and the county has fallen behind Fairfax County by every measure.

So, on what basis does anyone claim the Democrats are guaranteed to win?

Is it because of all the developer, union and out-of-county money they have?

If that was true, Steve Forbes would be president, and Josh Rales would be a U.S. Senator.

So please tell us, what is the justification for the above claims by the media?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Another Exclusive!!!

Well, to hear the Gazette tell it, Hans Riemer is "expected to win" on November 2nd (!!). I'm looking forward to hearing the basis upon which such a statement can be made. As soon as I stop laughing, that is. Especially since a majority of Montgomery County Democrats, and all Republicans and independents, have yet to weigh in on Mr. Riemer's candidacy!!!

But opponents of Montgomery County's Ambulance Fee should certainly hope the Gazette is wrong. And they will be sorely disappointed if Mr. Riemer continues to coast his way into office, with the almost-surreal, easy support of the local papers and political machine. (Apparently, in Montgomery County, the media proclaims people as "frontrunners," but does not subject them to the extra scrutiny a frontrunner usually receives...)

This is because Riemer is waffling all over the place on the Ambulance Fee, while I have been solidly opposed to it from the beginning.

Just read the Riemer quotes from the Gazette piece:


"A resident who needs to call an ambulance clearly is in a difficult situation, and the county should not pass fees directly on to these individuals," [Riemer] wrote in the association questionnaire.
"Passing these fees directly on to nonresidents is wrong for the same reason, and because many of these callers work in Montgomery County and support our economy. Revenue recovery passed directly to patients is an idea I cannot support."


On Monday, Riemer said his position on the fees is clear: "I support ambulance fees when they are paid by insurance companies and oppose them when paid by patients."
On Andrews' anticipated bill to repeal the fees, Riemer said he would not comment on a bill that he hasn't seen.

Would you like a side of sausage with those waffles?

The latter quote describes the Leggett-Floreen-Leventhal-Elrich Ambulance Fee! That's their talking point: "insurance companies pay, not you!" So, Riemer is a solid vote for the Ambulance Fee.

Riemer was caught making promises he didn't intend to keep previously, when his union questionnaire statements conflicted with later comments in candidate forums. The media apparently doesn't have a problem with a candidate who changes his position on issues every five minutes, especially if they are a pro-developer, tax-and-spend Democrat.

But I suspect that you, the voter, do have a problem with that. Particularly with so many critical issues coming before the next council that affect your income, property value, safety and quality of life.

Are those areas of your life in which you want to gamble?

THE BOTTOM LINE: Robert Dyer is the only sure vote to kill the Ambulance Fee. No waffling. You know where I stand today, and you know where I'll stand if I'm elected and have the opportunity to vote to repeal this dangerous fee.