Tuesday, February 24, 2009

looks like this race finally got interesting (updated)

Robin Ficker campaigning for Mark Fennel during last year's District 4 special election.

From the Gazette:
Tax reform advocate and perennial candidate Robin Ficker has moved across the county to a home in Silver Spring to run for the vacant District 4 County Council seat . . . Ficker's parents purchased a house in the Fairland area in 1969, and he has lived in the area "off and on" ever since, he said.
What can I say but welcome to East County, Robin Ficker. (Thanks to Adam at MPW for the tip.) A brief (brief because it's free and I'm cheap) background check reveals that his mother does in fact live in Fairland, and Ficker himself has held no fewer than three Silver Spring addresses throughout his lifetime. Ficker's real estate website also notes that he's opened a second office in College Park, which combined with a move to East County begs the question: does this move mean he will resume his daily morning routine of running up and down the stairs of Cole Field House on the University of Maryland campus?

The Gazette article also mentions two other entries into the District 4 race: Republican Lou August and Democrat Steve Kanstoroom, who ran in last year's special election and was interviewed by JUTP. That brings the list of contenders up to seven, with Democrats Nancy Navarro, Ben Kramer, Chris Paladino and Cary Lamari (who we met last Friday) having already announced their candidacy.

And remember: if you'd like to run for County Council, the deadline to register is next Thursday, March 5.


Thomas Hardman said...

Personally, I think we need more and different Democrats as well.

The thing is, Robin Ficker does have enough name recognition -- if not necessarily the popularity -- to attract a lot of votes in the Republican primary, and possibly even in the general election should he survive the Republican primary.

He also has enough money to fund a pretty aggressive campaign, and the willingness to spend it.

Dan Reed said...

So far, Ficker is the only registered Republican, meaning it's going to be him vs. the Democratic nominee. He's been dismissed by The Establishment for a pretty long time, but his dual accomplishments last year - engineering Mark Fennel's win of the Republican nomination in last year's special election and, of course, the passage of the Ficker Amendment - make it clear that people are finally listening to him after thirty-odd years.

For me, though, the big question is: does moving to East County mean Robin Ficker will resume his morning exercise routine of running up and down the stairs of U-Md.'s Cole Field House?

Thomas Hardman said...

Heh. The funny thing about Mr Ficker isn't so much his exercise habits, or his record-breaking achievement at getting kicked out of games, which is surpassed in terms of surrealism only by the NBA's one-and-only cancellation of a Seattle Game on account of rain. (This actually happened, 1988 or so... the King Dome spring a leak.)

But the other thing about Mr Ficker is that if you go to any website on Classical Fallacies of Rhetoric, they have his picture by the definition of argumentum Ad Hominem in which the argument is that of attacking the person rather than their statements or positions.

I've heard perfectly good attorneys working for the taxpayer make remarks like "ooo I can't stand that man, he's the most horrid and reprehensible person ever, why, he's got big feet and furthermore needs to get his suits pressed". When asked what they thought about his proposed taxpayer relief amendment, the response was something to the effect of "he's unscrupulous, just unscrupulous".

He might in fact be unscrupulous and wearing a bad jacket, but that is entirely irrelevant to his tax amendment. Fortunately for Montgomery, the voters saw past the ad-hominem arguments to Mr Ficker's (real or purported) character, appearance or behavior (again, actual or purported) and looked at the text of the amendment, and loved it in sufficient numbers as to get it passed into law.

Speaking as someone who himself wears a bad jacket and gets a lot of ad-hominem deprecations -- I'll spare you as they are so flagrantly bizarre as to brand anyone repeating them as fact as florid psychotics abstaining from medication and promulgating their delusions -- I have to say that it would be a vindication for all of us victims of shabby rhetoric should Mr Ficker secure the nomination of his party. After all, it's easy -- and true -- enough for any MoCo Republican to say of condemnations of their candidates, "it's just MoCo Democrats, they aren't just jealous, but they're so desperate they'll sink to any level".

We just saw that sort of thing over on MPW when "foolio" and "lefty" came out of nowhere to slag on Ben Kramer, pretty much accusing him of wanting to pave the Bay by filling it up with the bodies of racially-profiled victims of police violence.

And while we're dealing with tendencies towards surrealism transgressing from art into political reporting, is there anyone here besides me who thinks the most hilarious possible (and likely most hotly and narrowly-contested) General Election would face Nancy Navarro against Robin Ficker?

I'd pay money to be in the front row of all of those candidate's debates...

Activist watcher said...

Years ago, I wouldn't have predicted I'd be a fan, but now I often feel compelled to defend Ficker against the ad hominem attacks of which Hardman speaks. He probably doesn't need my help, but we need his.

What he can bring to the mix is what voters are looking for these days.

Mark D. Fennel said...

Robin is fiery independent. His populist message will resonate and have bipartisan appeal.

As a defense attorney, he's always championed the little guy.

If you add up the number of years Robin and I have lived in the county, it comes to 107 years of experience, that's over a Century of county knowledge!!!

Robin, if I had not moved to Damascus, out of the district, I'd be running myself. However, let's hit the campaign trail, glad to be working with you to help straighten out Montgomery County!

Mark D. Fennel
Former-Republican Nominee in the 2008 Special Election for County Council, District #4

Thomas Hardman said...

I am soooo tempted to run, just so I could say from the Democrat side of the aisle, "uh, actually, I happen to agree with Mr Ficker, the County government needs to stop looking at homeowners -- a near majority in the District of whom are retired on fixed incomes and watching their investments shrink -- as if they were some sort of automated teller machine".

I can assure you that I would not be voting for tax increases, but I'd be stealing the clothes of a rather infamous Southern politician from days gone by, and appear at rallies with a rubber hatchet as a prop to show how aggressively I would chop chop chop at bloated budgets and wasteful programs.

Recently, over at MPW, Councilman Leventhal was quick to condemn a payment of $1000.00 a month to fire chiefs just for showing up at a meeting they should be glad to attend for free.

I personally would with great cheerfulness cut all funding whatsoever for CASA de Maryland's day-laborer centers; only a very small percentage of day-laborers will cooperate with CASA's policies prerequisite to using those centers, and thus the majority of day-laborers are seeking work elsewhere. In any case, in a complete economic implosion of the construction industry, there's almost no need for day-laborers at all. Why spend millions for a facility that has no real reason to be there?

Another thing to cut, or at least examine deeply for proof of effectiveness, are the County's mental healthcare programs and contractors. Judging from the number of people who avoid these programs, and judging from the amount of craziness I see on the streets around here directed against people who need public compassion and assistance rather than public militancy, I'd say that most of these programs are remarkably ineffective and almost certainly operate on models which can't effectively reach the members of the community towards whose care we commit the expense.

I think that even Mr Ficker would agree, paying people to drive around the county and advise shopkeepers to give "the treatment" to people who left the programs because they weren't being helped, that's not an effective or useful system and it should be cut to the bone.

Instead, let's convert the day-laborer centers to combination outreach and maintenance centers where mentally-ill but functional people can be hired for the sort of work that used to be done by illegal aliens.

Remember, every illegal alien getting hired from a CASA facility represents at least one mentally-ill and homeless citizen who will have no income opportunities and will forever remain out of program, living on the street, and getting worse every day.

Broker said...

Ficker will help homeowners who've taken a real beating the past three years on their homeowner wealth....they've lost 27% of thier home's value. He's a Broker and he understand this. They can't afford to pay for any unnecessary government programs.