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February 2, 2011

Tea party caucus forming in House of Delegates

About a dozen Maryland Republican delegates met briefly this morning to discuss the logistics of forming a tea party caucus.

Led by Del. Mike Smigiel of the Eastern Shore, the group decided to meet again Monday to select officers and discuss policy.

Del. Michael McDermott, a newly elected member from the Eastern Shore, said tea partiers traditionally focus on fiscal issues, and that's what he'd like the Maryland caucus to do. 

Smigiel, in his third term, agreed. He said the caucus would "stay away from hot-button issues" and concentrate on spending and the size of government.

Although it appeared everyone at the meeting was Republican, Smigiel said he'd like to see Democrats get involved.

It's unclear if that will happen. When Smigiel announced the tea party meeting at the end of the morning legislative session, Del. Keith Haynes, a Baltimore Democrat, stood to jokingly announce that the "coffee caucus" will not be meeting.

There are three official caucuses in the General Assembly: women legislators, black legislators and veterans. But there are dozens of less formal "caucuses," and the term has come to be used to describe any group of legislators with a common interest -- be it bicycling or the Ravens. Today, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, a Montgomery County Democrat, announced a meeting of the "new Americans caucus."

(pictured: Smigiel talking to tea partiers in the House lounge.)

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 12:12 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: 2011 legislative session
        

Comments

Fascinating. A bunch of completely irrelevant legislators from small rural districts have decided to dive into the waters of even greater irrelevancy by forming a "Tea Party Caucus". Great. So, will their first order of business be to advocate for less regulation so we can have more poison in the Bay and more pollution in our air; or will they expend their tiny amount of political capital on lecturing us about the need for millionaires to have lower taxes. What rubes! Thank God we live in a state where Republicans have been marginalized almost completely out of existence.

Yes Ron, thank God we have gerrymandered the districts so that Republicans don't have a shot at offering new ideas for the state. Why just the other day I thought why do these Republicans even exist? I mean where do they get off telling America that we should pay less in taxes and have more individual freedoms!?! Don't they know the central government knows best?!? Good thing outstanding citizens like you and I know best! It's always better to just shut your trap, pay your taxes and let the government spend it. No need for restraint there - and heck, if they run out of money they can just tax the heck out of the corporations and millionaires in this state....wait, we've already done that and are losing residents and businesses to Virginia. Oh well, we can just tax the heck out of everyone!

Hey Chris - Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! You probably don't even know that taxes in this country are at a 40 year low, do you? And you probably don't realize that we have bridges that are crumbling and libraries that are closing and seniors living in poverty and roads full of potholes, because all that matters is what's in your wallet, right? I mean, America is all about YOU. The larger community doesn't matter, right? Why should YOU pay your fair share, right? You Tea Party types are just the new version of the 80's Wall Street yuppie - "Greed is Good". Go cry into your beer with your buddy Bobby Smooth. Bunch of Losers.......

I can't help but wonder if those in the streets of Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere have not been encouraged by the phenomenal rise to power and influence that they have been watching for the past 2 years or so here! The Tea Party is the most influential, largest most powerful movement in this country in decades. In 2 short years they came from nowhere to having caucus' in both houses of power in this country. They have helped elect many to the congress. They helped take many state legislatures.
They have steered the policy discussion in DC and around the country to spending, debt and deficits.

Those around the world see what they have done peacefully and legitimately and within the law and said to themselves, WE CAN TOO! Yes they can!

"Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, a Montgomery County Democrat, announced a meeting of the "new Americans caucus.""

For those of you unfamiliar with the leftist code words, she means ILLEGAL ALIEN CAUCUS!

Ron types, "Bunch of Losers......." referring to the Tea Party?

Hey Ron, were you in your coma last November? You certainly seem to be in one now!
I think the TP and their supporters took the House and many many state legislatures and Governorships!

But don;t let the facts get in your way of your hate.

It will be difficult to break the strangle hold the crooked liberal democrats have on this state but this is a start.

Julie -- Of the 12 attendees, you mentioned only Smigiel and McDermott.

Who else plans to join the new Tea Party Caucus? Were any delegates from District 42 there? (Aumann, Frank, Lafferty)

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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