McDonough: I am not an extremist
State Del. Pat McDonough says he’s been called a lot of things in his political career, but he takes exception to being characterized as an extremist who turns off Democrats and moderates.
Jon Herbst, a Baltimore County Republican Central Committee member, used words to that effect in discussing the problems that led to chairman Tony Campbell's ouster this week:.
"We've got to address the underlying problem and it was not all Chairman Campbell's doing," Herbst said. "The reality is the Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious right, not just in Baltimore County but across the country. As long as Pat McDonough, Brian Murphy and Sarah Palin are the face of the Republican Party, the party is simply not going to appeal to mainstream voters."
McDonough points to his own efforts in leading the petition drive against the new state law that gives in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants, noting that he leads the ticket in votes in his district and attracts more Democrats and independent voters than any of his fellow Republicans.
“Saying I’m an extremist who can’t attract Democrats and moderates…I am the one who’s been doing that,” McDonough said. “I’ve been accused of a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never been accused of that. The record is clear.”
He also downplays his role and influence in the committee, which is responsible for fundraising and offering other support to Republican candidates, saying he’s only attended one meeting in the last six months.
“I don’t think these kinds of public squabbles really do the party any good, especially when you have a chairman who was elected by Republican voters,” he said.
The county committee is the only one in the
nation state (corrected) where voters elect the chairman, instead of members selecting a leader from within. Committee members said they are working to change the bylaws.