State News

Van Hollen Distances Self from Shamed Carroll County Democrats

Don West, Carroll County Democratic Central Committee Recording Secretary, launched accusations of “violent tendencies” against local a local tea party group and filed a “peace order” against the group’s leader, Michelle Jefferson. In the end the only violence that occurred was West’s plan blowing up in his own face. The interim peace order intended to keep Jefferson from attending a town hall meeting with Congressman Chris Van Hollen was dismissed by a Carroll County district court judge today as having no merit.

Van Hollen was quick to distance himself from the actions of Mr. West while Jackie Jones, chairperson of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee declined to comment when asked by Institute for Liberty president, Andrew Langer, to condemn the actions of West.

Michelle Jefferson’s husband Randy reported that after the judge’s decision, Van Hollen’s office reached out to Michelle to extend an invitation and to let her know she was welcome at the event. However, Jefferson was not called upon to ask any questions of the congressman.

Van Hollen had no easy time of it though. Thanks largely to Don West’s backfired attempt to exclude them, the room at Carroll County Community College was packed with tea party activists who peppered Van Hollen with questions about the national debt, gun control, illegal immigration, energy, and the DISCLOSE Act which the congressman enthusiastically supports. The veteran Democrat may have been surprised by the less than warm welcome he received since these are new constituents. The Democrat majority in the Maryland General Assembly and Governor O’Malley in gerrymandering Congressman Roscoe Bartlett out of his MD-6 seat in the last session added a sizable chunk of Maryland’s right-leaning counties to Van Hollen’s MD-8. Previously MD-8 had been a solidly Democrat district in liberal Montgomery County.

Tea party activists from around the state showed up at the event  to support Jefferson. One individual even traveled from Pensacola, FL after reading online about the attempt to silence Jefferson. After the town hall a hastily planned free speech rally was held outside the building where the town hall was held. Speakers at the rally included Andrew Langer; former Secret Service Agent and  U.S. Senate candidate–and current Congressional candidate in MD-6–Dan Bongino; Republican contenders for the MD-8 nomination, Ken Timmerman and Dave Wallace; State Delegate Mike Smiegel; as well as up and coming Republicans, Joe Vigliotti of the Taneytown City Council and Joshua Stonko, candidate for Delegate in Legislative District 5. Also speaking were Tonya Tiffany of the Maryland Citizen Action Network and Michelle Jefferson who was moved to tears by the outpouring of support she received.

Stay tuned to Front Line State for video of the event as it becomes available.