CONCEALED CARRY LAWSUIT
May 19, 2023
Self-defense is an inalienable right handed down by God, and it is the natural right of every living being. For women, a firearm can offer them protection from a much stronger physical attacker. I want to thank my friend Susannah Kipke for stepping up and having the courage to be the lead plaintiff in the NRA's lawsuit against Governor Wes Moore over the recently passed and blatantly unconstitutional Senate Bill 1. SB1 is the Left's new de facto concealed carry ban in Maryland. Thank you again, Susannah. I know you will be a great spokesperson for our cause and a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms! #StandWithSusannah https://www.baltimoresun.com/ticker/bs-md-pol-susannah-nic-kipke-gun-suit-20230518-6rh2ucba5zabpng57grkj4v4he-story.html
AUTO THEFTS LAWSUIT
May 18, 2023
Press Release and a corresponding letter to Baltimore City Mayor Scott and Police Commissioner Harrison on Baltimore City's lawsuit on auto thefts.
Baltimore City Auto Thefts at All-Time High
Maryland Legislators Urge City to Do More Than Join Lawsuit Against Hyundai
BALTIMORE, MD – Prominent conservative Republican legislators have issued a letter to Mayor Scott and Commissioner Harrison of Baltimore City in response to the recent lawsuit against Hyundai and Kai due to their vehicles' alleged susceptibility to theft.
"If the City is going to hold car manufacturers responsible for car thefts, they must also send a clear message that Baltimore City will not tolerate carjackings or auto theft and that those who commit these crimes will be held accountable," said Delegate Matt Morgan.
"The fatherless capital of the USA is blaming auto manufacturers for car thefts in Baltimore." said former Baltimore resident Delegate Mark Fisher. "Based on the police crime data, I'd suggest a plan that focuses on the root cause of crime rather than laying the blame on car manufacturers.
According to data from the Baltimore Police Department, there have been 2,200 auto thefts and 159 carjackings in the 5½ months of this year. Last year, there were 2,473 auto thefts, but only 397 arrests were made, and only 7 led to a guilty prosecution.
The legislators are asking that Baltimore City not just focus on creating awareness and helping people protect their vehicles but also invest in better technology and other strategies to ensure criminals are caught and prosecuted appropriately. The legislators stand ready to support any legislation needed in the upcoming legislative session to get more criminals apprehended, prosecuted, and incarcerated when they engage in carjackings or auto theft.
"We hear from so many citizens across the state that they are fearful of visiting Baltimore City because of crime and auto thefts," said Delegate Lauren Arikan. "We are ready to help Baltimore City address the crime crisis and urge the Mayor and Police Commissioner to make Baltimore City safe for the residents and visitors."
May 08, 2023
Every dollar state and local government spends is a dollar it needs to collect from its citizens via taxes. This basic concept reiterates that, unlike the federal government, which can print money, state and local governments must rely on tax dollars to pay for debt services. Therefore, I am deeply saddened that my consistent warnings of excessive government spending resulting in tax increases are being ignored.
Last Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners of St. Mary's implemented a new excise tax in exchange for an impact fee for new home construction. The implementation of the new excise tax was promised to be revenue neutral. However, 3 of the 5 County Commissioners used it as an opportunity to grab revenue. Commissioners Hewitt, Guy, and Ostrow voted in favor of the new tax, leaving only Commissioners Colvin and Alderson against it. As a result, the new excise tax for St. Mary's County will result in a nearly $4 million tax on the private sector, including small businesses looking to expand. This decision comes less than six months after an election in which the same three county commissioners voting in favor of the new proposal promised not to raise taxes.
I thank Commissioner Eric Covin for his leadership and defense against raising this tax. He was very articulate and made several reasonable, fiscally conservative, and logical arguments during the discussion. Commissioner Covin did a great job. I encourage everyone interested in this topic to watch the short video snippet from last week's voting session during the County Commissioners' meeting and decide for yourself. I find the conversation fascinating. https://youtu.be/sPxrK34XwoU
END OF SESSION LETTER 2023
April 19, 2023
My 2023 End of Session Letter to Constituents.
April 19, 2023
It is a privilege to serve you in the Maryland House of Delegates. The 2023 Legislative Session came to a close at Midnight on April 11. The legislative session, as it always does, includes both wins and losses. During the last election, I spent countless hours door-knocking constituents' homes. While many politicians focus on polling, there is no substitute for hearing someone's views in their own words when they open their doors! Constituents told me about several issues of concern, such as the high cost of living, violent crime, the deterioration of our education system, and the overall direction our State and our country were heading. Constituents were also frustrated by lip service from politicians who said all the right things to get elected but did the opposite once elected. I want you to know that your concerns were voiced throughout this entire legislative session. My commitment to uphold and fight for our shared values and beliefs was unwavering. As your representative, it is my duty to ensure you are kept informed and up to date. Below I outline several bills which have the potential to both help and harm our quality of life. I will explain each and include how I voted and the significance of its passage or failure.
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY
This bill was a priority legislation from our group of Conservative Republicans and probably was our biggest win of the session. The legislation closes the loophole in the law that makes it legal to view child pornography by streaming video. The current law in Maryland is that while downloading child pornography is illegal, streaming and viewing is not. This bill languished in committee for nearly 80 days as the Judiciary Committee seemed reluctant to move it. After enormous public pressure was applied, the bill was finally voted out of the committee. Though the House Bill did not make it, the Senate Cross-file passed and is on the Governor's desk for a signature. I voted YES.
Maryland has made a determined and oppressive attempt to reclaim its authority after the Supreme Court Bruen ruling abolished the State's restrictions on concealed carry. The legislation was revised just before its public hearing, leaving people with no time to read it or provide meaningful input. This bill is a de facto gun ban. It violates Second Amendment rights by creating a gun-free zone across Maryland. It carves out certain areas, such as schools, hospitals, and any place serving alcohol, where it is always unlawful for permit holders to carry firearms. It also prohibits wearing, carrying, or transporting firearms on private property and public accommodations without express consent. Penalties for violations are severe even when no crime has occurred. I voted NO. The bill passed but will indeed be challenged in court.
After several failed attempts in recent years, Republicans are still trying to pass a critical piece of legislation that would make stealing firearms a felony. Unfortunately, despite our persistent efforts, this bill could not reach the Floor for consideration.
Click the READ MORE link below!
SHUT UP AND BE SILENT!
April 17, 2023
Is it fair for 2 million Marylanders who still believe in Freedom, Transparency, and the Representative Republic to have their voices silenced?
Let's be honest here. Mr. Kurtz is not alone by any stretch of the imagination. But, unfortunately, it is an overwhelming belief held by many in the Legacy Media during our 90-Day Session in Annapolis.
Here is what he wrote on April 13, 2023, that was printed in MarylandMatters.org
As for legislative Republicans, who increasingly eat up floor time, especially in the House, to chant MAGA bromides, perhaps it's time to dispense with feel-good rants about trans health and Communist China and parental rights, which are destined to go nowhere in a legislature with Democratic supermajorities and attempt to shine a light on the clubby and corrosive practices that continue to define Annapolis.
Not to be the skunk at the garden party or anything…
Then Mr. Kurtz followed up that masterpiece with this article. https://www.marylandmatters.org/2023/04/14/winners-and-losers/
Here was the response from a few of us in the Maryland House of Delegates that still believe in defending our Constituents, Freedom, and a Transparent process. We also knew we were the Republican Legislators he felt should just shut up and be run over!
April 18, 2023
One Party Politics is Destroying Maryland
In an April 13 editorial, Maryland Matters founding editor Josh Kurtz compares himself to a skunk in a garden party. We completely agree and would like to praise his self-reflection! He felt compelled to tell Republicans they take up too much floor time in a state where we ironically spend 92% of our time passing Democrat-sponsored legislation. Protecting parental rights and combating child genital mutilation or castration are crucial causes, not just "feel-good rants." We invite Mr. Kurtz and other confused progressives to venture outside their echo chambers and join the rest of us in the purple and red parts of Maryland.
It is not in the best interest of taxpayers and citizens if we sit down and shut up, and we, therefore, have no intention of complying with Mr. Kurtz's request. We were not elected to remain silent.
In Montgomery County, an area considered progressive and open-minded, parents are disturbed by the unfitting instruction taught in Pre-K. It is utterly outrageous that four- and five-year-olds must learn gender-fluid theories in their curriculum. Similarly, Baltimore County residents express intense anger about introducing elementary school children to explicit sexual acts! Parents and teachers have pleaded for us to stand against this questionable teaching method. We cannot let this madness continue!
It would be remarkable if Annapolis journalists acknowledged the sharp rise in homicides across Maryland's inner cities and why there is an apparent lack of consideration for crime bills. Additionally, wouldn't it be refreshing to have honest coverage about all the legislators recently accused of misconduct or felonies?
Are you concerned about the quality of education? We have heavily funded schools yet still can't get out of their slump - with Fox 45 being one exception to this prevailing silence among Democrats and the traditional press. Governor Wes Moore himself benefited from prestigious private schools while denying the same to the children in the 23 failed Baltimore City schools! Who speaks for students' civil rights in chronically failing and often violent schools? Indeed not the "Press," as they ignore his chummy relationship with the Teachers Union. The Teachers Union and Wes Moore almost killed the BOOST program, the one successful school choice program for disadvantaged kids.
Only Republicans were advocating for the civil rights of these students stuck in drastically inadequate schools.
We certainly enjoyed the speech by a Democrat Delegate defending Democrat legislators being unruly on the House Floor in Tennessee, where they are the minority party. Days later, it was followed by those trying to silence the minority party in Maryland. Republicans rightly pushed back in the final minutes of the 2023 legislative session as Democrats refused to tell lawmakers and the public what changes were made to a bill that removes probable cause for motorists smoking pot while driving.
In the closing moments of Sine Die, Republicans stopped the "Drug KingPin" Bill. Astonishingly, Democrats were attempting to reduce criminal punishments for traffickers distributing heroin, fentanyl, and other deadly narcotics that are leading Marylanders to their untimely deaths by the thousands- not to mention how these substances have also resulted in an increase in violent crime and homelessness across communities. You're welcome!
If you prefer single-party rule, then Cuba, China, and California might be the right fit. However, if Maryland is to retain its democratic republic form of government where meaningful dialogue takes place and Republican voices are respected in Annapolis - mutual respect must reign supreme.
We invite you to step out of your high tea garden party. Join us for some Eastern Shore chicken, Southern Maryland crabs, burgers on the grill, and a cold one- no Bud Light.
The Resistance! ~ Republican Delegates Lauren Arikan, Brian Chisholm, Mark Fisher, Robin Grammer, Matt Morgan, Ryan Nawrocki, and Kathy Szeliga
LETTER TO DOJ ABOUT ACT BLUE!
April 10, 2023
Today is the last day of the 2023 Legislative Session. There will be much more to come on that topic. Today I wanted to make you aware of the letter that several other conservative legislators sent to the Department of Justice, the Federal Election Committee, and the Special Prosecutor of the State of Maryland regarding the potential campaign violations of ACT Blue.
April 10, 2023
Contact: Louisa Baucom 443-386-5191
MARYLAND LEGISLATORS ASK FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE CAMPAIGN FINANCE FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Today, Maryland Legislators have sent a letter to State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard, along with the Federal Election Commission, The Department of Justice, and the Maryland State Board of Elections, requesting an investigation into potential campaign finance irregularities. The allegations stem from a recent video released by James O’Keefe that appears to show massive contribution fraud by individuals in Annapolis.
The video shows individuals asked if they had donated thousands to Act Blue. It alleges that over $200,000 was contributed in the name of one Maryland resident.
The letter urges State Prosecutor Howard to investigate this potential misconduct and take appropriate action against those responsible for wrongdoing. In addition, the legislators emphasize the importance of oversight and accountability in the political process, so they call for a prompt investigation.
"Campaign finance irregularities are a serious matter that cannot be ignored. We must ensure that our political process remains fair and free of corruption, and any individuals responsible for such activities must be held accountable." - Delegate Matt Morgan said
Delegate Kathy Szeliga said, "It is essential that any potential misconduct be properly investigated and addressed. This reminds all elected officials of our obligation to ensure transparency and accountability in the democratic process."
"The data is alarming and needs to be thoroughly investigated to ensure confidence in our elections. Any wrongdoing must be exposed and addressed to the fullest extent of the law," said Delegate Nicholaus Kipke.
The public is encouraged to contact their local representatives with any questions or concerns.
April 10, 2023
Charlton T. Howard, III
Maryland State Prosecutor
300 East Joppa Road, Suite 21286
Towson, MD 21286
Office of Inspector General
Federal Election Commission
1050 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20463
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Maryland State Board of Elections
151 West Street,
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear State Prosecutor Howard, et al,
We are writing today to request an investigation of campaign finance irregularities in Maryland.
We were shocked and concerned to see the recent video from James O’Keefe, which appears to expose massive campaign contribution fraud. The video can be viewed here:
The people being interviewed have allegedly been used for logging multiple campaign contributions to Act Blue, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet when asked- these people have said that while they have made some donations, they were sure it was not in the quantity and amount that is recorded on the books. The video shows individuals in Annapolis, Maryland, asked if they had made these donations. In one instance, $217,000.00 was made through twelve thousand separate donations over three years in the name of one Maryland resident.
If these allegations are true, this represents a serious issue that needs to be quickly resolved.
It is essential for proper oversight and accountability that this potential misconduct is thoroughly investigated and addressed. We have obtained data that supports the O'Keefe claims, which we will send in a separate and private email.
We urge you to immediately investigate these claims and any other potential campaign finance irregularities. The public has a right to know that the political process remains fair and free of corruption. Moreover, any person responsible for such activities must be held accountable to ensure this kind of misconduct does not happen again.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
ACT BLUE ILLEGAL DONATIONS
April 04, 2023
I want to thank everyone who contacted me to alert me about the James O'Keefe video regarding the hundreds of thousands of dollars in potentially illegal donations to the Democratic fundraising software Act Blue. After seeing the emails and checking out the video, I believe the issue of illegal campaign fundraising was a severe problem requiring swift action. Yesterday, I offered a floor amendment to a Senate bill that required the Special Prosecutor for the State of Maryland to perform a study on campaign donation irregularities.
Election integrity should be important to both sides of the aisle. Still, sadly, before I could even read the amendment, the Majority Leader accused me of advancing "conspiracy theories" in real-time. Check the video out for yourself:https://youtu.be/GWcst3anZrI
To immediately call the amendment a conspiracy theory without the slightest desire to investigate the allegations is incomprehensible. This knee-jerk reaction is unbelievable, considering the evidence in the original O'Keefe video shows Maryland citizens being utilized to funnel money to Democrat political organizations. View the original video here: https://youtu.be/RnKCPK_OACc
Even though Democrats used their super-majority to vote down the amendment, Republican members and I plan to send an official letter to the state prosecutor requesting an investigation into these campaign finance irregularities. I sincerely hope we can resolve this issue and ensure illegal campaign donations do not corrupt elections. This issue is very concerning, especially when confidence in American elections is very low. We need to do all we can to root out any unlawful activities.