While we here at FSP debate the finer points of the Democratic primary in MD-04, conservatives are buzzing about the Republican primary in MD-01. It appears the contest in MD-01 is about who can play the radical conservative more effectively, State Senator Andy Harris or the incumbent Congressman Wayne Gilchrest. Presently, it seems that Andy Harris is beating the pants off of the Congressman in this respect. Harris has the support of the netroots conservatives at Red Maryland, as well as that of former Governor Ehrlich which has helped him raise huge amounts of cash.
Gilchrest, a moderate Republican, has been doing his best to run back to the right. To this end, Gilchrest has been bragging about his support for the disturbingly invasive "REAL ID" act (how REAL ID has become a rallying point for "conservatives" I have no idea) and attacking a budget vote of Andrew Harris that gave monetary support to pro-immigration groups. Clearly, we are meant to think Wayne Gilchrest is the TRUE crusader against the ever-present brown menace of Republican nightmares. Check out why Mr. Gilchrest has been proven right, below the fold.
Over at Wryoak, they have done some simple digging to see in Gilchrest is telling the truth about Ehrlich crony Andy Harris (note: I disagree with their characterization of CASA, but the rest in right on).
We looked into the bill mentioned in Gilchrest’s ad, HB 340 in the 2005 session, and sure ’nuff, there in the budget is $100,000 for CASA de Maryland to operate the McCormick-Goodhart Mansion for use as a base of operations (err, that’s “Multi-Cultural Service Center” to you) in Prince George’s County.
CASA, of course, is the chief proponent of giving creds to “undocumented workers” who they see as a huge power base for milking more resources from government. (In the era of Clinton’s motor-voter policies, every license issued by MVA could become a new voter - MVA can’t check citizenship and SABEL needs to trust MVA.) Harris voted for this bill.
We don’t know if this is what Gilchrest had in mind when he approved the campaign ad, but it is more than enough to support his claim.
Conservatives like to vent about illegal immigration. Country club Republicans like to spend money. I guess we see which is the real Andy Harris. [It may not really be his fault. Whether on budget, immigration or gay rights, Bob Ehrlich turned out not to be much of a conservative either. Nobody should be surprised if his puppets behave the same way.]
So Wayne was right. Andy Harris, at least once in his legislative career, did something that allowed money to be spent on assisting illegal immigrants and groups that support their needs. For your average conservative, this in on par with supporting abortion rights, discussing universal health care in positive terms, or calling for a re-examination of American military policy.
Gilchest wins this round, at least on the facts. The only losers here are the Republican voters of MD-01, who will have a choice between two fraudulent "conservatives" on primary day.