I had earlier mentioned that I supported Warren Miller for one of the two spots in Delegate District 9A. My next vote is going to Jon Weinstein.
This very well may knock me off the GOP Christmas Card list. Not only is this a vote for a Democrat in a Republican stronghold, but many see it as a vote against Warren, since some believe he is the more vulnerable of the Bates/Miller slate (as also indicated by the "contrast" pieces put out by the Maher and Weinstein camps that exclusively target Warren). But at the end of the day, I get one ballot with two spots to mark. Warren and Jon are my choices.
I had a chance to sit down with him for coffee a few days ago. Jon is a local business owner and operates a management consulting firm out of Ellicott City. By all appearances, Jon's firm has been very successful and has been hired all over the United States. As Jon explained it, his firm evaluates management structures for efficiency and "best practices." When an organization's management structure is redundant, ineffective, or otherwise impaired, he will advise the leadership on how to direct their resources to create more efficient and productive systems.
When we talk about government "cuts", I think we need to evaluate what we are cutting. Is it the service or the manner in which the service is provided? After speaking with Jon, I am confident that he will be a knowledgeable voice with regard to making sure our government operates efficiently. I also believe he will not only identify wasteful spending, but offer concrete solutions for reallocating resources in a way that works.
Most importantly, I believe Jon will be effective. We live in a blue state. If Jon wins, it will become more blue. However, a Delegate's party goes a long way in terms of whether their voice is heard. I appreciate the efforts of our Republican Delegates to "cut wasteful spending", but at the end of the day, those are little more than "efforts." We need "accomplishments." As with any challenger, I can't prove what Jon will or won't do. But by his very nature, by what he does on a day to day basis, I can only project that he will seek out inefficiencies, decrease costs, and improve government.
On a less theoretical level, Jon supports civic equality and direct shipping. These issues are important to me. The delegation from District 9A have been staid opponents to gay marriage (or even civic equality). I can't, and won't, get behind that. The way to protect marriage is to take the word off the law books. Instead, lawmakers have sought to cordon off certain privileges from the LGTB community. That's not the law I studied in school and goes against the basic notions of fairness that our government is meant to support.
I strongly disagree with the suggestion that Delegate Bates has been "ineffective" and know her to be a strong advocate for her constituents as well as a strong leader in the Republican Party. I just don't line up with her ideology. I think Gail is a wonderful woman and I am disappointed that I will not be able to support her, but these issues are important to me. If that means I'm not a Republican, so be it.
Jon Weinstein for Delegate.