Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Bet You Think This Bill Is About You

A bizarre narrative has developed on the right suggesting that Council-member Calvin Ball's bill promoting nutritional standards on Howard County property has somehow been designed to make County Executive Allan Kittleman look bad.  You've seen it in comments on this blog, testimony before the Council, and now letters to the editor.

When this same Council voted to expand non-smoking zones in Howard County, include sexual identity as a protected class, pass growth tier legislation limiting septic tanks, or any of the other bills that earned the mantle "progressive Howard County", it wasn't about Allan Kittleman.  Why is it now?

I don't see any greater purpose or grand conspiracy in this complaint.  If anything, Republicans are making Calvin Ball the presumptive Democratic nominee of 2018 without him having to lift a finger.  But I do think Republicans are showing delicate sensitivity to perceived slights.  Let's loosen up a little bit.  While Allan Kittleman was voted into office with the will of the voters at his back, so too were four Democratic council-members with interests of their own to support.  It is wrong-headed, and naive, to suppose that the Council should be precluded from using the democratic process to meet their objectives, just as it would be equally naive to presume the County Executive will not do the same.  Did anyone say the County Executive's actions revoking the "Sugary Drinks Ban" or removing paid parking from Ellicott City were slights against the Council?  No.  These actions were "what Allan was elected to do" to be judged on their merits alone and not whatever political gamesmanship may be inferred from the same.

This is still "progressive Howard County" with a Republican County Executive.  In fact, Allan Kittleman was elected, in part, because of progressive positions he took against the tide of his party.  These Council-members will, and should, continue to enter legislation representative of what their constituents wish to see in their government.  And when they do, it will have very little to do with Allan Kittleman.

That's all for today.  Have a great Thursday doing what you love!