Cecil County Exec Moore ‘Shocked’ at Dissent on Support of Dem in Howard Co Exec Race; Claims Cecil Benefits from Distant Ally

October 20, 2014

Cecil County Executive Tari Moore, a Republican, wrote in a Facebook post Sunday that she is “shocked” and “appalled” at negative local reaction to her recent endorsement of a Democrat, Courtney Watson, who is running for Howard County executive against a well-known statewide Republican.

Moore has not responded to repeated messages from Cecil Times requesting an interview about her actions, and on Monday a staff aide said Moore would not respond to questions and directed attention to her Facebook posting on the Republican Club of Cecil County page. (So we’ll post some of our questions below here…)

[SEE previous Cecil Times report on the endorsement, and GOP fallout from it, here: http://ceciltimes.com/2014/10/cecil-county-exec-tari-moore-breaks-gop-ranks-to-support-democrat-in-howard-county-exec-race-republicans-conservative-uproar/ ]

In her post, Moore said she was “shocked and appalled to read the comments regarding my endorsement of Courtney Watson, who is running for County Executive in Howard County. Shocked, because I doubt any of you have even met Courtney, let alone worked with her as I have. Appalled, because judgment was passed without knowing any facts.”

Moore and Watson, who has served two terms on the Howard County Council, have worked together in a women’s leadership group of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO). Moore is the Secretary of the state organization, which represents leaders of county governments statewide.

Watson is running against state Sen. Allan Kittleman, a lawyer and former Republican minority leader in the state Senate, who has steered a more moderate and independent course within his party. He has served in the Senate since 2004 and previously served two terms on the Howard County Council.

Moore wrote that she was impressed with economic development and job creation in Howard County and suggested that her support of Watson would give her “insight” on that county’s progress and “position Cecil County to share in their economic successes.” She did specify how the achievements of distant Howard County—with higher incomes and educational levels than most Cecil residents, sophisticated infrastructure including a special fiber optic broadband network, and large employers—could filter northward to Cecil County.

In Howard County, Moore cited creation of 12,000 private sector jobs in the past five years, “more than any other Maryland jurisdiction,” because “They focus on technology, 3D manufacturing and growing new business at their Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship. Clearly, they’re doing something right. Not only do I want more insight on how and what they’re doing, I want to position Cecil County to share in their economic successes.”

The Cecil County executive reiterated the well-known problems Cecil faces in attracting business and jobs, such as proximity to Delaware’s more business-friendly regulatory and tax environment. And she noted that without “a viable and growing economic base, the tax burden on families will only increase, and eventually Cecil County will fail to be able to provide our most basic services. As County Executive, I need every tool in the tool box to ensure Cecil County will be equipped for the future.”

Moore also defended jumping into a distant county’s local election contest because to do her best for Cecil County, “I can’t sit on the sidelines or work in a political silo. Working with people from all sectors and political parties is the only way you can get things accomplished.”

Many critics of Moore’s cross-party endorsement of a Democrat have focused on Watson’s endorsement by liberal groups and her positions in favor of abortion rights and stricter regulation of guns. Moore pointed out that such issues are not “relevant” to the job of a county executive.

But other critics, including some fellow Republicans and independents who supported Moore’s candidacy for County Executive, have been puzzled why she would interject herself into a distant political campaign, especially when the GOP candidate, Sen. Kittleman, is well-known and respected in his own party and among independents. And some worried about potential negative fallout for Cecil County from Moore’s action, especially if her chosen candidate loses.

Kittleman is running a strong campaign despite having only half as much campaign money on hand as the Democrat. In the latest campaign finance reports to the state Board of Elections, Watson was sitting on a campaign bank balance of $644,243 while Kittleman had $308,865 going into the final phase of the election season.

Kittleman has openly sought independent and Democratic voters to support him, and many have in endorsements of his candidacy. Watson has been endorsed by top level state and federal Democrats but the only recognizable Republican elected official endorsing her has been Moore, although Moore is largely unknown in Howard. But Watson cited the Moore endorsement during a recent candidate debate as evidence that she could work across party lines.

Since Moore is not taking questions from the press on the matter, we’ll post some questions here in case she changes her mind, or if citizens want to pose some of these questions to her directly.

Q: Before endorsing Watson, did you talk with Sen. Kittleman about his views on economic development and how he might assist Cecil County if he wins the Howard County election? (On his website, Kittleman says that “economic development means one thing: create jobs” and he favors tax credits to promote business investment in the county.)

Q: Ken Ullman, the outgoing Howard County Executive, (who is now running for Lt. Governor on the Democratic ticket with Anthony Brown for Governor) has been in office throughout your tenure as Cecil County Executive. Since the job creation you cite was done on his watch, did you ask him for “insight” in how his success might translate to Cecil County’s far different economic and infrastructure climate? Wouldn’t his “insight” be more valuable than that of someone who has not held the top post?

Q: Howard County is the hub of an eight-county high speed broadband network on the Western Shore, the Inter-County Broadband Network, that is headed by Ullman, who also took the lead in developing the network which is widely credited for attracting business and jobs to that area. In contrast, Cecil County has limited and often unreliable broadband services.

A recent Cecil County taskforce appointed by the County Council offered multiple suggestions on how to enhance high speed Internet services here, including re-allocation of about $740,000 from cable TV franchise fees into a special fund to promote broadband expansion—instead of dumping it into the general fund as it is now. The County Council forwarded the report to you but so far we’ve heard nothing about any plans you have to act on the recommendations. Are you willing to invest those resources in local broadband expansion or do you think that somehow Howard County’s investment on the Western Shore would aid Cecil County on the Eastern Shore?

Q: Howard County has a western area that is preserved for agriculture but most of the county is residential and hosts large businesses and institutions. Cecil County is largely rural and agriculture is a key factor in the local economy. Since Sen. Kittleman and his father operated a fruit and vegetable farm for many years, did you solicit his “insight” on how agriculture and economic development could co-exist productively here?

Q: Did you consider how your crossing party lines to endorse a distant Democrat might impact Cecil County Republicans who are on the election ballot this year, especially the GOP candidates for County Council? Some of the critics of your endorsement have been supporters of your own past candidacy and some of the current Council candidates. Are you concerned about potential political fallout, such as some local Republicans staying home or not casting ballots at all in the Council races?

Q: If Larry Hogan wins the gubernatorial race, as most Republicans hope, might there be negative political fallout for Cecil County from your endorsement– since Sen. Kittleman is a Hogan-like independent on many issues? Might a Republican administration in Annapolis be wary of doing any favors for the county whose GOP executive opposed a Republican candidate with many views similar to Hogan?

Q: Why are you claiming that some “economic development” benefits might come Cecil County’s way from your endorsement of the Democrat, Watson? If she is a good friend and personal ties are the real reason, why not just say so?

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14 Responses to Cecil County Exec Moore ‘Shocked’ at Dissent on Support of Dem in Howard Co Exec Race; Claims Cecil Benefits from Distant Ally

  1. David P. Neff on October 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    She is full of chutzpah if she thought she could get away with endorsing a progressive democrat and not get any criticism from conservatives.

  2. Rick on October 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    “Shocked” are you? No doubt, you will never get over Paris.

  3. Jerry R. Roope on October 23, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Howard County is so far geographically removed from Cecil County, so how does Executive Moore feel as though Cecil would receive any benefit to job creation in Howard County? If it’s the “business model” that she wants to follow, then in spite of Ms. Watson’s job creation claims, how does either she or Executive Moore expect to gain Maryland jobs, via small business initiatives, when the liberal Democrat agenda is siphoning off Maryland’s top job leading Fortune 500 companies, at a record pace? Take the recent decision by the Beretta Corporation, for example. Ms. Watson’s political ally, Senator Brian Frosh, lead the O’Malley’s “no gun” policy in Maryland, to the point where Beretta has pulled up its businesses and many of its jobs and moved them to gun friendly VA and TN. One move like that can wipe out an entire lifetime full of small business growth at the county level.

    If Executive Moore wants to break the gridlock, failing Cecil County’s job growth creation, she needs to:
    – Get her hands on the Bainbridge Project and use that land to entice either a branch of the University of Maryland, or a government contractor, in support APG to put down roots there.

    – Work with the major utilit companies to get: natural gas, water, sewer, and high speed internet brought down the entire length of I-95/Route 40 corridor.

    – Petition the State, DEMANDING that they remove their economic chokehold on Cecil County, to the point of public disobedience, if necessary, to remove the exhorbitant tolls imposed on the “Island of Ceciltucky” that requires tolls to get into and out of.

    – Work with the University of Delaware, to see how Cecil County can partner their technology center, with APG, and locate it in Cecil County.

    – Work with the University of Delaware’s Marine Biology Department on possibilities of establishing a center in Cecil County to study the Chesapeake Bay.

    – Utilize the fact that Cecil County is located half way between Baltimore and Philadelphia, with passenger and freight rail service, as well as Route 40 and Interstate 95, to serve as a MAJOR distribution hub for transportation companies.

    Endorsing a dyed in the wool liberal Democrat who knows how to start a small business custom donut bakery? Pishah– especially given the liberal Democrats track record of such, in Maryland.

    If that’s the best Executive Moore can do to spawn economic growth, then it is time for her to go.

    • RDF 001 on October 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Didn’t you move to PA? Why not try to solve their problems?

      • Jerry Roope on October 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

        Can’t leave a name?

        Yes, I moved to Pennsylvania, Lancaster County in fact. “Home of the free, because of the brave”. We don’t have problems.

        We do get Cecil County candidate election signs up here, so I only find it fitting. Yes, I see campaign signs, from Cecil County, like near Maplehofe’s Dairy, where they serve all natural ice-cream and on the way Good’s, in Quaryyville, where they have a little bit of everything and everyone is soooo friendly. Seems like Ceciltuckians long to be free.

        I used to come back, just to go to the Northeast Wal-Mart, until I discovered the one in Oxford. You know, the clean, peaceful one. We did have a traffic jam, however, a few weeks ago. A pickup clipped an Amish horse and knocked it down in the middle of the road. The horse is O.K., it tied up traffic four cars deep!

        As for our local govenment, I don’t even know who they are, nor do I care to. From what I understand, they deal primarily with road issues, as everyone else seems to deal with their own personal issues. Then again, haven’t had any. Life is great, here in Lancaster County!

        • RDF 001 on October 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

          So I guess you no longer need a concealed carry permit.

          • Jerry Roope on October 25, 2014 at 7:55 am

            Still hiding your identity? I don’t blame you.

            Although I never mentioned a LTCF, I do posess one, for times when I leave Southern Lancaster County, or people who don’t know how to behave themselves,enter. Take the other day, for example, when a Ceciltuckian allegedly shot his girlfriend in the face, ran up to Cecil Community College and tried carjacking an innocent couple, and then was apprehended in Nottingham, PA, near the Herr’s Potato Chip factory. My wife were supposed to be over that way that morning, but do to a last minte change of mind, went elsewhere.

            Here’s a challenge for you, if you want to jump on the anti-2A bandwagon, venture down to the 1000 block of Eager Street, in Baltimore. Daylight, at night, I don’t care, just go alone and on foot, and since you apparenly live in Maryland, go unarmed. Let me know how you want to be remembered, before you go.

          • Harold McCanick on October 26, 2014 at 9:17 pm

            Jerry, …you don’t have to go all the way to Baltimore or even Philly. You can go to York or Lancaster city and get the same treatment.

  4. Lisa Markey on October 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    LOVE the questions that Mrs. Moore does not want to answer! The questions clarified a lot of points for me. Thanks, Cecil Times.

  5. Kelly Frost on October 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Again, I have to pick my jaw up off the floor…

  6. Jeannette H on October 24, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I am not surprised. Since she has been elected, Tari Moore has changed her spots so to speak. There is no transparency in her administration and she is only out for what it will get Tari Moore in the State, not the County. Won’t get my vote next time around for whatever position she is eyeing in 2016. She’s just another clone of the three Amigos.

    • Politics for Dummies on November 4, 2014 at 10:59 am

      I could not agree with you more, Jeannette! It has become crystal clear that Tari Moore has a personal agenda and will use Cecil County supporters as mere stepping stones. She needs the same message that has been sent to Broomell and Dunn — buh bye!

  7. RDF 001 on October 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Jerry Roope: I’m not anti- 2nd Amendment. Just wondered why you need a carry permit in such a secure environment. I invite you to visit a comparable inner-city neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. Feel free to carry your peashooter. Much of the Heroin entering Cecil County comes from PA.

    • Jerry Roope on November 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      RDF001, my Second Amendment Right has NOTHING to do with this discussion and everything to do with you trying to divert from the subject. It matters not where the heroin is coming from, as just as much of it comes from Baltimore, as do other drugs. The question is, what is Executive Moore doing about it? Other than Executive Moore providing lip service, I’ve seen nothing. Perhaps you can refocus and provide me examples of her accomplishments?

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