CECIL CHATTER: Cozy Times on Harris, Hornberger Campaign Trail; Andy Builds Political List, Danielle Trolls for Donors

December 19, 2019


It was hardly a surprise when Rep. Andy Harris (R-1) voted against both articles of the impeachment resolution against President Trump in the US House on Wednesday (12/18/2019), since he had opposed the process from the outset and holds a staunch pro-Trump voting record. So it might seem a bit surprising that he would solicit constituent’s views on the matter in a Facebook “poll” and a telephone robocall just a few days before the House vote—could a possible pro-impeachment outcome perhaps change his mind?

Little danger of that, it seems, since the methodology bore no resemblance to any standard of legitimate poll-taking in the real world. The 12/16/19 telephone robocall, voiced initially by Harris, asked listeners to register whether they opposed, “strongly opposed,” supported or “strongly supported” impeachment. But respondents were subsequently told by another voice that their vote would not be recorded unless they agreed to provide their email address and agreed to receive Harris’ newsletter. If the listener declined to do so, the call was terminated without registering the individual’s opinion.

Then Harris posted a similar “poll” on Facebook, but this time the personal information demands were even more intrusive: to have your opinion included in the “poll” you had to provide your full name, address—even to the extent of the extra four digit zip code extension that precisely targets your location—and of course your email address. If you declined to provide your personal information, your “vote” was not recorded.

(The Facebook poll was posted on his official congressional page, while the robocall listed the phone number for one of his official district offices, in Bel Air, rather than his political campaign committee.)

Would many people who supported impeachment readily give their most personal information to the ardently anti-impeachment Harris? Would they do so especially since the “poll” contained no information about how such personal information might be used, or shared with others, in the future?

Political Science 101 teaches that the sampling standards in a poll are the key to its accuracy, but the Harris “polls” didn’t even pay lip service to legitimate polling procedures. Within hours of the impeachment vote, Harris was back on social media, boasting about his “poll” that “The results are in. With 60% of the vote, Maryland’s 1st District opposes impeaching President Trump. Proud to stand for my constituents and to defend the President!” (Actually, the chart accompanying his comment showed 58.8 percent agreeing with him. And since there was no substantive sampling methodology, the volunteered participation could hardly be considered representative of the entire, sprawling district.) ‬

Harris hardly needed “poll” confirmation that his district is overwhelmingly Republican and pro-Trump: just look at the last general election results and the Republican voter registration numbers in the gerrymandered 1st. So what did Harris get out of his “polls?” A precisely targeted map and list of the most pro-Trump citizens. Very handy in future election campaigns—he could even use a drone to drop campaign literature, thanks to those extra four-digit zip codes.

But Harris doesn’t really need it. He is sitting on over $800,000 in his re-election campaign warchest and so far, there are three unknown candidates seeking to challenge him—including one who doesn’t even live in the district.

So who might benefit from such a targeted bulls-eye list? Anyone we know? Anyone else that Harris is supporting in the 2020 elections? Anyone who has made loyalty to Trump a litmus test of her candidacy for a local office?

Keep reading.



Danielle Hornberger, a part-time constituent services worker for Andy Harris who is seeking the Republican nomination for Cecil County Executive in the 2020 primary election, has been tapping into Harris’ Republican political network in wealthy areas far from Cecil County.

Sources told CECIL TIMES that the Harris-Hornberger team have been hitting up wealthy Republicans in the Montgomery County suburbs of Washington, DC and other areas of the state to contribute to her Cecil County campaign. Prime targets include people who owe Harris some political favors.

Hornberger also posted a photo of herself at a recent gathering with Republican women in Potomac, one of the wealthiest suburbs in the state, at the Avenel golf club, where initiation and membership fees probably exceed the mortgages on many Cecil County homes.

Harris almost single-handedly financed the first political campaign by Danielle H’s husband, state Del. Kevin Hornberger (R-35), through various Political Action Committees and donors tied to Harris.

Danielle Hornberger is also trolling for money with email alerts, portraying herself as a victim who was being “viciously attacked” by “anti-Trump, anti-Andy Harris” forces, and pleading for online donations. She has also set up an invitation- only “mommy’s group” on social media, where moms looking for tips on where to buy the cheapest diapers will get a full political campaign pitch.

Her closer to home travels included a recent holiday open house in the town of Cecilton, where she advised organizers that she was attending as a representative of Harris. After greeting and chatting with the legendary Miss Becky—the town’s centenarian, former Elkton teacher and beloved goodwill ambassador—Hornberger then whipped out and donned a bright tee shirt emblazoned with her campaign logo and message, according to several sources who attended the event. She then spent the rest of the evening in full campaign mode.

House rules require that any political campaign activity by a staffer must be done on an employee’s personal time and at personal expense.

Hornberger’s other travels included a trip to Hershey, PA to attend a recent Trump rally. Upon her return, she posted a video on her campaign social media page declaring that she is firmly “on the Trump train” and demanded that any candidate for local elected office in Cecil County must pledge full allegiance to Trump. Anyone who does not do so, she said, can be assumed to be a supporter of “liberal economic policies of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or even Bernie Sanders.” (So far we haven’t heard any of them weigh in on Cecil County potholes or the county’s School of Technology.)

Meanwhile, local voters who were looking for specific Cecil County-centric issue positions—such as spending levels for the public schools’ budget– won’t find them on Hornberger’s campaign communications thus far. She says she will “rollback” taxes but does not specify how she would balance the budget, between spending and revenues, as required by the county Charter.

And details on her work experience and education are sparse. No listing of degrees from colleges or universities, no evidence of experience managing a large workforce of hundreds of employees or fiscal skills running a multi-million dollar budget or business—all qualifications normally associated with a County Executive position.

Better get out that drone drop-off list to target the choir.

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