The Marylandian Candidate....Who deals in hyperbole and hype?? ...part two of two ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Marylandian Candidate....Who deals in hyperbole and hype?? ...part two of two

 Part two of two....continued from yesterday in which we unravel the story behind the story in a conservative publication that claims there is a national Democratic Party conspiracy to prop up a candidate for statewide office in Maryland.....[Correction from yesterday. According to Judd Legum, Hyman may live in District 30 and I said he lived in Baltimore based on information available to me. I have written to Hyman asking for some information but  have not received a response yet]

Hyman delves further and reports that, “In a website posting, Legum engages in campaign sleight-of-hand in reporting the number of his in-district donations by counting the same donors multiple times who gave on more than one occasion. He does the same in reporting the number of contributions of $100 or less. Several donors gave amounts up to $100 on multiple occasions. D.C. was the source of Legum's biggest out-of-state campaign haul with nearly one-in-three of all campaign dollars raised (nearly $19,000), which was about the same amount of money he raised from the entire state of Maryland. “

Hyman also faults Legum for accepting donations from his in-laws, but that’s just plain silly. Does he think they are trying to buy influence? He married their daughter for gosh sakes!

Now here is where Hyman starts to really make some sense, after showing how Maryland has long been dominated by the Democratic Party he writes that “Legum offers more of the Maryland Democrat party's same-old, same-old. His positions are the typical liberal slogans about creating ‘renewable energy’ jobs, ‘standing up to powerful special interests,’ ‘closing corporate tax loopholes’ and ‘invest[ing] in workforce education.’ He doesn't campaign on cutting spending, lowering taxes or reducing the size of government, which would actually represent ‘fresh thinking’ in Annapolis."

Hyman adds that “Legum is running against Delegate Ron George, a longtime Annapolis business owner, whose experience in private industry places him in a very small minority of Maryland elected officials. In contrast, Legum would join the legions of trial lawyers who already dominate the General Assembly. “

Hyman may be correct about trial lawyers, but I’m not exactly impressed with Republican “fresh thinking” or his attacks on Legum. It just bothers me that Hyman is so dogmatic and predictably right-wing and if you really look into it, Maryland has always fared pretty well economically and for providing a good quality of life, education, environmental protection, civil rights and generally good government. Yes, Maryland is a good place to live and a well governed state for the most part. People argue back and forth whether it is pro-business or anti business just as they argue about whether we are heavily taxed or not. I think the truth is in the middle, but middle-truths don't seem to appeal to dogmatic types. [For a good analysis, see Nick Soh'rs piece at: ]

Speaking of not appealing to dogmatic types, he then gets into the global warming debate. Here is where Hyman is waaaay off base with some real hot air, and this was written July 7th, just about when the British study was released about the so-called email hoaxes about global warming which essentially discredits those who wished to discredits the "alarmist" scientists. So here goes Hyman again saying, “This spring, Legum took a shot at George underscoring that Legum is still on the man-made global warming bandwagon that was totally discredited with the revelation last year that nearly all of the critical data promoted by global warming enthusiasts was doctored.”

Uhh, excuse me Mr. Hyman, but that so-called hoax never discredited anything in the first place and there was that recent British study I just mentioned above. My recollection of the details of that “shot at George” are sketchy but hey, the jury is in and has been in on this major, global challenge and you, like the other nattering, naysayers are simply wrong. Global climate change and global warming is happening. It’s as much a conspiracy as is your fear-mongering "descent of Clinton heavy-lifters into Annapolis." Hyman’s piece also appeared as the East Coast suffered under record high temperatures for days on end while June was the second hottest on record. The hot air seems to be coming from Hyman.

But he ends his piece on a weirder note. “The grooming of the young Judd Legum may give rise to speculation of how history would have been altered had Barack Obama lost his first race for political office in 1996.”

Uhhh......yeah. So Hyman has it all figured out. National Democratic figures descend into Annapolis to prop up a candidate for state office so he can run for president one day. Was Hyman just being cute or coy? In one fell-swoop he manages to discredit and poke jabs at so many people and events as to almost baffle one’s mind but to somehow suggest that Obama is fake and Legum fake and something is going on in Maryland’s capital that is similar to what Hyman claims went on in Chicago or Springfield is, well preposterous.

As a local insider, what I find so disturbing is that Cohen and Legum seem to have so much in common and truly are part of what may be a larger Maryland Democratic political machine. They are both young, bright and politically ambitious and connected. Legum’s father is an Annapolis-based lawyer. Cohen’s father is a retired professor and his mother is a lawyer. They each attended the same fancy private school in Annapolis. Legum served as chair of one of Cohen’s transition teams. Cohen also raised huge amounts of money mainly from outside the city and even from outside the state. Hyman wrote that “Judd Legum is more than just another young and telegenic trial lawyer seeking elected office in a state that may be the bluest in the nation.” He could have described Cohen in almost the same light except that Cohen is not a trial lawyer. Perhaps we need to be looking closer to home rather to Washington?

The fact that Legum gets a lot of outside money is disturbing, but golly gee Mr. Hyman, do you really think your right-wing pals don’t do the same thing? What we really need is campaign finance reform, but Legum says he is refusing PAC money and he has countered that he has support from within Maryland and the district, so what do you have to say about that?

I don’t think there’s much going on in Maryland’s 30th District that really requires conservatives to perk up their ears and take notice. In case anyone is interested, in addition to Busch and George, the third member of the delegation is a popular, but also long-serving liberal and strong environmentalist named Virginia Claggett and the senator from that district, John Astle is a combat veteran as is Hyman as well as a helicopter pilot who happens to be a hunter. Unlike Hyman, he is a moderate. Perhaps that’s why he continues to get elected in Maryland, a state that also has a long history of electing moderate Republicans such as Charles Mathias, Gilbert Gude, Connie Morella and Wayne Gilchrest. It's also had its share of leading conservatives and even Republican figureheads such as Bob Bauman, Marjorie Holt and Spiro Agnew some years back, but those are different stories, and Hyman would have certainly ignored bad news about Bauman or Agnew because in his world, Democrats and liberals are bad, and conservatives, Republicans are all good and Maryland is a bastion of liberal Democrats--it's too BLUE!

Is this simply a story about Legum who Hyman derided for being a “research director”, or is Hyman part of the story as well? Hyman’s own web-site self-describes his style saying “His factual examination of current events empowers people who want to explore the reality of a situation. This approach also confounds his critics who often deal in hyperbole and hype.”

Indeed. Yes. I am confounded but isn't it Hyman who is dealing in hyperbole and hype? If you read any of his writings at The American Spectator, well, go and see for yourself. Irony rules modern politics again.

Read Hyman's piece in the American Spectator piece at .

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Will Small said...

Good piece CP. Hope Mr. Hyman responds.

Paul Foer said...

Yeah...has not happened yet...thanks

Bruce said...

Hyman and especially Brian Griffiths are not discussing anything but are executing a methodical political hit on Judd Legum, whom both progressives and regressives have identified as a rising star due to his national political resume.

Of course someone who has had a very successful early career outside of Maryland in politics will have people who want to donate to him. Yawn. If my cousin or my former co-worker were running for the Illinois House of Representatives, and I agreed with 80% of her positions, I would write a check if I had the cash.

Team Red is worried about a future Congressman Legum and so they are hitting him early. Griffiths is a professional Republican operative and, I believe, paid for his duties (though if I am wrong let him correct me.) He's a "button man" in the language of the best movie ever made, The Godfather. This is not to suggest Legum walks on water or should be immune at all from scrutiny or tough criticism.

Paul Foer said...


I am bending my rule again....because your letter is clear, well-reasoned and fair...and because I suspect I know which Bruce you are. Thanks very much but please, fully identify yourself. You could be Judd Legum for all we know, or anyone--and what's fair about that? But thanks again. ACP

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