Friday, February 19, 2010

Heather Mizeur Thanks Red Maryland

Heather Mizeur (D-20) is one of the state's most progressive Delegates and a Democratic National Committee Member to boot. And yet, she is thanking conservative blog Red Maryland. Yes folks, you read that correctly!

Mizeur's gratitude originates with a Red Maryland post by Mark Newgent pointing out that she had an active ActBlue account that was currently available for fundraising. State legislators are prohibited by state law from raising money during the general session. Mizeur sent this comment to Red Maryland:

I want to thank Mark Newgent on Red Maryland for noticing that my ActBlue page was still set up to accept contributions. Unfortunately, he made two bad assumptions – first, by assuming that I knew; and second, by assuming that I was fundraising during the legislative session.

In fact, I didn’t know, and there has not been any fundraising during the session. I had ActBlue take down the page immediately, and here’s the rest of the story.

If it seems odd that mine was the only ActBlue account still active, it is. Their team habitually deactivates the accounts of elected General Assembly members while allowing non-elected candidates to keep raising. They’re not sure why mine remained active, but they took it down within minutes of realizing their mistake.

More importantly, there were no actual funds raised through ActBlue during the legislative session or – as it turns out – ever. We set up an ActBlue account in the summer of 2009, in anticipation of launching my new website. But we went back to the drawing board on the website, and we’ve never either directed anyone to our ActBlue page nor received a single contribution there. Not one.

On the other hand, about a dozen people have tried to contribute after the General Assembly session started – totaling more than $1,500 in late-arriving checks – and each donation was immediately returned.

It’s the essence of an open and transparent government: citizens point out an oversight, and it gets fixed. And then there’s accountability: the buck stops with me and I take responsibility for the oversight.

So here I am: a blue Democrat sending a thank you to Red Maryland.
Lord Almighty! Conservative blogger Mark Newgent has one of Montgomery County's most prominent progressives thanking him. What will the state's knuckle-dragging Neanderthals think of him now? We predict he will never live it down!