Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks, Adam

I want to extend a public thanks to Adam Pagnucco for the tremendous work he has done on Maryland Politics Watch over the last several years. Adam's role in MPW grew steadily since he began putting up the occasional post and he took over as the primary blogger--accounting for the vast majority of posts--after I won election to the Chevy Chase Town Council.

Thanks to his amazing effort combined with sharp, witty and well-researched pieces, the readership of MPW rose exponentially under his leadership. Unlike on many blogs, Adam's pieces were not mere regurgitation of articles from the mainstream media but based on time-consuming data collection along with screen shots of web pages that politicians learned to dread.

Adam raised the profile of numerous issues from Costco subsidies to the tough choices that the County and the State face regarding transportation. He skewered politicos with the best of them but also found time to praise the gutsy and help bring to light new ideas that deserved a broader audience.

I didn't always agree with Adam. Occasionally, I disagreed strongly with his calls as he did with mine. However, I always knew that Adam came at politics with a deep commitment to practical solutions to real problems and little patience for the silly, the sanctimonious, or the stupid.

Adam is now getting the opportunity to leap to the other side of the fence and rightly concluded that he cannot blog independently while serving as incoming Councilmember Hans Riemer's Chief of Staff. I have no doubt he'll bring a lot to the position and learn a lot as well.

MPW's loss is hopefully not just Hans's gain but Montgomery's as well. Adam, we'll all miss you and the verve you brought but wish you all the best in your new job. You're going to need it with the tough calls headed your way down the Pike.

And heck, it can only lead to more great writing at some point in the distant future. If anyone can "Backstairs at the County Council in Rockville"--surely the most deadly book title since Mordecai Richler gave that award to "Canada: Our Friendly Neighbor to the North"--a bestseller years from now, it will be Adam!

Thanks, buddy.