Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Livesay's staying...for now...

County Executive James Robey and Police Chief Wayne Livesay got together yesterday to talk about the chief's future. Here's what went down...

Over fruit cup and eggs at an Ellicott City diner yesterday, Howard County Executive James N. Robey and Police Chief Wayne Livesay decided that Livesay will remain in office for at least several more months while he runs for County Council.

Robey said Livesay would leave his job as chief to campaign, but not until the Police Department completes a reaccreditation evaluation.

"I asked him to stay at least until accreditation is over," Robey said.

Honestly, could they have thought of a better place to do this than at a diner? That's perfect! Two cops -- one current, one former -- talking about life, politics, the future over eggs and fruit cups. You really couldn't script it any better.

Livesay's decision to run has opened up some rifts in the Republican machine.

County Councilman Charles C. Feaga, a western county Republican, has jumped firmly on Livesay's bandwagon, while state Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, who held the council seat for six years, is just as firmly behind Fox.

"I want someone to represent us who knows that section of the county," Feaga said. "[Livesay] went to school at Glenelg High with some of the farm kids out there. He knows [the area] so well, and he's very active in his church -- a religious person."

...Said Kittleman: "I don't think Wayne Livesay has much support in the party. The rank and file do not support Livesay. He's got a lot to answer for."

As I said yesterday, I'm not really concerned about a conflict of interest and I don't particularly care that Republicans are upset. But among bloggers in Howard County who talk about politics, I am in the minority. Both Howard County Blog #1 and David Wissing are concerned about Livesay less-than-solid commitment to the GOP. Here's Wissing's take:

What is also interesting is all the quotes from Democrats that I have seen recently, including in this article from current councilpeople Ken Ulman and Guy Guzzone, which are very favorable towards Livesay. In fact, I havenÂ’t seen one single negative comment from a Democrat about Livesay since he hinted he might run and it is almost like they are hoping he wins. That alone should make any Republican nervous. Since the district is overwhelmingly Republican, the only real way Livesay could win a general election is as a Republican. However, what would stop Livesay, should he get into office, from switching parties again back to the Democrats? Based on his past history and his publicly stated views on certain issues, absolutely nothing.

Because the district is so solidly conservative, it is certainly understandable that the county's Republicans want to see someone win who is going to toe the party line and not ally themself with the "other" side (e.g., councilman David Rakes). Although, it would be kind of poetic justice if Livesay won and that turned out to be the case.

No comments: