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Robocall drama heating up

December 20, 2010|By TIM ROWLAND | timr@herald-mail.com

So what's going on around here that we don't know about? Why is everyone abandoning ship? From the leader of county schools, to the leader of The Maryland Theatre, to the leader of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra — all of a sudden, the closest safe place to Washington County is Phoenix.

Was it something we said? Did someone wire Little Heiskell with plastic explosives?

Why would three of Washington County's best and brightest all of a sudden announce that they were leaving their posts ... as if they know something ... or did something ... or could provide information that ... or ... oh no.

Good heavens, could it have been the three of them who made the dirty campaign robocalls?

Perhaps that's why we kept getting those mechanical calls that said: "Hel-lo. Washington County Commissioner Kristin Aleshire wants to take your guns and poison your dogs. And don't forget to join the MSO for it's — Home for the Holidays' program on Dec. 18."

But now the state prosecutor is closing in, and despite what the thermometer reads these days, it's getting hot.

OK, back up. If you are not from around here, and you have stumbled across this column by mistake and are sitting there thinking, "What the ...?"

You have to understand, not a whole lot happens in Washington County; we have to take our drama where we can find it, and when a last-minute robocall went out prior to the election that seriously distorted and/or fibbed about a county commissioner's record - well, that's about as close as we'll ever get to a royal wedding.

To date, no one has claimed "credit" for the robocall, although there is evidence that some people — and the people who are protecting those people — are getting nervous.

The Washington County Republican Central Committee sent a letter to the state prosecutor saying that it would "welcome and solicit" an investigation into the robocall, which it claims it has nothing to do with.

Remember when you were 5 years old and you stole some of your mom's cookies and hid them in a closet? And then when your mom called you on it, you said in a loud, hurt voice, "You can search my room all you want."

I don't know if there's any correlation between the two, but that line in the letter to the prosecutor that read: "(I)f you find the circumstances to involve criminal mischief beyond simply commonplace errors of miscommunication and misunderstanding, we will of course support your efforts to hold people accountable to the law, be they of our Party or another Party" — well, if you read that line and did not immediately collapse on the floor in fits of laughter, you are a better person than I am.

"Be they of our Party or another Party?" Oh, those clever Democrats. It would be just like them to attack one of their last two remaining office holders above the level of Registrar of Orphans in an effort to make the Republican Central Committee look bad. Please, if you find a Democrat who's that smart, call my office.

And hey, what's a little "miscommunication" and "misunderstanding" among friends. Rep. Charles Rangel had the same problem.

Actually, that last statement is the one that I think everyone believes — it had always been the guilty parties' understanding that they wouldn't get caught.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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