Christopher ShankThere has been much ink spilled on the dynamic of primary elections between conservative Republican challengers and moderate incumbents on a national level. However, there is much less attention directed towards these state legislator battles. Well, western Maryland Republicans are in the midst of a classic RINO vs conservative primary contest. State Sen. Donald Munson has represented Hagerstown and Washington County in Maryland's 2nd district for decades. He has amassed quite a liberal voting record during his tenure, and his constituents have had enough. State Delegate Christopher Shank is the conservative who is challenging Munson for the Senate seat next month.
Shank is a young, rising conservative star who is currently the House Minority Whip. He has been a leader on conservative issues such as crime, spending, and illegal immigration. Much to the chagrin of old party leaders, Shank has launched an impassioned grassroots campaign with the support of the tea party, in the hope of finally unseating this old bull of liberal Republican politics.
The contrast between the candidate's websites cannot be more vivid. Shank is running a purely substantive, issues based campaign in which he articulates solid principles on his campaign site. Shank details his plans on red meat issues like crime, taxation, spending, and illegal immigration. He also calls for the adoption of an Arizona style immigration law, mandating the use of E-verify, and ending the policy of sanctuary cities.
Donald Munson, on the other hand, does not have a single issue position paper on his website. In fact, his exclusive selling point is his many years of experience in Annapolis, in which he got along well with Democrats. The only issue he brings up is the fact that he got nine bills passed during last session, while Shank succeeded in passing none. Think about that for a moment. He is bragging to Republican primary voters that his legislation passed a legislative body that is controlled by the Democrats 105-36!
Keep in mind that the Democrats in Annapolis are even more radical than those in DC (if that's even possible). He is so out of touch that he believes that his support for Democratic budgets and programs are superior to Shank's principled conservative opposition to them. Munson is even endorsed by radical PG County rep. Ulysses Currie, and he posts it on his website! According to the Baltimore Examiner, he is supported by Senate President Mike Miller too. Munson is also endorsed by the local branch of the ultra left AFSCAME. Shank on the other hand, is endorsed by Citizens for Jessica's Law for his sponsorship of the 2007 bill clamping down on sex offenders. It is that type of legislation that Shank fights for.
Now let's take a look at the legislation that Munson supports. In 2009, Munson voted for the Democrat's annual budget, which happened to contain over a million dollars in funding for Casa De Maryland. This is a criminal organization that aides and abets illegal aliens and lobbies for their welfare in the state of Maryland. Munsin originally defended his vote on the rationale that he was supporting the fiscal budget as a whole, but would have voted against a separate funding bill. The problem is that there was a separate vote. As the Hagerstown Herald-Mail points out, conservative star Sen. Andy Harris offered a floor amendment to strike out the Casa funding from the budget. It turn out that Munsin was the only Republican to vote against that amendment. Besides, he shouldn't be voting for their socialist budget anyway. Finally, Munsin conceded that "I just screwed up". Well, in that case it is time for you to retire, Mr Munsin.
The bottom line is that Munsin represents everything that is wrong with the establishment GOP. Munsin is like the Robert Michel's of the Republican Party, who were happy to get along with the Democrats as long as they kept their own seat. Chris Shank wants to fight the socialist agenda and return the Republicans to some level of power. There is simply no reason why we should elect liberal Republicans from conservative counties. It is time for the failed leadership of the past to move on and usher in an era of red meat conservatives with fire in the belly to fight the leftists at every turn.
Meanwhile, Munson has received six times more in campaign contributions than Shank, much of it from liberal special interests. Let's help Chris Shank lead a new generation of conservatives and retire this RINO.