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ELECTION 2022 Bohanan campaign moola and leftist Democrat Crosby’s race hustling may push Republican Deb Rey back into the House of Delegates
BY KEN ROSSIGNOL
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
LEXINGTON PARK, MD. – A rematch of a race for one of the delegate seats in St. Mary’s County is cranking up to determine if former Delegate Deb Rey will retake the seat from leftwing Democrat Brian Crosby, who beat her in 2018.
Lurking in the race is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, former Delegate John Bohanan. With his wife Mary, he provided the political know-how to avenge his loss to Deb Rey in 2014 when voters voted to end the Dyson-Bohanan lock on St. Mary’s County politics. Delegate Rey left herself open for having her political career come to a screeching halt by flailing around Annapolis preaching conservative politics and issues over which delegates have nothing to do with changing, such as the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Delegate Crosby has proven himself to be just as inept, even more so due to embracing radical causes. Both offer St. Mary’s County citizens in the California, Lexington Park, Great Mills, and the Valley Lee to Ridge areas very little reason to vote for either one. However, both are poised to be their respective political party candidates. Their essential difference lies in taxes. Crosby likes higher taxes, and Rey does not.
Former defense contractor and congressional aide John Bohanan was appointed to replace John Slade in the House of Delegates in 1999 when Delegate Slade was selected to be a District Court Judge. After winning elections from 2002 through 2010, Bohanan, also the senior advisor to U. S. Rep. Steny Hoyer since 1993, had changed from being a local representative to establishing a record commensurate with that of a delegate from Montgomery County. This change was evidenced when he abandoned his opposition to Maryland passing a same-sex marriage bill to being the deciding vote that passed the landmark law. “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman” was uttered by Bohanan in 2010 and changed to say that if one of his sons were to find same-sex marriage to be his way to express love, it was okay with him.
Bohanan morphed from being a commonsense representative of St. Mary’s County that was well connected with the defense contractor community and comfortable mixing with watermen and farmers to being ordained to take over from Speaker of the House Michael Busch.
Deb Rey screwed up that royal plan and sent Bohanan packing in 2014 when Marylanders voted in a GOP governor, Larry Hogan, to his first of two terms.
End of the Dyson-Bohanan Dynasty
Bohanan didn’t have far to fall as he parlayed his experience in Washington and Annapolis into the revolving door lobbying business and went to work with Cornerstone, a heavy hitter among lobbying firms. Bohanan quit his top job working for Rep. Steny Hoyer and now lists about two dozen large corporations among his clients at Cornerstone Government Affairs that he lobbies for and has influence.
Delegate Crosby’s campaign to oust Delegate Deb Rey in the 2018 election was guided and managed by Bohanan and his wife Mary, sister of former Congressman and Senator Roy Dyson, the other major political casualty of 2014.
Mary Bohanan worked for decades in the family building and lumber store in Great Mills and now is the events director for Historic St. Mary’s City. Her expertise at putting on fundraising events for her brother’s famously successful Spring Flings, Field Days both in Great Mills and on the Eastern Shore, which he also represented for ten years in the United States Congress, is proving to be very beneficial for Del. Brian Crosby.
There is something essential that the Bohanan’s have forgotten about politics. Mary’s background in running a small business and John’s in working as a staffer handling social security issues for constituents for Congressman Dyson in the district office in Waldorf were basic, down-to-earth life and finding solutions. When putting on campaign events for her brother Roy or John, fundraising events were the things of pulled pork and spaghetti.
One fundraiser Delegate John Bohanan held at the Bay District firehouse was an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner, and the price was free; make a donation of your choice. People packed the new banquet hall of the firehouse and loved seeing old county leaders such as Clerk of the Court Evelyn Arnold, seafood king Leonard Copsey, and Congressman Hoyer while scarfing up heaps of spaghetti cooked up by a team from the Seafarers School and Steve Gelrud in the new firehouse kitchen. Donations poured into the Bohanan campaign treasury, and Bohanan stayed well connected to the people of the district. He knew them, and they knew him until he dropped his moderate politics and leaped left to advance his career goal of power to be Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.
At the Dyson Field Day held for years at Great Mills, located behind the home of LeRoy and Marie Dyson, the fields were alive with people and flooded with parked cars and even buses bringing supporters from the Eastern Shore. The price of admission was never more than ten bucks, and people clamored to gather to talk politics, listen to local politicians from waterman David Sayre, Judge Phil Dorsey, Sen. Paul Bailey, environmentalist Jack Witten to state officials.
Such veteran elected officials from Gov. Marvin Mandel, Gov. Harry Hughes, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Comptroller Louie Goldstein, State Sen. Fred Malkus, Calvert Commissioner Barbara Stinnett, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, and even astronaut and U. S. Senator John Glenn all arrived at various events to entice the crowd and preach the virtues of Roy Dyson.
Key in the middle of all of this was Mary Dyson Bohanan, who made sure the Marie Dyson Stuffed Ham recipe cards were laid out on tables where folks signed in, dropped off checks, and penned their names on stick-on “Hello” labels. The legion of volunteers who cooked hams, roasted beef, and helped serve the ravenous crowds was directed and overseen by Mary Dyson Bohanan with the same efficiency that she ran the business operations of the family lumber yard.
As the 2022 election nears, the Bohanan’s are desperate to rally Democrats to the cause of keeping Crosby as their clone and operative in the Maryland House of Delegates. Crosby is as hard a sell as Deb Rey, maybe worse.
Crosby is hellbent to find a way to parlay race into a political future for himself where such a tactic has never been such a blatant move for a St. Mary’s County politician in the past. Crosby attempted to have a statewide ban imposed on how the St. Mary’s County Commissioners are elected at large and impose single-member districts. He claimed the current arrangement for the election of commissioners was created to dilute the votes of minority populations. Crosby’s perpetual ignorance of St. Mary’s County should be excused as he has only lived in the county for about ten years and spends all his time hanging around yahoos.
Why say that about this friendly, well-meaning young defense contractor?
Because of the race hustling Crosby is participating in evolves from the wingnuts of the Democratic Party like Janice Walthour and belies the truth of how the current at-large system was designed and who implemented it; the GOP leadership in St. Mary’s is too stupid to offer a rebuttal.
The road signs along Rt. 235 that the county and state erected after former State Senator J. Frank Raley Jr, kicked the bucket, proclaiming him to be the ‘Founder of Modern St. Mary’s. Until a tractor-trailer spins out and wrecks that silly sign, it will remain as an example of pandering politicians and the power to order the State Highway Commission to erect a sign. In fact, it was Senator J. Frank Raley in the background, the late Speaker of the House and Circuit Court Judge John Hanson Briscoe, and the all-Democrat Board of St. Mary’s County Commissioners that approved and saw to it that the local legislation passed in the General Assembly the present form of county commissioner elections. This is how elections have been followed since the board was expanded from three to five commissioners beginning with the 1974 election. Democratic Governor Marvin Mandel signed the law.
The late Democrat delegate James Manning McKay was also in the St. Mary’s County delegation to Annapolis and ran for and won as the first Commissioner President under the new system in 1974, serving one term. In 1994, McKay changed to Republican and lost his bid for the State Senate to Roy Dyson.
Delegate Crosby: this is who designed this racist system of county commissioner elections…
Yes, Delegate Brian Crosby, ‘the Man Created by Bohanan Revenge,’ the Democratic Party designed the racist system of electing county commissioners.
What a fluke it was for John Lancaster to run county-wide in 1986 and 1990 and win!
Maybe the voters never noticed that Sleepy John Lancaster was a black guy. But he did get a park built over the ruins of an old housing project named for him. Since Democrats made this racist system of elections, perhaps it is fitting that another Democrat should find a way to improve it.
The Crosby effort to have St. Mary’s County change to districts for commissioner elections fizzled when he failed to understand what the system does for Charles County, where three black Democrats are elected county-wide and compose the majority of the Commissioner Board, along with two white Democrats.
The Charles County Democrats stopped the ill-prepared and obviously never researched effort of Crosby in its tracks, and the Crosby bill failed. But the effort achieved what Crosby wanted: to find a way to capture the ‘racial justice’ movement and localize it to line up blacks in his district behind his campaign. Being politically illiterate, Crosby failed to recognize the blacks were already in his camp, and where in tarnation would they have gone anyway – to Deb Rey?
Crosby couldn’t even keep the president of the NAACP in his camp as William B. J. Hall changed his registration to Republican and filed for County Commissioner President for the 2022 GOP primary in June. Hall has cited the landscape he saw of ineffectual local liberal Democrats all bloviating about national political issues and not understanding the day-to-day life of problems and challenges of citizens of St. Mary’s County.
While Crosby and the leftist Democrats of the silly Democratic Central Committee couldn’t even keep the head of the NAACP in the fold of the loony Democratic Party, the departure of B. J. Hall exemplifies the distance between the real challenges of St. Mary’s County and the politicians. The latter are queuing up to be holding office.
Crosby hosted a meeting with State Highway engineers to discuss ‘fixing’ the traffic gridlock at Great Mills.
Fixing the intersectional quagmire of the Rt. 5/Rt. 246 confluence has long been ignored by Democrats. Liberals like to have intersectionality of other things; they don’t have a clue about real problems.
The Democrat majority board of Commissioners didn’t see the problem at Great Mills even though Democrat Commissioner Dan Raley, in office for three terms from 1998 to 2010, lived in Great Mills and represented Lexington Park.
Commissioner John Lancaster, a black Democrat, was elected county-wide twice and never woke up at a commissioner meeting to say that the county needs to get the State Highways folks to fix the gridlock at Great Mills.
Del. John Bohanan and Sen. Roy Dyson actually had a meeting with the SHA engineer and had him price out a solution that they held up in front of Dyson’s office that would have fixed the problem in 2002. They did nothing.
Sen. Dyson brought Baltimore Mayor and Gubernatorial candidate, Martin O’Malley to his front porch overlooking the gridlock in 2006, and neither of them did anything about the gridlock.
GRIDLOCK SOLOMON’S BRIDGE & GREAT MILLS: How officials have been ignoring the traffic tie-ups at the intersection of Rt. 5 and Rt. 246 for decades while Solomons Bridge may still be falling down; 301 bridge finally under construction
In 2021, Del. Crosby, at the video presentation on Facebook that he held about Great Mills traffic problems, was shocked to hear from the State Highway engineers that it takes two years just to move the utilities along Rt. 5 at Great Mills so the road can be widened. Crosby probably should have talked to the engineers off-camera to find out what the process involves with the road construction. The Route 235 expansion into Lexington Park took so long that some folks began making jokes about the Rt. 235 Dating Game as the workers spent time flirting in the middle of traffic tie-ups.
The construction process along Rt. 5 in Leonardtown is beginning to border on the ridiculous, especially since the way the highway gets wiped out at McIntosh Run during bad storms, there may be no point to it at all. Democrat County Commissioner Tommy Mattingly spent three terms in office and never produced a traffic light at the entrance to the hospital or Moakley Street.
Maryland’s snail pace progress is handicapped by leftist legislators enacting miniscule environmental rules that make a simple project like this one to widen only a section of Rt. 5 in the Walled City of Leonardtown take over four years…and is still not complete.
At the ribbon-cutting for the widening of Rt. 5 in Leonardtown at Moakley Street, Governor Larry Hogan excluded then-Senator Steve Waugh from wielding a shovel. That was the first public move to defeat that feckless and ineffective politician and replace him with Senator Jack Bailey. Bailey recently posted photos of him and fellow Republicans touring St. Mary’s County, and instead of viewing the traffic mess in Leonardtown, the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge, and the Great Mills Gridlock, he took them on a ‘windshield tour’ of the Walled City of Leonardtown and visited St. Mary’s City as if they were a busload of fourth-graders.
The gridlock at Great Mills mirrors the gridlock on Rt. 235 from the Naval Air Warfare Center north to Rt. 4 and over to the bridge over the Patuxent River. On January 8, 2022, Crosby posted on his Facebook page a photo of the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge over the Patuxent River at Solomon’s Island. Crosby linked him the name of another Delegate with this sentence: “Delegate Marc Korman, I appreciate you and your assistant taking a look at the bane of my existence. I look forward to legislation this upcoming session to mandate that SHA prioritize this important infrastructure project.”
Another Maryland Memory
If the gridlocked bridge bothers Crosby, this might be the first time anyone knew it, but he also posted that suicide netting should be installed under the bridge to prevent those who want to kill themselves from taking a dive. This type of knee-jerk politician displays total ignorance of those who experience mental health problems and the fact that the safety net they need starts long before they drive up onto the bridge to take a fatal dive—what a putz.
Crosby wants netting installed under the bridge to catch jumpers and next he will want fencing along all railroad tracks to keep people from walking in front of trains.
Of course, posting pandering photos on Facebook and brief tie-ins to him and any event in history is part of how Crosby approaches life as a politician.
Senator Roy Dyson’s five terms in the State Senate were filled with posturing about making the replacement of the two-lane bridge a priority. Yet, there it is, holding up traffic daily as the world spins through Republican and Democratic Governors in Maryland, and no progress is made.
That the bridge is now a political talking point for a productive and clueless politician like Crosby shouldn’t indicate that anything will be done to push a replacement bridge along unless the damn thing falls into the Patuxent. Which, it might.
In all fairness, Delegate Deb Rey’s pointless efforts in Annapolis never advanced the project either.
The FDR Blvd. from Shangri-la Drive at the entrance to the old ghetto housing across from the Bay District Firehouse in Lexington Park to Saint Andrews Church Road (Rt. 4), under the stewardship of both GOP and Democrat Boards of Commissioners, still is not complete even though it has been a priority transportation project of the mental midget politicians of St. Mary’s County for thirty long years.
Crosby ignores many things right under his nose, perhaps part of why B. J. Hall decided to become a black Republican and shed the useless mantle of being a black Democrat in St. Mary’s County politics.
Maybe B. J. Hall watched the Zoom Town Hall meeting that Crosby held on December 16, 2021, that was posted on his Facebook page. In the Town Hall presentation that Crosby conducted, one of the highlights of his pandering list of imperatives was his introduction of legislation to exempt diapers from the Maryland sales tax. One of the questions he fielded in the Zoom Town Hall was whether adult diapers would be exempted. It wasn’t clear if the question came from Joe Biden, but Crosby said it was a good question and he would consider amending his proposed bill. Crosby said the intention of the bill was to help struggling families raising children. It just depends.
One reason Crosby may have opted not to have his fundraiser held last October at the Bay District Firehouse was that his target audience was fancy folks with fancy wallets and appetites for fancy food and elite politics. Instead of an old hash slinger like Steve Gelrud dishing out big plates of spaghetti and meatballs to a boisterous crowd in the fire department social hall with a D.J. blaring out old country music tunes, the modern era of big-money politics took hold.
Historic St. Mary’s City Events Director Mary Bohanan worked out a cheap deal for Crosby to rent the Old State House at St. Mary’s City and put on the dog. Well, they really didn’t serve dog or hog; instead, the Crosby Campaign, designed and run by John and Mary Bohanan, hired a fancy Washington DC Democrat fundraiser to organize, scheme, and solicit money from all the wealthy unions, PACs, big insurance companies, fancy hotel executives and powerful Baltimore and Washington law firms that were available.
Crosby’s campaign got the Old State House for a mere $1323.20, brought in caterers for a dinner, and held a ‘Wine Down’ at Woodlawn Farm in Ridge.
The price of admission at the ‘Wine Down’ was $100 per person, and sponsors were sought and bought at prices ranging from $1,000 to $1500. The event was even advertised on the website of Schwartz, Metz, Wise & Kauffman PA in Baltimore. The fact that Crosby is on the House Economic Matters Committee was noted at the bottom of the free ad for Crosby’s Wine Down event held on October 3, 2021. The advertisement on the attorney’s website listed Shawn Flynn as the treasurer for the event. The campaign filings for the Crosby committee list Anne Marie Dailey as treasurer. Could there be a secret and non-public collection of Crosby Campaign Cash?
How would the entertainment be different at a Crosby fundraiser in the Old State House or the Wine Down at Woodlawn Farm? Instead of a DJ, Crosby would naturally have a person playing the violin or a harp. Costumed servers would wander around with silver platters filled with glasses of Wine—no red Solo cups filled with iced tea or lemonade for this crowd. Nope, no corny hunky-dory stuff like at the old Dyson and Bohanan fundraisers; this is a high-class event for a guy who might become Governor of Maryland.
The big political media has taken note of Crosby. One of them provided him space for a guest commentary to heighten his profile during the current session of the General Assembly. During the session, members are prohibited by law from fundraising; thus, the level of bloviating and pointless meandering in prose become the order of the day. In Maryland Matters, Crosby talked about a problem for the United States that he would solve by introducing a bill calling for the end of daylight savings time. He outlined all the pitfalls of having the time swing back and forth twice a year in about a thousand words.
Just like a broken clock being right twice a day, Crosby is absolutely correct. Just imagine, Maryland could join Indiana in having screwed-up schedules. A MARC train could leave Union Station in Washington, D.C., and get to Penn Station in Baltimore precisely the same time as it left D.C. High-speed rail is now accomplished, and we have the genius mind of Brian Crosby to thank for the fantastic progress that no other Maryland politician has been able to swing in modern history.
What problems of the Lexington Park area are being ignored by Crosby? Crime, murders, shooting, drug dealing, the ghettoization of Lexington Park. Clearly, Crosby is not the only elected official allowing this Crime and Decline of Lexington Park to continue and virtually destroy what was once a vital town.
Campaign finance report for Committee to Elect Brian Crosby
Committee to Elect Brian Crosby Campaign Finance Report filed on October 21, 2018