ELECTION 2022: Changing politicians is the only way to have accountability for clueless and feckless officials

Election 2022 Changing politicians is the only way to have accountability for clueless and feckless officials

By Ken Rossignol

Commentary on Politics

ANNAPOLIS, MD. – Several candidates have filed for State Senate seats in the Southern Maryland region with a GOP challenger to freshman Democrat Senator Arthur Ellis of Charles County; and three candidates to oppose freshman Democrat Senator Michael Jackson of P.G. and Calvert.  

What happens when fresh senators are obtained in the soiled laundry business of politics? Are they stuffed shirts with too much starch or simply wrinkled old shirts giving voters more rings around the collar when it comes to campaign promises?

Big shoes to fill

Senator Mike Miller in Chesapeake Beach Rod n Reel Democratic rally in 1998. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The two Democrats, both in their first terms in the Maryland Senate, mark the transition of the seats for the first time in decades due to the 2018 election loss of 6-term incumbent Sen. Thomas E. ‘Mac’ Middleton to Ellis and the resignation just before his death of Sen. Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller.  

While the political parties of the new replacement senators are the same as the officials they replaced, both senators are the first of their race to represent the respective areas in history, in one case and in decades in another.

Lawman Jackson Replaced Senator Mike Miller

Miller was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1970 from District 27, which at the time was confined to the Clinton area. Miller won a seat in the State Senate in 1974 and held it continuously as District 27 stretched down into much of Calvert County.

Miller expanded his politics to Calvert while building a home at the old Camp Theodore Roosevelt Scout Camp overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and opening a second location of his law firm in Dunkirk. Just as much of the white population of Prince Georges County got out of PG, Miller did the electric slide down Rt. 4 while retaining his Clinton region in his District due to the Democrat Party hold on the redistricting process every ten years.

Following fellow Prince George’s Senator Steny Hoyer, leaving the state senate to be the Democratic Primary running mate of then Acting Governor Blair Lee III in 1978, left a void. Mike Miller moved up to the leadership post of Judicial Proceedings Chairman in 1983 and 1987 as President of the Senate. The consummate politician, Miller held onto the job for nearly the rest of his life. He did this due to his ability and intellect. He kept track of the good he did for his District and was very effective at reminding voters.

 Mike Miller wasn’t the first senator representing Calvert County to be senate president.

Louis F. Goldstein served as president of the Maryland Senate from February of 1955 to 1958 when he was elected the Comptroller of Maryland. Sen. James Clark of District 14 in Howard County was senate president from 1979 to 1982 when Sen. Mickey Steinberg of District 11 took over until Miller was installed and Steinberg became William Donald Schaefer‘s Lt. Governor.  Miller set a record as the longest-serving state Senate president in the nation.

Selected by the Democrat Central Committees of Prince Georges and Calvert Counties to replace Miller, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan acted on the recommendations of Del. Michael Jackson to be the new senator in 2021.

Senator Jackson is not the first black to represent Calvert County in the Maryland Senate.   

Senator Aris T. Allen


Anne Arundel County physician and Republican delegate Aris T. Allen was appointed to replace Republican Senator Ed Hall of Calvert, Anne Arundel, who died of a heart attack in 1978.

Senator Allen was a Pilot in WWII, an Air Force Flight surgeon in the fifties, and maintained a private practice with his wife, a physician, in Anne Arundel.

Allen, a Republican, was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates from Anne Arundel County in 1966 and won another term in 1970. Allen became the chief of staff at Anne Arundel General Hospital. Allen was the first black to be appointed to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Thousands of motorists each day travel on the Aris T. Allen Blvd. (Md. Rt. 665) in the Parole area connecting Bay Forest Road to Route 50. Allen was honored with the highway named for him to recognize his efforts to reroute the highway connection away from wiping out a minority neighborhood.

Senator Allen represented Calvert and Southern Anne Arundel following his appointment by Acting Governor Blair Lee III in 1978. Allen was appointed to a post as a medical advisor in the Reagan Administration in 1981. In 1990, Allen ran again for the House of Delegates and won once more at the age of eighty. After winning the general election, he was diagnosed with cancer and committed suicide on February 8, 1991.



Senator Michael A. Jackson was first elected Sheriff of Prince Georges County in 2002 and reelected in 2006. In 2014, Jackson won a seat in the House of Delegates and served as a delegate until he was appointed in January of 2021 to serve out the term of Sen. Mike Miller. Jackson has now filed for election in the Democratic Primary in the 2022 election, with two other candidates in the race. One Republican has filed.

No relation, Prince Frederick lawyer Jason Fowler has filed his candidacy for Senator in the Democratic Primary and was quick to grab a photo of himself with the late Senator Bernie Fowler two years ago and posted it recently on his Facebook page. 

Since the late senator’s death, Jason Fowler posted a heartfelt commemoration of the beloved environmentalist who served as the chairman of the Critical Areas Commission and as a Calvert County Commissioner. When an attorney files for office, often the goal is to get free advertising and meet prospective clients and not about winning the election.

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Sen. Bernie Fowler in the hat, and the gang at wade in 2007. Note that Jason Fowler is not in the photo.

Senator Fowler each year led a growing group of politicians into the Patuxent River in a Broomes Island wade-in to see their toes demonstrating water quality that somehow never caused a single one of the participants to drown. No one has ever measured if all those dirty feet lowered the water quality.

Senator Arthur Ellis


Arthur Ellis, an accountant in Indian Head, Md, active in the NAACP, a part-time professor of accounting, and a volunteer 4-H leader that lives in Indian Head, decided to run for the Maryland State Senate in the Democratic Primary in 2018.

 Ellis captured the interest of the residents of Charles County. They were beleaguered by the immense traffic problems and realized that CSX railroad tracks travel the length of the county to Newburg to feed coal to the power plant.

Leadership that never worked for commuter rail to Southern Maryland or a replacement bridge

Sen. Mac Middleton-with-O’Malley-Dyson-Hoyer-Brown in 2006 in Waldorf. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The incumbent Democrat, Mac Middleton, took his seat in the Senate in January of 1995 and wanted yet another term. A seventh term. Mac wanted to have a desk in Annapolis for twenty-eight long years. He wanted it so bad he got a young black kid to pose with him at his farm for his campaign signs in recognition of the changing demographics in Charles County.

The closest Sen. Middleton ever came to realize commuter rail’s goal to Charles County was to stand in the middle of the CSX tracks with a group of fellow Democrats in 2006 as they posed and promised to bring trains for people.

Not one in the group, including Martin O’Malley, Steny Hoyer, Middleton, Roy Dyson, John Bohanan, Anthony Brown, and Sally Jameson, ever lifted a finger to accomplish the promised commuter rail. They just liked posing for photos in an election year and making empty promises they never had any intention of keeping. And they had no fear of being hit by a train as the coal trains were too slow to catch them.

The feckless O’Malley Administration focused on promises to build a light rail extension down the median strip of Branch Avenue. That pipe dream has been unrealized due to the immense cost in the billions and the lack of sincerity of the group of politicians. The egocentric transportation experts appointed to the governor’s staff, and the study committee for transportation challenges likely couldn’t find a bleeding elephant in a snowstorm.

Given his occupation as an accountant, Ellis can count and campaigned in 2018 to get trains on the tracks.

Four years later, there are still no trains for people.


Now Ellis has a competitor for the 2022 election. Michelle Talkington is a sharp cookie and a lot better looking than Ellis, and she is a Republican, which automatically makes her more intelligent than him. He can’t play the race card with her as she can put up her race against his any day.

Talkington is a mom and businesswoman and pledges to support the first and second amendments. Her campaign website promises that she supports first responders at a time when progressive Democrats are firing them for failing to take a vaccine that doesn’t appear to work, and she states firmly that she believes in school choice. It’s enough to make pontificating liberals choke on their face masks and swallow their vax cards.

Hogan with Sen. Mike Miller.

Governor Larry Hogan’s push to build the replacement bridge at Newburg over the Potomac to Virginia was highlighted by renaming the Governor Harry Nice Bridge to the Gov. Nice/Senator Mac Middleton Bridge. Hogan honored the guy who never got the bridge built or brought trains down the tracks on which he and his fellow Democrats stood. Give Hogan credit; he has done something for all travelers going up and down the east coast by building a new bridge.

A long line of politicians’ tombstones can’t say, “he got the new bridge built over the Potomac River.”

The tragedy of this rookie legislator is that Senator Ellis is just as bad as the guy he replaced. Instead of using his ability and background as an accountant to realize that the prohibitive cost of putting a few billion into the median strip light rail will never happen, he got into a pissing contest with Hogan.

Ellis said in 2020 that the Hogan Administration is using Southern Maryland as a toilet. Hogan fired back and said that Southern Maryland is getting more transportation funds than any other region of the State for the bridge named after Ellis’s vanquished opponent from the 2018 election. Hogan taunted Ellis by saying that maybe he hadn’t read about the bridge construction project.


Ironically, until Hoyer came under the spell of O’Malley and his transportation bigwigs, he supported the plan to use the existing CSX tracks from Newburg to Bowie to provide a MARC train connection to the north/south rail traffic of Amtrak and MARC to Baltimore and Washington. 

The so-called experts have blinders on and believe that they can find the funds to route light rail straight out Rt. 5 from the District to the Waldorf and White Plains.

In 2003, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer’s chief of staff and Del. John Bohanan, in his capacity as senior advisor to Congressman Hoyer, met with CSX officials in Washington to determine what the railroad would require allowing MARC to send trains down the sturdy rail line that hauls long coal trains to Newburg.

 The CSX officials made it clear that there were only two requirements for giving MARC use of its system to Southern Maryland.

Those requirements were indemnification of CSX by the State of Maryland for liability and paying for double-tracking so its trains could continue to operate unimpeded by passenger train traffic.

Maryland operates commuter passenger trains from Washington D.C. to Wilmington, Delaware, and to Martinsburg, West Virginia. Still, somehow no Maryland officials can find out how to flush a few trains each day to Southern Maryland.

Senator Ellis does not have a single bill filed in the 2022 session to create MARC service to Southern Maryland. His first term in office has revealed a long list of nothing accomplished on his primary campaign theme from 2018, revealing that a black politician can be just as ineffective as the white guy who was there for 24 years before him.

Senator Ellis doesn’t know what to ask for and seems to be stuck in the same rut as the other wunderkind of Maryland politics who believe that everyone has to get on the same trains and rush into Union Station in D.C.

Hoyer has evolved into an old codger chasing after the fantasy that one day he could become Speaker of the House if only he had the guts to push Nancy down a flight of steps. He sent federal funds to pay for more commuter buses that got stuck in traffic just like cars and called it ‘macaroni.’ He should have gotten a feather for his hat. Now, at the age of 83, he is running for another term in Congress. Sure, Hoyer isn’t as old as Clint Eastwood, but he sure looks more like the guy who chases people off his front lawn.

Hogan had beatified Middleton’s lack of accomplishment by putting his name on a bridge that replaced the bridge built in 1940 when soldiers stood guard under it to protect against Nazi saboteurs and is still carrying traffic in 2022. Why not just name it Saint MAC Memorial Bridge?

O’Malley-with-new-MARC-trains. While O’Malley promised to put MARC on the tracks to Waldorf, he never took a serious step to do anything.

Meeting commuter buses and northbound and southbound trains at Bowie, after stops in Waldorf, Croom, Rosaryville, and Upper Marlboro, trains that originate at Newburg or White Plains would place commuters within an easy transit to either D.C., BWI Airport, or Baltimore. Not everyone in the world in Southern Maryland has the center of Washington as their workplace or destination.

The trouble with elected leaders like those haunting the halls of power in Annapolis and Washington is that they usually have their collective heads up their rumps.

Traffic will stay stalled on Rt. 301 and Rt. 5 in both directions until Disney comes along and builds a monorail. But at least it is now a black Democrat being as useless as the white Democrat at advancing commuter rail.

Perhaps it is time to choose a black Republican woman in business who is a Mom and respects our Constitution to be a Senator from Charles County. 

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