Four Democratic candidates have filed papers with Maryland's Anne Arundel County Board of Elections, to campaign and raise contributions jointly as the Democrats for 33 slate, and to call out their Neo-Confederate opponent who is running as a Democrat.
Patrick Armstrong, Democratic candidate running for Anne Arundel County Council in District 5, tops the slate, which is rounded out by three candidates for Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee.
First-time candidate Betsy Bury is running for a Central Committee seat in District 33, together with two seasoned campaigners: longtime Democratic party activists Torrey Jacobsen and incumbent Judy Moylan-Forman, who seeks re-election. I serve as Treasurer of the slate, whose motto is "Longtime Democrats support true Democratic Party values."
Running against these four candidates in the Democratic primary is Pastor David Whitney, who switched his registration from Republican to Democrat, just prior to filing his candidacy papers. Whitney is vying against Armstrong for the County Council seat in District 5, and is also seeking a seat on the county's Democratic Central Committee in District 33, which comprises part of the 5th councilmanic district. Whitney has previously run for a seat on the Republican Central Committee, and in 2006, he ran on the Constitution Party ticket against Democratic Speaker Michael Busch.
"Our slate represents Democratic Party values," said Betsy Bury. "Our opponent, Pastor Whitney, preaches that only Christians of the right sort should be recognized as citizens, with the rights to vote, serve on a jury, or run for office. Our ancestors fought and died for ever greater dignity and equality for all. We are not going to let theocratic wannabes turn back the clock."
Whitney is the lead instructor for the theocratic Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), and he serves as the chaplain for the Maryland chapter of the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a Neo-Confederate hate group. In February 2014, Whitney preached a sermon and published an op-ed calling for citizenship -- including the rights to vote, run for office, serve in a jury, or serve in a Militia -- to be restricted to Christians of the right sort.
Frederick Clarkson has reported that Whitney and his business partner, Michael Peroutka, co-founder of the IOTC, who is running on a theocratic ticket for the same county council seat, have backed a plan to defy a federal judge's order that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners cease grandstanding by opening their meetings with a sectarian prayer. Commissioner Robin Frazier willfully violated the order two days later.
But unreported in the media has been the support from Michael Peroutka and Pastor David Whitney—who praised Frazier’s “principled stand” against Judge Quarles’ “ungodly and unconstitutional ruling” in a sermon on April 2nd. Whitney even said he called her office to commend her, and hoped her county sheriff would prevent her from being hauled off to jail.Republican Del. Don Dwyer, a former Executive Director of the IOTC, has spearheaded a website called Operation DINO (Democrats In Name Only), urging conservatives to reregister as Democrats to run for office in the Democratic primary and to edge out more progressive Democrats.
Whitney concluded that telling “an elected official that they cannot acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ, the one to whom all authority belongs, is to deny that the so-called civil government has any authority at all.” This is an extraordinary statement which suggests that because a Federal Judge issues a preliminary injunction against sectarian prayer in a county commission meeting, that therefore the entire federal government has no authority at all. “What is apparent,” Whitney declared, “is that our Federal Government, of whom Judge Quarles is but one example, is opposed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
“When a civil government denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ,” Whitney concluded, “it asserts that it, the civil government itself, is greater than Him—that it is above Him and that its own so-called laws, not His Law, are the laws that must be obeyed. So the Federal Government has made itself into a wretched beastly idol in our day.” He claims that requiring people to conform to the law of the land when it is out of sync with his personal notions of “the Law of the One True God” is “the very essence of tyranny.”
The Democrats for 33 slate, www.democratsfor33.com, is campaigning to keep true Democratic values on the ballot and in the Democratic Central Committee. The Democratic primary is June 24, 2014.