Preserve Annapolis Now’s Doug Burkhardt explains recent political mailers

| November 4, 2017

The following statement was sent to Eye On Annapolis from Doug Burkhardt, the Treasurer of Preserve Annapolis Now, which is a PAC (Political Action Committee) that has recently been sending out mailers opposing mayoral candidate Gavin Buckley and Ward 1 Aldermanic Candidate Elly Tierney.

Gavin Buckley - Democrat for Mayor

I am a 28 year resident of Murray Hill in Ward 1 and have been active in my community my entire life. When I thought the City was going in the wrong direction, I got involved. I believe that if you want to protect the City you should get involved.

I know Gavin Buckley and think of him as a nice guy. I eat at his restaurants and occasionally run into him on the streets of Annapolis. I disagreed with Gavin on the mural he painted on his wall but had to smile as I knew it was his way of saying “baloney” to the City.

When Gavin decided to run for Mayor, I thought it was more of a protest. But, when Gavin won the primary, I started to pay closer attention to what Gavin was advocating – his “vision for Annapolis” as he refers to it. Frankly, I was alarmed at some of the things he was saying.

I decided to get involved. I just didn’t think that Gavin Buckley or Elly Tierney had a commitment to preserving the almost 400 year old historic traditions of our City. Talking about Trolleys, a Convention Center, Ferris Wheels, the elimination of cars in Annapolis and 5 new city taxes are, in my opinion, just crazy. But that is what elections are for. Democracy works!

I investigated the City rules and discovered from the City Clerk’s office that I could open a PAC and send out my own mail and place my own ads. And that is exactly what I did. I recruited a chairman and reached out to like-minded neighbors and friends to get support. I received a lot of encouragement.

I registered the PAC with the City and filed the required financial disclosure paperwork with the City Clerk’s office.

As the City campaign auditor accurately stated, the financial disclosure form did not include any donor names because at the time of filing, we did not have any yet. As of today, the great majority of the money raised is from Annapolitans and to be clear, Steve Schuh has yet to contribute to the PAC, though he has told me he supports our efforts.

In regards to the mailers, they represent my opinion that Gavin’s vision (or change) for the City of Annapolis is contrary to our historic traditions.

In regards to the mailer that discusses his proposed 5 new tax increases: new sales tax, new pothole tax, new sidewalk tax, new neighbor tax and a second (and new) rain tax (forgot to add the 2nd rain tax in the mailer), I attempted to use humor to begin a discussion of an otherwise “same old” election stance of “I’m against taxes and he’s for them.” Since Gavin and Australia are synonymous in this election (see his first campaign video), I used the popular phrase “how to speak Australian” and used the Australian idiom for the term “baloney” which is “pig’s arse” (please look this up on-line), for describing the neighbor tax (i.e., I think the neighbor tax is baloney). I thought it was humorous and continue to believe so today.

However, humor can cut both ways. And there is a fine line between being funny and hurting someone’s feelings. In this case, I was happy to hear that Gavin thought it was funny and, in The Capital, said “we Australians can take a joke.”

Importantly, I categorically reject any accusation or statement that using the Australian idiom for “baloney” to be hateful. It was done in jest to bring attention to Gavin’s proposal of 5 new taxes for Annapolis – a concept that I oppose.

Finally, Preserve Annapolis Now was not created for or affiliated with or beholden to any political party. We are an independent PAC and our mission is to highlight a candidate’s positions in a clear and documented fashion.

–Doug Burkhardt–Chairman, Preserve Annapolis Now

Severn Bank

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About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.