New PAC forms in Montgomery County to defeat Floreen, others
Council president says she is focused on running a clean campaign'
A new political action committee in Montgomery County aims to promote more responsive government, but so far much of its attention is focused on ousting County Council President Nancy M. Floreen.
"Our elected officials are either acting in their own best interests or in the interests of some narrowly defined special-interest groups," said the PAC's treasurer, David M. Reile, adding that he and his wife have singled out Floreen as the worst offender.
On Thursday, Floreen said she was aware of the group.
"I'm really just focused on running a clean campaign," she said. "And I'm ignoring dirty attacks, so I'm not going to engage with these people."
The group, Ethically Responsible Government, officially filed as a PAC on Aug. 20, said Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator with the state Board of Elections.
And although a little late to the game, Reile said it already has placed about 100 signs throughout the county that read, "Defeat Nancy Floreen," or a similar message.
At least part of Reile's criticism of Floreen stems from a yet-unresolved effort to relocate a Wheaton church to Emory Church Road in Olney. Reile, of Olney, said the PAC, which currently consists of him and his wife, Barbara Suddarth, might send out anti-Floreen mail. They have plans to distribute hundreds more signs in the coming weeks. The primary election is Tuesday, and early voting began Friday.
About eight volunteers gathered Thursday for the group's first rally in downtown Silver Spring, Reile said. Volunteers handed out fliers criticizing Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park, who is running for her third term on the council.
"The mission is to hold our elected officials to being more responsive to community and civic organizations and the citizens of Montgomery County," Reile said of the PAC.
Reile said the couple is self-funding the grass-roots effort. The PAC's financial reports were unavailable Thursday because it registered after last month's reporting deadline.
Reile said he and Suddarth have contributed to elected officials, including council members Marc Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park and Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, but that no elected officials are tied to the PAC or the actions to defeat Floreen.
As for the criticism of Floreen, Reile and his neighbors oppose relocation of the First Baptist Church of Wheaton, saying plans for a 53,000-square-foot facility do not fit the character of the rural, tree-lined, dead-end road.
Reile said Floreen and other council members ignored his views during a public hearing on the issue. Floreen said she was aware of Reile's concerns about the 400-member church, but that he has not voiced them directly to her.
For now, the group has a Facebook page and plans to expand its website www.eigpac.com but is not planning to raise money or make contributions during this election cycle.