Dwyer, Peroutka and Whitney Hatch a Plan

Remember Don Dwyer, the Maryland state legislator who got drunk and crashed his boat into a bunch of people, sending 7 of them to the hospital including several children, then blamed his drinking on the fact that he had lost a vote on same-sex marriage? Jonathan Hutson has some interesting information about him that I did not know. Like the fact that he used to be the executive director of Michael Peroutka’s theocratic Institute on the Constitution. And he may well be the one who got Peroutka and David Whitney, both high-ranking members of the neo-Confederate League of the South, to switch their party registrations to run for office in Maryland.

“Many of you may be thinking that I have lost my mind,” Republican Del. Don Dwyer wrote in a March 2013 email and Facebook post to his GOP colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly. Dwyer’s mind-losing idea was to switch parties in order to drag the Democratic Party to the right (indeed, the Neo-Confederate, theocratic right) in the 2014 primaries.

“If the gun community alone follows me in this strategic plan, we will have a devastating effect on the next statewide election,” he surmised. He posted a comment on a Maryland gun owners’ forum, stating, “Friends, I am considering taking ‘Operation DINO’ statewide. DINO stands for Democrat In Name Only.” He then spearheaded a Free State DINOS website, which urges Republicans to reregister as Democrats, and sells mugs and T-shirts of dinosaurs emblazoned with the Maryland flag…

IOTC Founder Michael Peroutka switched from the Constitution Party to run in the GOP primary for Anne Arundel County Council, and for a seat on the Republican Central Committee. This is a particularly remarkable switcheroo, because Peroutka was the 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president of the United States. In 2013, the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a Neo-Confederate hate group, named Peroutka to its board of directors.

Meanwhile, IOTC’s lead instructor, Pastor David Whitney, who teaches “the God-given right to secede,” has jumped ship from the Republican Party to run in the Democratic primaries for Anne Arundel County Council and for a seat on the Democratic Central Committee. Pastor Whitney had previously run as a Constitution Party candidate against Speaker Busch in 2006. Whitney serves as chaplain for the League’s Maryland chapter, and he chairs the Maryland delegation to the Southern National Congress, which is planning for the secession of the Southern states. Pastor Whitney makes clear, in a February 2014 sermon and op-ed, that in his view, citizenship in this new nation – including the rights to hold public office, vote, serve on a jury, or serve in the Militia — should be restricted to Christians of the right sort.

I knew that Dwyer and Peroutka shared a very far-right and mostly theocratic view of the world, but I had no idea Dwyer had run his organization or that he had publicly announced this Maryland DINOs idea.

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  • This is why it is important to vote in the primaries. I remember when the anti-abortionists crossed over to vote in the Democratic primary for House Representative where I lived and forced an anti-abortion candidate on the ballot.

  • kosk11348

    You would think the party had some say over who could pose as one of their candidates.

  • raven

    Peroutka’s misnamed Constitution Party got .09% of the vote in the last presidential election.

    These are clearly America haters. That sessionist view gives them away.

  • eric

    Its Kang vs. Kodos for the Anne Arundel County Council. Now we will see whether the local voting population can be smarter than the characters in a Simpsons cartoon. I fear the answer will be…d’oh!

  • The Dixiecrats are back, baby!

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Dwyer’s mind-losing idea was to switch parties in order to drag the Democratic Party to the right …

    Hey, it was One Old Weird Trick that Obama Doesn’t Want You to Know™ – it has to work!

  • justsomeguy

    @#2 kosk11348:

    They do. It’s called a primary or a caucus.

  • typecaster

    You would think the party had some say over who could pose as one of their candidates.

    They do. It’s called a primary or a caucus.

    With all due respect, no. Candidate decisions used to be made by the party leadership, and delegates to the conventions. Primaries existed to give the leadership a sense of what the rank and file thought. A set of reforms made in the early 70s changed that, and gave all control to the primaries, which was (admittedly IMHO) an error, partly because it’s vulnerable to crossover voting.


    I remember when Geoffrey Fieger won the nomination to be the Democratic candidate for Governor in Michigan, much to the distress of the party leadership. The distress was justified, Fieger got creamed. They got all huffy about how they weren’t going to allow Feiger’s choice for Lieutenant-Governor onto the ballot, which is a pretty pathetic position to be reduced to. If a party can’t control who runs as its candidate, it’s hard to really consider it a party.

  • Synfandel

    @4 eric wrote:

    Its Kang vs. Kodos…

    All the local population needs is a board with a nail sticking out of it.

  • steve84

    Just another reason why the entire American political system is insane and poorly thought out.

  • steve84, “insane”? “Poorly thought out”? The term you’re looking for is “Envy of the World”. Also, “Best in the World”.

  • magistramarla

    We had something like that happen here in Texas just a few weeks ago.

    A nut named Keisha Rogers who follows some other nut named Larouche ran as a Democrat in the primary.

    She’s forced the sane Democrat, a guy named David Alameel, into a run-off vote.

    The conservatives in the state are all howling with laughter over it.

    Besides a number of them who claim to have voted in the Democratic primary, there is also a theory that many voters may have chosen her name because they are familiar with a singer who calls herself Kei$ha.

    That has caused the cons to call Democrats “low information voters”.

  • Something like this happened back in the ’80s, when a couple of Neo-Nazis won Democratic primaries for Congress here and there. Also, a number of Larouchies tried the same thing, including some nut named Nancy Spannaus in Virginia’s 10th US House district in 1990. In that case, the VA Democratic leadership at least managed to put out warnings that Spannaus was a Larouchie, and she got clobbered in the primary.