Thursday, October 8, 2020

Smackdown Redux


Today’s post harkens back to this one in February, 2019:


It was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the modus operandi of the folks running Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Facebook page. In that post I named no names. It was the appalling behavior that I wanted to focus on: a consistent policy of insulting and bullying constituents who posted opinions that didn’t align with those of the Comptroller.

On October 5th the Annapolis political world was stunned at the announcement that Franchot’s adviser of twelve years, Len Foxwell, was no longer working as Chief of Staff, and would leave his office at the end of October. No other details were given.

I am hardly a Maryland politics insider, but I have been on the receiving end of Mr. Foxwell’s derisive and sexist repartee. One or two experiences taught me to stay away. I have never been able to square Mr. Franchot’s obvious ambitions for higher office with Foxwell’s curation of his social media as “life in the toxic Bro-Zone”. Call me naive, but attacking all comers (save for one’s “buds”) looks like bad constituent service and bad politics.

But what do I know? I’m just a woman and I’m not a member of the clubby Annapolis scene that produces people like Foxwell and friends.

While no reason was given for Foxwell’s departure, almost anyone who has watched him at work can think of something that might have been the last straw. I hasten to add that we could all be wrong, too, since we don’t truly know the backstory at this point.

I do hope that the new Chief of Staff will set a different tone on social media from the get-go. If Comptroller Franchot has a message he’d like to get across to Maryland residents, it will be far better served by someone who treats those residents with respect. 

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