Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hibernation

As some of you might have noticed, Kline Online took a bit of a hiatus from about Thanksgiving until, well, until right now. What even fewer of you realize is the reason was largely legitimate and not linked to my overall laziness or lack of gumption: I was asked to be a member of Governor Hogan's Department of Natural Resources Transition Team in December, and out of respect for that process, and out of deference to Governor Hogan's prerogatives, I decided to stop blogging and focus on that endeavor without public comment or opinion.  That process has now concluded, and while I certainly hope to remain active in the ongoing decisions that Governor Hogan and DNR Secretary-designee Mark Belton will make in the field of Maryland's natural resources, my formal role in that process has concluded for the time being.

Of course, I also got stomped like a narc at a biker rally (tip of the hat to Dennis Miller for that illustrative reference) on Election Day, being one of only two Republicans in all of Queen Anne's County to lose an election. (And I didn't just lose, I lost. With emphasis.) But that was mostly because no one knew I was a Republican (Board of Education is a non-partisan race) and not from any obvious personal shortcomings. Indeed, I got a lot of pretty positive feedback from my performance at candidate's forums, but about 1/1000th of one percent of voters attended those forums, so it was not what one would call a target rich environment. It's hard to get folks to pay attention to a Board of Education race; but the election taught me a lot of valuable things; things I may or may not ever blog about, but may just pepper into other posts about other things. 

And there are lots of other things. The Department of Natural Resources is considering legalizing the commercial sale of wild venison; striped bass management seems to be an ongoing question, major residential development may be coming to Centreville, Governor Hogan has staked out his positions on the "Rain Tax" and the Phosphorous Management Tool, Congress might well take up (for the third time!) a Bipartisan Sportsmen's package, and of course the 2016 election season bears down on us like an inevitable gray cloud mass on the Western horizon, inching ever-closer with its gloom. So like I said, there is lots to write about.

I have thoroughly missed this. I take this writing more seriously than you might imagine, I use it as a way to glean knowledge: less about informing others, more about informing myself. Navigating around a story, learning its ins and outs, talking to folks, becoming familiar enough to write the story, and often to craft a thoughtful and defensible opinion, is as much for me about personal discovery as it is about convincing anyone of anything. I lobby for a living; this blog is not meant to lobby anyone, there are much better ways of doing that.

In the last 18 months, my words have appeared regularly in publication under someone else's name. I have been remunerated well for those services, but would be remiss if I didn't point out that writing for others' attribution bears a stunning resemblance to the world's oldest profession.  I am proud that my writing is fit for publication, proud that it can help to pay the bills, and it certainly has helped as the family has gotten larger. But this blog, appearing under my own name, has been incredibly therapeutic for me for years, as a way of going on the record and taking a firm stand on the issues I find important. Perhaps this blog in its frankness, in its disregard for popularity, is a liability to my ambition, but perhaps this blog, this unvarnished writing, should be a bigger part of my greater ambition. That is a standing question that every day I get closer to answering.

 

       

  

1 comment:

Kirk River Mud said...

Good to have you back. The singer of The Gaslight Anthem ("the kids" listen to them) ghost writes and was asked about it in an interview a few years ago. He answered something like, "Am I mad that other people take credit for my work? No, thank God for it! It pays better than anything else I do!"