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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 09/11/2010

Candidates who make me laugh

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

As candidates pummel each other on their way to the November election, some are just bringing us hilarious relief during this cutthroat season.

There's Alvin Greene down in South Carolina, a candidate so unqualified people wondered if his campaign was a hoax. You can almost hear his cheat sheet crinkling when he's asked about his platform in this radio interview. And who's his opponent? "Senator Jim DeMint," Greene seems to read painstakingly from a script.

Who didn't squirm uncomfortably -- and then laugh later -- when mayoral candidate Chris Young from Rhode Island turned what could have been a sweet story about proposing to his fiancee into an incredibly awkward interview.

And this week, was Phil Davison delivering a Robespierre-style speech to revolutionaries ... or exhibiting an absurdly impassioned enthusiasm to be treasurer in Stark County, Ohio?

Then there's Maryland candidate Meyer Marks, a Republican running for House of Delegates in Montgomery County's District 16. Marks doesn't star in any Youtube videos, but he does have some spending habits that could be considered odd even if you aren't vying for public office.

Here's a typical day of purchases. On June 21, Marks used his campaign funds to spend:

  • $6.36 at Safeway
  • $4 on Metrorail
  • $3.78 at Safeway
  • $3.22 at Safeway
  • $2.96 at McDonald’s
  • $1.10 at McDonald’s
  • $2.01 at Marriott
  • $2.19 at McDonald’s

Besides the possibility that these types of purchases could violate Maryland law, they're just plain weird. Why would Marks spend $3,400 of his $5,600 on these little kinds of expenses, and virtually nothing on mailings or advertisements?

He says they were all incurred from meeting with potential supporters. I'm wondering how charging your campaign $0.55 for a coffee refill from Starbucks (May 25) helps out your candidacy.

Marks's bizarre spending is quite puzzling. It's also pretty funny.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | September 11, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network  
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I was waiting for the "HEEYAWWWWW!!!" following Phil's rant. Certainly the mans DNA has to be within .00001% of the infamous Howard Dean. It also reminded me of many of Bill Murray's skits.

The real question is are his 15 minutes up yet ?

Posted by: williamgrasso | September 12, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

For anyone looking for candidate write ups for Bethesda md see:

Posted by: SnowLover1 | September 13, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I have to ask why you only felt it was necessary to point out that the fourth candidate was a Republican?

The first two are Democrats and are running under their party tickets.

Davison was TRYING to get the Republican nomination, but unlike Greene in SC, the folks actually paid attention and DID NOT give him the nomination.

Minor issue I suppose, but if you are going to disclose one subject's political affiliations, would it not be proper to do so for all?

For the Record:

Greene (D)
Young (D)
Davison (Rejected by R)
Marks (R)

Posted by: kenskorupski | September 15, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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