Jim Wright’s Reputation with Maryland Legislators
Called a “Self Proclaimed Demagogue”
This is a continuation of a series started HERE that provides much of the history of Jim Wright, along with his father Bob Wright, in the Shepherding Movement and intense political activism.
This is an article in the Annapolis Capitol that further gives some insight into the arrogance and bullying that Jim Wright became well known for in Maryland. What is sad is that these tactics continually backfired and in the end wound up harming the causes Jim Wright claimed to be supporting. Most issues Jim Wright pursued ended up losing, often times in part because of his actions. This is why the Moral Majority quickly kicked Jim Wright and the Maryland Chapter that was founded jointly by his father Bob Wright, out of the national organization, after Jim Wright embarrassed them nationally in the press with an attempt to close a bakery that Jim Wright claimed was selling “Pornographic Gingerbread Men.”
Family Rights Lobby Gets Chilly Reception
Here without further comment is another article from the Annapolis Capitol that reveals Jim Wright’s embarrassing campaigning and demonstrates the ineffectiveness of it. There is a transcription of the article beneath the image for any who have difficulty reading it.
This is the text of the article above. Sections in bold text are for emphasis. Keep in mind that this was printed early on before some of the following scandals such as using a murdered girl’s family for fund-raising and distributing brochures that called legislators “murderers.” Also note the effort by Jim Wright to continue the deception of affiliation with the Moral Majority which was already in the process of shortly thereafter casting both Jim Wright and the Maryland Moral Majority chapter out.
Family rights lobby gets chilly reception
By Randy Wilson, Staff Writer
Maryland’s pro-family movement made its legislative debut yesterday before a decidedly hostile General Assembly committee in a confrontation that is likely to be repeated before the lawmakers adjourn in April.
“I think they feel threatened by us,” said Jim Wright, the 23 year old head of the Family Protection Lobby, an affiliate of the Maryland Moral Majority. Nearly 100 supporters packed the House Environmental Matters Committee hearing room for four hours of testimony on bills to make drug abuse and sex counseling available to secondary school students.
“This is a new kind of grassroots lobbying that isn’t like credit card lobbying,” said Wright. “It was very evident we antagonized some of them.”
Del. Gerald W. Winegrad, D-Annapolis, who received a visit from Wright and 18 phone calls on the health information bulls, called Wright a “self-proclaimed demagogue” and accused him of distorting the issue.
Wright countered by labelling charges by some committee members that he had not registered as a lobbyist as “vicious” and said Winegrad was the worst offender.
“I found him to be really arrogant,” he said. “His was the worst treatment I received from any legislator.”
In nearly an hour of questioning yesterday, committee members repeatedly asked Wright to demonstrate how withholding health information from a child would help the troubled family.
“When the state of the school intervenes, it reinforces to the child that their parents do not have a role to play,” Wright answered. “The state should never have a right to impose its own values.”
Wright called yesterday’s hearing a (sic) “a test of strength” for his fledgling lobby, which took a name different from the Maryland Moral Majority last week to prevent confusion with the national pro-family group of the same name.
Major causes still to be taken up by the group include the saving of the Maryland Board of Censors, a spending limitation bill and eliminating state funds for all abortions.
The Davidsonville resident said legislators will have to get used to intense personal lobbying by members of more than 20 groups who form the Moral Majority coalition.
“We want to get the folks back home to convince legislators they’re right,” he said. “We think that’s better than paying a lobbyist to buy them (the legislators) a lunch.”
But Winegrad predicted the style will backfire and that the health information bills will pass his committee with ease.
“I personally find his style of lobbying somewhat offensive,” said Winegrad, objecting to the group’s claim to moral virtue and threats of electoral retaliation.
It was shortly after this that Jim Wright’s father, Bob Wright, who was actually the driving force behind the Maryland Moral Majority and then the Family Protection Lobby, ran for the Maryland General Assembly as a delegate after a failed school board bid and then when it became evident apparently that he had no chance in that election, he filed with 30 minutes remaining to challenge an established Republican State Senator in a race he also wound up losing.