A Triple-Dipping, Carpetbagging, Goldbricking RINO

An American Greatness article critiquing U.S. Representative Alex Mooney’s televisive style seems to have irked his chief of staff, Mike Hough, who has apparently instructed his office folks to refuse any communication with American Greatness. It seems that Hough (who insists that his name is not pronounced like the guttural sound made when utilizing a cuspidor, but rather “huff”) has used this stonewall tactic many times before with news outlets such as the West Virginia Gazette and the Spirit of Jefferson newspapers.

Such abusive and dim-witted tactics may be emblematic of the problems within the conservative community: Many times staffers are RINOs, carpetbaggers, or just plain goldbricks who tend to take the business as usual, my-career-comes-first, easy way out.

In the case of Hough, it may be all three: It seems that he is out to help himself first, and not the constituents of the 2nd District, the rest of West Virginia, or the United States for that matter.

The rationale: Hough is a Republican state senator from Maryland who also happens to be Alex Mooney’s chief of staff.

It’s all legal of course, but the aroma of carpetbagger permeates the environment much like that of beached monkfish putrefying in the hot sun.

And what do the taxpayers of West Virginia get in return for Hough’s $160,679.31 salary? 

Well, by my reckoning, only about $120,509.49 worth, because the Maryland senate is in session three months a year, meaning that Hough picks up $40,162.92 while he is busy “senatoring” in Maryland.

Note that $40,162.92 is more than one and a half times the median income of the average West Virginian. 

And Maryland has been pushed so far to the left that a good sneeze could easily flop the whole state into Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream freezer. It’s RINO country.

Meanwhile, Hough has decided that he has vast (vast!) expertise in judging the telegenic qualities of his boss; not to mention the brownie points collected when he gets to “hough” and puff to his boss that he has stonewalled American Greatness. 

Well, not so fast, Mikey. 

American Greatness found Hough’s recent Official Maryland State Senator Facebook video, expecting, due to his vast experience in the medium, a scintillating performance by a virtuoso. 

I then sent the video to two people who really do have vast experience in understanding telegenic quality: John Roland, who has 38 years experience as a TV reporter including 25 years as the anchorman for WNYW-TV in New York City, and Mrs. de Caro—Lynne Russell—who was the very first solo, primetime U.S. anchorwoman and who went on to broadcast more than 33,000 half-hour international news shows for CNN Headline News (back when CNN did real news.)

Here’s what Roland thought of Senator Hough’s performance: 

He could use some vocal coaching to improve his phrasing and cadence. The video was also poorly shot. It was stilted and poorly lit. The audio was hollow and detracted from his rather rambling presentation. It looked and sounded like it was filmed by an amateur on an old iPhone. I would also suggest some ‘B’ roll showing the subject he’s discussing. His message is a good one but the overall presentation falls flat and fails to impress.

 Lynne Russell remarked: “He looks like he’s conducting Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite.

“The office lighting hollows out his eyes,” she added. “The audio sounds like it’s coming from down the hall. The whole thing was shot like a stand-up . . . a very long stand-up for which they should’ve gone to the trouble to pull public access news video on the crimes he specified. After all, those are the entire point of his presentation.”

My view is simpler: Hough is a doppelganger for Matt Foley and his television presence is just as comic

Thus, Hough’s double-dipping and astronomically high opinion of his remarkably poor televisive skills is hamstringing the conservative cause. Coupled with being an obviously thin-skinned (part-time!) bureaucrat with an amateurish manner and poor judgment in his treatment of a constituent, he is simultaneously dragging down his boss’ superlative conservative efforts.  

Hough’s gross ineptness in his ability to communicate televisually, while advising his boss on the subject, has apparently retarded Mooney’s ability to stretch into a conservative on-camera superstar who could stem the progressive tide from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her squadies.

The ultimate irony is the absolute accuracy of Mike’s eponymous surname: “hough” (correctly pronounced “hock”) means: “cutting the hamstring to disable.”

After the 2nd District is dissolved next cycle due to redistricting, Hough’s cushy $160,000 job will disappear, and he will be “senatoring” in Maryland on his own. Maybe then he’d be willing to give an interview. Let’s hope that it is not from a van down by the river. (Maryland side).

Or maybe he has other plans. Hough is now vying to be a triple-dipper. As this article was being finished, Hough announced a run for another office: Frederick County, Maryland, executive. This while he remains Mooney’s chief of staff and serves as Maryland state senator!

So what does this do for the constituents of the already hamstrung 2nd District of West Virginia? Zero, zip, zilch, nada

One might think that his boss, Mooney, might want to jettison this frat-boy opportunist faster than the effluvium of an in-flight goose with dysentery and make better use of the time he has left in Congress. 


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About Chuck de Caro

Chuck de Caro is a contributor to American Greatness. He was CNN's very first Special Assignments Correspondent. Educated at Marion Military Institute and the U.S. Air Force Academy, he later served with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He has taught information warfare (SOFTWAR) at the National Defense University and the National Intelligence University. He was an outside consultant for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment for 25 years. A pilot since he was 17, he is currently working on a book about the World War I efforts of Fiorello La Guardia, Giulio Douhet, and Gianni Caproni, which led directly to today’s U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command.

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