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‘Weekend At Bernie’s': Longshot Council Candidate Gives 15-Minute Pitch

By Aaron Kraut

Friday - 2/28/2014, 1:05pm  ET

Those of you who follow restaurant and business news in Bethesda might know of Robert Dyer, the Bethesda resident and blogger who we often cite for word of what’s going on around town.

Turns out Dyer is an aspiring politician too. He’s running for an at-large seat on the County Council for the second straight time.

The above video, a 15-minute in-depth review of his platform, opens with triumphant music and shaky camera shots of Glen Echo Park. Dyer blames county leaders for what he says is a poor economic development record and promises to make Glen Echo Park — a former amusement park — into an “international tourism destination.”

“Glen Echo Park is the perfect metaphor for where Montgomery County finds itself today. This was once the greatest amusement park in the world,” Dyer says. “Now today, it’s mostly an empty shell used for arts and crafts programs. It could be an economic engine for the county, but its potential is not being realized.”

The longshot candidate has some support — at least on Youtube, where more than 30 folks have provided positive reviews.

In 2010, Dyer was the lead vote-getter among Republicans running for an at-large Council seat with 16,107 votes in the primary. In the general election, he got 82,773 votes, about 8 percent and less than half as much as Hans Riemer, the fourth-leading vote-getter for four at-large Council seats.

Dyer said he would push for a second Potomac River bridge crossing, the completion of the county’s master plan for highways, and more development of post World War-II style, single family home neighborhoods.

At the same time, he’d push against bus rapid transit and private development in urban areas.

“I can sum up this Council’s record on economic development in three words: Weekend at Bernie’s,” Dyer proclaims at one point in the video.

He continues by criticizing the Council’s work on the county’s plastic bag tax, outdoor smoking ban, bus rapid transit network and “encouraging young adults to drink more alcohol,” an apparent stab at the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s time we have a councilman whose agenda can’t be confused with Jerry Springer’s final thought,” Dyer says. “This Council is satisfied to be behind. I want to be No. 1.”

According to state records, Dyer doesn’t have an active campaign finance account.

Two others — Gaithersburg’s Chris P. Flotes Jr. and Silver Spring’s Shelly Skolnick — are also running as Republicans in the primary, so Dyer will be on the General Election ballot once again.

Video via Robert Dyer