ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The chairman of the Maryland Republican Party is calling for the chief of staff of the state’s comptroller to be fired over controversial comments he made on social media.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot’s chief of staff Len Foxwell Saturday responded to criticism of the controversial Facebook post in which he wrote that members of a right-wing group opposed to stay-at-home orders and other coronavirus-related restrictions should be put in a warehouse “and then let Darwin work his magic.”

Foxwell, who joined Franchot’s office in 2007, according to his biography with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum where he’s a board member, shared a link to an article on Monday about a group called “The Patriot Movement” calling on people to defy coronavirus-related orders. In the post, he wrote:

“Let’s lure them into a big, big warehouse (we’ll call it something real classy to suit their refined sensibilities, like “America MAGA Platinum Palace”) with the promise of all the unfiltered Camels they can smoke, all the Salisbury steak and banana moonpies they can eat, washed down by all the Old Crow and Icehouse they can drink.

“Plus, autographs from Scott Baio and pics with Tawny Kitean, posing all sexy and everything on a sportscar, just like in that old Whitesnake video! Get them in, bar the door and then let Darwin work his magic.”

As of Monday, Foxwell submitted his resignation from the board of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

The post drew backlash online, with multiple commenters calling for Foxwell to be fired.

Maryland Republican Party chairman Dirk Haire also called on Franchot to fire Foxwell.

“I hope you agree with me that Mr. Foxwell’s statements suggesting the genocide of President Trump’s supporters are extraordinarily inappropriate and representative of a base and destructive mindset. A review of Mr. Foxwell’s Facebook page shows many similar posts by Mr. Foxwell,” Haire wrote.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

On Saturday, Foxwell wrote that his comments were made “in a typical spirit of sarcasm and jest” and were not directed at supporters of President Donald Trump but rather at the leaders and members of the group:

“Again, this had nothing to do with rank-and-file Trump supporters – notwithstanding my deep, searing distaste for the President’s politics and his catastrophic mismanagement of this crisis. Nor, obviously, did I ever express hope that someone would die. Any suggestions to the contrary are simply, absolutely false. By now, it’s fairly obvious that, like so many other social media brush fires that revolve around this President, a handful of provocateurs twisted unrelated content to suit their narrative of victimization and government persecution.”

Saturday night, Franchot said he stands behind Foxwell:

“It has never been my policy to comment on social media content posted by members of my staff, so long as it is done on their own time. I won’t start now. Suffice to say, however, that I remain 100 percent supportive of Len Foxwell and the exceptional work he continues to do for me and for the people of Maryland. He is an exceptional public servant, a dear family friend, and I look forward to his continued service as my Chief of Staff for years to come.”

Foxwell’s latest post came just hours after protesters filled the streets of Annapolis, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to remove some restrictions the state put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Comments (9)
  1. Andy LaPointe says:

    Len should be released from his position for his post. If Peter doesn’t take care of this, then his career will be done as well. I have voted for Peter in the past but this does change things if he doesn’t fire Len.

  2. C. William Hartmann says:

    Agreed. All this did is make the situation worse. This isn’t the first thing that he has done that is questionable. Franchot needs to use common sense and say sod off to loyalty while throwing this liability under the bus.

  3. Hugh Jones says:

    Imagine if Trump said this about democrats or any Republican state senator. WBAL, WJZ, and the Sun Paper would lose their minds. It is the one sided local media coverage that splits the country apart state by state. Nothing will happen, the local media will bury this story and it will never be heard again.

  4. shirley says:

    Plez, rethugs have been saying far worse about dems, for yrs. And never forget the role they played in the death of heather heyer. If they want to gather, i say let them, the less of them the better. Unfortunately, they will go out among the sane and infect not only us, but brave heatlh care workers. He speaks for many of us, silenced by right wing owning 90% of the media

    1. TinCanSailor says:

      Shirley – where to start? Wow!

      First, your reference to Republicans as ‘rethugs’ diminishes any point you were trying to make. You either have a cogent argument – or you are calling people names. Since you are doing the latter, you have the emotional intelligence of a grade schooler.

      Secondly, the fact that you want people to gather and die shows you have a dark heart and should seek counseling.

      Lastly, if you believe that the ‘right wing’ owns 90% of the media, you are seriously out of touch.

      My diagnosis – Trump Derangement Syndrome; a psychiatrist can confirm.

      I wish you well, because unlike you, I don’t wish death upon those on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

  5. richard says:

    Over 62 Million People Voted For Our President – We ALL Need This Coin check it out https://bit.ly/3eCiuCk

  6. Timmy says:

    This type of person is the exact problem, and I hope it comes back to bite him,power mongrels, there all alike.

  7. Gary Johnson says:

    I have been a Maryland resident all my life. During that time, Democrats have always controlled the state, even when we had a Republican governor. I have worked hard, paid my taxes and obeyed the laws, even those I didn’t like. And what do I get from Annapolis? Idiots, like Peter Franchot who wastes precious tax payer dollars suing President Trump (and losing) and his punk-ass family -friend Chief of Staff.
    Increasingly, my wife and I find ourselves thinking about leaving this liberal snake pit. They won’t miss us, but they will surely miss our taxes. New York is already suffering from the flight of tax payers to friendlier locales. Maryland, I predict, will be next.
    As much as I would prefer that change could be brought about by the electoral process, I don’t believe that can happen here any longer. We should instead follow the example of Davy Crockett, when he failed to get re-elected to Congress by his constituents in Tennessee. He said, “You all can go to hell. I’m goin’ to Texas.”
    May God forgive me for the coarseness of my response. I strive to be a better man, but It’s hard to turn the other cheek with people like Franchot and Foxwell in charge.

    Gary Johnson

  8. CBMM says:

    Today, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum received Len Foxwell’s resignation from their Board of Governors. His resignation is effective immediately.

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