Thursday, August 30, 2007

The slots machine continues to convert opponents to supporters in Montgomery County. In this pull of the arm, the industry got three matching photos of County Executive Ike Leggett in the three windows. What payout is due? The potential compliance of Montgomery County's Democratic delegates in legalizing slots. I don't know if any hypocrisy can match that of Annapolis' record on the environment, but the slots flip-flop is coming close.

It turns out that Ike Leggett had a secret, off-the-record meeting with our Democratic delegates on July 30, according to the Washington Post. The article goes on to state that "some people at the meeting objected," but only State Senator Jamie Raskin went on the record. Who else "objected," and why haven't we heard from them a full month later? Obviously, because they are now on board the Slots Express. This political sham concocted in a team effort between the Democratic Party and the casino industry, caused me to cancel my reservation on the Slots Express. Because that train was assembled by less-than-noble causes, I suspect it is heading to a dark destination where I and most Marylanders don't want to go. And the evidence keeps pouring in, as Thomas Schaller wrote in a recent Baltimore Sun editorial:

"During his term, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Mr. O'Malley's predecessor, spent a lot of political capital trying to move several versions of a slots bill through the General Assembly, to no avail. He and other Republicans now complain that their efforts were thwarted precisely to deprive Mr. Ehrlich of a political victory before his re-election bid - and there's some truth to that."

My bottom line question for Governor O'Malley is, why, when Maryland was just named the richest state in America, is he going to balance decades of mistakes by the Democratic legislature on the backs of working families? Nothing should be done until every reform and cut can be applied to the budget. If there is truly no other recourse, any tax should be on those who can afford to pay it, not the poor. Were the current talking points to become law, it would be an immoral action by this governor and legislature.

Crime Wave Continues; County Police Running Out of Bullets

As I am the only person who is following the violent crime crisis in Maryland, here are some of the latest stories. We already know that while the county government wastes funds on the strangest things - including unethical County Council vacations paid for by lobbyists, as reported in today's Post - it for some reason cannot afford to renovate Bethesda's 2nd District Police Station! Like I kept repeating during the campaign, priorities and values, priorities and values. What are the priorities and values of your elected officials when they can't even provide basic facilities for the men and women protecting our community? Now the county government has failed to provide enough funds to cover the cost of ammunition. It's outrageous. But we don't need more firepower, say our elected officials, because there's no serious crime. Well, try this on for size:

Here are two quotes from the July 26 Worcester County Times:

"Berlin is a hotspot for year-round drug activity." - Joel Todd, Worcester County State's Attorney

"There is some gang activity in Dorchester County and we remain alert and vigilant." - Worcester County Sheriff Charles Martin

As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

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