Friday, August 31, 2007

An indictment of failed leadership:

Maryland is now officially the wealthiest state in America.

Maryland is officially #4(!) on the list of states with the most violent crime.

This is what do-nothing "leadership" on crime ends in: disaster.

And no one should congratulate themselves on the wealthiest label. That has ended up in the hands of a few, not working families. It's worth remembering that powerful statistic from the 2006 holiday shopping season: many fewer Americans shopped; the smaller number that did shop bought more than ever. That reinforces the fact that the rich simply are getting richer and the poor, poorer. Now the talk out of Annapolis and Rockville is "tax working families." Remember, gas taxes, service taxes, vehicle-related "fees," road and bridge tolls, and cigarette, alcohol and hospitality taxes are taxes on the poor and working families. The wealthy are willing and painlessly able to pay such "nuisance" taxes. To working families, these taxes are absolutely devastating. Not everyone in Montgomery County is rich; many sacrifice and work hard to live in this relatively safe area with excellent schools. With credit and mortgages now denied to the average citizen, the powers-that-be are now going to drive up the already outrageous cost of apartment rent in Bethesda and elsewhere. Stay tuned for a full analysis of this and other real-world economic issues, as our elected officials continue to wreak havoc on working families statewide.

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.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tom Perez said, "Hit me!" this week, and shadow governor Peter Franchot was all too happy to oblige. Tom Perez - former liberal on the Montgomery County Council, and now a Martin O'Malley cabinet member - The Gambler? Who knew? We all found out this week when Secretary Perez released a favorable report on gambling in Maryland that sounded awfully familiar. It included language and talking points directly from the casino industry. Franchot echoed my reaction in a press conference in Salisbury, and he is absolutely correct.

It's mighty strange. A year ago, when I was running for Delegate and popular Governor Bob Ehrlich was running for reelection, the casino industry was nowhere to be found. But recently, every time you flip a light on in the state of Maryland, casino backers are scurrying towards the cabinets. What's going on here? Let me tell you. The casino industry has shown its hand.

This was a risky bet that paid off big for the slots business. Here's the deal: Bob Ehrlich made the case, and slots were a sure bet for Maryland. But, hold it, said Mike Miller and other partisan Democrats in Annapolis. "If slots come in now, Bob Ehrlich will get all the credit!" Leveraging their power, slots were amazingly tabled until 2007. Now, the same Democrats who blamed slots for every societal ill are suddenly lining up behind the one-arm bandits.

I was in favor of slots up until this point. On paper, slots make sense to provide desperately needed funds. But now I'm questioning what we're getting in return for slots based on not only this political sham, but my personal experience during the 2006 campaign.

In 2006, I endorsed slot machines for racetracks, just as O'Malley has. But in all the months of the campaign, I never heard one word from anyone in the gaming industry. Remember, all of my opponents were against slots. You would think the industry would have reached out and had a dialogue on the issue. But there were no words and certainly no financial contributions. (The same goes for all of those phony medical societies which claim to be so concerned about medical malpractice reform). This revealed that they were more concerned with helping elect Democrats than helping the residents of Maryland. Count me as a new skeptic about slots now. I question the casino industry's commitment to the state of Maryland and to assisting our horse racing industry.

Peru Earthquake
This has been a terrible tragedy. It is important locally, as many Peruvians live in the area. I am hopeful that the U.S. will offer a temporary amnesty to immigrants from Peru until the situation can be stabilized. Here are some quotes from an AP report on the current chaos in Peru:
"As many as 80 percent of the people in quake-hit urban areas may not have access to clean water and many rural communities still have not been reached to assess the damage, said Dominic Nutt, part of an emergency assessment team in Peru for the aid agency Save the Children."

"'The situation is probably worse than first imagined,' Nutt said."
"We don't have water. The tents have not arrived," said Maria Tataja, 38, who shared an open-fronted shelter with nine other people.
"There is nothing to eat. There is a lot of looting going on," he said. - Motorcycle taxi driver Marco Coila
The Goldwater Scandal Continues to Unfold
Reaction to the resignation of Marilyn Goldwater continues... To update, the Democratic colleagues of Ms. Goldwater, and their friends at the Washington Post and The Gazette, deliberately misled the voters regarding her health condition. As a result, we lost 1/3 of our representation in Annapolis in 2007. Further, now that she has resigned, 12 Democrats - not the voters - will choose a replacement who will serve almost a full term without ever having been approved by the residents of District 16. It's outrageous. On that very subject, here is a quote from an objective Democrat from a Gazette article:
[Former Democratic delegate Cheryl C.]Kagan and others pointed out that one-tenth of the county Annapolis delegation could effectively be chosen by a majority vote of the Central Committee — or 12 people.

‘‘These legislators will not have been elected, but selected,” Kagan said. ‘‘I think it raises questions about the fairness of the process.”
So much for democracy.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You've been had.

It's official, Marilyn Goldwater has stepped down. Exactly as I warned you would happen. I predicted she would not serve if reelected, and she never cast a single vote this year. I also predicted that she would cross the finish line on election day and resign. It just happened. District 16 was cheated out of 1/3 of its representation for a full year in Annapolis.

Bill Bronrott, Susan Lee, Brian Frosh, the Washington Post, and The Gazette all told you that Ms. Goldwater could and would serve a four year term. They did not tell you the truth. Now they must be held accountable by the voters and the press. But don't expect much from the press. Predictably, neither the Post nor the Gazette contacted me - the candidate who lost as a result of the Goldwater fraud, for comment. Never mind that I had the highest number of votes behind the Democrats, and would have won had the voters known the truth about Marilyn Goldwater. Just a small detail, in the partisan, megacorporate world of the Post and Gazette.

Enjoy some quotes from today's soft-hitting articles:

‘‘I’m very sad to leave, but one has to know when to say goodbye,” Goldwater (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda said in a telephone interview. ‘‘I hope that I’ve made a contribution that has helped people, and now it’s time to let other people do the job.” - from The Gazette

Wasn't 2006 the time to say goodbye and let other people do the job? Not after scamming our community out of 1/3 of our power in Annapolis? Why is now conveniently the time to say goodbye? Because the Democratic Central Committee - not you, the hard working taxpayer and voter - will choose your Delegate. That's right - they arbitrarily will choose your Delegate for you, after denying you that ability on November 7, 2006. So much for democracy.

"During the campaign, she denied speculation that if she were elected, she would resign and have the Democratic Central Committee appoint her successor. The Gazette endorsed Goldwater in 2006." - The Gazette

Well, at least they admit they endorsed her. Will they admit that they lied to you in that endorsement?

‘‘I think this was a good time to do it, to give [the committee] time to decide, and give whoever takes my seat time to get acclimated,” Goldwater said. ‘‘To wait any longer would have been unfair to everybody.”

‘‘To wait any longer would have been unfair to everybody.”

I couldn't have said it better myself. But why didn't Marilyn Goldwater say that in 2006 and just allow Reggie Oldak to fill the spot on the ballot? And why did Bronrott, Lee, Frosh, the Post and the Gazette deliberately mislead the public?

Remember that in 2010.

‘‘To wait any longer would have been unfair to everybody.”
-Marilyn Goldwater

Monday, August 06, 2007

I was right again. The results are in, and our elected officials have failed to keep their promises to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. As we know, they banned dish detergent, a useless move that will make life more difficult, more expensive, and more primitive for working families statewide in 2009. Useless, because even environmentalists acknowledged that detergent accounts for no more than 3% of phosphorus in the Bay, even by the most extreme measurements. Meanwhile, medical waste continues to flow down from Pennsylvania, industrial and energy-based pollutants continue to be put into the air and ground water, and polluters continue to dump toxic waste into tributaries and the Bay itself. And because these culprits have paid off our officials with massive campaign contributions, those officials simply will not take action until we vote them out of office.

Examine the latest report, quite a contrast to the fiction we've heard from O'Malley, Bronrott, Lee, and Frosh:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report "shows that the mid-Atlantic region, including the Chesapeake Bay, has the greatest concentration of estuaries with moderate to high levels of nutrients - the largest contributor to pollution. And the bay is one of the worst estuaries in the nation when it comes to pollution that creates oxygen-starved 'dead zones.'"

"Nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen come from fertilizer and stormwater runoff as well as dirty air and outdated sewage treatment plants." - The Capital newspaper, Annapolis, MD

(Please note that they did not mention dish detergent as a source - as I just mentioned, it is not a significant source by any measurement.)

For shame, for shame.

In 2010, let's vote for real leadership for the Chesapeake Bay.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Developer Land Grab Alert!

County Executive Ike Leggett is about to sell a wooded area adjacent to Tilden MS to a developer who will build townhouses on the property. Is this what Mr. Leggett meant by "slow growth?" Is this "preserving green space" in action? Is this an example of "Project Open Space" in action? No, no, and no! This is one of the last green spaces in north Bethesda!

Violent Crime Spree Continues in Montgomery County

A man was carjacked on Battery Lane. This was not emphasized in the local papers. Why not? To protect our do-nothing elected officials, that's why. They've worked on trans-fats, dish detergent, and restaurant menus, but not on crime!

Arnold for President

Regular readers of this blog know that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most prominent example of leadership in all 50 states. Gov. Schwarzenegger has proven that government can work when citizens are the priority, instead of partisan politics. When his last term is up in Sacramento, U.S. Congress and the White House beckon. Can a legal loophole be found to allow him to run for President? Let's hope so. Clearly there is broad support for a Schwarzenegger candidacy. Here is the result for an online poll at one point last week on Yahoo!:

Would you vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger for president of the United States?

YES: 54%
NO: 44%

Enjoy the clips at this special Yahoo! site, featuring the most successful and popular governor in America - and he's a Republican!

Click here for more of America's top governor.