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Baltimore

The Nearsightedness of Baltimore City Government

An Op/Ed For LocalInitiatives.org
Thursday, July 1, 2021

If you’re like me, you watch one of the local Baltimore news stations when you’re putting on your jammies at the end a long day. With luck and cool sheets, you’ll be asleep before you hear the lead stories about murder and mayhem in the big city. Forget about all the wonderful and impressive things the people of Baltimore do every day. Crime is the lead story. No matter where you live in Maryland, if you watch the evening news on one of these stations, crime is last thing you hear about Keep reading

The family that is Maryland.

An Op/Ed For LocalInitiatives.org
March 20, 2021

Have you ever walked into a room and something doesn’t feel right? When there is a palpable sense that something is off, but you’re not sure exactly what? That there’s a subtext to what you are watching that you can’t quite make out?

Politically, for example, there has been a lot of talk about a profound change in the underlying philosophy of the Republican Party. It’s drifted – “fallen off a cliff” is more like it – from legitimate conservativism to power-mongering and survivalism. Even after the screen door of a second impeachment Keep reading

Brandon Scott – Laundering Campaign Contributions

Brandon Scott
Councilman for District 2, Now President of the City Council
Candidate for Mayor of Baltimore
Launderer of Contributions to Circumvent Campaign Financing Law

We all have an interest in improving election law to reduce the influence of money on primary and general elections.

In the course of figuring out what changes to advocate for campaign financing law, we’ve been looking at contributions received by the five leading candidates for Mayor of Baltimore. In
alphabetical order, they are Sheila Dixon, Mary Miller, Brandon Scott, Thiru Vignarajah and Jack Young. Contributions data are readily available at the Maryland Board of Keep reading

Breaking News: Does nothing good ever happen in Baltimore?

First of all, a confession. I live in Howard County. Full employment. High income. My wife and I have given up long ago trying to find a neighborhood kid to do yard work. My guess is they’re too busy washing the hand-me-down BMWs and Subarus their parents give them. When I grew up, I saved my lawn mowing and snow shoveling money to buy an old two-door Ford Falcon with three gears on the column and a bench seat. Girls you were dating would sit next to you back in those days.

Howard County has a very low crime rate. Keep reading

Sign of the Times

The screenshot below is from yesterday’s Sun article about the billboard. Whether or not it is related to Mayor Pugh’s scandalous behavior and the FBI’s investigation, it marks an extraordinary moment in the continuing downward spiral of Baltimore’s public image.

Not surprisingly, some contributors to the Mayor’s $1 million campaign war chest are asking for their money back. These contributors can feign shock and disappointment all they want. The truth is that they put up their money to buy accessibility and influence once Mayor Pugh was re-elected. Now that the Mayor’s political future is toast, larger dollar contributors can’t Keep reading

Replacing William Cole

As what might be described as a casualty of the mess that has turned out to be the administration of Mayor Catherine Pugh, William Cole is resigning as the head of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC).  And not a moment too soon.  But then this isn’t about the specifics of why he should be replaced. It’s about a much larger problem, that being the entire mission of the BDC.

Cole, who used to represent downtown Council District 11 before coming to the BDC, was appointed to his current position in 2014 by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who preceded Mayor Pugh.  He Keep reading

For the Birds

Of all the development options the owners of the Horseshoe could have proposed to go on the water, next to their Baltimore casino, is a Topgolf driving range/bar really the best they could do?

If you don’t already know, the owners of the Horseshoe Casino – the only one of Maryland’s 6 casinos that has been experiencing declining revenues in the past few years and with substantial support from Mayor Pugh and her Baltimore Development Corporation – are planning to put a Topgolf on these two adjacent waterfront properties…

The red Google Maps marker is M&T Bank Stadium “Lot J” Keep reading

Baltimore’s Shadow Government.

Who’s in control of the city?

The city of Baltimore has roughly 612,000 people. It’s a number that continues to decline because, let’s be honest, the city has very serious deficiencies. For most of its residents, particularly those without money, it is not a good place to live and work.

Unemployment is 5.6% compared to 4.3% statewide and only 4% in Baltimore County. Many lower income residents have jobs, but aren’t paid enough to make a living. Underemployment – when people have no choice but to take jobs below their potential – may be an even bigger problem.

By median Keep reading

Squandered Promise

It’s a good bet that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will be running for re-election in 2020. Why shouldn’t she? Incumbents are always hard to beat. She’ll have plenty of developer and other business money to fund her campaign. She’ll win the Democratic Primary and that will be that.

What’s striking is that the people who should be tossing Mayor Pugh to the curb in favor of someone new who really knows how to turn the city around aren’t old enough to vote. They’re not old enough to vote, nor do most of them realize the fundamental truth of Mayor Pugh’s Keep reading

Real Emergencies

Our President has recently called into question the common sense understanding of what constitutes an emergency or crisis. Is, for example, the lack of a wall across our southern border really as disconcerting as, let’s say, the abuse of opioids? Or the fact that 1 out of 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime?

Unfortunately, a similar “misunderstanding,” we’ll call it, is happening in Baltimore City where a situation seems to have been elevated to crisis level at the expense – in terms of expressions of persistent outrage and concern, not to mention real Keep reading