Anything Goes in Leftist Politics

Saturday’s runoff in Louisiana is over.  Mary Landrieu is enjoying her last few days as an elected official.  Republicans will enjoy an eight seat majority come January.  What’s to worry?

While Louisiana has earned a reputation for lawlessness in its politics, some tactics used in Landrieu’s vain struggle to remain in the U.S. Senate should remain in voters’ (and conservatives’) minds long after Bill Cassidy is sworn in to replace that vestige of crooked cronyism – Mary Landrieu.


“Vote early.  Vote often.” It’s a joke oft-told about politicians.  Is it really a joke?

Thanks to the Black Conservatives Fund, we now know as fact something that many have simply feared:  Democrat politicians encourage [some] voters to vote more than once.

In this case Opelousas, LA mayor Don Cravins, Sr. encourages a group of predominately African-American voters to “Vote Again”.  Mayor Cravins just happens to be the father of Landrieu’s chief-of-staff.  As Louisiana Sen. Elbert Guillory notes in the video, the only think preventing mass voter fraud of the type encouraged by Cravins is voter ID requirements (which Louisiana thankfully has), and a Republican administration in Baton Rouge.


[Read more…]

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Sussex County Council Silences Public

GEORGETOWN, DE – Have you EVER been to a City Council, County Council, Planning Commission, (or any other government board or commission) meeting where the public is denied the opportunity to get up and comment?  If you live in Sussex County you now have the opportunity.

The Sussex County Council has decided that there will be public comment … but only AFTER they have held their regular meeting AND their executive session.

Here’s how it works:

  • Council holds public session (public can’t speak).
  • Regular meeting adjourns and council enters executive session (public can’t be in the room).
  • After anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, the public (if anyone has actually stayed around, and of course the cameras are long gone) can come back in and have their say.

This sounds an awful lot like President Obama’s pledge to have the most transparent administration in history.  Democracy in action.  God Bless America!

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Culver Starts Term with Change

SALISBURY, MD – Citizens voted for change on November 4th.  Bob Culver, Wicomico’s new County Executive, decided to kick-off his term with just that.

After his swearing in, Culver announced a few changes.  First, county employees will no longer receive a paid day off on their birthday.  Culver also announced that he would be cutting back on the number of county employees who receive take-home cars.

As I wrote the other day, Culver doesn’t need to swing for the fences.  A few solid base hits will work wonders.  He deserves credit for two solid singles on Tuesday (really, a single and a walk).  Culver can implement the take-home car policy on his own.  I believe he needs an amendment to the county’s personnel manual to implement the birthday measure.  That requires approval by the county council.  Regardless, it was a solid performance; letting voters know that he is serious about lowering the cost of county government.  Chipping away will certainly yield better long term results than attempting any grand schemes.

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Racist Cops?

Salisbury’s Daily Times feels the need to stir the pot of racial animus on Delmarva.  African-Americans are arrested in proportionally higher numbers.  What is new about that?  This is a sad fact.  We should all wish that the crime rate were lower.  However, I don’t believe that victims of crimes are particularly concerned about the race of the criminals.

Is anyone accusing law enforcement officers of NOT arresting white criminals?  Is anyone accusing prosecutors of NOT trying white criminals?  If so, I missed that part of Vanessa Junkin’s and Rachel Pacella’s article.

Instead, such reporting merely serves as an excuse for certain “community leaders” to spout off about non-existent ills within our community.  Mary Ashanti, president of the Wicomico branch of the NAACP, compared the criminal justice system to an ante-bellum plantation:

“The statistics of the over-representation of blacks arrested in Wicomico County, Maryland, represent an ongoing contradiction since the end of chattel slavery," part of her emailed statement reads. "That contradiction being that slavery never ended, it was just legally maneuvered to justify its existence by way of punishment through the courts and as a viable economic entity.

"The gross disparity in the incarceration rates between blacks and caucasians will only widen until every able-bodied young black male has been herded into the concentration camps of the American prison-industrial complex.”

At Tuesday’s Wicomico County Council meeting Ashanti spoke eloquently against racial profiling.  She served herself, and the constituency she claims to represent, well.  But to compare the arresting of criminals to slavery serves no one other than the tiny minority who make their livings from fomenting racial hatred – both black and white.

It is obvious that Gannett’s motivation behind such race baiting was to sell papers.  They admit that this series of articles is an attempt to tie local news in with the unrest in Ferguson, MO.  They would probably like nothing better than a nice, bloody riot to help boost their bottom line.

As for me, I hope that every law enforcement officer in the country is like Accomack Sheriff Tod Godwin:

"We don’t see race, we don’t see gender.  We see probable cause for an arrest."

It’s odd no one mentioned that Sheriff Godwin is African-American.

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What’s In Store for Wicomico County?

Judging by the results of the recent election, Wicomico County voters should be enthused about some changes coming down the pike.  However, those changes will required some thought and planning on the part of incoming County Executive Bob Culver, the incoming (and outgoing) County Council’s, and Wicomico’s legislative delegation.

Maryland Governor-elect Larry Hogan ran (and was elected) on three primary issues:

  1. Maryland is OVER-TAXED.
  2. Maryland is OVER-REGULATED.
  3. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown was incompetent.

Well …

If Maryland is over-taxed (and most of seem to agree), there are only two things that Hogan can do:

  1. Cut Spending while keeping the current tax rates as is.
  2. Cut Spending MORE and ask the General Assembly to cut tax rates.

Obviously, Wicomico voters (as well as voters from around the Once Free State) are looking for tax cuts. There are just a few problems; to cut taxes Hogan will have to drastically cut spending.  He already faces a projected $593 million shortfall courtesy of outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley.  As governor, Hogan has a great deal of influence over the spending side of the budget.  He needs the Democrat-controlled General Assembly to cut taxes.

Hogan has already met with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the mayor has stated that they must reconsider Baltimore’s “reliance on state aid”.  All localities need to do the same.  However, if you are like Wicomico County the hit could be hard.

For local officials, this will probably mean severe cuts to their respective budgets.  Wicomico County could be one of the worst hit by Hogan’s expected spending cuts.  Wicomico County pays just over 24% for its schools.  Compare that to over 35% in Dorchester and almost 76% in Worcester.  The state requires Wicomico to meet Maintenance of Effort (MOE) each year.

Incoming Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver needs to be prepared for a revenue shortfall.  How much is anyone’s guess.

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Wicomico GOP Latest Source of Dem $$

Wicomico councilwoman, and District 37-A House candidate, Sheree Sample-Hughes has stumbled upon a new source of campaign cash.  REPUBLICAN elected officials!

That’s right!  The most liberal member of the Wicomico County Council can count the likes of Wicomico council president Matt Holloway, appointed councilman John Hall, and Wicomico sheriff Mike Lewis among her most ardent supporters.  Even Lewis’ chief deputy has contributed to Sample-Hughes’ race.


In a twisted sense of irony, voters should remember that Sample-Hughes has implied that Lewis and his department are a bunch of racists because of a drug raid and chase on Salisbury’s west side a few years ago.  Now Lewis and his number two are helping Sample-Hughes to climb the political ladder.

It will be interesting to see the response of the local Republican party.

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Maryland Board of Elections Cries Foul

What happens when the powers that be don’t want to bother with the niceties of an election but would rather proceed directly to a coronation?  You ignore the law and all appearances of propriety.  At least that is the case when Maryland elections chief, and O’Malley / Brown ally, Linda Lamone decides to issue a ruling allowing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s campaign to raise money during the 2014 General Assembly session.

In theory, Lamone works for the State Board of Elections.  Unfortunately for the people of Maryland, Lamone seems to thing that the board’s only purpose is to rubber stamp her actions.  Such was the recent case where Lamone chose to bypass the Attorney General’s office in seeking an opinion as to whether Brown’s running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman could raise money for the Brown / Ulman ticket while Brown is expressly prohibited from doing so.  Lamone then issued a ruling without bothering to consult the board – the people she supposedly reports to.  Glynis Kazanjian, at Maryland Reporter, details Lamone’s actions and the reaction of one courageous board member.

Why bother with elections when bureaucrats can rule our lives?

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First Amendment Dead in Maryland

TOWSON, MD – The left seems to believe that there should be no consequences to saying anything … provided you adhere to the liberal orthodoxy.  However, if you don’t then they also seem to find no problem throwing the First Amendment right out the window.

We see one such example in the recent arrest of a Howard County parent attempting to ask questions at one of the recent meetings on “Common Core” being held by the state Board of Education.  The parent was arrested and charged with assault.

Readers should understand that the rules set by the Maryland board were designed to limit discussion and deflect serious debate away from this issues.  All questions were supposed to be submitted ahead of time, in writing.  The government officials were able to cherry pick questions and re-word them to allow softball answers to softball questions.

While the charges against Robert Small have been dropped, the message sent was loud and clear – DO NOT CHALLENGE THE STATIST ORTHODOXY.

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Obama’s Lack of Understanding

WASHINGTON, DC – While people were literally dying in southeast DC yesterday, President Barack Obama launched a partisan attack against Congressional Republicans.  Even media outlets such as MSNBC – the OFFICIAL Obama network – is outraged.

From FOXNews:

More than three hours after news broke of the Navy Yard shootings, President Obama opted to proceed with a partisan attack on Republicans over a looming budget impasse. Obama asked if the GOP was really “willing to hurt people” while police were still searching for suspects in the killings. Obama also touted his own re-election win, slamming Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s ineffective opposition to Obama’s 2010 health law. All the networks, including MSNBC, eventually abandoned coverage of the president’s remarks and returned to breaking news from the scene.

Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney why the president went ahead with “what became a series of attacks on Republicans.” Carney responded saying the president’s comments were “entirely appropriate.”

Is the President and his staff so tone deaf that they can’t understand there are certain lines you don’t cross?  Can you imagine the reaction if a Republican occupied the White House and did the same thing?

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Ireton Threatens City Board Members

SALISBURY, MD – Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton has resorted to threats in attempting to get his way from the city’s Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals (HBAA).  According to the Daily Times’ Jeremy Cox, Ireton threatened the board members after his administration did not get their way regarding the rubble pile on the site of the old Salisbury Mall:

“I just wanted to let the three of you know your terms are up, and we would like to know whether you would like to be reappointed,” he said.

The HBAA, mockingly called the “Slumlords’ Board” by some, is charged with hearing appeals of city enforcement decisions against city property owners.  The members of the quasi-judicial board are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council.   However, the board (like other quasi-judicial boards such as the Board of Zoning Appeals) is supposed to be independent.

Ireton’s actions threaten the independence of the board and make any rulings in favor of his administration suspect.  Why would Ireton do such a thing?  Simply, his arrogance knows no bounds.  Like his hero Barack Obama, the rule of law means nothing.  Results are what matter, and that means Ireton’s way or the highway.

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The EPA Brigade

CHICKEN, AK – I remember watching a 1997 Steven Seagal movie, Fire Down Below, and thinking what a stupid premise the movie was based on.  Sure it was decent low brow entertainment and I loved some of the actors – Marg Helgenberger, Kris Kristofferson, Levon Helm – and the country singers that also appeared – Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt – but c’mon … an EPA agent wages war against an evil corporation and the town it controls.  Boy, was I wrong!

Last week armed EPA agents raided the thriving metropolis of Chicken, Alaska.  The EPA Brigade showed up in full body armor looking for violations of the Clean Water Act.

The next time I need to call 911 for the police I’ll tell them that someone is polluting rather than robbing my house.  Maybe the eco-army will respond faster.

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Pope Francis Overturns 2000 Years of Christian Doctrine

ROME – For two thousand years Christians have believed that Jesus Christ died for their sins and that the only path to heaven lay in acceptance of Christ as the Son of God and Savior.  London’s Daily Telegraph has reported that Pope Francis, in an op-ed written for the Italian daily La Republicca, has announced that:

"The question for those who do not believe in God is to follow their own conscience. Sin, even for a non-believer, is when one goes against one’s conscience.

"To listen and to follow your conscience means that you understand the difference between good and evil."

This follows a homily earlier this year where the Pope stated that even atheists could be welcomed into heaven.  It appears that His Holiness may be looking to take the Roman Catholic Church down the same path as the Episcopal Church.  He should carefully examine how that has worked out.

Acceptance of Christ is no long required for salvation?  We need only follow our own conscience?  Like dogs, do all sociopaths go to heaven?

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The Downzoning of Wicomico County

SALISBURY, MD – Five years ago Wicomico citizens fought a pitched battle to preserve their property rights.  On one side were farmers, large landowners, real estate developers, and a large group of ordinary citizens who actually believed in personal liberty and property rights.  On the other side was Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt, several members of the Wicomico County Council, the state of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and every enviro-leftist in Wicomico County.  Dubbed the “Big Land Grab”, Pollitt and his political allies attempted to strip farmers and large land owners of their right to develop all or part of their property under current law.  It was by one vote that the attempt was thwarted.

Move forward to today.  What Pollitt and his enviro-left allies couldn’t achieve openly has come to pass under the cloak of inaction.  By refusing to adopt a tier map Pollitt and the Wicomico County Council have effectively downzoned all agricultural land in Wicomico.

Didn’t Wicomico voters elect a strong majority of pro-property rights council members in the last election?  So they said.  The problem is that the de facto Pollitt majority on council seems to believe that by NOT acting, they can provide themselves cover.

The county council could have taken action on their own.  They could have adopted a tier map that minimized the damage done to property rights by Pollitt’s pals in Annapolis.  Instead, the de facto Pollitt majority (ironically lead by a “Republican” farmer, Matt Holloway) has allowed the County Executive to lead them by the nose.  Pollitt wants an invitation-only meeting of “stakeholders” to “discuss” the issue.  Pollitt took his own sweet time in scheduling this sit-down and then postponed so it wouldn’t interfere with his recent junket to Asia.

Who are these “stakeholders”?  County administrator Wayne Strausburg has been slow in releasing the list as requested by stalwart conservative councilman Joe Holloway.  Our understanding is that Pollitt’s enviro-left pals dominate the panel.

In the meantime, Rick Pollitt has achieved by inaction what he couldn’t achieve through legislative action.

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In Delaware It’s Only Tax Money!

WILMINGTON, DE – What happens when a local non-profit wants to invest $100,000 renovating a local museum?  The county government rejects the help of course!

That is what has occurred recently in New Castle County when a local group offered to spend $100,000 on the historic Rockwood Mansion.  Why?  The PRIVATE group was not going pay a “prevailing wage” on the work.  Delaware Rep. Danny Short and Delaware Rep. Deborah Hudson have penned an op-ed in response to Delaware’s system of kow-towing to unions at the taxpayers’ expense.

Yet one more method of the government queering the free market, prevailing wage laws are designed to encourage the hiring of union contractors.  If non-union contractors are forced to pay union-scale wages (the “prevailing wage”), governments are encouraged to hire union contractors.  There is no cost advantage to hiring a non-union contractor and non-union contractors don’t (as a rule) picket your job site.

In the case of the Rockwood Mansion, the project would be undertaken by a private group.  However, the government owns the property.  The New Castle County council and executive have decided that the prevailing wage must be paid even though Friends of Rockwood Mansion are a private, not-for-profit organization.  (The state law only requires “prevailing wage” on GOVERNMENT capital projects).

So, what’s the result?  An historic treasure won’t receive the renovation it desperately needs.  When it does, the cost will be far higher than it would be without the burden of the prevailing wage law.  And … Delaware taxpayers will have to pick up the tab rather than a group of private citizens who ponied up for the renovation to begin with.

God Bless the AFL-CIO and their lackeys in the Delaware Legislature.

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You Can’t Manage An Economy

WASHINGTON, DC – Big Labor, a leading backer of the Barack Obama administration and the Democrat party, is finally starting to learn that the government cannon manage an economy.  Their lesson?  ObamaCare’s 40% tax on “cadillac” health insurance plans.

Last week, just prior to the Labor Day holiday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they would be ending their affiliation with the AFL-CIO over the union umbrella’s support of ObamaCare and the tax on “cadillac plans”.  Other labor unions are denouncing the law as they learn that their members will be adversely affected by ObamaCare.  The Democrat promise that all Americans could keep their existing plans if they wanted has rung hollow.

While more  employers across the country are cutting worker hours below the 30 hour “full time” threshold for ObamaCare, others are abandoning their traditional health plans in favor of high deductible Health Savings Account plans (HSA’s).  Ironically, it was the left that attacked these plans during the first decade of the 21st century.

HSA’s are cheaper, in part, because employees have greater control over their health care spending:

John Goodman, a longtime proponent, is sometimes called the father of health savings accounts. He explains that with such accounts "the employee controls a lot of the money, makes a lot of his own decisions."

He says that saves money because, as he puts it, "we’re always more careful when we’re spending our own money than when we’re spending someone else’s money."

Increased regulation and higher taxes distort the market for health care, which encompasses 17% of our nation’s economy.  Big Labor, and other traditional Democrat allies may finally be learning that Washington’s “Brain Trust” simply cannot manage such a large portion of the world’s largest economy.  Despite continual attack from government, the “invisible hand” of the free market always comes out on top.  Unfortunately, the distorting effects of government, labor unions, and corporatist business interests do impact the free market; yielding results that few proponents can anticipate.

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3/4 of Americans Are Racists?

WASHINGTON, DC – Are 3/4 of Americans really racists?  That’s a tough a pretty tough feat given that non-Hispanic whites make up just over 60% of the US population; yet the left does seem to believe this.  Why?  A recent Washington Post poll shows that 74% of Americans support photo ID to vote.  According to such conservative stalwarts as Barack Obama and Eric Holder, requiring a photo ID is a blatant attempt to suppress minority voter turnout … de facto racism.

I guess Congress will have to appropriate money for mandatory “sensitivity training”.

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Maryland Phosphorous Regulations on Temporary Hold

Pollitt and Allies Dodge Another Political Bullet

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today’s scheduled hearing on “emergency” implementation of new phosphorous regulations has been canceled.  Maryland farmers will receive a temporary reprieve from rules which would have prohibited use of chicken manure on many fields.  In addition, many Maryland elected officials are breathing a sigh of relief while some will be taking credit for coming to the aid of Maryland farmers.

With agriculture such a big component of the Eastern Shore economy, you would think that elected officials would race to come to the aid of farmers and poultry processors.  Yet when Wicomico County councilman Joe Holloway (R-5) proposed that the council and County Executive Rick Pollitt take a stand and petition the state on this matter, only councilwoman Gail Bartkovich (R-3) and councilman Bob Culver (R-AtLarge) stepped up to the plate.  When Holloway (not to be confused with council president Matt Holloway (R-AtLarge)) publicized the fact that council and Pollitt did not support standing up for agriculture, a rush to the microphones started in earnest.  Matt Holloway announced that he would be testifying on behalf of farmers.  A few days later the Rick Pollitt / Matt Holloway alliance changed its stance to petition the state.  Plans were made to send County Administrator Wayne Strausburg to Annapolis with Council Administrator Matt Creamer in tow.

Now there has been a temporary reprieve.  Wicomico farmers and those whose livelihood depends on agriculture should continue to pay close attention.  They can’t continue to depend on officials like Joe Holloway, Bartkovich, and Culver being able to embarrass Pollitt and his council majority into standing up for what is right.

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Who Will Replace E. J. Pipkin?

CENTREVILLE, MD – Maryland Senator E. J. Pipkin (R-36) has resigned to enjoy graduate school and no state income tax at Southern Methodist University.  The feeding frenzy to replace the center / right Republican has begun with thirteen men and one woman applying for his seat:

Steven J. Arentz    Queen Anne’s County
R. Scott Bramble    Cecil County
Frank W. Frohn    Queen Anne’s County
John L. Graham    Queen Anne’s County
Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.    Queen Anne’s County
Andrew Langer    Queen Anne’s County
Timothy McCluskey    Queen Anne’s County
Audrey E. Scott    Queen Anne’s County
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr.    Cecil County
Richard A. Sossi    Queen Anne’s County
Robert A. Thornton, Jr.    Caroline County
John L. Walter    Queen Anne’s County
John J. Walton, Jr.    Caroline County
Eric S. Wargotz    Queen Anne’s County

Two incumbent delegates (Smigiel and Hershey) and one former delegate (Sossi) have thrown their names in the pot along with former MDGOP chairwoman Audrey Scott and the Eastern Shore version of Harold Stassen – Dr. Eric Wargotz.  Probably the most interesting name on the list is Andrew Langer.

Langer is a strong, libertarian leaning, conservative.  Langer is principled but not an ideologue.  This would allow the 36th district to have a strong conservative senator who could also get thing done. (While I agree with much of his analysis, Monoblogue’s Michael Swartz characterizes Langer as a “bomb thrower”.  I have to respectfully disagree.)

While Scott was an excellent party chairman, another moderate senator is NOT what Maryland (or the MDGOP) needs.

What about Smigiel and Hershey?  Maryland is one of the few states where delegates serve the same term lengths as senators.  Why give up seniority in the House?

The coming weeks will be interesting.  Each county central committee (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s) gets one vote.  However, most of the district’s population is in Queen Anne’s.  Given the breadth of candidates, Pipkin’s successor should come from QAC.  The question is who.

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Why Is IRS Going After Job Creators?

WASHINGTON, DC – While President Barack Obama and members of Congress from both parties claim that job creation is a national priority, the federal government is making life more difficult for the nation’s job creation engine – small business.  According to CNN, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is targeting small businesses that generate a disproportionate amount of revenue paid for by credit cards.

The IRS claims to be using “industry data” to determine who to target.  There are just a few problems with this notion.  Such data is always historical and doesn’t reflect the rapid technological and demographic changes our economy is going through.  The hot dog stand operator of ten years ago never even thought about accepting credit cards.  How could he (or she)?  Today that same business owner simply pops a small (and amazingly affordable) device like the Square or Intuit’s GoPayment into their smart phone and VOILA – customers can now pay with a credit or debit card!

Twenty years ago, selling your wares via the internet were the province of larger businesses who could afford to invest in the programming and infrastructure to put together an online store.  Today, millions of small businesses sell products and services online.  They receive their payments via services like PayPal or … credit card.

Let’s not forget the demographic changes we have experienced at an accelerated pace.  Today, fewer and fewer consumers carry cash.  It is assumed that they can pay for every product and service they will ever need via credit card, debit card, or online debit from their bank accounts.  Talk to a college student or a recent graduate – most have never written a check!  Cash?  Forget it!  In case you haven’t noticed, you don’t even need cash to buy a Coke from a vending machine anymore.

Why worry if you’re not cheating on your taxes?  If you have to ask, you obviously have never owned a business.  Time spent responding to the IRS is time that could be spent building your business.  Money spent on CPA’s is money that be spent building your business.  That means CREATING JOBS!

Most of us will acknowledge that the IRS has a job to do.  However, we should hope that our Federal government would be more judicious in using its power; particularly as it impacts the growth of our fragile national, state, and local economies.

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Another Questionable Land Deal on Today’s County Council Agenda

SALISBURY, MD – Another questionable real estate deal is catching the eyes of Wicomico County taxpayers.  Today the Wicomico County Council is scheduled to vote on the acquisition of 23 acres of land for a new transfer station near Allen.

The purchase price for the property is approximately $150,000.  However, the price was originally $250,000 $220,000.  The price came down only after the county government was offered nearby parcels at a much lower price.  This calls into question the legitimacy of the original appraisal.  In addition, there are questions regarding personal ties between the family of the landowners and County Executive Rick Pollitt.

This comes on the heels of the county’s approval of a lease / purchase agreement for new office space for the State’s Attorney’s office.  Questions were raised when county purchasing director Rick Konrad informed two bidders that their proposals must meet certain requirements or their proposals would be automatically rejected.  The winning bidder did not meet those same requirements.

As in the case of the State’s Attorney office deal, it is expected that the pro-Pollitt majority coalition of council members John Hall, Matt Holloway, Stevie Prettyman, and Sheree Sample-Hughes will approve the purchase.

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What Happened to Free Markets?

One of the assumptions of a free market is that all parties have equal access to all available information.  This is why things like “insider trading” are illegal.  We acknowledge that we do not live in a Pollyanna world of perfect competition and perfect information.  That said, we thought that the government was supposed to protect consumers from market manipulation.

It appears that this is not the case.  Any viewer of CNBC or Fox Business know that the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) or of a Board of Governors’ meeting can, and do, move markets.  Why then did copies of the minutes of the March Fed meeting go out a day early to several banks, at least one hedge fund, a law firm, and several Congressional staffer?

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Senate Office Bugged by Left

WASHINGTON, DC – For those that believe only Republicans would engage in things such as illegal wire-tapping, fear not.  It appears that the left doesn’t bother with legal niceties when it suits their purposes either.

Mother Jones has published an article based, in part, on illegal recordings made of Sen. Mitch McConnell discussing the possibility of a challenge from actress Ashley Judd.

While Judd has announced that she will not run in 2014, her response to the illegal act sounded and awful lot like a candidate:  “This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C.”

The mainstream media’s response seems to be more concern about McConnell “digging up dirt” on Judd rather than the fact that an illegal act had taken place.  We can only assume that ABC News has never heard of opposition research.

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Sequester Soul Show at White House

We thought that children were starving and old people were dying because of the sequester?  Yet … we would dare deprive the Obama’s of a little in-house entertainment (or multi-million dollar vacations).

See video at

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FDR’s Grandson Working on Energy Independence … With Oil

Elliott Roosevelt, grandson of Democrat icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is sitting on top of almost 2 BILLION barrels of oil.  By injecting carbon dioxide into the ground he, and independent experts, expects to release 400 – 600 million barrels of that oil.  Of course, that’s assuming that the Obama administration doesn’t throw up additional roadblocks.

While the Obama administration has all but stopped new drilling on public lands, energy exploration on private lands has grown and yielded results.  North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation thanks to “fracking” for natural gas.  The method being used by Roosevelt has the potential to bring another 3 – 4 million barrels per day to market.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

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Few Surprises at Chamber / PACE Forum

At Tuesday evening’s final candidate forum before next Tuesday’s Salisbury city elections, there were few surprises; but there were a few.  The biggest surprise was that the sponsors of the forum – the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce and SU’s Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) – through their chosen moderator, Chamber ED Ernie Colburn, gave up all pretense of being honest brokers in this process.  For starters, it became abundantly clear that SOME of the candidates had been provided the questions in advance of yesterday’s forum.  Candidates were also permitted rebuttals on a SELECTIVE basis.

The first question posed by Colburn was to council candidates about creating a business-friendly environment for the city.  After District 1 incumbent Shanie Shields read her answer from a prepared script, a stammering Colburn interjected that “No candidate had been provided the questions in advance”.  District 2 challenger Jake Day also seemed to have his answers well prepared in advance.  However, he was not as obvious as Shields.

After the first embarrassment, Colburn followed up by attempting to sandbag mayoral candidate Joe Albero.  Colburn stated that Albero had called for the closing of the Salisbury Zoo.  Albero was at ease when he corrected Colburn, “I’ve never said or written such a thing.  My wife worked at the zoo and she would kill me if I ever said such a thing.”  Albero has been a critic of the zoo in the past and has called on the zoo to be more financially self-sufficient.  Our research was unable to find any instance where Albero called for the zoo to be closed.


One new approach in this debate was a “tag team” approach taken by Day and incumbent mayor Jim Ireton.  Ireton never referred to Albero.  In a weak attempt to tie Albero and Campbell together, he would say “my TWO opponent”, while pointing to both Albero and Campbell.  Day attacked Albero directly by claiming that NO ONE has called for 500 affordable housing units to be built on existing downtown parking lots.  Ireton’s downtown plan does call for 500 housing units.  Speaking on the matter over the past two years he has called for some or all of those units to be “affordable” housing.  Even while trying to call Albero out, Day equivocated; saying “I think” and “I’m pretty sure”.


[Read more…]

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Ireton Views on Business and Profit

Last week, Don Rush of Delmarva Public Radio interviewed both candidates for mayor of Salisbury.  The contrast was startling.  While this was not candidate (and SBYNews publisher) Joe Albero’s best interview, he was relaxed and discussed the issues facing the city.  Incumbent mayor Jim Ireton was agitated, sarcastic, interrupted Rush numerous times, and let the world know that Salisbury is NOT a business-friendly community.

See the interviews below.  Ireton’s starts at about 29 minutes in.

Ireton claims great accomplishment.  Nothing is his fault.  If something didn’t happen it was because of the city council, specifically Debbie Campbell.  If businesses believe that Salisbury isn’t business-friendly, it’s THEIR fault, not the city’s.  Oh … and he PLANS to do lots of things IF he’s re-elected.

For every ten people that come to the city, five feel they’ve been treated OK. – Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton

What is most disturbing is Ireton’s attitude towards business.  If you make a profit, you need to pay more.  If the police have to come to your business TWICE in TWO YEARS, the city (NOT a judge) should be able to shut you down.  If you appeal, you have to appeal to the same person who already decided to close your doors.

If you are a businessperson looking to move to Salisbury and you hear the mayor sarcastically asking questions like, “Who made that profit?” or “Somebody’s making money somewhere.” do you think that Salisbury is a great place to do business?

Ireton states, “For every ten people that come to the city, five feel they’ve been treated OK.”  Ireton thinks that’s acceptable!  Do you deal with businesses who take the attitude that they only need to satisfy 50% of their customers?  If you are a business do you want to move to a city that takes this attitude?  If you are a businessperson in Salisbury, do you want to expand in a city that takes this attitude?

You don’t have to give away the store to attract businesses.  You don’t have to make Salisbury unsafe to encourage businesses to expand.  You do need a sea change in attitude.  Satisfying 50% of your customers is NOT acceptable.  Making Salisbury “more progressive” isn’t going to attract business.

Thanks to PAC-14 for providing the video.

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Yet Another O’Malley Promise Broken

Another great piece of reporting from Red Maryland‘s Mark Newgent:

Millions of Maryland electricity consumers, served by BGE, and will see yet another rate increase.  This is SEVEN YEARS after Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley pledged to “Stop the Rate Hikes”.  Remember, this was O’Malley’s biggest criticism against then governor Bob Ehrlich.
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Is Joe Albero a Racist?

In part one of a multi-part series on SBYNews I examined today’s Daily Times article about Joe Albero and race.  Rather than re-print the piece here, I am linking to it:

There are a few things I would like you to keep in mind –
  • Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton has a history of playing the “race card” whenever he feels politically threatened or believes that he may use it to his political advantage.  Before calling Albero a racist he literally stood on a street corner and called a majority of the city council racists because they would not rubber stamp one of his proposals.
  • Ireton has played fast and loose with the truth from the day he was sworn in as mayor (I can’t authoritatively comment on before he was mayor).  Since announcing for re-election he has really turned the “Truth-O-Meter” upside down.  Whether discussing race, his attempt to raise property tax rates, or falsely taking credit for the city’s relatively sound fical condition and lower crime rate, Ireton views ignored truth as something to be ignored or twisted if it serves his political purposes.
  • While Ireton attempted to spoon-feed DT reporter Jeremy Cox with a lot of out-of-context, or misrepresented garbage, Cox worked hard researching what Ireton submitted to him and performed numerous interviews with Albero, and other cocerned citizens, in order to present a much more accurate story than we would have read had it been written by either of his two predecessors (and quite a few other former city reporters).
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Ireton Prefers to Fiddle While Salisbury Burns

One thing has been made crystal clear during this whole episode, in Jimmy Ireton’s world politics will always trump public safety … or good public policy.

SALISBURY, MD – There are some things you will not read in the Daily Times.  You will never read a factual article that criticizes Wicomico’s Board of Education.  You will never read that the world’s weather runs in short and long term cycles and the notion of “climate change” is a myth.  You also won’t read about Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton’s fits at Salisbury council meetings or the true actions of certain council members.

While Salisbury firefighters, and the town’s citizenry, may have been happy to see the Salisbury council accept a $1.4 million federal grant to hire additional firefighters, one person was VERY disappointed – Mayor Jim Ireton.  Repeated attempts to goad the council majority into voting no failed.  Ireton’s claims that the council was “holding this money hostage” fell on deaf ears.  A 4-0 vote for acceptance would have been a 5-0 vote if Ireton had CHOSEN to act his age rather than perform like a two year old.

One thing was crystal clear Monday night; Jim Ireton believes that scoring cheap political points FAR exceeds the safety of the citizens of Salisbury.

If the twelve additional firefighters were so desperately needed, why has Ireton failed to request the additional firefighters in any of his budgets?  Why were firefighters and police officers furloughed?  If this grant was so important, why did Ireton REFUSE to allow the fire department to apply for it until THREE DAYS before the application deadline?

None of these questions will be asked by the mainstream media.  Ireton will never have to answer them.  Why?  Because attacking council members like Debbie Campbell is far more important than solving the city’s problems.


[Read more…]

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Can the Post Office Be Fixed?

WILMINGTON, DE – If Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is to be believed, he knows how to save the U.S. Postal Service about $500 million each year.  $500 million is nothing to sneeze at, but according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe states that $22.5 BILLION must be cut from the postal budget each year by 2016.  The USPS has already defaulted on a $5.2 billion payment to the federal government (for retiree health care benefits) and is expected to default on another payment later this year.

Can the post office be fixed?  Of course … in theory.  Unfortunately, we live in the real world.  Members of Congress, Democrat and Republican (but primarily Democrat) will simply not allow that to happen.  No legislator wants to see a post office, much less something like a processing facility, close in their district or state.  Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are prime examples.  If you buy-in to their rhetoric, closing the Easton processing facility is akin to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.  Truth be told, Mikulski and Cardin would prefer a nuclear Iran over seeing a postal processing facility close in their own state.  To them, and many of their Congressional colleagues, the USPS is one more way to use YOUR tax dollars to buy other people’s votes.

USPS revenue remains a huge problem.  There is no doubt that the internet has put a huge dent into the USPS’s revenue stream.  Almost every bill you receive in the mail includes some encouragement or incentive to pay your bill online and sign up for “paperless billing”.  Why buy and mail a birthday card when you can send an “e-card” in less than two minutes, and often for free?  Businesses, and individuals, don’t bat an eye at paying a sizable premium to FedEx or UPS to send parcels or time sensitive documents because they know that they will be delivered on time.  The USPS can’t seem to deliver an overnight document on time.

Allowing the USPS to exit onerous union contracts, become more efficient, and pay wages and benefits comparable to their competitors will help; so will shutting down facilities.  Unfortunately, the men and women we send to Washington simply won’t allow this to happen.

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Biden on Romney – “He’s Gonna Put Y’all Back in Chains”

DANVILLE, VA – Gaffes aplenty along the Dan River, thanks to Vice President Joe Biden.  First, Biden couldn’t figure out which state he was in.  Then, Biden decided to crawl right down into the gutter with the rest of the Obama campaign:

Telling a crowd that included hundreds of African-Americans that Mitt Romney was “…gonna put y’all back in chains” is chump change compared to some of lies being told by Barack Obama and his campaign surrogates.  Unfortunately, it is yet one more example of a ticket that will do anything, say anything, to remain in power.

In Ohio, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney responded:

If Romney’s remarks seem a tad harsh, ask this question – What would be the response from the mainstream media if Romney leveled false charges against Obama similar to those being thrown, on a daily basis, by Obama and his campaign?


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How Could You Possibly Question Climate Change?

That seems to be the question being asked with dismay by our friends at the Chestertown Spy.  Why are only 20% of Americans between the ages of 32 and 52 concerned about climate change?  Perhaps it’s because people over the age of 30 have acquired enough wisdom to understand that global climate has historically run in cycles and that every time we have a hot summer or a cold winter it isn’t because of a right-wing capitalist plot to destroy our environment?  Perhaps it’s because climate change advocates keep getting caught promoting “science” that defies common sense or that those same “scientists” seem more concerned with promoting an agenda than finding the truth?

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Should Barriers Be Placed on Bay Bridge for Two-Way Traffic?

STEVENSVILLE – Today’s Star Democrat discusses the feasibility of placing concrete barriers between lanes on the William Preston Lane Jr. Bridge (Bay Bridge).  There are obvious safety advantages in doing so.  There are also numerous problems:

  • The weight of the barriers and their possible impact on the bridges’ structural integrity.
  • What happens if there is an accident?  How do emergency vehicles access a lane that is sealed off by concrete barriers?  How do you get traffic behind the accident out?

photo courtesy of the Star Democrat


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Is Student Progress Really Part of Teacher Evaluation Plan in Delaware?

DOVER, DE – Delaware’s Department of Education has finalized its teacher evaluation plan for the coming school year.  As a requirement for its federal “Race to the Top” money, student progress must be a component.  Delaware claims that its standardized test scores will be a component for teachers of math and reading.  What isn’t clear is if the scores will be a true evaluation component or simply bureaucratic “sleight of hand” as in Maryland.

Earlier we had reported that Virginia was implementing a plan in which student progress would be used for 40% of a teacher’s evaluation.  We received comment that Maryland was using “student progress” for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation.  Delaware’s plan appears similar.

There is one major difference between the Virginia approach and that undertaken in Maryland (and presumably Delaware).  In Virginia, a poor evaluation could lead to a teacher’s contract not being renewed.  In Maryland it will be only a theoretical possibility that a poor teacher will not have his or her contract renewed because of a lack of student progress.

It should be noted that “progress” is the key word here.  Teachers of poor students should not be penalized because they didn’t turn their students into intellectual giants.  However, parents (and the public) have a right to expect progress.

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Virginia vs. Maryland … Again

According to the Daily Record:

Maryland lost 4.71 percent, or 6,494, of its small businesses from 2007 to 2010, a decrease that one fiscal policy group chalks up to the state’s tax increases.

The difference between the tax policies, and the flight of capital and jobs, was recently highlighted on the Fox Business Channel:

A key statistic – Virginia ranks as the 7th best place to do business.  Maryland?  40th.  While both states depend heavily on federal dollars, Virginia actively courts business – small and large.  Maryland actively drives businesses away.

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O’Malley Expected to Issue “Climate Change” Executive Order

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is expected to issue an executive order that will impact the state’s acquisition of land and its infrastructure.

DNR is “shifting away” from conserving land that is less than 2 feet above sea level, because of predictions that such land likely will be under water in 50 years, Griffin told the committee.

“There have been small land holdings that we have not pursued [that otherwise] might have been purchased to complete a larger complex of land,” Griffin said in an interview Thursday, explaining what the policy has meant in practice.

DNR Secretary John Griffin used Dorchester County’s Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge as an example of land lost:

During the past eight decades, the refuge has lost about 5,000 acres, roughly a third of its original area.

The biggest factors affecting the refuge now are relative sea-level rise, land subsidence, or sinking, and wind and wave action. The latter have become stronger as the loss of marsh land creates larger sections of open water where wave and wind energy build, wildlife refuge manager Suzanne Beard said Thursday.

Of course, the overwhelming share of that loss was due to sinking and erosion, not sea level rise caused by climate change.  The expected cost of Maryland’s taxpayers of implementing these new rules is unknown.


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Gay Group Wants “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” at Chick-Fil-A

LOS ANGELES – Not to be outdone by a bunch of bigoted rubes (I guess all of us patronizing Chick-Fil-A yesterday fall into that category), the gay advocacy group GLAAD has announced that Friday will be “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” at Chick-Fil-A.  According to the LA Times, “couples are encouraged to go one of the chicken restaurant’s locations and take a photo or video of themselves kissing”.

Don’t know about LA, but something tells me that this will be a HUGE hit here on Delmarva.

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“Voter Registration” Group Has Ties to Leftist Group

RICHMOND, VA – Four years ago Virginians saw ACORN and its affiliates deluge Virginia registrars with falsified voter registration forms.  Of course, it was an “honest mistake” made by a few “overzealous canvassers”.

Move forward to 2012.  Instead of ACORN, it’s the Voter Participation Center.  Who are they tied to?  According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, they are hooked up with, an organization slightly to the left of the Communist Party USA.

Mitt Romney is a bad guy because his campaign dares to ask questions about the registration of questionable voters.  AG Ken Cuccinelli is a bad man because his office dares to respond to a valid complaint filed by Romney for America.  You’re a bad person too if you actually believe that the voting process should be secure and only legitimate voters (you know – citizens, those not convicted of a felony, etc.) should be able to cast a ballot.

Welcome to Obama’s Amerika.

photo courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Student Progress to FINALLY be Part of Teacher Evaluations in Virginia

NORFOLK, VA – We’re always told that more taxpayer dollars must be spent on public education.  “It’s for the children!” is the mantra that was turned into a punch line during the administration of former President Bill Clinton.  Yet, using data as to whether or not a student actually learned when evaluating teachers was anathema, until now.  Starting this fall, up to 40% of a Virginia teacher’s evaluation will be based on whether or nor a student has actually progressed during the year.

It’s about time!  It would be great if states like Maryland actually learned a lesson.  Sadly, when the teachers’ unions are the biggest lobbyists in Annapolis, parents shouldn’t get their hopes up.

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Cucinelli Behind Bolling in Money Race

Never to lose an opportunity to spin negative about Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, the Washington Post has reported that Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling leads Cuccinelli in fundraising for the 2013 GOP gubernatorial nomination battle.  True enough.  Bolling is ahead … for now.

Here’s what the WaPo neglects to tell you:

  1. The nomination will now be decided by a convention; not a primary.  Cuccinelli’s strong appeal among conservative GOP activists heavily favors a victory for the incumbent Attorney General.
  2. Bolling’s current fundraising advantage will melt away as contributors realize that Bolling’s chances of victory has gone the way of buggy whips and the Edsel.
  3. Even if Bolling maintains a money advantage, short of promising to pay for  registration fees and hotel rooms, it’s difficult to buy the kind of support needed to win a convention (unless your opponent is flat broke).  Primaries can be bought with expensive, usually negative, media campaigns.  Grassroots activism is tougher to come by.
  4. The list goes on …

Granted, nothing is a sure thing.  That said, Cuccinelli is the voice of the conservative, activist wing of Virginia’s GOP.  The liberal media tried to dismiss Cuccinelli in 2009 and hope to do so again in 2013.

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Will Salisbury Fix the Mess at Bateman / Onley Road?

SALISBURY, MD – The Salisbury City Council is expected to vote tonight on the city’s plan to rearrange the intersection of S. Division Street, Bateman Street and Onley Road.  Will they?

After years of Mayor Jim Ireton and TWO separate city councils attempting to come to an agreement it looked as if there might be an end (albeit unsatisfactory to area residents) to the problem of routing school buses down Onley Road.  Unfortunately, a disclosure by a representative of Salisbury University at the council’s last work session may cause the project to be put on hold again.

The council learned that SU had offered the city a portion of the northeast corner of its athletic field which runs along S. Division and Bateman Streets.  While not addressing the concerns of the residents near Onley Road, SU’s donation could easily address other problems of routing traffic through this staggered intersection.  Unfortunately, and true to form, the Ireton administration chose to withhold this information from council.

Now we’ll have to see how the majority reacts to being deceived by the Mayor’s office once again.

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Biden to Deliver High School Commencement Address in VA Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – One way to know that a state is seriously in play in a presidential election is when the President or Vice President delivers a HIGH SCHOOL commencement address.  Today VP Joe Biden will be delivering a commencement speech at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach.

Biden is also delivered a commencement address earler this month at Central Bay High School in Weston, FL.  Coincidentally, Florida is another “in-play” state.

Source – Virginian-Pilot

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Where Is Jim Ireton’s Budget Veto?

SALISBURY, MD – The Daily Times has published multiple times that Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton would veto the budget passed by the Salisbury City Council.  Yet, a press release issued by City Clerk Kim Nichols states that the amended budget passed by the council is law.  What happened?

The answer is simple.  A veto would have resulted in one of two things:

  • The mayor’s veto would have been overridden.  or …
  • The city would have no budget.

Allowing the city to enter FY 2013 would be the height of irresponsibility.  Ireton should be applauded for not allowing the baser side of his nature to get the better of him.  Allowing the city government to shut down due to hubris would have been unthinkable.

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Wicomico Teachers’ Union Demands Money That CANNOT Be Appropriated

SALISBURY, MD – After spending thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in an attempt to garner public support for $38.7 million Wicomico County tax dollars being funneled to the Board of Education (WCBOE), members and allies of the Wicomico County Education Association (WCEA) marched down Glen Avenue last night and demanded that the Wicomico County Council appropriate $2 million in excess of County Executive Rick Pollitt’s proposed FY 2013 budget.  After disrupting the beginning of the council’s meeting and heckling speakers who opposed more funds for the WCBOE, supporters of the additional $2 million – Pollitt’s budget already contained funding that was $500,000 above maintenance of effort (MOE) – begged, pleaded, cried (literally) and threatened council members.  In the end, it was all for naught.  Even IF a majority of the council wanted to appropriate the funds, the county’s charter prohibits them from doing so.

Why?  Well, if anyone deserves blame it would fall on the WCBOE.  Their initial budget request which was submitted to the County Executive did not include the additional $2 million.  The county’s charter does not permit council to increase spending on ANY line in the budget submitted by Pollitt.  They can only cut spending.  State law, which trumps the county’s charter, does allow the council to increase funding, but ONLY to the extent that a county executive has cut the budget request of the local board of education.  Pollitt did not cut the WCBOE’s submitted budget.  Therefore, council CANNOT increase spending.

This begs a question.  Is Dave White, president of the WCEA, incompetent?  The union’s leadership?  Or … was last night’s piece of political theater designed merely as a prelude to the 2014 elections and an attempt to return to the spendthrift policies which led to the implementation of Wicomico County’s revenue cap?

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The Impact of Wisconsin’s Recall

MADISON, WI – As more polls indicate that Democrats will fail in their attempt to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, it seems that Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media are reinterpreting the tea leaves.  Two months ago we were told that Walker’s recall was a harbinger of more Democrat victories to come.  Now the matter is of “local significance” with no value, even in predicting where Wisconsin’s electoral votes will go in November.

It never ceases to amaze me.  Republicans flip.  Democrats “evolve”.

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Salisbury Budget Showdown Begins

SALISBURY, MD – To the casual observer, the Salisbury budget process has been moving forward for over a month.  In reality, what has taken place up to today has been the equivalent of an “opening act”.  The real showdown begins tonight when the Salisbury City Council passes the FY 2013 budget.

Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton, who “governs” by press conference and denouncement of the council majority, has been hinting since the introduction of his budget that he would veto ANY change to his proposed budget.  Ireton is in for a BIG surprise.  Unlike last year, when he could veto the council-passed budget because it contained no tax hikes (see above photo), Ireton now finds himself between a rock and hard place.  Cut from his proposed budget are raises for his staff, along with other reductions in the Mayor’s spending requests.  Also gone is his proposed tax hike.

Ireton could, in theory, veto the council’s budget.  However, if he does so the city’s budget would not be in balance – a violation of the city’s charter.  Fortunately for the city’s taxpayers, Ireton cannot unilaterally implement a tax rate increase.  He can veto the ordinance setting the rate, along with the budget ordinance, but his budget cannot be implemented over the council’s objection because he included a hike in the city’s real property tax rate.

To date, Ireton has refused to meet with the council and negotiate in good faith.  Instead he attempted to ride in at the eleventh hour and demanded a meeting just before the holiday weekend.  For those that enjoy political theater, this week should prove amusing as Ireton attempts to spin the actions of a fiscally responsible council majority to his favor.

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Occupy Movement Proud of Violence

SAN FRANCISCO – The Occupy Movement, endorsed by the likes of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, has pulled the plug on their “peaceful” façade.  The above video was posted on the AnarchaLA’s YouTube account.

From denying their violent action to showing pride in them, the Occupy Movement is now beginning to more closely resemble the SA, circa 1932.

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Pollitt “Withdraws” Waiver Request

SALISBURY, MD – In a press release Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt has announced that he is withdrawing the county’s request for a maintenance of effort (MOE) waiver from the state Board of Education:

May 21, 2012 — Salisbury, MD Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., announced today that he has notified the Maryland State Board of Education that he is withdrawing the county’s application for a waiver of the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) standard for funding public education for Fiscal Year 2013.  Pollitt was to attend a hearing scheduled for tomorrow in Baltimore to appeal to the State Board but the withdrawal negates that presentation.

In a letter to the State Board, Pollitt said, “Having our MOE standard re-based under the terms of the State legislation, I am now able to proceed with my original budget to the Wicomico County Council. That budget provides the full amount originally requested by our local Board of Education, not only achieving MOE but adding more than $500,000 in new funding, as well.”

The Daily Times has transcribed Pollitt’s press release, plus a few minor factual errors, in today’s edition.

Unfortunately, this announcement is just spin.  While it is true that the waiver request was no longer necessary, it was also nothing but a PR exercise.  The request was DOA when Wicomico County Board of Education and the local teachers’ union rejected the request.  Without their support, the state board was not going to grant the request.

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MoCo Liberals Don’t Mind Spending Other People’s Money

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Montgomery County boasts one of the most liberal legislative delegations in Maryland.  That’s saying something given the the overall complexion of Maryland’s General Assembly.  They have always been ready to vote in favor of spending other folk’s money; but when MoCo gets hit it’s time to vote like a conservative.

That is what happened this week when four members of the MoCo delegation jumped the party line and opposed both the tax hike AND the pension shift.  Because Montgomery County has the highest income in the state, its citizens will get hit hardest by the O’Malley income tax hike.  With the teacher pension shift, MoCo is also get hit the hardest – to the tune of $27 million.


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Obama Switches Stance on Gay Marriage

Obama Now in Favor of Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON – First he was opposed to it.  Then his views “were evolving”.  Now, as he faces a tough re-election bid with defections from his liberal base, President Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage.

With an economy that shows lackluster growth at best, Obama can hardly afford low turnout from his base.  Current polls show Obama trailing among independents, a group he carried strongly in 2008.

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