The Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit – Update

Press Release

Ralph Jaffe

Contact: 410-602-1811

September 13, 2018

Re: The Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit – Update

—A new court date for the Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit has been set.
December 6, 2018

Reason for the change of date.
Three defendants are involved in this case.
Two of the three defendants, the Baltimore Sun and WJZ filed Notices of Intention to Defend.
A miscommunication took place in serving the 3rd defendant, the Maryland Democratic Party. Therefore, a summons renewal was issued to them.

—Additional details
I plan to subpoena at least one writer or editor of the Baltimore Sun to testify as a witness at the hearing.

The case number is 0101-0018769 – 2018 in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.

Type of Proceeding: MERIT TRIAL
Date: December 6, 2018
Session Time: 8:30 AM
Court Location: 501 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4092


The Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit

Press Release

Contact: 410-602-1811

August 29, 2018

Ralph Jaffe, teacher who is leading the movement to get rid of corruption in Maryland politics and bring about true, ethical reform, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Baltimore Sun, WJZ, and the Maryland Democratic Party.

The case number is 0101-0018769 – 2018 in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.

The Baltimore Sun and WJZ, have filed Notices of Intention to Defend.

The Court has scheduled a proceeding in the case.
Type of Proceeding: MERIT TRIAL
Date: November 14, 2018
Session Time: 8:30 AM
Court Location: 501 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4092

The summons to the Maryland Democratic Party was returned unserved. A summons renewal will be going out.

When it is all said and done concerning the Jaffe Defamation Lawsuit, I believe the real winners will be the citizens of the state of Maryland.

Below is a copy of the original lawsuit and documentation – namely, the date, writer(s), and title of articles – which support the lawsuit. Not included in this article but included in the lawsuit is the sampling of complete versions of some articles.

In developing this defamation lawsuit Ralph Jaffe had the help of 4 lawyers, one of whom I believe is the most ethical lawyer in the state of Maryland.


Copy of the lawsuit
I am filing a defamation lawsuit against the Baltimore Sun; WJZ Channel 13 TV station; and the Maryland Democratic Party for libeling my reputation as a teacher and as the leader of the movement which started in 2002 with the objective of beginning the process of getting rid of the blatant corruption in the Maryland political system and replacing it with real, true, ethical, political reform.

Detrimental actions committed by the Baltimore Sun – reporters such as Erin Cox, Michael Dresser; the editorial department such as Andrew Green who is the editorial page editor; the publisher, Triffon G. Alatzas – include the printing of misinformation about the Jaffe Movement and refusal to correct the error; deliberate omission of information about my campaign; repudiation of the legitimacy and real intent of the movement; and/or use of belittlement in any coverage it did provide. Any comments made were peppered with negative overtones. All such measures served to defame and discredit my reputation and hurt the movement’s objective. Moreover, these acts deprived Baltimore Sun readers the opportunity to become informed about the movement.

Please note the enclosure, Baltimore Sun Documentation to Support Lawsuit, which documents my claim against the Baltimore Sun writers and the editorial department. For example , the article “Jealous picks former Democratic Party chair Susan Turnbull as running mate” states that “Ben Jealous is the first of the eight Democrats seeking the nomination to announce a running mate.” However, that statement is not correct. In May 2017, I officially filed and named my lieutenant governor. Such being the case, how could Ben Jealous be the first one to announce his lieutenant governor?

Two articles make the point that “neither Jaffe or Jones have raised enough money or built a campaign infrastructure capable of a statewide campaign.” (Enclosures, “Democrats to share stage Monday in first debate of Maryland governor’s race,” May 21,2018 and “Democratic candidates for Maryland governor to debate today as campaign enters final stretch,“ June 5, 2018. However, my budget, by design, was not to exceed $495. This was the purpose of the movement – refuse to accept campaign contributions or raise millions of dollars for campaign expenditures.

With regard to WJZ the TV station’s staff such as Audra Swain, the general manager and Gail Bending, the news director continued their practice of omission of information to its viewers about the Jaffe Movement. What is more, they denied me the opportunity to participate in the TV Democratic gubernatorial debate which aired on June 5, 2018 in conjunction with the Baltimore Sun. Please see the enclosure, “Dem. Gov. Primary Debates Update: Baltimore Sun. Their decision to exclude my involvement had a ripple effect. Please note the enclosure, NEED RESPONSE: Update on NBC-4 Debate,” which conveys the fact that station NBC-4, after watching the Baltimore Sun debate, wanted to limit debate participants from all 9 campaigns to 7.

The Maryland Democratic Party, via staff such as Stephanie Potter, the executive director and Kathleen Matthews, chairman reached an agreement with the 9 Democratic candidates for governor whereby it was concluded that in any of the TV or radio debates, it would be all 9 Democratic candidates running for governor or none. If all 9 were not invited to participate, none of them would participate in the debate. Please note the enclosure, “Democratic Gubernatorial Campaigns Agree on Inclusive approach for Televised Debates.”

In the debates conducted by the Baltimore Sun and WJZ only 7 candidates were invited. The Democratic Party refused to uphold the agreement.

Numerous citizens, including my students and other interested parties, approached me with the question as to why the Baltimore Sun does not include me in their coverage of the campaign for governor. I was also asked why I did not take part in the WJZ debate.

I make reference to the enclosure of two letters to the editor printed in the Baltimore Sun. (“The press doesn’t do its job,” 10-18-17 and “Sun lacks serious coverage of candidates,” 4-17-18) These substantiate my claim that the Baltimore Sun committed a huge disservice to its readers by denying them accurate and complete information about the Jaffe Movement.

These deliberate behavior patterns by the Baltimore Sun, WJZ, and the Maryland Democratic Party discredited and caused major damage to my reputation as a teacher. Therefore, I am requesting I be paid the amount of $1 (one dollar) in monetary compensation. Of more importance to me, I am requesting an apology from these organizations for their arrogant and irresponsible actions directed toward me and the movement.

I am pleased to inform the Court that in developing this lawsuit which is now before you, I have had the assistance of four attorneys, one of whom I consider to be the most ethical attorney in the state of Maryland.

Baltimore Sun Documentation to Support Lawsuit

Information provided includes the date, writer(s), and title of articles.

May 23, 2014 Michael Dresser
Baltimore County up for grabs in governor’s race with no hometown favorite

May 28, 2014 Michael Dresser
Brown raises more than $1 million in 6 weeks

May 28, 2014 Michael Dresser
With money to spend, candidates for governor likely to launch ad blitz

June 21, 2017 Erin Cox
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker says he’s running for Maryland governor

September 19, 2017 Erin Cox
Krishanti Vignarajah, the only woman running for Maryland governor, launches campaign

September 26, 2017 Erin Cox
Maryland Democrat with most name recognition isn’t among 7 running for governor, poll says

October 21, 2017 Erin Cox
Democrats running for governor court teachers’ endorsement with big promises

November 29, 2017 *** Erin Cox
Jealous picks former Democratic Party chair Susan Turnbull as running mate

December 8, 2017 Michael Dresser
Madaleno to accept public financing in governor’s race

February 23, 2018 Erin Cox
Candidates for Maryland governor are picking running mates. Should voters care?

April 3, 2018 Erin Cox
Democratic candidate for Maryland governor vows to avoid advertising on Sinclair stations

April 15, 2018 Erin Cox
Packed field alters tactics

April 18, 2018 Editorial
Paths to Victory

April 21, 2018 Erin Cox
Democratic candidates back legislation legalizing marijuana

April 22, 2018 Luke Broadwater
Most Democrats seeking governor’s seat will release taxes

April 24,, 2018 Michael Dresser and Pamela Wood
Hogan far ahead of all Democrats in poll

April 25, 2018 Editorial
Winning Issues

April 29, 2018 Michael Dresser
Campaign Ad Watch

May 5, 2018 Luke Broadwater
Jim Shea releases tax returns, showing he paid $4.7 M in taxes

May 11, 2018 Erin Cox
Death stuns county, upsets state politics

May 21, 2018 ***** Erin Cox
Democrats to share stage today in first debate of Md. governor’s race

May 27, 2018 Liz Bowie
Democrats for governor make pitch for education

May 27, 2018 Editorial
Red line reality

June 3, 2018 Editorial
How to help Baltimore

June 5, 2018 ***** Erin Cox
Democratic candidates for Maryland governor to debate today as campaign enters final stretch

June 5, 2018 Editorial
On the issues: education

June 6, 2018 Editorial
The Issues: Health care

June 6, 2018 Erin Cox
Democrats emphasize their differences more

June 7, 2018 Editorial
The issues: Environment

June 24, 2018 Erin Cox
Fall’s race will differ

June 25, 2018 Erin Cox
Late choices could be key

June 30, 2018 Michael Dresser
Joe Biden to lead Maryland Democrats in unity event

July 1, 2018 Erin Cox and Luke Broadwater
Jealous faces crucial task of trying to unite Democrats

July 1, 2018 Doug Donovan
Biden talks of Democratic unity

BGE rips off customers

I would like to suggest an issue which I believe warrants investigative expertise.

The issue involves the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company ripping off their customers, particularly in 2 compelling areas.

Rip off # 1 – Power restoration following power outages
I have been working on this issue since 1992. Disgraceful – That is BGE’s record of power restoration time for customers getting their power back on following power outages, especially for individuals living in less populated areas.
The cause of this appalling record is due to the fact that BGE is at least 2000 crew members short of the number of people needed to bring power back on. BGE-Exelon is more concerned about pleasing their stockholders, board members, and fat cat executives through dividends and outlandish salaries rather than providing better service to their customers.
Instead of going on the offensive having the required crew members on standby at all times (like fire stations have firefigthers on standby regardless of whether a fire has actually broken out) BGE goes on the defensive using the strategy of waiting until the storm actually occurs before calling out the needed troops. Power outages are not just an inconvenience to BGE customers. They become life threatening situations for babies and the elderly.

Rip off # 2 – The replacement of gas pipes underneath the ground
A law passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governors of the last 20 years set into motion the gas pipes replacement. BGE plays a large part in carrying out the law. They hire subcontractor companies whose job is to dig underground, repair and/or replace the pipes, and then clean up the mess by paving the streets, in many instances partially rather than the entire street.

The process takes too long and puts drivers and citizens in a precarious situation.

I was personally involved in an accident that took place on July 19, 2018. No one was in the area to say I could not make a turn on to Smith Avenue nor were there any cones or other signs warning me not to proceed. My car wound up in a sinkhole causing the air bags to go off, an explosion, a bloody nose. I sat in my car, in a state of shock, for at least one minute before somebody came to see if I was OK. The subtractor company, Grade Line Construction, was responsible for this gross negligence.

At the suggestion of the Baltimore County Police Officer, Officer Bailey, who eventually came on the scene, and escorted me home, I contacted the Grade Line Construction Company and asked to speak to Allen Howard, the Safety Director. I was told by the operator he was in and given his direct number which I called, but he did not take the call. I contacted the operator again and left a message with her asking that Allen Howard please call me. He did not.
Following additional attempts to talk with him, I finally reached him. Unfortunately, he chose to display a very unpleasant manner with me.

To top it off, I learned that the crew chief lied to Officer Bailey and covered up their negligence by saying I did not follow directions. BUT NO DIRECTIONS WERE GIVEN TO ME NOR WERE ANY SIGNS, CONES, ETC. ON DISPLAY TO PREVENT ME FROM PROCEEDING.

A byproduct of this outrageous incident of which I was a victim involved the police report that was filed. In reporting this accident, Officer Bailey was required to use an accident form that comes from the Maryland State Police. However, the form is problematic. The form calls for a witness account. However, in my situation, there was no witness. Officer Bailey went over to the crew to find out what happened. The crew chief spoke up even though he did not witness the actual accident. Hence, the crew chief was able to provide an account that was untruthful. Since Officer Bailey was required to fill in the witness space, he used the crew chief’s account – an account that covered up his negligence.

It has been brought to my attention that other citizens have encountered areas where lanes were closed due to construction work going on, but drivers were clueless in how to proceed because no signs or people were around to direct the traffic. In my opinion, this is a dangerous predicament.

If these unfavorable actions of Grade Line Construction Company exemplify the type of subcontractors which BGE uses, then I must question the criteria used by BGE in hiring these companies.

I am fed up with BGE ripping off its customers on account of the morally bankrupt political system in Maryland.


Follow Up

Another recent happening reinforces my concerns about the practices of BGE and its subcontractors.

*On October 2nd, the public was informed that “BGE contractor damages sewer line, sending sewage flowing into Patapsco River in Westport.” As the article stated, it was “a classic case of utility work gone horribly wrong.”

**On October 3rd, however, the public learns that “BGE says it was actually the city’s contractor that broke a ‘large sewer line’ in Westport, sending sewage spewing.

The Department of Public Works, disputes BGE’s claim.

Once again, BGE with its contractor is a party to a very muddy dispute and denying any responsibility for the fiasco.

And again, I must question the criteria used by BGE in hiring its subcontractors.


The Decadence of College Sports

Time has passed, but the problem persists. The article that appeared in the Baltimore Sun, “College sports have become hopelessly decadent,” is just as relevant today as it was in April 2013 when it was printed.
In actuality it is even more applicable. The heartbreaking death of the University of Maryland college athlete, offensive lineman, Jordan McNair, and the catastrophic set of events resulting in the firing of the football coach, DJ Durkin, the retirement of President Dr . Wallace Loh and Board of Regents Chairman James Brady shine a light on the problems and corruption inherent in college sports.

The outrageous salaries given to college coaches, who for the most part, put their own interests for advancing their careers, above the interests of their players; the excessive amounts of money spent on lavish football stadia or basketball arenas; the occurrence of severe head injuries and other physical or emotional injuries make a strong case for changing the nature of sports on the college level. Right now, college sports is organized, big bucks, “legalized brutality.”

In my opinion, the hazards do not outweigh arguments for continuing this type of play for those at the college level. As stated previously, college sports should become competitive, intramural programs with participation by students for the purpose of exercise, weight control, and some good solid fun.

While this might not be a popular step, it is the right thing to do.

Ralph Jaffe

Bring On Bratton

While the series of articles in the Baltimore Sun detailing the corruption trials involving several Baltimore City police officers have been enlightening, the article, “Officer: Suiter stole money,” 2-6-18, was one that really dismayed me. Although it is obvious a small number of officers have been responsible for severely tarnishing the image of the Baltimore City Police Department, I firmly believe the overwhelming majority of the rank and file officers are heroes. Every time they put on their uniforms, they risk their lives to protect all of the citizens of Baltimore City regardless of the fact they are underpaid and under-appreciated.

The testimony coming out in the trials indicates to me that there is no one in the upper management in the Baltimore City Police Department who is capable of restoring public confidence in the integrity of the Baltimore City Police Department.

What needs to be done is to think outside the box; otherwise we will just be going around in circles. What needs to be done is to call on the Greater Baltimore Committee to persuade Mayor Pugh to agree to offer Mr. William Bratton – the most respected individual in American policing, $500,000 in the hope that he will agree to accept the position as the Police Commissioner or consultant for the Baltimore City Police Department. William Bratton has served as a highly successful police commissioner for New York City and also the city of Los Angeles . His credentials are impeccable.

As far as I am concerned, he is the only one who can clean up the mess and bring back public trust in the Baltimore City Police Department.

This action needs to be done now!

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election

Is She Kidding?

After reading “Pugh starting office to help blacks.” 2-5-18, I have to ask, is she kidding? In my book, what this new office amounts to is another PR attempt on her part to make us believe she is on the right trajectory for the city. Furthermore, it is a program that does not come without a price – a steep one at that.

Mayor Pugh, are you cognizant of the fact that I offered a TUTOR-MENTOR TEAM PROGRAM free of charge for the Baltimore City Public School System. Unfortunately, because currently you have a leaderless CEO, Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, who draws a salary of $299,000 (an outrageous amount) my program has not made any headway thus far. As a side issue, what does the CEO do to earn her salary. It seems to me the principals of the city schools are actually running the disastrous show.

Do you realize that in the last 5 days, there have been revelations of 2 new programs, all at the expense of the taxpayers. Rumors have it that Mayor Pugh is planning to spend $150,000 for a TV station to strengthen her connection with the citizens of Baltimore City. As for the new Office of African American Male Engagement (which overlooks younger males and excludes females all together) she does not disclose the salary of Andrey Bundley, the designated leader, nor does she make known the cost of running the office. For discussion purposes, if the price tag for these 2 programs is close to $500,000, I would think that hiring 8 police officers or making needed repairs in the deteriorating school buildings or using the money for the war on opioids might bring better results for the citizens of Baltimore City.

When are the citizens going to say – Enough – Enough is enough!

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election

No Superman on the Scene

The editors of the Baltimore Sun are acting like a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks as evidenced in their editorial, “Getting impatient,” 1-21-18.

Over the past year and one half, I can not recall reading one word in the Baltimore Sun whereby the editors demanded that Mr. Kevin Davis be fired. But, now all of a sudden, they declare that it is about time Mayor Pugh made the move.

Furthermore, I do not remember hearing either Mr. Jack Young or City Councilman Brandon Scott calling for the firing of Mr. Davis. To my recollection, many of the articles showcased measures being put into place by city officials to get a handle on the crisis. Remember the daily morning meetings conducted by Mayor Pugh, Mr. Davis, business leaders, and others to map out strategy for the day. And were we fed a note of optimism that over time the things they were putting into place would lead to changes for the better. However, what has been the result? More crime and more suffering endured by the citizens of Baltimore City.

The truth is had Mayor Pugh chosen Superman or Wonder Woman, instead of the new Police Commissioner, Darryl De Sousa, we are still not going to witness improvement – not until we have politicians who are willing to tell the truth. Thanks to the career politicians in control of Baltimore, the Baltimore City Police Department is at least 1000 police officers short of where they need to be in order to effectively protect the citizens of Baltimore City. Commissioner De Sousa’s commitment to deploy police officers in the dangerous areas amounts to “hogwash rhetoric.” Unfortunately, we will continue to hear of shootings taking place every day and night because the Mayor and the Governor do not have the “guts” to call out the National Guard to clear the streets of the criminals who now have seized control of Baltimore City.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election

Fake term limits versus “Real Term Limit”

Sorry to say – but the editors of the Baltimore Sun do not understand the difference between “fake term limits” and “real term limits.” (“Term limit limits, “ 1-12-18) Unfortunately, the Baltimore Sun editors have not learned what my students have learned.

Point 1 to learn – When a first time politician, male or female, Democrat or Republican is elected to office, this newly elected politician enters his/her office and looks all around. Wow! He/she sees all the perks – the fancy carpeting, striking furniture, high-tech equipment, and other such luxuries and exclaims, “This is for me.” Thus, instead of having in mind what is in the best interests of his/her constituents, he/she considers what does he/she have to do to keep this, fame, power, and money that the office will provide for him/her.

Point 2 to learn – In the Sun’s version of term limits, deemed “fake term limits,” after a politician has served for two terms, such as a Baltimore City councilman, the individual can easily start a new cycle of term limits by aspiring to become a delegate. When that two term of office has concluded, he/she then moves on to state senator. From there, the politician looks to the office of governor, and then United States Senator. He/she could even aim for president. So…. what happened to term limits? He/she follows in the footsteps of someone like Senator Ben Cardin or Senator Barbara Mikulski – a 40 year career politician. That is the so-called “fake term limits” – always running for re-election and always taking campaign contributions (legal bribes) to ensure re-election and retain power, fame, and money.

On the other hand, this is “real term limits.” the individual chooses whatever office he/she desires – serves one term and makes a commitment that he/she will not run again for any political office. What does this accomplish? #1 – The person does not have to worry about taking bribes to get re-elected. #2 – The person has the opportunity to be a committed, dedicated, real, ethical politician whose only goal is to make life better for the citizens he/she represents.

Unfortunately, the editors of the Baltimore Sun do not understand that we do not have any ethical politicians in our state or country. That’s why “what’s in it for me,” occupies the top of the list of values for most politicians and explains why our country is so messed up. The best proof of this is Donald Trump is our current president. Need I say more?

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election


Defending the Indefensible

Outrageous situations call for bold measures to be taken. The members of the Baltimore City Board of Education should resign along with members of the Baltimore City Council.

It is not enough that they have failed to properly straighten out the 10 year chaotic deterioration of the public school education system. And now we witness their failure to properly ensure the safety and welfare of students attending Baltimore City public schools as evidenced by the deplorable heating conditions endured by students in the winter and the terrible cooling system in the spring and summer.

While Governor Hogan is attributing the problems to mismanagement and Mayor Pugh is pointing to insufficient funds for the problems, the students and parents are caught in the middle – they are the innocent victims suffering from the unforgivable mistakes of Governor Hogan, Mayor Pugh, and the school officials.

The school board heard the distress of parents and teachers alike at their school board meeting on January 9th. Now they are planning for a town hall meeting to be held on January 22nd – 2 weeks away – just more delay – more time for school officials to come up with band-aid explanations that will only make a small, if any, dent in a massive crisis. For Mayor Pugh to say that Baltimore is not the only place that has suffered is an unacceptable excuse. Furthermore, the 9 million dollars that Governor Hogan is giving to the city to get the heat back on represents a step that is after the fact. The dire circumstances in the city schools should never have been allowed to reach this breaking point in the first place.

One thing is certain – The disastrous quality of the education system and the horrifying environment in which students have to learn are problems that need to be resolved now – not with a lot of rhetoric – but workable measures that will make a REAL POSITIVE difference in the lives of Baltimore City people – young and old alike. The City Council and the General Assembly along with the mayor and the governor need to act now. Stop pointing the finger at one another; just “fix the problem.” If they are not capable of doing this, then all of these career politicians need to be voted out of office.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election

No Reason for Optimism

“City reaches 343 homicides, highest per capita rate ever,” 12-28-2017
“City prayer vigil honors lives lost to violence,” 12-29-2017
“BPD making strides,” 12-31-2017
“Backward-looking strategy – Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed crime plan
sends Maryland back to the 80’s,” 1-1-2018
“Maryland politics 2018,” 1-1-2018
“City searches wearily for cures for violence,” 1-2-2018

Putting all of these articles together can easily cause one to come to the following conclusion.
Bad politicians (such as members of the Baltimore City Council, Mayor Catherine Pugh, Governor Larry Hogan), bad bureaucrats (such as Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis), bad policies, bad solutions, bad media editorials equal an overload of bad news and one big, bad mess for the citizens of Baltimore City.

The only way to convert all this bad to something good is to gravitate towards Ralph Jaffe’s proposals and solutions for the crime problem in Baltimore City – specifically, calling out the National Guard for 3 weeks and the Tutor-Mentor Team Program for city public schools . This action will lead to good news for Maryland citizens.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election