In response to the editorial, Where do they stand?” 5-18-17, I have to ask – Are you kidding your readers when you expect the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate to take a stronger stand against the actions of President Trump? Come on! These are career politicians who do not do what’s right for their country or even their constituents. But they do do what is right for their own selfish interests to get re-elected. Actually, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are alike – they just want power, fame, and money.
When is the Baltimore Sun going to realize our country will never get better until we put a leash on the rein of the career politicians. As I have said over the course of the last 10 years our country will continue to be messed up as long as the phony career politicians are allowed to remain in office.
All we need to do is look at our own home front – how the career politicians have messed us up. How long will we have to continue witnessing the horrendous shootings occurring every day in our city before a politician has the guts to call out the National Guard in Baltimore City? There is also the fiasco with the Baltimore City public school system that is in shambles. But, rather than tell the truth, the career politicians in Baltimore City are allowed to evade the truth and pander to the governor and state legislature to obtain more money to be put into the public school system with the net result of squandering taxpayers’ money.
The best proof for the wreckage the career politicians are causing lies in one question. Are we any better off today than we were 10 years ago? I don’t think so. I wish the powers to be on Calvert Street would stop defending the career politician phenomenon. Their narrative is simply not working.
It is hard to dispute that people are fed up with career politicians and that‘s why Donald Trump was elected.
Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 election
The articles “Unpaid bills land stadiums’ debts on the auction block,” 5-16-17 and “Baltimore erred in selling stadiums’ debt,” 5-17-17 bring to light a shameful injustice for suffering homeowners. A state law exists that allows “rip-off speculators” to purchase liens on properties that are up for auction because of unpaid tax bills. Properties with unpaid water bills are also subject to purchase of liens. The fact that the phony career politicians in the state legislature have allowed this law to be operative for decades is outrageous.
We know that the efforts of the “big shots” who attempted to purchase the lien on M & T Bank Stadium and the lien on Oriole Park at Camden Yards were thwarted due to a computer glitch. However, with regard to struggling homeowners – regardless of race, color, creed – who are unable to pay their property taxes or water bills – the “fat cat” speculators can have a field day. And – this is clearly wrong.
The law is another means for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer – making it possible for the greedy speculators to be successful in exploiting the needy.
Who is at fault here? I venture to say the career politicians in the state legislature who have allowed the law to remain on the books along with the city politicians who allow the City Department of Finance to execute the law unjustly.
What is the answer? Repeal this grossly unfair state legislation.
Gutless Politicians and a Gutless Bureaucrat
Reading the elaboration of the headline, “Trump fires Comey,” (5-10-17) does little to restore faith in our faltering political system.
Since 2002 I have been leading a movement to get rid of corruption in politics. Fast forward to today. If anyone has questioned just how serious the matter of corruption is in our country look at the explosive act which occurred on Tuesday, May 9th. President Trump’s firing of the Director of the FBI, James Comey illustrates corruption at its worst including President Trump’s tactics to distract from the Russian investigation.
When the writing on the wall was clear, in February 2017, I sent a letter to my career politico, Congressman John Sarbanes, and requested that he formally introduce a bill of articles of impeachment of President Trump to be forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee for implementation. The grounds for impeachment were President Trump’s business conflicts of interest and foreign entanglements thereby placing our country’s security at great risk. The conflicts are serving as a deterrent for President Trump acting properly in his role as commander-in-chief. It came as no surprise to me that my “gutless” congressman did not have the decency to respond to my request.
What President Trump has done with James Comey merely strengthens my battle against corruption in general, and specifically, the impeachment of President Trump. In my opinion, he has abused his power, as evidenced in his utilization of the new Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein who has fallen prey to “power corrupts.” Mr. Rosenstein’s submission to the will of President Trump has tarnished his reputation of being a good career prosecutor because he allowed himself to be the instrument of justification for Mr. Comey’s dismissal.
Are we ever going to learn the real reasons why President Trump is so desperate to squash the investigation. I place little hope in the phony career politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, in the House of Representatives to accomplish this task. The only hope we have is reliance on the sharp investigative reporters of the New York Times and the Washington Post to uncover the truth.
In the meantime, the latest phase of the Jaffe Movement to bring real ethical reform to our political system took place on May 3rd when I went to Annapolis and became the first one to file as a Democratic candidate for governor.
“Killings logged in city top 100,” 4-25-17, fired me up. How many more people have to get killed or shot up before the mayor and members of the Baltimore City Council resort to the only measure that will really make a significant difference in stopping the horrific shootings taking place every day and night in Baltimore City?
In early November 2016 my students and I made a request of the governor to call out the National Guard for a 3 week period. However, the governor refused to respond to the numerous messages conveyed to his Director of Homeland Security, Pete Landon – messages which supported this request.
The hard truth is that deploying the National Guard for a period of 3 weeks is the only effective weapon for getting a handle on the violence plaguing the city.
Both Gene Ryan, President of the Fraternal Order of Baltimore City Police, and I expressed the fact they are at least 500 to 700 police officers short for properly protecting the citizens of Baltimore City. In light of the ineffective recruitment policies, it will take years to actually get these officers on the street. So do we just sit back and continue to read these gruesome headlines and watch the grisly scenes that typically open the daily news shows?
Hence, when will the Baltimore Sun editorial board demand that the Governor call out the Guard.
Yes – we know the long term solution is a restoration of family values and the implementation of my Tutor/Mentor program which is now before the Baltimore City Public School System for consideration.
But, in the meantime, we are desperate for a real short term solution. If you have a fire, you have to first extinguish the fire before determining who did it and why. So… Baltimore Sun editors – wake up and make the demand for the National Guard.
Typical of many a Baltimore Sun writer, Erin Cox’s homework was not well done as evidenced with her article, “Former Venable chair Shea weighs run for governor,” 3-23-17. While stating that James Shea plans to make a decision about running for governor by the summer, he would join a potential field of more than a half-dozen Democrats considering a run for the office. What Ms. Cox doesn’t understand is there is already one candidate who is running for the office. That individual is Ralph Jaffe who will file as a Democratic candidate for Governor this coming May.
For your information he is the only one who is committed to getting rid of all the corruption in Maryland government – corruption which is all over the place – in the judiciary, the legislature, in the executive branch, and yes, even in the media. Ralph Jaffe is the only candidate who filed a complaint against Mayor Pugh for breaking the financial campaign laws. That investigation is still going on. Ralph Jaffe is the only candidate who filed a complaint against State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby for her reckless behavior as a persecutor rather than a prosecutor. And that investigation is still going on.
Ralph Jaffe is the only candidate committed to getting money out of politics. He will not take campaign contributions like the other candidates do because they are disguised bribes. He is the only one committed to rejecting the concept of career politicians as he will serve one term only, not like the other candidates who care more about their own fame, power, and money rather than doling what is right for their constituents.
Ralph Jaffe is the only one speaking the truth about the shortage of police officers in Baltimore City. He is the only one who has put forth a tutor-mentor program now in the process of possibly becoming a pilot program. It is designed to make the Baltimore City public education system more effective. And, Ralph Jaffe is the only one who is committed to telling the truth, not some of the time, but all of the time.
For people fed up with all of the moral bankruptcy going on in our state, here is a chance to do something about it. Join the Jaffe Movement.
Both Mayor Pugh and Jack Young should take a lesson from the writer of “Crime-fighting starts with police, not city services,” 3-20-17. Mayor Pugh’s weapon for dealing with the crime problem occurring in Baltimore City, that of focusing on social services, evades the reality of the here and now – specifically, the ongoing, horrendous, unending crime crisis. Her plan is very heartening for criminals, giving them license to continue there despicable acts of violence. On the other hand, the plan is really disheartening to the Baltimore City Police Department.
As Joyce Green president of the Central District Police Community Relations Council stated, “The Police Department spends so much money in overtime because they’re overworking the officers we have now.” She asserted that more officers need to be hired.
As Gene Ryan, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, has pointed out there are not enough police officers to protect the police officers. How in the world can the Baltimore City Police Department function effectively and protect the citizens of Baltimore City when they can’t even protect themselves?
Instead of looking to the budget of the police force for finding funds for the city’s school system, Mayor Pugh and City Council members should start looking within their own offices for funds to allot to the schools. Eliminate the waste in their own offices – decrease the number of paid staff workers each city councilperson has and use volunteers as alternatives; pay for their own travel expenses; etc. etc., etc.
Maybe it’s time for those who hold political office to demonstrate they are really public servants who truly serve the people. They can make some personal sacrifices themselves, even taking a cut in their own salaries.
It is imperative to make the school system better. My tutor mentor program can do this. For citizens of Baltimore City, the wacko, left wing social engineering programs have been a failure for the last 25 years. Not only is Mayor Pugh at fault for wanting to downsize the Baltimore City police department’s budget, but so are the gutless, phony career politicians including the Baltimore City Council members who do not have the courage to stand up to Mayor Pugh and tell the truth.
I commend the writer of “Compassion for test animals,” 3-16-17 regarding her concern about the lives of lab research animals after they are no longer used. However, I take issue with her assertion that animal shelters and rescue groups have excellent track records for making adoption decisions.
I can attest to the fact that not all animal shelter and rescue groups warrant ratings of excellence. I was a victim of a phony animal rescue group that took advantage of my love for my dog when I was compelled to give him up. When the group’s representative readily accepted a check for $250.00 for their services, I was assured a loving home would be found for my dog and pictures would be sent to me. However, those assurances came to naught. To this day I do not know what happened to my dog.
After doing some research, I learned from the interim director of the Baltimore County animal shelter that a number of phony animal rescue groups engage in animal trafficking, and it is a chronic problem in the state. I was told that one effective tool for tackling this issue would be to revise the Annotated Code of the Maryland Komar Law 15.14.04. Any future animal rescue group which has not been registered would need to be registered with the Department of Agriculture.
Therefore, I maintain that while there may be many committed and dedicated animal shelter and rescue groups, unfortunately, there are many animal shelter and rescue groups who are only dedicated and committed to ripping people off.
I hope readers will contact their legislators to get legislation pre-filed in next year’s state legislative session which would call for the much needed revision of the Maryland Annotated Komar Code of Law.
The article “U.S. policy change imperils effort to stop ’puppy mills’” 3-10-17 bespeaks of the larger issue, that of cruelty to animals. Another clear but little publicized example of the maltreatment of animals is related to phony, unlicensed animal rescue groups who take advantage of innocent dog owners, when for legitimate reasons, are forced to give up their dogs for adoption.
I speak from experience, for I was a victim of such a group. Having been promised the group would find a good home for my dog, Goodie, one of the representatives accepted a $250.00 check with the understanding the group would find a loving home for my dog. I was also assured I would receive pictures of the dog in his new home along with his new owner. But, those assurances turned out to be empty words. While the situation occurred about 3 years ago, to this day, I still do not know what happened to my dog.
Upon some investigation I learned from an interim director of the Baltimore County animal shelter that this situation has been a chronic problem throughout the state of Maryland. The name for it is animal trafficking and what needs to be done is change the Annotated Code of the Maryland Komar Law 15.14.04 . A requirement should be made that all future animal rescue groups which have not been registered must be registered with the Department of Agriculture.
Sad to say, my delegate, Shelly Hettleman, refused to listen to numerous callers who requested she introduce such legislation. She disseminated misinformation about the matter, declining to correct the misinformation and to introduce the legislation. Another state senator from Montgomery County,
Susan Lee who had a reputation as a dog lover, also rebuffed the request to introduce the legislation.
So…..I’m asking readers to voice their opinion on the attitude demonstrated by these politicians. I am hoping, with the help of your readers, that one courageous state legislator will stand up and have the courage to get this legislation prefiled in next year’s state legislative session.
Finally a smidgen of good news for the citizens of Baltimore City. The move by Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis to deploy 46 officers from the centralized intelligence unit back into uniformed patrol is a good move (“Davis: Cops back in uniform,” 3-9-17). The question, though, is why did it take so long to “get it right”?
What’s more, I believe it can be said, it’s still not nearly enough.
Once again, Commissioner Davis refuses to really be candid with Baltimore City citizens. The Baltimore City Police Department remains at least 500 officers short of the number they need to be.
City Councilman Brandon Scott’s comments concerning the continued use of proactive policing under the direction of district commanders reflects a reluctance on his part to acknowledge the shortage of police officers. He along with the Mayor and his Baltimore City Council colleagues need to deal in straight talk.
The editorial, Ethics in Annapolis,” 2-27-17 is a must for me to respond to. The editors take issue with the quote, “culture of corruption” in Annapolis voiced by a judge 15 years ago, claiming it’s not applicable to most officials who serve the public honestly.
Yet your opening sentences point out the federal indictments involving a current and former member of the General Assembly along with the investigation of Delegate Morhaims’s conflict of interest.
These are not the only offenders. In actuality we have witnessed moral bankruptcy in Maryland government for the last 50 years not only in the legislative branch but the executive office as well. Should we bring up the names of previous governors, one who was sent to jail and one who was forced to resign as vice president of the U.S.
As for officials serving the public honestly, I’m sorry to say that “honesty” has become a relative term. What degree of honesty are you referring to? A public servant should not even give the slightest appearance of doing anything wrong. To be honest is to be honest without any modifications. It’s my contention the political behaviors of the General Assembly members preclude them from being in that category.
The best thing the General Assembly could do, for the welfare of Maryland taxpayers, would be to take an unpaid vacation for 11 1/2 months, and return to work 2 weeks to approve the state budget. That’s all they need for the task, and the 2 week pay is more than generous.