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
Baltimore

 

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A Costly Plan Without Real Benefits

Preposterous and outlandish – that’s how I would characterize Governor Hogan’s Baltimore plan for widening the highway on the northern part of the Baltimore Beltway in order to ease congestion (“Hogan proposes $461M for roads,” 12-20-17).

According to the article, state officials stated that travel time might be cut about 15 minutes to an hour in getting home from work. To the commuters I would respond in the following way. There are thousands of Marylanders who are looking for jobs and would gladly trade places with those who are so upset about the long traffic delays.

And then there is the cost – $461 million dollars! Can you imagine how many police officers could be hired with that amount of money? Doesn’t the governor and his cohorts in the State Highway Administration realize that saving lives might be more important than saving time for commuters. In light of the raging fire of violence in Baltimore which affects the lives of so many people, couldn’t these government officials show more sensitivity for these citizens?

Wake up Baltimore – do your part to get Governor Hogan and the morally bankrupt career politicians out of office before it is too late.

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

 

What About a Credit Instead of a Surcharge?

The article, “BGE seeks OK for $963M pipeline improvement program,” 12-5-17, ignites feelings of exasperation and aggravation. I am vehemently opposed to BGE’s effort to get approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for its five -year plan to upgrade the natural gas pipeline system – a program that would place a customer surcharge of up to two dollars a month.

Isn’t it ironic that the program was launched in 2013 with legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly and approved by the Governor – legislation that allows for the customer surcharge. At that time, apparently, the career politicians including Governor O’Malley were in cahoots with one another to rip off the customers. Now, five years later, BGE customers are once again the injured parties being ripped off by the shenanigans of the career politicians, members of the General Assembly, the Governor along with the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Past experience with the Maryland Public Service Commission, whom I believe are merely a group of “puppets” appointed by the Governors, gives me cause to think that the chances of the Commission disapproving BGE’s request are slim to zero.
If there is any justice, the Public Service Commission should demand that BGE give its customers a two dollar credit each month for their inept service. But…that will not happen either.

The only solution to this type of unfair practice is the following. In the 2018 state election vote every incumbent out of office. Until we get career politicians out of business and money out of politics, customers of BGE and citizens will continue to suffer.

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

 

Small Price to Pay for Big Mistake

Erin Cox’s article, “Election board fines Hogan campaign $250,” 11-25-17 presents information on 2 levels. On the surface level, we learn that Governor Hogan’s campaign committed an offense when they solicited funds during a General Assembly session – an act which is banned by state law. However, on a deeper level, the article amplifies the magnitude of corruption which is so prevalent in Maryland politics today.

The nonchalant, cavalier attitude and disregard for ethics in politics goes beyond disturbing. Instead of the campaign manager Jim Barnett offering the flimsy excuse that Al Redmer, Maryland Insurance Commissioner, had acted against the advice of the campaign when seeking funds for Hogan’s campaign, why didn’t the campaign officials simply own up to their violation of state law? What’s more, Mr. Hogan’s campaign is even thinking about appealing the fine!
And Mr. Redmer, apparently, is bothered very little by the fine, as he is running for the Republican nomination for Baltimore County executive.

Where is the strength of the General Assembly legislation that places a mere $250 fine for violations of the law? The General Assembly and the governor have failed to come up with really gut-wrenching regulations that give politicians cause to think twice before engaging in illegal acts involving campaign finance laws.

This example of moral bankruptcy on the part of Governor Hogan’s campaign provides more exposure to the “dirt” that prevails in Maryland politics today.

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

 

What Real Justice Is

Justice might mean different things to different people, as pointed out in the editorial, “What justice means,” 11-28-17. For me, the element of truth is an inherent component when talking about justice and fairness in the way people are treated and dealt with.
I venture to say that the Baltimore City Police Chief, along with the Mayor of Baltimore City and the Baltimore City Council have not done justice for the people of Baltimore. This is based on 5 truths.

Truth #1 – We have a Baltimore City Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis, who has performed in an incompetent manner far too long. If he wants to do what is in the best interest of his department and Baltimore City citizens, he should resign effective immediately.

Truth #2 – Mayor Pugh, the current mayor, is in way over her head. She should call a press conference, without delay, to apologize to the citizens of Baltimore City for her failure to be properly prepared to serve her constituents when she took the oath of office in December 2016.

Truth #3 – The current members of the Baltimore City Council should also make an apology for their underplaying the incompetence of Police Commissioner Davis, for their underestimating the lack of morale of the majority of good officers in the Baltimore City Police Department, and for their lack of courage in demanding that the Police Commissioner resign.

Truth #4 – The FBI should take over full control of the investigation of Detective Suiter’s murder. This action would insure no cover ups from Police Commissioner Davis.

Truth #5 – The editors of the Baltimore Sun have not served their readers in a just manner due to the blinders they are wearing which prevent them from seeing what a true mess the city government has become. The fact that several Carroll County school trips to the city are halted due to a concern about the “escalating violence” in the city speaks volumes to what is happening to the city. When the editors of the Baltimore Sun continue to justify their adherence to a liberal thought process with excuses and platitudes rather than dealing with real solutions for the crime problem in Baltimore City, they are merely prolonging the humongous mess.

The editors stated that doing more than just talk is needed to bring justice for Freddie Gray. The same can be said for bringing justice for the citizens of Baltimore City.

Yes – the truth hurts; it is painful, but as the saying goes, without pain, there is no gain.”

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