Black group charges racial gerrymandering in new congressional districts and may file suit

A newly formed African-American political action group said it would file a federal lawsuit against the state of Maryland charging racial gerrymandering if the legislature enacts and Gov. Martin O’Malley signs the congressional redistricting map proposed this week by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee.

“If the plan now being proposed by the governor’s redistricting commission passes, we are going to go into federal court and file a lawsuit charging the state of Maryland with violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” said Radamase Cabrera, spokesman for the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee (FLH-PAC).

Based in Prince George’s County, the Hamer PAC said the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund could be a potential partner in the lawsuit.

African-American population grew

Because of the growth of the African-American population in the state since the 2000 census, the Hamer PAC had asked the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee to create a third African American congressional district. The PAC asserts that African American voters are being gerrymandered into reconfigured congressional districts for the sole purpose of protecting white, Democratic incumbent lawmakers.

“We hope the governor and the House and Senate leadership during the special session will consider what they’re doing and not pass a plan that racially gerrymanders,” Cabrera said. “Otherwise, … we’ll seek an injunction to stop the April primaries and force these lines to be redrawn under the guidance of the federal courts.”

Every 10 years, federal law requires states to redraw their political legislative district lines based on the new Census data. In 2002, Gov. Parris Glendening, (D), and the Democrat-controlled legislature were widely criticized for gerrymandering attempts, producing several lawsuits. O’Malley is planning to call a special legislative session Oct. 17 to enact congressional redistricting maps in time for the Jan. 11 filing deadline for the April 3 primary.

Read more here.

Bay Bridge toll could double

The Maryland Transportation Authority is developing a plan that would raise tolls dramatically for the first time in decades.

The proposed tolls are part of a four-year package of $210 million in increases that would affect the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Baltimore Harbor crossings, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway and other toll facilities.

The plan discussed before the authority’s finance committee Thursday calls for raising the tolls Oct. 1 this year and July 1, 2013.

The toll on the Bay Bridge would be raised from $2.50 to $5 this year, and $8 in 2013. Tolls on the bridge have been frozen since 1975. Commuter rates would jump to $1.50 in the first phase and $2.80 in the second.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley said Thursday that toll increases are unavoidable because of the need to pay bondholders for existing debts and the growing maintenance demands of aging bridges, tunnels and roads.

“They are at an age where they need major rehabilitation, and we need to pay for that rehabilitation,” Swaim-Staley said.

Republican Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Cecil, described the proposed increases as “outrageous.” He said they show how “out of touch” Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration is with the average working family.

“Do you think the average family income in Maryland has gone up 300 percent?” Pipkin asked.

Read more here.

How Did It All Begin?

Well from many years of being involved in the blogging world and being public enemy number 1 in his book, I have gotten to talk to lots of people who have told me the story of Joe and how he became the monster we all know now.

Any discussion of this must begin at the Salisbury Zoo where it all originated from. Jennifer Albero worked there and had some issues regarding Jim Rapp then Zoo Director. Jennifer ends up losing her court case against the zoo and her job which in turn sets the animal off within Joe. He decides he will document the zoo every inch of it looking for illegal activities to get back at them for dare messing with his wife. This began in 2003 click here for Jennifer’s Issues

His In-laws live next door to of all people Debbie Campbell so he gets to know Debbie very well on the trips to the Goetz household. Debbie of course has issue with many people in the City so a common bond forms. Debbie shares her tales of woe regarding Mike Dunn, Barrie Tilghman, Lynn Cathcart and many more actually too numerous to mention..open a phonebook with Joe. Albero of course likes to be made to feel important so this figures prominently in his defense of Debbie Campbell.

Well in the mean time issues at the zoo intensify so Joe sets up a meeting with Barrie Tilghman regarding them, when Barrie Tilghman doesn’t nod her head and agree to Joes demands she becomes public enemy #2 behind Jim Rapp. Debbie has huge issues with Barrie so she sees an ally in Joe, someone that can go about attacking for her but give her the plausible deniability so she looks innocent of any misdeeds, and Joe has no problem with said arrangement.

He already has a criminal record including battery on Sharon Gravel which he was put on probation for in 1991. In 2003 as stated a temporary peace order was given to Jim Rapp to keep Joe from harassing him, also Mary Seamann. Karen Jones not only filed a temporary peace order but was granted a full one to keep Joe away from her for 6 months. Those listed above are all zoo employees.

While in this war with the zoo other enemies now make his radar. He starts coming to Salisbury City Council meetings to annoy Barrie Tilghman and others such as Mike Dunn and Lynn Cathcart.Why do you ask, well it’s simple in Joes world. Debbie dislikes the victims and in Joes minuscule mind because Barrie Tilghman is on his shit list anyone that is friendly toward her is also an enemy. This includes the Chief Of Police Allan Webster. This is in the same days as Joes famous ” waste of sperm” email to Barrie Tilghman.

Read more here.

Boda 4 Salisbury, Maryland

The key issues in this campaign are crime, economic development and fiscal integrity. However, nothing can be accomplished on any of these issues unless we return civility and respect in our discourse among the differing opinions of individuals. All three of our main issues are intertwined and we must be successful for the future of our city.

We need to take a three pronged approach to addressing the root causes of crime, which must be approached as a regional problem. This requires us to focus long term on education, economic opportunity and engaging our faith based community. Each part is critical to our success.

The short term requires us to develop strong, multi-jurisdictional partnerships on targeting gangs, organized crime and our most violent offenders. After all, criminals know no boundaries and neither should our approach in dealing with them.

To learn more on where I stand and how I approach the issues, visit my website at www.boda4salisbury.com.

Taxpayers have become the servants in Montgomery County

After a decade-long bender, economic reality has finally forced Montgomery County officials to confront the damage caused by their irresponsible spending. It’s not a pretty sight.

A sobering report released by the county’s Office of Legislative Oversight revealed that personnel costs increased 64 percent during the past 10 years. Compensation for Montgomery County employees now consumes 82 percent of all tax-supported spending in the county’s $4.2 billion budget. And for every tax dollar the county spends on bloated salaries, it spends another 52 cents on benefits for those same employees. This is even more than the 51 cents the federal government spends on benefits for its employees — and twice as much as is typically spent in the private sector.

For 10 years, county employees’ compensation outpaced inflation and population growth by 20 percent. Most of the higher pay and benefits went to the public school system, which gobbles up more than half of all county revenue and employs two-thirds of its total work force.

Read more here.

Will Atlas shrug in Maryland?/Letter to the Editor

For Maryland Republicans, the 2010 election was a shock, especially compared to national results. Despite victories here and there, we now know our state government will lurch on to follow economic basket cases like California or New York, where free-spending Democrats believe taxpayers comprise a never-ending gravy train.

The title of this piece refers to Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” A book which doubles as a parable, its theme is how society reacts when the producers withdraw from an intrusive, overbearing government. In Maryland, this scenario played out on a small scale via the so-called “millionaire tax” in 2008 — instead of creating the extra revenue predicted, overall tax receipts fell well short of projections. Those who could afford to do so voted with their feet and left Maryland for other states that encouraged their presence by featuring low tax rates and a regulatory environment more conducive to business.

For those departing, it was their manner of “going Galt,” a phrase inspired by the character in “Atlas Shrugged” who led the exodus of those tired of the overtaxation, overregulation and general disgust from those in government toward citizens successful in the private sector.

With this backdrop, Free State Republicans are in the process of choosing a leader for the next four years. Given the hand with which they have to play, the next state government term will need to be spent both fighting a rear-guard action to slow down Annapolis’s march toward oblivion and educating the public as to why it’s necessary — needless to say, voters missed the GOP message prior to the election. Or did they?

Maryland Republicans put up candidates who, for the most part, were tacitly endorsed by party brass. Many among them were willing accomplices to the Democrats on their destructive course over the last four years — although some would argue that ship began sailing decades ago. In either case, no course correction was made with this election. Republicans need to work on making sure voters are aware of the fix surely required four years hence.

And while it may not be popular with Democrats or the media, Republicans in Maryland indeed can’t just be the party of “no” — we must be the party of “hell no.” Sometimes there can’t be a compromise made; as Rand herself pondered, what is the compromise between food and poison? We must refuse the siren song of budget “fixes” involving new and expanded taxes, and fight tooth and nail against additional regulations and misguided ideas like the “green jobs” boondoggle.

Our best new chairman will be one who realizes there can be no compromise in our principles; instead, he or she will intuitively know Maryland Republicans need to present a bold palette of ideas and candidates in 2014. Our new leadership must convince our state’s producers help will eventually arrive. Give us anything less and Atlas will fail.

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Michael Swartz, a Wicomico Republican Central Committee member, covered Maryland’s 2010 election for Pajamas Media. Visit http://www.monoblogue.us

DEMOCRATS TRAMPLE CONSTITUTION

Rob Fisher For Congress:

DEMOCRATS TRAMPLE CONSTITUTION
DISCLOSE Act Makes a Mockery of First Amendment

(Salisbury) – Republican Rob Fisher, a small businessman and candidate for Congress in Maryland’s First District, today released the following statement on the House passage of the DISCLOSE Act:

“Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats once again showed their utter contempt for the American people and our Constitution. The DISCLOSE Act is a blatant trampling on the First Amendment designed to protect Democrat interest groups in an election year and stifle any dissent or opposition.

This is just another example of Democrats ignoring the Constitution whenever it suits their needs in an attempt to stay in power and pursue a radical agenda against American taxpayers and businesses. I can only hope the Senate has the good sense to recognize this bill for what it is and send it to a speedy death.

The fact Democrats in Congress were so eager to protect special interests who pour millions into their campaign coffers and silence all opposition underscores the urgent need for real leadership in Washington. As Americans continue to suffer under the strain of high unemployment the only jobs Democrats are interested in protecting are their own.”

Learn More Here.

Mike Brewington and his Campaign Treasurer, Dr. Greg Belcher, File to run for Wicomico County Council At Large.

Who is Mike Brewington?

I grew up on the family farm in Pittsville, MD. We grew chickens for Holly Farms, Showell, and finally Perdue. My Grandmother is an Austrian immigrant who came to this country through Ellis Island. My mother, Linda Truitt, taught school in Wicomico County for 38 years and retired this year. My grandfather was my childhood hero. He tilled about 80 acres with a 75hp tractor, and always kept cattle for beef. When I was a boy, I asked him once, “Why are you a Democrat?” He replied, “I’m a democrat because democrats are for the people.” This memory has remained with me until this day and my family members on my mother’s side are conservative democrats. I graduated from Salisbury University in 1998 earning a B.S. Chemistry degree. I currently live in south Salisbury on a small farm with my wife Julie and daughters Meredith and Madison. Of course, I had to keep farming because it was in my blood, and I keep a herd of beef cattle and have a small hayfield and some old John Deere tractors.

Why is Mike Running for Office as a Democrat?

I have been a registered independent until I filed for candidacy on June 15th, 2010. Maryland doesn’t recognize the independent party, which makes filing a difficult, time consuming process. I decided to go back to my family roots as a conservative democrat. I dusted off my college American history textbook and read about the conception of the democrat party. Thomas Jefferson founded the party after the Revolution to prevent the aristocracy in America from returning us to colonial rule. Does this sound familiar? Using the democrat party, Thomas Jefferson was able to pass the Bill of Rights, a document that cements our freedoms as Americans. Where would we be without the right of free speech, or the right to keep and bear arms? These are possible due to the Jeffersonian democrat party.

In Wicomico county, we need informed, transparent, and responsible government. For ten years, I worked and raised my children without paying much attention to politics. After G.W. Bush passed the bailouts and Obama passed the stimulus, we found ourselves in a record amount of debt. I was awakened, and soon found myself at a rainy, cold TEA party on April 15th, 2009 holding a sign that read, “RAISE CHICKENS NOT TAXES.” We need to be fiscally conservative. A party that is for the people does not raise their taxes, because when you take a portion of a person’s paycheck away from them, you take their freedom. Government cannot spend your money better than you can.

What is Mike’s Plan For Wicomico County Government?

I believe in researching the topics with an objective perspective before passing judgment. I am currently talking to democrats and republicans alike to gather information to form an educated decision on all the major issues that face our county. You might see me in public with my notebook, taking notes and interviewing people to gather the facts. We are living in a time of economic hardship. Money is tight and we need to be responsible with spending in order to prevent additional taxes. People living on a reduced income due to the current economic situation can’t afford more taxes. There are certain essential county services that we can’t afford to be cut. It is time to drill deep into the budgets and reduce spending that doesn’t affect our ability to maintain a civilized society. I expect it will be a painful process. I want to reduce overhead and keep the working man at work.

More information here.

Brian Murphy For Maryland Governor on the Issues….

Brian intends to run an honest, transparent, and principled campaign. In the coming months, he looks forward to making the case with voters across Maryland that his approach to governance will provide the most opportunity to the most Marylanders.

Economy


Jobs are job one: Brian’s primary concern is the economy. Maryland’s high taxes, deficit spending, and anti-business environment have already destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Maryland is a great place to live, but we need to start making it a great place to do business. Every point in Maryland is 50 miles from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, Delaware, or West Virginia. We must not take Maryland jobs for granted. Our tax policies must compete with those of our neighbors. If we don’t compete, Maryland jobs will continue to leave. And Maryland must rebuild its reputation with the business community. Maryland has the most talented labor pool in the nation. We deserve a Governor who will work with companies and encourage them to bring their operations here.

Leadership in Balancing the Budget


A top priority for Brian is balancing the budget without raising taxes. This will take leadership and it will take discipline. To that end, Brian will take a 25% pay cut for his first year in office, and ask his Lieutenant Governor, and all Senior Leadership to do the same. It is irresponsible for Brian to ask anyone in Maryland to do something he would not first do himself.

Healthcare


Brian is committed to ensuring every Marylander has access to safe, affordable healthcare. The first step is to grow Maryland’s economy, so every Marylander has more income. The second step is to address rising healthcare costs.

Our current model is like an “all you can eat” bonanza, where you never see the bill and have no incentive to spend less. This is foolish and unsustainable. Brian wants every Marylander to have more control over their healthcare, not less. When Brian lost his job at Constellation, he didn’t lose his car insurance, his life insurance, or his home insurance. So why did he and his family lose their health insurance? If healthcare is tied to employment, Marylanders feel less free.

To lower costs, every policy will be explored. Health Savings Accounts, wellness incentives, and tort reform are just the beginning to meaningful healthcare reform in Maryland. Costs can, and will, come down. Marylanders demand meaningful reform, and Brian is committed to implementing policies that provide it.

Education


Brian is the son of an English teacher, and he and his siblings are products of Maryland’s public schools. Brian has an unwavering commitment to the education of every child in Maryland, especially those who live in lower income school districts and the urban areas of Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. While our public schools are among the best in the nation, a great deal of work remains to be done. Every dollar the government spends must be reviewed and accounted for. Brian wants to review the quality of dollars spent, not just the quantity of dollars. Successful programs must be supported and fully funded, and wasteful programs must end. Our children deserve nothing less.

Environment


Brian is committed to protecting our shared green spaces, our mountains, our farmland, our coasts and wetlands, and our spectacular Chesapeake Bay. He has heard innovative proposals from entrepreneurs on how to address the Bay’s dead zones, where oxygen levels are too low to sustain life. He wants to work with local farmers on ways to address run-off levels, without making farming even more expensive. He wants to address transportation issues, to find scalable, affordable, environmentally sensitive long-term solutions. By working with the private sector to craft solutions to these problems, Maryland will solve its own problems, and develop an expertise from which other states can learn.

One easy way to address our transportation issues is to make Baltimore City safer and more affordable. Hundreds of thousands of people commute into and out of the city every day. Just imagine the economic impact, and the environmental impact, if they actually lived in Baltimore.

Energy

Like all of America, Maryland has an unhealthy addiction to foreign oil. We send billions of dollars to countries that don’t like us very much, and that’s a problem. We have been saying this for 30 years, but are more dependent today than ever.

Brian has spent the majority of his career in the energy business. He supports bringing energy production closer to home and exploring alternative sources of energy. Brian supports Constellation Energy’s proposed expansion of their award winning Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Facility. This would create thousands of jobs, grow our economy, and build our tax base. Brian is disappointed in the current administration’s delaying of the Calvert Cliffs project for political reasons. Our energy needs, just like our economic needs, should not be politicized.

2nd Amendment Issues


Brian has the same view on the 2nd Amendment as the founding fathers: the right to bear arms was preceded only by freedom of speech. Brian is committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of Maryland residents.

Immigration


Brian understands that immigration is what defines America (after all, his last name is Murphy). But becoming an American citizen is a process, and no one is above the law. Our Federal Government refuses to secure our borders, so all Americans are less safe. Illegal immigration is against the law, it cheapens American citizenship, and it makes police officers’ jobs more difficult. Maryland must enforce our laws, we must protect our citizens, and we must do all we can to ensure the safety of our law enforcement officers.

Abortion


Brian is Pro-Life, and is committed to standing firm for the sanctity of life. Brian opposes embryonic stem cell research, and he supports legislation which gives pregnant Marylanders the best possible information about abortion. Along with his wife, Joy, Brian intends to establish a program called “Joy’s House”, in which pregnant girls and women can gain the support they need should they decide to carry their pregnancy to term. Joy’s Houses will be established across the state, and will be funded exclusively with private money.

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For those on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is information, t-shirts, bumper stickers and yard signs available. Please send an email to salisburymdteaparty@earthlink.net for more information.

—C. Lewis