Brochin teases Ex­ec­u­tive run at the River­side Demo­cratic Club

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

Sen­a­tor Jim Brochin (D-42) spoke to the River­side Demo­cratic Club in Es­sex on Thurs­day, April 13, to dis­cuss his up­com­ing run for Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive.

Although his prospec­tive run is not much of a se­cret, Brochin, a mem­ber of the Se­nate since 2003, said he will make the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment this fall.

“I have watched pay-to-play pol­i­tics in Bal­ti­more County for de­vel­op­ment projects in my 15 years in the Se­nate and it’s driv­ing me crazy,” he said.

He dis­cussed a bill that he en­tered into the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly this year that he said would’ve tar­geted and re­duced these “pay-to-play” poli­cies in Bal­ti­more County.

The bill, if passed, stated that start­ing in 2019, de­vel­op­ers who want to change a mas­ter plan through zon­ing or vari­ance changes, can­not have given money to a county coun­cil­man or the County Ex­ec­u­tive in pre­vi­ous 3 years.

“It’s my im­pe­tus to change Bal­ti­more County, it’s some­thing I know all of you have ex­pe­ri­enced and felt in your neigh­bor­hoods. It’s just not in Es­sex, it’s not just in Dun­dalk, it’s on the Lib­erty Road cor­ri­dor, it’s in the Tow­son cor­ri­dor, it’s in Pikesville and it has got­ten peo­ple re­ally re­ally an­gry.”

He said that the de­vel­op­ers who give the most money to politi­cians have the most in­flu­ence and of­ten get what they want, even if that con­flicts with the needs of the res­i­dents.

“Com­mu­ni­ties and com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions are hold­ing their hands out and say­ing ‘what about us? what about our voice’?”

The bill ul­ti­mately was killed in com­mit­tee by a 6-2 vote. How­ever, Brochin said he will bring it back for next year’s assem­bly and have it be the main point of his County Ex­ec­u­tive cam­paign.

He said that de­vel­op­ments should get ap­proved based on their “merit” and that the cit­i­zens should be the ones mak­ing the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion.

“What we’re do­ing is we’re ex­tract­ing de­vel­oper money out of the sys­tem.”

Say­ing that he would “turn the place up­side down,” Brochin said that dur­ing his 15 years in the Se­nate and Gen­eral Assem­bly he has seen cor­rup­tion first hand and has ad­vo­cated for cam­paign fi­nance re­form, a prob­lem he be­lieves stretches back far be­fore the cur­rent leg­is­la­tors in power were elected.

“It’s sys­tem­atic in Bal­ti­more County, it’s been go­ing on since Dale An­der­son, Spiro Agnew, straight down the line. There’s this sys­tem that’s never end­ing.”

Speak­ing to the room of lo­cal Democrats, Brochin ex­plained that he can only do so much in the Se­nate and hopes that the is­sues he pre­sented can be re­solved un­der his lead­er­ship.

He said that he, a Demo­crat, won the pri­mar­ily Repub­li­can Dis­trict 42 be­cause he was able to lis­ten to the peo­ple through town halls and pub­lic meet­ings and then put their con­cerns be­fore de­vel­op­ers.

“If you think the sys­tem is re­ally good and fair and that the av­er­age per­son has an equal shot with the de­vel­op­ers then I am not your guy, don’t vote for me.”

He en­cour­aged the room to check his cam­paign fi­nances say­ing that the ma­jor­ity of his do­na­tions are small and come from lo­cal res­i­dents, not de­vel­op­ers, that are frus­trated with how the county is be­ing led.

“At the end of the day, I think all of us, my­self in­cluded as a cit­i­zen of Bal­ti­more County, de­serve bet­ter. It’s just not fair. All of us work too hard and I find it in­sult­ing, it in­sults the process. This may be the only chance we’re go­ing to get to get our county back,” Brochin con­cluded.

Sen. Jim Brochin spoke to the River­side Demo­cratic Club in Es­sex dur­ing the club’s monthly meet­ing.

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