Public corruption isn’t exclusive to Baltimore
Driving home on the day that Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her leave, I did something I usually avoid — I listened to local hate-talk radio. You know it, the place where members of the Donald Trump cult from outside the city dwell as they trash Baltimore (“The Sun missed the ball on Pugh,” April 2).
The first thing I heard was the local cult leader or “host” claim that Baltimore needs to be put in receivership! I guess they we so fond of the Michigan police-state takeover that gave them Flint water.
The audience for these shows are the very people who abandoned Baltimore (and even went to Pennsylvania) so they wouldn’t have to meet the challenges of helping the poor and elderly, replacing the infrastructure and addressing economic despair and crime. They fled yet now they want to tell us how to do things.
These same people love to criticize the “fake news,” but it was the mainstream Baltimore Sun that uncovered the Pugh story. They want to blame the Democratic control of Baltimore for everything bad, but all the latest corruption had its roots on a state-appointed board. So where was Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for the last four years? How many members of that board are Republicans? Why is he so hot to get Mayor Catherine Pugh and less concerned, if at all, about the rest?
Maryland has had a lot of corruption and despicable characters, but it is not concentrated in Baltimore, and it is shared by both parties. We had Spiro Agnew, Dale Anderson, Joe Alton and Marvin Mandel. We had the hypocrisy of former Congressman Bob Bauman, and the yuck factor of former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. We had Ruthann Aron, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who hired someone to knock off her husband!
And let us not forget the former convicts who still go on the radio to lecture us. One is a former Maryland state senator and the other a former city police commissioner.
Martin O’Malley wasn’t corrupt, but the Trump cultists hated him just the same. I’ll gladly take him back as mayor or governor.
Who else was Pugh getting money from?
The Sun editorial calling for Mayor Pugh to stay on leave until questions about Healthy Holly are put to rest doesn’t go far enough (“Pugh should not return to office until she can put Healthy Holly questions to rest,” Apr. 1).
Just as Mayor Pugh pretended to admit everything about the Healthy Holly books while not mentioning that she made an extra $200,000 from other groups, we need an investigation that’s not limited to the Healthy Holly franchise.
It’s already clear that with the Healthy Holly scam Ms. Pugh was essentially taking bribes from special interests. The real question is whether Healthy Holly is her only corrupt scheme.
Corruption is the reason that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is true of corruption in both the public and private sectors. Corruption in Baltimore is probably the reason that there are still so many vacant properties in the city. Corruption is certainly the reason that the Baltimore City Police Department has such a poor reputation among the people it’s supposed to serve.
It’s not enough for The Sun to call for an investigation of Healthy Holly. The Maryland State Prosecutor needs to mount a wide ranging investigation of corruption in Baltimore. It’s clear that the city can’t, or won’t, investigate itself.
A quadruple limerick in honor of Mayor Pugh
There once was a mayor, by golly, who wrote some books about “Holly” to make children laugh
(although it was graft and should have been called “Catherine’s Folly”).
She sold them for schools (good lord!) to a place where she sat on the board; but no books could be found when they looked around, and thousands of dollars she scored!
It’s no news for me and for you, in the case of Catherine E. Pugh, that she was fixin’, just like Sheila Dixon, to run off with more than her due.
But now she’s “on leave”; ‘tis pity, and so must I end this sad ditty.
We have people who shoot, politicians who loot, and America laughs at our city .... …