First Click -- Maryland
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Baltimore Police Probing Delegate's Engagement Hoax
Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County) is at the center of a police investigation into apparent misuse of Baltimore City police resources after officers, a police boat and helicopter were used to stage a raid that culminated in Cardin's proposal to his girlfriend Aug. 7 on a boat in the Inner Harbor.
Questions aside about the romantic qualities of a police-raid wedding proposal, Baltimore police on Monday confirmed the stunt has resulted in an internal departmental investigation.
The Baltimore Sun's Peter Hermann had the best account of the scene on the boat:
"Officers boarded the boat, owned by a friend of Del. Jon S. Cardin, on Aug. 7 in the Inner Harbor. As the helicopter Foxtrot hovered overhead, adding to the sense of tension, one report says officers pretended to search the vessel and even had the woman thinking she was about to be handcuffed before the delegate got on one knee and proposed. Megan Homer said 'yes,'" Hermann writes.
Cardin, a member of the House of Delegates since 2003, and a nephew of U.S. Sen Benjamin L. Cardin, told The Gazette that the police involvement created a "fuss" that allowed him to surprise his grifriend. Cardin said he will reimburse Baltimore Police, but the political cost of the hoax could also be substantial.
The Sun writes that Del. Curtis S. Anderson, D-Baltimore and chairman of the city delegation to Annapolis, is already blasting Cardin's apparent indiscretion, saying he was astonished the state delegate "could commandeer the forces of the Baltimore City Police Department."
Better Late then Never? Gov. Martin O'Malley today will reestablish the "Maryland Economic Development Commission" - a board designed to "foster economic development" in the state. As of late, there's been just one problem with that: it hasn't met once in the current economic downturn. The board's been defunct since 2006.
O'Malley's office says it will stack the new 25-member board with "some pretty big names" to drive state business policy, regulation and legislation.
Hopefully, the board gets further than the last: On its Web site, the history of the commission inexplicably trails off in 2005, shortly after it announced one of its "major initiatives" for the year would be to set up a state registry for start-up companies. The board's other grand plans are harder to see. The Web link to its 2004 "strategic recommendations" is broken.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on Monday raised the specter of the state siphoning off city and county income tax collection to balance an estimated $700 million short fall. Dixon said she'd "heard" that could be a possibility while at the Maryland Association of Counties conference that ended Saturday in Ocean City.
The Baltimore Sun writes that O'Malley's office says it has no plans to tap the local government's so-called "piggyback" revenue stream.
Maryland Politics Watch weighs in state budget woes with a reminder that Maryland's not alone, with this look at a survey of state fiscal woes.
And, Montgomery County Councilman Mike Knapp tells The Washington Examiner the state better tread carefully in cuts to counties:
"We are the economic engine of the state," said Knapp, (D). "How far do you want to push to find out that your economic engine doesn't work anymore?"
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Aaron C. Davis
August 18, 2009; 7:32 AM ET
Categories: Aaron C. Davis , First Click
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