Baltimore: Let's Suspend Ethics Rules. Detroit: What Could Go Wrong?

Discussion in 'Political Satire' started by Street Juice, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Street Juice
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    Mayor Pugh: I Shouldn't Have To Play by the Rules

    upload_2018-8-16_23-16-43.png
    Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh shown just before winning the Baltimore marathon by jumping into the race inches from the finish line and tickling front-runner Greg Williams of Ellicot City.


    Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh has demanded the city council suspend ethics rules for the remainder of her administration, according to an article in Wednesday's Baltimore Sun.

    “It's been awhile since anyone has paid attention to those old ethics rules anyway,” mayoral spokesperson Ben G. Horowitz was quoted as saying at a hastily called press conference Tuesday.

    The press conference was called after an excerpt from an email inadvertently made its way onto the Twitter feed of the Office of the State's Attorney. The excerpt seemed to suggest it is city policy to turn a blind eye to blatant looting of the city's treasury, according to the Sun story.

    “Suspending the rules formally just unmuddies the water and provides hard-working Baltimore residents with the cleaner, more transparent, government they want and deserve,” Mr Horowitz said, noting some of the rules go back to slavery days.

    The particular rule the mayor's office has found most irksome is the one that prohibits public officials from accepting cash from private interests.

    Intended originally as a way to make it harder for government officials to enrich themselves at taxpayers' expense by trading lucrative city contracts for cash, gifts, or campaign contributions—also known as “bribery” or “corruption”—the rules established a legal barrier between wealthy private interests (i.e., rich people) and city officials.

    The mayor has asked the city council to just go ahead and hit the pause button on all that shit.

    “'Bribery' is such an ugly word,” Mr. Horowitz said in response to a reporter's question. “And, besides, Mayor Pugh only ignores ethics rules for good causes, so 'bribery', frankly, seems racist.”

    Most recently, the mayor's office ignored ethics rules when it raised the money to pull Baltimore high school students out of class and bus them to Washington, DC where they joined high school students from around the country in opposition to people getting shot.

    While it isn't easy to argue that not wanting to get shot isn't good, some residents of Charm City thought a better cause would have been to remain in class and wrestle with double negatives and the like.

    “I mean, when all is said and done, what does a kid more good,” asked Barnaby “Bud” Williams of 8 West Madison St, Baltimore? “Spending the day yelling slogans into the air on the National Mall, or understanding the logic behind -1 x -1 = 1?

    The mayor's office has also faced criticism for the extremely high cost of the one-day trip to a city 45 minutes away. An independent review of the expenditures for the trip determined the cost for each student who attended the event was nearly $3,200—most of it to pay city contractor Cool Shades, LLC to provide security for the students.

    “It's a fucking $8.00 train ride, for crying out loud,” said Mr Williams, who said he was relocating to the Frederick area. “And, by the way, I've seen those kids. If anyone would have needed security, it would have been the other passengers.”

    But Mr Horowitz defended the cost. “I don't think we can put a price on the lives of our most precious resource—Baltimore's children,” he said.

    “And if you think it's okay for children to be gunned down in their own classrooms, well, then I can't even...frankly, it seems racist,” he concluded.

    Mayor Pugh did not attend the press conference as she was on a fact-finding trip to New York City's Fifth Avenue until Monday.
     
  2. Missourian
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    Please tell me this is fake news.
     
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  3. The Professor
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    The Professor Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Part of what you said is true, but not all of it. You seem to suggest the mayor wanted to change the rules to allow her and other public officials to receive bribes and this is not true. The mayor only wanted to be able to encourage private parties to contribute to a government controlled foundation without having to get approval from the ethics board for each fund raising effort. The funds collected would go the the Baltimore City Foundation and would be dispersed for various public purposes. The following are excepts from an article in the Baltimore Sun:

    Catherine E. Pugh is seeking a sweeping exemption from city ethics rules to allow her to personally raise private money to fund various community programs and events through City Hall’s charitable arm.

    It’s a tactic Pugh has turned to frequently throughout her tenure, including the time she helped find funds to bus hundreds of young anti-gun protesters to Washington in March.

    But it’s a strategy that ethics observers say can prove problematic and several cautioned Pugh against seeking the exemption.......

    City Solicitor Andre Davis has asked the ethics board to considering granting a waiver to the Democratic mayor so she does not have to make those requests each time she wants to encourage people and institutions to donate money to the government-controlled Baltimore City Foundation, which awards grants to fund various neighborhood programs and events.

    “We want the mayor out there raising money in all kinds of ways,” Davis said. “We’re a poor city. Why would we put a constraint on the mayor’s ability to solicit assistance for the city?”

    Mayor Pugh seeks broad ethics exemption to raise private money to fund Baltimore programs
     
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  4. Street Juice
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    QUESTION: Does the following seem problematic in any way?

    "We want the mayor out there raising money in all kinds of ways,” Davis said. “We’re a poor city. Why would we put a constraint on the mayor’s ability to solicit assistance for the city?"​

     

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