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More of your typical John Leopold

“Leopold Breaks Campaign Promise” is going to be up there with “Dog Bites Man” because there he goes again showing us his true colors:

Many of the guests were developers with multimillion-dollar projects planned in Anne Arundel County. The price of admission was the state maximum for a campaign contribution: $4,000.

And the host at Monday night’s exclusive dinner at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront was County Executive John R. Leopold, who was swept into office pledging that developers would no longer be allowed “to drive public policy in the county.”

The event raised at least $100,000 for Leopold, who doesn’t stand for re-election until 2010. But he will oversee the once-a-decade review of the county’s development plan, which could particularly benefit developers around expanding Fort Meade and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

“It sounded like an excellent opportunity to buy some access and influence,” said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause Maryland, a government watchdog group.

Leopold, however, said there was nothing untoward about the event.

“They wanted to get to know me better, to get acquainted with me, to have an opportunity to have a frank exchange of views,” he said. “Whether a donor gives me $4,000, $1,000 or zero dollars, it won’t change the direction I will pursue in the county.”

“Clearly, my policy initiatives in my nine months in office clearly indicate that there are new directives and new priorities and new ways of working with the development community…”

…Democrats and other critics accused Leopold of hypocrisy, noting that the Republican said Johnson was “far too cozy with the big-money bosses and the development industry” after Johnson won the endorsement of five former county executives. Leopold said at the time that the former executives represented business as usual and he pledged to “not be beholden to” developers.

“Where is the statement: I will drive a stake through the heart of the development community? The steak was the one he had over dinner with them,” Johnson, a former three-term county sheriff, said in a phone interview yesterday. “That’s the most hypocritical thing that I see.”

John G. Gary, a Republican who served as county executive from 1994 to 1998, said he doesn’t “see anything wrong” with Leopold’s fundraising because it’s a fact of life in politics.

“But John campaigned on the message of not doing business as usual, and here he is doing the same thing that all of us did.”

Yeah, nobody is buying this. Politicians raise money all of the time, and I have said this before even about Leopold that there is no problem with that. But when you make sweeping claims during the campaign about being beholden to nobody, this kind of stuff makes you look untrustworthy and that you hold the voters in contempt. Let’s face it, this is one in a series of campaign promises that John Leopold appears he couldn’t wait to break. At this point, his re-election campaign might as well be “Death, Taxes, broken promises.”

Once again, the voters of Anne Arundel County are being played for fools. After hearing for years from John Leopold’s own mouth that he was going to do things differently, he does the same old song and dance that everybody else does. And given his record, nobody should be surprised. Here’s the most amusing line from the story:

Leopold said his record indicates that he’s taking a principled stance on protecting the environment and promoting responsible building.

It’s amusing because the day that John Leopold takes a principled stance and sticks to it will be the first.

It’s kinda sad to think that this story hits the paper exactly one year to the day that Republican voters in this county made a major mistake by selecting this joker as the party’s nominee for County Executive.

(Crossposted)






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