Leopold does something rare

Wow, for once John Leopold actually told the truth:

Years before he became Anne Arundel County’s chief executive, John R. Leopold sounded a lot like the critics of his current plan to impose perhaps the highest development impact fees in Maryland.

In 2001, Leopold attacked county leaders’ idea of raising those fees “during our current recessionary slump.” He argued that it could hurt commercial growth, dampen the prospect of affordably priced housing and unfairly burden selective homeowners.

“They are insidious, regressive homeowner taxes,” Leopold, then a member of the House of Delegates, wrote in a letter to the Maryland Gazette.

Today, as Leopold tries to balance the county budget amid millions lost in state aid and real estate tax revenue, the second-year county executive acknowledged that he has flipped his position.

We have known Leopold has lied, inflated his accomplishments, and changed his position in order to get whatever political office he is seeking at that particular time over the course of the last 30 years. I am just amazed that Leopold finally had the guts to admit it for once.

What of course is just as disturbing, unfortunately, is the fact that we have this guys masquerading as a conservative Republican who is coming out in support of raising fees that he himself called “insidious, regressive homeowner taxes.” This is something Councilman Ed Middlebrooks noted:

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“Historically, he has been consistent on where he has been on impact fees,” Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican, said of Leopold. “He fought against them, and he thought the transfer tax was the way to go. Then, when he had the opportunity to actually do something, he abandons everything he has said over the years for raising impact fees. How can that be?”

How can one truly call themselves a conservative Republican if you are supporting higher fees and taxes that you know to be morally irresponsible? I mean, raising any fee by a multiple of four is about as far from a consistent conservative viewpoint as one can possibly get.

Unfortunately, John Leopold at the end of the day remains an embarrassment to Anne Arundel County and an embarrassment to the Maryland Republican Party for his O’Malleyesque stance on this important pocketbook issues…


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