Where Rawlings-Blake Politicizes, Hogan Leads
Almost everyone in the Free State has become familiar with Larry Hogan’s motto, “Maryland is open for business.”
And if democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had a motto of her own for Baltimore right now, it would probably be, “Baltimore is open for business—just not your business.”
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A recently reported story in the Baltimore Sun revealed that Mayor Rawlings-Blake is strongly opposed to providing funds to help rebuilding efforts for liquor stores that were damaged during the notorious Baltimore riots recently, saying that such stores are not beneficial to neighborhoods.
The Mayor and City Council already had their eyes on the liquor stores through a rezoning plan, also cited in the Sun article, which is currently being considered in Baltimore City Hall.
Governor Hogan, on the other hand, supports aiding the damaged stores. Referring to the store owners, a Hogan spokesperson was quoted in the Sun’s article as saying, “They are Marylanders and members of our community, and using their tragedy as a political tool is wrong and needs to stop.”
I cannot understand Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s reasoning for her stance on this issue. These businesses existed before the riots in Baltimore. Her citizens are among both the owners and the customers of these stores.
In fact, Mayor Rawlings-Blake should be going around the City being the chief advocate for restoring all of the businesses affected by the riots—not just some of them.
Because it makes too much sense to help the affected liquor stores rebuild, I can only consider two reasons as to why Mayor Rawlings-Blake does not support this effort. And both of those reasons are utterly selfish and unbecoming of an office holder, especially during such a critical time for Baltimore.
The first reason would be that Mayor Rawlings-Blake does not want to be outdone by a republican, namely Governor Hogan, in a heavily democratic city. But, unfortunately for Mayor Rawlings-Blake, she already has been outdone by Governor Hogan. It was the Governor that responded to the scene in Baltimore, mobilized the Maryland National Guard, successfully recruited volunteers both within City and throughout the State, and led efforts that inspired the best of Baltimore’s citizens to come out and clean up their City.
The second reason would be that Mayor Rawlings-Blake has political aspirations, but with her failed leadership and “blame game” style actions during and after the riots, I think the Mayor needs to reevaluate things. Additionally—and thankfully so—Marylanders are more informed now than they have ever been, and they will no longer overlook failed, less than charming records from ambitious “Charm City” mayors.
Thankfully, Maryland has a Governor who knows the risks, sacrifices, and operations of business. He knows those things because he’s run a business.
Through the devastation, destruction, and rebuilding after the Baltimore riots, the one saving the City isn’t Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the politician. The one saving Baltimore and leading everyone in the effort is Larry Hogan, the public servant.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. He is not speaking for, or in behalf of, The Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee.