The Democrats 50 Year War on Baltimore

A recent Washington Post article tries to spin up the idea that Democrats have been trying to spin up for months now; that Governor Larry Hogan and his administration have declared a “War on Baltimore” determined to punish the city for being a Democratic bastion.

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. And such statements hide the real War on Baltimore that’s going on every day.

Democratic critics and their allies in the mainstream media have tried to point to various examples as to how Governor Hogan is mistreating the city of Baltimore. They point to Governor Hogan’s conduct during the Baltimore Riots. They point to cancellation of the Red Line. They point to the closing of the Baltimore City Detention Center. They’ll point to anything to try to convince voters that Larry Hogan has it out for Baltimore. They’re wrong of course. The Governor did what he had to do during the riots. The Red Line was an expensive, inefficient, unnecessary boondoggle from jump street that was kept on the books for years anyway. And the Baltimore City Detention Center was an O’Malley-era scandal that saw gangs literally running a state correctional facilities.

That’s not a War on Baltimore. That’s leadership.

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The idea that Hogan is waging a “War on Baltimore” can be summed up in the Post story by the comments of City Council President Jack Young:

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) spoke sadly about Baltimore’s shrinking influence at the Monday meeting in Hanover.

“People forget that Baltimore City was the economic engine of the whole state at one time, when we had [nearly] 1 million people,” Young said. “If the city dies, so goes the state.”

This isn’t about Larry Hogan. It’s about the shrinking influence of Baltimore City in the political process, particularly in the Democratic Party, that sees no major candidates for state office from Baltimore City and one longtime stalwart (Barbara Mikulski) heading for the exit.

Their problem isn’t with Hogan. It’s about the loss of their power.

But that takes us back to the reason that Baltimore is losing its political and economic stroke. This is obviously something that we here at Red Maryland are very concerned with. As I wrote back in April, Baltimore’s problems don’t just belong to the city; they belong to the state too. When Baltimore succeeds, Maryland succeeds, with higher tax revenues, more jobs, and a better business environment. The problem is that the same yahoos who got Baltimore in this mess are accusing Hogan of trying to put them in a worse mess. As I wrote in the Baltimore Sun last year, recent Mayors of Baltimore have put more emphasis in outside interests than they have in running the city. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her Democratic National Committee commitments. Sheila Dixon trying to enrich herself at taxpayer expense. Martin O’Malley and his permanent campaign.

Even when they were focused on the city, the Democrats still couldn’t do anything constructive. Rawlings-Blake’s obsession with plastic bags when she isn’t worried about the National Guard causing disorder during the riots. Martin O’Malley using city funds to build a Hilton, which 10 years ago when knew was a bad idea, has cost the city millions in debt service. He wasted $900 million on this white elephant, though he had the gall to blame it on Bob Ehrlich. A CitiStat program that doesn’t workMillions borrowed on bond issues to create new debt for the city. The Police Department misusing city resources to stage marriage proposals.

And that only scratches the surface. As written here back in 2010, after Sheila Dixon was turfed from office:

…’s easy to dislike the arrogant and self-entitled Dixon she’s but a symptom of a larger problem. Dixon may be on her way out, but the development-political complex—the system by which developers pay tribute i.e., campaign cash, in Lipscomb’s case satiating Dixon’s shopping jones—in return for lavish tax breaks for their über development projects—remains.

It is the planned, controlled, subsidized failure of the city.

The development-political complex is a metastasizing cancer on the city’s body politic and economic health. Dixon is merely an excised limb. Unfortunately city politicians do not want to be cured, because ending the current system means giving up the power it provides them.

You don’t think it’s change have you? State Center? The Baltimore Development Corporation? The Baltimore Grand Prix? Tax Increment Financing? Payments In Lieu of Taxes? Anthony Brown’s East Baltimore project? Is it any wonder that Baltimore needs adult leadership?

There has not been a Republican in elected office in Baltimore since Theodore McKeldin, and no Republican on the City Council since 1939. While Baltimore schools began to deteriorate, as the streets became more dangerous, as the jobs disappeared and as the residents skipped town, Baltimore’s elected officials and their allies in Annapolis were merely content to build their political base, line their pockets, and ignore the real problems that Baltimore has faced. The Democrats in Baltimore were fiddling while the city burned.

You want to know who’s really been waging a War on Baltimore. It’s the Democrats.

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