Senator Rosapape Acts Like a Colossal Jerk

The flooding in Ellicott City from Saturday night’s storms were horrific. Two people lost their lives, many others injured, millions of dollars in property damage.

That of course did not stop State Senator Jim Rosapepe from dancing on the graves of the dead to make a political point.

In comments to the Sun, Rosapepe decided that it would be a good idea to blame global warming for the storms.

“The deaths and damage caused by this weekend’s flash flood in Ellicott City, as well as the damage caused elsewhere, reminds us that climate change is about more than polar bears and the rising sea level in the Chesapeake Bay,” said Sen. James Rosapepe, co-chair of a key environmental subcommittee in the Maryland Senate.

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He asked: “Did climate change kill two people in Ellicott City this weekend?”

Rosapepe, a Democrat, said Maryland is ill-prepared to prevent flash-flooding largely because much of its climate change planning focuses on rising sea levels.

He raised that possibility that the once-in-a-thousand-year flooding this weekend was linked to rising global temperatures.   

“It would be very naive if we did not see this as part of climate change,” Rosapepe said in an interview. “Those of us who live upland are really impacted by climate change, and this is the perfect example.”

Rosapepe acknowledged science could not prove climate change caused particular flash-flood, but he said the increased frequency of flash-flooding in general is due to climate change and said that is an ongoing public safety problem for the entire state.

Obviously the facts aren’t even on Rosapepe’s side. There has not been an increase in flash-flooding. It just isn’t happening. And Ellicott City is a prone environment to flooding of all sorts. If you’ve ever walked in the city, you can see the marks from previous floods, whether they be from Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, or other flooding events. The fact of the matter is that 4.5-6 inches of rain fell on Ellicott City in a two hour period on Saturday night. It is not unprecedented for that kind of rainfall to take place in Maryland, it is just that on this night this time it fell in the worst possible place for there to be destruction and loss of life.

But the most damning thing about Rosapepe’s comments is the fact that he (and he alone) chose to politicize this tragedy less than 48 hours after it has occurred. The dead have not even been buried yet, and Rosapepe is out there getting his name in the paper trying to burnish his left-wing credentials for what is a likely primary challenge to Comptroller Peter Franchot in 2018.

This isn’t the first time that Rosapepe has tried to throw blame at people or things where he was ignorant of the facts. Rosapepe was blaming Enron for problems long after the company went bankrupt, and praised Martin O’Malley for selling out his Catholic faith in order to pursue “progressive” values.

People of all political stripes, but especially the Maryland Democratic Party, should condemn Rosapepe in the strongest terms possible. There is no excuse for Jim Rosapepe to act like a colossal jerk in this time of tragedy. It’s conduct unbecoming an elected official, regardless of party affiliation. Rosapepe owes the families of those who have died, all of those affected by the storm, and all Marylanders an apology for his disgusting behavior.

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