The Sound of Silence from the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty

The Baltimore County Council held a hearing tonight on their proposed county budget. That probably doesn’t interest you much. It didn’t interest anybody else in Baltimore County either, the Sun’s Pam Wood tells us:

Baltimore County has more than 826,000 residents, but not one of them showed up Tuesday to tell the county how it should spend its $3.5 billion budget.

The County Council held a public hearing in Towson to gather input on the budget, which will guide the county government’s spending for the coming fiscal year starting July 1.

While a few people were in the audience — including two reporters, one school board member and a handful of others — no one stepped up to speak.

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“Currently we have no speakers signed up,” announced Councilman Julian Jones, a Woodstock Democrat who chaired the meeting. “So, that said, do we have any speakers that would like to come forward and tell us what to do with all this money?

“We’ve got $3 billion,” he said. “Any speaker want to come forward, even to make a recommendation for us to write them a check tonight?”

After calling “going once, going twice” like an auctioneer, Jones gaveled the meeting to adjournment after three-and-a-half minutes.

The session was the only hearing for public comment on the proposed budget. Over the month of May, council members will hear about the budget from county department heads. Those meetings are open to the public, but there is no public testimony.

It’s interesting that there was no public testimony at all because at least one Baltimore County group pretends to be a watchdog for taxpayers.

If you’ve been involved in Maryland politics, you’ve probably made it onto the email list of the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty. The Baltimore County C4L seems to be the most vocal of the rump elements of the Ron Paul faction here in the state of Maryland. Over the course of the last several years, they have sent tons of emails related to Baltimore County issues. A lot of them attacking Republican County Councilman David Marks, but also occasionally going after the Democrats as well. Here’s a sample that was sent May 19th, 2016:

Dear Friend of Liberty,

A vote for more government spending is a vote for more taxes. Period.

All government spending is paid for with money taken by force from the people.

Some of it comes through direct taxation.

Some of it comes through indirect taxation and from mandatory fees, rising water bills, and petty fines from harmless “offenses.”

In their hopes to convince you that they haven’t raised taxes, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, county council, and their media lapdogs have been pushing deceptive propaganda.

They want you to believe that since they haven’t raised DIRECT tax rates, your taxes are not increasing.

But, this is false.

The email goes on to make a very key and important point toward the end:

Do you want interest payments added into to your tax burden, even though that money results in zero benefit to the community?

Do you want more Baltimore County residents pressuring our legislators to maintain and increase spending?

Do you want to roll over and continue taking this fiscal abuse?

If not, it is imperative that you contact your councilperson right now to demand they reject all borrowing ordinances before the vote on May 26th.

When dealing with local politicians in relatively small districts, your voice has much more impact than you may realize.

Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty members like you have rallied before to stop county council’s power grabs.

This, of course, isn’t the only time the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty has railed against taxes or against issues in Baltimore County. Here’s a sample:

Usually, these emails and links encourage the recipients either to sign a petition or to donate money to the Baltimore County C4L.

But the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty couldn’t be bothered to show up and testify on the budget? They couldn’t be bothered to support tax relief or lower spending? After all, if the C4L has “rallied before to stop county council’s power grabs” why would they not bother to show up to the one event all year where the budget was being discussed in a public forum, before the entire council. If they’re that concerned about income taxes, wasteful spending, water bills, and other issues, why let the pitch go by?

One Baltimore County political veteran had this to say about the group: “They are notorious for no showing things, including hearings in Annapolis on bills they push. Same for their pro-life group.” The Pro-Life group referenced is the Maryland Pro-Life Alliance, seemingly dormant since 2015, which was involved in cherry picking votes on life issues to benefit libertarian-leaning candidates they supported. That’s similar to their inability to recognize  Republicans that take principled positions on issues like illegal immigration; those folks get no thanks at all from this group.

And it isn’t like the Baltimore County C4L is taking a pass on County Issues. They’re planning on delivering a petition at the *next* County Council meeting on May 1st on the sanctuary county issue in conjunction with the statewide campaign for liberty.

In the above post notice that they complain about……new spending. But despite their concerns, they couldn’t even ask their supporters to show up and talk about conservative budgeting principles?

It’s not unreasonable to ask the Baltimore County Campaign for Liberty why they chose not to attend the hearing on the Baltimore County budget. If they want to be players in the game, they have to participate. They need to make themselves involved in the political arena, attend events like these, and encourage their supporters to do the same. Because at the moment, it seems like the Baltimore County C4L is more interested in collecting emails raising money, and generally raising the stink than they are about actually making the policy changes that they are seeking into a reality.

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