The Corruption that Kevin Kamenetz Wants for Maryland

If you ever wondered what kind of corrupt government Kevin Kamenetz has in store for Maryland, look no further:

A top Baltimore County government official has urged his staff’s “full participation” on Monday in a “very important announcement” by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D), who is expected to launch a run for governor this week.

“We have been invited to join County Executive Kamenetz on Monday, September 18th at 11:15 am as he has a very important announcement to make,” says the email from county IT chief Robert R. Stradling to employees of his agency. “I am encouraging full participation to support our County Executive as he makes this very important announcement.”

The email could violate state ethics rules that prohibit officials from using government time and resources to support political activity or using their positions to benefit individuals involved in political campaigns.

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In response to questions about the message, Stradling said he had heard that Kamenetz would be making a major announcement and wanted to encourage his staff to attend.

On Sunday, he sent another email to employees that said: “To clarify my email regarding Monday’s announcement by the County Executive, if you choose to attend, you will need to use your personal leave time or attend on your lunch hour.”

Sean Naron, a spokesman for Kamenetz’s political operation, said the county executive “will be making an announcement about his future Monday.” He declined to provide further details.

County spokeswoman Stacie Burgess said Kamenetz’s announcement is not government-related.

Of course, this isn’t the most egregious example of corruption under Kevin Kamenetz, with sweetheart deals, horse arenas for wealthy supporters, and his scandalous attempts to deny air conditioning to Baltimore County students. But this speaks to a deeper level about the kind of administration that Kevin Kamenetz wants to bring to Maryland.

You see, Robert Stradling didn’t send this email in a vacuum. People don’t send these emails unless a culture has been nurtured within the county government that full-throated support of the County Executive’s political ambitions is expected. Considering that Stradling is a direct report of Kamenetz on his leadership team, it isn’t hard to see where this idea originated from. It isn’t hard to realize that Kevin Kamenetz wants to use county employees to prop up his announcement for Governor.

It would not be surprising to discover that other departments received similar emails.

This email from Stradling says a lot of things. Sure, it says that Kevin Kamenetz has absolutely no problem misusing county time and county resources in support for his gubernatorial campaign. But it also shows that Kamenetz’s gubernatorial campaign is already doomed. Any potential candidate for governor who needs to resort to these kinds of tactics in order to artificially inflate attendance figures at their announcements knows that their campaign isn’t going anywhere. Kamenetz and his campaign team know that they are not going to be able to get the kind of support they need to appear as a serious gubernatorial contender without padding the numbers a bit. And that’s what Stradling, no doubt with the encouragement of Kamenetz, sent out this email.

One thing is certain though; Kevin Kamenetz’s campaign is trying hard to be the Hillary Clinton campaign of Maryland’s Democratic Primary.


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