By Kate Froehlich
Special to The Dagger
Governor Martin O’Malley continued a statewide tour to announce his candidacy for reelection on Thursday in Aberdeen, and was met with both supporters and a few protestors at the Festival Park event.
O’Malley was met with a “very warm welcome” with “several hundred people” attending the rally, according to Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett. “There was a good crowd; how can you ask for anything more if you are a politician?”
The crowd included “a good cross section of the community,” Bennett said. “It wasn’t a bunch of Democrats getting together. There were a number of Republicans here, and folks that saw the opportunity to visit a sitting governor to our town.”
About O’Malley’s reaction to the turnout, Bennett said, “He was very thrilled at the welcome he got and grateful for the folks that turned out.”
Not everyone present was equally thrilled, as the rally did see several Tea Party protestors.
One of them, Al Reasin, said he was asked by Aberdeen police to stand away from the crowd on the edge of the park because he carried a flag.
About the incident, Reasin said, “A veteran was denied his First Amendment and freedom of assembly rights like a second class citizen.”
“As I walked across the park with my Navy Jack and Culpeper (correct spelling) DONT TREAD ON ME flag flying, I was intercepted by an Aberdeen police officer who ordered me to move to the edge of the park,” Reasin said. “He refused to tell me why nor identify who the higher up was who had given him the order. Note that in Annapolis neither flags can be flown nor signs on sticks displayed in the city or on state property; Aberdeen, who knows. So much for freedom of expression in Maryland, the Free State.”
Reasin said that he discussed the issue with an individual he believed to be an O’Malley campaign worker as well as a police officer during the event, but was unclear as to why he was asked to keep his distance.
Bennett said, “They [the protestors] tried their best to disrupt the whole proceedings. I would be the first to defend their right to protest or state their views, but to interrupt something someone else is doing; I kind of have a problem with that. [However], they didn’t get nasty; they just shouted concerns about what was going on.”
Former state senator Art Helton added, “They were entitled to make an expression and have their opinion. If I felt the way they did, I would have been a little more polite. They weren’t much of a distraction [though].”
Bennett originally proposed the idea while attending the Baltimore Orioles home opener with O’Malley, who took him up on the offer a week later.
“It’s always kind of a plus when a sitting governor comes and wants to use your city as a backdrop for any announcement they might have. It speaks to the relationship the city has with the state of Maryland and how we’re trying to keep things moving forward just as well as the state is,” Bennett said. “It signals us as one of the cities their administration thinks is moving forward.”
In Bennett’s introduction, he spoke about the benefits Aberdeen has seen under O’Malley’s administration, from O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown’s support of the Base Realignment and Closure to the upgrades to the waste water plant in the city, 61 percent of which was funded through the slush tax.
“[We have a] really good working relationship with them,” Bennett said. “There are a lot of things that his administration has done for those of us in Aberdeen.”
O’Malley’s address focused on “’Moving Maryland forward [their campaign slogan],” Bennett said. “He talked about some of the things that had happened in the past [that helped Maryland during O’Malley’s administration] even in the worse recessions that most of us can remember. [He also talked about] the austere budget times, and the fact that we’ve still made progress and moved forward.”
Added Helton, “[Governor O’Malley] made it clear what the struggles were that he had faced with the budget and the economy and that he had lived up to his commitments that he had made to move Maryland forward.”
About the future of O’Malley’s campaign, Bennett said, “I certainly support him and am looking forward to four more years of him.”
He added, “The guy came into office and was promptly hit with the worst recession any of us can remember and has done things to keep the state moving and helped us come out of this recession faster than a lot of states around us.”
Helton said, “I think Governor O’Malley is going to get reelected. Harford County’s going to be tough for him, but I think he’ll do fair here. [He’ll] make a good showing here.”
O’Malley’s campaign manager, Tom Russell, was not available for comment Tuesday.
I wonder if Fred Simmons came out to support O’Malley since he endorsed him last time. Both of them have a lot in common with their unwavering support for tax increases. I wonder if Steven Wright will run O’Malley’s campaign since he ran Fred Simmons campaign, AFTER Fred raised taxes on Aberdeen. What a record to run for office as the Conservative Republican.
Robin Hood says
Interesting thought. Aberdeen residents are still looking for that $100k they gave Mr. Wright. I hear the State prosecutor still has an open case on that sour deal.
Dave Yensan says
You hear wrong Robin Hood. All charges were found to be specious and politically based. The $100K you speak of is even an incorrect number.
But nobody is disputing Stephen Wright’s support of increased taxes on the people of Aberdeen. The same guy that was fighting to lower taxes on developers is ok with taxing the regular, hard working people of Aberdeen. Real conservative of you Stephen Wright.
Dave Yensan says
What did Wright have to do with the tax increase passed by the Council? That increase was voted on and passed by a three to two vote, Elliott and Kupferman against and Simmons, Hiob and me for. WE hired Wright to unscramble the illegal and cooked bookkeeping of the previous administration in order to find the $3,000,000 in excess debt that had been hidden form the public view. Be pissed at us for having to fix it but at him for untangling untangle the Gordian knot.
two cents says
Aberdeen has APG and BRAC which means federal dollars for the state coffers. Mickey Mouse could be Mayor and O’Malley’s people would have thought it was a good place for their statewide tour.
Mayor Bennet, which protestors tried to disrupt? You mean when they held up their signs and the omalley suited bodyguards followed the protestors around and kept standing in front of them with their larger Tax paid Omalley signs? Don’t you mean the owemally cronies were disruptive? Were you even there? Surely don’t sound like it!!
Alan Reasin says
Mayor Bennett said, “They [the protestors] tried their best to disrupt the whole proceedings. I would be the first to defend their right to protest or state their views, but to interrupt something someone else is doing; I kind of have a problem with that. [However], they didn’t get nasty; they just shouted concerns about what was going on.”
We were civil from what I could see and hear from my location at the edge of the park. If he thought we were disruptive, he has obviously never been at or observed an anti-war or anti-capitalist demonstration. The anti-immigration law protests this week are another example of disruptive/violent demonstrations. I try to remain civil at all times, challenge my fellow TEA Partiers to do the same and respect other’s view points and rights; however from my perspective, the mayor has lied with his statement and that I will not tolerate. I suspect, although cannot prove, that he was the higher up that gave the order for the police officer to intercept me and order me to the location the officer designated. What did he or others have to fear by informing me and others about the whys and wherefores; or was he trying to provoke resistance to the police order. I don’t know, obvious, but the lack of transparency causes me to wonder.
While I am no longer in the military, I do have a certain amount of respect for law enforcement, especially when they have to react to protests. But when there is no emergency, I am denied the reason from my exile and who actually issued the ordered, I doubt if the mayor is the first, as he said, who would defend my views. My exile was obvious to anyone who cared to look in my direction, as the members of the rally who came over to find out why I was at the edge of the park shows. So if the mayor was not the one who ordered my exile, he certainly did not countermand the order to defend my right to civilly protest or express my views.
I do wish to commend the tolerance of the gentlemen who discussed the situation with me, who may have been associated with the rally and the police officer who talked to me after the rally who was a Navy veteran too; The officer and I talked about the good old days. I did not discuss the rally with the police officer because I did not want to put him in the uncomfortable position of having to discuss what was done to me by his city government.
I was not angry that day, unlike when that very flag was going to be confiscated at a February 2010 TEA Party in Annapolis; that was the first time while in attendance at over 18 TEA Parties and rallies, from DC to Harrisburg, PA, where I had been challenged by the police; in my home state no less. In DC I was asked for ID on December 1, 2009, after 3 hours Standing alone with my flag at 1st and Capitol Streets, by the 4 Capitol policemen; one from the SWAT team. Since I was not doing anything illegal, according to the police officers, they had much less cause for an ID check than what the Az immigration law requires.
I am working with a state delegate to pass a law allowing citizens to fly flags and display signs on sticks on MD state property during authorized rallies. The logic for the prohibition, according to the Chief of the MD Capitol Police who I talked to recently, is that flag poles and signs on sticks can be used as weapons and were during a demonstration a decade or so ago in Annapolis. DC limits such items to 3/4 inch in diameter, but MD and Annapolis city outlaws them. MD has, though, passed a law to allow the presence of signs on sticks and flag poles on private property, even when the homeowners association prohibits it, but not on state property. So much for 1st amendment rights in MD.
Thank you for taking a moment to talk with me the other day. I respect your service to our nation, and your right to free expression and peaceful protest. I can vouch for the fact that you were not angry that day.
We disagree politically-speaking on many issues I’m sure, but we demonstrated to each other what has always made this nation stand above and that is our ability to debate and express ourselves openly — with respect for each others’ point of view.
See you again soon perhaps…
US Taxpayer says
I was there and the tea folks were trying to disrupt with their signs. These people had the right to protest, but NOT the right to disrupt. They were rude louts.
The tea Baggers use as their strategy the “ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM: An argument that attempts to disprove the truth of what is asserted by attacking the speaker rather than the speaker’s argument.” This is their standard mode of opperation. They completely forget the HUGE increases that the former governor foisted upon us. A Flush Tax anyone?
Phil Dirt says
Had you actually read the article, you would see that the mayor “spoke about the benefits Aberdeen has seen under O’Malley’s administration, from O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown’s support of the Base Realignment and Closure to the upgrades to the waste water plant in the city, 61 percent of which was funded through the slush [sic] tax”.
So Ehrlich get blame for the Flush Tax and O’Malley gets credit for it? Can you look up another Latin phrase to explain this one?
US Taxpayer says
Argumentum ad ignorantiam
Alan Reasin says
Anonymous US Taxpayer: You are entitled to your view point per the MD and Federal Constitutions; what you are not is civil or respectful when you call people “tea Baggers”, as you wrote. I assume you know the background of that moniker, so I will not go into its meaning. If you don’t, you should not use it; you just might call the wrong person that name who DOES know the meaning. I’ve been called worse, so I don’t really mind the name calling, but can I also assume you use the N-word to describe African-Americans; a name I was called last week in Bel Air for some stupid reason I notice you hide behind anonymity, but that is your right and within the rules of the Dagger.
Remember: The people are sovereign, not government. When the people will not stand up to government, they become the servants of government. Al Reasin – 2009.
Take care, fellow citizen, and be safe.
You should know that the Oxford English Dictionary has addressed this issue and ruled that:
“The term “teabagger” is a reasonably conceived informal name for an affiliate of the Tea Party, and as a word in the news, it earned a mention for the year 2009.
Having deliberated carefully over the word-usage evidence, Oxford’s lexicographers are confident in their judgment that “teabagger” the political term stands distinctly apart from “teabagger” the vulgar term.”
The TEA Party willingly chose to use the TEa Bag as a symbol of the movement. To get up in arms about name calling does nothing for the movement.
Joseph Caruso says
It matters little what the pop-culturalists at Oxford English Dictionary think, however it matters how people in and out of the media have employed the word as a pejorative with a wink and a nod to a sex act.
Furthermore, the term was likely used as a description of a participant who engages in the sex act before it was ever employed to describe a political activist.
Oh right Joe….
You’re saying that the senior lexicographers at the world’s oldest and most respected university press who are the publishers of the Definitive dictionary of the English language aren’t qualified to make a judgement about word usage.
You’ve just demonstrated that you’re more of a pompous ass than we already thought you were.
Joseph Caruso says
I guess that’s why the majority of mainstream media refrain from using this pejorative term when referring to Tea Party activists?
You see Jim you can’t win on the issues so you have to use all other means available to malign those with whom you politically disagree.
US Taxpayer says
As if Joe has ever made an argument. He is only capable of attacking the speaker.
My logic textbook describes this: “ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM: An argument that attempts to disprove the truth of what is asserted by attacking the speaker rather than the speaker’s argument. Another way of putting it: Fallacy where you attack someone’s character instead of dealing with salient issues.”
Alan Reasin says
That’s an interesting piece of information but I knew that the word has some meanings beyond the sexual, but the context is important.
As to using it to describe someone or a group there is a thumb rule that goes like this: As with the N-word, or any other ethnic moniker, when used by an outsider directed towards an individual or group, it would be considered vulgar and disparaging, where as one inside the group using it usually is acceptable; somewhat related to their station in the group. Therefore, I suggest that a person who is a TEA Partier can use it to describe other TEA Partiers, although I wouldn’t since I personally see no good side of the word when labeling someone other than one who carries bags of tea, but with someone from the Left using it, it becomes vulgar and disparaging.
Having lived in many areas of our great country and visited many countries, some for extend time frames, I learned a long time ago about this seemly worldwide rule and I still have my head because of the decorum I practiced.
I was in attendance at the rally. I was in opposition to O’Malley and held a sign regarding him raising taxes. There were about 10 of us in opposition and probably over 100 O’Malley supporters. We were by no means being disruptive. We were not shouting nor antagonizing his supporters, nor did we have any intentions to disrupt the event. Regardless of how the mainstream media portrays us, we are not ignorant. By calling us vulgar terms, such as “tea-bagger”, you are only showing your own intellectual incompetence.
To me it didn’t seem like the supporters even cared that we were there. A bystander (not sure if she was an O’Malley supporter) actually walked up to Al to find out why he was standing alone, and after hearing his story, told him that it was not right nor was it constitutional for the police to make him stand alone (for being in opposition and exercising freedom of speech). She said that he was actually getting more attention by standing alone on the opposite side of the park. She too asked the police who gave the order for Al to be forced to the other side of the park and the police told her it was none of her business.
If the police will follow an unconstitutional order to suppress peaceful assembly and petitioning of the government for a redress of grievances by exercising the 1st amendment I wonder what other unconstitutional orders they will follow. Did the officers not take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution?
US Taxpayer says
To be fair, I must amend my previous statement. It really was only one woman who was so disruptive; all others were just quietly standing there. But she was the one who got her picture in the paper. In political speech, getting space in a newspaper is what we all want.
Throughout all of these tea party comments their members are quick to write novels about their unfortunate nickname yet fail to address the issues brought up by others. People might take your group seriously if you stopped focusing on the superficial and actually explained yourselves coherently for once.
Alan Reasin says
Well JD, another novel as you say. There was little in the comments about other issues and the headline opened up a discussion on the dissenters present; you did notice that as of yet there still is no explanation in the media for why I was singled out and ordered to stand outside of the location allowed the OTHER TEA Partiers. What city regulation was being enforced; do you know?
I assume you know that TEA Partiers in general are for a smaller government that lives within our Constitution’s bounds and for reduced governmental spending. The TEA Party movement is a grassroots, loosely organized, cross section of America with hardly any specific national issues since each is a local organization with their own issues. But, hey, we can change the thread, if you like.
The O’Malley administration has increased the sales tax by a penny which happens to be a 20% increase, which sounds worse, especially if it was in the form of an income tax increase; a tax that liberals usually decry as unfair to our poorer citizens. The governor had proposed increasing the gas tax by tying it to the Construction Cost Index, which historically has been the fastest rising index. That trial balloon was deflated quickly. The unpopular tax increase proposals are now going to be kicked down the road to be recommended by a commission to take heat off of the politicians we elect and pay to find solutions to the state’s problems. This administration decided to take money from special designated funds and has received support from the deficit ridden federal government to meet the budget. The cost to our state for services provided for illegal aliens, or undocumented immigrants if you like, beyond emergency services all should receive, exceeded our budget deficit, yet we have no statewide E-verify law to help correct the loss of jobs for citizens, the reduced tax revenues and the increased unemployment costs to the state and businesses. A small business owner friend told me his state mandated unemployment fund contributions increased 3 fold recently.
I have major problems with the actions taken this year, if for no other reason, it is not clear what the state will do to meet next year’s budget. Is the O’Malley Administration banking on an economic recovery to balance the budget with increased tax revenues or just tax increases? I doubt that our nation’s economy will recover substantially by next year unless economic and policy changes stop emanating from DC; otherwise long range planning by businesses is difficult and probabily not worth the risk. I see much less of an accent on program cuts by government, rather talk about tax increases. If my memory is correct, my research of our state’s budget a few years ago showed that 17% was directed to Baltimore. I often wonder what an independent audit of Baltimore City’s spending would show.
I find it interesting that some of the federal government’s debt commission members are now calling for “pro growth tax hikes”; growth of government I suspect. Will our state’s commission propose pro growth tax hikes too?
As usual, when it is other peoples money, much less scrutiny by public officials is placed on how it is spent and politicians of all stripes use it to “purchase” votes. Having been in Annapolis a few times observing government in action, one can see that this continues, it is nothing new. One could easily surmise that our public officials care more about being reelected and advancing within the present political structure than correcting the state’s budgetary problems which entail political risk regardless of what position they take.
In this day of increased capabilities to reach citizens with accurate budgetary information and bills’ details that impact the budget, I suggest that playing by the old backroom, less than transparent rules just might anger tax paying citizens beyond TEA Partiers.
Toby Sanchez says
Thank you for your service both military and civilian to our country.
You speak with clarity and honesty and that should make your mom and dad proud.
Your description of the tax increases w/n this govt. are accurate and describe the problems many business owners face at this time. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy something. If the state and county want to build, buy or add to something, cut from some other place to pay for it.
At AHS, on Wed.5/5, the Harford county council heard citizen comments. About 10 citizens spoke. I hope more folks attend tonight at Fallston High. The budget for this county is an election yr. budget and held no furloughs, lay offs, or any major cuts were made. The problem will come in June, 2011, when all of the bills come due. I hope that the council addresses some of the questions raised by citizens in their review of this budget. Many folks have lost their jobs. Many folks are losing their homes. Many folks have either moved in w/ family, or friends, and that is a problem, too. HOw will the county pay for all of the promised treasures?
Again, thank you for your service and May God bless you.
I think it is a disgrace that the officers were told to move the protesters back. Unless they showed up in mobs (which I highly doubt happened) or showed a huge threat, they should have been allowed to be protest as they wished. Whoever gave that order was in the wrong and I hope they will be humble enough to admit that. You cannot infringe on their constitutional rights for your own comfort.
O”malley should stay out of harford county that dirt bag should have never been elected once he is gone i am sure we will uncover where the money really went just like sheila dixon! vote erlich takes some pride in your state!
Sorry voting Murphy, Ehrlich is just as bad!
cd. you need to question Murhphy on his stance on illegal aliens. He won’t commit. Asked him about E-verify, 287 G, Stiff penalties for Employers who hire. His answer was very short and no comments on questions asked. I’ve questioned murphy and Ehrlich and checked ehrlich’s prior record which was great.
The cost of immigration in MD. $1.4 billion tax $$ to illegal aliens last year, almost $8 billion in 4 years…
I have to ask why o’malley gives illegal aliens jobs yet 30% of young black Americans in Baltimore city are without a job and why does he support Casa de Maryland with our tax $$ when they are breaking our laws? They have many day labor camps where they send illegal aliens to work for cash day jobs while many citizens out of work. Most on welfare.. Check out 2224 E. Fayette streets early in the morning. ICE will get ’em..and O’malley will get his pink slip.
Eight governors were awarded an “F” – Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Ted Kulongoski
Of Oregon, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Chet Culver of Iowa, Jon Corzine of .
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9709 – 32k – 2008-10-20