The small government of neo-liberals and neo-cons gutted oversight and accountability and public justice. We want to be clear----when equal protection disappears everyone is hurt but women and people of color the most. The middle-class is seeing its life savings and investments shredded by fraud and corruption linked to this outsourcing of the public sector. The unemployment in the US is at around 36% and is called a permanent fixture because that 36% is the middle-management that gave oversight and accountability to corporations and government. All of this plays hard on people of color and the working class in the form of poverty issues, but it opens as well to the fact that 80% and soon 90% of American people will fall into this category. Republican voters must see that small government effects all people's rights as citizens-----not just the poor and/or people of color. It will come to your family!
WE MUST FIGHT AGAINST THIS ILLEGAL ATTACK ON OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AS CITIZENS, EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER RULE OF LAW, AND OUR BILL OF RIGHTS.
Baltimore City State's Attorney does not even have a white collar criminal unit and no funds to build one. Rawlings-Blake and City Hall are overseeing a systemic fleecing of government coffers and have no interest in public oversight and accountability. Baltimore City is one of a few governments not having routine audits -----it all happens because Johns Hopkins controls public policy and revenue in the city and does not want oversight and accountability. They want only to control the symptoms of the poverty this creates.
Baltimore City Will Hire 2 New Prosecutors To Reduce Violence
July 11, 2013 7:01 PM
Mike Hellgren WJZ general assignment reporter
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new plan of action. The recent spike in city violence sparks local and federal lawmakers to enact a new plan of action.
The mayor, police commissioner and U.S. attorney appoint two special prosecutors to target violent offenders.
Mike Hellgren has more on the new partnership.
These two new experienced prosecutors are veterans of the system. They have not yet been selected; background checks are underway now. They will have the full resources of the federal government.
I shared with everyone that Maryland's Attorney General Doug Gansler ran with an agenda item being dismantling the prosecutor's office assign to provide oversight and justice from government malfeasance and corruption. This office was created as a result of the Agnew years. Well, fraud and corruption never left and the attorneys running for these state's attorney and Attorney's General offices simply ignore and defund agencies tasked with public justice. There is so much business fraud in Maryland against citizens that people have to work hard to find an honest contractor and then watch them like a hawk-----just because these public justice agencies are dismantled. These are the same agencies that protect people's civil rights as with police brutality and unconstitutional policing. So, THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE FOLKS!
THINK WHICH GROUPS IN MARYLAND BACK NEO-LIBERALS LIKE ANTHONY BROWN AND DOUG GANSLER ----AND REPUBLICAN HOGAN WILL DO THE SAME-----LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS IN MARYLAND BACK THE VERY POLS DOING THIS DAMAGE. MARYLAND HAS NO LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS THAT ARE NOT CAPTURED BY THIS PROCESS.
People need to see that the white collar crime that empties the Baltimore City coffers----and this happens all across Maryland----is directly related to the crime and violence in low-income communities. If billions are stolen by Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins through fraud and corruption then cuts to social services and community programs occur. If Johns Hopkins writes policy that floods the city labor market with immigrants who are then fleeced of their wages ----or workers brought from out of state to work in Baltimore -----high unemployment drives crime and violence. The middle-class in Baltimore are being hit with car/home break ins/robberies because people are not able to be employed. RAIDING CITY COFFERS WITH FRAUD AND CORRUPTION AND THEN BRINGING LABOR TO BALTIMORE WHO ARE THEN FLEECED OF WAGES-----all involving suspended Rule of Law and public justice. THIS WILL AFFECT EVERYONE.
IT IS NOT ONLY THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF POLICING--IT IS THE SUSPENSION OF RULE OF LAW FOR ALL WHITE COLLAR CRIME.
This report simply shows the pattern that exists throughout Baltimore City government. If you look at the report on SAIC from yesterday and the corruption in that Hopkins corporation the problems are the same. If you go further and look at the structure for Wall Street financial instruments filling our financial industry with fraud-----it is all the same model. Creating multiple layers of service and responsibility and then claim it is all too complicated to audit. Baltimore does not have a revenue problem----the revenue is being stolen and diverted to the same people.
IInside City Hall: What a federal audit tells us about city spending Baltimore ranks at the bottom of cities audited by HUD's Inspector General. Where, exactly, did the $9.5 million in homeless funds go?
Mark Reutter December 5, 2012 at 7:11 am
Homeless men and women sit near the city’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg homeless shelter at 620 Fallsway.
Calling for audits has become a popular pastime at City Hall.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants one to look at Comptroller Joan Pratt’s Municipal Telephone Exchange office, while Pratt is calling for numbers crunchers to sift through the contracts of the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology.
Councilman Carl Stokes has called for audits of all city agencies, something the mayor and majority of the City Council don’t want to do. But the mayor and Council did agree over the summer to audit selective agencies beginning in year 2014.
Given all the fuss, wouldn’t it seem that when an audit does appear, elected officials would rush to find out what it says about how the city spends money?
Such a report arrived last month. The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released an audit of Baltimore’s use of $9.5 million for homeless programs awarded under President Obama’s 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
A Crash Nobody Heard
City Hall seems to be pretending that this audit does not exist, like the proverbial tree that fell in the woods with a crash nobody heard.
There’s been no comment about the report by top officials, not least by Mayor Rawlings-Blake, whose Office of Human Services and Homeless Services Program stand accused of ineptitude and mismanagement by HUD’s auditors.
The report says that the city did not properly monitor the homeless funds, paid sub-providers based on a preset formula rather than on actual expenditures, lost track of money in several instances, and paid city staffers according to estimates, not on the actual time they spent on grant activities.
Calling 100% of Baltimore’s homeless expenditures “unsupported” by required documentation, HUD’s Inspector General is recommending that the city either provide proof that its homeless payments were legit or return the dough – all $9,472,118 – to the federal government.
The Inspector General faulted Baltimore’s homeless program.
“Baltimore Was Delinquent”
While Rawlings-Blake and her staff haven’t publicly responded to the audit, the Homeless Services’ rebuttal to HUD was published in the report.
It’s revealing. The city admits that it violated federal regulations because it did not have the staff to ensure compliance and because it found the program’s regulations too complicated.
“The City of Baltimore was delinquent in monitoring the program’s sub-providers as required because we lacked resources to conduct an appropriate level of monitoring, both fiscally and programmatically,” Kate Briddell, director of Homeless Services, wrote.
She acknowledged a number of management infractions. Among them: “the fiscal director improperly directed the fiscal staff to draft funds . . . to reimburse itself,” the Board of Estimates approved a homeless contract “in error,” the language of another contract “was not amended in title or terms to accommodate” the federal program, and funds “that appear to be drawn” improperly from one account were in fact used without documentation for a related program.
After making these admissions, Briddell went on to deny that they had any real consequences. “[W]hile some of the paperwork was not completed or kept in a standard we would like, no waste, fraud or abuse was conducted during the course of administering this project,” she wrote.
Briddell’s statement was flatly contradicted by her own acknowledgment that the Prisoner’s Aid Association of Maryland did not properly handle $270,550 in homeless funds – HUD claims the group was double billing the government for clients they had placed in emergency housing.
Perhaps that’s why HUD’s reply to Briddell begins so bluntly: “We disagree with the city’s statements.”
At the Bottom of Cities Audited
To check whether other cities shared Baltimore’s managerial shortcomings, The Brew reviewed a dozen HUD audits of city and county governments that also received funds under the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Compared to Baltimore’s 100% “unsupported” expenditures, HUD’s Inspector General found that less than 1% of the funds spent by New York City, Houston and San Francisco to be “unsupported” or “ineligible.” The exact percentages were: New York (0.6%), Houston (0.48%) and San Francisco (0.7%).
The Los Angeles Housing Department was also audited. HUD found $29,004 of the $29.4 million awarded was not properly documented, or less than 0.001%.
Even the worst offenders – Buffalo with 6.6% unsupported documentation and Newark with 8.5% unsupported, according to HUD – look like like fiscal angels compared to Charm City.
HUD certified in its audit of Baltimore that it followed generally accepted government auditing standards.
Coming Back for More
The lack of sufficient internal controls has been a longstanding criticism of Baltimore government.
City departments, including the Mayor’s various offices handling criminal justice, CitiStat operations, information technology, health and human services, are budgeted a certain amount of funds for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
But the practice of letting departments come back for more funds during the year, through supplemental appropriations approved by the Board of Estimates, undercuts fiscal discipline, critics say.
This coupled with the lack of oversight by the City Council – the Budget and Appropriations Committee chaired by Councilman Helen Holton has yet to reconvene a hearing concerning agency spending last year – and the necessary checks and balances are absent.
Farming Out Responsibility
A larger issue brought out by the HUD audit was the lack of programmatic oversight by the city. The Mayor’s Office of Human Services did not even hand out the homeless grants. The task was farmed out to its fiscal agent, the United Way of Maryland.
That process split up management functions, which effectively meant that nobody was minding the store and determining whether the sub-providers were actually fulfilling the needs of the homeless as well as meeting the requirements of HUD.
Until effective accountability is instilled at the top, the future audits promised for city agencies are likely to suffer the same fate as the HUD homeless audit – official silence from those in charge, leading to more public cynicism about the workings of local government.
Below you see the supposed Democratic candidate for Maryland Attorney General. If you look at the issues you will never see or hear the words----massive corporate fraud and government corruption as any justice candidate's platform. You see selected justice issues that are always aimed at low level criminals such as scammers targeting senior citizens. The subprime mortgage fraud targeted seniors and the parking ticket settlement was a disgrace yet Frosh never mentioned the injustice---he instead looked at individual solutions to foreclosures. The fact that Maryland was the source of the fraud----MERS operated out of Frosh's Montgomery County as well as Virginia's Washington beltway----Maryland was the hardest hit by subprime mortgage fraud-----and it is the state with the highest number of foreclosures happening even now. All of this shows there is no public justice at work in this particular case. I choose Frosh and his statement on protecting seniors as a way to show how these issues mean nothing. Sure, there are scammers targeting seniors but that exists because there is absolutely no public justice agency in place preventing these predations. Maryland TV programming is filled with businesses that scam people. Our local and state agencies of Licensing and Regulation DLLR is a skeleton crew and this is what allows for contractors to act criminal at will. Frosh never mentions this and will not do anything to change this.
If you listen to Republican candidate for Governor Hogan he will use the fraud and corruption issue but as with Frosh-----he means he will look at low-level scams like Food Stamp and Pension fraud and never mentions the systemic culture of corporate fraud and government corruption. So, don't vote for a Republican just because neo-liberals have made the Democratic Party so corrupt.....
GET RID OF THE NEO-LIBERALS! THEY ARE ONLY PROTECTING WEALTH AND PROFIT AND WILL NOT HOLD POWER ACCOUNTABLE.
Neo-liberals always talk about gun violence and control but they are the ones implementing the policies that kill labor and justice....creating the conditions for this increase in crime and violence. So, if a candidate simply shouts a mantra of gun control and gun violence without shouting that the Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall passes policy that creates the conditions for crime and violence----he/she will do nothing about solving these problems. Now, FROSH is definitely better than Jon Cardin but the point is Maryland never has a candidate for public justice that will provide public justice.
Google 'Frosh and government corruption and corporate fraud' and you will get nothing.
THE GOVERNOR HAS THE ABILITY TO CREATE SPECIAL TASK FORCES AND PRESSURE MARYLAND AGENCIES TO ENFORCE LAW-----
neo-liberals like Brown will protect the fraud and corruption----Cindy Walsh for Governor will fight and reverse it!
PETER FROSH FOR MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL
Issues Protecting Kids Online
Information technology has made our world more connected and productive than ever before. Unfortunately, the anonymity and freedom of the Internet have also created greater opportunities for crime, exploitation, and abuse. As a father of two daughters, I know firsthand the threats the Internet brings into the lives of young people today. Through that expe...
Protecting Seniors Our seniors deserve the respect and care that they have earned throughout their lifetime. Maryland's senior population will only continue to rise in the coming years. As a result, the number of crimes against seniors will also increase. Far too often, scam artists perceive senior citizens as vulnerable and relatively wealthy due to their ability to access...
Making Maryland Safer Protecting people - it’s what I have done in the courtroom and in the legislature. My number one priority as Attorney General will be keeping Maryland families safe. I have been a leader in keeping Maryland families safe by: Leading the fight for the Firearm Safety Act, landmark gun safety legislation that will prevent gun violence and save thousan...
Protecting Maryland's Environment We know that the beauty of our state isn’t just something we enjoy, but it is also one of the things that make our economy strong. Responsible and sustainable utilization of our natural resources should be a guiding principle for Maryland businesses and individuals. Everywhere I go, Marylanders tell me they want clean water to drink and clean air to...
Protecting Maryland Consumers As a young man, I was taught the importance of justice and fairness, and to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. I have carried those values with me throughout my career in public service: championing laws to protect children from ingesting harmful chemicals in baby bottles and formula; expanding the Attorney General’s power t...
The only oversight in Maryland comes from the Federal government and as we all know Eric Holder and Obama have made it their top priority to get rid of that with the help of Congress. You see below that all of the agencies tasked with oversight and transparency are the ones cut in the attack of small government. THAT IS ALL THESE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS CARE ABOUT---HIDING THE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION TRAIL.
This is third world. It is what Trans Pacific Trade Pact does----eliminates a sovereign nation's ability to limit corporate profit in any way. I had a young black Republican in Maryland tell me WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH PROFIT? Well, you are being sold a bill of goods if you do not understand the power of Rule of Law and Equal Protection and Bill of Rights in everyone's life.
Continued cuts to legislative branch budget hurt transparency, accountability, and capacity
. by Matthew Rumsey
This morning, the House Appropriations Committee's Legislative Branch Subcommittee marked up its FY 2014 funding bill, agreeing to a plan that would cut funding for Congress and legislative support agencies well below FY 2013 levels, and even beneath sequestration levels for most offices.
Committee leadership claimed that cuts were necessary to "lead by example" and help get the government's "fiscal house in order," but, in reality, the cuts will likely limit accountability, access to information, and the ability of Congress and the legislative support agencies to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. The shrinking budgets could also make it more difficult for Congress to implement a number of important transparency initiatives.
Specifically, the plan would continue several years of cuts to House operations and the Government Accountability Office that have diminished the capacity of both bodies.
The GAO exists to help Congress fulfill one of its most important functions, overseeing and improving the accountability and efficiency of the federal government, and pays for itself many times over through the cost savings that it identifies every year. Unfortunately, Since major budget cuts began three years ago the GAO has lost more than 14% of its staff and seen its ranks fall to the lowest staffing level since 1935. The GAO cannot continue to identify waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government and help to save taxpayers billions of dollars every year if its budget keeps shrinking.
Meanwhile, the House has cut individual office budgets by more than 17% over the past few years, reducing Representatives' ability to understand and enact complex policy, communicate openly and efficiently with constituents, perform oversight, and do the job of governing that they were elected to do. Unfortunately, Congressional staffs have been shrinking since the late 1970's. These cuts will most likely accelerate that trend and further diminish Congress' policy expertise and ability to conduct oversight.
Finally, limited budgets could make it harder for Congress to move forward with important transparency reforms, including opening Congressional Research Service reports and reports from the Executive branch to Congress to the public.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up their Legislative Branch funding bill on Thursday. Hopefully they will push for funding necessary to ensure that Congress and its support agencies can do their jobs effectively.
The same forces dismantling public justice for citizens in poor communities is that dismantling oversight and accountability in government and corporations. The idea is that chaos and unaccountability allows the few in the autocracy to control everyone else----and that is what people in third world nations live with every day. When my friends dread having to find a contractor to do simple work because everyone is fleecing consumers---the middle-class are losing rights as the people in poor communities enduring 'stop and frisk', home invasions, zero tolerance, and now youth curfews......loss of citizenship.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP TO THE CULTURE OF CRIMINALITY WE HAVE IN GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATIONS.
Below you see the political culture of neo-liberals and neo-cons.....O'Malley is the mirror of Cuomo and both are raging Wall Street neo-liberals----Clinton's farm team. If you have leadership in government openly committing fraud as you do today---you have no Rule of Law being enforced anywhere.
I went to the Baltimore Comptroller's office for FOIA request on a statement made by Mayor Rawlings-Blake during a Board of Estimates meeting. The mayor's lawyer Nilson was there and stated out loud that the FOIA would be used against the people included in a lawsuit to which the BOA employee stated.....well, we can lose that information. This is so pervasive that a lawyer feels no problem with suggesting that information disappear. You can just see how this behavior is mirrored in the Baltimore City Police Department.
UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT! PROVE IT!
Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 09:30 AM EST Salon
Report: Andrew Cuomo under federal investigation for allegedly thwarting ethics inquiries
The governor of New York and possible future presidential candidate may have tried to shield his donors Elias Isquith
According to a new bombshell report in the New York Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, widely expected to coast to reelection this fall and long rumored to have presidential ambitions, is under federal investigation for allegedly trying to thwart his own anti-corruption commission after it began looking at his political allies.......
Why Is the Cuomo Administration Automatically Deleting State Employees' Emails?
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 10:23 By Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica | Report
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo: Diana Robinson / Flickr)New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration — which the governor pledged would be the most transparent in state history -- has quietly adopted policies that allow it to purge the emails of tens of thousands of state employees, cutting off a key avenue for understanding and investigating state government.
Last year, the state started deleting any emails more than 90 days old that users hadn't specifically saved — a much more aggressive stance than many other states. The policy shift was first reported by the Albany Times Union.
A previously unpublished memo outlining the policy raises new questions about the state's stated rationale for its deletions policy. What's more, the rules on which emails must be retained are bewilderingly complex – they fill 118 pages – leading to further concern that emails may not be saved at all.
"If you're aggressively destroying your email, it looks like you're trying to hide something," said Benjamin Wright, a Dallas lawyer who has advised companies and government agencies on records retention.
ProPublica obtained the memo through a public records request.
In the June 18, 2013, memo, Karen Geduldig, the general counsel of the state's Office of Information Technology Services, described New York's decision to automatically delete emails as a way to cut down on the state's "enormous amount of email data."
But the state implemented the policy as part of a move to Microsoft's Office 365 email system, which offers 50 gigabytes of space per email user — enough to store hundreds of thousands or even millions of emails for each state worker. The state's version of Office 365 also offers unlimited email archiving.
The Office of Information and Technology Services declined to comment on the record. An official in the office said even though the state can store large quantities of email, it can still be difficult to manage.
"Just because you have a big house doesn't mean you have to shove stuff in it," the official said.
Geduldig's memo also pointed out that some federal government agencies and corporations automatically purge employees' email. "Such a system will aid the State in improving its email management," Geduldig wrote.
But many states take a different tack.
Florida, for instance, requires state employees to keep routine administrative correspondence for at least three years, and emails dealing with policy development for at least five years. Connecticut requires employees to keep routine emails for at least two years. Washington State requires workers to keep emails dealing with public business for two years, and emails to and from top officials for four years. Those states also do not automatically delete email.
"It shouldn't be an automatic process," said Russell Wood, the records manager for the Washington State Archives. "There should be some point of review in there."
Emails that qualify as "records" are supposed to be preserved under New York's policy. But determining which emails qualify and which don't — a task left up to individual state employees — can be mind-numbingly complicated.
The state's rules include 215 different categories of records — including two separate categories dealing with office supplies.
"We don't think it's plausible at all that agency personnel are going to meticulously follow" those rules, said John Kaehny, the executive director of the good-government group Reinvent Albany. If the rules for preservation aren't followed, emails will be purged by default.
The length of time emails are required to be kept varies by category. Any emails related to "human rights training," for instance, must be kept for six years. Emails concerning "agency fiscal management" must be kept for three years. Emails about "the development of internal administrative policies and procedures" must be kept for a year, but emails "used to support administrative analysis, planning and development of procedures" can be deleted as soon as they're "obsolete," according to the rules.
The governor's office has its own rules detailing which emails must be saved, with 55 categories, from emails of weekly reports to emails "related to Native-American affairs." Anything that doesn't fall into one of the categories "should be deleted" once they've been opened, the governor's office advises.
There is no internal or external watchdog to make sure the rules are being followed, Kaehny said.
The state also doesn't have a standardized system for preserving emails that do have to be saved, according to the Office of Information Technology Services official. State workers can save their emails by printing them out, pasting them into Microsoft Word documents or placing them in a special folder in the email program itself.
"Everyone does it differently, and some people are still learning how to do it," the official said.
Emails related to potential litigation and freedom of information requests are not supposed to be deleted under New York State's policy. But Karl Olson, a San Francisco lawyer who has represented news outlets including the Los Angeles Times in freedom of information lawsuits, said that deleting emails after such a short period of time might mean they're gone by the time reporters need to request them.
"It may take a while for evidence of misconduct to bubble to the surface," Olson said.
Emily Grannis, a fellow with the nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said New York's automatic deletion policy "strikes me as inconsistent with the goals of [freedom of information] laws, and to have such a short timeframe is particularly troubling."
Government agencies often adopt deletion policies to help protect themselves from potential lawsuits and freedom of information requests, said Mark Diamond, the chief executive of Contoural, a records management consulting firm. Getting rid of emails after 90 days, though, risks deleting correspondence that employees might need down the road. "I don't think it's a well thought-out strategy," he said.
Cuomo's aides have also developed a reputation for using their personal email accounts to conduct state business — a move that can make it more difficult to seek the emails under the state's freedom of information law. The Cuomo administration has denied that it does so, but a ProPublica reporter and others have, in fact, received such emails from officials.
New York isn't the only state that destroys unsaved email after 90 days.
California's governor's office, for instance, has automatically deleted employees' sent and received email after 90 days for more than a decade. But the office also requires employees to save far more than in New York, including official correspondence, memos, scheduling requests and other documents.