We then get to watch Councilman Kraft decry the crime and demand protection for his constituents. He is the council person for Harbor East the very root of why these kids are having to steal. Harbor East development has so much fraud and corruption by the rich to get richer as to make Sicily, Italy look like Disneyland and they are upset with the poor stealing to survive. I told this to Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health who also decries the crime and violence in Baltimore......GO AFTER THE BAD GUYS AT THE TOP INCOME AND YOU WILL LOWER CRIME AND VIOLENCE AT THE BOTTOM INCOME I TOLD HIM.....Webster says to me......WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR EXCUSES! Remember, when the people who advance in society are the ones who lie, cheat, and steal......you do not get smart people, you get people who can only advance with compromised integrity! This is what the US has today....we allowed the elite schools gain control of government at all levels and now we have to shake the bugs out of the rug!
The second piece of this is the youth trying to pay the hospital bill at Johns Hopkins. I have said before and will say again and again.....Hopkins has received a trillion dollars in public money earmarked for helping the Baltimore community and has used it to expand its own facilities in Baltimore and globally at what most people would say is no value. Hopkins hospital is now a corporation as it patents and partners with corporate interests yet pays no taxes......which would be a huge bill given the real estate Hopkins owns. HOPKINS NEEDS TO BE A PUBLIC HOSPITAL GIVING FREE HEALTH CARE TO ALL IN THE CITY OF BALTIMORE! WHY IS THAT YOUNG MAN STEALING TO PAY A HEALTH BILL?
We heard as well on the news that Obama is suggesting that Detroit's public sector health plans be thrown in the health insurance system via the Affordable Care Act. As one public sector employee said to this......THAT WILL TAKE US FROM HAVING QUALITY HEALTH CARE TO MEDICAID LEVEL CARE.....and that employee is right. So we see Obama setting the stage as to what all neo-liberals have in mind with health care reform.....all public sector health care.....all Federal Entitlements will be thrown into these health systems and the coverage will indeed look like Medicaid......Third World health clinics. Remember that the private health benefits shed by corporations through bankruptcy....they are in a Federal agency being managed and those people are saying they are receiving Medicaid-level care. This is all planned and deliberate. When Clinton ended Welfare and sent jobs overseas.....his intent was to end all War on Poverty and New Deal programs.....he started it and now Obama is trying to move that forward by ending Entitlements and public sector benefits!
City's Finance Board Violated Open Meeting Laws
Updated: Monday, July 29 2013, 10:34 PM EDT
The State Compliance Board ruled on Monday that the Baltimore City Finance Board violated open meeting laws in May after they kicked the media out of a public meeting. The ruling was in response to a complaint filed by Fox45 and The Baltimore Sun after the board kicked the media out of the meeting so they could take a secret vote on a controversial tax break for a big developer. The tax break, called a TIF, is worth more than $100 million dollars and is designated for a developer who plans to build out Baltimore's Harbor Point. Steve Kraus, clerk the of the finance board - the same man who kicked Fox45 out, says he does not regret the action. Kraus argued some of the discussion was exempt from the transparency rules, but based on the ruling, state legal experts disagree. So what exactly did the board discuss in the closed meeting? "It was the Harbor Point TIF as we discussed. I mean we've been through this before. You guys were there. We talked about the Harbor Point TIF," said Kraus. The Baltimore Finance Board did vote to approve the tax break, but it must pass City Council before it's a done deal.
STATE OPEN MEETINGS LAW COMPLIANCE BOARD
- Open Meetings Law
(Code State Government Article, secs. 10-501 through 10-512)
Elizabeth Logan Nilson, Esq., Chair (chosen by Governor), 2012
Courtney J. McKeldin, 1999; Julio A. Morales, Esq., 2010. Ann MacNeille, Counsel
c/o Office of Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 576-6327; fax: (410) 576-7036
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland, January 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Annual Report to Governor & General Assembly due Oct. 1. The State Open Meetings Law Compliance Board was authorized in 1991 (Chapter 655, Acts of 1991).
The Board receives, reviews, and resolves complaints alleging a violation of Maryland's Open Meetings Law and issues a written opinion on whether or not a violation has occurred. The Board also evaluates how well public bodies comply with the Open Meetings Law and recommends improvements in the law to the General Assembly. With the Office of the Attorney General and interested organizations or persons, the Board additionally develops and conducts educational programs on the requirements of the Open Meetings Law for the staffs and attorneys of public bodies, the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Maryland Municipal League (Code State Government Article, secs. 10-501 through 10-512).
REMEMBER, THE NEXT ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AND IT WILL BE THE BOND MARKET THIS TIME.....ALL PUBLIC FINANCING WILL BE PUSHED TO DEFAULT AS THIS TIME WILL BE WORSE THAN 2007 AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BAIL OUT THE STATES. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CITY IS HEAVILY TIED TO CREDIT BONDS AND CONTRACTED CORPORATE TAX CREDITS DURING HARD TIMES.....
THEY HAND ALL THAT IS PUBLIC OVER TO PRIVATE HANDS AND SHED ALL PUBLIC SECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES!
Just about all of Baltimore's current development involves city and state financing. The public owns hotels and sports stadiums and have been paying them off for decades and will be paying for decades more. Notice how much the sports corporation paid for the buildings.....they earn billions of dollars in profits.....we are still paying for it! I wouldn't be surprised if they are not involved in TIFs and tax breaks as well.
The most recent state bond and government finance project.....MICA, University of Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins infrastructure building.....MICA is Johns Hopkins as is all of East Baltimore Development!
Mar 8, 2013, 6:00am EST Updated: Mar 8, 2013, 10:17am EST
Baltimore’s stadiums funded from a mix of public, private sources
Jack Lambert | Staff M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore Business Journal Email | Twitter
Public money for stadiums and arenas does not appear out of thin air. Most are financed through bond payments, which can take years to pay off. Look at, for example, the homes of the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens. Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992; M&T Bank Stadium in 1998. Both required public money and both are being paid off to this day, whenever you buy a Ravens ticket, a hot dog at an Orioles game or play the Mega Millions.
Public financing for sports stadiums is a long journey. Here’s a breakdown of the financing structure for Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium:
M&T Bank Stadium — $230 million
• $220 million in state revenue bonds
• $24 million in private funding
• $113.8 from Md. State Lottery and other Stadium Authority revenue
• $6.5M annual debt service on bonds
• $60,775,000 principal balance as of June 30, 2012
Oriole Park at Camden Yards — $215 million
• $92 million in state revenue bonds and $14 million in lottery receipts for construction
• 60 million in state revenue bonds and $40 million in lottery receipts for land purchase.
• $9 million from the Baltimore Orioles
• $6.5 million annual debt service on bonds
• $115.8 million* in principal balance as of June 30, 2012 (also includes new bonds issued for stadium improvements)
* Also includes new bond issues for stadium improvements.
What happens to those bonds when the economic crash of the bond market happens next year and when Bernanke is forced to raise interest rates? We know that he will probably raise rates a few percentage points and even the slightest rise causes bond interest to grow in leaps! Wasn't KOpps behind tying the state to LIBOR rates and is she behind sending the state pensions to the stock market from the bond market in 2006 just as the market was crashing, causing pensions to lose 1/2 the value?
What O'Malley is doing is creating a Ponzi scheme of debt that will come tumbling down with this next bust. Remember the LIBOR fraud .....the bank transaction fraud.....all of these fraud caught the state and city in these financial instruments that stole billions of dollars over these few decades. They look good at first, but we all know these financial instruments are not designed to save the public money...they are designed to make money for the banks. You know all that infrastructure building O'Malley will do with that bond money? REMEMBER THE HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT THE 1% WANT BUILT BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BOSTON? Just wait for the announcement!
THIS IS WHY THE STATE AND CITY CANNOT FOUND COMMUNITIES.....
Mar 7, 2013, 12:42pm EST
Maryland raises $665.1M through bond sale
The money the state raised from a bond sale will be used for infrastructure and building project.
Gary HaberStaff Reporter- Baltimore Business Journal Email | Twitter Maryland raised $665.1 million in a sale of state bonds.
The state sold two sets of tax-exempt bonds Wednesday. Citigroup Capital Markets was the winning bidder for the right to purchase $500 million in tax-exempt Series A bonds. The state is paying Citigroup an interest rate of 2.333 percent on the bonds.
Maryland also sold $165.1 million in Series B refunding bonds to JP Morgan Securities at an interest rate of 1.087 percent. The refunding of existing bonds will save the state about $8 million in interest.
The money the state raised from the bond sale will be used for infrastructure and building projects including new schools and hospitals.
The low interest rates Maryland is paying on the bonds shows that investors prize the state’s fiscal solvency and its top AAA bond rating. Had the state had to offer a higher interest rate, it would have meant a higher cost for taxpayers. The three major ratings agencies — Moody’s Investors Services, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings — each reaffirmed Maryland’s AAA rating in advance of the bond sale.
“Despite the uncertainty at the federal level and the greater impact that sequestration and federal budgetary constraints can have on Maryland, the market recognized the top quality of Maryland’s Triple AAA-rated debt,” state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp said in a statement.
As this article shows, as in Detroit, Baltimore has the same issues with public pensions and you are seeing the same solutions....and we have all democrats and are in the wealthiest state in the country. This dismantling of public sector unions is planned by neo-liberals working with republicans to end unionization. It is interesting that Orr seems intent on investigating fraud committed by the union and workers but he has not mentioned the tens of trillions of dollars stolen in corporate fraud.....much from cities like Detroit. That is how you know he is a corporate pol as is Rawlings-Blake and O'Malley.
Pensions lost 1/2 there value from malfeasance between Comptrollers and the banks in 2006.....WHY NOT INVESTIGATE THAT!
More important you see the first mention of moving public sector pensions and health benefits into the private markets. That is what the Affordable Care Act and the state health systems do....grow privatization of health care even as people are demanding UNIVERSAL CARE. Medical bankruptcy is now the leading consumer debt! In the article with this blog, the young men stealing in Fells Point would not have health care burdens he had to steal to meet!
Kevyn Orr orders corruption probe of pensions, benefits; unions vow fight against cuts 8:54 PM, June 20, 2013
By Joe Guillen, Matt Helms and Alisa Priddle
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers
Henry Gaffney, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26, which represents more than 600 city bus drivers, said unions were ready to fight potential cuts to pensions in court. / Eric Seals/DFP Purchase Image Zoom Kevyn Orr must reach agreements with all of Detroit's creditors, including the city's two pension funds, to avoid filing for bankruptcy. / Detroit Free Press ADVERTISEMENT The high-stakes battle between Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and city workers and retirees ramped up Thursday, as Orr called for a corruption and fraud investigation of the pension funds and all employee benefits, on the same day his consultants delivered more sobering news to about 200 union and pension officials that retiree benefits are in serious jeopardy.
The growing animosity between Orr and Detroit’s workers and retirees only increases the likelihood Detroit will file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Orr will have no other legal option if retirees do not agree to the cuts he is seeking as part of a massive restructuring plan he announced last week to resolve the insolvent city’s debts and liabilities of up to $20 billion.
Union officials who met with Orr’s team on Thursday to discuss pension cuts already are prepared for a legal fight.
“We’ll fight you in court,” said Henry Gaffney, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26, which represents more than 600 city bus drivers.
“We’ll probably stand a better chance, because one thing about a bankruptcy judge, he’s not going to feed into all this nonsense stuff,” he said. “If you’re going to come, you’re going to have to come correct in bankruptcy court.”
Irregularities found As negotiations to avoid bankruptcy will be ongoing for weeks, Orr’s investigation of the pension funds will look into whether they lost tens of millions of dollars through questionable and possibly corrupt investment deals.
The pension funds, which also are under federal investigation, are the main focus of Orr’s review. But all Detroit employee benefits programs, including health care for workers and dependents, will be examined, Orr spokesman Bill Nowling said.
Orr has found several irregularities in his ongoing analysis of the pension funds’ health, Nowling said during an impromptu news media briefing Thursday at city hall.
Nowling said a preliminary look at the funds shows the city’s General Retirement System could be underfunded by 30% to 40%, and the Police and Fire Retirement System by more than 20%. If those figures hold, Orr has the power under the state’s emergency manager’s law to remove pension trustees.
Troubles at the pension systems have become familiar news, with federal investigations resulting in prison terms in recent years. The Free Press reported in 2011 that risky investments had cost the funds $470 million since 2008.
The investigation also comes just weeks after the Free Press reported that four members of the city’s pension boards flew to Hawaii for an all-expenses-paid trip — costing the pension funds $22,000 — to attend an educational conference at a Hilton resort on Waikiki. Orr reacted angrily to the news, saying it was a tone-deaf move even if trustees went there to learn about pension fund management.
Nowling said Thursday that the Hawaii trip is an example of mismanagement.
“We think that spending $20,000 to fly a quarter way around the globe to attend something that they could get online is not a good use of public funds — especially pension funds,” he said. “And we want to ask the question, ‘What other bad decisions have been made?’ ”
The city’s auditor general and inspector general will conduct the investigation and report back to Orr in 60 days. Evidence of criminal wrongdoing will be passed on to proper state and federal authorities, Nowling said.
Matt Gnatek, chairman of the Police and Fire Retirement System, questioned the need for Orr’s investigation but pledged to cooperate fully.
“If anybody’s been investigated more than us, I don’t know who that is,” Gnatek said. “We’ve been thoroughly investigated by several different federal entities. We’re an open book.”
In a joint statement, the two retirement systems questioned Orr’s authority under the state’s emergency manager law to order the investigation.
“We are disappointed that the EM has not held any substantive meetings with the pension funds before making the decision to launch an investigation,” the statement said. “We intend to cooperate fully.”
Benefits changes The announcement of the investigation came as Orr’s restructuring team met with employee, retiree and labor groups Thursday to present proposals including moving workers to health care exchanges, freezing employee pensions for current workers and moving new workers and some who are not vested in pensions — workers who’ve been on the job less than 10 years — into 401(k)-style retirement plans instead.
We do not hate immigrants....we support them.
What O'Malley did in encouraging Hispanics to the city was set them up to be the next exploited group.....this is not good will, it is the neo-liberal principle of maximizing profits by impoverishing labor. They are now seeing themselves with wage theft, workplace abuse, and threats of deportation for voicing abuse......
THIS POLICY BY O'MALLEY IS DRIVEN BY JOHNS HOPKINS WHO SAYS ....AS BALTIMORE'S MAIN EMPLOYER, WE WANT LABOR COSTS TO REMAIN LOW!
This is only one reason black youth are stealing and forming gangs......the policies of policing and zero tolerance are criminalizing people for simple crimes.
THIS IS WHAT IS CAUSING ALL THE CRIME AND VIOLENCE AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE IF WE DO NOT VOTE THESE NEO-LIBERALS OUT OF OFFICE!
“New Americans” and Baltimore Unemployment
Elections newsletter Last week, when I appeared on the Marc Steiner show after the first Ehrlich – O’Malley debate, I commented on the use of the term “New Americans” by O’Malley. I know that illegal immigration in Baltimore has helped to increase unemployment rates among African-Americans. In 2007, according to the American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau, black unemployment in Baltimore (ages 16-64) was 6.2% which was 2.4 % higher than the 3.8% average of the overall population.
In three years of the O’Malley Administration, with his sanctuary policies for illegal immigrants and his “New Americans” worldview, black unemployment rates according to ACS data has raised to 16.6% compared to 8.2 of the overall population.
A more startling statistics is the unemployment numbers for young African-Americans in Baltimore. People who are 16 to 19 years of age, who are beginning in the job market, can not find a job. The latest ACS data paints a bleak picture for any young black person in Baltimore seeking employment with O’Malley staying another four years in the Governor’s mansion. Today, in Baltimore, 52% of 16-19 year old African American males can not find a job. For 16-19 year old females, the unemployment rate is a staggering 38.5% with the overall number being 44.6%. Clearly, if you are young and black in Baltimore City, Martin O’Malley is not on your side.
My hope is that someone with the Ehrlich campaign and/or the media will begin talking about these facts. We should not shy away from the truth because staying quiet is the safe thing to do. People want leadership, not politicians or personalities, who would rather look good than shake up the status quo. This is an issue that will make voters look critically at their Democratic office holders.
13 days left and the clock is ticking…