Moving news forward.
Dec 3, 20123 min read
Today we are going to discuss the economy and again look at the bond market using the local media news telling us the problems we are now having. I wanted to post the above to show ThinkProgress ---as I used one of their articles yesterday. MOVING NEWS FORWARD----please know these media outlets are Clinton neo-liberal.
When we know Congressional laws passed at the beginning of Obama's terms were tied to SUBPRIMING OUR US TREASURY AND MUNICIPAL BONDS to prepare to take the US to the status of Greece ---then we understand Wall Street uses our bond debt as an ATM----and it always ends up killing the wealth and assets of WE THE PEOPLE including now our actual government agencies and buildings. I outed a media outlet last week that included a CA State Treasurer posing social progressive when we know state treasurers have been tied to CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA 1% Wall Street economic policies. We must understand that the economic crash of 2008 exposing all that systemic Wall Street fraud was the point any elected or appointed US official would legally be required to move away from Wall Street in regards to our Federal, state, and local governments AS STEWARDS WITH A DUTY TOWARDS PUBLIC INTEREST. Yet these pols and state treasurers DOUBLED-DOWN on Wall Street exposure posing progressive or conservative in order to do this. Looking from 2006 in Maryland we see each time an election occurs there are state deficits problems here and there requiring the worst kinds of economic solutions.
THE DEFICITS ARE DRIVEN BY THE WALL STREET DEALS OUR STATES AND CITIES ARE TIED TO AS THE MARKET IS WORKING SIMPLY TO MILK WE THE PEOPLE AND OUR GOVERNMENT COFFERS.
We watched in 2006 as earlier this transition of our economies to financial industries from Wall Street to casinos setting the stage for fleecing the middle/working class. This was the governor's race surrounding Erhlich and O'Malley---both far-right Reagan Wall Street neo-liberals
ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS
A single treasurer of the State to be elected for a two-year term by joint ballot of both houses of the General Assembly was authorized by the Constitution of 1851 (Art. 6, sec. 1). In 1922, the term was increased to four years (Chapter 140, Acts of 1922). The first full-time State Treasurer was not elected by the Legislature until 1973.Today, the State Treasurer is chosen by joint ballot of both houses of the General Assembly at the first regular session of the Legislature in each gubernatorial term of office. The State Treasurer thus serves a four-year term coinciding with that of the Governor.
The State Treasurer is responsible for the management and protection of State funds and property. In this connection, the Treasurer selects and manages the depository facilities for State funds, issues or authorizes agents to issue payments of State funds, invests excess funds, safekeeps all State securities and investments, and provides insurance protection against sudden and unanticipated damage to State property or liability of State employees. Moreover, the State Treasurer is custodian of all stocks, bonds, promissory notes, certificates, and other negotiable investment instruments of the State. In addition, the State Treasurer is custodian of all such instruments held for the State Retirement and Pension System, the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, foreign building and homestead associations, the Department of the Environment's Coal Mining Division [Bureau of Mines]; and all collateral pledged as security over deposits of State funds in Maryland banks.
State of Maryland General Obligation Bond issues are planned, prepared, and advertised by the State Treasurer. With the approval of the Board of Public Works, the Treasurer arranges bond sales; prepares the State's Official Statement; receives bids; and arranges settlement, delivery of bonds, and tracking of the proceeds for these General Obligation Bonds. Due to new restrictions by the federal government on income generated through the sale of tax-exempt obligations, the Treasurer most recently has played an increasing role in the administration of the State's capital program. In 1990, the State issued the first Maryland Mini Bonds, which are small denomination capital appreciation bonds. This program is administered by the Treasurer.
Right-wing wealth and corporate power install gambling to drain wealth from the working class and poor. The rich do not lose that money-----WE THE PEOPLE do and we see in 2006 the state deficit was used to expand gambling. A TAX ON MAIN STREET as corporations and the rich were paying less and less. Gambling is a regressive tax. If Republican voters are mad about higher taxes this is one of them. This is why our labor unions which no doubt want to expand union jobs become that push for gambling because of unionized casinos. IT'S NOT JUST ANY JOB FOLKS---
ISSUING MUNICIPAL OR US TREASURY BONDS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MECHANISM FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH BUT WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT IS NOW TAINTED AND CORRUPT.
It was at this point our government deficits were being driven by Wall government funds tied to Wall Street bond markets...an Erhlich comes to office saying OH LOOK AT THOSE DEFICITS----an O'Malley comes to office saying OH LOOK AT THOSE DEFICITS----a Hogan comes to office saying OH LOOK AT THOSE DEFICITS----when the deficits come from the deals all of the above make with Wall Street and all the outsourced corporate frauds from government agencies.
Maryland budget deficit looms as lottery revenue falls off
Nov 29, 2006, 8:21 am Lottery Post
Maryland Lottery: Maryland budget deficit looms as lottery revenue falls off
Maryland's lottery has been slowing down as a revenue source for years and will continue to underperform as residents seek other gambling ventures, including betting on slot machines in neighboring states, budget analysts and state officials say.
The lottery "has been, until very recently, the third-largest general fund revenues source," said David Roose, director of the state's Bureau of Revenue Estimates. "But in the last few years the corporate income tax has become the third-largest."
"They may have seen some growth in the lottery [sales], but relative to growth in the economy, it's not keeping track," said Tori Gorman, a former economist for the state legislature.
At its peak in fiscal 1986, the Maryland Lottery provided $323 million, or 7.8 percent of the state's $4.2 billion in revenue, a state official said.
In fiscal 2006, which ended June 30, the lottery produced $480 million, or 3.9 percent of the state's $12.9 billion in revenue. The state lottery was created in 1973 and first produced revenue in fiscal 1975.
The lottery's diminishing contribution to the state budget is one of many reasons why Maryland is facing nearly $8 billion in deficits over the next five years, analysts say.
Most of the state's economic growth has occurred among high-income earners, who do not regularly play the lottery, said Mrs. Gorman, who co-wrote a recent budget study for the Maryland Public Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research group.
That is one reason the lottery, despite its growing ticket sales, does not add as much to the budget, she said, adding that lottery players tend to be lower-income workers.
But Maryland Lottery Director Buddy W. Roogow said the state is losing customers to slot machine gambling in Delaware, West Virginia, and Atlantic City, N.J.
"The biggest customers of Delaware slots are Marylanders," Mr. Roogow said. "I've been told by the Delaware Lottery folks that around 35 percent of their players come from Maryland."
Marylanders account for as much as 40 percent of slot machine players in Charlestown, W.Va., he said.
The Democrat-controlled General Assembly stymied attempts by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, to legalize slot machines.
State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Southern Maryland Democrat, strongly supports slots, but House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel County Democrat, still strongly opposes them, as do many state lawmakers.
Although Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley, Democrat, has said that he favors limited slots at horse-racing tracks, he also has said that he does not see them as a source of revenue.
Some legislators disagree.
"We know without a doubt that there's $400 [million] to $500 million a year leaving the state right now to go play slots in West Virginia and Delaware, and Pennsylvania just approved 1,000 machines that will be up and running within another 12 months," said state Sen. Patrick J. Hogan, Montgomery County Democrat.
Mr. Hogan is vice chairman of the budget committee, which will be the legislature's ground zero for the next few years as it tries to reconcile spending totals with revenue totals.
The state is required by the constitution to balance the budget each year.
Mrs. Gorman said the state could cut the anticipated budget deficits by about 40 percent by maximizing revenue from in-state gambling and from the sales tax, which she said is not keeping pace with economic growth.
"The state has a relatively narrow tax base on sales tax because it doesn't include a lot of services," said Mahlon Straszheim, economics professor at the University of Maryland at College Park.
State Sen.-elect Richard S. Madaleno, Montgomery County Democrat, has said that the state should consider broadening the number of items covered under the sales tax.
The remaining 60 percent of the deficit, Mrs. Gorman said, would have to come from spending cuts and waste elimination.
Income and sales taxes account for about 75 percent of the state's revenue.
The article above shows the graduation of policy where our bond market is being taken and controlled in ways that harm the American people. From that 2006 we can watch as things keep getting worse until today the municipal and US Treasury bond market will be used to EXTREME WEALTH AND POWER ACCUMULATION. This occurred because WE THE PEOPLE allowed far-right politicians take our political parties.
IT MATTERS WHO WINS THESE ELECTIONS.
O'Malley wins that 2006 election and takes over from Ehrlich in super-sizing attachment of Maryland's economy to more and more and more bond debt. O'Malley left office in 2014 pushing bond debt as hard as he could right up to what we call LAME DUCK. O'Malley as a 1% Wall Street global pol was behind the subprime mortgage frauds in Baltimore and was then behind placing Maryland and especially Baltimore to the eyes in bond debt.
NATIONAL MEDIA PAINTS O'MALLEY AS SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE WITH O'MALLEY'S WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION's 'labor and justice organizations' giving him cover.
So now Hogan comes to office and there is all that state budget deficit and again it is tied to losses in the Wall Street market and all the deals attached to them. What does Hogan do? He blames it on Democrats and then super-sizes the state and Baltimore bond debt.
ALL OF THIS IS REPUBLICAN WEALTH AND CORPORATE POWER POLICY----THERE IS NOTHING DEMOCRATIC---DEFINITELY NOTHING SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE IN PUSHING ALL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES TO WALL STREET AND GAMBLING.
This is why voters have these few decades whether electing Republican or Democrat had to listen to these same excuses----and our media reporters KNOW THIS.
2014 was the start of the bond market collapse and these deficits are being driven by these bad bond deals. Of course far-right Clinton neo-liberals and Republicans are saying it is about too much agency spending.
"Every day that ticks by, the agencies spend money that we can't get back," Getty said. "When [Hogan] takes office, there will only be five months left."
This is how Clinton/Bush/Obama dismantled all FDR New Deal and MLK's War on Poverty programs----systematically creating these fake budget deficits.
Maryland's budget shortfall grows to $1.2 billion
Educators worried about what Md. budget deficit means for schools. Governor-elect Larry Hogan takes office in January.
Erin CoxContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Maryland's budget shortfall is larger than previously thoughtMaryland's budget hole has deepened.
The financial problem Maryland's incoming governor already described as "a crisis" worsened Monday, as officials announced the state's budget shortfall is even larger than previously thought.
Over the next 18 months, state revenue is expected to fall nearly $1.2 billion short of Maryland's expenses. The new numbers suggest the state must trim more than $420 million before the fiscal year ends in June, and an additional nearly $750 million out of the first budget Gov.-elect Larry Hogan will submit next year.
A spokesman said that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley does not have plans to formally cut the state's current budget during December, and that the governor is "still evaluating what additional action might make sense."
Hogan, a Republican who takes office Jan. 21, said Monday's new numbers were "no surprise." He cautioned residents to prepare for what may be painful budget cuts next year.
"I ask that Marylanders understand that these latest downward numbers mean the upcoming budget choices will be even harder and more difficult than expected," he said in a statement. Hogan was elected on a platform of curbing state spending.
Most of the budget woes announced by the Board of Revenue Estimates stem from Maryland's job market's improving more slowly than officials predicted when they put together projections a year ago. Although Maryland's revenue continues to increase year over year, it is not growing fast enough to keep up with spending plans.
Officials blamed gridlock on Capitol Hill and the reverberating effects of last year's sequester as the prime culprits suppressing Maryland's recovery.
Comptroller Peter A. Franchot said it was time to end the state's reliance on federal jobs — which employ about 300,000 people in Maryland — and federal contracts to buoy the state's economy.
"Rather than building a diversified state economy, we've effectively put all of our eggs in one federal basket, and we're seeing the immediate and direct economic impact of that approach," said Franchot, a Democrat. "We need to accept that this has become our new normal, and it requires a new economic model."
Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, a Democrat and like Franchot a member of the revenue board, also faulted the economic uncertainty caused by Congress.
OH REALLY????? IT IS NOT WALL STREET AND THE FED???
But Kopp cautioned not to be too pessimistic about the revenue shortfall, pointing out the state reduces its projections every year. Kopp noted that Maryland will take in more cash this year than last, and even more in 2015, signs that the economy continues to improve.
"It is a heck of a lot better than it was only a few years ago," she said.
Some of the budget problem stems from higher-than-expected spending, in part from swelling Medicaid caseloads and overtime costs at Maryland prisons, said Warren Deschenaux, director of the office of policy analysis for the Department of Legislative Services.
Deschenaux said closing the budget gap, as Maryland is required to do by law, becomes more complicated if officials want to do that only by cutting programs. About 80 percent of Maryland's spending is required by law, and the remaining 20 percent isn't enough to cover the shortfall, Deschenaux said.
"The more solutions you take off the table, the bigger the problem becomes," he said.
Officials announced in November the state faced a $300 million shortfall for this year, and another $600 million next year. On Monday, the Board of Revenue Estimates said state coffers would be short an additional $123 million this year and $147.9 million next year.
State universities have already called for a hiring freeze to help stem costs. State Budget Secretary T. Eloise Foster called on state agencies in November to trim expenses. On Monday, Foster she said that she did not yet know how much had been saved.
Franchot called on O'Malley to seek cuts to the current budget at the Jan. 7 meeting of the Board of Public Works, which has the authority to approve such reductions. Foster declined to comment.
Hogan's chief lobbyist, Republican Sen. Joe Getty of Carroll County, said fixing the hole in this year's budget is a greater challenge than crafting a leaner spending plan for next year.
"Every day that ticks by, the agencies spend money that we can't get back," Getty said. "When [Hogan] takes office, there will only be five months left."
Hogan's approach to trimming state spending is likely to hit objections from Maryland's Democratic-controlled legislature, which has closed deep budget holes in previous years while still spending record amounts on education.
Sen. Roger Manno, a Democrat who will lead the Spending Affordability Committee next year, said the problem should be seen in context. "It could be a lot worse," Manno said, noting that Virginia has a $2.4 billion budget shortfall.
Manno said that for the past eight years, the revenue estimates have consistently been revised downward. And every year, he said, the governor and the General Assembly found a way to pass balanced budgets that preserved core services Maryland residents demand.
"We've done this every year," Manno said. "We're accustomed to it."
No one knows better from where these losses are coming than our Business media outlets like Daily Record and Baltimore Business yet they NEVER MENTION government bond debt is bad---never mention that the bond market is collapsing as it began in 2013 and by 2014---the time of this article the bond market was already being called a REALLY BAD PLACE FOR MONEY.
Yet, Hogan made more state and Baltimore bond debt his agenda as with O'Malley----and it was Hogan who tied massive deals to GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT under the guise of FIX BALTIMORE.
A fiscally responsible governor as mayor would never have allowed state and city bond debt be tied to CORE====Hogan's global corporate campus development---Harbor Point and now UnderArmour to the extreme.
IF WE HAD GOOD PEOPLE IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS NONE OF THESE BUDGET DEFICITS AND GOVERNMENT REVENUE LOSSES WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
When our business journals think HIDING BAD BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT INVESTMENTS is their job---we have a failed media journalism and this is when we know our media is working for 1% Wall Street global wealth and power and not American economic health and welfare.
My friends across the nation have these same politicians and media saying these same things---and cities in your neck of the woods have the same Wall Street Development Corporations tying onto all this debt with their 'labor and justice' organizations PRETENDING all this is needed for the poor and jobs.
Maryland's Fiscal 2015 Budget
Md. deficit $270M worse than previously thought
By: Bryan P. Sears Daily Record Government Reporter December 15, 2014
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s revenues fell short of projections by an additional $270 million for the current and fiscal 2016 budget years. The shortfall is part of a report that will be presented to the Board of Revenue Estimates later this afternoon.
The board is expected to be told that revenue for the current year fell short of projections by an additional $123 million.
The write down is on top of a $405 million write down the board announced in September.
Earlier in the day, one state fiscal leader said he was expecting bad news.
“My guess is that it’s going to be worse than we thought,” said Sen. Roger Manno, D-Montgomery County and the newly appointed Senate chairman of the Spending Affordability Committee,.
The reductions would likely have an effect on the current budget year and the budget for incoming Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
This would be the second time since the fiscal year began in July that the state has revised its revenue estimates down. Just two days into the budget year, Gov. Martin J. O’Malley and the Board of Public Works, approved more than $84 million in combined budget cuts, job eliminations and fund transfers in anticipation of downward trending revenues.
Two months later, those fears were confirmed with the Board of Revenue Estimates revised the state’s revenue estimates downward by about $405 million for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
Currently, Maryland legislators and the incoming governor face a nearly $300 million budget deficit in fiscal 2015 and another $600 million projected for fiscal 2016.
Earlier this month, officials with the University System of Maryland confirmed that most state universities implemented hiring and spending freezes in anticipation of budget concerns. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said similar actions were underway within state agencies.
Manno said the expected downward revisions that could be announced today would likely widen both gaps.
'As we stay on this path, our improving fiscal situation will allow us to provide much needed tax
relief to struggling Maryland families, seniors and small businesses.
Together, we are truly changing Maryland for the better'.
Keep in mind this was released in January 2016=====projecting for 2017 we have since passed that UnderArmour Bond deal with others. All economists are now saying this economic crash is coming and the bond market collapse assured---and we will see all the promises made by this 'Republican' who is really a Bush neo-conservative ONE WORLD NEO-LIBERALISM guy----never occur because this bond market collapse will cause EXTREME SEVERE GOVERNMENT DEFICITS AND LONG-TERM DEBT. What will continue unabated are those municipal bond deals tied to global corporate campuses and to our Baltimore Public Schools taking those schools to privatized hands-----those global corporate campuses.
I wanted to post this video because now people Republican and corporate voters think KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING are saying what I was saying back in 2012. All of these people knew back in 2012 this bond market collapse was being built by subpriming our US Treasury and municipal bond market BUT THEY WERE NOT TELLING US THEN---they are telling us now because we cannot stop it.
Larry Hogan knows all of this financial news----and we will see in the next article Hogan giving Maryland citizens his STATE OF MARYLAND address without any mention of crashing economies or with absolutely no vetting of bond debt to prepare for this----
THIS IS WHAT 1%WALL STREET PLAYERS DO---AND IT IS INDEED ALL VERY ILLEGAL.
2016 Crash | Bond Market Collapse | Carl Icahn
Published on Jan 1, 2016The increasing warnings against investing in the reckless Wall Street bull market have just reached a tipping point — ultimate Wall Street insider and New York City financier Carl Icahn has just leveled a blast at the stock and bond market cheerleaders who still believe the current record-setting market valuations are not a problem.
“I think the public is walking into a trap again as they did in 2007,” Icahn told CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.” “I think it’s almost the duty of well-respected investors, like myself I hope, to warn people, to tell people, that really you are making errors.”
Icahn went on to tell his CNBC hosts that “he was very concerned” about the “overheated” stock and bond markets and that small investors from the general public were “walking into a trap”. Icahn cautioned the public away from the high-yield bond market especially, claiming that “it’s almost the duty of well-respected investors like himself” to warn people- then Icahn followed up with comparisons of the current investment climate to the heady pre-crash days of 2007.
I apologize for the use of HONORABLE in this post but the 1% Wall Street crowd like to PRETEND what they are doing is legitimate. This is what third world government and media look like.
January 20, 2016
The Honorable Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and the Senate of Maryland
The Honorable Michael E. Busch and the Maryland House of Delegates
The People of Maryland
Dear Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Maryland General Assembly, and Fellow Marylanders:
This past year has been a successful one for Maryland and for the people who live here. My
administration came in with a plan to put our State economy back on track, attract new businesses, create
jobs, and to address our inherited $5.1 billion structural deficit; and I’m proud to say we’ve done just that.
Our plan is working; our current-year tax revenues are projected to be $150 million higher than
they were at this time last year. It’s not because we raised taxes, but instead, it’s because Maryland is
beginning to shed its anti-business image. Since last year, more than 50,000 new jobs have been created
and our State has nearly 7,000 more businesses than we had just a few years ago.
Our fiscal discipline throughout the year, combined with our improving business climate, means
that we’ll be able to deliver an operating budget that spends $17.1 billion, but still leaves the State with
a $449 million dollar surplus and nearly $1.1 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. Our budget also addresses
the more than $35 million in long-standing deficiencies – bills left by previous administrations – some
unpaid for years.
Included in this budget, for the second straight year, is a record level of funding going toward the
education of our children. We are putting $6.3 billion into K-12 education, which is about $140 million
more than last year. We are fully funding education aid, including the Geographic Cost of Education
Our commitment to education does not end there. We are also putting forward $314 million
for school construction, and we are allocating resources for important programs like P-Tech. The State’s
investment in K-12 education, including school construction, has grown by $828 million during my
With regard to higher education, thanks to our investments, the University System of Maryland
and Morgan State University have agreed to cap their tuition growth at 2 percent for their students.
Further, the Governor is spending about $8 million to fund programs aimed at ensuring college
completion at these institutions. We also appreciate the crucial role community colleges play in our
education and our economy, and because of that, they will see growth in State aid of 6 percent, to $314
Understanding the importance of protecting the natural beauty of our great State, we fully
fund programs from the Chesapeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund for the first time ever since its creation.
Additionally, we are adding $60 million in funding to land preservation programs over the next two
This budget also includes $3.1 billion in capital spending to improve our transportation infrastructure and spur economic development across the State. In addition to $177 million in formula
Highway User Revenue funds, the budget includes $53.6 million in capital grants to local jurisdictions to
help improve local roads and transportation facilities.
We are also reining in how much we borrow. Simply put, we’ve borrowed too much over the past
decade – way too much. This budget limits borrowing to $994 million, something we must do in order to
keep our debt service payments from ballooning.
While we are proud of what we’ve accomplished and are encouraged by our progress, the fact
remains that in the years to come, the spending mandated by law here in Maryland is projected to grow
faster than our revenues, and our pension funding must continue to be addressed. We must remain
vigilant and manage our budget responsibly. There is still work to be done.
As we stay on this path, our improving fiscal situation will allow us to provide much needed tax
relief to struggling Maryland families, seniors and small businesses.
Together, we are truly changing Maryland for the better.
Nowhere in our media's discussion of bond deals does the REAL information of collapsing bond markets surface. We saw how all the emphasis was placed on TIFs and other problems when all a REAL justice group had to do what shout BOND MARKET COLLAPSE and head to court for public malfeasance. As this article states---we really will be talking about this decision for 30 years---but not really----if these global corporate campuses and Foreign Economic Zones continue WE THE PEOPLE will not have a voice and will be AFRAID TO DOUBT THE 1% WALL STREET CROWD.
As I said in talking about the 5% to the 1% religious leaders connected to Wall Street Development Corporations marching out and making all these deals sound socially progressive----THEY KNOW THIS BOND MARKET COLLAPSE IS COMING TOO----and that all of this is about building EXTREME WEALTH AND EXTREME CORPORATE POWER---and maybe it is their tie to IVY LEAGUE Divinity like Columbia and Harvard---that is CLOUDING their vision of what fair development actually is.
IS IT AN OXYMORON TO SAY HARVARD DIVINITY???
WHEN OUR RELIGIONS SET UP ON CAMPUSES OF WEALTH/WALL STREET/AND POWER we get that 5% to the 1% working towards that aim. If we think taking our religious leaders to task now is controversial ----then we have not read what life was like in the DARK AGES----with 1% Wall Street authoritarian extreme wealth and extreme corporate power. We do not want a far-right authoritarian and wealth religious ethos.
As we see the talking points given on each side are tied to property taxes ----which will soar BECAUSE OF THIS DEAL as they pretend it will lower them----and on generating funds for our public agencies----when have our revenue funds for our public agencies ACTUALLY GOTTEN TO THOSE AGENCIES? Both the public schools and the fire fighters listed here are in the pathway to being privatized to global corporations ---so yes, global corporate campuses will be behind all those public services AS IF THAT IS GOOD.
'Proponents see such deals as a creative way to finance infrastructure in a city with high property taxes. Critics contend that they divert money from the city's general fund, where it could be used to pay for needs such as firefighters and schools'.
The bonds will never be repaid---Wall Street using bonds as an ATM is like paying that credit card minimum balance and paying on interest and not principle forever. Absolutely no mention of collapsing bond markets even when main stream financial people are calling for it. This was how Americans were caught during the subprime mortgage frauds and 2008 economic crash with national media painting all this AS A SURPRISE.
City Council approves $660 million bond deal for Port Covington project
What's next for the Port Covington project. (Baltimore Sun video)
Luke BroadwaterContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
"I think we're making the right decision," on Port Covington, City Council president says.The Baltimore City Council gave its final approval Monday to a $660 million public financing package for Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's massive Port Covington project — a deal supporters say will bring thousands of jobs to Baltimore, but critics say is corporate welfare.
City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said the waterfront development proposed by Plank's Sagamore Development Co. was too good to pass up.
Young said the $5.5 billion project, which includes an expanded headquarters for Under Armour, shops, restaurants, housing, offices and manufacturing space, will spur economic growth in Baltimore.
"Under Armour is No. 2, next to Nike. We don't want Under Armour to move out of the city of Baltimore," Young said. "We've done what we could do. [Sagamore] is going to take care of the six neighborhoods surrounding Port Covington. I think we're making the right decision."
The council voted 12-1 to approve the subsidy. Councilman Warren Branch voted against the deal; council members Mary Pat Clarke and Bill Henry abstained.
Plank's $5.5 billion Port Covington plan advanced quietly, then loudly Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to sign the bill next week, according to her spokesman.
Rawlings-Blake's approval would allow the start of decades of work on the development.
Sagamore asked the city to float $660 million in bonds to build infrastructure for the project. The developer would pay the bonds back through future taxes. It's the largest tax-increment-financing deal in the city's history, and among the largest in the country.
Proponents see such deals as a creative way to finance infrastructure in a city with high property taxes. Critics contend that they divert money from the city's general fund, where it could be used to pay for needs such as firefighters and schools.
In Port Covington debate, echoes of decades-old fight over Inner Harbor redevelopment The Port Covington project is projected to create 26,500 permanent jobs and have a $4.3 billion annual economic impact, once complete. The land includes the site of The Baltimore Sun's printing press. The Sun has a long-term lease on the property.
"When we look back years from now, the city will be much better off with this happening than not happening," City Councilman Robert W. Curran said.
Clarke said the project stands to offer significant opportunities for the city but fell short of meeting its potential — especially in guaranteeing good wages for workers.
"A lot of good is involved in Port Covington, so I didn't want to vote against it," she said. "There are crucial elements that would have been so wonderful to include as a model for the future of Baltimore. It is great to contribute money, but it's even better to help people earn fair salaries and wages so they can take care of themselves and their families."
Sagamore President Marc Weller said the tax-increment-financing deal will allow the firm to ramp up construction before the end of the year.
Sagamore is to begin by building a $19.6 million East Waterfront Park that will "provide public access to the waterfront and contribute to the ecological uplift of the Middle Branch," he said.
"We are excited to get started creating tens of thousands of jobs, generating long-term positive economic impact for Baltimore City and building this transformational, inclusive redevelopment, together," Weller said in a statement after the vote.
Sagamore has entered into a profit-sharing agreement with the city. If the Port Covington development reaps a profit greater than 15 percent, the city will get 25 percent of any additional profit.
A profit-sharing agreement with the developer of Harbor Point, by comparison, doesn't kick in unless that development's profit exceeds 20 percent.
Groups have emerged to both support and oppose the tax deal.
Supporters, including Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the Progressive Baptist Convention of Maryland and six neighborhood associations representing communities near Port Covington have argued that a $100 million citywide benefits agreement, already approved by the city's Board of Estimates, makes the deal "unprecedented" for Baltimore.
The $100 million deal builds off a $39 million agreement between the developer and six neighborhoods near the project. It includes $25 million to train workers at a new Port Covington training center and $10 million for no-interest loans or other funding streams for minority- or women-owned startups.
The developers agreed to hire at least 30 percent of all infrastructure construction workers from Baltimore, pay a wage of at least $17.48 an hour, and set aside 20 percent of housing units for poor and middle-class families (40 percent of such housing may be built elsewhere in the city).
Opponents, including Maryland Working Families, several labor unions and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, argue the development does too little to help Baltimore's poor. They say a subsidized development should pay "prevailing wages" — several dollars higher than proposed — on all construction jobs, and living wages thereafter.
Critics contend the affordable housing agreement is too weak. It requires 10 percent of Port Covington's affordable housing units be built for people who make less than $26,000, but it contains what the critics call a "loophole" that allows the developer to pay money into an inclusionary housing fund instead of building the units.
The developers do not have to build the housing for the poor unless they receive federal low-income housing credits.
"The current agreement fails to ensure the creation of a minimally adequate number of units — either on-site or off — that are inclusionary and affordable to households at a range of income levels below the area median," said Monisha Cherayil, an attorney with the Public Justice Center.
Critics also say the development will cause the city to lose millions of dollars in state aid to Baltimore's public schools because it will cause the city to look wealthier on paper, but will not contribute money to the city budget until after the bonds are repaid.
A city-funded analysis found that the development would cost Baltimore schools about $315 million in lost state aid over 40 years under current funding formulas.
Leaders of the General Assembly have promised city officials they will enact a long-term fix to the formula to prevent any loss in state aid for schools. Frank Patinella, co-chair of the Baltimore Education Coalition, said he and other advocates urged state lawmakers to make such a pledge.
The debates over affordable housing and minority and local hiring have set a precedent for future requests, said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
"If any company is looking to come to Baltimore and get some form of government assistance or support in the nature of TIF or [payment in lieu of taxes], I think they're going to know there are some things that are going to be expected," Fry said.
Baltimore Sun reporters Natalie Sherman and Yvonne Wenger contributed to this article.
A common way 1% Wall Street players stay in office is posing on votes----they will make a socially progressive vote here while making 1% Wall Street votes most of the time or in the case of this bond deal article just posted they ABSTAIN or in the example here vote PRESENT. This is done because media will always only print which pols voted yes or no----so these abstaining pols are skirting that stat. Please look closely on how pols vote---Clarke and Henry are just as guilty of public malfeasance for avoiding this vote. Take a look at Obama's voting record in Illinois and we would have known he was a Wall Street player.
The media will make very public that progressive posing vote while never mentioning the bad public policy votes made by that pol.
'Why would a lawmaker abstain from voting on a measure'?
The option that a legislator or member of congress has to not vote at all on an amendment , a resolution or a bill confuses me. Why would you not want help make an important policy decision? That is what you were elected to do.
Michael Lee, Public Policy Analyst
Written 7 Apr · Upvoted by Marc Bodnick, Former Stanford PhD student in Politics
One reason? The lawmaker might have future ambitions that he or she doesn't want to endanger by making tough decisions.
Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton accused our current President of this action when they were competing for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008. Sen. Clinton accused then-Sen. Obama of "taking a pass" on the tough issues, a point of attack that Republicans later picked up.
Factcheck dot org later examined the claim and noted that as a state Senator, Mr. Obama voted "present" 129 times, or about 3 percent of the votes he cast in the state legislature. (See Obama’s Legislative Record). Factcheck, quoting from the Times, explained that this practice is relatively common among Illinois legislators who want to avoid "political fall-out":
The Illinois state Legislature allows members to vote "present" rather than "yes" or "no." TheTimes reported in December that "present" votes provide a way for lawmakers to voice opposition to an issue. Such votes can also help them avoid the political fall-out of voting "no":
The New York Times (Dec. 20, 2007): In Illinois, political experts say voting present is a relatively common way for lawmakers to express disapproval of a measure. It can at times help avoid running the risks of voting no, they add. “If you are worried about your next election, the present vote gives you political cover,” said Kent D. Redfield, a professor of political studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is an option that does not exist [in] every state and reflects Illinois political culture.”
It's a cynical move, but given the tremendous scrutiny to which politicians are subjected these days, and the ease with which a typical voting record may be distorted by one's opposition, it's not exactly irrational.
'What are the ingredients of the common law offence of misconduct in a public office?
In particular is it necessary, in proceedings for an offence of misconduct in a public office, for the prosecution to prove ‘bad faith’ and, if so, what does faith mean in this context'?.
To understand why global 1% Wall Street put their 'labor and justice' players out in front of what we all know will be very bad, far-right authoritarian policies----like global military community policing and all policies being passed leading to this---and with our religious and other justice organizations coming out for 30 years to support MASTER PLAN GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS development in Baltimore over and over KNOWING it is bad for our city economy, bad for the poor and labor....we need to look at the definition of PUBLIC MALFEASANCE.
If none of those progressive posing groups came out all those pols and Wall Street would be guilty of fraud and corruption (malfeasance)---these bond deals are a clear case of willful, deliberate, and with malice harm to the citizens of Maryland and Baltimore. HANDS DOWN A COURT WOULD HAVE TO CONVICT ON BOND MARKET FRAUD.
If we go to court for malfeasance with groups like religious leaders and labor pushing to pass these deals----VOILA----the judge says these deals were IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. There is no public interest in these deals---yet Wall Street and its 'labor and justice' organizations create that view.
This does not mean a court cannot rule fraud and corruption---it simply gives them cover not to.
If WE THE PEOPLE do not hold those 'labor and justice' organization responsible for supporting these very, very, very, very, very bad public policies----we cannot reverse this march to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNMENT
The Difficulties of Defining Misconduct in Public Office
Misconduct in public office is an offence at common law triable only on indictment. It carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It is an offence confined to those who are public office holders and is committed when the office holder acts (or fails to act) in a way that constitutes a breach of the duties of that office.
A historical background
The crime of misconduct in a public office is said to date back to the case of R v Rembridge (1783) 3 Doug 327. The defendant in this case was an accountant in the office of the Receiver and Paymaster General of the Forces and was accused of corruptly concealing from his superior his knowledge that certain sums of money had been omitted in the final accounts. Lord Mansfield CJ’s judgment defined the crime of misconduct as involving two principles:
…first, that a man accepting an office of trust concerning the public, especially if attended with profit, is answerable criminally to the King for misbehaviour in his office; this is true, by whomever and in whatever way the officer is appointed… Secondly, where there is a breach of trust, fraud or imposition, in a matter concerning the public, though as between individuals it would be actionable, yet as between the King and the subject it is indictable. That such should be the rule is essential to the existence of the country.
Essentially, the crime is where a person, having a public duty entrusted to him, wilfully neglects to carry out that duty…However, what is difficult to determine is whether ‘misbehaviour in his office’ embraces a wide variety of misconduct for this common law crime which can further complicate its definition. Essentially, the crime is where a person, having a public duty entrusted to him, wilfully neglects to carry out that duty (nonfeasance) or wilfully abuses it for some improper motive (misfeasance). However, due to the elements of the crime being so uncertain, there should also be consideration of alternative crimes that could come under the definition.
The offence today
In Attorney General’s Reference (No. 3 of 2003)  EWCA Crim 868, the misconduct charges alleged that each defendant ‘misconducted himself whilst serving as a police officer, by wilfully failing to take reasonable and proper care of [A], an arrested person in police custody’. The Attorney-General sought the opinion of the court on the following questions:
- What are the ingredients of the common law offence of misconduct in a public office?
- In particular is it necessary, in proceedings for an offence of misconduct in a public office, for the prosecution to prove ‘bad faith’ and, if so, what does faith mean in this context?
- A public officer, acting as such,
- Wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself,
- To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder,
- Without reasonable excuse or justification.
The case of Christopher Galley in 2008 was given a great amount of publicity. Mr Galley, a Home Office civil servant in the office of the Home Secretary, was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office for allegedly passing confidential and restricted documents to Damien Green. Mr Green was also arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit, and being an accessory to, the alleged offence by Mr Galley. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, announced a year later that he had decided not to prosecute Mr Galley and Mr Green because, whilst there was damage to the Home Office’s arrangements for handling such documents, there needed to be additional damage — such as a threat to national security — and without that damage there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
As highlighted by David Lusty, what is peculiar about Mr Starmer’s decision is the fact that he stated that Mr Galley seriously breached the trust placed in him by the public. In doing so, he had effectively concluded that the third element of the offence was satisfied and that his conduct was sufficiently serious to pass the threshold for criminal conviction. Nonetheless, he then proceeded on the basis that damage was the determinative issue in the case. Is there a way in fact to measure this high threshold before criminal proceedings can properly be brought for misconduct in public office?
Despite the court in Attorney-General’s Reference (No. 3 of 2003) delivering a modern twist on the definition of the misconduct offence, there has been continued difficulty in deciding whether cases should be prosecuted based on this definition. The issues are that it provides inadequate certainty for public officials to judge their future conduct, as well as the legal intricacies involved for lay juries in these type of trials.
This was seen in the case of R v W  EWCA Crim 372, where the Court of Appeal exacerbated the difficulty of the common law misconduct offence by adding the following actions to the definition:
- Frauds and deceits (fraud in office)
- Wilful excesses of official authority (malfeasance)
- The intentional infliction of bodily harm, imprisonment or other injury upon a person (oppression).
Proposals for a statutory offenceIt has been commented that misconduct in a public office is one of those common law offences that cries out for an authoritative restatement, preferably after a thorough examination by the Law Commission. The Law Commission has in fact undertaken this project and is due to produce a final report in summer 2016:
It will involve the simplification, clarification and codification of a common law offence. It will also ensure that the law takes into account practices whereby traditionally public functions are discharged by private individuals and volunteers to ensure that the scope of the offence is neither over- nor under-inclusive.
Having recommended for there to be a newly developed statutory offence in 1997, the Committee on Standards in Public Life considered the in depth analyses and stated the following:
…the unifying factor of the common law cases appears to be the existence of some improper, dishonest or oppressive motive in the exercise or refusal to exercise some public function, rather than a mere abuse of power. There are few prosecutions, suggesting that action is taken only when misconduct is particularly gross. The advantage of creating a statutory offence of misuse of public office would be that some clearer indication could be given in the statute of the circumstances in which an offence might occur. The limits should not have to be drawn by the jury unguided.
It has been commented that misconduct in a public office is one of those common law offences that cries out for an authoritative restatement.On the one hand, it has been argued that there is a necessary duty to produce a comprehensive definition of the misconduct offence in public office. On the other hand, however, there are those sceptics who feel that the common law will fundamentally ensure the availability of the offence, whereas a statutory definition may well be drafted so as to be more favourable to the executive.
The misconduct offence is regarded as an extremely severe offence — it is triable only on indictment and it is punished with a maximum of life imprisonment. Having recognised this crucial matter, the Crown Prosecution Service has made it clear that the misconduct offence should only be used for serious examples of misconduct, where there is no appropriate statutory offence that would adequately describe the nature of the misconduct or give the court sufficient sentencing powers. Finally, it has been argued that the misconduct offence has no place in the modern criminal law since it has a tendency to spread in all directions and, unless it is kept carefully in check, it will take over any and every case. However, can it be argued that it is better left to the common law to decide on such matters?