Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alderman Shropshire To Face Ethics Inquiry

I have been tipped of that the Honorable Alderman from the Great 7th Ward, Sam Shropshire, will be the subject of a formal ethics complaint that will be filed tomorrow morning with the city law office.


The problem is a political campaign event that is being hosted at City Hall:
I know that this is hard to read, and there is nothing I can do about it. But let me assure you of 2 things: first, that the event is being held in City Hall, and second, that is is organized by Alderman Sam's campaign committee, Friends Of Sam.
The City's ethics edicts are found in section 2.08 of the code. Feel free to pour over it if you like, but I think the most relevant portion is found in the opening policy statement:
The proper operation of representative government requires that public officials
and employees be independent, impartial, and responsive to the general public
whom they represent; that public office not be used to advance personal gain;
and that the public maintain a high degree of trust in their public officials
and employees.
There are no specific guidelines regarding what constitutes a person 'using their public office for personal gain'. Possible ethics violations are subject to interpretation, and one concerned citizen has interpreted Alderman Sam's event as a violation.
Scott Bowling will submit a formal complaint, the text of which reads as follows:
Rex S. Caldwell III, Esq.
Acting Chair
City of Annapolis Ethics Commission
c/o Office of the City Attorney
145 Gorman Street 3rd Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401

Mr. Caldwell:

I am writing to formally request that the City of
Annapolis Ethics Commission look into the recent actions of Alderman Sam
Shropshire as they specifically pertain to an event he is sponsoring and plans
to hold in the Council Chambers of City Hall on the evening of October 1, 2008,
as well as the e-mail sent by the Alderman to an undetermined number of
recipients inviting them to participate in this event, asking them to share it
with their friends and neighbors, and soliciting campaign
contributions.

I believe that Alderman Shropshire utilized the
prestige of his office to secure a meeting space in City Hall which is otherwise
not offered or available to members of the general public. Upon receiving
this e-mail, I called City Hall and spoke with a staff member in the Mayor’s
Office and inquired about reserving either the Council Chambers or a small
conference room in City Hall for a meeting of our neighborhood association
(Fairfax Road Community Association). I was promptly told that
unfortunately no space in City Hall was available for use or rental by community
groups or individuals, and was referred to the Department of Parks and
Recreation who offered to fax me a list of locations to
contact.

I find it is highly inappropriate for a meeting
which has no relevance to City issues and is political in nature to be held in a
public building which is operated and maintained with taxpayer funds. It
is evident that this event is political in nature by not only the invitation
that Alderman Shropshire sent out, (which requests campaign contributions), but
also by the profile of the guest speaker and his foundation that was included
immediately underneath. This event has no relevance to issues affecting
our City, nor does it provide any constituent services or meet any needs related
to the residents of Ward 7 or the City of Annapolis as a whole. I
have never heard or known of any Alderman utilizing City Hall for meetings that
involved more than a small group of individual constituents. In fact,
Alderman Shropshire has held numerous community meetings prior to this, and they have all been at locations other than City Hall. Why is this one different?

I would like to further note that the above referenced
e-mail was created and authorized by “Friends of Sam”, Alderman Shropshire’s
campaign committee. It not only announces and promotes the event in
question, but also requests and tells you to whom and where to mail
contributions for his campaign. Is it ethically appropriate for the City
of Annapolis to be making In-kind campaign contributions to an Alderman or any
candidate for political office?

In concluding, I would like to
state for the record, that I am writing this letter as an Individual and
concerned taxpayer of the City of Annapolis. It does not reflect the
views, nor have any relevance to groups or committees for which I may sit or am
affiliated with within the City. As some members of your Commission are
aware, I take the ethical standards of our City very seriously, and this is not
the first issue I have brought before you. Whether this event is
ultimately held at City Hall or not, I believe the issues outlined above need to
be looked into and addressed by the Ethics Commission, as there certainly
appears to be some acts here which are not only inappropriate, but more
importantly, are un-ethical.

I thank you and the members of the
Ethics Commission in advance for your time and consideration of this matter, and
look forward to your timely response. I can be reached by phone at (443)
822-3170 or via e-mail at mscottbowling@verizon.net with any
immediate questions you may have of me.

Respectfully,
M. Scott Bowling

First things first. Esquire Caldwell, apparently the acting chair of the Ethics Commission, is my personal lawyer. In a ironic twist, I have attempted to bribe him to rule controversially on this issue, so that I may continue to follow this story and the popularity of this blog will soar.

There are 2 trends at work that make this transgression noteworthy. The first is a familiar theme--lack of oversight. Certainly somebody knew about this event, and certainly that it was inappropriate.

The second trend is specific to Alderman Sam: the arrogance that derives from his continued disregard of the law. You will remember that he was the only candidate to fail to file a financial report on time, only recently filing it--some 2 months late. Now he is using council chambers--and therefore taxpayer money--for what amounts to a campaign event. Without fear of condemnation, Alderman Sam sent this flyer to an untold amount of people through a mass email.

My read is that Alderman Sam has no fear of punishment because he votes with the Mayor on every issue, and therefore has her protection. Consider this: according to research by Mr. Bowling, the guest speaker at this event has apparent ties to communism, and his speech is being advertised as a lecture on "community organizing"--a clear reference to Senator Obama. Imagine how many ethics complaints would be filed if Alderman Cordle invited Sarah Palin to give a lecture in City Hall on how to organize anti-abortion rallies.

8 comments:

Ebay Doctor said...

he should be held under the water of back creek for 10 minutes, if he lives and is free of hepatitis at that time, he is obviously a good man with a clean soul.

Rev. Orlinscky said...

"the guest speaker at this event has apparent ties to communism,"

Oy Vey,

May the Lord Jesus save us now!!!


if the above is true--and I am sure it is-- this person is no doubt also a friend of the homosexuals and wants to destroy not only the fundamentals of the American system, but also the american family and the values they hold dear.

We must stop this type of thing at the roots before it can be given opportunity to grow.

Thank you for contribution to protect Our Way of Life.

Anonymous said...

Ethics? Aren't they the ones who said it was OK for Karen Engelke to hire her boyfriend for a project she directed?

Don't hold your breath.

Another bimbo

Brian Gill said...

To the great Reverend,

I'm not trying to be alarmist with that statement. My point is, that if someone with even alleged ties to a right-wing ideology with such extreme beliefs was doing the same thing, the Democrats would be up in arms.

I also noted that the ties were pointed out by Mr. Bowling.

Thank you sir, for your contribution to our way of life.

Brian Gill said...

And for those who are curious, here are below is the communist inference. Judge for yourself.

Gamaliel Foundation
Models its tactics after those of the radical Sixties activist Saul Alinsky( Known Communist)
The stated mission of the Gamaliel Foundation (GF) is “to be a powerful network of grassroots, interfaith, interracial, multi-issue organizations working together to create a more just and more democratic society.”

Predicated on the notion that America is a land rife with injustice, GF agitates for social change by supporting the efforts of a network of organizations (the Gamaliel Network) whose goal is to allow for individuals to “effectively participate” in the political, environmental, social and economic arenas. GF offers, for its network affiliates, programs to teach techniques and methodologies for bringing about social change; ongoing consultations; and organizer recruitment campaigns.

At its 2003 National Leadership Assembly in Milwaukee, GF assembled a large number of leftist religious leaders to launch a voter drive against the incumbent Bush administration. At the event, featured speaker Rev. Tommie Pierson of Metropolitan Congregations United stated that he looked forward to the sound “of furniture being moved out of the White House.” Also attending the event were Democratic Senator Russ Feingold and Democratic Presidential candidate and Progressive Caucus member Dennis Kucinich.

Gregory Galluzzo, a former Jesuit priest, is the Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation. In 1980 Galluzzo co-founded, along with his wife Mary Gonzalez, a Chicago Latino activist organization called the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). Today, Ms. Gonzalez is the Gamaliel Foundation’s Director of Western Territory. UNO, also modeled after Alinsky’s methods, is known for using aggressive organizing and confrontational tactics to push for change.

The President of the Board of the Gamaliel Foundation is Ann Smith, who in 1985 became the first black female to win a statewide election in Illinois when she was voted onto the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

The Gamaliel Foundation receives grants from the Bauman Family Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Institute, and others.

Read more and educate yourselves about this Foundation…..
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7004

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm...not seeing a commie connection. Maybe he's an asshole, but commie? And, I think that you're better than "IF my side did what the other side is doing, the other side would be screaming bloody murder." You have strayed (temporarily) into the same realm of argument that my wife inhabits.

All that being said, I agree with everything before commie. The Moyer administration has a Reaganesque teflon-like ability to avoid any consequences for their actions...which, by the way, is stunningly inept on every possible level.

Tim

Anonymous said...

What is the reference to the attempted bribe of a public official, even if in jest, that should warrant an ethics or even a criminal investigation ...

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