Ten thousand (that's 10,000) awesome points to the first person that identifies the reference made in the title of this post. For those of you that may not know, awesome points are given out whimsically by me and can be redeemed for the following rewards:
--20,000 awesome points: You get an extra 30 seconds of time to testify at city council meetings, and can ignore the buzzer when it goes off. You will notice that many people redeem their awesome points in this fashion.
--40,000 awesome points: You get a spot in the 4th of July Parade AND an autographed copy of Sister Cities, a blog post by Mayor Moyer.
--60,000 awesome points: You get a spot in the Market House.
Now to the reason for this post: a letter to the editor. Original text is in bold, my comments are in normal font.
The platforms and issues of the Annapolis mayor's race are covered in detail in the Internet.
Every candidate in the race has a Web site and they are well done.
It would be redundant for the paper to rehash what is already out there and available for free. However, we have just one place to go for local news and that's the paper. The accusations by a mid of a fourth degree sexual offense and assault by a City Council member is certainly newsworthy and deserving of coverage.
Now, I'm going to go along with him here. One could make a Leopold, a time-tested argument espoused by a politician that maintains an elected official's private life is none of the public's business. However, coverage of this event is warranted because (1) there is potentially a crime involved and we don't want our elected officials committing crimes and (2) it is a portrait of character and the character of a person is probably highly correlated with how well they can represent a group of people (constituents).
Lately we have seen a lot said and written in support of Sam Shropshire by Ellen Moyer and other City Council members. We have seen nothing written in defense of this midshipman. However, this is Annapolis. This is a Navy town. We all know what it takes to be a midshipman.
For those of you who don't know what it takes to be a midshipman, I have compiled a list:
1. recommendation of a Congressman
2. the things listed HERE
3. a massive disposition for chocolate milk (this is based on a year-long case study I conducted while working at Mangia's, a restaurant frequented by midshipmen)
4. above-average command of one or more of the following: self-discipline, leadership, intelligence, patriotism, physical fitness, and lactose tolerance
We all know that this young naval officer is worthy of our respect. We do not believe that after four years of hard work at the academy this young officer would throw it all away to level unprovoked baseless and spurious allegation against an Annapolis City Council member.
Now, I hesitated to write what I'm about to write, but decided to do so under this blog's 'devil's advocate' policy.........you know what, I'm overruling that policy. Let's just hope we understand the facts as they exist.
I think the mid in question is believable and Mr. Shropshire has gotten our benefit of the doubt too many times.
This is an interesting point. The court of public opinion is forced to take sides between two entities that traditionally have enjoyed the benefit of the doubt. Based on what you know, it's a matter of who you believe (until you know the facts).
For instance, why does Mr. Shropshire represent himself as happily married with children when his wife and child have lived 4,600 miles away from him for the last 10 years? Why has Mr. Shropshire periodically used the alias "Jeff Collins"? What is he hiding from? He has never given us a believable answer to these questions. Why should we believe him now?
Ok, here is the Jeff Collins story as I know it. If any of you know it better, you can chime in. Alderman Sam was originally known as Sam Shropshire. When he moved to Annapolis, however, he was known as Jeff Collins. It was during this time that Alderman Sam worked as the director of the Love and Action Network. At some point Sam left his work with this organization, and laid low for a while. Upon his re-emergence Alderman Sam was again known as Sam Shropshire, a name that he had not before used while in Annapolis. To those who had known him as Jeff Collins, he explained that the name was an alias he used to avoid persecution from Czechoslovakia, where he had worked in the past and met his wife. Tired of keeping secrets, he had decided to assume his birth name.
Much of the speculation has arisen, as I understand, because the change of alias happened so coincidentally with Alderman Sam's political career. Up until 2005, through his time on the Democrat Central Committee, Alderman Sam was known as Jeff Collins. However, in July of 2005, a party was held to "retire" the name Jeff Collins, and re-establish the name Sam Shropshire. This was merely a few months before Sam became Alderman Sam, as he was elected Ward 7 Alderman in November of 2005. Although I wasn't not personally paying attention to that election, people who were recall confusion about who was running--they knew the face of Jeff Collins, but saw "Sam Shropshire" on the ballot. It seems that the confusion persists to this day.
We need the paper to tell us more not less when it comes to issues as important as this one.
PATRICK J. HENNESSY, Annapolis.
Mr. Hennessy clearly has followed the situation closer than most. I checked the Republican National Committee mainframe to see if he was a certified Republican Operative, with no results. In any case, I would agree that the public interest would be served with a little more investigation.