He hasn’t officially announced a campaign, and will not do so until later in May, however, the former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, is taking heat for some of his policies which were enacted during his tenure as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. Some argue that O’Malley’s policies regarding crime and police presence contributed to the situation which is currently unfolding in the news around the death of Freddie Gray.

Report from The Daily Beast:

He was supposed to be Hillary’s main rival. But when Martin O’Malley rode back into his battered hometown, he was told to GTFO.

It could have been a breakthrough moment for former Governor Martin O’Malley.

A former mayor/governor/turned potential presidential contender cuts short a series of paid speeches in Europe to return to the still-smoldering city he once governed and where he still lives.

“I just wanted to be present. There’s a lot of pain in our city right now, a lot of people feeling very sad,” O’Malley said Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. “Look, we’ve got to come through this together. We’re a people who’ve seen worse days, and we’ll come through this day.”

But as he hopped in and out of a black Suburban that ferried him from neighborhood to neighborhood torn apart by fire, looters, and poverty, he just became a joke. Worse, for some people, he revealed himself to be a root cause of Baltimore’s problem.

O’Malley was even heckled, according to the Post, as he walked around the streets.

A Baltimore police veteran talking with MSNBC on Wednesday afternoon took it a step further.

“If he’s coming back to town, you may see a riot,” retired Baltimore police officer Neill Franklin said. “I would encourage him to not come to Baltimore.”

One former Maryland Democratic official, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about O’Malley, said his return to Baltimore only hurts his chances for 2016 because it reminds voters elsewhere how unpopular O’Malley was in the state when he left.

In O’Malley’s defense, the only people responsible for burning buildings and throwing rocks, are the people with lighters and rocks in their hands. Blaming a politician is not a valid excuse for destructive, anarchistic behavior.

However, as the Mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley instituted many reforms, such as something called “zero tolerance policing” which, depending on who you ask, caused an increased rift between police and residents in some of Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods. The New York Times gives a good summary of the history which began far before O’Malley took over the city in 1999.

Overall, I don’t know if this is going to hurt him in the long run, but it does highlight why I say he has a mixed record as governor and, apparently, as mayor.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Touring the slum porn can never be good for a White presidential candidate. If the current Black mayor went there, even she’d risk heckling.

    But Baltimore is bad news for all Democrats. It was the 1967 and 1968 riots that elected Nixon. When people are afraid, they tend to turn to the “manager” party–the GOP.

    Foreign chaos adds to that.

    My guess is that there will also be a backlash to having the Supreme Court outlaw DOMA laws, as expected, so it should be a good year for Republicans next year.

  2. Bad news for nonentity O’Malley? — LOL — try, No News….

    The Clinton Machine will assure that none who have the slightest chance, oppose Hillary’s run — making it the most asinine Dem Convention in US History.

    There’ll be no debates — just Hitlery Clinton’s 2016 coronation in Philadelphia.

    At least, that’s how the Clinton Machine has planned it.

    What this white-trash is failing to see is that this will piss off the American People to no end — watching vigorous debates from Republicans, and basically a “get-out-of-jail” free pass from Hillary. This alone will turn off the independent voters that make the difference in elections.

    What is amazing about arrogant Hillary’s run is that there is a year+ to compile enough criminal transgressions committed by her, that at least one will land her in Jail.

    But, that is the mentality of trailer-park-trash PARVENUS like the Clintons — to presume themselves “Royalty” while they hold the rest of Americans as their ignorant and obedient “Subjects”!!!

  3. The guy was a two-term mayor, so he had to be at least vaguely popular. Got himself elected Governor, and all.

    The Baltimore Sun reported that:

    Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

    And in almost every case, prosecutors or judges dismissed the charges against the victims — if charges were filed at all.

    They continued their report, adding that:

    Although police officials declined to release individual personnel records, they did discuss the issue in broad terms, saying that from 2012 through July, the department received 3,048 misconduct complaints against officers. Of those, officials sustained 1,203 complaints — 39 percent — meaning investigators could prove the claims were true.

    Wow. Who knew? Certainly relatively few not in the area, having friends/relatives there, etc.

    It seems at least a bit unfair his being saddled with with what been happening in the last four years especially. With over one hundred people getting over $5.7 billion in the last for years in the form of judgments and settlements from allegations of police brutality and assorted civil rights violations, the citizens of Baltimore have every right to be angry.

    Just point that anger in the right direction, folks.

    • Was that “billion” or “million”??

      My impression is that the current raft of “reports” of abuse of prisoners is not an anomaly. It’s just that once a report hits the public, others pop up.

      But I have sympathy for the cops, too. It’s a tough job. And our system makes it even harder.

      We have a horrible record of incarcerating minorities. That’s usually because they have no positive options, and no wealth.

      Just dreaming here: wouldn’t it be great if we were able to “reward” minorities for their crimes by doing REAL “rehabilitation.” Turn them around and teach them to build their communities. Give them access to resources, so they can have a positive life. I know–dreaming.

      • [Profane utterances]. That was supposed to be $5.7 million.

        And shame on you for missing the ‘for’ when it should’ve been ‘four’. 😉

        Yup. Definitely a dream, although I think that instead of saying, “…if we were able to “reward” minorities for their crimes by doing REAL “rehabilitation.” I might’ve said more like, “… if we could see ourselves to genuinely rehabilitate those convicted,” as I wouldn’t consider it a ‘reward’. But perhaps I’m merely picking nits, as it were.

        Either way, I’m definitely on board with your intent. It has a lower recidivism rate and ultimately costs society less. It seems like prison too often turns out to be a school for crime more than a deterrent against it.

        • With any luck, the current crisis may have an upside. We saw that three different gangs in Baltimore put their differences aside, and not only did they not participate in the looting, they protected stores.

          We definitely do have problems to solve. We need to find a way to rebuilt the Black family, for instance. We need to find a way to have the cops perceived as protecting the innocent, rather than perceived as unjustly hassling all Black people. We need to stop the cycle of poverty, and the cycle of crime.

          People ask why they burn down their own neighborhoods. Well, duh. How long would they last in YOURS? Also, they see merchants as carpetbagging opportunists, who charge high prices because they know the locals won’t go to the burb stores. Maybe there should be incentives for locals to OWN those local stores. And incentives to give the same pricing we enjoy.

          I don’t have any answers right now, but I think we should at least admit that we have problems–that it’s not just “their” problem.

            • I wasn’t making excuses. I was just pointing out that there are problems. “Tsk, tsk” is not a solution.

            • True, the rival gangs were protecting black-owned businesses. They simply told people to go down the street to non-black businesses and destroy them instead.

              Also, you know, many people will call you racist for mentioning a problem in the “black family.” Not allowed to talk about that in a constructive way.

            • The cynicism of your first paragraph is a symptom of the cycle of negativity that causes our problems.

              The phenomenon was striking in several POSITIVE ways. Black neighborhoods tear themselves apart from negativity. In this case, the gangs, which usually are only attacking each other, found a way and a reason to work together.

              Second, their goal is usually to protect themselves, and to further their own benefit, at the expense of others. In this case, not only were they working together, but they were working for the benefit of OTHERS.

              Third, they were working WITH the cops. After initial suspicion, the cops realized what they were doing, and did things like bring food to the guys, so they could continue to protect, without having to leave to find food.

              Yes, there are many reasons why things are bad. But it doesn’t help to minimize and ridicule small steps in the right direction. And to tell you the truth, if I were Black, and I wanted to help, yes, my first concern would be to try to protect local merchants, not “foreigners” who come in only to profit from our weakness, whom we see as parasites.

              Certainly, the problem of the Black family is a root problem. I said it before you did. Our system, in fact, does contribute to the breakdown of the Black family, even while trying to help individuals. But that’s not the only problem, and if you focus on “their” behavior, alone, as if they choose to dissolve social ties, you are, in fact, “blaming the victim.”

              And it’s not just a Black problem. Single mothers, of all races, earn ONE-FOURTH as much as married mothers–so even if a mom wants to better her life and the life of her kids, it is a Sisyphusian struggle that hardly seems worth the trouble. What can we do to make any little positive step a leap in lifestyle, to encourage positive action?

              http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/09/the-mysterious-and-alarming-rise-of-single-parenthood-in-america/279203/

              What if the frustration and fear that causes gangs could be redirected toward positive ends? What if the young people could see that working together could make things better for all of them? What if they could do self-policing, to upgrade their lives, and the lives of their neighbors? THOSE are the types of questions we should be concentrating on. Not ridicule.

  4. The basis of the riots is simply a case of inhumane brutality. It was not caused by the breakdown of the family structure or the lack of fathers. It was caused by the lack of a moral code in our society or as Rand Paul put “I came through the train on Baltimore last night, I’m glad the train didn’t stop.” (Rand Paul to Laura Ingraham).

    Freddie Gray was in the custody of the Baltimore Police. Custody does not give one any special rights not to render aid. Nor does it give any special rights to be abusive or indifferent to the individual rights of another person, much less bodily harm where there is no physical disobedience.

    • I disagree. Riots have catalysts, such as the recent brutality, but if there were not other causes waiting to catch fire, we wouldn’t have a problem. Also, I don’t think these instances are anomalies. They just don’t get reported until AFTER the public has been made aware.

      I heard some Black people say, when they were kids, they used to wave at the cops, since they were there to serve and protect. One thing we’re trying in Kalamazoo is having cops WALKING the beat. Get to know the people, and have the people know the cops. It seems to be helping.

      I’m also not saying the government can fix everything. The irony of trying to help fatherless families is that it has actually given a financial advantage to not having a marriage–although that still doesn’t mean a man can’t be a “father.” How do we fix that? Is there some way we can seriously incentivize marriage?

      Instead of wasting so much time and energy in limiting marriage, we should be trying to find ways to make it more attractive–to get into, and to stick with. Marriage is the building block of society.

      • The government should not have to mold people into being decent human beings. Here, I am in your corner on the sanctity of marriage and on the moral behavior of men and women (not just the young). But we know from history that some do and some don’t. Instead of beating the drums against birth control I think “the Morning after” pill should be distributed free. This would prevent a lot of unwanted, hungry, neglected children from evolving into the same down and out lifestyles of their parents and the parents before them. The majority of Congress, so anti birth control are just as anti food stamps to feed the poor.

        Where I think the government should step in is to make rules in the TV and Movie industry. TV
        is the Babysitter used by millions of American mothers on a daily basis. Parents take three year olds to R rated movies. At ten, there are no secrets left, much of their thinking on life has been formed because the Kardashians have told and shown it all.

        • Yeah. I wasn’t talking about the government, necessarily, and as I say, I don’t have answers. But I feel that we should be asking questions and try to figure it out.

          Trouble with life is that everything is right and everything is wrong, Yin and Yang. The trick is finding Aristotle’s “Golden Mean,” or Wallace Stephens’ “What will suffice.” Case in point is the entertainment industry. I used to like it better when the movie code required a certain morality–but at the same time, I don’t like censorship.

          And with today’s exploding communications venues, I’m not sure we can ever go back to the innocent age. As soon as you get some people to be more upright and thoughtful, someone else will make a lot of money selling pictures of Kim Kardashian’s bare ass.

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