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June 9, 2009

Hypocrisy in Politics! Once More!

Roy Meachum

There goes Donna Kuzemchak again. Reaching for votes in the Democratic primary, Ms. Kuzemchak wants people to believe there was “corruption of implementation of those retirement plan changes.”

Although they both voted for what is called in street lingo the “buyout” package, Aldermen David Koontz and Marcia Hall agreed that it was a matter that deserved looking into. While Ms. Hall announced weeks ago that she will not be running for political office, at least soon, she took the same issue recently to the state’s attorney general. Doug Ganzler dismissed the appeal by terming it “local.”

Her fellow Democratic state official drove Ms. Kuzemchak over the wall; she drew up the motion that two attorneys look into what she termed “fraud,” prompting Alderman Paul Smith, an attorney, to point out: “A fraud is a deliberate intentional act to hurt someone.”

Things were so testy in City Hall Thursday you could have thought Jennifer Dougherty was still mayor. What we had on display that night was a first-class demonstration of how Ms. Kuzemchak contributed to the uproar those four years. Ms. Dougherty’s reward was to become the first modern mayor kicked out in a primary; the alderman did not suffer that fate. But she came in last among those elected.

With a firm majority on the board, the Democratic aldermen may have fancied they would be able to pick the two attorneys. They may have forgotten Jeff Holtzinger’s power of veto; the mayor reminded them forcefully that night.

I agree. 

In this time of budgetary crises, why should taxpayers have to fork over for any investigation no matter what Donna Kuzemchak thinks? After all, the private lawyers would have no punitive muscle. It makes absolutely no sense. If there were a possibility that criminal corruption and fraud exists, then certainly Mr. Ganzler and his staff would have picked it up.

I absolutely do not agree with those who say Mr. Holtzinger should have allowed the motion to go forward. For what? So that Frederick political circles might be titillated at public expense? This mess smells to me of the kind of around-the-barn tactic that I thought had left City Hall when Ms. Dougherty was retired.  For the record, Ms. Hall and Ms. Kuzemchak are among the former mayor’s most avid supporters. The whole effort stinks to me as an act of revenge.

In their delusionary world, the ex-mayor’s backers must be mad as hell that Mr. Holtzinger decided not to run again; this kind of petty bickering is the meanest they can be to the man who replaced their darling. Ms. Hall had her turn; she failed. Then Ms. Kuzemchak hit for the fences, and we see how that turned out.

As I wrote in an earlier column, Ms. Dougherty’s campaign was all going to be against Mr. Holtzinger, ignoring competitor Jason Judd, even in the Democratic primary. She and her brain-trust look like they hope to great piles of nonsense they can blame on the mayor; that way she can hold to the original plan by pointing out how much better she would have handled situations, still dismissing Mr. Judd.

Having failed to get an official legal ruling that his current residence violates the city charter, Ms. Dougherty and her doubted legions seek always to hint the mayor is guilty of an impeachable crime. So why didn’t they impeach or shut up?

On the matter of the buy-out, my opinion was not sought. The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved--with the exception of Ms. Kuzemchak who was conveniently absent that session. Let ‘em live with what they created.

No wonder most people find politics a boring subject, as evidenced by the low turnouts at the polls.

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