Meister v Conaway(s) and Sneed v Branch are some of the year’s Top political match-ups, along with a Grand Prix Prank, Election follies & 18-year olds triumphant in 2011!
#5 – Baltimore Election Returns: I honestly wanted to leave this statistic out of the Top 10, however I received way to many inquiries about it being really in the Top 3 of the worst things to happen to Baltimore in 2011. I, on the other hand, believe it to be a ‘wake-up call’ for both the Baltimore political landscape, as well as the city’s electorate! While the Primary Elections only witnessed approximately 23% turnout of the over 300,000+ registered voters on its rolls currently, for what in Baltimore is usually the end all, be all of elections; it showed many that the product being given to the electorate was uninspiring? If Coca-Cola comes out with a marketing campaign of a product and nobody comes out to buy that product, you don’t blame the consumers for not buying what you offered do you?
NO! Instead, you reevaluate the product, its branding and marketing division, the actual distribution list serve and where its being offered, while also reexamining the consumer’s buy-in to this particular product; thus, if not meeting your approval in certain, if not all departments, then you make the appropriate changes! Now the General Election, historically having a lower turnout the Primary, was about right for its predictions in roughly 13% turnout of the electorate – still way too low however! Therefore, the Baltimore City Board of Elections, needs to spend money not on all these ‘techs and experts’ evaluating the voting machines, but more on firms such as GCOMM Media, who are able to brand the Election dates into the general electorates minds, the likes of their favorite Lil Wayne song! Then, after branding the process of voting into the people’s psyche, candidates need to begin to address how they market themselves to the electorate a little differently than of times past! With these two minor, yet major changes implemented, I gurantee we’ll see a larger turnout in both elections – even if we have to continue voting for the lesser of two evils?
#4 – A Grand Prix Prank: The costly event that drew thousands to downtown Baltimore during the Labor Day weekend, seems to now be seen as the most costly prank ever funded by the City of Baltimore. True, it provided quiet a scene over a three-day period, in which men, women and children had an opportunity to enjoy the loud atmosphere of a Grand Prix race, with the beautiful background of the Inner Harbor and the even prettier patron driver – Danica Patrick! (Who gave me and my son a one-of-a-kind, autographed DP ‘Go Daddy’ green and black racing jacket) However, while the scenery may have been an immediate satisfaction to those who were responsible for bringing this hideous event to Baltimore, it certainly was not worth the long term pain of the cost to the taxpayers, or the public scrutiny the event organizers continue to receive!Baltimore officials are still being blasted about the amount of money funneled into what seems to be a financial bust – not to mention the traffic headaches incurred by the race weeks, and even months prior to the 72-hours of speed, noise and nostalgia?
#3 – Baltimore City Election Results: Well first starting off with the congratulations deserved by the entire City Council, from Council President Bernard C. ‘Jack’ Young on down, for their efforts and victory on Election Day! We saw a majority of the council win re-election, with familiar names such as Kraft, Curran, Spector, Holton, Welch*, Reisinger, Cole, Stokes* and Clarke. Yet we also saw some emerging political names come to the surface, such as the re-election of now 2nd term council members like Bill Henry (4th), Sharon Green Middleton (6th) and Warren Branch (13th); or with the election of appointed council members, who had names that were no stranger to Baltimore politics – such as William ‘Pete’ Welch, who took over for his mother Agnes in the 9th district, and Carl Stokes in the 12th, who replaced the emerging Council leader Jack Young, in the East Baltimore district that has witnessed a Stokes name on the ballot years past! Yet the most impressive of all the names on this year’s ballot belonged to longtime 2nd district councilman Nick D’Adamo’s successor, the 27-year old Brandon Scott; along with the 32-year old Nicholas J. Mosby in the 7th, who had a dog fight for the seat, both in the Primary and in the General elections, against 2-term incumbent Belinda Conaway. Also, a name who made political waves this summer was one who came only 43-votes short of being on the council herself, as 30-year old Shannon Sneed gave 13th district incumbent Warren Branch the fight of his life – without the conventional tools for victory being evident! This showed many pundits such as myself that the tides of change are on the horizon, giving groups such as the Independent Movement Political Action Committee (IMPAC) new hope for emerging as the newest and most diverse political clubs throughout the city!
#2 – The Conaway v Meister Mess: Without a doubt, the most hilarious and saddest story of the year, as Examiner colleague Adam Meister waged a war against Baltimore’s lone political dynasty of a family, the Conaways’. First, he revealed a dirty little secret that quiet a few elected representatives are guilty of, and that was that Belinda Conaway, the 7th district councilwoman, was actually reportedly living outside her Baltimore City district, out in Baltimore County – an entirely different jurisdiction. She did prove to have another residence, which she was receiving a primary residence tax credit for, yet the issue that seemingly ended up becoming her political demise was that she then turned around and sued Mr. Meister for approximately $21-million. For what, many are still trying to figure out; however, after Meister retained counsel and the matter came before the courts, Conaway ended up dropping the lawsuit, which led to even more public scrutiny!
Her father, the current City Court Clerk and then a candidate for Mayor of Baltimore, Frank Conaway Sr. would blast Mr. Meister and his supporters on the radio airwaves of WOLB1010AM, where he has a weekly show. Thus leading to turmoil uncontrollable by most! After running into each other at the Board of Elections of the eve of the filing deadline, they almost came to blows there, in which Meister seemed amped up and possibly high off of something; yet Frank and Adam were subdued and restrained by those present! Then, days after the General Election when Frank’s daughter officially lost her council seat to Nick Mosby, Meister allegedly ran up on Mr. Conaway outside his home, leading to a verbal confrontation which almost got physical? After calling Frank a bunch of expletives not allowed in this family friendly news outlet, and I’m sure receiving the same back from the feisty Mr. Conaway, apparently Adam tried to karate kick Mr. Conaway, who mind you is a 70+ year old man, where as Adam is probably in his thirties? Adam continued to jog on, the police arrived on the scene after reportedly being in the area and witnessing what transpired; however, while its obvious that Mr. Meister seemed to be the one clearly in the wrong, on the front of this man’s residence – the police report and subsequent media coverage made it seem as though Mr. Conaway may have been concealing a weapon, which is no longer properly licensed and made him out to be the villain? Boys shall be boys, and men acting like men, especially when they, or their family is threatened; therefore, while public perception seems to have played itself out in this matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Conaways’ aren’t awaiting their chance to strike back at Mr. Meister!
#1 – Vote Green for 18-Lower the Age Campaign: This is certainly a personal pick, #1 because of its long lasting effect, and based on its origination coming from me! Question B, which came from CB11-0634, local legislation introduced by Councilman Robert ‘Bobby’ Curran on behalf of GCOMM Media Co and IMPAC, was a charter amendment bill that lowered the age requirement of those seeking to run for local elective office, from 21 to 18 years of age. The legislation, which began here in Baltimore, failed in 2004 at the polls during a very vigorous Presidential General Election, easily passed into law this time around by an almost 3 to 1 margin of voters. The brainchild and baby of mine since 2003, it puts Baltimore City in line with the majority of the other 23-jurisdictions around the state, that allow for 18-year olds to run for local legislative office – excluding the Executive Branch of the Mayor’s Office!
This common sense legislation, based off the premise that we allow eighteen year old men and women to drive, become legal adults, register to, and actually vote for older elected officials while going to war, fighting to defend the freedoms of this country – begs the question as to why they then are not old enough to run for elective office, where the electorate still has the say whether or not they want them as their elected representative? We started locally, in which we now plan to submit this legislation to the Maryland General Assembly for the purpose of lowering the age requirements for Delegate and Senator from 21 and 25 respectively to 18 years of age! Then, once the forward thinking men and women in Annapolis pass it by a 2/3 majority, to be sent on to the voters to be passed by the Maryland electorate; we will offer it up in Congress, to allow those running for the House of Representatives and the US Senate to be 18-years of age as well! Honestly, its not the age of the candidates we have running for these offices that has put us in the messed up position we find ourselves in today, yet why not give younger, fresher blood the opportunity to make things happen for this country, as its quiet obvious that these elderly folks don’t have a clue?
For more information on this article and more email me here, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, ‘Like’ us on FB, Join our Mailing List here OR text GCOMMMEDIA to 22828 or browse services provided by GCOMM Media Co.