County Councilman John Olszewski, Jr, the four term Democrat in Baltimore County's 7th Councilmanic District, has failed to report on ethics disclosure forms numerous jobs he's held since 2009. What's more, one of those jobs was for a firm which received a $3.1 million contract with Baltimore County. The Patch had reported on a few of these items in 2011 and 2012, the Sun identified more of them when he filed his updated disclosure form which date back to 2009. Here's more from the Baltimore Sun:
A Baltimore County councilman did not disclose his outside employment over the past several years, including his work with a painting and drywall company that has a $3.1 million contract at a new high school being built in his district.
Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, only recently revealed in required disclosure forms that he has employment outside his elected post, filing amended reports going back to 2009.
Council members and other county officials must report any outside jobs on annual reports so that the public can examine whether they have conflicts of interest.
The councilman has worked since 2010 for Mason & Son LLC, a contractor in Sparrows Point, according to the newly filed forms. In 2010, he also worked for D&M Painting & Drywall Inc., which was awarded a $3.1 million contract the following year for the new Dundalk and Sollers Point Technical high schools.
He also worked for APS East Coast Inc. at the Port of Baltimore in 2009 and 2010, according to his corrected financial reports.
The councilman called the omissions "an oversight."
"It was a mistake on my part," he said, adding that he has filed the corrected forms.
Olszewski, who has been in office nearly 15 years, filed the amended reports this month after the website Patch.com asked him why he didn't report his current job on this year's disclosure form.
Emphasis mine. You can view his amended ethics disclosure statement here. This man has been in office for nearly 15 years, finishing out his fourth term on the County Council now. His claim that this was a mere oversight may be valid, but it raises a number of red flags. A County Councilmember is required to report these outside jobs to ensure there is no perception of conflict of interest. There may have been and while the members of the County Council do not vote on individual contracts, it will make you wonder.
It also makes you wonder what else is Johnny O, Sr failing to disclose on his ethics and other forms. There are a reason we hold politicians to certain ethical standards. We are entrusting them with great responsibilities for the well-being of each municipality. These incorrect forms should draw fees from the County Ethics Commission, but time will tell if that will actually happen.
In 2010, the Republicans failed to put up a candidate to challenge Olszewski, Sr. My hope is that in 2014, this is corrected. We deserve better than a Councilman who forgets about his jobs. In 2014, let's Veto Johnny O.
Image via Towson Patch.
I don't know how I missed this video of the Baltimore County Executive. But seriously, stay classy Kevin Kamenetz (D).
I haven't done a news roundup in a while, so I decided to do one today. First, let me say this up front - I'm not going to go into depth on the IRS, Benghazi, AP scandals. Why? Because people far more versed on the topics are talking in more detail about it than I. Check RedState, check FoxNews...follow these stories because they matter, but my focus is on different stories. So, let's talk about them.
- John Mark Harris, the Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church, wrote an excellent piece entitled, "How was the Bible Formed." I'm linking here to part 2, where he discusses the Old Testament. Check it out.
- Delegate Dwyer (R) was sentenced to 30 days in prison for his drunken boating incident from last year. He's appealing the decision. I stand by my call for him to resign.
- Delegate Wade Kach (R) has announced he's running in 2014 for Baltimore County Council. He'll be facing incumbent Councilman Todd Huff (R) for the seat. Kach, as I noted before, is a big hypocrite who simultaneously voted for gay marriage while co-sponsoring legislation to ban it outright in Maryland. On the other hand, I've called for Todd Huff to resign over his DUI. I don't regret that and I hope another, more formidable Republican shows up in this district.
- Mark Newgent from Red Maryland notes how in disarray the corrections department is. It's more than just a corruption problem as audit after audit of the department has shown over the years.
- Nearly 5,700 state employees make over $100,000 annually. That should seriously be capped.
- Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland wrote a piece which may have well been entitled, "John R. Leopold Will You Please Go, Now." I tend to agree with him on this one.
- Dave Miller of SBC Voices wrote a piece worth reading entitled, "Dr. Gosnell's Guilt, the Death Penalty, and Justice." Check it out.
- Do you like the classic video game Burger Time? Do you have a computer operating in Linux? You do! Then get Burger Space. Fun game.
- Thom Rainer wrote a piece for churches specifically discussing how it's important to start new small groups. Check it out.
- Baltimore County Councilman John Olszewski, Sr (D) failed to disclose information about his contracting job on an ethics form. He pledges to update the form, claiming it was an oversight. I have to ask - how does a man who's been serving in this post for 16 years "forget" to include information about his job on an ethics form? The claim doesn't add up to me.
- In case you missed it, here's my interview with 2014 GOP candidate for Congress David Banach (R-MD). He's in Maryland's 2nd Congressional district, which is my district.
- Okay, I'll make one comment on the AP scandal - this is outrageous and here's a link to Hot Air which when you read, you'll know why I say it's outrageous.
Did I miss any news? You bet. Talk about what I missed in the comments. Or, comment on what I posted.
I leave you with this, which is a picture of Congressman Darrell Issa (R) with Clifford the Big Red Dog. You're welcome.
Tedashii's "Make War" featuring Flame.
At the beginning of the track you hear a preacher talking about sin and war on sin. That's John Piper. Here's a link to the full audio of his sermon from his series on Romans 8. It's a good sermon, check it out.
David Banach (R) is a 29 year old, former US Marine running for Congress in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional district. He is planning to challenge incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger (D) who, as some may recall, has a lifetime rating from the Club for Growth of 11%. I reached out to him via his Facebook page to see if he’d tell me a little about himself and his campaign for Congress. Below are his responses to my questions:
Matthew Newman: Tell me a little about yourself.
David Banach: I was born and raised in Maryland. I came from a poor family living in a two-family home in Baltimore City. I lived in Edgewood for about eight years and then moved to Bel Air. After 9/11/01 I decided to join the Marine Corps to serve and defend my country and my countrymen. I served four years with two combat tours in Iraq. After I got out, I decided to go to college. I attended Harford Community College, majoring in Political Science. I graduated with a two-year degree and transferred to my current school, Towson University, to continue my education. As a kid I wanted to be President or some elected official, and so, on March 13th 2013 I decided to give a run for congress a try.
MN: What makes you a uniquely qualified candidate?
DB: I come from several worlds that represent Maryland’s District two. I am quite poor, and I live paycheck to paycheck, I have even collected unemployment. I am a veteran, so I know what it truly means to serve my country and live up to an oath. And I am a student who is constantly learning new things about government and politics. I believe that a representative should represent not just those in his party or those that voted for him, but all the people of the district. I believe that the people come first over any party line, and that a representative’s door should always be open, not appointment based. I believe that our political leaders have lost sight of what their job is and I want to be the one who sets the example for others to follow.
MN: How would you rate our incumbent (Ruppersberger)?
DB: I would give him a C-. He has shown the people of this district that he would rather protect big business than the interests of his constituency. He would rather vote along party lines, and destroy the Constitution with his allegiance to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. His abuse to erode the 4th Amendment with his support of CISPA, FISA, and The Patriot Act coupled with his support of NDAA 2012. He has failed to uphold his oath to support and defend the Constitution and has jeopardized the rights of his constituency and others across the nation.
MN: What would be the first piece of legislation you would propose if elected?
DB: The first piece of legislation I would present would be a loaded bill. Pay cuts for elected officials, in the House, Senate, and the Presidency to the median income of the United States. Added to that would be term limits. The House would have a two-term limit of two years a term. The Senate would have a two-term limit at four years a term. This would reduce the elitism and career politicians that we see today in Washington and would prevent the “out of touch” feeling that we, as voters, have when someone holds office too long. We, the voters, only become important when it is election time.
MN: What are your thoughts on the ongoing hearings on the attack at the embassy in Benghazi?
DB: The fact that the White House denied knowing there were whistle blowers when the social networks knew, meant they were lying to cover something up. Now the White House is struggling with them coming forward. There is so much information coming out and I believe that Hillary Clinton should be held responsible, as well as anyone else who was involved in covering it up, and not allowing for the military to respond. Those four dead men deserve the truth and deserve justice.
MN: What do you think is the most important issue facing America?
DB: I think it is the ideology of the two party system. It’s not the debt, the jobs, immigration, or terrorism, it is the gridlock, it is the erosion of freedom. It seems the only thing congress can agree on is eroding the Constitution and limiting the rights of people. Since 9/11 this nation has lost so many freedoms. We are molested in public by TSA agents, who have never caught a terrorist, we are subject to indefinite detention without trial through NDAA, We are watched and listened too through the patriot act, there are limits on how we can protest and where, and now the second amendment is under fire. We are supposed to be the beacon of freedom on earth, the last hope for mankind. We wage undeclared wars against nations we do not like, to promote peace and democracy, but we shred democracy at home. The two parties lock out third parties from competing through their rules and limitation of how they can get on the ballot. Only a handful have made it to the House or the Senate. The two parties are changing what is supposed to be a Constitutional Republic to a Democracy where the rights of the minority are trampled upon by the tyranny of the majority. We were given a Republic and we could not keep it. Our nation is divided by left/right ideals, each fighting for power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And right now our elected officials are so corrupt they are ignoring the people they are supposed to represent, and the constitution they are supposed to protect.
MN: What are your thoughts on the sequester?
DB: The sequester was weak. It had no real rules and it was small in comparison to the budget. Congress has been adjusting it and trying to remove it all together. The President blew it way out of proportion and it made him look bad when he was wrong. They said the stock market would crash when actually we are seeing at all time highs. It was a good thing and the market responded well to that. It should have been bigger though, that way Congress would have had to come up with something realistic.
MN: What are your views on abortion?
DB: Unless you are raped, life of the mother is in danger, or a child who has been molested, no. 45% of Planned Parenthoods’ revenue is taxpayer funded. That means those who believe that abortion is wrong are forced to pay for it. Democrats tout planned parenthood as a woman’s rights issue. Those who believe that, do not look at history very closely. Planned Parenthood was set up to suppress the black population. 78% of their clinics are located in black neighborhoods. 35% of abortions through planned parenthood are black babies. Abortion isn’t about women, its about control, suppression, and racism. I do not understand how the first black President and the NAACP can promote planned parenthood to their own people as a good thing. The only people or organization I could imagine, that would be pleased with planned parenthood, would be the KKK. “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.”- Martin Luther King
MN: You mention on your Facebook page the need to reform the tax code. Have you seen any specific tax code reform option which you support? If not, do you have a specific idea in mind to reform our national tax code?
DB: The federal government taxes everything from bubble gum to your paycheck. What isn’t taxed? Groceries, except in Virginia. We’re taxing rain in Maryland, I mean, how far will the government go to get your money? Up until 1913 we had no income tax. We kept everything we earned. Now we are being taxed from 10%-50%. The revolution was fought over less than 5% so why are we accepting this? The one tax that I truly believe needs to go is the Federal income tax. We want our economy to grow but we take from our citizens ability to spend. How can an economy grow if the citizens cannot spend? Families are struggling across this nation, trying to put food on the table, but they are forced to pay tribute to their government by allowing the government to take from their paycheck. Some deem not paying the income tax as unpatriotic, but I view it as government tyranny. Eliminate the income tax by creating an amendment to override the 16th amendment.
MN: What is your opinion of term limits?
DB: I believe that the longer a person holds office, the more out of touch that representative becomes with the constituency. The longer they hold office the more elitist they become. They talk about the rich not paying their fair share, or putting their money in offshore bank accounts when most of Congress are millionaires and do the same things. Term limits are a must, and should be since 75% of the people, according to politico, want term limits.
MN: You mention on your Facebook page, "Foreign Aid needs to come to an end." Would you propose an end to all foreign aid immediately or a phase out of foreign aid?
DB: Why should we pay child support to other nations when we cannot take care of our own here? Why are we borrowing from China to give to other nations? We are so concerned with the debt, but few know that this country pays $0.60 on the dollar in interest. Thomas Jefferson warned us about entangling alliances, and we failed to listen. We give foreign aid to countries that burn our flag, are we insane? Burn our flag, lose your funding.
MN: What is one thing you want to ensure potential voters know about your campaign?
DB: The campaign I am running has all been payed for out of pocket, except for about $185. I have made clear with those who are helping me with my campaign that I will not have shirts, pens, signs, etc . . . that are not American made. I believe in America’s ability to create products, and I will not settle for a cheaper product made in another country, to save money. I could not love this country more, and I will not let it slip away to a tyrannical government, or to those who do not love this country. I believe that everyone should have a voice, and thus my campaign slogan is “A Voice for Everyone”