Opioid Epidemic Conservation Sadly Turns Political

It is hard to believe that a treatment organization such as The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Maryland could turn a discussion about the opioid epidemic into a partisan discussion, but that appears to be the case.

RALI is holding a forum on the Opioid Epidemic at Perry Hall High School on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Some of the guest speakers expected at the event are County Executive Don Mohler, State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger, state Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and Delegate Eric Bromwell. All those elected officials are Democrats and Bromwell’s Republican delegate colleagues Joe Cluster and Christian Miele were not invited to the event, along with 5th District Republican councilman David Marks.

“Bipartisan, inclusive leadership is needed to eliminate the opioid epidemic in Baltimore County and throughout our state. Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, Delegate Joe Cluster, and I hope that the sponsors and organizers of tomorrow night’s community forum in Perry Hall reconsider their decision to only invite elected officials from one political party to participate,” Miele said in a social media statement.

Miele, Cluster and Marks sent out a letter to RALI of Maryland requesting an invite to this forum for this important and non-partisan issue.

Another participant of the event is John Torsch, who is from the Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation. The foundation is named after John’s brother Daniel who passed away from an accidental drug overdose in 2010. He promoted the event on a Perry Hall community Facebook page. Torsch was also a Democratic candidate for county council in the spring and is unaware why Republicans were not invited to the forum.

“That’s a question for the organizers of the event. I’d love to see more elected officials on both sides of the aisle speak up about the addiction epidemic and actually do something about it,” Torsch said on social media.

Councilman Marks, who could have potentially faced Torsch in November defended Torsch and commended him on his work.
“John is a good man, and I have learned a lot from him. I am still learning. He is a participant and not the organizer,” Mark said about Torsch.

The problem with having a nonpartisan event a month before the election is that many people are in a political frame of mind on both sides. There was a person who questioned why Kathy Klausmeier was even invited.
“Just say No to Klausmeier!” said a commenter to Torsch. He appropriately responded that the event is about saving lives.

“I tell you that more than 300 people died from drug overdoses last year in your area. We’re on pace for even more this year. And all you can say is “say no to Klausmeier “? That’s just sad. This isn’t about left or right. It’s about life and death. Baltimore County is losing,” Torsch said.

Redmer Calls Out Olszewski for Dundalk Debate No Show


The 7th District Civic Council in Dundalk announced their Friday County Executive debate has been cancelled after Democratic nominee John Olszewski Jr. told them he was not participating in the Dundalk area debate at the North Point Government Center.

“To what the committee believes is a detriment to the election process, and the voters of the 7th District, Olszewski’s cancellation has left the committee no choice but to cancel the debate,” said a statement from the 7th District Civic Council.

Olszewski’s Republican opponent Al Redmer Jr. put out a statement on social media where he said he was disappointed in Olszewski’s decision to cancel but left open an opportunity to still greet voters in Dundalk on Friday night.

“It’s disappointing if not unsurprising that my opponent has pulled out of the 7th District Civic Club debate at North Point Government Center this Friday. This isn’t the first time Johnny O has turned his back on District 7, and if he is elected County Executive it certainly won’t be the last,” Redmer said.

“I look forward to the other upcoming opportunities I will have to present my vision for Baltimore County, and in the meantime our campaign will find another way to connect with District 7 voters on Friday night.”

Foley Trashs Park With Signs After Marks Holds Cleanup

Foley’s sign was placed illegally at Indian Rock Park in Perry Hall
Illegal political signs were found at Indian Rock Park near Perry Hall High School. Those signs belong to Democratic 5th District Council County nominee Alex Foley.

The irony is that Indian Rock Park is the same location where his opponent Republican Councilman David Marks held a community clean up two weeks earlier. Marks pointed out that all his signs are on private property with permission of the property owner and that Foley’s signs are being placed illegally.

“My opponent must not care about public parks,” Marks said. “Two weeks ago, I organized about a dozen volunteers who ventured into swampy grass to clean up Indian Rock Park. Today, my opponent has littered that same park will illegal signs.”

Foley has run a bare bones campaign. He has rejected all invitations to debate Marks in candidate forums. The highlight of his campaign was making a video driving around in a car and he sign waved for Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous on Monday. Foley signs have also been spotted outside of the 5th District.

“I understand that my opponent has skipped community forums and may not know Perry Hall very well, but I had hoped he might respect a clearly-identified public park. When will he be cleaning it up?” Marks asked.

Redmer Picks up Baltimore County Police & Fire Unions Endorsement


Republican Al Redmer picked up two huge endorsements as the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4 and the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association announced that they were endorsing the GOP candidate for Baltimore County Executive.

“IAFF 1311 is proud to support Al Redmer for Baltimore County Executive, and our members are confident that he is the right candidate not only for the men and women of the fire service, but for all Baltimore County residents,” Michael Day said from the firefighters union. “We look forward to working with Mr. Redmer over the next four years to improve working conditions for our fire fighters and make sure they have the resources they need to serve the people of Baltimore County.”

Cole Weston of the police union also said his union is proud to support Redmer.

“Al Redmer is the only candidate who truly understands the challenges that our law enforcement officers face on a daily basis, and FOP Lodge #4 is proud to support him in his race to become the next Baltimore County Executive,” Weston explained.

“We’re confident that under a Redmer administration, Baltimore County will be a safer place to live and work, which will benefit all of our residents and communities.”

This is in addition to Redmer receiving the Baltimore County sheriff’s deputies (Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25) endorsement over the summer.

“I could not be more proud to have the support of these fine unions and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every single day in service to our communities and the people of Baltimore County,” Redmer said in a statement.

“Throughout our campaign, I have consistently spoken of the failure of Baltimore County to adequately fund our most basic needs, and the fire and police departments have often been direct victims of that. For too long, these men and women have not had the support that they should from local government. As County Executive, I will make sure that the men and women who protect and serve our communities have the support and resources they need to do their jobs. They undoubtedly deserve it, and under a Redmer administration, they are going to get it.”

There was a time when all of the union endorsements went to Democratic candidates but there has been a shift, especially with police and firefighters.

His Democratic opponent John Olszewski, Jr. has been endorsed by the Teachers of Baltimore County (TABCO) and by multiple labor unions, but police unions have endorsed many GOP candidates during this election. It was really no surprise when Maryland Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) voted to unanimously endorse Republican Gov. Larry Hogan over his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. Many believe that Jealous and his anti-police rhetoric made it an easy endorsement of Hogan.

The Maryland FOP also endorsed Republican Attorney General nominee Craig Wolf over Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh.

For decades, police unions have favored Democratic candidates over Republican candidates. That is starting to change here in Maryland.

Republican Bill Paulshock is Supporting Democrat Eric Bromwell

An Eric Bromwell sign can be found at Bill’s Seafood
Former 7th District Republican candidate Bill Paulshock was spotted with a Democratic Del. Eric Bromwell re-election sign on the lawn of his Bill’s Seafood business on Belair Road in Perry Hall.

Paulshock ran for the County Council in 2010 and for the 8th District House of Delegates in 2014 as a Democrat. He surprised many people when he decided to run for the 7th District House of Delegates as a Republican.

“While I was door knocking, a great question was asked of me. Was I ever a democrat? Yes, in 2014 I ran [as a Democrat]. When I was asked by Governor Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot to stand side by side with them in Annapolis while they introduced an important bill, then again in Ocean City Maryland, when he announced the bill into law. That day everything changed. In supporting one of the most common sense bills that would bring $100 million back into the Maryland’s economy without raising a single tax,” Paulshock explained in a statement in April. “I said then that I will support and help Hogan and the Republican Party any way I could. I am proud to be a Republican.”

Many critics of his party switch stated that Paulshock only ran as a Republican because a Democrat could not win in District 7. Del. Kathy Szeliga, GOP Minority Whip and a delegate in the 7th District, was very critical of Paulshock running as a Republican. She even sent out a mailer attacking his switch.

“Who is politician Bill Paulshock pretending to be now?” said the Szeliga mailer during the primary season.

After coming up short in the primary, Paulshock is looking to the General Election and he told me he does indeed support Bromwell. I asked him if he is concerned about the backlash that he might receive from the Republican Party. Paulshock responded that he is a “middle of the road Republican”. He added that he is supporting Bromwell because he believes friendship is more important than politics.

“I am proud to say Eric Bromwell is my friend and yes the Bromwell family is like family to my whole family. I am proud to call Eric my friend,” Paulshock said in an email.

“So if you want to print Bill Paulshock is Eric Bromwell’s good friend I will be proud it say that. He has help this community and small business greatly over the years.”

I have talked to a few other Republicans and they are obviously frustrated with Paulshock’s decision to support Bromwell. Especially when the GOP team of Joe Boteler, Cluster and Norman are in a critical battle ground race against Bromwell in the 8th District.

It is very disappointing.

GOP Counters Klausmeier and Democrats With Own Mailer


As expected, The Maryland Republican Party sent out its own mailer to District 8 Voters to counter Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and the Democrats claim of working with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The mailer pointed out Klausmeier’s vote for the Rain Tax and her vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto for the “Backroom Bill” which takes away school construction funding authority from the Governor.
The mailer also correctly stated that Hogan endorsed Miele and not Klausmeier.

The Title of the Mailer: “Kathy Klausmeier joins Democratic Party Bosses to fight Gov. Hogan nearly every day”.

This mailer explained everything that GOP challenger Del. Christian Miele criticized Klausmeier on social media and in an East County Times article last week.
However; it was important for Miele and the MD GOP to send out a responding mailer because not every voter goes on social media or reads the local paper.

I’m sure Miele’s team has the same mailing list as Klausmeier so everyone that received her mailer probably received his mailer too.

Only six weeks until Election Night.

New Goucher Poll Has Hogan Up Big; Wolf and Campbell Down Big

A new poll shows Gov. Hogan up by 22 points
A new Goucher poll shows Gov. Larry Hogan with a 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. The Republican governor has 54 percent compared to Jealous’ 34 percent. Green party nominee Ian Schlakman and Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn both have one percent of the vote. Only nine percent are undecided with less than seven weeks until Election Day. This poll result is not a shocker with Hogan’s popularity and with Jealous’ inexperience and blunders.

The poll also reveals that Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh has a commanding 58 to 26 percent lead over Republican Craig Wolf, with 12 percent undecided. I am very disappointed to hear that result. With Wolf running a strong campaign, having the endorsement of Hogan and the unpopularity of Frosh; I thought Wolf would be in striking distance of Frosh. If Wolf was only down 10 to 15 points, then he could make a run in the final weeks. I am afraid that 32 points might be too insurmountable for Wolf.

In addition to the Governor and Attorney General races, the poll was conducted for the U.S. Senate race here in Maryland. Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin was shown with a 56 to 17 percent lead over Republican Tony Campbell. Independent candidate Neal Simon was listed with eight percent of the vote. There were 14 percent undecided and the Libertarian candidate Arvin Vohra was recorded with one percent of the vote.

If you add up Campbell and Simon’s numbers it would show Cardin winning 56 to 25, which is almost identical to Frosh beating Wolf 58 to 26. So the GOP’s fear of Simon cutting into Campbell’s votes are true, but this splitting of the vote would be more significant if Cardin had numbers around 36, Campbell had 27 and Simon had 18 percent.

The biggest takeaway from the Senate and Attorney General races is that Hogan’s coattails are not transferring over in these races. Especially for Craig Wolf who has been spending and raising money. I am hoping that GOP candidates in the state Senate and House of Delegate races have better luck benefiting from those Hogan coattails.

Thanks to Goucher College for conducting the poll. By the way, when will a Baltimore County Executive race poll be conducted?

Miele Campaign Criticizes Klausmeier over Hogan Mailer


Some residents across the 8th District received a mailer (pictured) sent out by Sen. Kathy Klausmeier that appeared to imply that she was endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan. The mailer stated “Kathy Klausmeier is Working With Governor Hogan For a Better Baltimore County ” This is similar to the mailer that I received back in the summer that showed a picture of Klausmeier and Hogan, but her Republican challenger Del. Christian Miele and his team claim this mailer went a step further and gave the appearance that Hogan is a Klausmeier supporter.

“This is the problem with career politicians; they will say just about anything to get elected,” Miele said in a statement.
Miele also posted pictured of Hogan and himself and posted the video where Hogan endorsed him at his kickoff event in 2017.

“[The Klausmeier mailed suggested] that she has worked closely with and is being supported by Governor Larry Hogan. Specifically, she boasts about repealing the very taxes that she voted to create, including the Rain Tax and 41 other O’Malley tax and fee increases.”

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Klausmeier, many of the Democrats are trying not to be tied to their gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous. The only way to do that is to show partisanship by claiming that you are willing to work with Hogan, but Democrats can only go so far.

Miele is endorsed by Hogan and Miele also pointed out many times where Klausmeier went against the Governor. The mailer also tries to make Klausmeier look independent from the Democratic establishment, but Miele explained that is far from the truth.

“This mailer was paid for by the same party bosses that she claims to have stood up to! How do we know this? Look at the legal authority line: “By Authority: Maryland Democratic Senate Caucus Committee,” a committee controlled by Senate President Mike Miller, the chief party boss in Annapolis,” Miele explained. “Are voters really supposed to believe that the party bosses are supporting someone who has opposed them politically? Unbelievable!”

In my opinion, it appears that Klausmeier is worried about Miele and she should be worried. There was an early poll last year where Klausmeier was beating Miele in a head-to-head matchup. However; when it was made known by the pollster that Hogan endorsed Miele, the race was closer. To his credit, Miele went out a placed signs in District 8 with his picture with Hogan’s to inform that he is being endorsed by the Governor.

It appears that hard work and strategy is now paying off for Miele.

Lack of AC Becoming an Issue Again in Baltimore County

We remember the air conditioning controversy during 2016 when Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot wanted to give non-AC Baltimore County schools funding to install single classroom AC units until central air projects were completely in those schools. At the time, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz refused the plan calling for portable units and called it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The late county executive’s plan called for an accelerated schedule to get all 20 non-AC schools climate control by 2021.

The heat in September 2017 was not as excessive as September 2016 and none of the non-AC schools had to close.

That has not been the case the first two days into the school year. Even a later start after Labor Day could not prevent a heat wave. Now there are only 10 schools that are part of the closure but many argue that is still 10 too many.

In Dundalk, there are three non-AC elementary schools that are being rebuilt but those students will suffer in the meantime at their old schools. With the closures, many are pointing the blame to the Kamenetz/ Don Mohler Administration.

“The status quo in Baltimore County has failed our students. It’s time to move in a new direction,” GOP County Executive candidate Al Redmer said in a statement about the schools closing.
Hogan also criticized both Baltimore City and County for still having to close schools for lack of climate control.

“It is completely unacceptable that some schools in the same two jurisdictions are back in this same position this year, starting the school year with no air conditioning when we have been pushing them to fix it for years,” Hogan told the Baltimore Sun.

Air Conditioning in Baltimore County Public Schools was not supposed to be a campaign issue, but then the temperature decided to soar into the high 90s after Labor Day.

Baltimore County GOP Responds After Democratic Attack

It’s not even Labor Day and the first official local shot has been fired between the Democrats and Republicans for the November election.

Colleen Ebacher, who is challenging 3rd District Councilman Wade Kach, took a photo from 8th District Senate candidate Christian Miele’s event from last Tuesday night.

The photo featured Gov. Larry Hogan, GOP County Executive nominee Al Redmer, Councilman David Marks, Miele, Del. Joe Cluster, Delegate candidate Joe Norman, County Council candidate Ryan Nawrocki and former Delegate John Cluster. Ebacher used the photo for an online ad where she stated “Its 2018 not 1958. It’s time for political leadership that looks like Baltimore County.”

The Baltimore County Republican Club responded with a social media response that featured some of its candidates that feature women and minorities.

“Today, a partisan Democrat running for the Baltimore County Council attacked our Republican team. Here’s a look at some of candidates running for our Baltimore County Republican Party–men and women of many backgrounds,” said the statement from the BCGOP.

“We agree that it’s not 1958 in Baltimore County, when one party ruled local government. We need all types of diversity in Baltimore County, and that includes the robust debate that comes from two strong political parties. Let’s not go back.”

Some of the pictured candidates included Del. Kathy Szelgia, Houses candidates Laura Aiken and Melanie Harris, Congressional candidate Liz Matory, Council candidate Mike Lee and Clerk of the Circuit Court candidate Deb Hill.

The irony is that Kach was mentioned in the photo as “not pictured” because this event was not in his district. So basically Ebacher took an indirect shot at Kach by criticizing members of another district. That is the best she can do?