Dirty money in Baltimore County politics [Letter]

June 09, 2014

I am deeply troubled by the hate mail from Connie DeJuliis that comes to my home every day.

For years, Sen. Jim Brochin has come to the yearly neighborhood meetings in my community to tell about his accomplishments after each legislative session, and he has been on the side of the community. I have not always agreed with him, but I know that he is at least honest and willing to engage in a dialogue with others.

As Mr. Brochin told The Sun last month, "my job isn't to do what Martin O'Malley tells me to do. My job isn't to do what Kevin Kamenetz tells me to. My job is to do what my constituents want me to do" ("Brochin, DeJuliis square off in redrawn north county district," May 17).

As a result of such a brave act of political independence from the Democratic Party, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and outgoing Gov. O'Malley have endorsed his opponent, Ms. DeJuliis.

The pro-DeJuliis and anti-Brochin hate mail is basically the equivalent of delivering attack ads to the doorstep of Baltimore County residents.

Whether this is happening everywhere across the district, I do not know. What I do know is that these ads, as the Teachers Association of Baltimore County recently pointed out in a letter to the Towson Times, are distortions of the truth.

Maryland resident Yara Cheikh said the same, in a letter to the editor refuting the claims of Ms. DeJuliis and saying that not only does Mr. Brochin's agenda come "from the needs of his constituents — and not political ideology" but that Mr. Brochin "doesn't argue for small government or large government, but rather for good government that serves the needs of his constituency" ("Sen. Jim Brochin doesn't serve big government," May 14). Like one showing how he worked with the community to stop the development of Towson Manor Park.

There is something that is even more disturbing about the DeJuliis hate mail. All or at least some of it is funded by an unlikely source: the New York-based 1199 Service Employees International Union Political Action Fund. Providing funding of some or all of these mailers shows that even good groups, like the SEIU, can be corrupted by the urge to inject ever increasing amounts of money in politics on behalf of their favored candidates.

This election is not about who has better political positions, but rather about ethics. Mr. Brochin is not perfect, but at least he's ethical and truthful. If Ms. DeJuliis is successful on June 24 then it will be clear that the people's voices have been drowned out by a sea of dirty money.

Burkely Hermann, Towson

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