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Friday, December 07, 2007

Del. Davis responds to Diane C. Russell

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dereck Davis <dereck_davis@hotmail.com>
Date: Dec 7, 2007 1:07 PM
Subject: RE: Del. Davis criticism of Diane C. Russell - was State Senator & Chairman of Maryland Budget and
To: "Diane C. Russell" <dcrussell@gmail.com>
Cc: "Turner, Art" <arthurturner@verizon.net>


You have a rather lengthy post that I do not have time to respond to on a line by line basis. However, I do want to clarify/respond to a couple of things you mentioned. First of all, I do not believe I have the ability to post on the discussion group. Therefore, either you or Mr. Turner have been kind enough to relay my thoughts and opinions for me. You and I both know that it is my strong desire for you to receive my responses to your opinions.

I noticed that you responded to some of my comments and added quite a few of your own. One thing I did notice is that you chose NOT to address why you hide behind a pseudonym. Why is that?

Let us not downplay RedMaryland? It is a right wing, conservative blog and you are listed as a contributor. PG Politics is listed on their "blogroll." Again, there is nothing wrong with being a member of the Republican Party or having conservative views but this organization that you are a contributing member of is dedicated to defeating Democrats. As I stated previously, the members of the discussion group should be aware of this fact as they evaluate your commentary about elected officials in Prince George's County.

You complain about the lack of a two party government in the state. Is that somehow the fault of Democrats as well? Henry David Thoreau once said, "Let every man make known what type of government would command his respect and that shall be one step towards obtaining it." Whether we like it or not, the citizens of Prince George's County and Maryland have made known what type of government they want. That is not to say things do not need improving because they do. I believe that government should be efficient and streamlined as much as possible but I have no problem with it being large enough to meet the myriad of needs that exist in our society. I am my brother's keeper.

"And I am disappointed, but not surprised, by Del. Davis' ongoing support of pork. He seems to think it is good to extort money from me to give to non-governmental charitable and other organizations. I strongly disagree--it is nothing more than theft, only it is stealing he and his colleagues have made legal ." So you think it is "pork" to support worthwhile organizations like the Mission of Love, the Lake Arbor Foundation, and the Kettering Civic Federation? Asking you to be a contributing member of our county and state does not constitute extortion. Given that extortion is a serious felony, I am dismayed that you would be so callous and flippant in your use of the term. Why is it not possible to state a position without being inflammatory?

"Ms. Russell" you have the right to criticize Prince George's County and the State of Maryland as much as you desire. That is one of the many benefits of living in a democracy such as ours. The fact remains, however, that our beloved county is the second largest in the state and is steadily growing. While we have lacked upscale amenities (which I believe has less to do with the county and more to do with some other insidious plan), it is clear we are on the upswing. While our school system has not performed to the level we expect, those same tests you referenced clearly indicate we are on an upswing. While you criticize the overall state of the county and the state of the state, it is clear that we have one of the more desirable places to live and our economy is sound (judging by our status as the wealthiest state in the nation). While I recognize there is much work to be done, I am proud to live and represent Prince George's County.

Dereck E. Davis
25th District

(p.s.-I know I said at the beginning I didn't have time but I decided to make time)

Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2007 18:01:19 -0600
From: dcrussell@gmail.com
To: arthuraturnerjr@verizon.net ; pg-politics@googlegroups.com; pg-politics@yahoogroups.com; dereck_davis@hotmail.com
Subject: Del. Davis criticism of Diane C. Russell - was State Senator & Chairman of Maryland Budget and Taxation Ulysses Currie Fundraiser - Tuesday, De]

Mr. Turner:

In the past, when Del. Davis has been unhappy with me he has written directly to me, just as I have sent him copies of things I write about him. This time he apparently wrote to you and others, but not to me.

With respect to his remarks about the Republican Party, I have several comments.

I believe strongly in two-party government, in diversity of political opinion, and in checks and balances. We do not have that in Prince George's County. More about the result later.

I'm not really a supporter of either party. What I have posted about the state and county Republican Parties over the past few years has almost always been critical. I have not criticized the state and county Republicans as much as the Democrats because there isn't much to criticize. They don't do much I disagree with because they don't have any officeholders and don't do much of anything at all.

Del. Davis mentions RedMaryland. While it is true that my last posting there was critical of our council leadership, my two previous postings, and half of all of my postings there, have been critical of Republicans--the state and county Republican Parties and Republican (non-Prince George's) delegate.

Looking at philosophical viewpoints, my opinions may well be a minority. But from the comments i see and private e-mails I receive, I suspect that viewpoints are not as great a minority opinion as voter registration might suggest.

For the record, let me say a bit about those viewpoints.

I believe in small government. Unlike Del. Davis, who apparently believes that large government bureaucracies are good, I think they are often bad, out of control, and tend to do more harm than good.

Fiscally, I am conservative and opposed to the socialist direction of the O'Malley wing of the Democratic Party. The government should not keep stealing more and more from the productive members of society and using the proceeds to reward foolish and criminal behavior. The people who receive government money, including bureaucrats, should be held accountable for getting results with that money. A bit more about that below.

Socially, I am liberal/libertarian. I am appalled by the authoritarian nanny legislators who increasingly want to control our lives, telling us what we must do and can't do. They seem to be doing quite well at making Maryland the UNFree State.

To me, the idea of government-sponsored gambling is an abomination--whether it be slots or a lottery. On the other hand, I think it is equally abominable for the state to prohibit gambling by consenting adults.

I am absolutely appalled that the Democrats are actually adding gambling to the state constitution. If they want to mess around with the constitution, they ought to have the guts to add a recall provision.

Abortion? Personally I don't think much of it, but I don't think the government should prohibit it, nor should they extort money from me to pay for it. And since it is none of the government's business, I am turned off by elected officials who make an issue of it--whether they are for or against, Republican or Democrat, they ought to butt out of people lives.

Returning to two-party government, and our lack of political diversity and checks and balances. Our one-party Democratic government has given us the highest murder rate and the worst schools in the Washington suburbs, and the second worst in the state.

I don't have the statistics at hand, but I suspect that research would show that our murder rate was lower and our schools ranked higher under our last Republican county executive.

One thing that distinguishes us from virtually all the surrounding areas with much better schools and much lower murder rates is that they all have at least some semblance of two-party government. Some are controlled by Democrats, some by Republicans, but they all seem to have a viable minority party that helps keep the majority party accountable. We don't. The same applies to the jurisdictions we seem to envy for the "upscale" shopping and restaurants they have and we lack.

And looking at accountability. Since we don't have a two-party system, it is all but impossible to hold our officials accountable for results, or to prevent them from stomping on various minority interests.

Del. Davis seems to be suggesting that school children will be among the beneficiaries of his recent tax increase. School spending has increased steadily over a number of years, but the major beneficiaries have not been children. The money has gone to educrats, consultants, and possibly unions, and of course has bought votes for the pols who keep pushing for more education spending.

But spending does not equal results!

As spending has gone up, results have not increased accordingly--students aren't learning and can't pass state tests, attendance and graduation rates remain poor. Yet Del. Davis and his ilk seem to think that taking more and more of our money to pour into a black hole of failing educrats producing children who don't learn somehow benefits the children. I don't see much effort by the legislature to hold anyone accountable for their ongoing failures to deliver results commensurate with the billions of dollars we are spending.

And I am disappointed, but not surprised, by Del. Davis' ongoing support of pork. He seems to think it is good to extort money from me to give to non-governmental charitable and other organizations. I strongly disagree--it is nothing more than theft, only it is stealing he and his colleagues have made legal.

Bur Del. Davis is right about one thing, the majority of people in Prince George's County seem quite happy with the elected officials who have brought them high taxes, high murder rates, unsafe streets, lousy schools, and downscale shopping. Those of us who think the county could do better must be a small minority.

And that's why, after over 42 years, I'm considering moving.

To: undisclosed-recipients:;
From: "ARTHUR A. TURNER, JR" <arthuraturnerjr@verizon.net>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 09:47:11 -0500
Subject: [PG-Politics] [Fwd: RE: State Senator & Chairman of Maryland Budget and Taxation
Ulysses Currie Fundraiser - Tuesday, De]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: State Senator & Chairman of Maryland Budget and Taxation Ulysses Currie Fundraiser - Tuesday, De
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 08:16:47 -0500
From: Dereck Davis <dereck_davis@hotmail.com>
To: ArthurTurner <arthurturner@verizon.net>, Senator Ulysses Currie <ulysses_currie@senate.state.md.us> ,

Diane, or whatever your name really is, I find it hard to take you seriously since you hide behind a pseudonym. To the best of my knowledge, everyone in this discussion group uses their own name when making posts. Right or wrong, they have the courage to express their opinions and stand behind them. You, on the other hand, can lob all the verbal assaults and character assassinations you so desire without any accountability whatsoever. I find that highly ironic considering that most of your posts ( i.e. Gory Prince George's) are about accountability.

Diane, I have what I believe is an important question regarding a full disclosure issue. You are a frequent critic of the elected officials in Prince George's County and the Democratic controlled legislature. I've noticed that rarely has the Republican Party at the state level received any criticism. This hardly seems like unbiased commentary to me. My question to you is whether or not you have been upfront with the members of the discussion group regarding your strong Republican ties( http://redmaryland.blogspot.com/)? There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Republican or having a certain viewpoint but I do believe this should be brought to everyone's attention so they can evaluate your commentary in the proper context. That is not to say anything you say is wrong but, judging from party registration in the county, your general philosophical viewpoint is in the minority in Prince George's County as well as the State of Maryland.

As for all the special interest benefitting from increased spending continuing to reward their benefactor, I don't think school children will be attending the fundraiser. As we all know, they constitute the vast majority of state and local budgets. I'm not sure how many police, fire and rescue personnel will be attending but I know they are beneficiaries of the state budget. I'm fairly certain representatives of several charitable organizations who receive state funding to assist the less fortunate will be there. I also believe representatives Prince George's Hospital Center as well as world renowned Johns Hopkins will be there. I could go on and on about who might be there that receives state funding but I'd rather hear who you think isn't deserving of funding and should be cut.

As always, it is a pleasure.

Dereck E. Davis
25th District

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