Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

O’Malley and Crime

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I paraphrase from the Baltimore Sun Article

Douglas M. Duncan said yesterday that the mayor's claims of overseeing the biggest drop in violent crime in the nation are "very suspect" and should be subjected to an independent audit.

Duncan also said:

O’Malley “artificially inflated crime numbers for the year before he took office to make his record look more impressive.”

“the mayor has let his political ambitions get in the way of an honest assessment of his constituents' safety.”

"Asking people to believe the numbers while they can see the problems with their own lives is not leadership,"

“…the unchecked egos that we've seen in the last few years. We need an adult in this situation. We need an adult as governor."

"It's time for an honest discussion about the crime problem in Baltimore," he said. "No playing games with numbers. No putting partisan politics ahead of the needs of people."

"…criticism is not with the people of Baltimore. It's with the people who make promises in election years and fail to deliver."

Duncan rejected O’Malley’s argument that he, as head of one of the nation's wealthiest counties, has an easier job than O'Malley. He said he has to contend with urban, suburban and rural communities in Montgomery but that he has maintained the quality of life there in a way O'Malley hasn't because of his (presumably Duncan’s)focus on education. (We know that the Mayor doesn’t take credit for Baltimore City Schools – unless it is good news).

Of course O’Malley went on the offensive

O'Malley called Duncan's attacks "desperate" and chided him for trying to advance in the polls by bashing Baltimore.

A member of the mayor's staff, who attended the Duncan event, distributed statistics afterward showing that violent crime in Montgomery County has increased 23 percent since 1999. Duncan's camp countered that overall crime in the county is down since the executive took office 11 years ago.

"He's very good at being sort of a stereo-city-basher with Governor Ehrlich," O'Malley said of Duncan and said the county executive runs a "campaign of negativity" and treats Baltimore "as if it were a pariah."

Then blamed others (surprise surprise)

He criticized the U.S. attorney's office for not prosecuting more gun cases and the governor for not being a full partner in city affairs. O'Malley said the state has "a governor that drives more golf balls than progress on public safety."

Yeah like he wants to work with Ehrlich.

What is the fuss all about?

O'Malley has repeatedly said that Baltimore's violent crime – homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults – is down "nearly 40 percent" between 1999 and 2004 – from 18,630 incidents to 11,667.

The mayor also claims that the reduction, 37.4 percent, leads the nation's big cities.

Several criminologists have said it is inaccurate to proclaim a 37.4 percent reduction unless the 2004 figures undergo the same extensive scrutiny.

O'Malley said the FBI was brought in to help with the 1999 audit to ensure an accurate benchmark from which to gauge Baltimore's progress. Still, he said he had no objection to an outside review of the numbers recorded by the city since then.

In a related article

Meanwhile, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, who has butted heads with O'Malley for years on how to handle violent crime in the city, endorsed Duncan in Baltimore.

"Cute and charismatic are qualities I look for in an actor or pop star, not qualities I look for in a governor," Jessamy said.

Jessamy said Duncan had "unquestioned integrity." She said he is honest and hardworking and has the maturity to lead the state. "Those are the qualities I look for in a public servant," she said.

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5 Responses to “O’Malley and Crime”

  1. Mark Harris said

    O’Malley will be our next Governor and I pray he seeks an even higher office. We need someone to save this country from the mess that Bush and Ehrlich have gotten us into. Mark, a patriot.

  2. Mary Smith said

    Mark,

    Does that also mean that you’re an Ulman supporter?

  3. Fran said

    I hope O’Malley does for the State of Maryland exactly what he has done for the City of Baltimore!

    It will be the death of the whacko left here in Maryland…

  4. Hayduke said

    Fran, I’m guessing you think O’Malley ran B-more into the tank (which is just your outsider’s opinion). And now you’re wishing that the same thing (whether true or not) happens to Maryland for…purely partisan reasons. You’re as bad as all the “whacko” lefties who really want the US to fail in Iraq just to make Bush look bad.

  5. Fran said

    Iraq is safer than Baltimore!
    You can get eduacated in Iraq, too.

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