Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Allan Kittleman – New Minority Whip

Posted by Ed C on Friday, December 8, 2006

The Examiner – Senate Republicans deadlock on new leader reports that Howard County Senator Allan Kittleman has been selected by the Republicans in Annapolis to be the new minority whip.

The contest for the leadership position is deadlocked between two candidates:

  • David Brinkley – Carrol and Frederick counties
  • Andrew Harris – Baltimore and Harford counties

The leadership position may be decided in a week or so.

Way to go Sen. Kittleman.

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42 Responses to “Allan Kittleman – New Minority Whip”

  1. Congratulations Allan! A good choice. Allan is a reasonable person who can work with the Democrats.

  2. Freemarket said

    I would hope that any elected Republican is reasonable and can work with Democrats. That’s not a selling point. That is a bare minimum level of acceptability. I think the stunt Kittleman pulled by misrepresenting Jim Robey’s involvement in the worker’s compensation issue regarding auxiliary police is inexcusable. Has Allan apologized to Robey for that yet?

  3. MBT said

    wow – Kasemeyer is the Majority leader too! – we have some clout in Howard County in the Senate!

    Congrats as well to Allan!

    Freemarket – why should he apologize for telling the truth? He is a worker’s comp attorney and knows the field very well. There was no basis for the county’s handling of the matter. It is a disgrace on the county, under Jim Robey’s watch, that the officer did not have coverage. If Robey wants to take credit for all the good stuff, he needs to take responsiblity too. The county was under no obligation to appeal – and Jim Robey knew what was going on – if he didn’t, he was either lying or he was incompetent. This was a well-publicized case, and Robey always made a point of his special interest in the police force, since he was the former chief – as he should.

    And why are the Republicans the only ones who have to be bipartisan? I don’t see much of an effort on the part of the Dems to be bipartisan. Oh, I forgot, Dems are the only ones who have a right to an opinion. Silly me – I’m so stupid and uneducated as a Republican, I forgot that our opinions are wrong and the Dems are always right.

  4. numbersgirl said

    re: “I’m so stupid and uneducated as a Republican, I forgot that our opinions are wrong and the Dems are always right.”

    Uh, really? I can’t even count the number of times on this blog that it has been said that democrats are misguided, uninformed, ignorant, etc.

    As for your comments on Robey, not all of the county’s happenings are under his control. It’s called checks and balances. He had no control over Raquel Sanudo, and that is the way it should be. And you are right, the county didn’t have to appeal. And it didn’t. Are you going to give him credit for that, if you blame him for the rest of the situation?

    Kittleman had no right to parade an accident victim around. It was a disgusting political stunt.

  5. Freemarket said

    MBT- I am not a Republican or a Democrat. This issue has noting to do with Republicans or Democrats. For you to imply that I think Democrats are the only ones entitled to an opinion and that Republicans are always wrong is both incorrect and disrespectful to me. It seems to me that you have a misunderstanding of what went down. Robey had no authority in the County’s decision to initially deny the workers compensation claim by the injured officer. That is good- that means the checks and balances are working. The county could have appealed the decision of the worker’s compensation commission to provide benefits to the officer anyway, but the county chose not to. Allan Kittleman made it sound as if Jim Robey personally did everything in his power to cheat the injured officer out of benefits. That is clearly not the case by any stretch. For Robey’s name to even come up in this matter is a complete red herring. That is not fundamentally different than saying that this happened on Ehrich’s watch or George W’s watch.

  6. Kittleman had no reason to politicize the issue – he was going to be re-elected anyway.

    Did Robey say “Don’t give this guy benefits”? Probably not. Did Robey say “Leave this alone. We need to care for this officer.”? It doesn’t appear as though he did. He had the power to intervene and he did not. That is the point. Personally, I think Robey has been AWOL for the last 2 years and didn’t know what was going on.

    He stood up because it was the right thing to do.

  7. Ed C said

    4. Numbersgirl

    “Uh, really? I can’t even count the number of times on this blog that it has been said that democrats are misguided, uninformed, ignorant, etc.”

    Because they are. 😉

  8. Hayduke said

    Another home run! Keep swinging for those fences. :-0

  9. numbersgirl said

    No, David, the right thing to do is to let the appointed admistrators do their jobs. If Robey had used his political influence in any other setting, you’d be furious and ranting about that.

  10. MBT said

    Numbersgirls and Freemarket – this has already been discussed: https://hocomd.wordpress.com/2006/10/12/jim-robeys-vision-of-quality-of-life/

    The county did not have to fight it to begin with. “Checks and balances,” which you are fond of posting, Numbersgirl, refers to the executive/legislative/judicial branches of government, not to agencies within the executive branch. This was claerly a decision wihtin the executve branch. Robey always extols his leadership when good things happen in the county – as he should – but he also takes repsonsibility when things go wrong – that is what good leaders do. Or perhaps David is correct – I’m not sure which is worse.

    Freemarket – please don’t put words in my mouth – I did not accuse you of saying anything, but there seems to be a feeling on the left – whether they be Dems or whatever, that conservatives are wrong and uneducated – I have had the comments made to me on numerous occasions. I don’t approve of ad hominem attacks from anyone. So daon’t take offense – none was intended.

    As for W or Ehrlich – it seems to me there was quite a bit of blame going on (or still is) on that front too – some deserved, some not.

    If both of you (Freemarket and Numbersgirl) are so sure of what happened behind the scene, perhaps you would like to inform us what official position you are representing. I have to take my information from the press.

  11. MBT said

    Heyduke – not fences – windmills, or at least, that is how it feels sometimes!! 🙂

  12. Freemarket said

    “If both of you (Freemarket and Numbersgirl) are so sure of what happened behind the scene, perhaps you would like to inform us what official position you are representing. I have to take my information from the press.”

    OK, then how does Kittleman know what happened behind the scenes? He is certainly not getting his info from the press. He is trying to influence the press with his letter to the editor. Keep in mind, Kittleman has no evidence of Robey’s involvement, it is pure speculation.

  13. Freemarket said

    “Checks and balances,” which you are fond of posting, Numbersgirl, refers to the executive/legislative/judicial branches of government, not to agencies within the executive branch.

    OK, so call it “internal controls” instead. The point is that Robey can’t just railroad any procedure within the executive branch so that he can get his way. He had no say in this matter.

  14. Numbers,

    It would not have been political influence on the part of Robey. It would have been doing his job and providing the oversight he was elected to provide.

    How would that have been political.

  15. MBT said

    David – very good point!

    It appears that Freemarket answered my question with a question.

  16. Freemarket said

    MBT, you are unbelievable. To answer your question, I represent the lollypop league. Welcome to Munchkinland!

  17. MBT said

    Freemarket – but you love me anyway! 🙂

    Lollypop league – sounds like something from Candyland – great kids game, by the way!

  18. Freemarket said

    It was from Wizard of Oz. I actually botched it, I should have said “Lollypop guild”. The other one was “Lullaby league”. I think those were supposed to represent labor unions to those who think Wizard of Oz is a parable on populism.

  19. MBT said

    Freemarket, Actually, the Wizard of Oz was my favorite childhood movie, so to me, it is an enjoyable skip down the nostalgic yellow brick road. I will leave the political analysis of it to the talking heads – I will just continue to enjoy it as a fun movie! (although I must confess that the tornado scene really scared my as a kid (or perhaps “scarred?”) – so there’s my public confession! 🙂 )

  20. timactual said

    “No, David, the right thing to do is to let the appointed admistrators do their jobs.”

    If the appointed administrators are going to make all the decisions, why do we have a County Executive? Who keeps an eye on the appointed administrators? Why, for that matter, have any elected officials at all?

  21. Allan Kittleman said

    In an earlier post, it was stated that County Executive Robey had no control over County Administrator Raquel Sanudo. It is my understanding that the County Administrator serves at the pleasure of the County Executive. Therefore, the County Executive has complete control over the County Administrator. If the County Administrator does not follow the direction of the County Executive, then he has the power to remove her from her position [just like he could the head of any county department].

    With respect to the workers’ compensation issue, Howard County is self-insured. Therefore, an insurance company is not involved in the decision to accept or deny a claim. The decision to accept or deny Officer Lucas’ claim was soley within the discretion of Howard County. I practiced workers’ compensation law for over 15 years. In fact, the law firm that I joined right out of law school represented Howard County in workers’ compensation matters. It was always up to the County to make the final determination on whether to fight or pay a claim.

    If anyone believes that County Executive Robey did not know that Officer Lucas filed a workers’ compensation claim and that it was being denied by the County, then I have oceanfront property to sell you in Iowa. Since the County had the discretion to accept or deny the claim, upon hearing that the claim was being denied, County Executive Robey should have told Ms. Sanudo to accept the claim. There was no legal requirement to deny the claim. The County did not have to argue that Officer Lucas was not a county employee at the time of his accident. It would have been more than reasonable for the County to have simply accepted the claim [over 90% of all workers’ compensation claims are accepted by the insurance company or the self-insured employer]. If you read the transcript of Officer Lucas’ workers’ compensation hearing and you understood the criteria used in determining whether an individual is a “covered employee”, then I believe that you would agree that Officer Lucas’ claim should have been accepted by Howard County.

    It was also stated that I “had no right to parade an accident victim around.” I purposely did not “parade around” anyone. I contacted Officer Lucas to let him and his family know about the proposed legislation just in case he or his family were contacted by the press. I did not invite Officer Lucas to the press conference where Delegates Bates and Miller and I announced the proposed legislation. In fact, other than seeing him at the ground breaking ceremony for the West Friendship VFD, I have not seen or spoken to Officer Lucas since the press conference. Clearly, I was not “parading around” anyone.

    I believe that this legislation is necessary to ensure that no other auxilary police officers have to go through what Officer Lucas went through to get his workers’ compensation benefits. Hopefully, this legislation will be approved by the Howard County State Delegation during the 2007 General Assembly Session.

  22. Allan,

    Thanks for your response. I would hope that the new County Executive and the new County Council will endorese the legislation (though it is not necessary) so that the Howard County State Delegation feels some additional pressure to approve the legislation.

    When will the State Delegation be considering this legislation?

    David

  23. Freemarket said

    Last time this was kicked around, Allan Kittleman commented that an outside company was the decision maker that initially rejected the claim. Now it sounds as if Mrs. Sanudo was the one that rejected the claim. I am confused, who took an active role in rejecting the claim? Who argued on behalf of the County at the worker’s compensation hearing?

    Kittleman’s arguments do not pass the smell test. If Robey tried to “screw” this officer as Kittleman’s letter to the editor states, there would be, and should be, a revolt of county employees against the Robey administration. Instead, the police and fire unions backed Ulman, who has close political ties to Robey. What is going on here?

  24. bsflag2007 said

    I wouldn’t pretend to know what actually happened here – but it is likely both versions of events are true.

    Even a “self-insured” entity contracts with an insurance company to administer its’ benefits. It may well be the original claim was rejected by some processor at the outside company.
    Then, it was pobably either appealed, or even informally re-evaluated after a phone call — and passed through several other relatively disinterested sets of hands long before the County Executive or County Administrator, or anyone under their direct control ever heard of it.

    How the County folks responded once they were clearly and directly notified by the poor treatment from the insurance company is the important thing.

    Cindy V.

  25. Allan Kittleman said

    In response to David’s question, the Howard County State Delegation will be holding a public hearing on local legislation on January 11, 2007 at 7 pm. The public hearing will be held in the George Howard Building [in the Banneker Room]. I hope everyone who either supports or opposes this legislation will come out and express their opinion.

    In response to Freemarket, Howard County uses what they call a “third party administrator” to adjust their claims [they basically outsource the adjusting of workers’ compensation claims]. However, Howard County still has the final say on whether to accept any claim. The third party administrator will consult with the County to investigate the claim. They may provide a recommendation on whether to accept or deny the claim. Regardless of the recommendation, since Howard County is self-insured, it determines whether to pay the benefits or force the injured worker to go to a hearing. Howard County is not bound by the third party administrator’s recommendation. In the Howard Sun article on this issue, Raquel Sanudo acknowledged that Howard County denied Officer Lucas’ claim. She stated that the County had an obligation to contest the claim. Although the County did not have any such legal obligation, her statement demonstrates that the County made the decision to fight the claim.

    With regard to the police union supporting Ken Ulman. First, Councilman Ulman had no authority over the County’s decision to contest Officer Lucas’ claim in 2005. Therefore, there would be no reason to oppose him in his race for County Executive. Second, when was the last time you recall the police union endorsing a Republican for County Executive. It seldom, if ever, happens.

    Finally, when I discussed this legislation with Officer Lucas’ family, they thanked Delegates Bates and Miller and me for sponsoring it. Officer Lucas’ mother told me that she wanted to make sure that no other officer is treated the way her son was treated. I think that statement says it all.

  26. gnutp said

    Thanks Allan for the clarification!

  27. Freemarket said

    Yes, thanks to Allan for the clarification. If all the facts are on the table, it seems that Robey’s administration does not understand worker’s compensation as it relates to auxiliary police, which in inexcusable. Robey’s administration may have been guilty of incompetence in their handling of this matter, but definitely not of malice which Kittleman’s letter to the editor clearly implies. At any rate, this is a very sad situation. One of the worst parts of this tragedy is that the legislation that would have prevented the initial denial of the claim in the first place is just a single sentence long.

  28. bsflag2007 said

    With all due respect, Mr. Kittleman, I think you lose some credibility when you make the following overly broad statements:

    “….Howard County is self-insured. Therefore, an insurance company is not involved in the decision to accept or deny a claim…”

    this is not quite accurate, is it? It is the job of the hird party administrator to do exactly this — process, then accept or deny a claim….

    “….The decision to accept or deny Officer Lucas’ claim was soley within the discretion of Howard County….”

    again- while it is true that the “client” ultimately sets the rules, and can override decisions — the process is set up for the third party administrator to handle these routine tasks. It is only after the third party administrator has made a decision that needs to be appealed that the “client” needs to get involved – is that not true?

    “It was always up to the County to make the final determination on whether to fight or pay a claim.”

    That is the point. The decision to fight or pay.

    “Since the County had the discretion to accept or deny the claim, upon hearing that the claim was being denied, County Executive Robey should have told Ms. Sanudo to accept the claim. There was no legal requirement to deny the claim.”

    The troubling thing to me was a comment where it was implied that the county had some kind of duty/policy to fight any and all claims.

    That is absurd. The county has an obligation to its employees to honor basic principles of fairness…. and it has an obligation to the taxpayers not to spend resources litigating on the “wrong” side of these issues.

    Note to all public figures— when you have a winning argument, don’t botch it with fudged/exxagerated details.

    cindy vaillancourt

  29. Sally Sue said

    Excuse me FreeMarket but since you are asking for apologies, when will you apologize for your nasty tone and namecalling on this blog site. You seem to be a bit full of yourself asking for apologies when all you do is run others down. As the self appointed blog marm you should try to hold yourself to the same standard that you hold others too!

  30. Freemarket said

    Nasty tone? Name calling? All I do is run others down? Full of myself? Do you have any examples of these accusations or do you just like to type? Believe me, I hold myself to a much higher standard than I hold others to. I like how you accuse me of name calling and then refer to me a “blog marm”. I would not say your tone was very respectful either. You should change your name to “Hypocrite Hank”.

  31. Given Allan’s profession and experience I will defer to his judgement on this matter. He is as close to a subject matter expert as we are going to get on this subject and on this blog. If anyone knows a workers compensation lawyer or third party administrator please invite them to comment.

    Sally Sue, in defense of Freemarket. His/Her comments are typically very respectful. I have not any attacks or name calling on his/her part. He/she may disagree but usually does so with respectful appreciation for a difference of opinion.

    Freemarket, I don’t think Allan Kittleman is accusing Robey or his administration of malice. I think he is saying (and I agree) they were indifferent to Officer Lucas’ plight.

  32. timactual said

    “Nasty tone? Name calling? All I do is run others down? Full of myself? Do you have any examples of these accusations or do you just like to type?”

    Will these three quotes do?

    ” I think the stunt Kittleman pulled by misrepresenting Jim Robey’s involvement in the worker’s compensation issue regarding auxiliary police is inexcusable. Has Allan apologized to Robey for that yet?”

    “Allan Kittleman made it sound as if Jim Robey personally did everything in his power to cheat the injured officer out of benefits.”

    “… but definitely not of malice which Kittleman’s letter to the editor clearly implies”

  33. Freemarket said

    Timactual- I don’t see how any of those quotes are in any way nasty. I still believe that Kittleman’s letter to the editor was inappropriate because it alleged that Robey acted with malice towards an injured officer when it should have alleged that his administration was incompetent in their knowledge of worker’s compensation coverage. In my view, there is a colossal difference between ineptness and malice.

    Also, Timactual and Sally Sue, I like to hear your thoughts on Ed C.’s comment number 7 above. Are you using the same measuring stick to judge me as you use to judge Ed C?

  34. Ed C said

    #33 “I like to hear your thoughts on Ed C.’s comment number 7 above. Are you using the same measuring stick to judge me as you use to judge Ed C?”

    Hey, I used a smiley face – the International symbol for sarcasm.

  35. bsflag2007 said

    You all seem to have some history that does not concern me – but I am struck by the repetative nature of the initiating comments.

    For your consideration – I seem to be on the emailing lists of several elderly relatives with a lot of time on their hands. The funny thing is that if I wait long enough – every “joke” “insult” “clever anecdote” that comes my way about one “party” will eventually come through – virtually word for word – about the other “party”.

    The truth is – there is plenty of ignorance, stupidity, ineptitude, hypocracy, and corruption to go around – so technically, you’re all right…. though I am reminded of old sayings about “throwing stones” – take your pick.

    Cindy V.

  36. Ok. The he said she said portion of the discussion needs to end. Please stay on topic.

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  38. timactual said

    “I still believe that Kittleman’s letter to the editor was inappropriate because it alleged that Robey acted with malice towards an injured officer”

    Perhaps if you could quote the relevant passage where Mr. Kittleman made these allegations of malice, any misunderstandings would be cleared up.

  39. Freemarket said

    No problem. These quotes are pulled right from Kittleman’s letter:

    “Instead, Mr. Robey deliberately chose to deny Officer Lucas’ claim.”

    “Mr. Robey did everything in his power to stop Officer Lucas from receiving workers’ compensation benefits”

  40. timactual said

    Sorry, that doesn’t say anything about Robey’s acting with malice toward the officer.

    By the way, the definition of malice I am using is something like this—

    malice;”feeling a need to see others suffer”
    “malevolence: the quality of threatening evil”

    I myself am perfectly willing to assume that Robey made a deliberate decision to deny benefits for some reason other than a desire to make the officer suffer.

  41. Freemarket said

    Timactual- if you think Kittleman’s letter accurately reflects Robey’s attitude and intentions toward the injured officer, we will just have to disagree. Your arguments amount to nothing more than partisan rationalizations and don’t feel like arguing about it any further. I sometimes forget that this blog is a partisan op-ed piece, which is perfectly fine, but it is not the place to broach issues like this. People with dissenting opinions are held to the highest standards imaginable, whereas those who blindly follow the ideals of the Republican leaders are given a free pass. Ken Ulman’s resume is looked at under a microscope, but I simply tried to ask questions to understand the nature of this situation and I was accused of being a “nasty” and engaging in “name-calling”. Before Kittleman, who has 15 years experience with worker’s compensation matters, clarified exactly why Robey was in the wrong I doubt most readers of this blog even understood. I understand that no everyone who posts and comments on this blog share your uncritical view of the Republican Party, but I find those who do extremely arrogant and intellectually lazy.

  42. timactual said

    “if you think Kittleman’s letter accurately reflects Robey’s attitude and intentions toward the injured officer, we will just have to disagree.”

    Where is there any reflection, description, or characterization of Robey’s attitude toward the officer? Robey’s intentions were obvious; to deny benefits. What is your opinion of Robey’s attitude toward the officer and intentions?

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