Sadly, it seems that in most districts around the county, “the swamp” will not be drained.
The Baltimore Post first encountered Brian Weir just outside the Dundalk Police Precinct after a community meeting. That was when we learned in earnest that Mr. Weir was going to challenge incumbent Republican Councilman Todd Crandell.
We suggested to Mr. Weir that, in order to take on an incumbent, a candidate must be heard and acknowledged by the voters. Further, the candidate must gain a foothold in the public’s perception by expressing his stance on the issues and, more importantly, getting the name recognition required to make the campaign legitimate.
Mr. Weir was grandiose in his plans for an aggressive campaign against what we believe is an incompetent and unresponsive incumbent councilman. During the conversation, we implored Mr. Weir to take every opportunity to garnish public support for his campaign and expose the underbelly of political cronyism in the 7th District.
The Post also strongly suggested that Mr. Weir come out swinging with the truth as quickly as possible. Anyone follows politics knows the uphill battle needed to bring down an incumbent politician.
For those that doubt that issue, just review the recent primary and the results. Every incumbent councilperson was chosen to run for another term despite the outcries of corruption within the Baltimore County Government. There is an idiom that fits this situation quite well: “Throw the bums out … except for my bum.”
On numerous occasions, we implored Mr. Weir to take the fight directly to his opponent. We believe there are enough issues to address–such as crime, poverty, unemployment, Section 8, school violence, pay to play, and Tradepoint Atlantic–to form and consolidate a strong platform.
Also, the need for change in the 7th District became ever more apparent following the public (and disgraceful) outburst of Mr. Crandell’s legislative aide, Ron Metzger. There was no public apology issued, no reprimand of Mr. Metzger. Just the same old, same old “good ol’ boys club” mentality that gave Mr. Metzger a free pass to do what he pleases in public with no consequences.
In a repetitive–and, in hindsight, rather weak–reply to the Post, Mr. Weir kept saying he would go on the offensive when the time was right and take the fight right to his opponent’s agenda. In fact, Mr. Weir had promised the Post a written response including his agenda and his opinion on the vulgar outburst of Councilmen Crandell’s aide.
Sadly, the fighting spirit that Mr. Weir kept trumpeting never materialized into any objection to the status quo that the incumbent, Mr. Crandell, basically jammed down the throats of the 7th District voters.
Despite the promise by Mr. Weir to take the fight directly to his opponent, there is a deathly silence that emanates from a campaign that, at least according to the financial statement listed below, barely exists.
Aside from Mr. Weir, we were promised a second would-be challenger to Mr. Crandell; again, this was supposed to be someone who would take the fight directly to the Republican side of the aisle in the primary contest.
Dave Rader is someone with a strong pedigree for leadership. He has been a community leader for the New Norwood Holabird Community Association, as well as the 7th District Community Council.
Initially, Mr. Rader came out guns blazing in a very well-written op-ed piece published by the Baltimore Post.
In the primary race against Mr. Crandell, Mr. Rader was able to garnish 20% of the vote despite record low voter turnout. Mr. Rader was able to accomplish that feat with very little money and despite entering the race at a very late date.
Most of you will know where this ends up, and we will get right to the point. Mr. Rader received the now infamous video of Mr. Metzger’s vulgar and disturbing outburst against his neighbor. As always, we conducted our required research and contacted the victim of Mr. Metzger’s outburst, who confirmed the reason he sent the video to Mr. Rader was partly because he was running against Mr. Crandell.
Mr. Rader then forwarded a copy of the video to the Baltimore Post, and we published two articles on this outrageous behavior from a political aide, which we believed had crossed a line.
Out of all the elected officials, the only one who had the courage to actually comment on the subject that was 7th District Delegate Ric Metzgar. Delegate Metzgar felt that the Councilman’s aide displayed conduct that was so beyond the pale that he should have been terminated.
The Baltimore Post found out that Mr. Rader might file an ethics complaint on behalf of the citizens of the 7th District regarding Mr. Metzger’s conduct. Sadly, after waffling about filing the complaint, Mr. Rader chose not to do so.
Out of a personal courtesy, The Post will not discuss why Mr. Rader made his decision.
In the end, it now appears that there will be little–if any–challenge to Councilman Crandell’s return to office in the general election.
We will sum up Mr. Crandell’s time in office with the following video, which we have used several times, displaying the current status of the 7th District:
So there you have it, folks. Another four years headed our way of the 7th District disintegrating into the abyss of crime, poverty, Section 8, school violence, overcrowded schools, and a host of ills.
We could go on and on, but what would be the point?
Without individuals displaying the courage to take up an actual campaign without fear, then we are stuck with the status quo, same old same old.
As a late and great news commentator use to say, “And that’s the way it is.”