With all the problems facing Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and the entire state of Maryland, one would think the first comments made by newly elected House Speaker Adrian Jones would have been erudite.
Instead, the comments amounted to nothing short of a doozy.
Del. Jones is the first African-American woman to be elected as the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, one of the most powerful positions in state government. However, Del. Jones used one of her first important speeches to ignore all of the problems happening today and instead request the removal of another Civil War monument.
This was not the first time that Del. Jones, a Democrat from Baltimore County, has entered into some very politically dangerous territory. Before being elected Speaker of the House after the death of Michael Busch, Del. Jones was no stranger to controversy.
Her first political gaffe, exclusively reported by The Baltimore Post, occurred when she was appointed to a panel that interviewed prospective candidates for promotion in the Baltimore County Police Department.
University of Maryland Law Professor Abraham Dash referred to Del. Jones’ conduct as unethical:
Professor Dash stated, “It would be unethical for a legislator to participate in the promotion and hiring decisions of executive employees.” Professor Dash further stated that “this is a violation of the separation of powers from the legislature being involved in executive decisions.
Another situation dealt with the termination of a Baltimore County employee. At the time of the incident, Del. Jones was involved with the Human Resources Department in Baltimore County.
The Baltimore Post reported exclusively on the termination of that county employee, and the following quote may provide some more insight into the judgment of Maryland’s House Speaker:
According to Ms. Grant, she then went to Human Resources and spoke to State Del. Adrienne Jones who was appointed to the Department of Human Resources by Police Chief Jim Johnson. The reason for Klunk’s abusive behavior, according to Ms. Grant, was that Del. Jones said Mr. Klunk was a no-nonsense guy. Del. Jones also advised her to go back to work. Del. Jones also sits on the police promotional board which I also wrote about.
Despite all of Ms. Grant’s efforts, she was still terminated from her position in Baltimore County.
What is especially troubling regarding the Speaker’s demand to remove the Civil War Plaque from the grounds of the Maryland State House is the following quote, which is long on fallacies and short on the truth:
“The message projected by this plaque does not seek to correctly document history but instead sympathizes with Confederate motivations and memorializes Confederate soldiers,” she wrote.
Did Speaker Jones not study her history before making such a ludicrous remark? Was she not aware that southern Democrats supported slavery during the time of the Civil War? Was she not also aware that hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers gave their lives to end slavery?
The Baltimore Post strongly believes that any politician who seeks to polarize their constituents by making such lame statements should, at the very least, understand the subject they are referencing. This type of behavior becomes excruciatingly embarrassing when the story makes national news.
The Post hopes that our newly elected House Speaker learned an important lesson: to not speak with “forked tongue.”