Editorial: What’s missing from this photo?
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 4th November 2018
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This photo speaks a thousand behind-the-scenes words. (Photo credit: Ann Costantino/The Baltimore Post)

As the publisher of the Baltimore Post, it is my job to cover the news, and to do so truthfully.

The Baltimore Post has always tried to be fair in covering one of the most divisive political campaigns in modern times. Often times, that was not easily done, especially considering all of the dodging and weaving going on by the various candidates seeking their ultimate goal–power.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ann Costantino is one of the most respected reporters in this town. Her research goes well beyond the pale in seeking the truth, as well as her ability to be completely unbiased in her reporting.

Ann’s most recent article, Energy and enthusiasm at ‘Get Out the Vote’ rally for Johnny Olszewski, with promise of a ‘new day,’  featured a photo that took me by surprise. I was expecting a family portrait of the candidate with his father–former Baltimore County Councilman John Olszewski, Sr.–as well as his wife and daughter.

But those family members were nowhere to be found. Also conspicuous by their absence were other prominent Democrats.

This was part of the Olszewski mantra, reinventing a political agenda that didn’t stop–even after the startling upset in the 2014 senate race.

So, when I saw the photo and the transformation from a well-oiled political campaign to a version based on reality, my first thought was, “Could it be too late?”

The Baltimore Post does not endorse political candidates, but we have no compunction about writing the truth. We go through a great deal of time and effort to make sure our facts can be verified through documentation including emails, videotapes, and other mainstream media coverage.

I’m quite sure that when Johnny O lost his bid to become state senator representing the 6th District to a virtually unknown candidate, many people felt the era of the Olszewski dynasty was over.

Then I heard about a comment made by John Sr. right after his son’s devastating loss. The elder Olszewski was overheard saying that his son would become the next Baltimore County Executive. I thought that statement was inappropriate, and it showed an insight into the minds of those seeking power at any cost.

You see, folks, Johnny O never stopped replenishing his campaign coffers. (For more information on that, please read Ann’s well-investigated article about campaign contributions.

Maybe I’m wrong in my assumption, but somewhere in this mix of humility is the understanding of an almost certain victory that turned into a devastating defeat. There seemed to be no thoughts of contrition as to what led to, at the time, one of the biggest political upsets the state’s history. Johnny O had the backing of then Gov. Martin O’Malley, along with just about every other top democratic political official on the east side of the county.

There is much speculation about how Johnny O lost to now incumbent Senator Johnny Salling, but we will digress about that and instead focus on how a family dynasty rose up again from the ashes of a political upset.

I knew something was amiss even before the Olszewski’s were strategizing their campaign tactics in an effort to reinvent their candidate. I was writing about the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation and their close ties to the Olszewski family when I happened to mention that Johnny O’s wife was a board member of the DRC. Following that, I received a rather scathing email informing me to keep Johnny O’s family out of the mix.

With that in mind, I became suspicious when I saw the photo of Johnny O with his reinvented persona that included his wife and young daughter. In fact, when one of my columns used the Facebook image of the reinvented Johnny O taken from his political site, I was forced to remove it under a threat of copyright infringement.

In my humble opinion, this is how Johnny O restarted his once DOA political career.

The father and son duo decided to retool Johnny O’s entire image by casting him as a young progressive Democrat who went to the west side of Baltimore County and promised to make education his major campaign theme, kindred to the socialist democratic movement. To be quite frank, Johnny O relished in the image of a progressive Democrat who was not going to be a team player, especially when he failed to back Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate for governor. Below is one of the only known photographs of the two that we could find.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com

I also object to Johnny O interjecting his wife and daughter into the political scene, which many people know can get very ugly. As the below photo illustrates, Johnny O and his father were, until recently, inseparable at photo ops.

From left: Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler, Johnny O, and John Sr. holding Johnny O’s daughter. (Photo credit: East County Times)

Despite all of that, our featured image shows no one standing next to Johnny O. This is perplexing since Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger was present, as was another liberal Democrat, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. And where was John Sr. and the rest of Johnny O’s family?

Could the new mantra for the Democratic Party now include the words “Socialist/Progressive” as a way to seize back control?

I also believe that, if it wasn’t for Jim Smith, Johnny O would not be standing in front of the podium. You may want to read this article from The Baltimore Brew.

We also know that Johnny O and his father were elected officials during the years of the Dr. Dallas Dance debacle. One would think that Johnny O should have a greater insight into matters of education and political impact, but the evidence suggests otherwise. The new Dundalk High School was supposed to be the ultimate achievement, at least according to Johnny O, but again the facts have proven otherwise.

At the time this article was written, John Sr. and Johnny O were in powerful positions in both state and local government.

There’s one more photo I will mention before ending this editorial. In my opinion, this photo sums up some very interesting insight into this into what I believe is the true tale of the Olszewski political dynasty.

Photo Credit: The Dundalk Eagle

With all of that said, it is up for you, the voter, to make your own decision. People may question why I chose to write this column. Simply put, I believe Johnny O’s campaign efforts are nothing more than a façade, and I felt the need to make this clear before you cast your vote on Election Day.