Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shock. Dimocrat Dealers Support Chrysler Closing Plans…I’m Shocked!!

Published on 5/28/2009 in the Riverside Press
The above ad appeared in several national newspapers this week including the The Wilmington News Journal on page A18, Thursday, May 28, 2009, and The Riverside Press.The ad is in support of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.Exit82 reported:

The ad is a full page and reads like a BS account of why the elimination of dealers was necessary, good for Chrysler, so sorry it had to happen to some of our friends, blah, blah, blah.
I believe this ad was part of a nationwide ad buy in many papers because it is written to a antional audience.
My BS meter pinged immediately.
The following people/dealers were listed at the bottom of the ad, supposedly supporting it. We should study the list to see the if they were retained and what party they donated to:
Mickey AndersonBaxter Chrysler Jeep DodgeOmaha, NE
Jim ArrigoArrigo Dodge Chrysler JeepWest Palm Beach, FL
Sid DeBoerLithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Inc.(Bingo—a Lithia member)Medford, OR
Chuck EddyBob & Chuck Eddy C-D-JAustintown, OH
Hayden ElderElder Chrysler Dodge JeepAthens, TX
Charlie FoulkeCherry Hill DodgeCherry Hill, NJ
Bill GollingGolling Chrysler Jeep, Inc.Bloomfield Hills, MI
Carlos HidalgoFolsom Lake DodgeFolsom, CA
Mike LowryAllen Samuels DodgeNorth Richland Hills, TX
Bill McSkimmingRiver Front Chrysler JeepNorth Aurora, IL
Jon MyersNaples Dodge and ChryslerNaples, FL
Eric NielsenFranklin Sussex Auto MallSussex, NJ
Andy PalmenPalmen Motors, Inc.Kenosha, WI
Gary PanteckBrunswick Auto Mart, Inc.Brunswick, OH
John SchendenPro Chrysler JeepThornton, CO
Bill ShepherdGreenbrier Chrysler JeepChesapeake, VA
Joel SpornWestbury C-JWestbury, NY
The ad also announced a website called ChryslerDealerSupport.

Here’s what was found on the dealers on the list:
1. Mickey Anderson is a GOP donor.2. Carlos Hidalgo and McSkimming gave no money to candidates, but their local Dodge competitors will be closed down. They will each be the only chrysler dealers in their areas.3. John Myers gave no money to candidates, but their local Jeep competitor will close. Myers will be the only local Chrysler dealer in the area.
Since 2007, the following dealers gave money to candidates:
1. Jim Arrigo gave $3,300 to Ron Klein (D)2. Chuck Eddy gave $500 to John Boccieri (D)3. Charles Foulke gave $6,900 to Robert Andrews (D) and $6,300 to various Democrats from 1994-20004. Andrew Palmer gave $750 to Russ Feingold (D) and $500 to Paul Ryan (R)5. John Schenden gave $900 to Joan Fitz-Gerald (D)
So the democratic dealers who were left untouched and those dealers who lost local competitors support the Chrysler closings.What a shock!
Here’s another look at the dealers from Open Secrets:
Mickey Anderson- $2,000 GOP candidatesJim Arrigo- $3,300 Dem candidatesSidney DeBoer- $18,900 Dem candidatesChuck Eddy- $500 to Dem candidatesHayden Elder- no recordCharlie Foulke- $13,000+ to Dem candidates (1993-2000)Bill Golling- no recordCarlos Hidalgo- no recordMike Lowrey- $8,050 GOP, $250 Ron PaulBill McSkimming- no recordJon Myers- $850 Dem candidatesEric Nielsen- $5,600 GOP candidatesAndrew Palmen- $750 Dem candidate (Russ Feingold)Gary Panteck- $2,500 to Car Dealers Assn.John Schenden- $900 Dem candidates, $5,000 Car Dealer Assn.Bill Shepherd- no recordJoel Sporn- no record
Conclusion: 7 gave to Dem candidates– 3 gave to GOP candidates including Ron Paul.
Josh Painter asks: “If, as the Obama apologists claim, that most car dealers are Republicans, why does the Chrysler Dealer Council have more than twice as many dealers on it who donated to Democrats than those who gave to GOP candidates?”

The ratio of donations for dealers that were shuttered was 42 to 1, GOP to Democrat.
Again here is what we know so far–** Earlier it was reported that the Obama Administration may have targeted GOP donors in deciding which Chrysler dealerships would have to close their doors.** Later it was discovered that a Big Dem Donor Group was allowed to keep all 6 Chrysler dealerships open…. And, their local competitors were eliminated.** The Auto Task Force, which includes Obama cabinet members, is reportedly calling the shots on which dealerships will close and stay open.** Steven Rattner leads The Auto Task Force and is married to the former National Finance Chair of Democratic Party, Maureen White.** The closings in several instances appear to benefit Dem donating dealers where local GOP-linked dealerships were closed.** Even Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla) lost his Chrysler dealership in Florida and found out from a colleague on the House floor.** Lithia Motor Group’s owners gave $15,000 to two Democrat candidates and support nationalized healthcare. They will likely lose just two of 29 dealerships and gain 5 more.** One report claims the odds that these Chrysler closings occurred without partisan bias are less than 1%.** After closing the 789 dealerships Chrysler announced that they are already looking to open new franchises.** Chrysler dealership owners donated to Republicans over Democrats by a ratio of 76% to 24%.** Using the list of all 789 dealerships to be closed, WND found that owners contributed $450,000 to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama.** 40 Democrat-friendly dealerships will become 42 dealerships after the dust settles. Their competition gutted as well.
Previously:Hope, Change & Marxism: Did Obama Target GOP Donors In Chrysler Dealer Closings? (Video)Shock! Big Dem Donor Group Allowed to Keep Their 6 Chrysler Dealerships Open More On Chrysler Closings– Did Team Obama Target Red Counties? Even GOP Congressman Loses Chrysler Dealership Dealergate: Mapping the Chrysler Closures Unreal. After Weeding Out Dealers Chrysler Looking To Open New Dealerships Car Czar Behind Chrysler Closings Married to Former Dem Party Leader Dealergate Number Crunching: Looking at US Dealership Political Donations Gibbs Denies Politics In Chrysler Dealership Closings **MAP** Dealergate Update: Corrupt Dem-Donating Auto Group Keeps Dealerships

From Papa Mike

Immigration Explained With Gumballs

This is a pretty good eye opener here.

White Men Blamed For Obese Black Women

Perceived racism linked to weight gain, Boston researchers say

Perceptions of racism -- from being treated with suspicion in a store to unfairness in employment or housing -- can heighten stress levels and affect health, research has shown. A new study from Boston University links these smoldering signs of racism to weight gain in black women, suggesting a possible explanation for the their higher obesity rates compared to white women.
Yvette Cozier, an epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center at BU, led a survey of more than 43,000 women enrolled in the long-running Black Women's Health Study. Writing in the June issue of Annals of Epidemiology, she and her co-authors describe participants' reports on their weight, body mass index, and perceptions of racism.
At the beginning of the eight-year study, the women were asked if they sometimes felt they were treated poorly in a restaurant or store, whether they thought people considered them dishonest or less intelligent, and if they had felt unfairness on the job, in housing, or from police. The women, 21 to 69 years old at the study's outset, were placed in four groups based on how frequently they said they experienced these signs of racism. Their weight was recorded every two years from 1997 through 2005. Their waist circumference was measured at the beginning and end.
At the end of the trial, all the women had gained weight. But the women who said they felt higher levels of racism gained more weight and had bigger waist-size increases compared to the women who felt the least racism. That held true after accounting for factors such as education, geographic region, and beginning body mass index.
"Racism is real and it has real effects," Cozier said in an interview. "It can result in real changes in the body."
Higher stress changes hormone levels that influence food choices and where in the body fat is stored, the authors write. That makes an association between the stress of racism and weight gain, particularly around the waist, fit with other research in humans and animals, they say.
Cozier said she was interested in learning whether there was another reason beyond diet and exercise that could explain why black women tend to be heavier than white women. Her study did not include white women, so a direct comparison is not possible, she said, but the unique experience of racism appears to be a potential contributor to the difference.
Her findings are in line with other research on the impact of discrimination, particularly as it relates to premature aging and high blood pressure, Dr. Joseph Betancourt, director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an interview. He was not involved in the BU study.
"We are learning more and more about the mind-body connection and the impact of perceptions of discrimination, whether they be large episodes or these micro-insults on a day-to-day basis, including walking down the street and having somebody cross over the street" to avoid you, he said. "Discrimination turns into stress and it can have an incredible impact on the body."
Clinicians should understand that racism may affect their patients in ways they might not expect, Cozier said.
"It is useful for us in America to just understand that racism hasn't gone away," she said. "It's gotten better, but it's still here."

Paper Runs Ad Calling for Obama's Assassination

A Pennsylvania newspaper should be expecting a visit from the Secret Service soon. The Warren Pennsylvania Times-Observer published an ad on Thursday that called for the assassination of President Barack Obama.

It wasn't like the ad was a want ad for an assassin; rather, it was one of those small personal ads that you might see run in the classified section of a local paper, but rather than saying something like "Happy Birthday, So-and-So," the ad said "May Obama follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley & Kennedy!" All four of those presidents, of course, were assassinated in office.

The PT-O posted an apology:

29 Years Old - 21 Kids

We all wonder why we pay so much tax yet the government stays broke, they say you may not get your SS retirement because it will run out of money. Well this is why. You think He voted Obama?

WTH For Today

YEAH!! I gotta have one



I Am the Liberal-Progressives Worst Nightmare. I am an


I am a Master Mason and believe in God.

I ride Harleys Davidson Motorcycles and believe in American


I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not

some Liberal governmental functionary be it Democratic or


I’m in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

I think owning a gun doesn’t make you a killer, it makes you a

smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized,

and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, do it in English.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when

and where they want to.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth , Roy Rogers, and

Willie G Davidson that makes the Awesome Harley Davidson


I don’t hate the rich. I don’t pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don’t waste my time watching or

arguing about it.

I’ve never owned a slave, or was a slave, I haven’t burned any

witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you!

So, shut up already.

I believe if you don’t like the way things are here, go back to

where you came from and change your own country! This is


We like it the way it is!

The Rock

This is a lone rock that sits along a highway somewhere here in the U.S. I forgot exactly where. This artist decided he wanted this rock to be something special and he went to work and performed his magic. I think this is one of the best things I have ever seen. Enjoy

Please click on the picture for a full view

Career lawyers overruled on voting case

Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews.

The incident - which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube - had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms.

Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.

The lawyers also had ascertained that one of the three men had gained access to the polling place by securing a credential as a Democratic poll watcher, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Times.

The career Justice lawyers were on the verge of securing sanctions against the men earlier this month when their superiors ordered them to reverse course, according to interviews and documents. The court had already entered a default judgment against the men on April 20.

A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday confirmed that the agency had dropped the case, dismissing two of the men from the lawsuit with no penalty and winning an order against the third man that simply prohibits him from bringing a weapon to a polling place in future elections.

The department was "successful in obtaining an injunction that prohibits the defendant who brandished a weapon outside a Philadelphia polling place from doing so again," spokesman Alejandro Miyar said. "Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law."

Mr. Miyar declined to elaborate about any internal dispute between career and political officials, saying only that the department is "committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who intimidate, threaten or coerce anyone exercising his or her sacred right to vote."

Court records reviewed by The Times show that career Justice lawyers were seeking a default judgment and penalties against the three men as recently as May 5, before abruptly ending their pursuit 10 days later.

People directly familiar with the case, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution, said career lawyers in two separate Justice offices had recommended proceeding to default judgment before political superiors overruled them.

Tensions between career lawyers and political appointees inside the Justice Department have been a sensitive matter since allegations surfaced during the Bush administration that higher-ups had ignored or reversed staff lawyers and that some U.S. attorneys had been removed or selected for political reasons.

During his January confirmation hearings, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that during his lengthy Justice Department tenure, the career lawyers were "my teachers, my colleagues and my friends" and described them as the "backbone" of the department.

"If I am confirmed as attorney general, I will listen to them, respect them and make them proud of the vital goals we will pursue together," he said.

Justice officials declined to say whether Mr. Holder or other senior Justice officials became involved in the case, saying they don't discuss internal deliberations.

The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with "a dangerous weapon"and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4.

The complaint said the three men engaged in "coercion, threats and intimidation, ... racial threats and insults, ... menacing and intimidating gestures, ... and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote." It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would "continued to violate ... the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country."

To support its evidence, the government had secured an affidavit from Bartle Bull, a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. Mr. Bull said in a sworn statement dated April 7 that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher in Philadelphia when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with a nightstick.

Inexplicably, the government did not enter the affidavit in the court case, according to the files.

"In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."

Mr. Bull said the "clear purpose" of what the Panthers were doing was to "intimidate voters with whom they did not agree." He also said he overheard one of the men tell a white poll watcher: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

He called their conduct an "outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear." He said it was a "racially motivated effort to limit both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree."

The three men named in the complaint - New Black Panther Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson - refused to appear in court to answer the accusations over a near-five month period, court records said.

Justice Department Voting Rights Section Attorney J. Christian Adams complained in one court filing about the defendants' failure to appear or to file any pleadings in the case, arguing that Mr. Jackson was "not an infant, nor is he an incompetent person as he appears capable of managing his own affairs, nor is he in the military service of the United States."

Court records show that as late as May 5, the Justice Department was still considering an order by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia to seek judgments, or sanctions, against the three Panthers because of their failure to appear.

But 10 days later, the department reversed itself and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal from the complaint for Malik Zulu Shabazz and Mr. Jackson.

That same day, the department asked for the default judgment against King Samir Shabazz, but limited the penalty to an order that he not display a "weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location on any election day in the city of Philadelphia" until Nov. 15, 2012.

Malik Zulu Shabazz is a Washington, D.C., resident.

Mr. Jackson was an elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee, and was credentialed to be at the polling place last Nov. 4 as an official Democratic Party polling observer, according to the Philadelphia City Commissioner's Office.

Efforts to reach the Panthers were unsuccessful. A telephone number listed on the New Black Panthers Web site had been disconnected.

The complaint said that the three men were deployed at the entrance to a Philadelphia polling location wearing the uniform of the New Black Panther Party and that King Samir Shabazz repeatedly brandished a police-style nightstick with a contoured grip and wrist lanyard.

According to the complaint, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Howard University Law School graduate, said the placement of King Samir Shabazz and Mr. Jackson in Philadelphia was part of a nationwide effort to deploy New Black Panther Party members at polling locations on Election Day.

The New Black Panther Party reportedly has 27 chapters operating across the United States, Britain, the Caribbean and Africa. Its Web page said it has become "a great witness to the validity of the works of the original Black Panther Party," which was founded in 1966 in Oakland, Calif.

It's still good honest folks around, here's to you Mr Crawford

It's always nice to read some good news from time to time. Mr Frank Crawford has proved to be an honest citizen on what sounds like many occasions from the write-up in the Times. Thanks Mr Crawford and to the Times for publishing this good deed. Something I'd love to see more of.

On Memorial Day, my husband and I ventured to Pittsville to pick strawberries at a wonderful "U-pick" patch. My husband paid for the berries using my wallet, while I was loading the car. We made more stops before returning home.

When we arrived at home, there was a message on our machine from Frank Crawford, saying he had found my wallet on Line Road --we did not even know the wallet was missing. Crawford found loose contents on the road, but nothing was missing. Apparently he has found many billfolds over the years and always returned them to their owners.

We were grateful and offered him a gift of appreciation, but he would accept no money. An angel in the form of Frank Crawford of Frankford was watching after us that morning and we were blessed.

Joan W. Bennett



The Miss GEICO Offshore Triple Crown Comes To Ocean City this Sunday

If you have never seen these boats race it's a sight to behold. If the wind holds and the sea is fairly calm that turbine boat will put on a show like no other. With 40+ foot long boats being pushed with almost 4000 horse power yet they are still no match for the great ocean if she decides to not cooperate. These massive vessels with their extreme power will get plenty of air. Don't miss it if you can make the trip, you wont be disappointed.

If boats took steroids, these would be the juicers. Bigger, faster and badder, these horsepower freaks, in town for the first leg of the Miss GEICO Offshore Triple Crown on Sunday, look like they ate a skipjack for lunch before devouring a catamaran for dinner.

These machines, which cost upwards of $1 million, look too pretty to touch and too fast to have been sitting still, but parked in West Ocean City's Sunset Marina, spectators were welcome to inspect the 40-foot-plus boats and talk to the crews that operate them.

"Fan-wise, Ocean City is the best race we do," said Scott Begovich, throttle man for the Miss Geico. "They have the best crowd, the most knowledgeable fans, because they are all boaters."

On Sunday, when Begovich straps into the cockpit of his 44-foot ride, the New Jersey native will have the power of two Apache helicopter engines at his fingertips. The 3,700-horsepower turbine engines, which were purchased from a military surplus supplier, will be the only of its kind entered in the race.

"It's very exciting, it's very exhilarating (to ride)," Begovich said. "It's very scary at the same time. It's a thrill like nothing else on the planet."

Just like all of the other Offshore Powerboat Association racers, Begovich's biggest concern is the weather and how choppy the waves of the Atlantic Ocean will be.

"Last year in Ocean City, it was rough," Begovich said. "It was extremely exhausting. My legs were all wobbly when I got off the boat."

This year, Begovich hopes the seas will be more cooperative.

"The forecast is calling for 2- to 3-foot waves, so that is not to bad. It should be a pretty easy day, but if it is anything bigger, then it gets to be a long day."

The weather will effect Miss Geico's speed.

"When we are running in calm water on a straight-away," Begovich said, "we will hit in excess of 190 mph. That's basically a football field a second."

At those speeds, bad things are bound to happen. Begovich has been involved in three significant crashes, but the second-generation boater has been able to walk away from all of them.

"They made some pretty cool videos though," Begovich said while chuckling. "You always have to worry about the big wave. You always have to be prepared for the big wave, but normally you don't see it coming until it is to late."

Denny's Grand, Grand Slam


Woman MADE to Remove Her Flag on Memorial Day

Ok folks, it's time to email or call to voice our opinion to the facility, One African immigrant should NOT be able to dictate on how we celebrate. if the Flag offends the African immigrant she can go back to her homeland. Wha say you?

Debbie McLucas comes from a patriotic family – her husband and both of her sons served in the U.S. military, and her daughter is currently deployed to Iraq on her second tour of duty as a combat medic.So when McLucas arrived at work at a Texas hospital last Friday, she was stunned to be told that the Stars and Stripes she had hung in her office in advance of Memorial Day were offensive, and that the flag had been removed.
“I got into work, I was met by my supervisor and told that there had been multiple complaints, that people found the flag very offensive and it had been taken down,” McLucas said.“I went to the office to retrieve it and found the flag wrapped around the pole, sitting in the corner on the ground. I was speechless.”McLucas, a supervisor at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield, Texas, had displayed the 3-by-5-foot flag in the office she shares with the hospital’s three other supervisors. McLucas said one of her colleagues, a woman who immigrated to the United States from Africa 14 years ago, complained about the flag to upper management, and the hospital decided to take down the flag.
“I was told that as long as my flag offended one person, it would be taken down,” McLucas saidShe said the hospital told her that the American flag flying outside the building would have to suffice. “I was told, ‘There is a flag hanging out front, everyone can see that one. Is that not enough?’”No, she said, that wasn’t enough.
“It is more than I can even fathom, that you would find the American flag offensive, in America,” McLucas said.

Salisbury: Local Blogger Files Ethics Complaint on Council

The Salisbury Ethics Commission has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday after a city resident and blogger filed a complaint against two councilwomen alleging they violated municipal code.

Jonathan Taylor, a 36-year-old blogger known for his Web site, The Salisbury Grinch, sent the complaint to City Administrator John Pick on Tuesday after the City Council voted on next year's budget.

The complaint states Councilwoman Terry Cohen violated the code when she voted on the budget, which includes funds for health insurance for council members. The complaint also names Councilwoman Debbie Campbell, who Taylor states advocated for the health insurance benefits during work sessions.

Campbell did not vote on the budget. She was ill, and therefore absent from the meeting, she said.

"It's a part-time job," Taylor said in an interview. "They don't need full-time benefits."

The complaint filed by Taylor references the conflict of interest section of the municipal code, which prohibits officials from participating in any "decision-making process" that would have a direct financial impact on them and prohibits them from using their position for their own or another's benefit.

Cohen and Campbell are not the only council members receiving health benefits. A third councilwoman, Shanie Shields, was not named in the complaint.

Taylor said he did not name Shields because she has publicly stated that she plans to discontinue her health insurance with the city.

Shields said she was told she had to wait for the open enrollment period, late summer or early fall, to cancel the insurance.

Taylor's complaint marks the second complaint to the Ethics Commission -- a panel of five residents appointed by the mayor and approved by the council -- regarding health benefits for city employees.

Shields asked the commission to review the council's request to vote on reinstating health benefits on May 20, but rescinded the request the following day.

"I just wanted to move forward with the budget because we had other pressing issues," Shields said.

Tensions over the more recent health insurance debate smoldered when the $27,000 allotment for the benefits for the three councilwomen were not included in former mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman's proposed 2010 budget, which she submitted before leaving office.

Funds to cover the council members' insurance made its way back into the budget by way of a $21,429 budget amendment before the vote Tuesday.

When Mayor Jim Ireton added the insurance money back into the budget, he corrected what Cohen called an "error" by Tilghman. Cohen said Tilghman did not have the authority to remove the funds without a vote by the council.

"The mayor doesn't have the authority to make policy," Cohen said. "That's what the council does. (The mayor's) job is to administer policy."

Tilghman could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

The violations Taylor references in his complaint are not applicable, Cohen said, saying, technically, she was merely voting on next year's operating budget and not specifically for the restoration of health insurance benefits.

"I didn't vote to change the policy," Cohen said. "All (I) did was vote on the budget. I voted on something that, by policy, I was legally entitled to. There's nothing unethical about voting on the budget."

Some council members said they were unclear on whether the municipal code was violated. Council President Louise Smith said she would like to set up an ad hoc committee to study the issue. Discussion about a potential committee to review the issue is tentatively scheduled for a council work session July 6.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Severe weather alert for Shore extended until 10 p.m.

Damaging wind, large hail and ground lightning are the primary threats of a severe storm system moving across the Lower Shore and into southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina until 10 p.m. Friday. The warning was previously in effect until 8 p.m.

The storm is capable of producing quarter-size hail and destructive winds in excess of 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was near Parsonsburg and moving east of Salisbury at 25 mph about 7:40 p.m.

Ground lightning also is occuring with the storm, and people should remain indoors.

All Lower Shore Maryland counties are in the storm region.

Expect lows Friday in the upper 50s.

Sunshine returns Saturday with highs in the lower 80s

Tancredo: Sotomayor Member of 'Latino KKK'

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., lashed out at Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor Thursday for her remarks suggesting that "wise Latinas" are better decision makers than white men.

Appearing on CNN, Tancredo, known mainly for his staunch opposition to giving illegal immigrants amnesty and citizenship rights, talked about Sotomayor's activism on behalf of La Raza, an immigrant rights group whose name translates literally to "The Race." He called it "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses."

The video:

Obama's Uncle: He's Using Buchenwald for Political Purpose

Barack Obama's great uncle offered some blunt language as to why his nephew is visiting the memorial at the former Buchenwald concentration camp next week during his trip to Europe and the Middle East.

“This is a trip that he chose, not because of me I'm sure, but for political reasons,” Charles Payne told the German magazine Spiegel. “Perhaps his visit also has something to do with improving his standing with (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel. She gave him a hard time during his campaign and also afterwards.”

Obama will visit Saudi Arabia, make a long-awaited speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, travel to Dresden and the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp in Germany, and attend D-Day commemorations in France. His uncle said he'd love to tag along if he gets a lift on Air Force One.

Payne, 84, is no stranger to Americans: The Obama campaign used his WWII experiences last year to burnish the candidate’s all-American upbringing. But Obama made a gaffe when he said his great uncle liberated Auschwitz. In fact, Payne was part of the force that liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, in April 1945.

Payne told Spiegel that he was shocked to see his war experience, especially his "liberation" of a concentration camp, used in campaign commercials. He said he had never spoken with his nephew about the matter, nor did Obama ever express any interest in Payne's experience.

“I was quite surprised when the whole thing came up and Barack talked about my war experiences in Nazi Germany,” Payne said. “We had never talked about that before.”

Payne doesn’t know where Obama came up with the fictitious Auschwitz connection.

“He couldn't have gotten it from me since we had never talked about this particular episode in the war,” said Payne. “My sister and her husband were both great storytellers and sometimes made up the details to go along with it.

“They told him about my deployment with the 89th Infantry Division and apparently they mixed up a few details,” Payne said. “Of course it came out immediately that he was wrong since there are enough people in America who know that Auschwitz is in the East and that the camp was liberated by the Red Army.”

After the mistake was made, Obama called Payne to get the correct details.

“He wanted to know where this camp was that I had helped liberate,” Payne said. “I told him that it was Ohrdruf and that it was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. I described a little bit of what I had seen.”

Payne stressed that he has no political ax to grind. He is a life-long Democrat, but said he isn’t particularly close to his famous relative.

“Our relationship is warm and friendly, but I'm not part of his inner circle. We always have an interesting chat when we get in the same room together. He doesn't call me up and ask what I have to say about world policy or anything. And I never offer my opinions on any of this.”

In the article, Payne described an incident very similar to what many members of the “Greatest Generation” had experienced. A young man from Kansas, he had little knowledge of the world and few opinions about Germany or foreign policy in general before landing in Europe for the liberation.

“Everybody who was able-bodied was drafted,” Payne recalled. “I went down right at the time I graduated and told the lady that ran the Selective Service office. I said, ‘I'm ready to go,’ and she said: ‘Don't you worry about it, honey. You're on the list.’ Since I had been colorblind since birth, I was first turned down by the Air Force, then by the Navy and the Marines. Only the Army didn't care and put me into the infantry.”

Raised in Kansas, Payne did his basic training at North Camp Hood, Texas.

“What did you think about the Germans at the time?” Spiegel asked him.

“I am unable to tell you what I was thinking then. That was a long time ago, and as I told you, until Barack misspoke, I hadn't thought about any of this for a very, very long time,” Payne said.

“They were the enemy, evil incarnate, and we were the good guys coming to save the world. We were all for the war. We all wanted to be in it. That doesn't mean we enjoyed being in it, though,” he said. He then described his experiences in Europe.

“At first there was no front,” he said. “Because there were no facilities for our ship, we couldn't anchor in the harbor. Le Havre had been summarily bombed. They finally took us off in the middle of the night on landing barges. It was bitter cold and snowing. There was about three or four inches of water sloshing around in the bottom. So we landed at Le Havre in bitter cold with wet feet. Soon afterwards we had a large number of people who suffered from frostbite. The camp doctors were forced to amputate fingers, toes, and feet and send these soldiers back to the United States. For them the war was over.

“Ohrdruf was in that string of towns going across, south of Gotha and Erfurt,” Payne said, describing his arrival near the concentration camp. “Our division was the first one in there. When we arrived there were no German soldiers anywhere around that I knew about. There was no fighting with the Germans, no camp guards. The whole area was overrun by people from the camp dressed in the most pitiful rags, and most of them were in a bad state of starvation. The first thing I saw was a dead body lying square in the middle of the front gate.

“Inside the gate was an area where a bunch of the camp inmates had been machine gunned and were all lying on the ground,” Payne continued. “Each one had their tin cup in their hand or lying next to them.”

The interviewer asked him to describe his feelings when he was "confronted with these images.”

Payne said he doesn’t like to think about it, and hadn’t for a long time until Obama’s gaffe caused all the harsh memories of that time to come back in force.

“You know, I am unable to tell you what I was thinking then,” Payne said. “That was a long time ago, and as I told you, until Barack misspoke, I hadn't thought about any of this for a very, very long time. In fact, I guess I prefer not to think about it. I can assure you I was horrified by the lengths to which men will go to mistreat other men. This was, to me, almost unbelievable. There was more: There were sheds full of dead bodies that had been stripped and thrown in and then stacked up on top of each other. I don't know how many, but many high and the whole length of the room. They sprinkled lime to keep the smell down. That's about the extent that I remember actually seeing.

“I am puzzled by intelligent people who stand by and allow their country to be taken over and run by extreme radical types,” Payne said. “I'm still somewhat puzzled by that. And I am fully aware that it could happen and has almost happened in this country. You know, I lived through the McCarthy era in the 1950s, when it was getting dangerously close to that sort of thing.”

Dumb Criminal, Really Dumb

The Investigation Is Over Findings But No Findings. HUH?

WOW! What a long confusing read but well worth it. I see this as proof documented by the States Attorney that the old saying holds true. "It's not what you know it's who you know"
I deeply respect our states attorney and his assistant Mr Sarver, I have met with Mr Sarver on a few occasions and he's a very nice and professional person.

What I see here is the protection of government employees and favoritism of a candidate with possible fear of the candidates campaign umm, lets call him a campaign 'engineer' Mr Eddy Lee as Ms, Cottmons campaign was clearly "engineered". Why do I say "fear"? Because Mr Eddy Lee is a big dog in the NAACP. I know our local government is afraid of the NAACP and the ACLU but I didn't know our S/A would be.

This is just another notch in the belt of corruption and trampling of voter rights that so many have fought and died to preserve. I can actually say I'm now embarrassed to be a citizen of Pocomoke. Our voting laws are written in such a way that they can be construed to favor the municipality that even Mr Sarver had to concede to multiple explanations yet favored the charter. He had too, it was written in anticipation of these kind of events.

It's a sad day to realize that the few in our government has more power than the people with a ballot and a pin. What happened to "the pin is mightier than the sword"?

The people have spoken, the gavel has dropped, the Constitution trampled, and corruption has won once again.

Will the people of Pocomoke ever wake-up and take our fine city back? Time will tell.

Read on, below is the complete results of the findings of the WCSA

From the web page of the states attorney.

For all residents, citizens, and guests of Worcester County, the Office of the State’s Attorney will, professionally and ethically, offer leadership in enforcing the rights of the public, protecting the innocent, and convicting the guilty.

Joel J. Todd
State’s Attorney

Office of the State’s
Attorney for Worcester County
One West Market Street
Suite 208 Court
Snow Hill, Maryland 21863
Michael W. Farlow Paul Haskell
Deputy State’s Attorney Deputy State’s Attorney
Circuit Court Division
District Court Division
May 29, 2009


Background Information

On April
7, 2009, a Town Council election was held in the Town of Pocomoke City, Maryland
for the District 4 Council seat. On that same date, Mrs. Stephanie Burke, one of
the candidates for the contested council seat, complained to the Office of the
State’s Attorney that absentee ballots may have been illegally handled and undue
influence had been practiced over many of the absentee voters. She asked that a
criminal investigation be conducted to determine whether any violations of the
Pocomoke City election laws had occurred, and if so, that said violations be
charged and prosecuted.

More specifically, Mrs. Burke’s complaint was as

1. That her opponent, either directly or through others,

a.) had solicited for absentee ballots;
b.) had completed portions
of the applications for absentee ballots;
c.) had handled completed absentee
ballots; and
d.) had marked portions of the absentee ballots;

That most of the absentee votes cast were by voters who could have voted
in-person, and therefore should not have been permitted to vote absentee;

3. That the Pocomoke City Board of Supervisors of Elections had failed
in performing their duties by:

a.) not maintaining a current list of
registered voters;
b.) allowing citizens who did not live in the proper
district to vote;
c.) allowing non-registered citizens to vote;
d.) not
accurately maintaining a list of absentee voters to prevent an absentee voter
from physically voting as well; and
e.) “tipping off” persons when absentee
ballots were going to be mailed.

Despite what has been reported in some
local media and alleged in a subsequent complaint of voter irregularity in the
Town of Snow Hill, Maryland, Mr. Edward Lee was not, and is not, the “subject”
of this investigation. In fact, now that the investigation is complete it can be
reported that there is no evidence that Mr. Lee has committed any criminal act,
nor is there any evidence that he has acted inappropriately. While this office
would not normally go to such lengths to point out the absence of evidence as to
a particular person, because of the inaccurate information reported, the
undersigned feels that it is only fair to set the record straight as to this
individual. Additionally, it should be noted that the Mayor, Town Manager and
employees of the Town of Pocomoke City have been, as far as this office can
tell, completely cooperative with this investigation and provided all
information requested.

The purpose of this investigation was to
determine whether any criminal violations were committed by anyone in regard to
the April 14, 2009 municipal election in Pocomoke City, Maryland. This office
has attempted to be completely objective—to gather facts and then make legal
conclusions as opposed to entering the investigation with any preconceived

When the ballots cast election day were counted, the result
was 58 votes for Stephanie Burke and 58 votes for the incumbent Tracey Cottman.
The 184 absentee ballots were then counted. Two of those contained no votes at
all. Of the remaining ballots, 178 were cast in favor of the incumbent Mrs.
Cottman and four in favor of Mrs. Burke.

During the course of this
investigation, this office has issued subpoenas or obtained court orders for the
following information:

1. Copy of the voter registration list and the
certification envelopes that accompanied the absentee ballots;

Application for Absentee Ballot forms

3. Map of Voting District 4

4. Absentee Ballots

5. Original Voter Registration List used the
day of the election together with the envelopes in which they were mailed to the
Board of Supervisors of Elections for Pocomoke City.

Interviewed during
this investigation were the following:

1. Stephanie and William Burke

2. City Clerk Carol Justice

3. Tracey and Bruce Cottman

4. 50 absentee voters from the April 14, 2009 election (the names of
which will be kept confidential)

5. Retired City Clerk Janet Hood


The philosophy for the founding of the United States
is best detailed in the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776 and
drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights,…. — That to secure these rights, Governments are
instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety
and Happiness.

Based upon that philosophy, it is difficult to imagine a
right more important to a citizen of these United States than the right to vote.
Additionally, I believe that it is no accident that the first article in the
Maryland Constitution deals with the elective process. It is through the ballot
box that the citizens now exercise their right to “alter or abolish” their
government and to “institute new Government.” It is for this reason, therefore,
that this office has taken the complaint of Mrs. Burke so seriously. Whether the
election be federal, state, county or municipal, the right to vote is
fundamental to our democratic process and cannot be taken lightly.

During the course of this investigation we have discovered some
irregularities in the elective process in Pocomoke City. I will attempt to
identify those irregularities, but it must be remembered that it is only in the
criminal process that this office has any influence. The Pocomoke City Charter
provides for a criminal penalty to violations of its election laws in §C-43. It
is that section which gives this office jurisdiction to review the complaint at

Most of the irregularities relate directly to the complaint of
Mrs. Burke. The most obvious irregularity is one which confronted us as we
examined her complaint.

Complaint 2: People were voting absentee
when they were physically available to vote at the polls

It is my desire
to deal with the second part of Mrs. Burke’s complaint first, because it will
shed light on legal issues in general, and the applicability of State law for
the remaining issues as well. This issue is the complaint that most of the
absentee votes cast were by voters who could have voted in-person, and therefore
should not have been permitted to vote absentee. The application for an absentee
ballot by a registered voter of Pocomoke City contains the following language,
which must be signed by the voter in order to get an absentee ballot: “I do
swear or affirm that I am legally qualified to vote in the election to be held,
that I am legally registered to vote in the City of Pocomoke City, Maryland as
stated in this application and that I will be unable to vote in person on
election day. … (emphasis added). The Oath of Absentee Voter, contained on the
ballot envelope, which must be signed before the vote can be counted, states,
similarly “I do hereby swear (or affirm) that I am legally qualified to vote in
the Municipal Election to be held ; … that I will be unable to vote in person on
the day of such election and am entitled to vote by absentee ballot under
Article 33 of the Maryland Code…” (emphasis added)

There are two issues
with this language. First of all, Article 33 of the Annotated Code of Maryland
ceased to exist on January 1, 2003 when it was replaced by the Election Law
Article. It is unclear why the Town of Pocomoke City continues to refer to this,
or any other language from the State Election Law since §1-101(v)(3) of that
Article states that “‘election’ does not include … a municipal election…” On
February 17, 2006, under the State Election Law, absentee ballots became
permissible in all state elections, unless preempted by federal law. Since much
of Maryland’s Election Law does not apply to municipal elections, that change
had no affect on Pocomoke City. The last Pocomoke City Ordinance which affected
election law was Ordinance No. 385, enacted January 2006, and it did not relate
to absentee balloting.

It is even more unclear why that language has
appeared on the ballot application or on the absentee ballot envelope since
March 1, 1999. Paragraph 3.b of Resolution No. 312, approved that date, states
that “Anyone may request an Application for Absentee Ballot…” (emphasis added)
There is no prohibition anywhere in Paragraph 3 that states that in order to be
eligible to vote absentee a voter must be “unable to vote in person.”
Accordingly, there is no merit to this complaint, but it would appear that to
avoid confusion in the future, the language on these forms should be altered.

Complaint 1: Mishandling of Absentee Ballot Applications and Ballots

I. Ballot Applications

Ms. Burke described in great detail her
complaint as to the absentee application and ballot process. Quoting from the
Case Investigation Report of Special Investigator Shawn Sarver, the application
process was described as follows:

They [the Burkes] advised that the
mere number of absentee ballots indicated that there was clearly an issue with
fraud in this election. … Stephanie [Burke] advised that this was accomplished
by a candidate or representative thereof, going door to door with absentee
ballot applications. An application is given to a voter and the candidate either
assists the voter in completing the ballot or completes the majority of it for
them. Then the candidate takes the application and advises the voter that they
will mail the application for them. The candidate then creates a list of the
voters who completed the applications. The candidate mails all of the
applications on the same date to City Hall.

The issue under this
complaint is a) whether a candidate or her representative has the right to
receive absentee ballot applications; b) to pass them out to prospective voters;
c) to assist them in filling out those applications; d) to collect the ballots;
e) to compile a list of those voters who filled out applications; f) and then to
mail the applications for the voters.

Pocomoke Resolution No. 312 is

Paragraph 3 of that resolution deals with
absentee voting. Subparagraph b states as follows:

Anyone may request an
Application for Absentee Ballot by telephone, facsimile, or in person at City
Hall during normal business hours. All Applications for Absentee Ballot will be
numbered. Photocopies will not be accepted. When an application is issued, a
record will be kept at City Hall of the application number and to whom it was
issued. If requested, applications will be issued by facsimile. (emphasis added)

The word “anyone” is defined by the American College Dictionary as “any
person; anybody.” The resolution does not use the words ‘any voter’ but
‘anyone’. Under the plain meaning approach of statutory interpretation, that
seems to indicate that any person may request an application for an absentee
ballot. That interpretation is complicated, however, by the fact that the
resolution goes on to state “an” application. Both ‘an’ and ‘application’ are in
the singular and not the plural. The paragraph goes on to speak in the singular
and not plural. It is not until the last sentence of the paragraph that
“applications” is used in the plural sense.

Our investigation has
revealed that records were kept by the City Clerk as required by this paragraph.
Numbers were assigned to the applications before being issued to the candidate
seeking those applications and as required, they recorded to whom the
applications were issued. It is clear that the City Clerk perceived no problem
with the request of the candidates for absentee application ballots and it is
unclear how the candidates could or should have known anything to the contrary.
This paragraph of the resolution is overly vague, and hence unenforceable from a
criminal standpoint.

There is nothing in Paragraph 3 of Resolution No.
312 that expressly prohibits anyone from performing any of the remaining actions
complained of insofar as the ballot applications are concerned. Reading the
remaining paragraphs of Resolution No. 312 it is clear that the Town Council was
aware of how to prohibit these actions because they did so expressly when
providing for the actual absentee ballots, as opposed to the applications for
the same. The fact that these matters were expressly prohibited by the Town
Council when dealing with the ballots and did not do so when dealing with the
ballot applications is indicative that they did not intend to do so. Therefore,
I can see no evidence of criminal wrongdoing insofar as the handling of the
applications for absentee ballots is concerned.

II Absentee Ballots

The Case Investigation Report of Special Investigator Sarver goes on to
detail Mrs. Burke’s complaint regarding the absentee ballots themselves:

The candidate is then ‘tipped off’ when the actual ballots are about to
be mailed from City Hall to the voter. The candidate then follows the list they
made of voters who completed applications for absentee ballots and goes from
address to address asking the voter if they received their absentee ballot in
the mail. When the voter produces the ballot and certification envelope, the
candidate assists the voter in completing the certification envelope and waits
until the voter completes the ballot. The candidate then tells the voter that
he/she will mail the ballot for them and takes the absentee ballot and
certification envelope from the voter. The candidate then mails all of the
absentee ballots on the same date. The Burkes advised that the fraud comes in
when the candidate shows up with more than one person to intimidate older or
more shy voters, the candidate completes the certification or actually marks the
ballot for the voter, the candidate has access to the ballot and could
substitute a real ballot with one the candidate has marked …

Burke’s allegation that the candidate who collected and turned in the
applications was “tipped off” by someone in City Hall has actually been
confirmed by Tracey Cottman who stated to S/I Sarver that City Clerk Carol
Justice would tell them what day she was going to process the applications and
send out the ballots. Mrs. Cottman would then go the homes of the people from
whom she had collected applications when the mail containing their ballots was
delivered. Ms. Justice has confirmed that she “tipped off” Mrs. Cottman. While
she did not give Mrs. Cottman specific names of voters to whom she had mailed
ballots, she did tell Mrs. Cottman that ballots had been issued to the voters
from whom Mrs. Cottman had collected applications.

This violates at
least the spirit of Paragraph 3.d of Resolution No. 312 which states, in the
second to last sentence, “The list of absentee ballots issued shall not be made
available to the public.” This Resolution was issued in accordance with §C-42 of
the Pocomoke City Charter: “The Council shall have the power to provide by
ordinance or resolution…for the prevention of fraud in connection [with
elections]…” (emphasis added). The Pocomoke City Charter at §C-43 makes this
conduct a misdemeanor.

Did Ms. Justice, however, actually violate the
specific terms of this paragraph as opposed to its intent? Clearly the Town
Council intended to prevent fraud in the voting practices of Pocomoke City in
adopting Resolution No. 312 Paragraph 3.d. Their own employee, however, has
allegedly made the above detailed admission. While this alleged conduct may have
been inappropriate, unprofessional, and perhaps even unethical, it is not clear
that her alleged action constitutes making “available to the public” the list of
absentee ballots. There is no evidence from either Mrs. Cottman or Ms. Justice
that any names were given to Mrs. Cottman by Ms. Justice. Again, while this
alleged behavior violates the spirit of the resolution, we are dealing with
statutory interpretation from a criminal law perspective. It appears that this
matter could more appropriately be handled as a personnel issue by the town
government rather than the criminal justice system. As far as Mrs. Cottman is
concerned, the paragraph prohibits the dissemination of this material, and not
the receipt of it. She, therefore, has violated neither the spirit nor the
letter of that part of the paragraph.

The paragraph goes on, however to
state as follows: “Candidates will not be allowed to inspect completed absentee
ballots.” The investigation by S/I Sarver has revealed, and in fact Mr. and Mrs.
Cottman have admitted to him, that they “had sealed a number of [absentee
ballots] as some of the voters requested they seal the envelopes for them.” Case
Investigation Report, Supplement 2, S/I Shawn Sarver. They went on to indicate
that “some voters would just sign the signature line on the certification and
check the ballot before handing all of the documents back to them to be sealed
and mailed.” Id. While they both adamantly denied marking even a single ballot,
they admitted to Sarver that they had filled out the address portion on the
“Oath of Absentee Voter” contained within the sealed ballot. They indicated that
they felt that was acceptable, but admitted that marking the actual ballot would
have been unethical.

Early in this document, it is stated that 50 voters
were interviewed by this office. Those 50 voters were selected because of
apparent differences in handwriting on the oaths attached to the absentee
ballots. It appeared to the investigator that parts of the ballot may have been
filled out by one person, and parts of it filled out by a second. Of those 50
voters, 26 were asked whether their ballots were sealed or unsealed when given
to the Cottmans. Eleven of them stated that they were unsealed. Additionally, of
those 26, 12 of them indicated that they only signed the Oath of Absentee Voter,
and the address was filled in by the Cottmans. [This, of course, means that the
oath those voters signed was inaccurate, in that it stated that they, the voter,
marked the ballot secretly, then enclosed it and sealed it in the Ballot

Some of these voters indicated that they felt intimidated by
having a candidate with them when they filled in their ballot. One of the blank
ballots was, according to that voter, left blank because they did not want to
have to fill in the ballot with the candidate present.

The issue here,
however, is whether the last sentence of Resolution 312 Paragraph 3.d, which if
violated constitutes a misdemeanor criminal offense, applies to a candidate,
i.e. Tracy Cottman. The answer to that question is ‘no’. Resolution No. 312
applies to the Pocomoke City government, the Board of Supervisors of Elections,
the City Clerk, and any other town employee involved in the election process.
Clearly Tracey Cottman, as a member of the Town Council, is part of the town
government, but she was not working in her capacity as a member of the Town
Council when she was on the campaign trail. She was working in her capacity as a
candidate—a private citizen. Therefore absent any evidence that she was working
in her official capacity, the resolution does not apply to Mrs. Cottman.

As to the Burkes’ contention that “the fraud comes in when the candidate
shows up with more than one person to intimidate older or more shy voters, the
candidate completes the certification or actually marks the ballot for the
voter, the candidate has access to the ballot and could substitute a real ballot
with one the candidate has marked,” while it appears to be true that some of the
voters expressed that they felt uncomfortable and/or intimidated by having Mrs.
Cottman present when they voted, there is no evidence that they asked Mrs.
Cottman to leave, or that it was the intent of Mrs. Cottman to intimidate them.
Additionally, there is no provision in the Pocomoke City election law which
prohibits this conduct by a candidate. Finally, as to this point, there is no
evidence that any ballots were substituted. To the contrary, because all of the
absentee ballots were numbered by the city, and there is no evidence that those
numbers were provided to the Cottmans, it would have been difficult to make a
substitution. The Pocomoke City Board of Elections has attempted, by way of its
Oath of Absentee Voter, to make sure that all voters have voted without the
intimidating influence of another. If a voter chooses to sign that oath when it
is not true, it is unclear how the Board of Supervisors of Elections can be
expected to police the process.

Complaint 3: Pocomoke City Board of
Supervisors of Elections failed in performing their duties

A. “Tipping
Off” candidates

This issue was discussed in Complaint 1, above and will
not be discussed any further.

B. Not maintaining a current list of
registered voters

Pocomoke City Charter §C-32 provides that voters are
to register to vote with the Board of Supervisors of Elections in Pocomoke City.
§C-33 provides for an appeal process to the Council if a person feels aggrieved
by decision not to permit him or her to vote. Resolution No. 312 paragraph 1
provides additional details on voter eligibility, proof of residency and the
like. All of this has been supplanted by Subtitle 4 of the Election Law Article,
Annotated Code of Maryland. By state law, municipal voter registration lists are
now compiled by the County election office. That list may then be supplemented
by the Town, (§3-403 (g)).

This matter was specifically discussed with
City Clerk Carol Justice.

I then asked Justice who was in charge of
maintaining the registry by removing the names of dead and relocated voters.
Justice advised that she would remove the names of those voters who she knew had
moved or died and the election board would do the same. Justice stated that she
and the election board workers were familiar with most of the residents and
would adjust the list if they learned of a death or move. Justice stated that
she would contact the Worcester County Board of Elections with the names of any
voters they were not sure of and the Worcester County Board of Elections would
check their registry to provide an address. Case Investigation Report,
Supplement 1, S/I Sarver

This statement attributed to Ms. Justice
mirrors the dictates of §C-32 of the Pocomoke City Charter. Additionally, as a
part of this investigation, S/I Sarver unsuccessfully attempted to find evidence
that people no longer alive had voted or that people who had moved out of the
town limits of Pocomoke City had voted. He checked with the Office of the
Register of Wills for Worcester County to see if estates had been opened for any
of the people who had voted in the recent election. Additionally, he checked, to
no avail, the obituary lists to see if he could find the names of any of those
who had voted in Pocomoke City. There is no evidence that there is any merit to
this allegation.

C. Permitting citizens to vote who had no right to

For the purposes of this discussion, I am combining subparagraphs
b, c, and d from complaint 3 on the first page of these investigative findings.

1. Allowing Citizens from a different voting district to vote in this

Election Law Article § 3-403 provides that district lines for
municipal elections are to be agreed upon by the County Election office and the
town. Once agreed upon, those district lines are the appropriate lines. A
grievance policy exists to challenge these lines if a voter feels aggrieved or

This investigation has not uncovered any information
which would indicate that citizens who lived in a different voting district were
permitted to vote for this district council seat. Accordingly, there is no
evidence that there is any merit to this allegation.

2. Allowing
Non-Registered Citizens to Vote

There is no evidence that any
non-registered citizens were permitted to vote. Accordingly, there is no merit
to this allegation.

3. Not Accurately Maintaining a List of Absentee
Voters to Prevent an Absentee Voter from Physically Voting as Well

Pocomoke City was provided with a “Precinct Register” by the Worcester
County Election Office. This register contained the names of all of the
registered voters for the voting district at issue. Once an absentee ballot was
issued to a voter, an “A” was placed on the precinct register by the name of
that voter. This register was then provided to the precinct workers so that if a
person who had received an absentee ballot attempted to vote in person, the
precinct worker would know that they were disqualified. This is consistent with
Resolution No. 312.3.g: “If a voter has been issued an absentee ballot, then
that person will not be allowed to vote in person at the polling place.”

The practice at the polling place was for the precinct worker to place
his/her initials beside the name of a voter who voted in person. A cursory
examination of the Precinct Register shows that none of the names of registered
voters contained both an ‘A’ and initials of a precinct worker, indicating that
no voter cast ballots both ways. A more detailed examination of the record,
however, reveals an irregularity.

The record is clear that 116 people
voted at the polls. As expected, 116 names had initials placed beside them on
the Precinct Register. Curiously, while the record is clear that 184 absentee
ballots were returned, there are only 167 ‘A’s on the Precinct Register.
Therefore, it would have been possible for 17 voters to cast ballots in person,
as well as by absentee.

As part of the investigation, this office was
able to retrieve all of the absentee ballot envelopes returned to Pocomoke
City’s post office box which were subsequently opened and counted on election
night. The investigator was then able to determine who the additional 17 voters
were. Reviewing those names on the Precinct Register the record is clear that
none of the additional 17 absentee ballots had initials beside their names. It
can be concluded, therefore, that nobody who voted by way of absentee ballot
also voted at the polling place on election day.

The issue then becomes
whether the person or persons responsible for marking the ‘A’ on the Precinct
Register and failed to do so for these 17 voters have committed a criminal
violation. The Pocomoke City Charter provides at §C-43 that:

“Any person
who (a) fails to perform any duty required of him under the provisions of this
Title or any ordinances passed thereunder, (b) in any manner willfully or
corruptly violates any of the provisions of this Title or any ordinances passed
thereunder, or (c) willfully or corruptly does anything which will or will tend
to affect fraudulently any registration, nomination or City election, shall be
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.”

There is nothing to indicate that the
person[s] who failed to mark the Precinct Register with an ‘A’ when the absentee
ballots were mailed from the town to the voter had any mens rea or criminal
intent. Keep in mind that there is no evidence that the failure to mark the ‘A’
on the Precinct Register was done so willfully or corruptly. It is quite likely
that the employee simply forgot to make the required notation. It is not
difficult to imagine a scenario where an office worker is mailing ballots,
answering telephones, and dealing with citizens at a counter when that citizen
visits an office for official business. It is difficult to imagine that the town
intended to criminalize a negligent act on the part of one of its employees.
While every citizen has the right to a fair election, and every candidate has
the right to expect neutrality on the part of the election board, there can be
no expectation for any system to be perfect.

Issue discovered during the
investigation but not included in complaint: numbering of the absentee ballots.

In Pocomoke City, when a person returns an application for an absentee
ballot to the Board of Elections Supervisors, the Board then places a Voter I.D.
Number on that application, fills in the appropriate District Number and assigns
a Ballot Number, in accordance with Resolution No. 312.3.d. A blank absentee
ballot, together with a ballot envelope, and a self-addressed stamped envelope
is then provided to the voter, in accordance with Resolution No. 312.3.e.

The problem is that the ballot itself is marked with the ballot number.
This contradicts another provision of Resolution No. 312. At paragraph f, the
resolution provides for how the absentee ballots are to be approved when
returned to the Board of Elections Supervisors:

The Board of Elections
Supervisors (and appointed election workers) will open the ballot envelopes
checking to be sure that the envelopes are signed, that there are not
distinguishing marks on the ballot, that only one box has been checked, etc. The
Board of Elections Supervisors has the authority to disqualify an absentee
ballot for failure to sign oath, making distinguishing or identifying marks on
the ballot, or checking more than one box. (emphasis added).

procedure witnessed election night by S/I Sarver was completely appropriate. The
first envelope, which contained the absentee ballot number was opened and placed
in one stack. The Ballot Envelope was then reviewed, and if found to have the
oath of absentee voter signed and filled out, was placed into another stack.
Finally the absentee ballot itself was reviewed, and if only one box was signed,
was placed into a third stack. After all of the envelopes were opened, the stack
of qualified absentee ballots was then counted.

If the purpose of
assigning a ballot number is, as stated by Resolution No. 312.3.d “to track how
many ballots have been issued and returned in order to prevent the reproduction
of absentee ballots”, then the ballot number on the ballot envelope would
accomplish that purpose. There should be “no identifying mark” on the ballot
itself. In this election, the “identifying mark” was placed on the absentee
ballot not by the voter, but by the Board of Elections Supervisors itself. The
Board has the authority to disqualify each and every absentee ballot cast in the
April 7 municipal election, accordance with Resolution No. 312, because of its
own action.

Clearly, the ballot number enables a party to identify not
only who the voter was, but how the voter voted. That, in fact, is how S/I
Sarver was able to identify the blank votes cast and then to interview those
voters. If a voter can be identified and interviewed for investigative purposes,
it is possible that they could be identified and interviewed for any other
legitimate or nefarious purpose.

Sarver’s report goes into some detail
in an attempt to resolve this issue:

I asked Justice if she had received
any training in election procedure from anyone and she advised she had not.
Justice further stated that the city clerk before her, Janet Hood, had performed
many elections during her tenure and had followed Justice through her first
election so she could see how and what the city clerk did. S/I Sarver, Case
Investigation Report, Supplement 1

I contacted the retired city clerk,
Janet Hood. I contacted her to ascertain approximately when the numbering of the
ballots began. Hood stated that she thought it began in the 1990’s but could not
remember exactly. I asked Hood why the ballot numbering started but she advised
she did not recall. Hood stated that she taught Justice to number the ballots
when she trained Justice to preside over the elections. S/I Sarver, case
Investigation Report, Supplement 2

This is an issue which must be
remedied before the next Pocomoke City municipal election. Countless military
people have died over the course of this nation’s history to protect the
constitutional rights of the rest of us. Chief among those rights is the right
to a secret ballot and a fair election. If the town employees and volunteers
working for the Board of Elections Supervisors need additional training, and it
seems apparent that they do, then that training must be provided. To foster
participation in the democratic process, all citizens, as well as non-victorious
candidates, should have the ability to have confidence in the outcome of the
election process.

There is a common-law criminal offense in Maryland
known as “Misconduct in Office”. This offense provides that a public officer
(such as a member of the Board of Elections Supervisors) who, acting within
their official capacity, corruptly commits an unlawful act, corruptly fails to
perform an official act required by his/her duties, or fails to do an act as a
result of a corrupt purpose rather than as a result of the exercise of official
discretion, is guilty of a common-law misdemeanor criminal offense.

the case at hand, on this issue, Justice only did what she was taught to do by
her predecessor. Ms. Hood is neither a public officer nor did she have any roll
in this election. As to the members of the Board of Elections Supervisors, due
to lack of knowledge on their part, I find no “corrupt” act or failure to act.
However, this document may constitute notice to them, and if not corrected
before the next municipal election, the conclusion could be different.

Whether the Board of Elections Supervisors chooses to disqualify the
absentee ballots in the most recent election because of the identifying marks
they placed on the ballots is up to them. Whether the election results should be
overturned because 17 voters had the ability to vote twice, even though there is
no evidence that they did vote twice, is up to the Board of Elections

The role of this Office is to determine, based upon the
facts revealed by the extensive investigation of S/I Sarver and the law of
Pocomoke City and the State of Maryland whether there is probable cause to
believe that any crime was committed. It is my conclusion that there is not.

Respectfully submitted,

Joel J. Todd
for Worcester County, Maryland

Susan Boyle Loses Cool With Two Expletive-Laced Tirades in One Day

Ranting Susan Boyle completely lost her cool with two four-letter outbursts in a day, The Sun can reveal.
She stunned Britain's Got Talent fans, contestants and their families before going into meltdown later in front of hundreds of hotel guests.
There were fears last night that the pressure was getting to the show favorite.
Cops intervened at 5 p.m. yesterday after Susan, 48, went berserk in the lobby of the Wembley Plaza Hotel in North London when two strangers set out to "wind her up."
VOTE NOW: Kris Allen vs. Susan Boyle: Who Is the Ultimate Amateur 'Idol'?
One of two cops stationed at the hotel went up and asked: "Is there a problem?"
Susan, dubbed SuBo, roared: "Of course there's a f***ing problem."
PHOTOS: Click here to see photos of Susan Boyle.
Tears flowing, she turned on her heel and marched out the exit followed by her family, production staff and the cops.
One officer told her: "You are in the public eye, you must learn to expect this sort of thing."
A pal of Susan's told the star: "You can't act like this."
TV producers ushered her back upstairs after police finished speaking to her.
RELATED: Click here to read the full report from The Sun.

With age comes wisdom.

A 75 years old fellow, who loves to fish, was sitting in his boat the one day, when he heard a voice say, "Pick me up."He looked around and couldn't see anyone. He thought he was dreaming. Then he heard the voice say again, "Pick me up." He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog. The man said, "Are you talking to me?"The frog said, "Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up, then kiss me, and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because I will be your wife!"The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully and placed it in his front breast pocket.Then the frog said, "What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said? I said kiss me, and I will be your beautiful wife."He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said, "Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog."With age comes wisdom.

WTH For Today : Gay Male Voted Prom Queen in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (May 28) -- An openly gay teen was voted prom queen at Los Angeles' Fairfax High School in a campaign that began as a stunt but ended up spurring discussion on the campus about gender roles and teen popularity.
Sergio Garcia, 18, was crowned queen Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
"I feel invincible," Garcia said in his tiara and charcoal-gray tuxedo.

A few days earlier, he gave a speech that won over some cynics and led to an ovation and his unlikely victory.
"At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it's no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes," Garcia told a gymnasium full of seniors. "I'm not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye."
Garcia assured the crowd he wouldn't wear a dress on prom night.
"I will be wearing a suit," he said. "But don't be fooled, deep down I am a queen."
The school, which sits at the end of the rows of chic shops on Melrose Avenue and was once attended by members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has long been a haven for students who would be considered outcasts at many schools.
Garcia said he saw fliers advertising the prom and the election, and they didn't specify that the queen must be a girl. He thought the role would suit him better than prom king.
"I don't wish to be a girl," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I just wish to be myself."
Senior class president Vanessa Lo said she and many other students were initially against the idea but were won over by Garcia's speech and became convinced he wasn't just an attention-seeking clown.
"It just goes to show how open-minded our class is," Lo said.
Seventeen-year-old Unique Payne called the speech "great" and said she voted for Garcia "because I support the gay community."
Other students weren't as happy, and suggested many voted for Garcia just to see the spectacle of two boys dancing together at the prom.
"I'm not really happy about that," said 17-year-old Juan Espinoza. "He should've run for prom king."