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From the Desk of
County Councilman Kirby Delauter

(3/2017) When our current County Executive Jan Gardner (CE) was running for office just 2 years ago, her mantra was "open and transparent government where everyone can be part of the process". She said she wanted to reform the ethics laws so we could trust our government. It all sounds just wonderful, it sounds like something out of a fairy tale from the land of milk and honey. While Jan is spewing these lines to draw your attention in that direction, she is behind the scenes doing other things that arenít exactly " open and transparent".

As you may be aware Senator Hough has introduced legislation in Annapolis to override CE Gardnerís fluffy, feel good ethics proposal. Gardnerís proposal does nothing that isnít already on the books. Her premise in doing her version, is so during the next election she can talk about her ethics reform. Although her reform is only a whiskers difference from what already exists, she can skew the facts and state she is now the champion of ethics in the County. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Now, back to Senator Houghís proposal. His proposal actually brings some real reform to the ethics law. He has three provisions, the main provision is that any campaign donations of $500 or more received must be reported and available for public view within 24 hours of receiving them. This allows the people to see who is contributing to who, and when they contributed. As it stands now, if someone contributes to an elected official in March, you may not see this until the following January. CE Gardner is livid over this proposal and for good reason if youíre a crooked politician. If youíre not on the take, and you make decisions based on whatís best for the county over whatís best for your campaign account, you probably could care less if this passes.

Here are just two (there are many more) reasons that CE Gardner has a big problem with Senator Houghís ethics proposal.

Back in March of 2016 Comcast was in negotiations with the County (CE Gardner headed these negotiations) on their service and collection of fees. This represents a lot of dollars to Comcast and they are very interested in the outcome of these negotiations with the Executive. Well, low and behold, if you look at Jan Gardnerís campaign finance report during the same time period these negotiations are ongoing, Comcast donated $500 to her account. Now, you may say Delauter, youíre crazy, maybe it was just an odd coincidence? Really? Letís keep looking, In December of 2016 CE Gardner had been pushing for the Downtown Hotel Conference Center (DTHCC). She pushed so hard against the opposition that she went ahead and approved a (TIF) tax increment financing tool to assist in getting this project of the runway. Once again we look at her campaign finance account and see that the lobbyist for the DTHCC also paid $500 into Gardnerís campaign account.

When I was on the Board of County Commissioners, we approved several TIFís for infrastructure. Two of which wee the bridge at the Jefferson tech Park which has created thousands of jobs and increased revenue to the county. Another will be the Meadow Road interchange which will ease congestion from the Linganore area and also route 144. Itís funny, back then Jan Gardner was adamantly opposed to TIFís, she said the taxpayers were footing the bill for developers. I guess when Comcast and Lobbyists start padding your campaign account she can then see the light as to how a TIF will now be a good thing for a downtown hotel.

Donít be fooled by Jan Gardner. She has the Hillary Clinton "Pay to Play" handbook and sheís using it in Frederick County. Follow the money and youíll see that every decision she makes will have a financial impact to her campaign account. Frederick County is for sale and as Jan gets more campaign cash, the taxpayers foot the bill. Similar to the words of former Commissioner Lennie Thompson, If Jan wins, you lose.

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