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The Tentacle


January 3, 2008

Costly Government and Arrogance

Chris Cavey

In 1870 Lord Acton wrote these three famous phrases about papal infallibility: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad.” Today Lord Acton’s dictum describes the manhandling of the Maryland General Assembly by a single political party in control.

Procedure and procedural ethics should be of the highest priority within the legislative body. It is within this body that the law is formed and within the procedural journals that the courts look to, not only to read and study the actual wording of the laws, but the intent and spirit in which the law was given by its birth.

When this process is bastardized due to a skirting of the rules, the end result is corrupt and should not be held as proper law because the spirit in which it was formed was distorted.

The disturbing part of this situation is the arrogance and costliness of single party rule in our state government. Your money is being spent breaking the rules. Your money is being spent covering-up the mistakes. The Maryland attorney general, in trying to fix or hide these mistakes, is spending tax dollars.

Tomorrow there will be the continuation of a trial in the Circuit Court of Maryland in Carroll County. This action, started in mid-December, is requesting the court to nullify all the actions taken in the Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly held in November due to a violation of procedures.

Basically the plaintiffs, Michael D. Smigiel, Sr., et. al., are stating that if procedure is not followed the resulting product cannot be law and should be re-done correctly to preserve the integrity of Maryland’s Constitution and future interpretation of law.

They were granted a hearing by the court.

One issue is this: Did the Senate of the State of Maryland adjourn unconstitutionally, and was there an after-the-fact cover-up to “correct” the journal communications with the House chamber.

The Maryland Constitution has procedures set within it to allow for notification from one chamber to the other. It is done in this manner to keep undue pressure from being exerted from one chamber to the next. This past November the Senate proclaimed it would recess for the maximum three days, yet the Senate president did not call the Senate back for almost a week – meanwhile the House chamber continued to have hearings and labor to accomplish its work.

The arrogance of the Democrat leadership in defiling the Maryland Constitution is appalling. Remember their theory is this: We make the law, we appoint the judges who adjudicate the law and we control what happens. Then they laugh at you as you trudge to the polls to re-elect them again.

Many questions should arise from the extended recess by the Senate. How can an entire legislative chamber just be AWOL from the process of this Special Session? Did the Senate president abuse his power – or perhaps not know his duty – by violating the Constitution of the State of Maryland? Why did the Democrat leaders along with the attorney general’s office later try to cover-up this mistake? Why did the attorney general waste taxpayer money by fighting a single deposition of a state employee all the way through the court system, finally getting a demonstrative ruling from Maryland’s highest court – The Court of Appeals?

One of the keys to these hearings is the deposition of the Chief Clerk of The House of Delegates, Mary Monahan. It is her responsibility to “journalize” the proceedings. Yet, this simple task of finding and deposing Ms. Monahan has not been simple. Why?

The attorney general and his office fought the idea of deposition of the chief clerk through three courts until a ruling from Maryland’s highest Court stated that Ms. Monahan must be deposed. What didn’t he want the court and you to know?

The attorney general has wasted some serious taxpayer money in trying to keep the chief clerk of the House from deposition. Why doesn’t he want her to explain her procedure during the Special Session? Did she partake in a cover-up, knowing or unknowingly, ordered by her bosses, the Democrat leadership?

Frankly, the outcome will be interesting. Perhaps the courts will rule and the bills passed in Special Session will have to be re-done in the upcoming regular session. Perhaps nothing will come of the entire situation. I don’t know.

Perhaps the judicial system, as part of our checks and balances, will find in favor of Maryland’s Constitution in the next week or two… we’ll see. Either way, Maryland will certainly continue its reputation as a state that breeds corruption in government.



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