Opinion: Columnists

Gregory Kane: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Shameless rides again

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Opinion,Gregory Kane,Columnists

Maryland's Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has mounted his trusty steed to sally forth and carry the banner of shamelessness once again. And people wonder why I call him Martin O'Shameless.

Years ago, when he was mayor of Baltimore, city schools ran up a deficit of at least $58 million. O'Malley pretty much admitted that he repeatedly asked the school superintendent questions designed to get to the bottom of the deficit, but got no answers.

In other words, he failed. But when he ran for governor, he shamelessly ran on a record of how fine and dandy Baltimore schools were. They weren't. The man ran on a record of failure, and won.

When the state offered to make up the $58 million deficit on condition that there be more state oversight, O'Malley and other Baltimore Democrats shamelessly tried to make then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich, a Republican, the villain.

But this time O'Malley has descended into depths of shame even he shouldn't be able to reach. His gem came on the heels of Gary Maynard, Maryland's secretary of public safety and correctional services.

Last month, federal indictments were handed down against 25 people on charges ranging from racketeering conspiracy, drug possession with intent to distribute and money laundering.

Seven of those people were members of the Black Guerilla Family prison gang and were, at the time, incarcerated at the Baltimore City Detention Center. And 13 were corrections officers that worked at the BCDC. All of the indicted corrections officers are female.

Maynard saw no gender issue in the matter, even though a gender issue stared him glaringly in the face. Days after Maynard tried to PC an issue that definitely does not need a PC solution, Martin O'Shameless put in his two cents' worth.

The indictments the feds handed down in the BCDC mess are, according to O'Malley, a "positive achievement."

To bolster his claim, O'Malley tried to shift the focus to the gang and the task force that was set up to investigate prison gangs like the BGF.

"We initiated this task force," O'Malley said, "with this goal in mind of going after gangs."

But this isn't about just gangs; it's about 13 corrections officers being indicted at one time, 13 officers that are allegedly guilty of corruption and of letting a prison gang take over a state facility.

The number of corrections officers indicted at one time is shockingly, alarmingly high. The fact that all are women is, or should be, disturbing.

Thirteen allegedly corrupt corrections officers being indicted at one time is not a "positive achievement." It's an indication that those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on the system fell asleep at the switch.

That means Maynard most certainly is not, as O'Malley shamelessly referred to him, "one of the best public safety secretaries in the entire nation."

The best, or one of the best, public safety secretaries doesn't let a situation get out of control as it did at the BCDC. The best, or one of the best, public safety secretaries nips the BGF attempt to get control of the BCDC in the bud before it gets started. He puts the kibosh on it before any corrections officers go corrupt.

The best public safety secretaries don't need to call in the feds, because they have control of their prisons, jails and other detention facilities.

Those that have to call in the feds have, by definition, failed. Those that have 13 corrections officers indicted for corruption at one time have already failed.

And no amount of shameless posturing by the governor that appointed them can change that fact.

Washington Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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