Video: During Meeting on Campaign Financing Questions, President Lockhart Asks Can We Have Them Give the Money Back?

At the end of a contentious meeting that was called to examine basic questions related to how a political group used a BRAC bus tour to finance a political campaign, President Lockhart asked how can we fix it.  If we have them give the money back, will that do it he inquired.  In a couple more minutes, he once again got back to the subject of how they could straighten this out. 

Some people have posted on Someone Noticed asking why we reported this  aspect and print media didn’t.  As it seems to be central to any summary of the process, those queries are best directed to the newspapers as we can’t answer for those outlets.

But to illustrate where our news brief was coming from as we worked to provide a summary of the fact-finding effort, here’s the video clip of that segment. 

Watch this piece and you will see President Lockhart asking how do we fix it as he proposes some solutions, such as returning the money.

Plenty of other video clips have been making the rounds on Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and other social networking sites for a day or two now.  That’s an excellent way for readers to see directly what happened without reporters filtering the event from whatever perspective they’re coming from.  Of course, this is only a small segment and the Whig covered the entire meeting.  Perhaps the newspaper will post the entire recording so everyone can see the complete thing.

There are plenty of other clips out there and we’ll link to more later.  For example, Commissioner Hodge opened with one set of remarks that got ink, but at the end he wrapped things up with another set.  He said:  “I think Senator Pipkin’s points are well taken.  Things could have been done different.  I wish they were done differently.” .

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36 responses to “Video: During Meeting on Campaign Financing Questions, President Lockhart Asks Can We Have Them Give the Money Back?

  1. Will you post a video or written report of Commissioner Demmler’s comments? I read her comments in the Whig but you have not mentioned them. Since she is not running for reelection she has no agenda here.

  2. Penny: I see the Whig included Commissioner Demmler’s comments in the portion of the edited clips it selected for sharing with its subscribers. Surf over there to listen to her comments.

    Since so many people want to hear specific clips, I’d suggest you call the Whig and urge the newspaper to share the full thing so eveyrone can see all of it. As the Whig professionally recorded the entire meeting, with state-of-the-art equipment, including the audio capture, and a specifically assigned videographer, that would be a valuable service since the print reports have been produced.

    We can go back and do a detailed report on the meeting to add to our news brief. It will be balanced, as it seeks to include the points each side made, the reasonable questions about how the county could allow a bus tour it is is listed as organizing to be turned into a political fundraiser, the agreements (there were a few on some basic facts), the areas of contention (plenty of those), and the attempt to put solutions on the table (as we reported there were some of those).

  3. What about what Jim Mullin said. You should report what he said. He spoke up for letting the Arts Council and others work with economic development on these fundraisers I heard. Why didn’t you tell us about that?

  4. Rachel,
    This was not a fundraiser. There was an excess of resources raised for a bus tour.

    In the past, the Army paid for this Service. The county and chamber helped with this service.

    The Arts Council and others he mentioned, have not been involved in, nor would they know how, to pull together a bus tour for BRAC transferees. That was just a stupid suggestion from Mullin. This is a prime example of the commissioners’ foot in-mouth-with-no-brain-activity disease. (See also Brian Lockhart’s continuous mental lapses)

    The Army wanted another tour. The County could not help because the budget for the Office of Economic Development has been so severely cut that there was no money to fund the Army’s request.

    Cecil County Chamber of Commerce…no money either.

    Thence, Joyce Bowlsbey steps up. She has been involved on many of the tours. She knows what she is doing and how to handle the situation. Ms Bowlsbey is the Chair of the Government Relations committee of the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce. A VOLUNTEER POSITION. Ms Bowlsbey was a member of the APPOINTED charter board to create the Charter for Cecil County, which, of course, is another VOLUNTEER POSITION. She also volunteers tirelessly for many other groups and organizations in Cecil County.

    If you catch my drift, Joyce Bowlsbey is a long time, highly respected, well-educated, and extremely generous volunteer. To attack her and suggest any impropriety is ludicrous.

    She did the work, found the resources and managed the entire tour. There was an excess of funds when the project was over. It is her right to decide where that excess money is to go.

    Mike and Smipkin,
    You can twist it in your warped minds any way you want for your own political gain. However, until you can muster 1 / 100th of the value and effort for the good of Cecil County contributed by Joyce Bowlsbey, you have no right to attack and demean.

    If you really want to offer the truth for everyone to evaluate, then post the ENTIRE video. Bits and pieces to support your contorted points is as valuable as a pitch from a snake oil salesman. (wow what a similarity)

    Mike,
    PLEASE don’t repeat your same line of excuses here again. Try to write something new.

    Bee,
    Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes. Charter Yes.

    Smipkindunnbee, bye bye.

    • Raoul

      Okay let me review your assessment of anyone having an interpretation that differs from the one you want imprinted. Comm Mullin suffers from foot in the mouth brain dead disease, you say. President lockhart suffers from continuous mental lapses, you say. You say . . . . it goes on and on.

      So hard to ask for explanations of a few questions about how government can hand off a tour that underwrites a campaign. The question was what is local government’s role as it was listed as the coordinating point. A reasonable question.

      On the video this demonstrates the need for the county to start doing that. It won’t cost much. Meanwhile call the Whig to get that video shared.

      It shouldn’t be this hard to get local government to answers some basic, reasonable questions.

      BTW Raoul have you read the Guardian?

      Beth in considering posts I give much more consideration to the opinions presented in signed ones. If someone has an opinion that is worthy of consideration or an assessment of a person why wouldn’t they sign it? There’s a reason.

    • Raoul, You stated in an earlier post The Friends of Charter and their supporters have presented a solid case. What are you talking about? If the County Commissioners had done their job and not allowed Economic Development Director Vernon Thompson,and a staff member make a deal with Friends of Charter (Joyce Bowlsbey) that showed a profit of over $6,000.00 dollars. This profit paid for signs, billboards, fliers, ads in the Cecil Whig. Giving the impression Cecil County Government is endorsing Charter. Is that what you call a solid case? As for volunteers there are hundreds of citizens that volunteer everyday that get nothing or expect nothing for their services. By the way are you on the Charter board? Watch out how you answer I might know who you really are?

  5. Joyce Bowlsbey is the only one that could have pulled-off a successful BRAC tour. What all the nay-sayers fail to acknowledge is the amount of personal time and energy that Joyce has put into learning the needs, wants and desires of the BRAC community. This was not the first time that Joyce has meet with the BRAC community. For the last four years Joyce has been marketing Cecil County, and I can guarantee everyone there is no one more PRO CECIL COUNTY then Joyce. I agree any group would have like the proceeds from such a successful tour, but are these groups willing to put in the time necessary to learn what this new communities needs are? This group of elected officials should be singing her praises, instead they making a mockery of Joyce’s hard work. The county could not afford to employee someone like Joyce, they should be grateful she is willing to volunteer.

  6. Billye Jo Jackson

    Mr. Dixon, On Monday 10/25 I called Mr Bullard, editor Cecil Whig and requested they publish the entire video of the meeting between the Cecil County Commissioners, Smigiel and Pipkin. Mr Bullard stated they could not do that due to time. I then ask if I could purchase a copy of the video. He said he didn’t have the answer to that, no one had made that request before and he would call me back. As of 4:oo pm today 10/26 I again called Mr Bullard and left a message. Mr Bullard returned my call at 7:30 pm 10/26 tonight. His answer was no I could not purchase the video and what was on line now will be all they will show. I am sorry to you and your readers that I was unable to make it possible for all to see the complete video. I feel that if I could have seen the full video it might have help me in making my decision on charter. Thank You

  7. Mike, I am sorry to say that this incident deals a healthy blow to your theory that we would get better results if the elected officials relied more on their professional staff. Perhaps the problem is not in your theory but the ethical lapse of the professional staff.

    Contrary to the above posts, this controversy is not an issue about Joyce Bowlsbey, how nice she is, how many hours she has spent on public service, or how good a job she has done with the BRAC tours. It is not about which form of government the county’s citizens should choose.

    The central issue is that the county government brokered a pay-for-service opportunity to a political entity, outside the competitive bid process, thus giving them an advantage at the polls and interfering with the political process. It is no more or less immoral than if they gave the money to the Democratic (or Republican) Central Committee, Cecil County Patriots, the Susan B Anthony list, or Friends of Carl Roberts. The electoral process has been irreparably tainted.

    Expediency is never a substitute for ethics. It was expedient for Richard Nixon to hire men to break into Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel; it was expedient for Saddam Hussein to gas the Kurds in Halabja; it was expedient for Slobodan Milosevic to enter the UN “safe haven” at Srebrenica and slaughter the men; and, it was expedient for Economic Development to hand this deal off to without proper oversight on where the money would end up.

    • Hu Shanjian, Outstanding post. Thank you .

      • Hu, Bee, Concerned Citizen, et al: I just received another expensive glossy mailer. This one asking me to VOTE NO on Charter, Authority: Paid for by Friends of Mike Smigiel, Charles Jagoe, Treasurer. Paid for by Friends of E.J. Pipkin, Wayne Beall, Treasurer P.O. Box 39 Stevensville, MD 21666. All statements on this mailer are FALSE. How much do you think it has cost these “Fat Cats” to attempt the purchase of this election and installation of their puppets? They have funded their “Fiscal Conservative” teams and were successful in destroying the career of Delegate Dick Sossi via expensive negative mailers. The zip code ending says it all: 666, sign of the SMIPKIN BEAST. Vote NO TO SMIGIEL AND PIPKIN.

        • Mr. Galvin, Since when is it a crime to send glossy mailers ? At least they paid for their NO to Charter mailers from their own campaign funds. I can not say the same for Friends of Charter.The “Fat Cats”reference is totally unnecesssary, infact sleazy. As to your remark about the zip code tells me the glossy mailers are truthful and very effective. You are worried the voters will read the truth, so you had to search for anything negative. It is almost Trick or Treat time,you want to Trick the people with your remarks. The real Treat for all citizens would be NO to Charter and Yes to Smigiel and Pipkin

        • Thank you Frank, I received the same mailer and instantly became ill.

          Lies are the tools of desperate politicians who cannot stand on their own merits, but rather seek to destroy their opponents at all cost.

          How desperate the Smipkindunnmell venue must be as they kettle up and ‘discharge their reeking, corrosive vomit as a projectile when threatened.’

          Hu Shanjian, what a great name inspector #7. How long have you been in Cecil County with your teabags? Further, to what branch of Smipkindunnmell do you belong?

          I do apologize, Bee, for removing your moniker from the wake, but you just don’t seem nasty enough.

          Mike, I assume you have never mentioned Commissioner Demmler’s remarks, except to brush off other’s comments on you blog, because, gosh, I don’t know. You were sitting right there. You may not have been paying attention. But, that’s ok. She indicated that it was a political game by them (Smigiel/Pipkin) meant to pick up votes just before the election.

          With the overwhelming feelings of voters this year to throw out incumbents, they may have signed their own discharge notice. They will probably also take down whoever else is in their shadow.

          Mr. Dixon, I hope you have a lifeline to the soon to be, new way of life in Cecil County. Think M&M.

          My votes will only go to those candidates and issues that have run clean campaigns and presented their side without trying to disparage their opponents.

  8. How many times has the Cecil Whig video-taped the County Commissioner meetings? Frequently? Does anyone else do it that you’re aware of?

    • Justin M. None that I am aware of. My understanding is several citizens requested Delegate Smigiel ask the Cecil County Commissioners to explain the actions of the Economic Development Department with Friends of Charter and BRAC Tours. Delegate Smigiel wrote a letter to the commissioners intended only for their review. The commissioners were the ones that made a big issue and instead of meeting with Delegate Smigiel or just simply answered his questions instead they contacted the Whig , Cecil Guardian and some Blogs.It is my opinion the commissioners wanted it to look like Delegate Smigiel and Senator Pipkin were grand standing for votes. Had the commissioners handle this in a professional manor instead of making a public stage play for election revenge against Delegate Smigiel and Senator Pipkin maybe a lot of this would not have been necessary.But, again Vernon Thompson kept changing his story/excuses. So now the play goes on.

    • Justin M., I can’t say for sure, but speaking from what I’ve seen this is the first time the Whig has recorded for an entire meeting. The daily paper equips its photographers with video recording equipment, which is the new style today as news platforms merge. They frequenlty grab brief pieces and post those on YouTube.
      But in this instance, there was a dedicated videographer there, capturing the entire, long meeting. He came equpment with all the professional equipment, incuding audio monitoring equpment.
      That is the first time I’ve seen them do that. Afterwards they shared about five minutes of tape in the meeting that went well over an hour.
      Actually this goes to illustrate the points of one of the commissioner candidates, Dianne Broomell, as she raises the issue of just recording all the meetings.
      Yesterday they held another meeting to discuss the same subject. How much more productive it would be to have the video streamed online, since it was way too hard in that crowded room a week earlier, with lots of people watching and cameras rolling, to agree on what transpired. That’s what caused so much of the controversey afterwards. So why not just show the video. It’ll be there for everyone without any filters of journalists, writers, and bloggers, whatever filters they bring to the issue..
      Sounds like, good open and transparent goivernment to us, something the commissioners could easily and cost effectively take care of right now.

      • Mike, you’ll get a treat out of this. I agree with you and Broomell.
        Let’s record all of the meetings/work sessions and coffee room chat in Cecil County. All the county and all county departments, all the town meetings from all the towns and all their departments, all the Board of Education meetings, anything involving anyone receiving a pay check from the taxpayers of Cecil County. And that includes sanitation, human services, liquor board, parks and recreation, etc.
        That’s what I call good open and transparent gov…I’m sorry…goivernment.

        I bet are ratings would be better than CSPAN.

        • Raoul:
          What’s the problem with streaming the commissioners meetings, the workshops and regular meetings? If no one watches fine, but as we try to create open, transparent government, what’s the harm when there doesn’t have to be much cost.
          What, wouldn’t we want transparency in government in Cecil Co, Raoul. Is that a problem or something, that’s bothering you?

  9. Raoul:
    We were sitting right there weren’t we!
    Actually on your point about brushing off Commissioner Demmler’s comments (she said this was all about politics), we didn’t include that in our news brief because it wasn’t central to the story. The meeting was about pinning down how the county handed off a profit-making bus tour to a political group. There was plenty of politics, on both sides, swirling around as we stood on election eve.

    But I think you raise a point since there was so much about that contentious meeting, with each side having its favored moments, why not just call the Whig and urge them to share the entire recording. That should satisfy everyone, rather than just having each side select its favorite moments from the meeting. In addition all can see it without filters being applied from anyone, regarldess of perspective.

    Raoul we’re curious why the county wouldn’t simply answer the basic question that sought an explanation about how county government came to hand off the bus tour. Why require it to escalate in order to get ansers. They were reasonable questions about how a profit making bus tour was handed over to a political group. If the county had answers about that fine. Put the query to rest on move on. That would be the professional way to handle it. But we don’t have a problem, either, with streaming the video outtake if someone will post it on YouTube.

    Raoul, you said: “I hope you have a lifeline to the soon to be, new way of life in Cecil County. Think M&M.” Don’t worry about us. We’ll be okay eitherway.
    BTW, we were pleased to see today that fewer people were on your hit list if they took a position that wasn’t in synch with yours. After announcing the Commissoner Mullin suffered from “Foot–in-the-Mouth, brain dead disease” and President Lockhart suffered from “continuous mental lapses,” y0u had some assessments beyond the politicians.

    Let’s see there was Wayne Fenstermacher, a newspaper editor from cecil County. A true professiona, he knew how to dig into a story and that type of thing has real value, contributing to keeping readers informed and providing a balance in government. You suggested he stop horning into things and get back to Pennsylania to work on other enterprises.

    For Dianne and Jacque you suggested we actually need leaders who can actually think, strategically AND implement and they had no idea how to get some it done.

    There were others.

    The voters will decide what they think about charter and other things. Raoul, I’ll borrow your words for Wayne, just “chill out and take a cruise.” It’ll all work on whatever the voters decide and we’ll all be fine. I don’t think we’ll need lifelines. Do you?

    • Mr. Dixon, Would you please attach a Virus or Spam warning on Raoul’s postings. If his nasty, hateful attitude spreads we could all become as miserable as him. Goodness help us all!

      • As usual, Commissioner was right on target when she said the SMIPKIN issue was all about politics. Smigiel says his letter was meant to be private, yet it was on his House of Delegates stationary and not marked PRIVATE. In addition to the mailer, we now have the same false information in the form of a full page ad paid for by the Smigiel and Pipkin committees. Why are they so opposed to Charter ? Could it be that it would lessen their control over Cecil County?

  10. Galvin, I posted it was a private letter.Ofcourse Delegate Smigiel would use his official letter head as it was requested by citizens to his position as a Delegate. DUH! Who are you to say it is False information? It is two different opinions. How about I say Friends of Charter/ you/ charter is false information. Am I then afraid of “lessen my Control”? The Whigs endorsements made it clear to me I will vote Against all they endorsed and Charter.

    • I can’t believe that pro full disclosure, transparency, anti backroom deals Smigiel would send a “private” letter to a government agency. I have actually read the Charter proposal, attended meetings, asked questions of the attorney who advised them, and read his book. Nothing in the SMIPKIN ads has proven true in counties that have adopted Charter as a result of the new form of government. DUH ! Great voting strategy. DUH !

      • Galvin, and Raoul, My leader? Since my postings have your feathers ruffled I must be saying what you DO NOT want the readers to see.That is OK. As long as your both after me you are not attacking others. Galvin keep patting yourself on the back for all you have done.GOOD BOY. Roual post in english or are you trying to impress us. NOT IMPRESSED. Both of you calm down , have a drink of some kind. It’s almost over.

        • No Bee, I am not trying to impress. Golly you are touchy.
          Just thought your candidate might enjoy, even though I am not fluent.
          And I do want EVERYONE to hear what you have to say.

    • Bee, I will be ecstatic November 2, 2010 when the regime is peacefully overthrown in our Beautiful Cecil County by the voice of the people. I am not miserable, rather exhilarated by the inevitable outcome of Democracy in Action.

      So Bee, you fall in lock step with your leader [remark edited by Someone Noticed]

      • Bee…You asked how I know the SMIPKIN line is false information. I told you that I researched the issue. It is interesting that Smigiel the “Patriot” would attempt to deceive the citizenry.” (False) Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” You can look it up.

      • Bee.. Say what you will. I merely explained how I arrived at my position.
        Unfortunately modern politics allows the “Fat Cats” to influence the masses via mass mailings and other media. It makes you wonder why a wealthy person in Cecil County would spend tens of thousands of dollars to win an elective office and defeat Charter government. To paraphrase Abe Lincoln: You must only bull@#*& the voters every four years. Down with SMIPKIN, Up With Charter.

  11. Mr. Galvin, Lets stop this ridiculous postings. I am not going to change my opinion and you aren’t going to change yours. We agree on nothing.But let me make it very clear to you NO one tells me how or who to vote for. I have my own personal reasons for voting against Moore,Roberts,Lockhart, and especially Manlove.As for Charter my vote is NO. Enough said.

  12. Hello, this is the first time I have visited this site. While you are writing about things that aren’t popular with some, I appreciate your willingness to report on these things. It appears you are trying to present both sides and just dig into these things. Thank you.

    • Bart, I agree that this forum gives people the ability to express and defend their opinions. I hope that the voters have taken time to study Charter as well as the politics against Charter. The Cecil County “Delegation” to Annapolis consists of eight people. Why do only Smigiel and Pipkin work against Charter. The phony “Chartergate” sham was bad enoough. Now their finance committees have mailed anti Charter pieces to county voters at a cost of about $8,000.00 and have paid for two full page ads in the Whig at about $1800.00 each. Why? The other six delegation members have remained silent on the matter. Why? Smigiel and Pipkin were in the forefront pushing tax cap (reduced revenue) and binding arbitration (increased cost of government). That combination, in addition to state funding cuts, would have forced the commissioners into making decisions that hurt the residents while Smigiel and Pipkin would have benefited from support by voting blocks while escaping accountability for their actions. I will vote for Charter and against SMIPKIN.

      • Billye Jo Jackson

        Charter has taken over this Election and yes it is a very important issue. I would like to share with your readers the Delegate Mike Smigiel that I will vote for. The following are things that your readers may not be aware of #1: The NorthBay Environmental Center located in Elk Neck State Park. Former Governor Ehrlich made a behind the scene agreement with the Erickson Foundation to lease them 95 acres of prime water front property exclusively for $1.00 a year for 20 years, plus 350 acres nonexclusive (No hunting as it was allowed before) . The Balitmore Sun discovered this while reporting on a smiliar situation in St. Mary’s county. When Delegate Smigiel became aware of this he started inquiring as to what was happening. I know for certain that if Delegate Smigiel had not helped we would have lost a lot more of our acreage and use of Elk Neck State Park. #2 The Flush Tax: Delegate Smigiel voted against the Flush tax. I have a septic system and I still become angry when I see the Flush Tax on my tax bill. #3: I requested in writing to Delegate Smigiel an Attorney General opinion with regards to the Cecil County Ethics Code 166-5, 166-6 (the section references complaints and the $5,000.00 fine and up to 1 year in jail) . Is that enforceable? The AG opinion came back NO it could not be enforced. I contacted the County Commissioners and they appointed a committee to review and rewrite the Ethics Code Laws. This is just a short list of the many accomplishments of Delegate Smigiel . Some are angry at Delegate Smigiel over Charter, I just ask they consider more than charter when they vote.

        • Billye Jo Jackson

          Mr. Beale, Since when was this your Blog? My suggestion is if you don’t agree with my postings DON’T read them. I can also turn it around and suggest you should pay for your attacks on Delegate Smigiel. Why did my posting upset you ? I simply told the truth as to my experiences with Delegate Smigiel. I used my real name when I post due to the fact I am telling the truth. That is more than I can say for you .” Howard Beale”?????

        • Ms. Jackson… I suggest that you pay for advertising if you want to support Smigiel. Or do one of the “endorsements” on his facebook page.

  13. Ms. Jackson…The rest of us are discussing Charter based issues and you are presenting a Smigiel infomercial. Charter should be the focus, not Smigiel.

    • Billye Jo Jackson

      Mr. Beale Again since when is this your Blog. Who are you to tell me what issues I can post.? The rest of you are not just discussing issues about Charter. You are attacking Smigiel and anyone else that doesn’t agree with you. Please don’t tell me what the focus should be as your focus is to destroy Delegate Smigiel at any cost. It has nothing to do with Charter.If Charter wasn’t on the ballot you would find somethingelse. Give it a break I am not going away. I just might post all day tomorrow and Tuesday.

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