TWO A.M. IN ANNAPOLIS...Sounds Like a Plot From Hollywood.... ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Sunday, August 30, 2009

TWO A.M. IN ANNAPOLIS...Sounds Like a Plot From Hollywood....

Unwilling as many of us are to put anything beyond Moyer Inc., we can only speculate as to why Boss Ellen O. and/or Sam Shropshire suddenly introduced legislation to allow bars to stay open until 2 a.m. in downtown, aka "Ward One." Hmmm. Hmmm. I'm thinking. Could it be payback to her many enemies downtown? Could it be for the political gain of others? Naw...or could it mean absolutely nothing except the mayor introduces a bill?

It is two weeks until the primary. The bill will be introduced the night before the primary, yet somehow, well in advance of the normal one week or so notice of such information, word got out to Arundel Muckraker, which I then amplified and linked. Others quickly learned of this from Muckraker. (I do not know how Muckraker learned of this, as he refuses to say except it was not from any campaign official)

Here are some thoughts. Boss Ellen O of Moyer Inc. is leaving office soon, and she does not live downtown, and does not care much about those who live downtown--except for the trees. But with her precious three months left, she suddenly decides to introduce this and gather supporters--who came along quickly! Every time the council tries to push something through just before its term ends....look out!

We must ask, is there something else going on? Why now? Is it possible, just speculating of course, but is it possible that she is doing this to prop up the political prospects of a successor, one that will be buoyed by quickly coming out in opposition and thus garner votes in Ward One, perhaps the most crucial ward in town? Is this possible?

Well, I don't know, but it is interesting that very soon after the mayor announced her intent to submit this legislation, one candidate came out in strong opposition. I hereby provide excerpts from that candidate's quickly distributed news release:

Dear Mayor Moyer and Members of the City Council:

I have just learned that some of you reportedly will be introducing an ordinance to expand 2 a.m. liquor licenses to more bars and restaurants downtown. I have not seen the details of this proposal but am writing you immediately to express my strong opposition to such a move. I am concerned both about the substance of the proposal as well as the timing.......

The absolute wrong way to revisit this sensitive issue is to push through a change at the political level without broad public input and support from the community. Such a move would be devoid of the public buy-in that is so critical......There will be ample time for the next mayor and council to revisit this issue with the time and attention it requires.......Please be advised as well that if the current council changes the liquor license policy, the first piece of legislation I introduce as mayor will be to immediately reverse it.

I asked the candidate and his campaign manager the following:

When did you learn about the mayor's proposed legislation regarding the 2 am bar closings?
How did you learn about this?
Were either of you or any of your campaign supporters involved in discussion with the mayor or other council members about this before?
Did you establish a record in city council in regard to this issue?
What role has your mother played in this issue, or with the Ward One Sector Study?

Within minutes, the candidate replied that he learned about this on Friday the 21st from Muckraker and added:

"As an alderman I was the deciding vote in a successful 5-4 vote to defeat an earlier attempt to expand 2 AM licenses back in 2003 or 2004.

To my knowledge no one on my campaign knew anything about it and I certainly didn't until yesterday. I believe my mother just found out about it yesterday too but you should contact her because I don't speak for her. I didn't participate in the Ward One Sector Study but as a board member of WORA in the early 1990s I fought to protect the compromise that was reached."

Now, to continue with the developing hypothesis here, and I have no reason to doubt the candidate's response, let us not forget that his campaign manager was also Boss Ellen O's campaign manager. What if, and this is only yet more speculation, but what if there is some kind of behind-the-scenes thing going on and what if the candidate really knew nothing about it, but his operatives did it behind his back for his benefit??....kind of makes one think of  "What did you know and when did you know it?"

This whole thing allows this particular mayoral candidate to appear to be opposing Boss Ellen (and Alderwoman Finlayson who earlier endorsed him) and to stray from the confines of Moyer Incorporated, an attachment if you will, or a relationship that has dogged him for years and is his biggest liability for getting elected--along with his propensity for making career changes....and along with perhaps lukewarm support for him in Ward One.....Brilliant. Of course it preempted the one candidate who would most likely lead a charge against such a proposal. 

Boss Mayor also knew it would not hurt and might possibly help her crony friends in outlying wards to support such legislation. Absolutely brilliant. Of course, CP could be mistaken for posing such an outlandish idea. This could just be my imagination gone wild. Could they really have thought this up? It seems like a Hollywood plot. But with Boss Ellen heading up Moyer Inc., nothing seems too far-fetched, but if true, at what point did her chosen successor know about this?  Others have provided their thoughts and speculative notions on this as well, some touching upon the way it might play out for Gil Renaut, Trudy McFall, Dave Cordle, Sheila Finlayson, Classie Hoyle and of course, Chris Fox.

But here is perhaps the weirdest twist of all--the bill is being co- introduced by Sam Shropshire, as far as I can tell. Doesn't he have enough to worry about between running for mayor, defending himself in a criminal lawsuit and supposedly introducing another bill that night regarding the city manager issue?? Is that enough? So, why, why would he introduce this bill???? Is he somehow trying to help the other candidate?? And if so, why?

If I am completely off-base here, I guess the laugh is on me---but if I am spot on, how will we keep the laugh from being on all of us? Of course, in any event,  the candidate absolutely did the right thing and should be receiving praise for such a fast and resolute response because it is in the interests of most Ward One residents --and they vote! Most bar owners do not. This should go on to the next council.

Perhaps bloggers and conspiracy theorists should have to close at midnight.......


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