After The McFall--Trudy On The Democratic Party ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Saturday, October 24, 2009

After The McFall--Trudy On The Democratic Party

(The following is a guest editorial by Trudy McFall, former Democratic Candidate for Mayor. This post was not solicited by me.I knew nothing about it until it was presented to me for publication and I have provided it here in its complete form without any editing. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of Ms. McFall and I make no claim as to the veracity of any of her comments. Reader's comments are welcome as long as the author is positively identified in the letter.):

I was interested to read Greg Stiverson’s recent account of his experience with Chuck Weikel, an elected member of the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee and up to a few days ago, an elected member of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee. In my own campaign for Mayor, Chuck Weikel played a significant role as Annapolis’ own dirty trickster. I have made notes and kept records about the negative doings of Democratic Party officials, such as Chuck, as I ran for Mayor in the Democratic primary.During my campaign I chose not to go into these things because I wanted my campaign to embody the professional, policy-based approaches I was advocating for the City.However, inspired by Greg’s experience, I am now ready to detail below the negative and untruthful treatment, which I know first hand, that I received from fellow Democrats.

I think this information will give voters a good idea of what the entrenched Democratic establishment will do to win elections for their favored candidates and detail the kind of things that folks like Chuck Weikel do to help them.  Perhaps if we keep exposing this type of behavior it can come to end.  I hope voters on November 3rd would really think about if this is how they want their City to continue to be run.  I continue to hope for real reform.

The following events are listed in roughly chronological order and took place approximately over the last 18 month period that I was running for Mayor:

1.      When I filed my first campaign financial report in July 2008 showing that I was the leading fundraiser, I was publicly attacked by Mr. Weikel. Mr. Weikel sent out an email blast and also spoke to the newspapers, which published his criticism regarding my donors.  He even criticized me for taking contributions from my mother, my brother and my best friend.

2.      In September 2008, Mayor Moyer and Steve Carr, her paid consultant and long time Party operative, each wrote letters to the editor of the Capital attacking me with an assortment of false claims, primarily related to my volunteer activities regarding public housing and crime.  Two other letters to the editor at the same time, from people I never heard of, also seemed to be part on an orchestrated negative letter writing campaign.

3.      In late September 2008, Mr. Weikel filed a claim with the County Board of Elections that I was violating the election rights of public housing residents by denying them the right to register to vote. He suggested that I had obtained exclusive rights to register these residents and was not doing so. Mr. Weikel knew full well that this allegation was false since he himself was, at the time, also registering voters in public housing communities.  I had at the request of the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee helped them to register voters in a public housing community, but certainly had no exclusive rights to do so.

4.      In July 2009, Mr. Weikel sent out an email blast, including to a Baltimore Sun reporter, implying (wrongfully) that I, as well as two incumbent aldermen, were “gay,” wondering what else we are “hiding,” and questioning if we were opening ourselves up to “Sam stuff.”

5.      In August 2009, Mayor Moyer attacked me with an assortment of false claims on her official City blog and later, on her personal blog, questioned the honesty of Dennis Conti, my Campaign Manager.

6.       In July 2009 an anonymous website was created exclusively to attack me.  We were able to identify that a person featured on the site had been contacted by James “Joe Ghost” Taylor who identified himself to this person “as a member of Josh Cohen’s campaign.” Mr. Taylor then called in Mr. Weikel, who took the person’s picture and collected information from her that was used on the site.  When I complained to Josh Cohen about the website he said he had nothing to do with it but “thought he knew who was behind it.”  That website attacked me on a broad range of topics, but mostly untruths related particularly to public housing.  The site was up and active until the time Josh Cohen was appointed as the Democratic nominee.

7.      A link to the above anonymous website was sent anonymously in an email blast to thousands of Democratic voters a few weeks before the primary.

8.      A local blog of a longtime associate of Mr. Weikel’s, and to which Mr. Weikel regularly contributed,  routinely posted ridiculous claims about me, many of which were sent in as “anonymous” comments.

9.      A newspaper reporter told me that Mr. Weikel sent material to them to try and have negative stories written about me, but they deemed none to have any merit.

10.  Hate literature about me from an anonymous organization called “Saving Annapolis Public Housing” was distributed to guests arriving at a reception I hosted at the Peerless Rens Club. The claims in the flyer where similar to the many other previous attacks made by the Mayor and Mr.Weikel.  The fellows handing out the literature said they were being paid to distribute it. The fact that such anonymous information was being used in apparent violation of City Code was brought to the attention of the Board of Supervisors of Elections. However, on advice from the City Attorney, who agreed that this was a violation of the City Code, no action was taken.

11.  A Democratic Unity Breakfast hosted by Speaker Mike Busch was held in September, 2009, following the first withdrawal of Zina Pierre as the Democratic candidate. I was not in attendance due to a pre-planned out of town trip. However, sources who were there reported that Speaker Busch told the group that “someone from the McFall campaign” was responsible for the providing the information on Zina Pierre’s background. When challenged, he modified his comment that it was a “supporter of McFall.” Neither of which were true. The person who was the informant, we came to learn later, was a professional private investigator who acted on her own and told Speaker Busch that no candidate had prompted her investigation, and her only contact with me was that I knocked on her door and she had voted for me. This comment by Speaker Busch referring to me set off a wave of rumors that I had been involved in exposing Zina. This rumor was totally untrue, but seemed to deflect speculation from any other candidates.
12.  On October 10, 2009 the Chairman of the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee, Nick Berry, issued a statement to the press criticizing me for a failure to demonstrate proper Democratic Party unity for endorsing Dave Cordle for Mayor.  Although I like Nick very much, this may have been one of the strangest and most remarkable events of the entire campaign after the way my own Party had treated me.

13.  On October 17, even after the appointment of Josh Cohen, Mayor Moyer continued to attack me on her radio show, saying that I should have had more investigation as a candidate and repeating again her assortment of untruths about me.

One of the key players in the above events is obviously Mr. Weikel, who is a well known Democratic Party elected official and operative with long standing ties to Mayor Moyer and Josh Cohen.   As noted, he serves and has served on the City and County Democratic Central Committees and, as such, is suppose to have the mission of recruiting and promoting potential Democratic candidates.  In addition, quite remarkably, Mr. Weikel is one of the six people on the Central Committee who selected Josh Cohen for Mayor. 

We complained numerous times about Mr. Weikel’s unethical behavior to Josh Cohen, Mike Busch and other Democratic officials.  Formal complaints were made twice in July and October, 2008 to Kory Blake, Chairman of the County Central Committee (and listed on voting records at one time as Chuck Weikel’s housemates), and nothing was done.  In July, 2009 we complained to the Annapolis Central Committee about another incident, and nothing was done.  In August, 2009 at a Democratic unity meeting called by Mike Busch and Senator John Astle I complained strongly about Mr. Weikel’s behavior, and nothing was done. Josh Cohen has always taken the position that Mr. Weikel is not part of his campaign and he has no control over him, and nothing was done by him either.  In fact, Josh Cohen told me when I complained the last time that “it is just politics.”  Based on this pattern of inaction, it is not unreasonable to assume that the activities of Mr. Weikel were consistent with the wishes of the leaders of the local Democratic Party and the favored candidate Josh Cohen, since they never made any moves to try to stop, reprimand or remove him. I believe that this inaction only emboldened Mr. Weikel.

I hope the telling of my experience will help citizens of Annapolis better understand in some small way how our local Democratic Party operates and help to illustrate why I so desperately feel we need to make a change and to have real reform in the upcoming election.  We need to retire the Democratic Party’s control of the Mayor’s office until the Party can get its house in order and once again be a Democratic Party of which we can be proud. 



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Ellis T, Clay St said...

AMEN!! I'm so glad that Trudy McFall has spoken out about this corrupt group of people that are politically-molesting the Democratic Party.

I supported Trudy McFall throughout her campaign. I know a lot of people in my circle of friends who supported her but, being registered Independents, could not vote in the primary.

The work Trudy has been involved with on Clay St is outstanding. I believed in her mission of genuine gov't reform. For me, the most refreshing thing about a candidate like Trudy McFall is that she was always honest, even when she knew an answer to one of my questions was likely something I didn't want to hear. She never hesitated giving bad news.

The City needs a mayor like Trudy McFall. I was holding out hope for days after the primary that she would run Independent.

I was excited at the idea of having a mayor with a similar vision of ABC.

As for Josh Cohen's comment about "this is just politics as usual"... that is absolutely deplorable and PATHETIC that he would turn a blind eye to such disgusting behavior. Character assassination is not acceptable "politics as usual", Mr Cohen.

I still don't know who I am going to support in the upcoming election. I spoke with some friends about it last night actually. Apparently Josh Cohen has now been dubbed Josh Clonen. We're gonna have more of the same corrupt politics as usual and nothing significant will get done in the city.

Enough is enough, Annapolis. Get these croonies OUT of here. We deserve better. YOUR VOTE decides our future.

Paul A. Richards said...

A lot of words to imply that everyone is out to get her. Yet, she ran a very good campaign -- well organized and staffed. Her main problem, I thought, was her reliance on primarily women-only volunteers, many from out of the city.

So, why the sour grapes? It is easy to blame most on Weikel, since this Blog enjoys anything that is anti-Weikel. But, again, why support Cordle? And, why cut every bridge that she has? It is unlikely that anyone, including Cordle, would trust her, ever again. So, why?

Unknown said...

To those dissatisfied with the cronyism in the Democratic Party:

1) Register and vote Green;

2) Demand an end to partisan elections at the city level.

Paul Foer said...

Well that's odd considering you have signs in your yard supporting Cohen and Kirby. I could go on about that, but....I don't think it would be worth effort in this case.

Stanford Erickson said...

Thank you Paul and thank Trudy McFall for these comments being on your blog. It is a great good service to our community.

The good people of Annapolis, and it is the great majority, must rise up and vote against these power perserving politicians. They have done much damage to a kind and considerate community, appealing to its good will while running the city as their personal plantation.

Paul Foer said...

Thank you...any endorsements???

Paul A. Richards said...

Voting Green, or not voting at all, is NOT the answer.

Sometimes I vote for a candidate; sometimes I vote against a candidate. But I want my vote to count.

No Vote = No Complaining.


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