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News Opinion Readers Respond

Kamenetz the big money candidate [Letter]

Your editorial clearly defines the problem we face in Baltimore County government — the abundance of special interest money in the hands of elected officials with less than altruistic intentions ("Kamenetz the kingmaker," May 23). Big money is a prime reason for my campaign against the current administration which often operates in opposition to my ethical beliefs. Indeed, to simply sit back and watch the Kamenetz administration act in a less than honorable manner to individuals, community groups and county employees was a determining factor in my decision to enter the race for Baltimore County Executive. I take great pride in being a candidate with no prior paid elected experience and limited financial backing as opposed to The Sun's apparent criteria for determining candidate significance.

The Sun's determining factors of candidate "significance" appear to be based on: 1. prior elected service; 2. a well-funded war chest; and 3. name recognition. Might it not be better to focus on more pertinent measures of experience and ability? Does my elected community leadership as president of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council (three 2-year terms) and one 5-year term as president of the Hanover Road Association have no pertinent value? In addition, I bring 35 years of professional management experience in state government. I must respectfully suggest that these demonstrated qualifications exceed the value of holding a political office, amassing donations from special interest groups or posting big signs paid for from influence-seeking donors.

The well-written May 21 article by Alison Knezevich ("Kamenetz, developer fund campaign chest"), identifies Kevin Kamenetz's ability to use his created slush fund to "help" worthy candidates but did not mention the opposite potential to destroy the political careers of those who would display the audacity to challenge his leadership. Such unethical use of the "slate" funds controlled by Mr. Kamenetz have been applied against the re-election effort of Councilwoman Vicki Almond who did not support key issues supported by the Kamenetz donor pool.

A change in this style of government is desperately needed. Would Baltimore County be better served by a grass roots candidate to replace the kingmaker? The citizens of Baltimore County are proclaiming that "enough is enough." Instead of big signs that result in name recognition overload, we need a truly informed electorate. If the media is to meet their function, they must research and present the qualifications of all candidates in a fair and balanced manner. We all hope and pray for a better government for all people, not just for those with deep pockets.

George Harman, Reisterstown

The writer is a Republican candidate for Baltimore County Executive.

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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