www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-mayor-lobbyist-20130616,0,2773284.story

baltimoresun.com

What have the mayor and the lobbyist done wrong?

9:10 AM EDT, June 17, 2013

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Reporter Luke Broadwater's recent article about Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Memorial Day weekend described her leisure activities yet suggested that she did nothing wrong by staying in the beach house of an old friend who is now a top lobbyist.

The next day The Sun editorial page warned the mayor that she was on thin ice with her friendship with the lobbyist, Lisa Harris Jones.

Yet neither of the articles accused Ms. Rawlings-Blake of any wrong doing. In fact, both pieces almost admired the mayor for her close friendship. So what is the message?

What I want to know is: Does Ms. Harris Jones have a dubious track record? When she gets a contract with the city for one of her clients, what is the outcome of the contract? Did Ms. Harris Jones and company do a good job? And has any Baltimore investigative reporter or watchdog group found evidence of shenanigans? What is the problem?

I could use the same rhetoric to say that Mr. Broadwater's article and The Sun's editorial were acceptable, because they only suggested that the mayor should be more cautious. Then I could caution them to be careful of fanning the fires of suspicion on what was a simple wedding and vacation.

The rule is you are innocent until proven guilty. If the mayor commits a crime, we prosecute; however, not until then.

John Holter, Baltimore