Local elections are now over, except for Manchester, where those on the ballot have no oposition, and the results are in. It seems like my fair hometown came out the winner when comparing the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast a ballot.
I think that it's sad that the citizens of Westminster (5.7% of eligible voters turned out), Mount Airy (5.9%), and Sykesville (6.5%) for the most part couldn't be interested enough to go to the polls. Allowing so few decide the fate for the whole town should be disturbing to the majority of citizens.
Hampstead's turnout was slightly better, at 13.8%, but still shows a lack of citizen interest in what happens to the town.
New Windsor (18.2%), Union Bridge (21.9%) citizens seemed to take this election more seriously even though there were few, if any hotly contested races.
Taneytown (23.5%), in somewhat surprising fashion, ovehauled the town's government by electing a new mayor and two new council members. This, I suppose, led to the largest turnout in recent memory, although we did go over 20% two years ago.
These numbers should be much larger since local elected officials will have as much, or more, affect on the lives of a town's residents than any county, state, or federal office holder does.
Since my last contribution to this space, I have been taken to task — and rightfully so — for intimating that there is a constitutional requirement for the president to make public his tax information. Actually though, there is a statutory requirement for the IRS to release pertinent information to certain congressional committees if requested. Those requests have been made and as yet the IRS has not complied, apparently under orders from the White House. That could be contempt of Congress, which can be considered a crime.
Personally, I don't care how much money he, or his companies, made over the last five or so years. What does interest me, though, is the sources of his income, both personal and corporate.
Were there possible violations of the emoluments clause or conflicts of interest? Also, whether or not he, or his companies, paid any personal income or corporate taxes at all. What tax advantages did he gain due to the changes in the tax tax laws that he championed? Did those new statutes benefit him and his family and their companies while the average U.S. worker and retiree, in reality, got a tax increase?
There are complaints by the White House and other Republican leaders that the House and Senate committee hearings into the possibility of an obstruction of justice by the president or some of his staff, under his direction, is simply a “do over” of the Mueller investigation.
That opinion fails to acknowledge that the special prosecuter did nor fully exonerate Trump on that portion of the investigation. Mueller simply said that he couldn't make a decision on the possibility of obstruction because in the opinion of those who oversaw the investigation that a sitting president could not be indicted for a possible crime. That, he said, was for the congress to decide. So this is what the House and Senate are attempting to do.
All of this stonewalling by the administration simply leads back to the overarching question, what is he trying so hard to hide?
As Shakespeare once wrote, “methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.”