A tale of government corruption is unfolding in Baltimore, Maryland. On Thursday, April 25, agents from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service raided the home of Baltimore’s Mayor, Catherine Pugh (D). Other addresses associated with the mayor were also raided, along with the office of her attorney.
The raids appear to stem from the sales of her self-published children’s books, Healthy Holly. The University of Maryland Medical System paid Pugh $500,000 for 100,000 copies of the book, which was then distributed to children, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.
The Mayor’s Pay-to-Play Book Deals
The mayor allegedly struck several similar deals with businesses and individuals, bringing in some $800,000 since 2011 for Healthy Holly LLC. While seeking a contract to provide health insurance to Baltimore city employees, Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh over $100,000 for 20,000 copies of her book.
Federal investigators remain tight-lipped about the operation, though the city is reeling from corruption scandals. Three aides to Pugh – one of whom was also targeted in Thursday’s raids – were recently fired by city council leader Bernard Young, who is now the acting mayor.
Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has called for Pugh’s resignation: “Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead.” For several weeks, Pugh has been on leave for apparent health reasons, along with several members of her staff.
Pugh has served as mayor of Baltimore since 2016, presiding over a steep rise in crime and a city police department under siege for alleged racial discrimination. Meanwhile, Pugh herself appears to have focused more on her own personal pay-to-play schemes.
Democrat Local Government History of Failure
The bigger story, here, is that big government always breeds corruption while, at the same time, neglecting the legitimate needs of the people. Democrats control many of America’s largest cities and a great number of them are falling into decay and disrepair. The social problems about which Democrats always claim to care are, ironically, far worse in many of these cities than in other parts of the country. San Francisco – now drowning in tent cities for the homeless, human feces, and the used hypodermic needles that litter the streets – is another prime example.
There are certainly some idealistic Democrats who actually believe that society is better off when the government is big and powerful enough to provide people with everything they need. It is hard to ignore the suspicion, though, that many Democrat politicians advocate for bigger government and ever-expanding bureaucracy because they know it provides a perfect vehicle for crony capitalism and self-enrichment.
If the Democrats were true to the ideals they profess and able to make their policies work, those American cities that have been run, for decades, by Democrats would have relatively few social problems and would be the cleanest and most prosperous metropolitan areas on the planet. Yet, the opposite is true, in the majority of cases. Many of these deep blue cities are turning into little Venezuelas, with out-of-control taxation, failing schools, growing poverty and homelessness and, in several cases, skyrocketing crime rates.
Against this dismal backdrop, politicians like Pugh line their own pockets and those of their friends and family. It would be entirely wrong to suggest that these failings are exclusive to Democrats, but it is difficult to ignore the dreadful state of most of the big cities they have run – as virtual one-party mini-states – for too many years.
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