04.01.09 Not Kramer, Either

Like I said: Neither District 4 front-runner is worthy of support.

When I posted my views on the District 4 county council race last week, some Navarro supporters came back to me with the rant: “So, are you saying Ben Kramer is better?”

“Awww geez,” I thought to myself.  “What part of ‘I can’t stand either of ‘em’ can’t you understand?”

So, let me take this blog post to make clear the part about not being for Ben Kramer.  How shall we count the ways?

1. He’s an über-developer from a whole family of über -developers.

2. He led the charge last year against raising state taxes on millionaires just a teensy-weensy bit.  (His sister, the ever-so-right-wing Rona Kramer, joined him in leading this effort.)

But that’s hardly all.  Let’s take a look at the excellent analysis provided by Maryland Politics Watch.

On the environment: “Kramer’s lifetime score of 79% is the lowest of any Montgomery County state legislator other than his sister, District 14 Senator Rona Kramer (who scores 68%).  The average score for House Democrats was 85% in 2008 and 91% in 2007.”

On GLBT rights: “Equality Maryland gave Kramer a 60% score in 2008, tied for the lowest among Montgomery legislators.”

On crime issues: “Kramer co-sponsored a bill by Republican Delegate Tony McConkey (R-33A) that would have made it easier for domestic abuse victims to acquire firearms permits.  The bill failed on an 86-51 vote.  Kramer and District 17 Delegate Luiz Simmons were the only Montgomery legislators who voted for it.  Lieutenant Governor Brown’s spokesman Mike Raia called it a ‘misguided measure.’”

More: “Kramer voted for Simmons’ abuser expungement bill three times – once in committee and twice on the floor.  The bill, which would have allowed accused abusers whose petitions were denied or dismissed by a judge to expunge their records, was opposed by female legislators by a nearly 2-1 margin.”

How much more do we need to know about this guy to determine that he (and his sister) hardly deserve to hold any public office in Maryland?  A jump from the part-time state general assembly to the full-time county council must feel like a promotion to Ben.  I see no reason why he deserves it.

I stand by the position I took last week: a pox on both their houses!

It is interesting to note (as I have) that the remnants of the totally discredited End-Gridlock Council have lined up for Navarro, as have many self-identified progressives.  Yet two of the slow-growth progressives of 2006 (Ike Leggett and Duchy Trachtenberg) have come out for Kramer.  It’s hard to define who the hypocrites are here.  It looks like there are plenty on both sides.

I have spent a good deal of ink (or, rather, pixels) recently decrying the lack of good guys in politics.  Well two of the three country council members who have not endorsed in this awful county council race are on my list of those rare good guys.  More on that in my next post.

©2009 Keith Berner

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