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Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh takes leave over apparent children’s book scheme.



Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh takes leave over apparent childrens book scheme

The latest scandal struck the Port of Baltimore in the form of what looks comes across as bribery and conflict of interest. According to The Baltimore Sun Kaiser Permanente paid Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh approximately $114,000 to buy about 20,000 copies of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books during a period when the company was seeking a lucrative contract to provide health benefits to city employees.

But the scandal goes deeper than the apparent scheme that not only Kaiser Permanente partook in but Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield did as well. The most serious part of this scandal stems from Mayor Catherine Pugh receiving $500,000 for 100000 copies of her book series from the University of Maryland Medical Systems while she was a member of their board. The belief in a possible conflict of interest has led to Governor Larry Hogan, a second term Republican, calling on his prosecutor to launch an investigation into the suspicious book purchases.

Baltimore has had a streak of mayors marred by corruption. In 2010, just two mayors ago, Sheila Dixon was forced to resign over criminal activity involving stealing gift cards intended to help poor people and spending them on lavish shopping excursions. She used her resignation as leverage in a plea bargain. Catherine Pugh has announce she is taking an indefinite leave to “focus on health.”

My Take

Baltimore mayors are generally as corrupt as they come. This is the latest example in a long line. It’s important to note that Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor since 1971, the same era when Detroit turned blue. But what Catherine Pugh is accused of doing is nothing special. It looks like a childish, pun intended, version of the Clinton Foundation or what Joe Biden has been accused of doing through his son.

Will Baltimore learn? No. Will the scandal-free, cancer beating, Republican Governor of Maryland look good for cracking down on Mayor Pugh? Absolutely. With redistricting anticipated, I hope Hogan and his bipartisan task force consolidate the stupidity of Baltimore into as few Congressional districts as possible.

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