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Steve Schuh
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Republican values. Strong Leadership. People, not Politics.
Republican values. Strong Leadership. People, not Politics.

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Steve #Schuh Leads Johnson by 14 Points in Latest Poll

Confirms internal polling showing large support for Schuh on taxes, experience

Annapolis, MD (October 24, 2014) - Steve Schuh has a commanding lead over his opponent, according to polling released today by Anne Arundel Community College's Center for the Study of Local Issues.

The poll, conducted from October 14-16, found that 40 percent of likely voters support Steve Schuh for County Executive over 26 percent supporting George Johnson. The survey was a random sampling of 411 County residents over the age of 18 with a margin of error of 4.8 percent.

"This poll confirms the results of our internal polling showing strong support for Steve Schuh's five part plan: Cut the property tax by 3 percent, work with the school system to build smaller neighborhood high schools, improve staffing and pay for public safety, enhance customer service and address failing storm pipes and eroding waterways," said Schuh Campaign Manager Diane Croghan. "With only 13 days until Election Day, Delegate Schuh will continue to reach out to as many voters as possible."

Schuh leads in all categories, including "right experience," "ensures best value for taxes collected," "has high ethical standards" and "connects with you personally," according to the poll.

"These results are very encouraging, and I will continue working hard in the final days of this campaign to reach undecided voters," Delegate Schuh said. "I am humbled by the widespread support from Republicans, Independents and Democrats. The poll indicates that voters are looking for the right person for the job, regardless of party affiliation."

Please be sure to "like" Steve Schuh for Anne Arundel County Executive on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter!

#schuhthatswho #arundel #georgejohnson #steveschuh

#georgejohnson   #arundel   #ethics  
A top law enforcement officer should know better.

Democrat admits using state resources for county executive campaign

Rema Rahman, rrahman@capgaznews.com

October 15, 2014

Democrat George Johnson said Tuesday night he would not step down from his state post after the Maryland GOP called on him to resign for allegedly using taxpayer resources in his campaign for county executive.

The Republican Party said it intends to file a formal complaint with the state, claiming Johnson violated public ethics laws by using his office for campaign purposes. Johnson said his campaign would be unaffected.

Johnson has been the superintendent of the Natural Resources Police since 2007. He is running against Republican Del. Steve Schuh to be the next Anne Arundel County executive.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the Maryland GOP said documents it received under a Maryland Public Information Act request showed Johnson called his campaign manager during business hours, solicited campaign funds using his state email address and had campaign-related meetings during business hours.

Johnson said he was not aware early in his campaign that he was not allowed to use state-issued devices for campaign purposes — including soliciting money and discussing fundraising efforts. He said when he realized he was making a mistake, he got a personal cellphone and established a campaign email address.

"I don't think any intentional wrongdoing was done," Johnson said. "It was an honest error."

Johnson has run for office four times before, winning three terms as sheriff. He lost a bid for county executive in 2006.

While on the campaign trail, Johnson has said his administration would not repeat ethical lapses that occurred under former County Executive John R. Leopold. Leopold resigned in February 2013 following his conviction for misconduct in office.

The Public Information Act request on Johnson was sent Aug. 4 to the Department of Natural Resources by Nathan Volke, chairman of the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee.

Such requests give members of the public access to certain state, county and government records.

Volke supported Schuh during a hotly contested GOP primary this year. He said he asked for the records as an individual, but declined to say if Schuh had any involvement.

David Abrams, a Schuh spokesman, said Volke's support of Schuh was not relevant to the request.

DNR phone records released by the GOP show Johnson used his state-issued cell phone to call his campaign manager 41 times between January and May. Most of the calls were less than 10 minutes and during business hours. There was a 42-minute call around 9 p.m. on April 8.

Johnson's schedule, also released under Volke's request, shows meetings Johnson had with former Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens and former Baltimore County Executive Ted Venetoulis during the weeks before he announced his intention to run.

Johnson said any campaign-related meetings are scheduled early in the morning, in the late afternoon or during lunch hours.

The calendar also includes meetings with developer Ed St. John; David Cordish, owner of the Maryland Live! casino; and Washington, D.C., attorney Stan Samorajczyk, husband of former County Councilwoman Barbara Samorajczyk.

Johnson's DNR emails, obtained Tuesday by The Capital, show messages in which Johnson used his state email account to discuss his campaign, including one in which he asked a supporter for a donation.

In an email dated March 7, Steve Somers, vice president of Whelan Security, offered to assist Johnson's campaign. During a series of emails, Johnson asked Somers if he would contribute.

"I am in fundraising mode right now," Johnson wrote. "May I be so bold to ask for consideration in making a contribution to my campaign. This is the part of politics that I have a difficult time dealing with; however it is necessary. If I am out if line, please forgive me."

Somers, who initiated the conversation, said that as an out-of-state resident he was unaware of Maryland's campaign laws and that if he had know about them, he would have contacted Johnson another way. Somers said Johnson was one of the "most ethical individuals I've ever met in my life."

"I don't think intentionally George would ever do anything improper," he said.

In an email dated Feb. 3, days after Johnson officially kicked off his campaign, Venetoulis emailed Johnson to ask for a campaign contact so he could make a contribution "and discuss some contacts and a poll you might want to take ... Don't like using your state e-mail."

Johnson said that in the early days of his campaign, his state email address was the only way many supporters knew how to contact him.

On Feb. 4, Johnson received an email from a supporter responding to a letter by Joanna Conti, then Johnson's Democratic opponent, suggesting Johnson had not been involved in the county since becoming superintendent of the Natural Resources Police.

"You know I am a staunch campaigner; I put my all into running for office," Johnson wrote. "I very much appreciate you coming to my defense."

Conti withdrew from the race weeks later.

In another email, dated April 30, Johnson suggested to his campaign manager, Michelle LeFurge, that a fishery service employee be part of the campaign.

One of the most recent emails was sent by LeFurge to Johnson's campaign and state email address on June 24, discussing a $1,000 fundraiser.

A public records request by The Capital in January for seven months of Schuh's state email accounts showed discussions of his campaign in emails from political club members or supporters. Schuh forwarded the emails to the personal account of his campaign assistant, who also served as his legislative aide.

Using state time or equipment for political campaigning is prohibited by the state Ethics Commission. State employees may not use their positions to campaign or involve other employees in a political campaign.

If a complaint is filed and a candidate is found in violation of the law, the Ethics Commission can issue an order that could require individuals to pay fines. In more serious cases, courts could become involved.

Johnson said that he is using accrued leave to take time off from Oct. 1 through the election.

Johnson said he discussed the matter with this supervisors at the DNR and all agreed there were no grounds to make any changes. Johnson said he would not resign from his post and would remain focused on his campaign.

"I'm doing everything humanly possible to keep my work separate from the politics," Johnson said.

Stephen Frantzich, a political science professor at the Naval Academy, said Johnson's position is "hard to argue" because anyone in law enforcement is constantly telling people that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Copyright © 2014, Capital Gazette

#endorsement #aapolitics #arundel  

Schuh Endorsed by Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Sergeants

Leadership chooses Schuh over former Sheriff

Annapolis, MD (September 26, 2014) – County Executive candidate Steve Schuh has been endorsed by Anne Arundel County’s Sheriff’s Sergeants.

“The Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Sergeants Association is pleased to endorse Mr. Steve Schuh in the November general election for County Executive of Anne Arundel County,” said Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 106 President, Deputy Sgt. Christopher Rhodes. “Our membership is excited at the prospect of Mr. Schuh working to improve public safety. We are confident he is committed to making Anne Arundel County a safer place to work and live.”

FOP Lodge 106 represents commanding officers with the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office, which Schuh’s opponent led for more than a decade.

Rhodes added of Schuh, “We are confident his ability to effectively govern reaches well beyond just public safety.”

Schuh has a five-part plan to make Anne Arundel County a model for the State of Maryland: Reduce taxes and fees, build smaller schools, enhance public safety, improve customer service and repair damaged storm pipes and waterways.

“I am proud to have the confidence of leaders in public safety to keep our families and our personnel safe,” Schuh said. “Our County faces significant threats, including gang encroachment, heroin and unserved criminal warrants. We need to provide our public safety professionals with the tools they need.”

Be sure to follow Steve Schuh for County Executive on Twitter or “like” us on Facebook!

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Smaller, Smarter Schools
By DELEGATE STEVE SCHUH
 
Public school construction is the single largest spending item for most local jurisdictions around the country.  Here in Anne Arundel County, when a new high school is finally built to replace an old school that is being retired, we will have spent more than $125 million and ended up with yet another huge, "regional" school that requires students to be bussed in over vast distances, limits students' opportunities to participate in inter-scholastic sports, and makes students and parents feel like numbers. We need a change. We need a new plan.
 
There are only twelve high schools in Anne Arundel County to serve a population of 560,000. That's the same number of schools as there were in 1982! The county has replaced and refurbished many high schools over the intervening years but remains stuck at a total of twelve.  In other words, the county just keeps adding on and adding on to its existing schools.  As a result, Anne Arundel County's high schools are now among the largest average size in the United States, or about 1,800 students.  This compares to a national average of about 700 to 800 students per high school. Four of our high schools have more than 2,000 students. That's bigger than many colleges!
 
Academic studies show that school performance suffers when high schools become too large.  This is exactly what one would expect.  It's a lot easier for kids to fall through the cracks at a large school than at a small school.  
 
Going forward, we should build smaller, neighborhood high schools rather than enormous regional schools. My goal is to double the number of Anne Arundel County high schools in the decades to come from twelve to twenty-four and to reduce the average size of our schools to about 1,000 students. This will allow us to accelerate school construction, use lighter and cheaper construction methods, keep students in their home communities, and create more opportunities for students to participate in after-school programs such as sports. Furthermore, building smaller, neighborhood high schools will give us more flexibility to address non-high school projects, such as High Point Elementary or George Fox Middle, because we won’t have so much money tied up in one large high school project each year.
 
A new high school in our county costs $425 per square foot, which is about 25 percent more per square foot than in nearby Howard County. This expensive approach (along with our traditional commitment to very large schools) has effectively put a block on building additional high schools.  
 
Prioritizing these large and complicated projects often leads to battles pitting communities like Severna Park against Pasadena or Millersville against Crofton. We saw this play out for the last decade as parents, teachers and students fought for a new Severna Park High School. That school is now under construction, but the path was bumpy and divisive at times.
 
It turns out that we are at a crossroads when it comes to school construction. The next project after Severna Park is Old Mill, our Frankenstein's monster that has two middle schools and a high school all on the same campus. The estimated cost of replacing these structures is an astounding $325 million. That’s right, three times the cost of Severna Park.
 
I believe we should consider splitting Old Mill into two new middle schools and two new high schools on separate campuses. At a lighter construction rate, we could potentially build two additional high schools.
 
Of course there are many questions about this plan. How do we deal with the increased operating costs of a larger number of high schools? Where will we find the land? What about the shorter life span of lighter construction projects?  These are all valid questions that I believe can be resolved. The alternative is to continue doing things the way we have for decades, which will only put us further and further behind. The latest report by Anne Arundel Public Schools projects that nine of our twelve high schools will be at or above full capacity by 2023. Three high schools, Meade, South River and Old Mill are estimated to have a whopping 2,600 students each in ten years. 
 
After Old Mill, the next high schools likely to be renovated or replaced are Glen Burnie and Meade.  Now is the time to start studying how these overly large schools can be split into multiple neighborhood schools where students are known and valued and have a chance of making the soccer team.
 
There is nothing easy about this plan. It will take great coordination between county government, the public schools system and the State of Maryland. It will take long hours and extensive number crunching and hawkish budgeting and management to get the most bang for the buck.
 
I think we are up to the challenge. I also think we don’t have any other choice.

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Words to remember. #Reagan
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It was seven decades ago today that units of the 29th Infantry, “The Maryland-Virginia Division” hit the beaches at Normandy to take the battle to the heart of Nazi Europe in “Operation Overlord,” better known as “D-Day.” 

The courage of the soldiers of the 29th Division and others on D-Day has been rightfully immortalized forever in movies such as “Saving Private Ryan” and books such as “The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice.” 

Much of the success of D-Day and the collapse of Hitler’s Germany less than a year after the 29th Division stormed Omaha Beach can be directly traced to the role of Fort George S. Meade, where it trained and assembled to prepare for battle.

On February 3, 1941, the 29th, also called the “Blue-Gray Division,” was reactivated back into service after being demobilized on May 30, 1919. 

It was at Fort Meade that the 29th was brought back into the fighting force that would storm Omaha Beach just over three years later. It was sent to England aboard the RMS Queen Mary. It was assigned to V Corps of the First United States Army, under the command of General Omar Bradley.

On the Devon-Corwall Peninsula in southwest England, the 29th began training for the combat that would provide the inspiration for the first 27 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan.”

The 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th was assigned to support the western flank of the 1st Infantry Division, hitting the Easy Green, Dog Red, Dog White, and Dog Green sectors of Omaha Beach. Considered by Allied intelligence to be the most challenging of the landing sites for D-Day, Omaha Beach more than lived up to that estimation in the carnage that met American invasion forces. But the foot soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division more than met the challenge.

As horrific as the combat was on June 6, 1944, Allied units achieved their objectives due to the courage of the individual and the resourcefulness of the leaders.

The Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and the architect of D-Day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, also spent time at Fort George G. Meade. He commanded a battalion of tanks at Fort George S. Meade, at that time the rank of Major. General George Patton also served at Fort G. Meade between the wars.

Strategically located, Fort George G. Meade continues to protect the national security interests of the United States.
At present, it operates as a support center for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and several Federal agencies. 

During World War II, more than 3.500,000 million from over 200 units trained at Fort George G. Meade. It still possesses the same resources to bolster the fighting capabilities of American military units. 

In the seven decades since the invasion of Hitler’s Europe, the importance of Fort G. Meade to the defense of the United States has not diminished. #dday70  

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Take a second to vote for me in the Red Maryland poll. We won the last two thanks to your clicks! 

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