OPINION: City funded Downtown Annapolis Partnership lauds Alderman Budge in Facebook posting???

| August 20, 2017
Rams Head

Politics can be a funny business!

In the midst of a contested election, the city-funded Downtown Annapolis Partnership (a Federal and State Main Streets Program) appears to have made a political endorsement in the race for Alderman with a recent post lauding incumbent Alderman Joe Budge on the Facebook page for his campaign.

(And a screen capture in case the original post (above) is pulled down.)

Considering that the organization receives funding for its Director and budget from the City (as required by the Main Streets Program) is is unusual, at best, that they would take a political stance. Or perhaps even illegal.  Had this been on the Federal level and not a City level, it would be a clear violation of the Hatch Act of 1939.

While it is unclear if this violates City election laws, the optics do not look good for the Alderman or the organization that has been struggling ever since they assumed the reins for the Annapolis Business Association. The Downtown Annapolis Partnership page does not reference any of the other candidates for office (there are two) in Ward 1. The City Council is responsible for funding the Downtown Annapolis Partnership budget and the salary of the Director according to the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development’s Main Street Maryland Program.

If you’d like to listen to what two of the three candidates for Ward 1 had to say about the election in general, The Maryland Crabs Podcast spoke with them.  Republican Candidate Larry Claussen did not return any emails when an interview was requested.

Severn Bank

Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.