Callahan Gets Desperate
Two and a half weeks before the primary election, Dennis Callahan (D) has decided to fire the opening salvo against his Democratic opponent for the County Executive spot, George Johnson. Callahan, who has been difficult to find on the campaign trail seems to have finally gotten a clue that he's not polling particularly well among the electorate. And, he's decided to start throwing mud at the Sheriff in the hope that some will stick.
Callahan's claim: There are between 11,000 and 11,500 unserved warrants.
Johnson's response: The backlog of unserved warrants was 14,000 when I took over the task of serving them from county police in 1998. I've cut that number while dealing with between 600 and 1,200 new warrants a month, all with limited staff.
Callahan's claim: The Baltimore County Sheriff's Office has only 2,600 unserved warrants.
Johnson's response: In Baltimore County, the Police Department serves criminal warrants. The Police Department has 8,580 unserved warrants. [Total warrants: 11,180]
Callahan's claim: 94 people have left the Sherrif's Department since 2001.
Johnson's response: The high turnover is a result of pay and benefits that lag behind the county Police Department.
Callahan's claim: There was a recent murder sentencing in which the shooter had an unserved arrest warrant at the time of the killing.
Johnson's response: That warrant was from the city of Annapolis and is held by city police, not the Sheriff's Department.
These are the charges of a desperate politician, and his lax research skills don't speak particularly well to his ability to handle the mental rigors of the County's highest office.
My sense is, that on September 13th, Mr. Callahan may finally begin to get a clue that his arrogance, his short-sightedness, and the long list of people he has put off, first as Mayor, and then as Head of the Department of Parks and Recreation has caught up with him. Such an election-day epiphany might well be worth the effort it took to run a half-gassed campaign.