Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

20050620 Carroll County Times: New mayor eager to work with employees

By Robert Brodsky, Times Staff Writer

Monday, June 20, 2005


Name: Thomas Ferguson

Residence: Westminster

Age: 63

Job: Mayor of Westminster

Reason for becoming involved in city government: Was involved for many years in civic and community groups, but, following his retirement, he wanted to provide a greater contribution to the city.

On May 9, Thomas Ferguson was elected mayor of Westminster, besting former Mayor Kevin Dayhoff by more than 120 votes. Ferguson, a retired bank executive, served nearly four years on the Westminster City Council before taking over as mayor.

Q: How has life changed since becoming mayor of Westminster?

A: I still take the garbage out and still have to walk the dog. Obviously, it hasn't been a dramatic change for me. I've only been retired for about a year. I was used to keeping a regular schedule, and I intend to maintain regular hours here. I've been spending a lot of hours here in the initial days and weeks just to get up to speed about what's going on. But not a lot has changed. I guess the only difference now is that I get to sign things.

Q: What changes have you put in place since taking office and what other changes are on the immediate horizon?

A: I started a regular staff meeting with the folks that report directly to me. We had our first staff meeting last week, and we're going to do that on a monthly basis. It's something that's important and needed, and it's new. Most of the first month has been spent figuring out how this place operates and getting a better understanding of the decision-making process.

Longer term, I want to start a formal strategic planning process. We are going to do a citywide employee opinion survey to get an understanding of how they feel about their jobs. That's the basis for another part of the strategic plan. What is it that employees need and want and what improvements do we need to make as an employer? It's a 360-degree look at ourselves. My experience in all the years that I have been doing this kind of stuff is that the best place to get information is from employees. They'll tell you the truth as long as their opinions and comments are protected and confidential. Sometime - I suspect this summer - we are going to do a citywide analysis of how our jobs are ranked; how we evaluate our jobs and whether or not our job categories are properly structured.

Q: Keeping with the subject of employee relations, you expressed concern during your campaign about the morale of city workers. Do you believe that your concerns were accurate and, if so, what can be done to improve the situation?

A: Part of the purpose of the opinion survey is to get to that question. Is morale an issue and, if so, what are the factors causing concerns among morale? I think my instincts are going to be true and that employees are looking forward to getting their opinions out. ... We are going to get the answer to that in the next few months.

Q: How will your administration be different than that of your predecessor, Kevin Dayhoff?

A: I am going to be here on a regular basis and be accessible for citizens and employees. I tend to be involved with what's going on in city government. Not to the degree of doing any micromanaging. That's what we hire experts to do. But to understand how we operate and ask questions about why we are doing what we are doing and is there a better way to do it? I am very interested in finding ways to make this place more efficient and more cost-effective. I am confident the employees will help us identify areas where we can find some productivity improvements and cost savings. So, I am going to be very much interested in getting employees involved in their day-to-day work life here and telling me and the council and the supervisory management staff what they think can be improved.

Q: What are some of the biggest issues facing the city of Westminster?

A: We have a flood of lots outside the city limits of Westminster that have an awful lot of potential development. I think the pressure the city will be facing is the question of annexation. How big do we want the city boundaries to become? Because the number of available building lots is going to be stunning. I think that's a big issue and one we have to get our arms around pretty quickly. That's why we need to have a full-blown strategic plan that talks about where the future city boundaries should be. We have this thing on a map now. There's this hypothetical line - and literally it's a line on the map - that says "future city boundary." And we have the city water and sewer service area and then we have the actual boundary. We need to ask ourselves a question: Where did that come from and is that what we want? Do we want the boundaries of the city of Westminster to be as big as that? And what are the implications for services and taxpayers? And along with that comes growth and questions about water and where it is going to come from.

Q: How does the city balance continued residential and commercial growth while also remaining a small Main Street town?

A: First of all, we need to make a decision on size and what we are going to look like. Get that down in the form of a document that everybody has bought into and then stick to it. How much more annexation do we want to do? And where do we want that to occur? The whole question of planning for growth and where we want that to occur has to be part of our overall plan. And what kind of growth? Do we want all our neighborhoods to look alike? I live in a neighborhood that is mixed. Different-style houses. Different architectural features. Multifamily, single-family, small houses and big houses. That's the kind of neighborhood that used to be typical. Mixed use has sort of gotten a bad name somewhere along the line. But that's kind of how we all grew up in small-town America. We can't turn the clock back, but I think there's something we can be doing better in our planning process to make the neighborhoods look less homogeneous.

Q: What do you envision Westminster will look like 20 to 25 years from now?

A: Well, growth is inevitable. We're blessed in many ways. We are in a beautiful part of the state, geographically convenient to places like Baltimore, [Washington] D.C., Philadelphia, Gettysburg and, for that matter, even New York. It's three hours to the ocean and four hours to the far western part of the state. Geographically, we are in a wonderful situation. We still have an awful lot of open farmland that is very attractive to people, so we are going to be a magnet for growth. And we're not going to be able to avoid that. I am hoping what we can do is deal with that in a way that doesn't turn this community into something that looks like everything else.

We have beautiful architecture in these older neighborhoods. You see some of that late 19th-century, early 20th-century architecture that's still very visible, particularly in some of these older neighborhoods on Main Street. These are things worth preserving. I would like to see more and more opportunities for people to live here and to work here. Not much in that regard the city can do by itself. But we need the help and cooperation of the county. I am hoping we can find ways to make it affordable.

Reach staff writer Robert Brodsky at 410-857-7865 or

20050620 Baltimore strength liability for O’Malley

Baltimore strength liability for O’Malley”

by David Nitkin on June 20th, 2005,

with a preface written by me on September 21st, 2005.

Kevin Dayhoff

This hyperlink is dead. The Baltimore Sun does not use permalinks. Sept. 21st, 2005 - - KED:,1,4891366.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

The article pasted below belongs to Baltimore Sun writer David Nitkin, the preface belongs to me.

Today, there was an article in the newspaper that Mayor O’Malley will soon announce his candidacy for the Maryland State House in Maryland’s next gubernatorial contest in November 2006.

I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Mayor O’Malley.

I would just as well he not run and stay in Baltimore.

Perhaps the only reason that he is declaring this early is to give the indolent dominant Maryland Democrat Party an opportunity to make Governor Ehrlich as miserable as possible during the upcoming Maryland General Assembly - - in the hopes that he can be “disqualified” in the upcoming contest.

What do I mean by disqualified? The Democratic Party will increase its partisan obstructionist politics and play “get the governor” in everything they can. Nothing will get done for the Maryland citizen this upcoming session, except the thrill of watching a gladiator contest to the death.

It ain’t leadership and it ain’t right, but it is what it is and until we elect many more Republicans to the Maryland General Assembly, the Democrats will continue to do what they can do because they can do it.

On June 20th, 2005, Baltimore Sun writer, David Nitkin wrote a soft-ball fluff piece for the Mayor O’Malley campaign called: “Baltimore a strength and liability for O'Malley - - Mayor focuses on recent positive news after FBI report of more violent crime; Statistics could hurt expected run for governor.”

Actually, it is another example of excellent writing by a very talented Mr. Nitkin, except for one problem; it may have been a nice column, but it was not “straight-down-the-middle news article.

It was a white paper analysis for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and dangers that lay ahead for a Mayor O’Malley gubernatorial bid.

It is a wonderful example of everything for which the Baltimore Sun deserves the highest of criticism.

The Baltimore Sun does not use permalinks, so I cannot link you to the article.

Since it is an excellent subjective analytical piece on the challenges of running for higher office after serving as a mayor of a city, I will post it on the blog.

It is a must read. And it will give you some insight as to why I respect Mayor O’Malley so much and enjoy his company and look forward to working with him in the future after Governor Ehrlich wins a second term as governor.


Baltimore a strength and liability for O'Malley

Mayor focuses on recent positive news after FBI report of more violent crime; Statistics could hurt expected run for governor

By David Nitkin, Sun Staff, June 20, 2005

The rush of recent good news about Baltimore - its ranking as a top international travel destination, an uptick in how Wall Street views the city's fiscal future - seemed too good to last.

And sure enough, what many consider to be the reality of Maryland's largest city hit home this month. Violent crime rose last year for the first time in five years, according to the latest FBI statistics.

Those are the kind of numbers that haunt big-city mayors as they attempt to advance in politics.

As Mayor Martin O'Malley prepares for an expected run for governor, he must persuade voters to concentrate on the positive - such as Time magazine ranking him in April as one of the country's five best mayors - and brush aside negatives such as the city's high homicide rate and struggling classrooms.

In short, he must buck a trend in modern American politics: the career stagnation of city mayors.

Cities can be tough places to live in, and even harder to govern. Blight, crime, substandard housing and poor schools have stymied generations of policy-makers. Residents with means move to the suburbs, leaving behind a population often mired in poverty and addiction.

"No matter how successful a mayor you might be in a big city, you have an awful lot of problems that remain," said Stephen Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis who was defeated in a run for Indiana governor in 1996, and is now a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "You can be very successful in a lot of areas, but it doesn't take a genius as a political opponent to come up with almost an endless list of things you haven't fixed and mistakes you made."

School testing results released this month offer a prime example. O'Malley can rightfully claim that Baltimore schools have made impressive academic gains that rival those of any big city, according to the latest Maryland School Assessment results. But his opponents are sure to note that they remain the worst-performing in the state.

For most of the past century, big-city mayors have been larger-than-life figures, characters who dreamed big and lived large - Fiorello LaGuardia in New York, Richard Daley in Chicago, Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia.

But none of them moved on to higher office. Roads to state houses are lined with the failed candidacies of supremely popular mayors. Consider Ed Koch in New York, who won a second term in 1981 when three of every four voters in the nation's largest city cast a ballot for him and lost a gubernatorial primary the next year to Mario Cuomo.

A variety of factors explains the phenomenon, from tension among cities and rural and suburban sections of a state in the battle for tax dollars and other scarce resources, to racism and xenophobia as cities have grown more ethnically and racially diverse.

"In the age of sprawl, cities that cannot expand - Baltimore's last annexation was 1917 - become filled with high concentrations of poor people," said David Rusk, a former mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., and an urban government expert who has studied Baltimore and its suburbs. "They are looked upon as having city problems. And that is just a euphemism for poor blacks."

For O'Malley, there is hope: Baltimore and Maryland have shattered the rules before.

William Donald Schaefer rode the success of Inner Harbor redevelopment to Annapolis. Before him, Theodore R. McKeldin was a Republican mayor and then governor.

"I think every state is different. ... I think people in our state are smart," O'Malley said in an interview. "They expect their leaders to be effective and make progress."

In Maryland, county governments are preeminently important - more so than in most other states - and Baltimore functions much like one of the state's 23 other counties, said Rusk.

Seen in that light, Maryland has been governed for 16 of the past 19 years by a mayor, covering the tenures of Schaefer and Parris N. Glendening, the former county executive of Prince George's County.

"But that is relatively rare," Rusk said.

Inevitably, mayors who seek higher office must campaign on a theme that they have a successful legacy, that they will do for the state or the nation what they have done for their city.

That's how former Philadelphia Mayor Edward G. Rendell became governor of Pennsylvania. An accessible leader who regularly appeared on sports television shows promoting the region's beloved Eagles, Rendell was embraced in the Philadelphia suburbs as a politician who could grapple with the city's problems.

O'Malley might be following a similar route. His visibility as the lead singer in an Irish band gave him a sort of star quality that eludes many leaders.

The Baltimore television market permeates most of the state, so even Marylanders who rarely cross the city's borders can follow his exploits nightly.

And in Maryland, much of the state is populated by ex-Baltimoreans who still think fondly about their hometown.

Ocean City Mayor Jim N. Mathias Jr. was born in Hampden, and lived in Baltimore and Carroll counties before settling in the resort town in 1972. He's a tireless cheerleader for his small city, but like many in Maryland, harbors a soft spot for his hometown.

"An objectively thinking taxpayer and resident of the state says to themselves, 'As goes Baltimore, as goes Rockville, so goes the state,'" Mathias said. "And if you have a leader that is putting those tax dollars at work, they give that person a chance."

Karen Reaver, 47, a registered Democrat from Carroll County, likes what she sees of the mayor from afar: "I like his style. I like what he does," she said.

A retired small-business owner, Reaver moved to Maryland three decades ago from the mountains of North Carolina and relishes in her peaceful lifestyle.

"I would not want to work in the city, and I would not want to live in the city," she said.

But still, she would vote for O'Malley in the primary, and, if he gets that far, against Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

"I think he's made improvements," she said. "Because of that, as far as a governor, he would work for the state as well as he's worked for the city."

That's why school and crime statistics such as those released this week are so crucial, because O'Malley must do what he can to show voters that he manages a well-functioning metropolis. And that's why O'Malley tried so hard to cast the statistics in the best possible light.

Baltimore's schools may be the worst in the state, but their improvement constitutes "one of the biggest turnaround stories of any urban school system in the United States of America," the mayor said in a burst of hyperbole that he could not immediately prove.

Violent crime rose 4 percent last year, but it has dropped nearly 40 percent since the mayor took office, he said.

O'Malley said he is willing to stand behind statistics that show the city's progress, even if he hasn't been able to meet all his goals, such as reducing the homicide count to below 200 yearly.

"We're not successful every week. And we're not even successful every year. But over the course of six years, we've been more successful than any city in America in reducing violent crime," O'Malley said.

In an attempt to emphasize the city's momentum, Jonathan Epstein, O'Malley's campaign manager, sent out a packet this month that included feel-good clippings from the past several weeks, including a Wall Street Journal article about the city's real estate boom. Epstein said he simply wanted to note the city's progress.

The most recent poll conducted for The Sun, taken in mid-April, revealed little anti-city backlash against O'Malley.

The poll showed the mayor ahead of Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan in a Democratic primary, 45 percent to 25 percent; and leading Ehrlich, 45 percent to 39 percent statewide.

Still, O'Malley, a Democrat, seems less popular than the governor in many areas of the state outside Baltimore.

In Baltimore County, a critical swing jurisdiction that surrounds the city, Ehrlich led O'Malley, 46 percent to 40 percent, the poll showed. But in another measurement, Baltimore County voters were just as likely to have a favorable impression of the mayor as they were the governor, who represented the county in the state legislature and in Congress. Sixty-three percent of county voters surveyed said they felt favorably about Ehrlich, and 61 percent said they had a favorable impression of O'Malley.

In Anne Arundel and Howard counties, the governor led, 50 percent to 46 percent; and in rural areas, Ehrlich was ahead, 51 percent 30 percent.

O'Malley, who has not declared his candidacy, is traveling the state, trying to build support. But as he embarks on a campaign, he must always keep an eye on Baltimore, where some headline-grabbing crime or crisis of the week will always await.

"It presents a particular problem for mayors to govern and run at the same time," said Goldsmith, the Harvard professor. "Helping a city succeed and helping it avoid catastrophe are not an automatic-pilot deal. The chances of something going wrong are not inevitable but significant."

Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun

Thursday, June 16, 2005

20050615 Westminster Eagle: Pecoraro returns to council by Alex Gayhart

Westminster Eagle: Pecoraro returns to council by Alex Gayhart

June 15, 2005

The other night at the Westminster Common Council meeting, the Council appointed former Westminster Common Council member – and arguably one the brighter public policy analysts and political scientists in Maryland – to fill the seat vacated by Tom Ferguson when he took the office of mayor.

Councilman Pecoraro is almost a necessary decision – to join a council that, with exception of Councilwoman Suzanne Albert, has little institutional memory or municipal public policy experience. Whether the balance of the Common Council has the skills and abilities to continue a tradition of excellence in governance in Westminster remains to be seen…

Pecoraro returns to council 06/15/05 by Alex Gayhart

Monday night saw the end of Westminster City Council's election season.

Sure, the votes had been tallied back on May 9 - putting Roy Chiavacci back in office, Kevin Utz on the council for the first time and placing Tom Ferguson in the mayor's seat.

But Ferguson's move from the council to the mayor's position left a hole - that is, until Monday evening, when the four council members unanimously voted to put Greg Pecoraro in that seat.

Pecoraro ran in the May 9 election, one of five candidates for two seats, but came up just a bit short.

In fact, he was just 69 votes shy of the second place vote-getter.

"I plan to work as hard as I can to justify your confidence in me," Pecoraro told the council Monday night, shortly after being appointed and sworn in.

He called the experience humbling - humbling enough to have put himself on the line in an election, not to mention having to go through it again a month later for the appointment process.

Last week, the council held a special meeting where members "interviewed" the seven candidates who applied to fill Ferguson's vacant seat. Pecoraro was unable to attend that meeting due to a business trip.

He did, however, send a letter, which was read by Westminster City Clerk Laurell Taylor, expressing his desire to be on the council and his qualifications to be chosen.

Pecoraro, 45, served on the Westminster city council from 1994 until 2003.

During his campaign, Pecoraro discussed the issue of growth in Westminster and the need for the city to grow wisely while ensuring that adequate facilities are provided.

Monday evening saw Pecoraro's appointment not only to the council, but to the position of chairman of the public works committee.

"Which is the one committee that I haven't served on," Pecoraro said after the meeting, expressing amusement in the fact that he will have served on all of four standing committees between his last tenure on the council and the next two years.

Before a motion was made to appoint Pecoraro Monday evening, Councilman Robert Wack made comments on the difficulty of his decision in choosing an appointee.

"I seriously considered abstaining from this vote," Wack said. "(But) we are elected to these positions to make these types of decisions."

Wack called attention to discussion outside of public meetings, which suggested the need for racial and/or ethnic diversity on the council.

"We need to be sensitive to racial, cultural and ethnic issues," Wack said. "We do have some folks (of) various backgrounds in leadership positions in this county, but we don't have enough."

That being said, however, Wack said race and ethnicity did not play a part in his decision.

"All of our candidates are excellent candidates and stand on their own (regardless of race and ethnicity)," he said.

He then made a motion to appoint Pecoraro.

After the meeting, Wack went on to discuss his reasoning. "Because all the candidates ... were all so qualified - it sort of took ethnicity off the table for me," he said.


20050615 Westminster Eagle: Pecoraro returns to council by Alex Gayhart

Monday, June 13, 2005

20050612 Seattle Coffee Shop Turns Off Weekend Wi-Fi

Digital Culture: Seattle Coffee Shop Turns Off Weekend Wi-Fi by Jennifer Ludden

All Things Considered, June 12, 2005 · A Seattle coffee shop pulls the plug on its wi-fi network. How have the caffeinated Internet-junkie customers reacted? David Latourel, the manager of Victrola Coffee, fills Jennifer Ludden in on the details.

Web Resources: Victrola Coffee Web Site

From the Victrola Web site:

Apparently it's one of those sign of the times stories and is inspiring ridiculous amounts of attention from the press. We're not the first cafe to do it (our friends at Joe Bar started limiting wi-fi hours some time ago). Victrola has always been a tough place to find a table, especially on weekends, so limiting the wifi is pretty much a no-brainer.

Nonetheless, the news stories we're seeing are full of controversy and hand-wringing about the demise of cafe culture and the menace of wi-fi zombies. It's all pretty overblown. All this attention for something other than our awesome coffees is rapidly losing its charm. Reporters keep calling, emails are flooding in, and people are getting into some mean spirited debates in online forums.

Isn't there a war going on or something more important we should be worrying about…? Like coffee…?

Victrola Coffee is located on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Victrola Coffee

Wi-Fi, Washington State – Seattle, Information Technology, Media Commentary

Saturday, June 11, 2005

20050610 Comparing the academic record of Al Gore, John Kerry and George W. Bush

Comparing the academic record of Al Gore, John Kerry and George W. Bush

Kerry’s grades shed new light on campaign

Commentary By Richard Benedetto, Gannett News Service, June 10, 2005

WASHINGTON - While the general impression during the 2004 presidential campaign was that Democrat John Kerry was the intellectual superior to President Bush, it turns out that their grades while undergraduate students at Yale were remarkably similar.

In fact, Bush’s were a tad higher. His four-year average was 77; Kerry’s 76. Both were C students. Kerry graduated from Yale in 1966; Bush in 1968.


Bush’s mediocre college record was trumpeted by Gore backers as proof that the Republican candidate was a dummy. But in the spring of 2000, The Washington Post published Gore’s college grades at Harvard. Like Kerry, he was hardly an honor student, either.

Nonetheless, Gore backers kept up the “dumb Bush” mantra…


Kerry’s grades were made public this past week by the Boston Globe… During the campaign, Kerry refused to waive privacy restrictions for the full file… The transcript showed that he got four Ds in his freshman year, Bush received one D in his four years, in astronomy. At the time, Yale considered grades between 70 and 79 a C and 60 to 69 a D.

And there’s more. Read the rest of Mr. Benedetto’s commentary here: Kerry’s grades shed new light on campaign


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mark Felt is no hero

How will History Treat Mark Felt?
Mark Felt is no hero.

WESTMINSTER – So Mark Felt, once the second highest-ranking FBI officer in America, has decided to come clean 32 years. In a Vanity Fair magazine article, he wore his best pair of flip-flops and now admits that he was, after all the denials for over three decades, “Deep Throat”. (Remember his remarks in 1974: "It was not I and it is not I.") By this turn of events, one of the very last pieces to 30-year-old political mystery puzzle has been put in place; but what do we make of the big picture the puzzle depicts?

I remember well the events of that turbulent period in the early 1970s. For those of you who were born after June 17th, 1972, the day of the break-in at the Watergate apartment complex and headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, “Deep Throat” is the anonymous source who leaked information to The Washington Post.

In a world where fact is often stranger than fiction, isn’t it ironic that this revelation comes, just weeks after the media pundits have been greatly exercised over the use of an anonymous source in the flawed May 9th, 2005 article in Newsweek, in which an anonymous source disseminated false information that U.S. investigators found evidence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Quran.

Newsweek had to retract the story. Unfortunately, the retraction did not occur until after more than a dozen people died in rioting in the Muslim world. Just as “Deep Throat” and the Washington Post thought that they were doing the right thing in the early 1970s – and lucked out that their anonymous source was betraying accurate information; I can only be sure that Newsweek thought they were doing the “right” thing. Look this up in the dictionary and it is called cynical moral relativism and situation ethics and it gave birth to decades of the media looking to be the next Woodward and Bernstein.

Perhaps no greater disservice has ever been done to government, except perhaps, the 1939 Frank Capra – Capra-corn Classic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." I have never liked this gooey cinemagraphic liberal drivel of a movie. Inspired by schlock like this out of Hollywood, today's Americans are more cynical than ever about government and politics. If you will recall, in this movie, Jefferson Smith saves the day in cinematic climax by acting like a crazed lunatic. Such unfortunate motivators as "Mr. Smith" has encouraged subsequent generations that they can make a difference and promote their agenda by being rude, loud, impolite, bizarre and disagreeable.

Credibility and integrity are the key operative words in this historical Kabuki morals play called Watergate. According to a statement read by his family, Felt indicates that he has always been “conflicted” as to whether his role as an informant was one of “a hero” or “dishonorable”.

As best as possible, let’s break down this discussion into what, on face value represents inseparable parts of this history. Nixon was a rogue President whose actions are indefensible. Nixon and his White House cronies engaged in a series of criminal acts, which included, but were not limited to, breaking and entering and obstruction of justice.

The question remains for a future generation of historians; did the end justify the means? Certainly for Nixon, it did not. But in an age of fuzzy-wuzzy moral relativism and situational ethics, was it necessary for Felt to betray his oath of office, the FBI, his President and the country, in order for a greater “right” to be achieved? Do two wrongs make a right?

There is a body of belief that Felt certainly did not act out on some great belief that he was single-handedly saving the country, but rather acting out on an opportunistic vindictive personal crusade against Nixon. In this same time frame, right after Hoover's death in May of 1972, Felt, a Hoover clone was considered the heir apparent to take over the FBI. Nixon passed him over and appointed Patrick Gray, instead.

Make no mistake about it, Felt, nor Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did not single-handedly or collectively, bring down the Nixon administration. But they certainly helped give President Nixon a much-deserved shove. Nixon, mercifully resigned Aug. 9, 1974. Nixon has no one else to blame for his demise, than himself. He was doomed by his own Shakespearian personality flaws. The criminal behavior of President Nixon was not sustainable and my view of history is that Nixon would have been eventually “found-out” and held responsible and accountable for his behavior; with or without Felt, just as much as the United States would have pulled out Vietnam, with or without Jane Fonda’s help.

If you believe in karma, in another twist of the plot, Felt, himself, was indicted in 1978 for illegal break-ins in New York and New Jersey carried out in 1972 and 1973 on the Weather Underground – in the very same period in time, in which the Watergate scandal played itself out. He was convicted in 1980, only to be pardoned by President Reagan in 1981.

Will history pardon Felt for betraying his oath of office? A famous historian once said, “History is the inaccurate reflection of events that ought not to have happened to begin with.” Clothed in the righteousness of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons may indemnify Felt in history, but many believe his reasons for being “Deep Throat” were not necessarily noble or patriotic. Lets hope that when the history books are written about Felt, his actions are at least put into context and not revised to suit a moral and ethical relativism pervasive in our contemporary society three decades later. What do you think?

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster.
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