Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Y'all don't know what it's like...

Who says miscreants aren't politically active?

Howard County police are offering a $500 reward for information that would help convict vandals who damaged six vehicles -- including one belonging to County Executive Ken Ulman and his wife, Jaki -- parked outside Wilde Lake High School for a Columbia Celebration of the Arts event in the school's Jim Rouse Theatre on Saturday night .

...The Ulmans' minivan is their personal vehicle, not the county-owned hybrid SUV the executive drives. The van had recently been repaired after a January incident at River Hill Village Center in which a grocery shopping cart was pushed into the vehicle, scraping it.
Twice this year his car has been scratched in a parking lot, and I'm supposed to believe it's just "vandals." Right.

You have to appreciate the moxie of these attackers, however. While some lob insults and innuendo at Ulman only from the safety of their keyboards, these guys are out there hitting this suburban dad where it counts: His minivan.


TomBerkhouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tomberkhouse said...

I don't knw if you're being facetious or not, but you're being very over-dramatic about this "incident". These are "attackers"? Really? I guess these pranksters are systematically targeting the CE? Get real. It's probably just a coindence.

Wait a minute. Oh my god!!! I have a scratch on my car too!!! Someone call the newspapers. Someone get me a bodyguard to watch me 24 hours a day.

Hayduke said...


This post was a joke.

The second half of your comment, which I deleted, was innappropriate. I know what you're trying to say and you likely have a valid point, but you can't make your point with libel. Try speaking more in generalities and showing a little restraint before spreading wholly unsubstantiated rumors.

Anonymous said...

I was there on Saturday night. It was FAR more than just a scratch and seven other cars were substantially damaged as well...but of course the paper was not completely accurate...

tomberkhouse said...

They are NOT unsubstantiated rumors. If you or Ken thinks I'm libeling them, take me to court and we can air all the facts once and for all.

Just because the incidents I referenced were not pblished in a news papers, does not mean they didn't happen. It's called a cover up - something that Ken and his friend that I mentioned have gotten very good at doing.

I could understand your the humor behind your post, except that Ken has a body guard because he apparently thinks that someone (someones) are "out to get him", which is paranoid and delusional.

No previous CE had a bodyguard. Maybe the reason he's so worried about someone "being after him" is that he's taken too many liberties with the law and hurt people as a result. If he was an honest, straight shooting, straight talking, ethical person, he wouldn't have any reason for concern.

Censorship is very lame.

Ken is lucky to have people like you working so hard to help cover up his sorry behavior. You're a lackey and a puppet, and have no spine.

FreeMarket said...

Ken Ulman would have to be crazy not to have a body guard. Too many people are very passionate about their hatred of him. Jim Robey carried a gun while he was CE. As former chief of police, he was comfortable doing that. So please don’t pretend that no other CE was concerned with their safety.

Secondly, Tom, anyone can be rude and inconsiderate when expressing their disagreement. It takes a mature person to express disagreement in a civil manner. So please, for sake of everyone who reads these blogs, and the sake of your two children, please set an example and show some maturity. Abusive ad hominem attacks are not civil, and definitely not mature.

Anonymous said...

What's the rumor?

Anonymous said...

Goodness Tom, now we'll never know the rumor!

Please heed the advice to be aware of readers who do want to know.

Anonymous said...

I want to know the rumor too. If you say it is a rumor, there is no libel.

Why does "Mr. Green" have a minivan? They get the worst gas mileage.

Unless it is a hybrid.

Don't tell me that he needs it - a 4 door sedan can get a family around just as well and much more environmentally friendly.

Anonymous said...

May I also add that Tom's comments make this blog worth reading.

Stir the pot!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Tom's comments make it worth reading at all. He's rude, confused, and terribly partisan.
I mean...get real...Hayduke's perspective makes it worth reading...
But still curious as to what he thinks he knows...

Anonymous said...

FYI by the way, Robey, while carrying a gun also had a "bodyguard". I met him a few times, he was a police officer named Jimmy Capone. Also, most of the County Executives in the area have similar execuitve protection. Facts can be so annoying can't they?

tomberkhouse said...

FREEMARKET - First of all, I don;t appreciate you trying to divulge any information about my family, especially not any children I may have. Even if you do happen to know something about my family, that's off limits. My family/children have nothing to do with this blog or my commentary. If you want to take the gloves off, let me know any time. Talk about a low blow and crossing the lines of decency. If you ever jokingly or not mention my family in any way again, you're going to have a serious problem. GOT IT?

Maybe Robey did some things to piss off somebody too! As far as I know, Robey never had a body guard stationed outside of his office, round the clock. Can't say for sure since I wasn't sitting outside of his office also, but....

There are several arrogant CE's around here that have "drivers" and "bodyguards", but there are some that don't. It seems to me that the Sun discussed this in their recent article about Ken's hybrid car use (or lack there of I mean). And, I seem to recall that said article showed that it's typically Democrats that have this paranoia that they're being stalked/targeted. I wonder why?

Jim Robey carried a gun? But isn't he anti gun? Oh, maybe it's just that nobody else but him can carry a gun. I hope the jelly fill from those donuts he gorges on don't cause him to lose his grip on that gun:)

Anonymous said...

first insults, now threats. sweet! always a man of class, that Tom.

Anonymous said...

If Tom didn't post here, there would be no debate.

Hayduke loves all things Ulman.

Anonymous said...

Wow Tom... It certainly sounds like you are contradicting yourself. You state first:
"No previous CE had a bodyguard."
In your next post, you say:
"There are several arrogant CE's around here that have "drivers" and "bodyguards", but there are some that don't."

Which is it?

How do you expect anyone to take you seriously or even consider your supposed facts if you yourself contradict them?

hayduke said...

I'm sorry. I was going to stay out of this one for mental health reasons, but the notion that without Tom there would be no debate on this blog is simply absurd and needs to be called out.

Open your eyes and look around. People debate all the time on this blog and there's a decent one going on right now (not here, though). The problem is, most of these debates involve thought, facts, ideas and civility. Which makes it hard, I know.

It's much easier just to turn things into a cable news shout-fest.

I know that it is really annoying when legitimate criticism is dimissed as derangement (as in, Bush Derangement Syndrome, something most liberals are accused as having). But the key word for today is legitimate. Tom may have legitimate concerns about the way Ken Ulman is managing county affairs, but such concerns are obscured behind a wall of emotion. Rather than teasing out the juice of his complaints, his defenders choose to say silly things like "stir the pot." He's not stirring the pot, he's spitting in it.

Ulman's choice of vehicles is a source of legitmate concern. Focus the arguments on why without resorting to invective and chances are you'll get a lot more people to listen.

Name calling and blaming others for your inability to engage in a substantive debate don't help.

If you just want to complain or be mean, fine. But if you want debate, start one.

Anonymous said...

....And NOW it's quiet?

blogger2000 said...

First of all, the increased security at the county admin building is long overdue. In this day and age, it is very rare to have a building to be all-access as the county building is/was. Personal safety, perceived or otherwise, is one thing, but property theft is an increasing problem in offices with such access. Couple that with people who have irrational, personal grudges (TOM), and yes, increased security at a workplace, including the county admin buildings, is long overdue.

Second, with regard to Ulman's choice of PERSONAL vehicle, I think this merits discussion and weighing of the options. What type of minivan does he drive? What type of commute does he have? When I was shopping for my first new car about a year ago, I was very interested in the hybrid models. However, because all of my commuting is highway-based, a hybrid would do nothing for the environment, as those vehicles are best suited to city commutes. Therefore, a choice of a hybrid vehicle would have been for novelty purposes only.

Secondly, lets also consider when the minivan was purchased. We are all (except those that put global warming in quotes) incorporating changes into our lives to lessen our impact on the environment. Making such changes overnight all at once would be cost prohibitive. Ulman, as a father of two small children whose wife is only employed part time, may be delaying a purchase of a new car until finances better allow it. If he gets decent mileage on the minivan, it may be a better trade off for the environment to run the van into the ground before purchasing a new, more fuel-efficent vehicle. Not to mention the hundreds of dollars a month savings, which is very important for young, growing families.

It's really a matter of doing the best we can as circumstances allow.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt Ulman is hurting for money.

1) His father is loaded.

2) His father gave him a high-paying job.

3) He owns a house.

4) His wife works, albeit part-time.

5) He now has his highest paying job ever.

6) I don't know for sure, but won't he also get a full pension after he "retires" from the County Executive position (after 4 or, god forbid, 8 years)?

If he DOES get a pension, this guy is financially set for life, at great expense to the County.

How much would it cost the county to give him a pension?

blogger2000 said...

1) His father is loaded. - so? Does your dad pay your bills?

2) His father gave him a high-paying job. - which he no longer has.

3) He owns a house. - which means he also has a mortgage payment.

4) His wife works, albeit part-time. - , true, as I stated above.

5) He now has his highest paying job ever. - how do you know his salary history? regardless, $150k isn't rich, in this county and considering the cost of living.

6) I don't know for sure, but won't he also get a full pension after he "retires" from the County Executive position (after 4 or, god forbid, 8 years)? - not sure about this, but this has no impact on his current ability to purchase a new car.

I'd also like to point out that "not hurting" for money doesn't give someone license to make poor financial decisions and to spend money freely. As is evidenced by the many people in this county who have bought homes with interest-only mortgages and who are leasing their Lexuses and BMWs, sometimes, even though you may have the buying power to make a purchase doesn't mean it is the best move to do so. One of the best ways to accumulate wealth is not necessarily to increase your earnings, but to decrease your expenditures. The guy has two kids, and considering the cost of colleges and orthodontia, maybe a new car isn't in the works this year.

Anonymous said...

Blogger 2000 - you're obviously just another mindless defender of Ulman and Hayduke. "irrational, personal grudge against Ulman"??? You have an irrational love affair with Ulman. Hayduke wants to ignore all of the evidence of misdeeds by Ulman, all while propogating myths (see Hayduke's Isis posting) agains Ulman's political opponents. It's sad. It's hypocritical. It's self righteous. It's arrogant. SImply because I don't have Ulman on video, or with a signed confession, does not mean that the things I have ascribed to Ken did not happen.

I don;t care if you or other people don't like my delivery. I mostly add those items to my commentary simply annoy Hayduke since he likes to stab people in the back, but since he does so with a smile, he thinks he's witty and clever. He likes to start a fight but then whine when he gets smacked down.

It's funny that FrreMarket tries to slowly divulge info about my family (which isn't even correct) in an attempt to "out me" and none of the routine commenters on this blog have a word to say about it. Yet, these are the same people who blasted Dave Keelan over the whole "Mary Smith" incident, in which she outted herself but Dave got blamed for it. More double standards and hypocrisy from people like you, Hayduke, and all of his defenders. Although, it's not a surprise that you all behave like that - it's a liberal/democratic standard.

tomberkhouse said...

Anon 8:38 - "No previous CE had a bodyguard." This statment referred to Howard County CE's.

In your next post, you say:
"There are several arrogant CE's around here that have "drivers" and "bodyguards", but there are some that don't." THis statement referred to Howard AND other Counties. Got this difference now - dumbass?

No contradiction - just a failure on your part to comprehend English.

tomberkhouse said...

Hayduke - I am going to find the info on the "RUMORS" that I first commented on. The one incident is several years old, but arrest records should still be available.

As for the more recent incident involving Kenny, I will try to get info on that and when I do I'll update my comments. I say "try" for the simple reason that the person involved (not Ken) has probably been given "hush" orders by his company since they don't dare initiated a public grievance involving Kenny. Again, doesn't mean it did not happen.

FreeMarket said...

“Got this difference now - dumbass?”

Reminds me of this quote:

“Rudness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”- Eric Hoffer

Tom, you are a such a coward.

Anonymous said...

This must be a record.

Word count for Tom's last 3 comments: 402.

Points made: 0

Oh wait, does "dumbass count"?

Anonymous said...

Berkhouse is a pretty offensive and weak person.

Anonymous said...

I am willing to bet that Ulman's dad paid for Ulman's education. Ulman's dad is loaded and has helped his son all through his life.

Look at the history: Ulman's dad gave him a job less than one year before he ran for County Council.

Ulman's dad helped get him into his job running the Maryland Cabinet.

Need we get into how much his father's connections contributed to his campaign?

Anonymous said...

Everyone here whose parents helped pay for their education- raise your hands...

Anonymous said...

Ulman's family is loaded.

Minivans are NOT cheap. He could have bought a hybrid for much less.

Remember, Ulman basically campaigned full-time for County Council thanks to the luxury of coming from money.

But wouldn't that be a campaign contribtion?

County Executive is DEFINITELY his highest paying job, unless his father paid him almost twice what starting attorney salaries are.

Starting attorney salaries, in the suburbs, were no more than $100,000 when Ulman got started. Most smaller suburban firms pay around $60-80K at most.

Remember also - people with money problems don't go to Georgetown when they could get the same degree at Maryland.

tomberkhouse said...

Freemarket- I'm a coward? You're the one who started making comments elating to my children. So who's the COWARD - you are!

You and Hayduke, and all of the ANON's that defend Ulman remind me of the liberal mantra in the 60's: "Question authority". Although the real mantra was "question authority, except when we (democrats/liberals) are in the positions of authority."

You and Hayduke question everyone except the people in your camp. That makes you hypocrites. And I'll stay on your case until you change. You think that because you make accusations with a smile that your words have more validity. What an absurd, Alice-in Woderland mentality.

Now Hayduke is even whinig like a little girl (my apologies to all of the good little girls out there) because he lost the election. Hayduke - your ideas suck and the people voted accordingly. Good Luck in 4 years.

Hayduke said...

Anon 6:46:

Actually, minivans are not cheaper than a comparably equipped, comparably sized hybrid. The best one-to-one comparison that can be made, I think, is between a Toyota Highlander Hybrid and a Toyota Sienna minivan. The base MSRP for the hybrid is $32,490 and the minivan is $24,155. Granted this isn't a perfect comparison -- the standard amenities likely differ between the two models -- but if you look at the price ranges, it seems fair to say the van is actually cheaper.

Hayduke said...

Of course, a Prius is cheaper than both, but it's not really a "family" car.

So, your point is mostly right: you can buy a hybrid for (not a lot) less than a minivan.

FreeMarket said...

I am so glad I have no interest in public office. To have comments like this made in public about your family finances, and having every decision dissected in this manner must be irritating to Ulman and his family.

“your ideas suck and the people voted accordingly. Good Luck in 4 years”

Could the same be said about Merdon or the Republican County Council candidates that lost?

Anonymous said...

I still think an important part of the equation is "when did he buy the minivan"?

For example, my husband drives a pick up truck that isn't the most environmentally friendly truck available. It's 7 years old. He is concerned about Global warming and he is committed to lessening his impact on the environment, however, we just can't afford a $475/month car payment right now.

Please note that "afford" is a relative term. Do we have the cash? Probably. But we also have retirement to save for, tuition to pay off, a house to renovate, and new laptops to buy. (I want a mac)

When the time comes, we'll likely choose a friendlier vehicle. But for now, we'll adopt changes in other areas, like trying to remember to turn off the bathroom light.

Additionally, the technology changes every year. Are we expected to ditch our cars every year in favor of the newer, more efficient vehicles? No.

Anonymous said...

emmissions is completely different than gas efficiency, although there is obviously a relationship. The fact is that minivans are more fuel efficient than SUVs, so I don't understand what the big deal is. From a practical standpoint, if you need a vehicle with that much cargo room, a minivan is absolutely the smart choice from an environmental standpoint. The only hybrid that has anywhere near the same cargo space would be the lexus or the toyota highlander, although both have less. I have not seen an emmissions comparison, but I wouldn't automatically assume that a hybrid is a super low emmissions vehicle unless the tests bear that out. Also, a vehicle that does not get great mpg, can actually have very low emmisions. I drive one such vehicle, which although only gets 25mpg highway is certified LEV2.

Anonymous said...

I've been in a Prius. You can fit four adults comfortably in a Prius.

People thinking they need minivans for 2 kids is PART of our society's environmental waste. Average vehicle sizes have markedly increased over the last 20 years.

Meanwhile, Ulman's "green initiative" is a cheap political stunt which will raise costs and make it LESS affordable for truly middle class residents of the county.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who claims to be carbon neutral and the Green candidate DESERVES to have his claims put under the microscope. In this case, the reality does not match up with the claims.

Only a partisan loyalist would accept someone's claims regardless of the evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

"Remember also - people with money problems don't go to Georgetown when they could get the same degree at Maryland."

Anon: People who have money don't just get to go to Georgetown Law. People who are smart enough to get in to Georgetown Law go to Georgetown Law.

Georgetown Law is Ranked #14 out of 100
Maryland Law is Ranked#36 out of 100

I would beg to differ that they are "the same".

Anonymous said...

If you are going to practice in Maryland, your odds of getting a job are better with a UMD law degree.

Which is a better use of your money? The #36 school in nation for $5,000 a year or the #14 school for $30,000 a year?

I think his point is that Georgetown Law is expensive.

But if your rich daddy is footing the bill, go for it!

Also, other than his rich daddy, someone with high student loans wouldn't go to work for the State of Maryland. They don't pay well enough.

Of course, the "Secretary of the Cabinet" must get a sweet paycheck, right?

Anonymous said...

According to the Princeton Review

Pass rate for first time Bar Exam:
Maryland: 88%
Georgetown: 91%

Estimated number of employers recruiting on campus each year:
Maryland: 350
Georgetown: 800

Career Rating (on a scale from 60-99):
Maryland: 79
Georgetown: 94

Best overall Academic Experience:
Georgetown Law Rank #4 in the nation
Maryland didn’t rank

Tuition per year:
Georgetown: $39,390
Maryland (In-State Tuition):$18,371

Average starting salary:
Maryland: $61,498
Georgetown: $105,058

I think Ken made a smart choice in going to Georgetown.

Anonymous said...

So Ulman can't afford a hybrid, but can afford $120,000 for law school?

Unreal the hypocrisy of this guy!

Anonymous said...

You're equating discussion among commenters about his possible motivations behind not owning a hybrid for a personal vehicle and using it to call him a hypocrite. Step back and take a look at the conversation. It's all speculation on our part.

Additionally, I'd say that investing in your education will pay dividends for a lifetime. How long does a car last?

Anonymous said...

I think there is no good reason for him to NOT have a hybrid, since they are cheaper and greener than the gas guzzler he has now.

Even a family sedan would be cheaper and get better mileage.

Never mind that -- What sort of diva would have their car repaired after it gets scratched by a shopping cart?

Suck it up!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:39- which hybrid do you drive?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:34 AM:

When did Anon 12:39 AM claim that he was a "green candidate" and "chose a hybrid vehicle?"

If someone says those things, they should be able to back it up.

Another exaggeration by Ulman.

Also, someone who gets their car fixed after a shopping cart scratch has more than enough money...

Anonymous said...

Face it, 3:15, Ulman could live off the grid, walk on water, cure cancer, and end famine, and you still wouldn't be happy because you don't like him, without any rational reason as to why.

It's a sad way to live, so angry and bitter.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44

Way to change the subject!

So it's OK for a politician to proclaim one thing and do another?

Sounds like a rational reason to me.

Would you consider resume-padding a rational reason?

I was raised to expect more from our elected officials, even if they are Democrats.

Ulman could break every commandment and you would still like him, since he's a Democrat.

It's a sad way to live, so partisan and sycophantic.

Anonymous said...

Who said I like him? I just don't villify the guy for charges trumped up by partisan bloggers with no basis in fact.

Tell me, did you have problems with Merdon's questionable ethics during his tenure as councilperson, or are you ignoring that since he wasn't a democrat?

Anonymous said...

"no basis in fact"

Except for state personnel records

And his biography

Which changed...

and changed again...

then disappeared...

After over 1 year with nothing, can someone actually show proof that there ever was a position named (let's pick one at random):

"Secretary of the Cabinet"

Anyone who lies repeatedly to get into office should quit or be removed, regardless of party affiliation.

If Merdon violated the law, he should be prosecuted.

If Ulman faked his resume, he should quit.

What part of that do you find objectionable?

I find it hard to believe that Ulman is the best Dems have to offer.

Anonymous said...

State personnel records? You managed to get those? If you did, please post them on the net. So far, no one has been able to prove that he didn't hold those positions. You've got Glendening on record backing him up. And you have a blogger with a grudge.

I'll go with Glendening.

Anonymous said...

Ulman never released any job records.

Glendening confirmed only that Ulman worked for the state.

That's it.

His quote: "all I know is he worked there" or something along those lines.

Re-read the article.

Hardly a ringing endorsement (almost sounds like he is distancing himself)

According to multiple other posts (which are not worth re-hashing here), calls to the state showed there were no records of any such positions.

They asked for responses and got nothing from Dems except claims of sour grapes.

Check out the "More Hayduke awards" site for more information.

So what should happen to someone who exaggerates their resume?

Do you agree that someone who puffs their resume should resign or be removed from office?

Maybe if we can agree on that, it'd be worth someone's time to document this further.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Don't you agree that without proof, you have no reason to call for resignation from office?

Don't you agree that it is reckless to "quote" someone, then disclaim the supposed "quote" by adding "or something along those lines."

This argument is so far removed from reality, that you are quoting blog posts and speculation among commenters as fact. It's simply not so.

Anonymous said...

The last question went unanswered and bears repeating:

Do you agree that someone who puffs their resume should resign or be removed from office?

If not, what should happen?


You said: "Don't you agree that without proof, you have no reason to call for resignation from office?"

Where did anyone say Ulman should resign? Don't misquote someone. The exact quote was:

"If Ulman faked his resume, he should quit."

Just like if Merdon did something wrong, he should be prosecuted.

IMHO, both Ulman and Merdon should be investigated to resolve the issues.

It would have been SO easy for Ulman to settle the issue, but all he could come up with is a business card (which anyone can make).

Interesting how, yet again, nobody can show that there has ever been a "Secretary of the Cabinet" position in the state of Maryland. Just to name one example. But nothing is good enough for you.

But you keep changing the subject:

What does any of this have to with Ulman's gas guzzling minivan?

Anonymous said...

Good point. So why did you bring it up?

Anonymous said...

I didn't - someone pointed out that Ulman has repeatedly exaggerates and you (or another partisan hack) replied saying there was "no basis" for that claim.

I do agree that only a diva`would fix a car after it gets scratched by a shopping cart.

So why didn't you answer the question about resume padders?