Baltimore City Power Rankings 10/30/13


1 MarijuanaIn a case before a federal court in Maryland, U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced a defendant found guilty in trafficking massive amounts of marijuana to less than five years in prison-about half of what federal guidelines suggest-saying the guidelines are out of step with the direction of federal drug policy, especially the policy not to pursue federal cases in states with more lax marijuana laws. Another step on the road to sane drug policy.

2 City CouncilJust weeks after the City Council granted millions in tax breaks to billionaire Michael Beatty to build the environmentally dangerous, not-especially-needed Harbor Point office complex, they've identified a real enemy: panhandlers. A council committee approved a bill preventing the poverty-stricken from asking for money near restaurants, shops, parking meters-pretty much anywhere If only poor people could, like Beatty, afford a lobbyist, the City Council might lavish them with money too.

3 Gregg BernsteinThe Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office has failed to win a conviction for sexual assault against Nelson Clifford for a fourth time, despite the fact that in each of his four trials (for four separate alleged rapes in different parts of the city), there was DNA evidence linking him to the crime. The legal system bars prosecutors from showing the pattern of allegations, but 0-for-4 with material evidence is unacceptable. A fifth case is pending.

4 Doug GanslerThe Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate just can't seem to pull himself out of the quicksand he slipped into when a picture came out of him at a teen party where underage drinking was allegedly going on. First he said it wasn't his responsibility to police the party, then-when a woman he was chatting with claimed she would have called the police if her daughter was there-he reportedly said, "It also has to do with whether you have a boy or a girl." Stupid and sexist.

5 Mike PrestonThe Sun's Preston is a shitty hack of a sports columnist-but that's just, like, BCPR's opinion, man, and we wouldn't call for him to lose his job based on that. On Sunday, however, in response to his own paper's story about former Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo's work as an advocate for gay rights in sports, he tweeted, "Hopefully, we have seen the end of the Brendon Ayanbedejo [sic] stories and his crusade. Enough already. Actually, way too much." As if LGBT rights are tiresome and homophobia in sports is no longer an issue. Fuck him. The Sun needs to fire this insufferable blowhard.


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