As richly rewarding as it was to witness New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's collapse, another larger rat is still scurrying around.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is even more passionately enamored with illegal immigrants and more contemptuous of patriotic Americans.
What's brought O'Malley's love affair with illegal aliens into the spotlight is the sad and curious case of Walter Abbott—a small businessman driven out of business by competitors who hired cheap labor immigrants. Abbot is now under home detention pending prosecution for an email protest he sent to O'Malley.
During the two years in which the governor's office ignored Abbott's pleas for economic justice, the state—with O'Malley's blessing—indirectly funded day labor centers through its financial support of CASA de Maryland, a radical left-wing, pro-illegal alien advocacy organization.
Among the other subversive activities, CASA de Maryland instructs illegal aliens on how to skirt immigration law and thereby remain in the country to take jobs away from Americans. And it operates at least six day labor centers throughout Maryland.
Here's more background:
But as Maryland became more receptive to illegal immigrants (some residents call the state the "number one destination in America for aliens"), Abbott gradually lost jobs. Builders who preferred unlicensed subcontractors whose labor pool included illegal aliens over legitimate, taxpaying businesses like Walter's slowly drained away his trade. Where Walter used to get $5-8 per sheet to hang drywall, the illegals did it for as little as $2. Abbott lost his business, his house and ended up little more than a handyman doing odd jobs to support his family.
Under the direction of the extremist Colombian Gustavo Torres, the organization specifically aids and abets illegal immigration. Among other things, CASA has published a pamphlet (see it here) for aliens telling them that, if they are questioned by immigration authorities, they should not cooperate. CASA recommends instead that aliens carry a card demanding a lawyer.
But because it also provides, largely as a cover, "gang intervention" and "HIV testing" services, the mainstream media routinely refers to CASA as a benign "humanitarian" group. [Immigration Debate Focuses on $2 million in Tax Money Going to Aid Group, By Jason Flanagan, Baltimore Sun, March 31, 2008]
Interestingly, humanitarianism was not one of the subjects covered in a panel discussion entitled "United States: A Possible Revolution?" convened last year in Venezuela and attended by Torres. Rather, the subject was how to "take power" from the American government and place it into anarchist's hands. (Read the summary from the radical The Militant here.)
Torres has contempt for patriotic Americans. About the Maryland Minutemen who were (legally) photographing aliens being hired by local contractors, Torres said this: ''We are going to picket their houses, and the schools of their kids, and go to their work."
Judicial Watch, a non-partisan group that promotes accountability and integrity in government, has collected and is reviewing several boxes of documents relating to CASA's pro-illegal immigration activities. Its president Tom Fitton told me: "CASA's true agenda falls well outside of U.S. immigration law."
O'Malley insists that state funding for CASA is essential for Maryland's well-being and calls it "a required duty." [Funding for CASA Needed, Officials Say, by Jason Flanagan, Baltimore Sun, April 2, 2008]
I talked to Brad Botwin, director of Help Save Maryland. Botwin called Maryland's funding of CASA an "outrageous" use of his tax dollars and an abuse of its 501(c)(3) status. Botwin further noted to me that Maryland recently passed the largest tax increase in its history, yet still did not have money for important Chesapeake Bay projects. Botwin added that CASA "is about to move into a brand new multimillion dollar headquarters."
Events that have boiled over during the past few days.
Abbott, frustrated at a dramatic drop in his income (he earned $22,000 last year), had grown exasperated after e-mailing state and federal officials demanding that someone take action to end the illegal immigration invasion. The only answers Abbott received were automatic, computer-generated responses.
On March 11, when Abbott and his wife testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee about illegal immigration's impact on his life. One observer tells me he was treated with contempt.
According to attendee Paul Mendez, also a member of Help Save Maryland, Committee Chairman Joe Vallario (e-mail) and delegates Ben Barnes (e-mail) and Salvadoran-born Victor Ramirez (e-mail) consistently suggested that "enforcing immigration law" is akin to "racial profiling" and that "the alternative to giving illegals social services and in-state tuition is rounding up and deporting everyone on the street who looked Latino."
What was now crystal clear to Abbott: not only was no one in authority going to enforce immigration law, but also no one cared anything about him, his family or their plight.
On or about March 18, Abbott went to his computer and, using his real name, address and phone number, logged on to the Maryland state website where comments are solicited and, according to his attorney Arthur Frank, sent an e-mail message to Governor O'Malley.
Indicating that unfair competition created by an illegal alien work force was the source of his personal and professional reversals, Abbott wrote, in part, to O'Malley that he blames:
"No good f-cking government . . . pieces of sh-t like you. If I ever get close enough to you I will rap my hands around your throat and strangle the life out from you. This will solve many problems for true Americans . . ."
[VDARE.COM note: We censor this language not because we're prudes, particularly, but because the full version will increase our problems with web filters, already quite serious enough.]
Frank told me that Abbott wrote in the conclusion to his e-mail that he considered O'Malley to be an American sell-out piece of sh-t, hoping that he (O'Malley) drops dead before "I get him."
Finally, Abbott got O'Malley's attention.
But not in the way he hoped
Within hours, state troopers arrested Abbott. His bail was set at $2 million—arguably a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, prohibits excessive bail.
Note that an El Salvador native and known MS-13 gang member charged with conspiracy to commit murder was released on $2,500 bail pending his trial—to which he never showed up. For other egregious examples of preposterously low bails set for violent felons, go here.
Abbott spent four nights in jail before he was released on home detention, where he now remains.
Frank explained Abbott's case to me as follows:
"I don't fault the Governor's office for at least checking the e-mail incident out to see if there was a real threat or danger. That's what 'Executive Protection' does.
"But once officials saw that Mr. Abbott is just an angry citizen venting out about public policy and not a legitimate threat, that should have been the end of it.
"Mr. Abbott would be the first one to say he regrets making such strong comments and that it could have been said in a better way. But he was frustrated and simply vented out with nothing more than words. No one involved in the case could possibly say that this was a real and legitimate threat. It would be almost impossible for anyone to even get that close to any Governor to actually strangle him or her.
"The Court ordered a psychiatric evaluation. The State's own doctor indicates that Mr. Abbott suffers from 'no mental disorder,' that he should not be held 'criminally responsible' in this case, and that Mr. Abbott is not assessed to be a danger to Governor O'Malley or anyone else. This, under normal circumstances, should just end the case and charges against Mr. Abbott.
"Secondarily, I do believe that Mr. Abbott's particular comments in this case are protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.
"To hold otherwise would be to suppress a citizen's most basic and fundamental right to the exercise of free speech."
I spoke to Abbott earlier this week. Here's what he said:
"My case is not just about me. It's about all the people of Maryland and the United States. What is becoming of our country when illegal aliens can get jobs and Americans cannot?
"When I look at young children on the playground, I wonder what their future holds.
"I've contacted U.S. Representatives Elijah Cummings, Chris Van Hollen and Albert Wynn as well as the NAACP to tell them about how illegal immigration is hurting black Americans.
"I guess they don't care because no one answered me."
Everyone agrees—Abbott most of all—that the vulgar and threatening language he used in his e-mail is wrong.
Probably the real mistake Abbott made was using his full name and current address (in itself proof that his threat was merely rhetorical). Abbott told me that the arresting officers said that O'Malley gets hundreds of similar mails every month. None, however, have accurate personal information.
None of the VDARE.COM Editorial Collective endorse violence in any form or fashion, at any time. But the sentiments about illegal immigration's devastating impact on American workers Abbott expressed to O'Malley—figuratively but too explicitly—are not wrong.
Abbott's comments, taken symbolically, represent a courageous expression of what we all feel about government's failure to act on behalf of Americans and against illegal immigration.
Who really knows what it's like to be Abbott who has seen his income plunge, his business teeter and his family burdened with the emotional weight of it all?
The day I spoke to Abbott was his 25th wedding anniversary. He and his wife had saved for years for a Maui vacation—a trip they won't be making because of his current circumstances.
There's still hope for a positive outcome.
Frank told me that Abbott's case could go away if O'Malley instructed the state's attorney to drop the charges.
If that doesn't happen, Frank is confident that Abbott will prevail in court.
My view: Not only should the state drop the charges but O'Malley should also follow up with an invitation to meet Abbott personally. Whatever Abbott has to say about illegal immigration and American workers, O'Malley should want to hear.
Such an outreach would be the sign of a true leader—something O'Malley is not.
And a compassionate act toward an aggrieved citizen might help O'Malley where he needs it the most—at the polls. O'Malley's approval rating is in George W. Bushville, a place no politician wants to be.
In the meantime, O'Malley may want to look to the west and to the north at the once glorious careers of his fellow Democrats from California and New York, the now infamous Gray Davis and Spitzer, abruptly unseated governors who also loved illegal aliens and promoted driver's licenses for them.
To O'Malley, 2010 may seem like a long way off.
But many Maryland voters are counting the days until they can vote him out of office.
(Email sent to Abbott here will be forwarded)
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.