Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MoCo Council President Roger Berliner and Police Union Attorney Trade Barbs Over "Question B" Debate Invitation

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice recently wrote about the heated debate between Montgomery County's elected officials and the labor union representing their police force (FOP Lodge 35). At issue is "Question B" on this November's ballot, which asks County voters to decide whether the FOP should have "effects bargaining" rights. A "vote for" Question B would repeal "effects bargaining" for MoCo police, while a "vote against" Question B would maintain "effects bargaining." First the police union tried to persuade the MoCo Democrats to endorse a "vote against" Question B, but after failing they quickly asked for an ethics investigation over County Executive Ike Leggett's lobbying for a "vote for" using taxpayer resources.

FOP CHALLENGES MOCO COUNCIL PRESIDENT ROGER BERLINER TO DEBATE: Now, the police union's newly hired Question B advocate, Lanny Davis, is challenging MoCo Council President Roger Berliner to a debate. The FOP issued a press release calling for a public discussion over Question B, but the invitation was met with a quick rebuke from Berliner's office and then another response from the police. You can read the full exchange of words below:


Lanny Davis, Attorney for the Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police, 
Challenges Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council President, to Debate on Question B

Every legislative district and precinct organization has been invited to host this debate on Question B.

"I believe a high level debate on the facts about the current law that the County Council wants to overturn is important and something all Democrats should support," Lanny J. Davis, attorney for Montgomery County police and a former three-term Maryland National Democratic Committeeman and Chair of the DNC Eastern Regional Caucus, stated. "You are entitled to your opinions - but not to your own facts. Let's debate our differing opinions on the contents of the current law that has protected police and their families for 30 years before deciding whether to overturn it, by supporting Question B, or keep it in place, by voting against Question B."

As background, officials of the Maryland Democratic Party are considering recommending to Democratic Party members whether they should vote to overturn the Montgomery County Council’s stripping of police officers of certain of their collective bargaining rights, known as ballot question B.

Montgomery County Executive and County Council President have used false and misleading statements to aggressively lobby Democratic Party Leaders to support them in repealing effects bargaining from police officers.  If successful, police officers will lose a 30-year right to bargain over the impact of the exercise of management rights in the workplace.  The Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police urges a vote “AGAINST” Question B.


Council President Berliner Response to Debate Request by FOP's Lanny Davis

FOP Response to Councilmember Roger Berliner's Rejection of Debate Invitation (by Lanny Davis)

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