Cahan Can...

  • Make our streets safe
  • Give parents choice in our children's education
  • Promote jobs and economic development
  • Help our government be responsive to its citizens
  • Restore ethics, integrity and dignity to our city council

Yes...Cahan Can!

 

 

 

Sunday, March 28, 2004

City Council Expense Accounts Probed
Today's Baltimore Sun has an article about the continuing invoices into the expense accounts of City Council members.

Questions of Ethics Continue to Swirl Around Council

The U.S. Attorney for Maryland continues to investigate our City Council. Each member is paid $5,000 annually to compensate them for expenses related to their council work. Council members are required to sign a form that affirms that they have spent the money on official business. It appears that if proper receipts or other proof of such expenditures is made than this income should be reported as taxable income. Most council members did not provide the required documentation and failed to report the income on their taxes. The money that they receive for their expense accounts is above the $80,000 that they are allotted to run their offices.

It is not clear what the outcome of this investigation will be. However, it is clear that this is tax payer money. It should be no surprise to our elected officials that this money should be used specifically for council expenses and not money that should come out of a campaign fund. In the private sector, you do not get reimbursed for an expense until you provide a receipt or some other proof that you spent the money on a true business expense. Serving the public is an honor that brings a considerable amount of responsibility. I will take this responsibilities very seriously and treat tax payer money the way it should be.

We must change the culture of politics in the city of Baltimore. At a time we are facing budget deficits and layoffs, we can not be cavalier with the duty of public office. It is time to send a clear message to our leaders you can do that by voting for me on November 2.


- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 12:11 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Get Your Gear!
Show your support for change in Baltimore City by donating today to my campaign. With a donation of $50 or more you will get one of my great looking shirts. Donating is easier than ever by using the paypal link right on the web site. I thank you in advance for your support.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:47 PM

Getting Things Done!
It has been a couple of weeks since I have updated this site. That's not to say that the campaign has ground to a halt. That has been hardly the case. You should vote for me not just because I am working hard to get your vote I will also have to work hard to keep it. My opponent has become complacent over the last 26 years and once told a reporter that since she is the "Dean" of the City Council that "G-d should appoint her to the council". Over the last two weeks I have fielded calls from my future constituents who have asked me to help get their street lights that have not been working for a month turned back on. I am happy to say that by working with the Mayor I was able to help get the street lights on Bartol Avenue back on within days of being contacted.

Many of you may have heard about legislation that has been introduced by Senator Lisa Gladden that would strongly reduce the power of Baltimore City Police to enter a liquor store or a bar to investigate a crime. I have been in contact with every member of the appropriate committees in both the House and Senate to voice my opposition. I have learned from Senator Gladden that neither one of these bills will make it out of committee.

I have written about Senate Bill 774, which would appropriate funds to help bring a greenway to the Western Run. I have been working hard to ensure passage of this bill. I strongly believe that Governor Ehrlich will sign this bill and we will be on the way to improving the quality of life for our children and seniors who are in desperate need of more green space.

Another important piece of legislation that has escaped public scrutiny is an effort by the Department of Health to move most senior citizens into managed care plans as a way of cutting health care costs. I am very concerned about the approach that the Secretary of Health has used to implement his so called "vision" for health care in Maryland. I have been working to ensure that any legislation that passes would provide for plenty of safeguards as well as subjecting any such plan to review by the legislature.

Meanwhile, as the last few weeks of the General Assembly wind down we are all waiting to see the final outcome of any slots legislation and its impact on our district.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:28 PM
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

"I Will Be Back"
To quote the great Governor of California. Please continue to visit this site for updated information.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:11 PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

She's in the Middle of this Mess!
Please use the link below for more information on Rikki's role in http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.mitchell10mar10,0,7542484.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

mortgating the financial future of our city. This story continues to unfold. The Mayor has announced the possibility of raising taxes to pay for the loan to the school system.

Our leadership is so clue less. It's like seeing a close friend with a problem, but is denial about the situation. You want to help, but until the friend realizes there's a problem there is nothing you can do about the situation.

Stay Tuned!
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:26 PM
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

COUNCIL MORTGAGES FUTURE FOR POLITICAL GAIN!
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL JOIN FORCES TO JEOPARDIZE CITY FINANCIAL STANDING!

In the end, it boiled down to the fact that the Mayor and City Council could not stand being relegated to the sidelines in Annapolis. Instead, on Monday night the same individuals who failed to hold the school board accountable for the financial crisis that it currently finds itself in decided to create more of a mess. The City has decided to dig into its "rainy day" fund to give a loan to the school system. They have done this despite the fact that there is the very real potential that the City bond rating may be in jeopardy. Tonight, Fitch has already put Baltimore on a "watch" list which may lead to the bond rating being lowered. City leaders do not believe that the bond rating is in trouble because the loan will be repaid in 90 days. I find that hard to believe. Where will the long term structural changes that are needed in the system occur? Who will lead them out of this mess? At a time when we needed leadership and cooperation from our leaders we have the political equivalent of a game of "chicken".

So, where was Rikki in all of this? Last week, I was told that she was working "behind the scenes" on the school issue. She was going to make things happen. She was going to solve the problem. My first reaction was that it was nice to see that she was putting aside her partisan politics to work with the Governor on a solution to the problem. We should have known that things would not work out. Having a one party system of government in this city continues to haunt us because there are absolutely no checks and balances. There is no opposition to the Mayor. While I certainly hope that this loan will help pull out a "miracle" and help turn around the school system I am not optimistic. In the meantime, even without slots, our city has now taken a huge gamble. Time will only tell if the Mayor's horse comes in.



- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 11:40 PM
Monday, March 08, 2004

Vouchers Part 2!
You may have a missed a small article in the Sun over the weekend about the Archdiocese closing two Catholic schools in the city. These two schools are closing because enrollment has dropped and now they are losing money. It is a shame that these two well run schools are closing because of under enrollment when we are city schools are over crowded and unmanageable due to the fiscal crisis. I am sure that there are many parents of our city school system who would love to have their children in a private catholic school, but just can not afford it. We are now faced with a chance to take bold steps towards giving parents a real choice in their children's education. I would urge our leaders to grant vouchers to those parents who want to attend these local catholic schools. This would be a win-win opportunity for our kids, parents, educators, and schools system. Let's take some bold leadership while we have a chance.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:48 AM
Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Time is Now for Vouchers!
While the crisis around the school system continues to unfold, one option that does not appear to be on the table is school vouchers. We can no longer dance around this issue. I urge the Governor to set aside funds to allow city students to attend private schools. Instead of giving money to that giant vacuum on North Avenue, give parents back their tax dollars in the form a voucher that will allow them to choose where their children should go to school. Start with the kids in the worst performing schools in the City. Save these kids before it is too late. We heard so much talk about improving test scores. The test scores have really only improved in lower grades and have continued to decline as the children get older. Therefore, any gains that have been made are vanishing. Save our children now and give them vouchers.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:25 PM

Cahan Urges Passage of "Greenway" Bill to Improve Quality of Life
This Saturday, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will hear SB 774, which will provide funds to help study and plan a "Greenway" along the Western Run from Fallstaff Road to Mount Washington. This proposed park space will provide much needed recreational space for the Northwest Baltimore area. In fact, Baltimore City has (surprise) identified our area as not having enough recreational space. I really believe that we can improve the quality of life in this area. There is no better way to do that then by building a path where children can play and ride bikes. Where parents can re-establish bonds with their children while walking on a nature trail. Others may choose to sit on a bench and meditate in the serenity of the trees and the tranquil sound of the Western Run. I will work with the Governor to get this bill signed into law and for our "Greenway" to become a reality.

 

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

She's in the Middle of this Mess!
Please use the link below for more information on Rikki's role in http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.mitchell10mar10,0,7542484.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

mortgating the financial future of our city. This story continues to unfold. The Mayor has announced the possibility of raising taxes to pay for the loan to the school system.

Our leadership is so clue less. It's like seeing a close friend with a problem, but is denial about the situation. You want to help, but until the friend realizes there's a problem there is nothing you can do about the situation.

Stay Tuned!
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:26 PM
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

COUNCIL MORTGAGES FUTURE FOR POLITICAL GAIN!
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL JOIN FORCES TO JEOPARDIZE CITY FINANCIAL STANDING!

In the end, it boiled down to the fact that the Mayor and City Council could not stand being relegated to the sidelines in Annapolis. Instead, on Monday night the same individuals who failed to hold the school board accountable for the financial crisis that it currently finds itself in decided to create more of a mess. The City has decided to dig into its "rainy day" fund to give a loan to the school system. They have done this despite the fact that there is the very real potential that the City bond rating may be in jeopardy. Tonight, Fitch has already put Baltimore on a "watch" list which may lead to the bond rating being lowered. City leaders do not believe that the bond rating is in trouble because the loan will be repaid in 90 days. I find that hard to believe. Where will the long term structural changes that are needed in the system occur? Who will lead them out of this mess? At a time when we needed leadership and cooperation from our leaders we have the political equivalent of a game of "chicken".

So, where was Rikki in all of this? Last week, I was told that she was working "behind the scenes" on the school issue. She was going to make things happen. She was going to solve the problem. My first reaction was that it was nice to see that she was putting aside her partisan politics to work with the Governor on a solution to the problem. We should have known that things would not work out. Having a one party system of government in this city continues to haunt us because there are absolutely no checks and balances. There is no opposition to the Mayor. While I certainly hope that this loan will help pull out a "miracle" and help turn around the school system I am not optimistic. In the meantime, even without slots, our city has now taken a huge gamble. Time will only tell if the Mayor's horse comes in.

 

Thursday, July 08, 2004

SHOCKER! CAHAN TO MOVE TO ISRAEL!
Dear Friends:
I am writing to officially inform you of the news that many of you have heard by now. After returning from our vacation to Israel in May we have decided to permanently move to Israel. This has been a shared dream of ours for many years. Because of the age of our children we have decided that the time is now to do this. Ilene and the kids will be leaving in mid August and I will be leaving at the beginning of September.

This has been a bittersweet decision for us. We have made a great deal of friends here in Baltimore and think there is no better place to be in America than right here. I entered this race with a vision for a better Baltimore. I believe that this district needed an infusion of energy and enthusiasm unseen in many years. Were we to continue with the policies of the past we would remain stuck with representation that had one answer to our challenges which is more and more taxes.

I believe that my message of giving parents more choice in their children's education, making our streets safer, a government that views it citizens as customers not sources of revenue, and finally restoring ethics and integrity to our government really has hit home with the people of the Fifth District. Our message of change continues to hit home as we are taxed and taxed with no end in sight.

While my formal campaign will end. I believe that I can still have a role in the future of this city. I believe that by keeping my name on the ballot that we can send a message to the leadership of this city that we want and need different leadership. On November 2, we can make history and we can reshape the priorities and direction we are going.

I would like to thank each and everyone of you for all your support no matter what form it has taken. I have always thought that I could make a difference and I have enjoyed getting to know the people of this district and the concerns that they have.

Ilene and I and the kids are looking forward to the new life that we will be building in Israel and will keep with us the many many fond memories that we have of Baltimore.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:23 PM
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Cahan Gear!
Just in time for Summer! Get your Cahan for City Council T-Shirt! These fashionable shirts are a must have in the 5th District or anywhere that you might be going this summer. A small contribution of $25 will ensure that you get one of these limited edition collectibles.


- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 4:01 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Rikki's Israel Problem!
If you have wondered why I have not posted anything since the end of April, let me explain. My family has just returned from a visit to Israel. There certainly is no better way to show support for Israel than by going and visiting the country and giving both moral and financial support to people who have been fighting the war on terror far longer than the United States. It is unfortunate that many potential visitors to Israel have been scared off by the images that they see in the media. Our family felt extremely secure wherever we traveled and I would urge all of you to try to attempt to visit Israel when possible. Your visit will send a powerful message to terrorists that they can not defeat the ideas and freedoms that we cherish and love.

The Bush Administration has by far been the most supportive United States government relative to Israel ever. John Kerry on the other hand like Howard Dean has presented a more curious position on Israel. In December 2003, Kerry recommended sending Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and James Baker to Israel as special envoys. None of these individuals have a great record on Israel. You can read more about Kerry's Jewish problems in the article by Lawrence Kaplan from the New Republic that I have linked below.

Many voters in this District are concerned about Israel and in particular United States policy towards Israel. Ensuring that Israel has a friend in the White House is extremely important. Rikki Spector has called herself a friend of Israel, but yet has supported both Howard Dean and now John Kerry! Does Rikki Spector really support Israel and if she does is she willing to endorse George W. Bush?

Mrs. Spector it is time you come clean on your position regarding Israel.

- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 5:07 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Cahan on Shalom USA
This past Sunday I called in to the Shalom USA radio program which can be heard every Sunday from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. on 105.7 FM. I gave Jay, Larry, and their listeners a heads up on the Mayor's proposed Energy Tax on Non-Profits. While the Mayor and City Council might want to blame deficits on Governor Ehrlich and President only $8 Million dollars of the city budget deficit can be traced to a reduction in state aid. What the mayor and city council will not tell you is that they have given large tax breaks to developers to the tune of over $6 million dollars. The Mayor has threatened to cut essential services if the energy tax and other tax increases are not approved. As I have outlined here before I believe that there are more efficiencies in government that can be achieved. I also believe that if times are that bad then maybe we should have been able to tap into our "rainy day fund", which unfortunately has been used to fund the school system instead of accepting a loan from the state. So, in the end, what is happening? It's politics as usual. The 50% of adults that work in Baltimore City will take on an even higher portion of the tax burden and this district in particular will shoulder that burden. The time is now for change.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:13 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Time for Change
After 27 years doesn't the District 5 deserve a new approach to government? What do I mean?

 
Cahan Spector
Cut Taxes Raise Taxes
Cut Spending Raise Taxes
Create Jobs Raise Taxes
Growth Raise Taxes


Tired of the same old thing? It's time for a change on November 2
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 9:45 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Statement on Energy Tax of Non-Profit Organizations
Three years ago Mayor O'Malley attempted to levy an energy tax on all non profit organizations in Baltimore City. In the end, he reached an agreement with some of the largest organizations to pay what amounted to a shake down. This year the Mayor is again looking to revisit the issue of an energy tax on non profit organizations. Northwest Baltimore, in particular is served by many non profit organizations including, Sinai Hospital, Levindale, Jewish Family Services, CHAI, the JCC, along with the many synagogues and churches. All of these organizations provide essential services that might have to be cut or curtailed if this tax is imposed. Many of these organizations rely on funding from the State and they too have seen their funding reduced. The energy tax would be an additional hit in a tough economic environment. I am adamantly opposed to an energy tax on non profit organizations. The Mayor has raided the rainy day fund for a failing school system. That money could have come from the State. Unfortunately, he has allowed politics to get in the way of fiscal responsibility. I believe that there are additional cost savings that can be achieved in our city government. In a letter I wrote to the Baltimore Sun I wrote about the work that my nursing facility has done with the Mayors Office of Employment Development. We have worked together to train and bring new people into the health care field. This has provided a win win situation for all involved. However, this energy tax would force us to lay off those very people we have worked so hard to recruit and train to provide care for some of our most frail elderly. So, my question is whose layoffs are more important, his or mine?

I call on Rikki Spector to oppose this tax and support the many non profit organizations in her district that would be severly hurt by it. Please call her office and voice your opinion.

- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:21 PM

Another Chance At Exodus
This Year You Have Another Shot At Liberation November 2!

Many of us have just concluded the celebration of the Passover holiday. This holiday commemorates the exodus of the Jewish people from their slavery in Egypt. During the annual burning of leaven products which takes place at the Glen Avenue Fire Station, I took the opportunity to hand out literature and remind the voters that this year there is another liberation that needs to take place. We have a chance to liberate our city from a government that has not educated our children, is mired in an ethics scandal, and continues to allow crime to permeate our neighborhoods.

If you would like to help pass out literature please let me know.
- posted by Elliott Cahan @ 10:13 PM
Thursday, April 01, 2004

The People Have a Right to Know
If The Money Can Not Be Accounted For Resignations Are In Order

Despite the announcement yesterday by the Mayor that the rules for the City Council expense account reimbursement would change effective today there still needs to be a full and complete accounting of how this money was spent. The people of Baltimore have a right to know whether their money was spent on legitimate reimbursable expenses or whether it should have been reported as personal income. In the case of Rikki Spector, the self proclaimed "Dean" of the Council she would have amassed $130,000 over the 26 years she has been in office. This is not pocket change. I call on Rikki Spector to provide the people with a complete accounting of how she has spent this money. If she can not and did not report it as taxable income, I believe that she should do the right thing and resign. She can not proclaim ignorance. It is high time that we restore ethics and integrity back into our political system. At time when the Mayor is talking about layoffs and tax increases we can not have a black cloud of fiscal irresponsibility hang over the head of the people we should trust the most.

 

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