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Whalen, Quirk 'Dance' in Campaign Finance "Elves" Video

Catonsville Promenot offers its take on the campaign finance issues involving developer Steve Whalen and Councilman Tom Quirk.

A group opposed to the redevelopment of a portion of Spring Grove Hospital Center is wasting no time criticizing relationship between Catonsville developer Steve Whalen and Councilman Tom Quirk and other westside elected officials.

The group known as Catonsville Promenot posted a video featuring Whalen, Quirk as well as Dels. Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone. The Developer and four westside Democrats are shown as elves dancing to a hip-hop version of Nutcracker Suite.

The group produced and posted the video on YouTube last week in between the time that Whalen was charged by the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor for making straw donations to Quirk and a Jan. 3 hearing where Whalen pleaded guilty to all five charges.

Members of the Promenot group include Rebecca Dongarra, a Democrat who ran against Quirk in 2010, and her husband Paul Dongarra.

In a July 2012 interview, Quirk criticized the Dongarras for their involvement.

"They continue to engage in these petty personal attacks and I resent it," said Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat.

"I think Paul Dongarra spends every day doing everything he can to attack my personal integrity and character and I've had enough of it," Quirk said.

In that same interview, Quirk said he was not ashamed of supporters who donated money to his campaign.

"Campaigns are expensive and you have to get your message out to thousands of people," Quirk said. "I'm proud of my contributors and proud of my campaign.

"Steve Whalen can be a controversial figure but he's also done a lot of good for the community," Quirk said.

Paul Dongarra was involved in alerting the Office of the State Prosecutor to donations made to Quirk through a friend, employee and personal trainer connected to Whalen. Those donations ultimately lead to Whalen's indictment and guilty plea. Dongarra spoke to Patch about his involvement and this week wrote a blog post outlining his personal views on the donations.

This is the third video the Promenot group has offered up on local political issue.

Last summer, the group highlighted campaign donation relationships between Whalen and Quirk and other area elected officials.

Last fall, the group criticized Councilman Todd Huff, a Timonium Republican, for zoning changes that "upzoned 1,000 acres" of land as part of the comprehensive zoning map process completed in August.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Yes Paul....progressive is a double edged word...
FIFA January 05, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Bucky, go back to what you know. 9/11 conspiracy theories and your belief that income taxes are unconstitutional because you believe the 16th amendment was not properly ratified. That appears to be your expertise but you seem to fail to defend your positions lately, why is that Mr. 9/11?
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Bryan, The home that you live in that is over 50 years old in Towson was most likely built by craftsmen that were required to serve an apprenticeship in order to learn the trade. There are no longer trade requirements for builders, or home improvement contractors for that matter...not one question on the MD Home Improvement exam that pertains to skills needed to perform home improvements..
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I would like to think that you would know how to avoid making surrender statements by now Fifi...obviously a slow learner..
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Facial expressions are perfect...
FIFA January 05, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Bucky likes to talk about the "craftsmen" of 50 years ago. Guess what those guys did, they built to the building codes of the that time. The building codes of today are far more stringent than the good 'ole days Bucky likes to relive. Are there national builders still cutting corners to meet the minimum codes of today, of course there are. But the minimum codes of today far exceed the minimum codes of when Bucky was born. Used to get nickel candy bars too. Bucky probably only paid a penny.
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Surrender statement #2 Fifi...sad..
Sanchez January 05, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Whalen is far from alone in campaign finance fraud. "Obama '08 campaign fined $375,000 by FEC WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for reporting violations related to a set of donations received during the final days of the campaign. The fines are among the largest ever levied on a presidential campaign by the FEC and stem from a series of missing notices for nearly 1,200 contributions totaling nearly $1.9 million." http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Obama-08-campaign-fined-375-000-by-FEC-4168336.php
FIFA January 05, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Joe, formerly banned by the Patch now scamming his own little way to keep posting. There is no "campaign finance fraud" alleged, that is your term because of your far right wing agenda. Your motives are clear, just let go of the banana. Your fraudster lost.
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 04:19 PM
I n the grand scheme these fines are merely chump change...
FIFA January 05, 2013 at 04:22 PM
You owe me big time for that link Frank. I though I had the flu, instead you gave me lornaincotrinitis.
Sanchez January 05, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Fifi, what do you consider "straw donations"? Donations that held out 1 year incarceration per offense? What do you consider "straw purchases" of firearms? Fraud? Is that fraud related to campaign donations? Thus "campaign finance fraud". Does that clear it up for you? Want me banned? Write to the editors. FrankMath just can't help himself can he?
Sanchez January 05, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Hey Frank, tell us how good the economy was in the late 70's again.
Buck Harmon January 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Actually Frank ..some of the worst housing was built between 80 and now...thousands and thousands of plastic shacks to be exact....cheeper materials designed to increase profit for developers and builders..fact.
Kelly Blue January 05, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Lets see Mr. Paul Hategarra stand up to the heat when it starts, like running a catering business from your home Paul? It's a residential neighborhood do you think that's appropriate for your Catonsville neighbors? Hmmmm? Maybe someone needs to check on your zoning to see if that's allowed. And btw how many of your suppliers gave campaign money to your wife in her failed attempt to win an election? If she had won were there any FAVORS to be given to those suppliers such as perhaps exclusive rights to sell you their food supplies? Were there any discounts given to you by your suppliers that in turn you used for her campaign??? Questions need to be answered by you. Lets open the books Mr. Transparency. Put out there on your website for all to see. You see Mrt. Hategarra what goes around comes around.
FIFA January 05, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Joe/Sanchez/joey, I understand. It is okay for you to break the rules of the Patch, get your account suspended, and then come back as the great "Sanchez". You are no better than a pickpocket or shoplifter Joe. Just a common everyday thief let loose to do it again.
Kelly Blue January 05, 2013 at 07:01 PM
How many people posting about this live in College Hills or Hidden Bluffs, really bad projects right? Was the Catonsville Professional Center, Rolling Crossroads or how about Charlestown a bad idea. OMG they took an old seminary with rolling fields and woods and turned into the best retirement community in the area that thousands have enjoyed. My oh my these dam developers. Dongarra and their ilk are not FOR Catonsville they're for themselves. Catonsville would be a much better place without them. And to all of the Hategarras out there, don't shop at the Giant at Wilkens that property used to be ball fields. So don't compromise your principles. You need to go to the A&P in downtown C'ville and get your prescriptions filled at Moss Drugs and when you want to see a movie make sure it's only the Alpha Theatre. Mr. Hategarra do you even know anything about Catonsville?
Paul Dongarra January 05, 2013 at 11:22 PM
My home address is my home office. I rent a commercial kitchen in Columbia where I am regularly inspected by the health department. The only time food comes home is when we have left overs that are donated the next day to our area homeless shelter or to share with my neighbors. If that is a problem, I will just have to start throwing it away. I also have a garden and use some of the veggies I grow. Feel free to stop by next summer, I'd be glad to give you some. It's true some of our vendors donated. We are a good clients, easy to work with, and we pay our bills on time. I don't see anything wrong with that, just like there was nothing wrong with the Jolles of Jolles Insurance making a donation to then candidate Quirk. I am sure his financial planning business refers business to them. Gift in kind donations from vendors and/or friends for copy writing, photography, and graphic design were all reported in Rebecca's reports. Perhaps when you bring up vendors and glass houses you should realize that Councilperson's finance records show him taking cash from companies like: Spindler Refuse, Ruppert Sanitation, Hartey's Trash Management, and Parks Refuse, Pollard Towing, two individuals associated with ACS (the Speed Camera Company), and one from the President of the firm that built Hillcrest Elem's addition. Do any of these people do business with the County? Enough of this foolishness, however, I have to vacuum my house...lol!
Kelly Blue January 05, 2013 at 11:56 PM
" The only time food comes home is when we have left overs that are donated the next day to our area homeless shelter or to share with my neighbors... I also have a garden and use some of the veggies I grow." So the great zoning expert has a commercial business and commercial garden (you are selling product grown on your property) in a residential neighborhood, I thought you were the zoning guru. Additionally you are looked at as a kind and generous person for giving away food that other people paid for. You are a wonderful human being. Perhaps it's time for you to review the zoning laws vs ranting against law abiding citizens.
Paul Dongarra January 06, 2013 at 12:22 AM
My wife and I are not anti-development, we are opposed to poorly planned unnecessary development driven by greed that causes our current commercial corridors to erode. If Whalen Properties had proposed to redevelop Wilkins Plaza or Security Square Mall, I would applaud him. There are many great and exciting adaptive use and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects around the state: Union Mill, http://theunionmill.com/about/ The Oella Mill http://www.oellamill.com/,Camden Yards, and what is happening in North Bethesda, http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/community/whiteflint/ . The PUD on Kenwood Ave claims to be a TOD. It is not. Why are we upzoning land and issuing PUD's on land that hasn't been built on when there are many existing brown fields in need of redevelopment? Could it be that developers make more money when these parcels are purchased and then upzoned and/or a PUD issued? Because when this happens, it's almost like spinning straw into gold. Could it be that developers and their attorney's give and/or raise lots of money for our council to continue this alchemy of land use decisions?
Buck Harmon January 06, 2013 at 12:34 AM
I think you nailed it here Paul D. ..
Kelly Blue January 06, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Really, hey Buck what is the current zoning of the land for the proposed office building? How long has that zoning been in place? When you have those answers then try and make an informed post. Until then stay out of issues you have no clue about. I will agree on the principle of size, agreed, a subject worthy debate and it is being debated where it should be, the zoning commissioner. Whether the land and the owner has THE RIGHT to build an office is not in question.
Buck Harmon January 06, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Really ..Hey Kelly Blue...based on the style of your attack posting, I believe that you are more bark than bite with facts..I'll jump into any issue that I choose to with information that I choose to share...you don't have a say, sit on a tack.
Kelly Blue January 06, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Let me help the uninformed. It's been zoned for office over 20 years. Any more questions Bucky boy. And no comment about WHO the Hategarras supported when they lost? And no comment about the great zoning protector abusing the zoning laws in his own neighborhood? Jump in Bucky the waters warm, or hot depending who you are?
FIFA January 06, 2013 at 12:55 AM
"My wife and I are not anti-development". Mr. Dongarra, with all due respect, yes you are anti-development. Those are code words that the dog whistles are blowing. It is an easy target to be "anti-development", however, you fail to recognize what those "greedy" developers do. They bring jobs and tax revenue to Baltimore County. Don't do development and watch communities die a slow death.
Buck Harmon January 06, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Wow Kelly Blew, You did sit on that tack..I could care less about the zoning, I believe that Paul Dongarra was right on the money with this question."Could it be that developers and their attorney's give and/or raise lots of money for our council to continue this alchemy of land use decisions?" key words...alchemy of land use decisions..
Sanchez January 06, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Fifi, totally incapable of civil adult debate. TOTALLY incapable.
MC January 07, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Paul...she lost...enough with the sour grapes...makes us glad she lost.
Buzz Beeler January 07, 2013 at 07:14 PM
FIFA, in the development I live in, that developer Frank Scarfield had some real issues with the quality of work he did. Those of us that have a sloped front lawns are facing replacing all of our walkways and porches because of workmanship issues. There is not foundation under the concrete and it is crumbling. The price will run into the thousands to repair. You can't patch work this mess. It won't hold up. Google his name and read for yourself of his reputation as a builder. I already had to have my whole front lawn regraded because the rain water drained toward the front of the house and flooded the basement. Every heavy rain I see numerous residents pumping out their flooded basements and ripping up the carpet. Who can afford that time and time again. You might also remember a while back the I-Team investigation into county building inspectors and the problems they caused by not doing their jobs.
Justice February 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I believe you read it wrong. Mr. Dongarra DONATES/Gives food to the HOMELESS shelter instead of throwing it away. He paid for the food. Growing veggies in ones backyard and giving to the neighbors tells me something about Mr. Dongarra. Yes, he's a kind, generous person for even thinking about those less fortunate and his neighbors. Catonsville need more people like the Dongarra's... maybe you should follow suit? Justice

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