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Monday, May 14, 2012


A watchdog group recently disclosed a slew of e-mails that it obtained pursuant to a "freedom of information" request which show a very cozy relationship between a Baltimore lawyer, who represents Perdue, and Martin O’Malley – they were law school classmates and apparently still are close. He is a partner at the mega-lawfirm, Venable, LLP, based in Baltimore, with offices elsewhere. The implication is that the lawyer in those e-mails, Herbert D. Frerichs, serves as Perdue’s stimulant with O’Malley and lesser Maryland officials.

But to quote my good friend Sportin’ Life, who is almost always on the mark, that ain’t necessarily so!

Not long ago Venable engaged Peter C. O’Malley not as a regular lawyer but rather "of counsel" capacity. That’s noteworthy because he has little if any experience as a practicing lawyer after he finished law school in 2000. Since then he seems to have "practiced" mostly as a political operative – according to his bio on the Venable website:

In addition to his government and private sector work, Mr. O’Malley has been an active force in Maryland politics and campaigns. He played key roles in the campaigns of his brother, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, serving as campaign manager for his 1999 and 2003 mayoral campaigns and senior advisor in his 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial campaigns. Mr. O’Malley also chaired the Maryland Democratic Party.

Also worthy of note: the Venable firm is renowned for influence peddling. The "Influence 50" survey published by the National Law Journal ranked Venable’s Legislative and Government Affairs group – of which Peter O’Malley is a member -- 15th among law firm lobbying practices and 21st among all lobbying firms for 2011. Again, this is from the Venable website. It is involved in more than just practicing law.

Is there any doubt why he became part of the team?

It’s not illegal and seems prudent to hire the Governor’s brother if you are in the business of furnishing influence at the highest level for those in need of such service who can afford to pay in order to have it. And we understand that the younger O’Malley is very good at what he does.


Anonymous said...


Kudo's for providing this look behind the curtain -- something the Daily Times will never do, since it's Perdue -- keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

I said it before on yesterday's post, and I'll say it again:

I don't get it. Perdue (and the chicken industry in general) keeps a lot -- and I mean A LOT -- of people employed in this area. Why would people want to tear down and destroy jobs, especially during a time when finding and keeping one is quite a task?

Protecting the environment is admirable, but keeping food on the table for those on Delmarva (and the surrounding areas touched by the chicken industry) seems exponentially more important to me.

Just keep in mind folks, the other other jobs around here are service industry jobs that pay next to nothing. what am I supposed to do once Perdue and the rest of the chicken companies just get sick of a hostile atmosphere of Maryland, and just decide to move jobs elsewhere?

I shudder at the thought of trying to support my family working at a pharmacy, bank,convenience store, or the local Wall-mart. Not that there's anything wrong with these jobs per say (all honest work is honorable in my eyes, but you'd be lucky to get even close to full time hours, and forget about benefits).

Is this what people really want? Chasing away jobs, and having even more people living hand-to-mouth because all the good paying manufacturing jobs already left, and there is little else to sustain ourselves on. Think about it.

Yes, I work in the chicken industry, and have no qualms about it. Most of us enjoy the products, and having a steady, decent paying job is quite an accomplishment these days.

Anonymous said...

5:43, Since you work in the chicken industry you should know that the majority of the jobs in that industry are considered low paying. I just read about the chicken catchers who have to catch approximately 70,000 chickens per week to make the meager sum of $280! I also read about the chicken farmers who have $500,000 into their chicken houses and are lucky to make $20,000 a year off of their time and investment.

Anonymous said...

6:07. So what? Are the chicken catchers forced to work there? What ever happened to responsibility for your own actions/welfare? If I invest $500k for a 20k yearly return, that is my bad decision. Poultry growers are not contracted for life to produce for anyone. Most contracts are flock to flock, so you are free to quit or change companies every 6 weeks or so. Furthermore, Perdue is the best paying integrator on the shore, if this really bothers you look at, Mountaire, Tyson, Harim and Amick.

Anonymous said...


I'm way down the food chain (pun intended), and not privy to that sort of information. All I can tell is my perspective: I cannot hope to match my salary outside of my place of employment, and there are many others like me.

I have no reason to disbelieve that there are a multitude of workers who make substantially less, but I know of many, many people who squeak out at least a reasonable living thanks to the chicken industry.

Are the majority of us living in large houses with two new cars in the driveway? No, but I believe we get an honest day's wage for a honest days work.

No matter how one feels about the chicken industry, you cannot deny that it is a cornerstone of Delmarva's economy... and for that, I am thankful.

Even before working in it -- and perhaps after, if fate ever changes my line of work -- I felt/feel that not having them around would be a greater disservice to our economy and our way of life than having them here providing jobs for whomever chooses to work for them.

Anonymous said...

Indentured servitude collaborated between companies through the Delmarva Poultry Industry. Great going, guys.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Perdue's merits, it's cozy access to O'Malley is not in the public interest.

Anonymous said...

7:05 --

You sound just like those who opposed child labor a hundred years ago. Ever been inside a Perdue plant and seen what they do there to earn a meager wage?

Anonymous said...

No one is forced to work anywhere 7:05, but some people will work anywhere just to be working. The problem I have is that these low income jobs are supplemented by tax payers money in the form of Medicaid, renters assistance, food stamps, free lunch programs,etc.
That is the problem because alot of this class of working poor work for companies making bilions in sales and millions in profits.

Also 7:05 growers either have to make costly upgrades or risk losing their contracts. What started out as a $200,000 investment can become a 1/2 million investment overnight.
Yes 7:38 is correct-'indentured servitude.'

Anonymous said...

From time to time I listen to The Micro Effect online radio broadcasts (extremely right wing) and they have touched on this subject how big agri business controls the politicians. Big companies would like to run out the independant (not under contract) farmers and are behind regulations so the small farmers can't afford to compete (the raw milk issue.) When farmers are under contract and indebted up to their necks they become 'quiet' as to not lose their contracts.

Anonymous said...

Whole Foods is coming to the rescue of alot of these farmers who want to be out of these suffocating contracts with mobile slaughtering operations.
They are particularly interested in areas like this where all the independant slaughter houses have been run out of business.

Anonymous said...

In light of these emails and this love affair between Omalley and Perdue going on I can see it now. Any mobile slaughter operation would be hit with so many fees for permitting and regulations that it would be cost prohibited to come around here.