Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
When President Trump referred to Baltimore as a “disgusting rat and rodent infested mess”, he could have just as easily been talking about its two-legged Democrat rats as its four-legged Norwegian rats.
Charm City’s Norwegian rats (rattus norvegicus) usually only come out at night and munch on trash in the shadows of housing projects, while its Democrat rats (rattus democratus) sashay around in the light of day and munch on taxpayer goodies in the marble houses of government.
If you want to see a good example of rattus democratus in its native Baltimorean habitat, draw the curtains, send the kiddies to bed, and take a close look at Nathaniel T. Oaks. Oaks had spent much of his adult life as an elected misrepresentative in Maryland. He’s been a member of more committees, task forces, and subcommittees than anyone can count. These include the Maryland Bicycle Caucus, the Minority Health Disparities Subcommittee, and the Task Force on African-American Entrepreneurship.
In 1989, Oaks was caught stealing $10,000 from his own campaign fund. He was convicted of perjury and misconduct in office, and got off with a suspended sentence and community service.
After automatically being kicked out of the Maryland House of Delegates, Oaks ran for office again, and spent another 28 years in the House. Then, despite his criminal past, he was appointed to the Senate.
Then, Senator Oaks was caught on tape taking bribes in exchange for trying to rig a HUD grant. Housing grants are supposed to help the poorest people get housing. Instead, Oaks used them to get paid $10,300. Last year, Oaks was sentenced to 42 months in prison.
1 in 5 people in District 41, which Oaks had held, live below the poverty line. 68% are black. Only 33% are married. Income is around $30,000. Oaks was making $50,000. His net worth is $1.59 million.
Who exactly is ripping off black people in Baltimore, Donald J. Trump or Nathaniel T. Oaks?
Are the Republicans who call Baltimore a disgusting mess to blame, or are the giant Democrat rats (rattus gigtanus democratus) roaming the city and feeding on its black population?
Will Oaks return a third time? He’s only 71 years old and the establishment is behind him.
After Oaks went down, his campaign began writing big checks to Baltimore Democrats, some who spoke in his defense, and others who represent part of the political establishment in Charm City.
Before reporting to prison, Oaks had a farewell party in the banquet hall of a Baltimore steakhouse.
“Nathaniel Oaks still has a lot to contribute to the community. Those people who truly know him have already forgiven him and are ready to join him for the next chapter in his life,” Anthony McCarthy, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s former spokesman and current NAACP head, said.
The next chapter will probably, once again, involve public office. Three strikes and you’re out.
Mayor Pugh was forced to resign after a corruption scandal involving her book sales. McCarthy had previously worked for Mayor Sheila Dixon, who had been forced to resign as part of her plea agreement from a trial that stemmed from, among other things, stealing toys from poor children.
Dixon was replaced by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who announced, during the riots over a drug dealer’s death, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” Arrests were cut in half while the murder rate increased 63%, until it passed safer cities like Detroit and Chicago.
Rawlings-Blake decided not to run for reelection, even, unprecedentedly, without being indicted.
Despite being a convicted criminal, Dixon tried to make a comeback in the 2016 election. The race pitted Dixon, who had been convicted of embezzlement, against Pugh. Dixon won the black vote, while Pugh won the white vote. After Pugh was forced to step down, Dixon’s Facebook page displayed a 2020 Mayor post. Dixon blamed the post on hackers.
Rats? What rats.
McCarthy, who worked for both Dixon and Pugh, with a $137,000 salary, also worked for Rep. Elijah Cummings. Cummings, the target of Trump’s Twitter barrage, had endorsed Pugh. But, before that, he had been listed as a witness in the Dixon trial. After Dixon resigned, he issued a press release praising the “long history of effective service to our city” of a politician who stole from poor children.
In a previous press release, Cummings claimed to be “proud” to appear with her.
Meanwhile Rep. Cummings is recently enmeshed in a scandal involving a nonprofit run by Cummings’ wife, which received millions in donations from special interests with business before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which he chairs. Cummings’ wife’s non-profit paid her for-profit $250,000 in management fees.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is also the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.
Back in Baltimore, the search for a public official who hasn’t been indicted or convicted continues.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa was appointed to the thankless job of running the police department last year. The Feds pointed out that he hadn’t filed tax returns for three years. He also claimed a mortgage interest deduction when he didn’t have a mortgage and businesses losses for a business he didn’t have. Then he also lied about giving money to charity.
De Sousa has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for tax fraud.
“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young ranted after Trump’s tweets.
Baltimore is a vibrant city. That’s why, while claiming to represent the citizens in East Baltimore, Young’s actual primary residence was in Harford County. Then he claimed to be living in a house bought with federal funds meant to help low-income households. There were multiple legal and tax issues involved with all this that will surely never come up against because Baltimore mayors are incorruptible.
Residency issues involving Baltimore politicians, who may or may not live in the districts they represent, are commonplace because Baltimore is an extremely vibrant city. And it never stops vibrating.
There have been 191 murders so far this year. 118 of the victims were black.
In 2015, while Rep. Cummings was in a House Committee hearing, a West Baltimore rental rowhouse owned by him caught on fire. The rowhouse turned out not to have been registered with the city. Cummings only began filing the paperwork after the fire called attention to it. The Democrat claims to also live in the Madison Avenue rowhouse in Druid Heights, which he also rents out to tenants.
Rep. Cummings has an estimated net worth of $1.1 million with assets potentially going as high as $2.6 million. He owned 3 homes. Beyond the two rowhouses in Baltimore, there’s a Washington D.C. Victorian house that was listed as being sold for $896,000 last year.
The Bloomingdale neighborhood where it’s located was named as one of the best places to live in the imperial city by the Washington Post. Property records appear to list Cummings’ wife as the owner. That would make sense as she runs a D.C. consulting firm and his job is also in Washington D.C.
Why might Cummings and his wife prefer a Victorian home in D.C. to their Baltimore rowhouses?
In 2016, Rep. Cummings told a story about a young man living across the street from him whose car was shot at six times. That same young man took a picture of Cummings’ rowhouse when it caught on fire.
As President Trump put it, “No human being would want to live there.”
And the rats of Baltimore have been the first to flee the sinking ship of Charm City.