After giving “ROOM TO DESTROY”, Baltimore’s mayor now says she’s confident she can get Uncle Sam to pay for the damage. What is this, the new age of federally financed riots?
One month after the race riots that trashed Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that the city would apply for a $20 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to replenish the “rainy day fund” being used to pay for cleanup and police overtime costs in the wake of the mayhem that she herself is on record as encouraging.
“In order to replenish this fund, we’ve already worked with the state to apply for a federal FEMA reimbursement, and we are confident that we will receive a significant reimbursement from the federal government,” CBS Baltimore affiliate WJZ reported her as saying Wednesday.
This smells pretty funny, given that FEMA funds are meant mostly for natural disasters, not riot damage. But more to the point, it’s effectively an escape from fiscal accountability and political responsibility, given Rawlings-Blake’s role in fueling the riots.
Rawlings-Blake, remember, is the one who lit the fuse by saying, “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that” — a clear incitement to riot, even as she unconvincingly denied meaning any such thing while Baltimore burned.
Instead of resigning, or being asked to, Rawlings-Blake is now more confident than ever that cash is on its way, according to press reports. This may very well be true, given all the evidence of political dealmaking with the Obama White House and Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
As the riots raged, Rawlings-Blake was in telephone contact with White House advisor Valerie Jarrett. Then she initiated a quickie-justice prosecution of six Baltimore cops, as well as a broader federal investigation of the city’s police force that the White House wanted. Last week, she joined one group of Maryland officials and another of big-city mayors to seek federal dollars, using the riots as reason.
No cash has been explicitly promised at this point, but in the world of one hand washes the other, it’s pretty obvious that deals are being cut.
Read more: IBD