First there was commissioner candidate Phil Dumenil admitting that he had not earned a college diploma. He quickly removed this claim from his campaign website as well as his business website when a document (click here to see that document) was produced refuting his initial assertion that he had a college degree. I can’t for the life of me comprehend how anyone could suffer uncertainty over such a momentous event.
Next came commissioner candidate Steve Arentz’s rapid succession of falsehoods when asked by a citizen at the League of Women Voters’ to explain the long history of health violations at his restaurant, Hemingway’s. (Click here to read that account.) Arentz had to have seen the questioner holding his health department documents in her hands as he answered.
These deceptions were soon followed by an advertisement from commissioner candidate Dave Olds which included the most blatant lies imaginable about his opponent, Jack Broderick. (Click here to see that account.)
Not to be outdone, Paul Gunther is concluding his campaign by telling some real whoppers. First came his declaration a few days ago at the Farm Bureau Candidate's Forum that a Queen Anne’s County farmer could net $15,000 per acre raising strawberries. This statement was made just a few seconds after Mr. Gunther spoke in a rude and condescending manner toward his opponent stating “you don’t know jack about farming.” I was not the only one in a room full of farmers that knew Paul was stretching the truth beyond an acceptable limit.
Soon Gunther’s second lie followed when I asked if he could introduce me to a couple of the highly successful strawberry farmers. He adamantly denied he ever said that a farmer could net the $15,000 per acre and angrily replied, “Storm, maybe you should get your f#@%king ears cleaned out so you can hear better.” Later, without heeding Paul’s advice, I listened to the recording and confirmed what he said. (Click here to listen to those remarks.)
The following day I read Paul’s campaign ad in the newspaper where he said this: “I have been farming my 750+ acres for over 40 years and I can assure you that, I earn my profit the old fashioned way”. However, a careful study of the land records show an entirely different picture than Mr. Gunther paints. The main farm Paul frequently refers to is a total of 467.67 acres but it is in half ownership with William J. Milliken and William J. Milliken, Jr. (click here to see record) Splitting the remaining 233.835 acres (owned by the Gunther General Partnership) four ways with his brothers brings Paul’s share to 58.46 acres. One forth of 191.58 additional acres owned by the Gunther General Partnership is 47.89 acres, bringing Paul’s land ownership up to 106.35 acres. Paul also owns his home on 1.01 acres, two homes in Church Hill on .39 acres and a 20.8 acre parcel with his wife on Neighbors road. This brings Paul’s total acreage to 128.55 acres. That’s a far cry from 750.
So why couldn’t Paul just be satisfied to say, ”My brothers and I have been farming for a long time and we can assure you that we earn our profits the old fashioned way.” Having been part owner of a family farm and half owner in a business with my brother, I would never have referred to them as my farm or my business. There’s nothing wrong with sharing the credit with those who deserve it.
I suspect Paul said what he did for the same reason he chose to denigrate his opponent, Bob Simmons. It was an attempt to make himself look big.
What Dumenil, Arentz, Olds and Gunther all have in common, is that they are all candidates handpicked and supported by Mareen Waterman and his “Developer Cartel”. What they also have in common, is a great deal of difficulty telling the truth. One could even conclude that they will tell a lie when the truth would fit.
Perhaps it’s impossible to find an honest candidate to fulfill the developer’s goals.
Sveinn C. Storm