- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2005

Gaithersburg’s decision to cancel plans to build a center for day-laborers in the city’s historic downtown is a blow for common sense and an embarrassment to Montgomery County [Md.] Executive Doug Duncan, who hopes to tout his “successes” in his current job in his campaign for governor of Maryland.

Mr. Duncan has done everything in his power to put out the welcome mat for illegal aliens, whether permitting them to present Mexico’s fraud-ridden matricula consular cards as identification to receive taxpayer-funded services or barring county police from cooperating with immigration authorities. The day-laborer center is yet another example of Mr. Duncan’s efforts to flout immigration law in an effort to win votes from a Democratic Party primary electorate that tilts way to the left.

Now in his third term as county executive, Mr. Duncan is a man used to getting his way on this and pretty much everything else that goes on in the county. That’s why it was so heartening to see Mr. Duncan, who on Friday was campaigning in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore where he ate shrimp salad and tried to counter efforts to portray him as the Rockville liberal that he is, getting his hat handed to him by residents of a Gaithersburg neighborhood. Thanks to their hard work and refusal to be steamrollered by Mr. Duncan and his allies in Gaithersburg’s city government, they defeated the proposal to relocate an existing, informal day-laborer facility located nearby to 17 North Frederick Ave.

For months, nearby residents had complained about offensive behavior by day-laborers — the overwhelming majority of whom are in the country illegally — at nearby Grace United Methodist Church, where they urinate and drink in public while waiting for work. The neighbors protested when church, city and county officials met without them to discuss the problem. With the project plagued by cost overruns and bad publicity (the last thing Mr. Duncan needs, given the fact that he lags well behind Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley in the polls) city and county officials abandoned plans to build the center at the North Frederick Ave. site. County officials say they remain committed to another facility in the Gaithersburg area. If local residents don’t remain vigilant, some other neighborhood could soon be targeted for “social progress” by Mr. Duncan and his merry band of Rockville bureaucrats, and their allies at CASA of Maryland — the organization that was to operate the Frederick Ave. facility.

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