Hello Joe - I'll probably need some help from your readers in getting information about Maryland's past government history and I welcome their input. I have heard that if you wait long enough history will repeat itself. When I look at today's political scenario that is now playing out here in Maryland - I don't believe it's been that long ago since the people have seen the same playbook. In recent times (well - almost recent 12-16 years ago) we had seen a Democratic Governor, nick named "Glendspending," because of his tax and spend management style, drive Maryland deeper into the "Structural Deficit Hole". Now I don"t remember seeing that term used in Maryland's budget before Paris Glendening. To me - that says there is an automatic deficit built into the budget from the start and that is definitely the wrong road to go down.
MD's Previous History. The people in Maryland were so upset over this "tax/spend" governing style that this Democratic State finally said "Enough is Enough" and did the unthinkable (at least for Maryland) and voted in a Republican Governor. The new Governor did get the state out of the red and into the black but he sure ruffled some feathers along the way.
Ehrlich's Hallmarks - The Deal with Constellation Energy, which gave consumers the largest electric rate increase in our nations history - it really ticked off a lot of people. After all, wasn't that what the last Governor was all about, taking more money out of our pockets? Then along comes that now famous bill, only surpassed by the "Rain Tax", and it was dubbed "THE FLUSH TAX". Along with some other decisions (come on now, think back) this resulted in the ouster of the Republican Governor after just one term. Perhaps if he had listened to the people who had elected him and not the entrenched establishment he would have been in for another term. So once again we get a darling of the Democratic Party elected - O'Malley - who goes right back to doing what Dems seem to do best and that is tax and spend.
So that brings us up to the present and history that's not yet written but you can recognize the scenario that appears to be getting put in placed. Remember when I said, " the Republican Governor should have listened to the people and not the entrenched establishment"? Let's take a brief look at the Governor Elect's "Transition Team". To me that term "Transition Team" means just a movement from one form of government and players to another different form of government with different players. Remember also the "People", said Loud and Clear that they want "CHANGE". Well how can we get change with some of the people who have been assigned to this team? There's Nancy Grasmick to serve as "Education Adviser". Now here's where I would like to get some assistance from you on these people. Isn't she the person who accepted every Liberal dollar from the federal government for programs like Thornton, Race to the Top, Common Core? Can't we do better? There's got to be some history here that we aren't privy to in order to make that decision.
Then there's the new budget adviser, former Senator Robert Neal, who was a Republican and then changed to become a Democrat. I don't know about you but I'm not too thrilled about having a Democrat advising on financial matters at this time. Anirban Basu will head up economic development for the transition team. Now he is the chief executive officer of a BALTIMORE Policy Group that charges cities, towns, counties and businesses large sums of money (they charged Pollitt 26-36K to tell him how to improve Wicomico County. Didn't work did it?). In Wicomico one of the ideas proposed by the Sage Policy Group headed by Mr. Basu - was to charge out of county workers a tax, fee, etc whatever they want to call it, for the privilege of working in Wicomico County. Can you imagine the repercussions? I'm sure this company has some very good ideas but lets face it, the company is based in BALTIMORE. Need I say anything more about that city? Just drive through it sometime. Look at it's stats - as it is slated for Bankruptcy in less than a decade.
To me, if you want to make positive changes you have to start with a winning team. I see some good but also some very questionable choices. So how about it. Am I jumping the gun and being overly cautious or am I just reading too much into this "Transition Team"? I personally would like to see many changes in the next eight years, but Governors have to remember who and why they were put into office.
The People will be watching.
John Palmer, Delmar, Md.