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O'Malley Meets, Greets and Retreats

Governor

With a month remaining before he is sworn in, Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley (D) is making several overtures in an apparent effort to appear more collegial than the Republican incumbent he defeated.

On Monday, O'Malley and Lt. Gov.-elect Anthony G. Brown (D) are scheduled to huddle behind closed doors in Annapolis with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and other leaders from both legislative chambers.

O'Malley aides are billing the three-hour meeting as a "retreat" at which lawmakers can talk about their priorities for the upcoming session and talk about ways to worth with the administration. Relations between leaders of the Democrat-led legislature and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) had soured considerably by the end of his term, with lawmakers grousing that he rarely consulted them and Ehrlich complaining he wasn't shown proper respect.

O'Malley is also in the midst of a listening tour of sorts with county executives from Maryland's largest jurisdictions, another group that had a chilly relationship with Ehrlich.

O'Malley met at his transition headquarters in Baltimore on Thursday with Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who also recently hired O'Malley's brother, Peter O'Malley, as his chief of staff.

On Tuesday, the governor-elect is scheduled to welcome Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold and Harford County Executive David R. Craig, both Republicans.

And on Wednesday, two Washington-area Democrats, Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett will get their turn. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) comes by on Thursday.

These meetings are designed in part, O'Malley aides say, to get a sense of the local leaders' budget priorities for a document O'Malley must submit two days after taking office on Jan. 17.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  December 16, 2006; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Comments

Anyone remember what Ehrlich did with legislators when he came into office? I assume from the response he got from them that he came to Annapolis, walked into the floor of the house, and took a big whiz all over the Speaker's desk, walked over to the Senate, strolled up to Miller's chair, dropped his pants and took a big duke and walked back to Government House. No? What? You mean he actually tried to work with his former colleagues, attended the pick up basketball games with members and invited them over to the house to have personal dinners and watch TV in an effort to actually build a useful relationship with people he had in fact been a good working partner with for his years in the legislature?

I hope O'Malley's 3 hour "retreat" is more successful than Ehrlich's efforts. Because it COULDN'T be that Miller and Busch are just partisan hacks who are more interested in their own glory than in working together to do what's best for the state.

Whatever. Maryland will get what it voted for. Look 4 years from now and tell me if unemployment will be higher or lower. Will taxes be higher or lower? Will schools in the state move up from their current A rating or down? Will we see more buddy-buddy insider games with total dominance from one party or will we see less?

Have fun Maryland. See you in 4 years. Thank god we didn't elect someone whose friend of a friend's first cousin is George Bush.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

What's with the Post.com running a Citgo advertisement on this page, which claims to be "an American success story"? There's no mention that they're a state run corporation of the anti-American Hugo Chavez Venezuelan government.

At least Southland Corp (7-Eleven) made the right decision by breaking ties with these oil Nazis. The Post and every other American company should do the same.

That said, it still wouldn't surprise me if Chavez is on O'Malley's Inaugural Ball invite list.

Posted by: Bg from PG | December 18, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't help but laugh when I read in the Baltimore Sun (surprise) that O'Malley is off to a "better start" than any recent Governor. Unreal, the guy hasn't even been sworn into office, and he's already off to a better start than Ehrlich. Talk about objective reporting, geez, at least try to appear like a professional newspaper. If O'Malley turns the $4 billion dollar surplus that Ehrlich created into a deficit into a deficit, the Sun and Post will find some way to excuse it.

Posted by: tim | December 18, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Tim,

Keep spreading the myth about the surplus. Everyone knew that Bob was balancing the budget through fees and by raiding targeted funds. Now that the funds are gone, someone will have to be responsible and make budget decisions on both sides of the balance sheet that Bobby kicked down the road for four years.

The structural deficit predated Bobby, but he did nothing to correct it while maintaining his perpetual campaign.

Posted by: howie | December 20, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

So howie, which of these fees will O'Malley be eliminating?

Posted by: Rufus | December 20, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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