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O'Malley Says Hello to Spending Panel


Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley had just settled into a seat in front of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday when a booming voice was heard from the back of the room.

"Don't give him everything he wants!" shouted House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), poking his head into the back door of the hearing room. "He's not even sworn in yet!"

After the laughter died down, O'Malley (D) told the panel that he was looking forward to working with them on what could be some difficult budget choices ahead, given projected shortfalls. O'Malley also shared some thoughts on helping juvenile offenders, which was the subject the panel was exploring prior to his arrival.

The courtesy call was part of what appears to be a concerted effort by the incoming governor to build a better relationship with the legislature than that of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), whom O'Malley defeated last month. The Baltimore mayor also appeared recently at a dinner for new lawmakers.

Tagging along with him yesterday was one of O'Malley's newest hires, Joseph C. Bryce, whom he named yesterday morning as his senior policy and legislative adviser.

By John Wagner  |  December 6, 2006; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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How dare O'Malley try to have a good working relationship with the General Assembly! Haven't we learned any from Bobby Haircut or from the federal government? The only way to really get things done is to fight fight fight between the branches. /sarcasm

Posted by: corbett | December 6, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Time to close the Delaware loophole.

Posted by: Yockel | December 6, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse


The General Assembly played the role of obstructionists for the last four years. "Hairspray", as you so intelligently put it, had nothing to do with it.

One party rule will be [another] disaster.

Posted by: BG from PG | December 6, 2006 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Do you know what you're talking about, Yockel? Apparently not, since a bill of Ehrlich's closed the "Delaware loophole."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 6, 2006 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe how little people remember of government from just four years ago. The Assembly being made up of people with egos and ambition themselves, in other words politicians, have never made life easy for any Governor regardless of party. They always think they know better. At times, they're right.

Ask Paris, Hughes, and especially Schaefer about getting along with the Assembly.

O'Malley is trying to at least get off to a decent start with them. Good for him.

If Bob hadn't decided that the perpetual campaign was the way to go, he might well have had a better relationship, been able to find more common ground, gotten some form of his signature issues passed, and comfortably won reelection.

Instead he made the political calculation that gridlock, easily blamed on the Assembly, combined with his personal popularity was the road to reelection. Governance be damned!

And we now know how that turned out.

Posted by: howie | December 7, 2006 7:59 AM | Report abuse

All we hear from Bobby Haircut lemmings is "gloom and doom" about a united governor and legislature.

It's the same "scare tactic - divide and conquer" that President Cheney uses so well to rule America.

Get over it! Marylanders rejected Bobby Haircut; they rejected you.

Now sit back and see how effective a Governor can be if he works with (not disses) the legislature.

Posted by: GOP Nose Thumber | December 7, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The Baltimore Sun is already making excuses for O'Malley saying that he will "inherit" massive budget deficits for his entire term. Gee, didn't O'Malley make a ton of promises to win election, as I recall. So eliminating budget deficits shouldn't be a problem for him, right? I can't wait to see him fall flat on his face. It's gonna be great.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 7, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Whining time is over.

It's time to see what these benfactors of the war in Iraq can bring to the table. The problem is that most voters nationwide bought into the whinig part without bothering to ask what their candidate plans to brings to the table. Many will be one-termers.

My guess is that O'Malley says "hello" to the spending panel because he'll be seeing quite a bit of them in the future.

Ehrlich extended his hand in good faith early on as well, only to have it wrestled behind his back by the GA. From day one of Ehrlich's term the GA conspired to end his bid for a second term by creating legislative gridlock. When O'Malley's slots plan goes forward, my case will have been proven.

Posted by: BG from PG | December 7, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

BG is not from PG. We ran all you Republicans out.

Posted by: BG is really from Carroll County | December 7, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Well if your going to raise taxes now is the time to do it, rather than being forced into it later on in your term. Voters have short memories.

Is O'malley going to approve the slots deal? That I don't like, taxing gambling is like taxing cigarettes, all it does is take more money out of the pockets of the poor and Mathematically challenged. He should just be a man and not try and get something for nothing, and flat out raise taxes on the highest income brackets in Maryland.

I would bill it as the State stepping in to fill out programs dropped by the Bush administration. If you play it as a way to thumb your nose at the national Republicans it will fly.

Posted by: DCDave | December 7, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

DCDave, which national programs have been "dropped" by Bush? In case you haven't noticed, federal spending has increased dramatically under Bush, and this includes spending on a variety of social programs. It's incorrect to say the reason Maryland is facing a structural deficit is because they are picking up the slack from federal belt-tightening.

Maryland faces a structural deficit because its tax structure has not kept up with the changing times and because its politicians (including Ehrlich this year) have preferred to spend a lot of money on ineffectual programs. Their increase in education spending, for example, has done nothing to improve education in the state. Unfortunately, we taxpayer of Maryland will be paying for this inability to have a little fiscal restraint.

Posted by: MK | December 7, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

BG was born and raised in PG and each year he watches the County take a leap backwards under Democratic leadership.

Lock your doors and arm the car alarm (you know what I mean don't you?).

Posted by: BG from PG | December 7, 2006 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Could anyone explain the Delaware Loophole to me and how it was fixed? Thanks!

Posted by: John | December 8, 2006 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I live in the nice parts of the county. Prince George's County has the second highest median income in the state of Maryland.

Posted by: BG Lives in Capitol Heights | December 8, 2006 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I used to live in that one section of Bowie also. It's going down hill as well thanks to Jack Johnson and his boys.

PG has the second highest median income to Montgomery County. Both counties border Washington DC, one of the hottest job markets in the nation-go figure. But in 2003 Prince George's reported 7,263 crimes per 100,000 people -- second in the state only to Baltimore City, which reported 7,643 crimes. But while Baltimore police cleared 19 percent of their crimes, Prince George's police cleared only 7 percent of all major reported crimes, a 22.2 percent decline from 2002.

Prince George's County had more burglaries, more larceny-thefts and 256 percent more car thefts than Baltimore City -- 17,628 compared with 6,874.

Those stats made O'Malley's failed leadership look, well, not so bad.

Posted by: BG from PG | December 8, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And most of the crime you talk about is concentrated in the inner beltway communities near southeast DC.

Posted by: I Don't Live in Bowie | December 9, 2006 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes. And PG County is working on these really neato electronic buzzers that alert the police when an inside the beltway criminal roams outside those communities. And then the police go pick them up and return them to District or Capital Hts. So don't worry; they're on top of it. Really.

To think that those communities' criminals won't be in Upper Marlboro and Bowie tomorrow or next year is fantasy. Ask the residents of Baltimore County.

You don't buy homes and raise families thinking about today; you're thinking about tomorrow as well. I spend a lot of time in PG County Courthouses. Tomorrow does not look so good.

Posted by: malwords | December 12, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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