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Steamrolling the GOP

With former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s departure, Republicans in the General Assembly have been feeling a bit deflated.

But yesterday, some of them felt like they got steamrolled.

The Republicans yesterday made several attempts to pass rule changes that would have had the net effect of making the GOP more difficult to ignore. But each time, they were shot down by the Democratic majority.

The Republicans tried to require that all bills get a vote in committee. The measure failed 33- to 14, along party lines. They also attempted to increase the number of votes needed to stop a filibuster, making it tougher to stop such a tactic. Again, the vote was 33- to 14.

The committee-vote proposal rule change requiring that all bills get a vote in committee has been introduced in past sessions. But the Republicans, who were emboldened by Ehrlich's presence in previous years, felt the sting particularly hard this year.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R-Frederick) called it: "Stomp on the minority party day."

In an effort to persuade the Democrats to vote for the measures, Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley (R-Frederickl) said that changes being offered were not to empower Republicans, but to empower any group that finds itself in the minority on an issue. He said there probably will be is likely going to be a time during debates on regional or philosophical issues when every senator will be in the minority.

"You pick your issue, at one point, you'll find yourself in this position," Brinkley said.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) argued against changing the three-fifths rule for ending filibusters, calling it a "reasonable number" that "falls squarely within Maryland tradition."

Minority Whip Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard) introduced the measure that would have required a recorded vote on all bills. He said constituents should know where their elected officials stand on an issue after a hearing is held on a bill.

-- Ovetta Wiggins

By Phyllis Jordan  |  February 7, 2007; 6:21 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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Comments

No need to go through the committee process, no need to have recorded votes? Are they serious? It seems like that is a pretty fundamental part of the legislative process.

I'm really not trying to be incendiary here, but can someone explain to me why it is good for democracy or the legislative process to NOT have a committee vote or a recorded vote on the floor as standard procedure? I can understand individual exceptions here and there and you can write the law to include those, but as standard operating procedure, you would think committee votes and recorded votes would be mandatory.

Did they miss how the Republicans in Congress treated the Democrats when they had all the power in DC? If it wasn't fair then, it isn't fair now.

Posted by: nice | February 7, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Republicans get what they deserve!

Posted by: Sick O' Politics | February 7, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Now the Republicans know how it feels now to be ignored.

Good for the Dems. Dems screamed for 6 years and no one listened. The citizens of MD chose who they want for their leadership.

I agree with the committee though.

Local, State & Federal govt.s need to get off thier collective asses and do something constructive. Eight years of this garbage is enough.

Posted by: smtpgirl | February 7, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Not one iota of sympathy for the GOPigs. Remember this is the party that gave us the Iraq genocide.

Posted by: Playa Brotha | February 7, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Playa, are you a complete idiot? The genocide is thanks to the insurgents et al.

Otherwise, I hope you equally blame the lefties who voted for the war as well, including your gods HRC, Edwards, and Kerry.

Posted by: JD | February 7, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

ok great - give the Republicans what they deserve. Except for a 4 year stint in the governor's office - during which the legislature and others actively drew AWAY from the Republican Governor's powers - when have Republicans had any power in Annapolis whatsoever during which they were able to unfairly treat democrats?

I just don't get it. You don't like Bush - fine. You don't like Iraq - fine. What does a legislator from St. Mary's county who would like a roll call vote on whether to fund the ICC have to do with Bush or Iraq and why would his request - from whichever party he belongs - be unreasonable?

Posted by: confused | February 7, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody expect anything better from Maryland's Democrat Party?

Anybody?

Anybody?

Bueller?

Posted by: Rufus | February 7, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

What wrong has Maryland's Democrat Party done? In fact the state is now being run much better than that fool Erhlich and his GOP clowns ever did in the last five years.

Posted by: Playa Brotha | February 7, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If you did not have crooks, bullies, liars, and idiots making up the majority in the Maryland Legislature, it would not be a representative body.

Posted by: gitarre | February 7, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

One party rule is bad for government no matter what side of the aisle you are on. Furthermore, the silencing of the minority further exacerbates the matter.

It also seems like a few of the posters here need a civics lesson on our federalist system.

Also Ehrlich did a real good job of balancing a broken budget a limiting the already high tax burden of the state. Even the Post was able to admit that last October.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 8, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Playa Brotha

O'Malley has been in office for 3 weeks now, which isn't even long enough to warm up his chair but according to you "the state is now being run much better than that fool Erhlich and his GOP clowns ever did in the last five years"? That makes a lot of sense. By the way, the Gubernatorial term in Maryland is only four years.

Keep your "articulate" rants to yourself. You only make the lefties look worse than they already are.

Posted by: BG from PG | February 8, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of right wing whiners on here. Boo hoo hoo. If the Maryland GOP ran better candidates that were more inline with Maryland voters then perhaps they wouldn't have such a pathethicly low number of representatives in Annapolis. The Democrats won. You all lost big time. Deal with it.

Posted by: SourGrapes | February 10, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Robert Ehrlich did not lose big time. He only lost by about 100,000 votes out of almost 2,000,000 (a 6-point spread). Statistically, then, he garnished a large number of Democratic votes. But, there are more Democrats in Maryland. And they cluster in urban/suburban areas. Republicans spread out over suburban/rural areas. So, because there are less Republicans, they win less seats. But they came close to putting continuing a Republican in state-wide office. SourGrapes, I wouldn't call that "lost bigtime". I'd call that something the Democratic party should be considering over the next four years.

Posted by: Tom | February 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Boo Effing Hoo. Ehrlich ran his office like a dictatorship and got everything he had coming. You're fired t-shirts, grim reaper statutes, and the rest of it.

Posted by: MD4BUSH | February 13, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, because this is what it's really all about, right folks? Not good policy, not good government, just keeping blindly your party on top and stomping on the other guy.

If you want to really know what's going on in Annapolis, force the committees to vote on every bill. You'll know what's getting killed and by who, rather than having bills and issues conveniently tucked in the desk drawer, allowing legislators to make all kinds of excuses for why something didn't pass. Great for the Democrats, bad for Democracy.

By the way, MD4BUSH, Governor Ehrlich had many Democrats in his administration, including several cabinet secretaries - can you name me one Republican secretary in Governor O'Malley's cabinet? Just one?

Posted by: MDVOTER | February 16, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, because this is what it's really all about, right folks? Not good policy, not good government, just keeping blindly your party on top and stomping on the other guy.

If you want to really know what's going on in Annapolis, force the committees to vote on every bill. You'll know what's getting killed and by who, rather than having bills and issues conveniently tucked in the desk drawer, allowing legislators to make all kinds of excuses for why something didn't pass. Great for the Democrats, bad for Democracy.

By the way, MD4BUSH, Governor Ehrlich had many Democrats in his administration, including several cabinet secretaries - can you name me one Republican secretary in Governor O'Malley's cabinet? Just one?

Posted by: MDVOTER | February 16, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich did plenty of stomping. So what? he rounded up some so-called Democrat bottom feeders. John Gianetti, a fine pickup there. A loser as both a Democrat and a Republican. very impressive

Posted by: MD4BUSH | February 16, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

MD4BUSH - Democratic bottom feeders? John Gianetti was not part of the cabinet. So who exactly are you referring to?

Secretary Aris Melisseratos (sp) of Business and Economic Development was a bottom feeder?

Secretary Saar of Public Safety was a bottom feeder?

Secretary Montague (and former Democratic Senator) of Juvenile Services was a bottom feeder?

Secretary Riley of Agriculture was a bottom feeder?

Secretary Fielder of Labor, Licensing and Regulation was a bottom feeder?

Who? You're maligning the reputations of lots of honorable folks - do you have the guts to back up your trash talk?

Attacks are easy - facts are hard (or at least, they appear to be for you, MD4BUSH). What Ehrlich "stomping" are you thinking about, and how does that relate to the legislative process reforms that just got shot down? And even if Ehrlich did some "stomping", how does that make what happened here right? If you're just arguing tit-for-tat, my side's on top so we'll make the rules and swing the clubs, that's fine - so long as you acknowledge your utter lack of moral superiority.

I also noticed you failed to answer my question - can you name just one? Or is the only good Republican a dead Republican?

Posted by: MDVOTER | February 17, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

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