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O'Malley's Role: Firm Leader or Tax-and-Spend Democrat?

Montgomery County Democrat Brian E. Frosh put it this way: "Will people recognize it as hard choices that had to be made or as government run amok?"

The senator was talking about the three-week special session of the General Assembly that ended early Monday morning with approval of a $1.4 billion tax increase package and a referendum on slot machine gambling. More specifically, he was talking about how people would characterize Gov. Martin O'Malley's role.

O'Malley's fellow Democratic leaders were generous with their praise: "This is the boldest move, the boldest action, on the part of any governor I've served with," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who has served with six other governors.

Republicans saw the array of tax hikes--O'Malley's package raised the state's sales, corporate income, tobacco and vehicle titling taxes and overhauled the personal income tax system--as a natural campaign issue in 2010, when the governor and the entire legislature stand for re-election.

"We'll see how people react when they start paying these taxes," said Senate Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman (R-Howard). "There's no question people will remember this."

Tell us what you think?

By Phyllis Jordan  |  November 20, 2007; 9:38 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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