Miller Knocks Franchot As A "Novice"
A feud between two Annapolis politicians with healthy-sized egos escalated this week, with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) penning a letter to Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) in which Miller offers a scathing review of Franchot's first 20 months in office.
"Rather than growing into your role," Miller wrote, "you are clinging to the worst habits of a novice elected official -- preening for the press, repackaging old ideas and calling them new, expanding your budget while criticizing others for bloat in theirs, offering policy alternatives that are incongrous with your positions the day before, and criticizing others for leading while offering nothing to the debate."
The four-page letter from Miller, who has presided over his chamber for more than two decades, was apparently prompted by a letter earlier this week from Franchot in which he suggested a blue-ribbon commission to make recommendations about the state's continuing fiscal problems.
"You recylced an old idea and offered it up as new," Miller wrote. "That mistake is usually reserved for someone with far less institutional knowledge and experience than you."
Miller went on to accuse Franchot, who served for two decades as a Democratic delegate from Montgomery County, of acting like a Republican.
"Your letter offers another example of your tendency to criticize from the sidelines, while others are leading," Miller wrote. "This Monday-morning quarterbacking is more appropriate behavior for the minority party -- not a statewide official who could exercise influence over public policy in the state of Maryland."
Saying he wanted to end his letter "with the hope of collaboaration," Miller wrote that Franchot's "bad habits have diminished your standing and reduced your effectiveness as comptroller. I encourage you to work on the fundamentals so you can restore your reputation and help all of us achieve great things for the people of Maryland."
An aide to Franchot said a response was likely coming this afternoon. Stay tuned.
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