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O'Malley pledges budget fix for Prince George's

O'Malley closeup.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley (D) made an unadvertised appearance Friday at a meeting of the Prince George's County delegation, where he pledged to House members to fix a funding anomaly in his budget and teased the possible move of a state agency to the county.

Del. Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George's), the chairwoman of the county's House delegation, said she invited O'Malley prior to the release of his fiscal 2011 budget proposal. But the budget's impact on Prince George's was foremost on the minds of delegates who attended the morning meeting in Annapolis.

That also remains on the mind of former Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D), who sat in the front row of the audience. Curry is contemplating challenging O'Malley in the Democratic primary, in which voters from his heavily Democratic and populous county play a prominent role.

"How are you doing, Wayne? Good to see you again," O'Malley said, as he gave Curry a vigorous handshake before sitting down to address the delegates.

In the view of Prince George's lawmakers, O'Malley's budget shortchanges the county by several million dollars in state aid that is driven by a wealth-based formula. O'Malley, who was accompanied by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), a former Prince George's delegate, promised at address the anomaly and provide "some relief." He gave no specifics and pleaded for patience.

"Fortunately, this is a 90-day session and not a nine-day session," the governor said. "The bottom line is we do want to work with you. I ask for your help and your cooperation."

O'Malley also talked up "the tremendous potential of transit-oriented development" in the county and urged county lawmakers to "stay tuned" for an announcement from his administration.

"We think we have an idea that will please the delegation," O'Malley said.

O'Malley aides remained tight-lipped about the idea, but the sense of lawmakers is that it involves moving the offices of a state agency near a Metro stop in the county, possibly in Largo, to spur development around it.

As a candidate in 2006, O'Malley talked about moving the state's homeland security operations to Prince George's. That never happened.

Curry, who has been among O'Malley's tougher critics lately, eased off a little following the governor's Friday morning appearance, which was not included on the public schedule issued by his office.

Asked to assess O'Malley's visit, Curry said: "I guess you'd have to say it's a welcome though much belated response to the obvious."

By John Wagner  |  February 5, 2010; 12:28 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Governor , John Wagner , Maryland State Budget  
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Truly an election year epiphany.

Posted by: chesapeaketerp | February 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Nobody cares what Wayne Curry thinks, except his Mama.

Posted by: Towards_Light | February 6, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nothing; this Administration blatantly gives Prince George's County the bird for the greater part of their 4 years in office - and in the 2010 election year they want to throw the good people of Prince George's County a bone. Unfortunately, this is an eye opening year, the current state of our economy at all levels, has caused citizens to look more closely at the type of representation we have in Annapolis - and yes - at all levels. The political spin no longer works. This independent voter believes absolutely "nothing" communicated by the words and actions of most of the Prince George's County delegation, and even less communicated by our current governor and his "tight-lipped staffers" (how insulting). Blame, finger-pointing, name calling, and putting "political-party-before people", is so 19th/20th century. The "21st century voter", will be looking "to" 21st century thinkers to craft 21st century solutions to our 21st century problems. It is high time for this archaic "one-party" system of legislating to leave office, and I truly believe that educated independent voters like myself in Prince George's County - and throughout this great state of Maryland, will help them do so this election year. So I say to the governor and his staffers, thanks for the offer(bone)that you "promised" Prince George's County during your campaign speech of 2006 when we trusted you to honor your word by voting for you then; and to the Prince George's County delegation; I respectfully advise that you tread lightly should you decide to craft a 2010 campaign "spin" message to inflate the accomplishments of this Administration and the gains Prince George's County has seen as a result of our votes. I know that the rhetoric and supporting articles in the WaPO and Gazette have painted the good people of Prince George's County as "uninformed sheep" willing to give our vote without study or thought; degrading us on a national level. But be assured, that portrayal is fair from true. Using some of the words of our good President: Not this time Governor O'Malley and Prince George's County Delegation, not this year!

Posted by: EIEAR | February 6, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Correcting a typo in my entry: should read - "far from true".

Posted by: EIEAR | February 6, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

This is pathetic. O'Malley has had four years to do right by Prince George's County and now he asks us to be patient?

Four years and he could not even more three dozen state employees?

I am glad that Wayne Curry is standing up for Prince George's County. We have been putting up with too much for too long.

Posted by: Hellmut | February 6, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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