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First Click, Maryland -- What O'Malley didn't say

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Monday, August 23, 2010:

The Agenda

WagnerThe most provocative part of Gov. Martin O'Malley's speech to the Maryland Association of Counties went undelivered Saturday morning. Not to worry, we have it for you here.

But first, a little context. As has become traditional, O'Malley, as Maryland's sitting governor, was given the final word at MACo's annual summer conference in Ocean City.

MACO1.jpgTruth be told, after several days of mixing panel discussions with golf and beach time, many of the county and state officials, lobbyists and other hangers-on at the conference tend to head home by Saturday, and this year was no exception. Still, MACo's closing session offers the incumbent governor an important forum not available to challengers. Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) took advantage of it, too, when he was in office.

Predictably, most of O'Malley's speech was devoted to efforts to create jobs and lift Maryland out of the recession. And the governor also took a jab at the credibility of Ehrlich, who promised the day before to restore 25 percent of the local road aid diverted by O'Malley and lawmakers to balance the state budget. That was good stuff.

But O'Malley's prepared remarks, distributed by aides prior to the speech, included a more sweeping broadside against Ehrlich's record. For some reason, O'Malley chose not to share those lines with his audience. Perhaps he pulled back because the nonpartisan group seemed the wrong setting. Perhaps it was just that he seemed to be in a good mood.

Thumbnail image for o'malley-serious.JPGWhatever the case, here is what was not said:

"Most of us remember that eight years ago, in easier times, we were promised savings to taxpayers ... and then state spending was increased by more than ever before in Maryland history. ... We were promised lower taxes, and then they were raised for everyone regardless of ability to pay -- raising the property tax, creating a flush tax that charged the same rate to millionaires as it did to working families and senior citizens on fixed incomes. Increasing the cost of college tuition by 40 percent ... raiding Program Open Space -- all in easier times."

Ehrlich no doubt could push back on some of those claims. But the lines are worth remembering, because -- if O'Malley and Ehrlich debate -- we are certain to hear some of them again between now and November. And don't be surprised if you hear them in TV ads in coming weeks.

-- John Wagner

News You Should Know

Poll questions Palin effect; Ehrlich has commanding lead
Palin mug.jpg"Sarah Palin's endorsement of Brian Murphy may have boosted the Republican gubernatorial long-shot's efforts at attracting attention from the media, but it appears to do more harm than good among likely GOP primary voters, according to a new poll released Monday," report our friends at Center Maryland. "The Center Maryland/OpinionWorks telephone poll of likely Maryland voters found that former Gov. Robert Ehrlich holds a commanding lead over Murphy among Republican primary voters, 75 percent to 13 percent. But with 11 percent of likely Republican primary voters still undecided, it's possible that Murphy could break through Maryland's 'Fustero line' -- the 20 percent threshold that political observers suggest might represent a weakness in Ehrlich's hold over his party base."

Post editorial board endorses Kagan and Manno in Montgomery
Cheryl Kagan.jpgmanno.jpgIn Democratic primaries in Montgomery County, Post endorsements actually matter. Our colleagues from the editorial board have published their choices this morning, which include two Senate challengers: former delegate Cheryl C. Kagan over long-serving Sen. Jennie M. Forehand in District 17; and Del. Roger P. Manno over Sen. Mike Lenett in District 19. The editorial calls Forehand "a beloved figure" but says the county would be better-served by the "hard-charging" Kagan. The editorial calls Manno "more collegial" than the incumbent. In other high-profile Senate primaries, The Post sided with Sen. Rona E. Kramer over Del. Karen S. Montgomery in District 14; and Sen. Nancy J. King over Del. Saqib Ali in District 39.

State jobless report debuts, disappears; GOP cries foul
mdjobs.jpg"A state report on federal unemployment numbers released Friday that ran counter to a far more positive job-growth assessment offered by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) was pulled Friday from a Maryland state Web site, drawing condemnation from Republicans who charged that the administration was playing games with official state jobs reports," writes The Post's Aaron C. Davis. "The bullet-point-style document characterized Maryland's economic recovery as having "faltered in July," according to six people who viewed it before it was removed from the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation's Web site."

Busy signals reveal problems with Montgomery's 911 system
911 storm.jpg"What lightning strike victim Carl Henn needed were paramedics. What those trying to help him got were busy signals," writes The Post's Dan Morse, in a story that explores problems with Montgomery County's 911 system exposed by recent violent thunderstorms. Among the implications: "Officials are discussing rolling out a public service campaign to implore residents to reserve 911 calls for emergencies."


Thumbnail image for E OC presser.jpg"My favorite vacation spot in the world."
-- former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) describing Ocean City during a news conference Friday on local road funding near the site of the Maryland Association of Counties conference

"It was a very short conversation. But I was as persistent and resilient then as I am now."
-- Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), recalling during a speech Saturday to the MACo conference how he first "got up the nerve" to talk to his future wife, Katie, in 1986 while in Ocean City

"Warm, Fuzzy and Deadly: Preventing the Spread of Rabies through Casual Contact"
-- one of the featured panel discussions for county leaders attending the 2010 MACo conference in Ocean City


Trust First Click for critical news and analysis you need to navigate Maryland politics. Each Monday and Thursday, First Click brings you The Agenda, a concise, forward-looking analysis of a top development in politics or policy. "News You Should Know" breaks down top stories from across the state. And other features keep you up to speed with power brokers in Annapolis and beyond. Want First Click on the go? Sign up for our free e-mail edition, and get the news delivered to your inbox or mobile device.

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By John Wagner  |  August 23, 2010; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  First Click , John Wagner  
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Next: O'Malley leads Ehrlich by 6 points in new poll


Ocean City sucks, why cant any politician get the nerve to speak the truth?!?!?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | August 24, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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