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O'Malleys on pace to earn $1.2M during 4 years in Annapolis

Aaron C. Davis

Thumbnail image for o'malley-firstlady.jpgGov. Martin O'Malley (D) and first lady Catherine Curran O'Malley will collect more than $1.2 million in salary and benefits during the couple's four years in the governor's mansion -- nearly all from Maryland taxpayers.

Three years of tax returns released Saturday by O'Malley's reelection campaign show that the couple reported just over $903,000 in earnings since January 2007, the month O'Malley was sworn in as governor.

The earnings reflect O'Malley's $150,000 annual salary, the first lady's roughly $113,000 in yearly pay as a district court judge in Baltimore and about $60,000 in annual pension payments the governor has begun collecting from his time as Baltimore mayor and council member.

The couple's state pay and pension benefits remained nearly identical in 2010, public records show.

O'Malley had promised to release his returns before November. But his decision to do so Saturday followed a move by former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to release his tax filings Friday afternoon.

Ehrlich reported earning nearly $2.5 million in the three years since he lost the governorship to O'Malley in 2006. Most of that money came in wages from law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Ehrlich opened a Baltimore office for the North Carolina-based firm in 2007.

With Ehrlich's filings showing that he made more than twice as much as O'Malley from 2007 through 2009, O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell on Saturday sought to cast the governor's $900,000 in public pay as unremarkable. "In all honesty, we're kind of the side story here. If anybody wants to know what the governor and first lady makes, they can look it up on the Internet. Frankly, nobody knew what Bob Ehrlich was making or where he was making it."

Russell charged that Ehrlich's $734,000 income in 2009 showed he's "out of touch with the needs of working families in Maryland." Russell also used the occasion to return to a line of criticism O'Malley began early this summer, saying the next step is for Ehrlich to "tell Marylanders which clients paid him that much and why."

O'Malley's returns show that he and his wife paid about $64,000 in state taxes and $204,000 in federal taxes from 2007 through 2009. The couple donated about $20,000 to charity in that time, mostly in 2009.

The couple's income and tax burden increased in each of the past three years as O'Malley began receiving about $60,000 in annual pension benefits from 16 years of public service in Baltimore and as the couple no longer claimed older daughter Grace as a dependent in 2008, and then dropped daughter Tara as a dependent last year.

The returns show that the governor opted to contribute $450 to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species fund since 2008 and $50 to the Fair Campaign Financing Fund.

The Walt Disney Corp. in 2009 paid O'Malley $7.58. Campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said the payment was connected to the then-mayor's appearance in the 2004 movie "Ladder 49," which was filmed in Baltimore.

By Aaron Davis  |  August 28, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  !The Post , 2010 Elections , Aaron C. Davis , Governor  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Leaving office was lucrative for Ehrlichs, tax returns show
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"$60,000 in annual pension benefits from 16 years of public service"

Yes, that surely puts O'Malley in touch w/ the average working Marylander. I wonder how many working Marylander's could collect any pension, other than disability, at 16 yrs of service.

Seems to me that neither of them are in touch w/ the average working Marylander.

Posted by: BEEPEE | August 29, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Neither Mr. Ehrlich nor Mr. O'Malley should be elected as Governor.

A few years ago, I was working for the State of Maryland when, on my own time, and using my own computer, I emailed then Governor Ehrlich, asking for his assistance in obtaining a pay raise for my particular employee class, a few weeks later, I was called to the office of a "boss" who said I was not allowed to email the Governor, identify my employee class, and ask for assistance in obtaining a raise. He told me not to do it again.

I said that it was my Constitutional Right to do what I had done, and I left his office feeling intimidated.

Some time later I was fired from my job. I was fired with no explanation being given.

I filed a job action and the State of Maryland representative lied and said that I had resigned. I did not resign, I was fired.

Then Governor Ehrlich and/or his subordinate employees violated my Constitutional Rights, he should not be elected to the governors office.

As to Governor O'Malley, he is disloyal to Marylander's in that he is an unapologetic supporter of the illegal aliens that make up a large criminal class in Maryland. Additionally, he and his fellow travelers in the Maryland Legislature do little if anything for the benefit of those of us who live in this state.

Crime is high.

Taxes are high.

The Bay is polluted.

Excessive development continues.

Excessive unemployment continues.

The Maryland Legislature continues to vote itself raises, and benefits while ignoring the rest of us.

The under achievements of the Legislature and the Governor's office go on and on.

Neither of the two should be elected, as neither of the two is worth a bucket of warm spit.

Posted by: | August 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

who cares about this stuff? This shows how low the Wapo has sunk. Does the Wapo give us indepth analysis of why Md. has a massive deficit after OMalleys "special session" to solve the "structural deficit", NO? The Wapo gives us pablum. what I want to know is this: what is OMalley doing or Ehrlich proposing to do, to helpl the thousands of Marylanders whose pay has been cut or frozen (furloughed) or who have lost their jobs or whose unemployment benefits have ended or whose homes have been or soon will be foreclosed on or whose jobs have been outsourced or whose kids can't afford college etc. etc.

Posted by: VikingRider | August 29, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

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