Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Ehrlich Elections and Electricity

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, June 15, 2006

The legislature didn't deliver the committee bill to their republican colleagues until two hours before floor discussion and voting.  The Governor's office got it one hour before.  Mike Busch met with the Governor early in the week where the Governor told Bush he was looking forward to working with the General Assembly.  Busch's response was akin to "Don't call us kid.  We'll call you."  Then I read O'Malley's accusation that the Governor wasn't involved and proposed no ideas of his own.  Excuse me MOM – didn't you have his ideas shot down in court?  I think Busch and Miller knew the Governor's mind on this issue.

From an article in the Baltimore Sun:

One of Ehrlich's prospective opponents, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley came to Annapolis last night to watch the final votes in the House of Delegates. O'Malley has already begun running campaign commercials on television spotlighting his efforts to secure rate relief.

He said it isn't surprising that Ehrlich wasn't involved in crafting any of the legislation in the special session and proposed no ideas of his own.

"He's not a person that's as committed to finding solutions as he is to casting aspersions and trying to divide and belittle those that would try to make government work," O'Malley said.

Nice sound bite Mr. Mayor.

Now here is the Governor of the State of Maryland who calls a special session of the General Assembly to address this issue after O'Malley blew up the last plan.  What did we get – nothing.

As Blair Lee put it…  How do all the competing plans differ?

They don’t, really. Basically they are all rate-deferral plans, not rate reduction plans. BGE has a right to pass through to customers its costs for energy plus a reasonable profit. Unfortunately, starting July 1, the market cost of energy is 72 percent more than what ratepayers have enjoyed under the six-year rate caps.

Each of the plans simply lowers the 72 percent in the early months but requires customers to make up the difference later. The only true relief is the $600 million Constellation is contributing from its FPL merger savings but all the plans include that feature.

Now O'Malley accuses the Governor of a lack of intrest in the legislative process.  O'Malley wanted public hearings?  Good, Ehrlich is going to deliver.  Ehrlich plans public hearing on BGE rate bill.  This time the Governor will be holding the hearings and the agenda.  This could back fire on him, but I don't think so.  I think we are going to find out that rate payers and voters are a lot more sophisticated than the very comfortable fat cats in control of the General Assembly give them credit for.

I don't know why FPL wants to buy Constellation now, and I don't know why Constellation would stick around Maryland anyway.  The anti-capitalist, anti-market socialists in control of the General Assembly wouldn't give a shake if they just walked away from Maryland with the horse racing industry, Wal-Mart …

188 seats up for grabs.  Lets create a real two party system.

The Sun Lies had this perspective:

In an article dealing with the legislature adopting a plan that appears worse than the original Ehrlich plan (see charge comparison http://www.baltimoresun.com/media/graphic/2006-06/23903673.gif) The Sun decided to conclude on a note quoting Mayor O’Malley?  Not only is this following the ‘happy endings’ trend that we’ve pointed out, but Mayor O’Malley is largely irrelevant to the legislative process here except in his wishes to be Governor.  We can’t figure out why a suitable quote from Governor Ehrlich, Speaker Busch, President Miller, or BGE/Constellation officials was unavailble?

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2 Responses to “Ehrlich Elections and Electricity”

  1. tjh said

    I don’t know who is giving Ehrlich advice, but this is political insanity — he’s already left Baltimore County Republicans out on a limb, he’s been sharply criticized by Sen. Pipkin, and now he’s asking for a hearing on a bill that even BGE can live with? How can this possibly end well? His PSC botches the first hearing — giving O’Malley his legal opening; he calls the legislative session, then doesn’t show up at the hearing or negotiate; and NOW he wants a hearing? He’s keeping the news cycle alive and he’s killing Republican chances this fall. I can see the O’Malley TV ads already.

  2. hocomd said

    tjh,

    From what I understand Ehrlich met with Miller and Busch (a big public show in fact) in which he said he looked forward to working with them. Miller and Busch gave the same platitudes. Behind closed doors and away from the glare of the news media they all started positioning. Miller and Busch never paid him the courtesy to participate and nor did Ehrlich stretch himself. He has plenty of proxys in the GA. B.M. had an agenda and didn’t need Ehrlich or his people to muck it up.

    Ehrilch has an agenda sharply different than B.M. We know it and who are we kidding?

    Kinda like the way the early voting polling places were picked…

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