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Archive for the ‘O’Malley’ Category

Illegal Firings – Gov. Ehrlich – 0, Gov. O’Malley – 2 (and counting?)

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, October 6, 2007

From the Washington Times (Judge: Rehire state worker)

Nelson Reichart, a 29 year state employee, fired in June was reinstated by administrative judge with back pay and benefits:

Mr. Reichart was fired in June, after a news report in which he was quoted saying the state paid $1 million more than it should have for the 271-acre parcel known as the Kudner property in Queen Anne’s County. The land, earmarked for preservation, was bought for $5 million — a price that exceeded two state appraisals of its value.
David Sutherland, the owner of the parcel, was a member of the O’Malley transition team and the purchase also was authorized by Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin, who had done consulting work on the property.

The General Assembly spent 13 months and 1.1 million dollars to find out that Gov. Ehrlich did not fire anyone illegally. In 10 months, the O’Malley administration has been rebuked by administrative judges twice:

Mr. Reichart is the second state employee whose termination by the O’Malley adminstration was rebuked by an administrative judge.
Judge Susan A. Sinrod ruled in June that the O’Malley administration illegally fired Greg Maddalone, a Republican who was appointed by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

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Posted in Ed C, Maryland, O'Malley | 1 Comment »

Gov O’Malley’s pick for Insurance Commissioner – With qualifications like these, what could go wrong?

Posted by Ed C on Saturday, September 8, 2007

As reported in the Examiner (O’Malley’s insurance chief puzzles many) and in the Baltimore Sun (O’Malley legal counsel to be insurance chief), Gov. O’Malley has picked Ralph S. Tyler, an adviser with no experience in insurance to oversee regulation on Maryland’s $26 billion insurance industry.

Quoting from the press release.

Tyler served as one of the Governor’s closest advisors as Chief Legal Counsel and led the effort to reconstitute Maryland’s Public Service Commission with independent and professional regulators.

I guess the definition of a “professional regulator” does not require experience in that particular domain.

As Baltimore’s City Solicitor, Tyler successfully led the lawsuit against the Maryland Public Service Commission and a pending BGE 72 percent utility rate increase this past summer. The lawsuit is credited with allowing the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation to keep utility rates affordable and give utility companies more flexibility in purchasing electricity.

Yea, that worked out soooo well. Okay, so other than giving O’Malley an election issue, he was able to turn a 72% increase into a 72.5% increase. How does this rate as an accomplishment to “keep utility rates affordable”?

The Sun article also quotes Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Southern Maryland Democrat and the chairman of the Finance Committee that oversees insurance issues:

“… the Ehrlich administration’s focus on increasing competition in the state’s insurance market was good but went too far.”

Could Sen. Middleton explain how increased completion has been detrimental to Maryland residents?

The Sun aslo quotes Howard County delegate Warren Miller:

Del. Warren E. Miller, a Howard County Republican, said that if the commissioner sides too heavily with consumers, insurance companies will stop writing policies in the state.

“I hope we don’t go back to the days where the regulator was wanting something for free,” Miller said. “You have to be fair and balanced.”

Let’s hope this appointment benefits Maryland consumers, not just members of the Maryland Bar Association.

Posted in Ed C, O'Malley | 3 Comments »

O’Malley Whine er Watch

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, July 13, 2007

The Democratic party sent out an email that really brought back some memories.  Remember during the election last year when Ken Ulman put up a web site that told absolute lies about Chris Merdon’s record.  Yes campers, I just said Ken Ulman is a liar.

At the time I traced the web site to Mr. Ulman’s campaign and posted the evidence on this blog and people called ME a liar.  I was told that Ken wouldn’t stoop to that level.  After all Art McGreevy had even said Ken was above that kind of thing when he trashed Mary Kay Sigaty in the County Council race.

“There is an old saying: “How you run is how you govern.” Ken Ulman is running a positive, well-organized campaign. He is working hard every day. It was these traits that led to his endorsement. [Teacher’s Union]  If how you run is a reflection of how you will govern, the community will be well served by Ken Ulman.”

For example here are a couple comments regarding my allegations about Ken Ulman’s involvement with therealchris.com at the time:

Yeah, really. Even if the Ulman campaign is behind this, as you suggest, do you have any evidence that the allgations contained in the website are inaccurate or misleading?

And

It also takes real Chutzpah to suggest that the publishers of this site are trying to hide thier indentity from the public. Right on the web site itself it says:

“By Authority of Maryland Democratic Party, Ken Banks, Treasurer.”

I refuted many of the lies Ken Ulman told about Merdon’s record and no one ever responded or came to Ulman’s defense.  They just called me a liar.

The next day or two Ulman admited he was behind the site.

The Democratic Party was quoted at the time:

This site is “not unusual,” said David Paulson, communications director for the Maryland Democratic Party, adding that the party not only pays for http://www.therealchris.com, but also http://www.therealsteele.com, which blasts Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Republican U.S. Senate candidate.

“There is cooperation between the Ulman campaign and the Democratic Party,” said Paulson, who declined to discuss the level of Ulman’s involvement.

As Ken Ulman said at the time and I quote this because even though it is a bunch of BS it seemed to work for him:

“Folks want to spread conspiracy theories,” he said. “If folks don’t like the fact that their records are being pointed out, it’s part of the campaign.”

Do you know what?  When you examine campaign finance records their is no record of the Democrats paying for the www.therealchris.com (either domain name or hosting services) their is no record of the Democrats paying to printer for the thousands of mailers that promoted the web site either.  How do I know ?  The printers mark on the mailers clearly identifies the printer and producer and it is the same printers mark on Ulman other campaign literature.  I see that Ulman’s campaign paid a mailing house a lot of money during the campaign.  I don’t see that the Democratic party made any payments to the same mailing house.  So did Ulman’s campaign pay for the web site and the mailers and inappropriately use the Democratic Party authority line?  Does this violate campaign finance laws – we will find out.  That is a different story and will let you know what the State Board of Elections says.

So what is the fuss?

The fuss is the excellent web site www.omalleywatch.com , Martin O’Malley’s alarm regarding the site, and how a tactic they perfected is now coming back to haunt them.

The memo I referenced above is here and explains the issue.

Evidence is mounting that former Governor Bob Ehrlich and his new North Carolina law firm’s Maryland-based staff are the driving force behind a totally anonymous and controversial smear website. The owners and operators of that website have gone to great lengths to both communicate their partisan attacks to the press and keep their identities secret from the voters of Maryland.

The Dems know something about scare tactics… 

The Democrats and Martin O’Malley are obsessed with discovering who is behind the site.  Strike that.  They are obsessed with connecting Bob Ehlrich to the site.  Now they think they have a smoking gun and are trying to fire up the loyalists.

Unlike Ken Ulman and www.therealchris.com where I connected the IP addresses and the ISP / web hosting company to www.kenulman.com do you know what the Democrats came up with?  An email memo to reporters and bloggers written by a former Ehrlich press secretary who works for the same law firm Ehrlich works for now.

So here is a synopsis of the Democrats proof.

Person A worked for Ehrlich at Government House.  Person A then went to work for Ehrlich at Womble Carlyle.  Person A issued a memo to a reporter discussing their concerns about an O’Malley land deal.  The same points and concerns show up on a blog (www.omalleywatch.com) Therefore, Bob Ehrlich is behind www.omalleywatch.com.

Absolutely spot on brilliant.  Can’t get anything past Martin O’Malley and the Democratic Party.  Just incredible detective work.  No wonder crime is practically non-existent in Baltimore City.

Read the Examiner story by Len Lazarick.  No mention in The Baltimore Sun that I could find this morning.

Lets get real.  The Democrats have no problem attacking Steele and Merdon with smear web sites and lying about their records and trying to conceal who is involved.  Yet a legitimate site (www.omalleywatch.com) comes out that fairly examines O’Malley’s administration and to them it is a major consipiracy.   No one lied at omalley watch.  Can the Democrats say the same?

The State Comptroller, Mr. Franchot, happens to find the site to be useful because he used the same referenced memo in a board of publics work meeting (the same one where Ken Ulman was the director – remember) to question the Governor and the deal.  It was a great memo, why wouldn’t the Comptroller use the information?

As O’Malley Watch so eloquantly put it in their response to the whiners at Government House:

Evidence is mounting that the Maryland Democratic Party (MDP) and the O’Malley administration wet their pants several times a day over the new phenomenon known as omalleywatch.com. Several members of Governor O’Malley’s staff have been overheard referring to information on the site. The Governor himself referred to the site as “critics” at the Board of Public Works hearing.

Now since www.omalleywatch.com has started to create some real credibility O’Malley has to tear it down.  Unlike my response to www.therealchris.com where I proved that Ken Ulman was a desperate liar when it came to Chris Merdon’s record the Democratic Party and O’Malley refused to address any of the points in the referenced memo.

I bet that they never will.

I think who ever is behind omalleywatch.com should come forward.  However, for the Democrats and O’Malley to whine about the use of a tactic they perfected is just ridiculous.

We are getting the same BS about BGE, Maddalone, Slots, the budget gap, unfunded mandates, etc.  This is what the Democrats are worried about?

Posted in Howard County, Maryland, O'Malley, Ulman | 22 Comments »

Tax Increases Being Prepared…

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get ready for tax increases.  First comes the prep work.  Senator Pipkin says it all…. but it comes down to this “SCARE TACTICS”.

Senator E. J. Pipkin (R. Upper Shore 36) voiced outrage at “fear and strong-arm tactics to force counties to support tax increases.” He pointed to an e-mail, prompted by the O’Malley administration and sent on July 5 by the Maryland Association of Counties’ (MACO) chief lobbyist, Dave Bliden, to various county leaders to motivate local government support of impending tax increases.

Why is MACO doing the bidding of the Governor’s office?  Aren’t they the Association of Counties?  Why on earth would they involve themselves in this battle?

Pipkin characterized the e-mail as “an end-run around most local elected officials which resembles the type of arm-twisting used by Tony Soprano and his ilk.”

Yep, they didn’t tell County Council nor our House or Senate representatives.  This went straight to the County Executive’s offices.

Referring to Josh White, the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Chief, the e-mail said, “Josh is interested in coordinating a message for the Governor as he goes on roadtrips to the counties. He (Josh White) is looking for not just the property tax equivalents, but real vignettes of the county ‘doomsday budgets’…like closing libraries, reductions in deputies, larger class size, no support for volunteer firefighters. I (Bliden) suggested a goal of 10 examples for each county, if the proposed State ‘doomsday budget’ comes to fruition…..”

Doomsday budgets.  Get ready folks.  We are going to have to shut down County Government.  Make no doubt about it the libraries will have to go out of business.  Please nominate 10 examples of your own for Howard County in the comments section below.

Now I will bet that Calvin Ball’s living wage bill will go foward without question.  No matter how much that contributes to the “doomsday budget” Ken Ulman will be screaming and crying about shortly.  Did I hear someone ask “Why will Calvin’s bill go foward?”  That is a good question.  As one reader put it to me:

Call it “charity for the unions” ask why, in the face of an alleged budget crisis would they consider raising costs that might require tax increases. Just paying back their union buddies for campaign donations and volunteer poll workers.

 The reader then encourages me to:

Call them out for buying votes with our tax dollars.

Well, honestly I didn’t think of Calvin’s bill in that light.  Now that the point is raised I have to ask the question.  The reader’s comments make sense to me.  We will have all the proof we need when we get the “DOOMSDAY” scare tactics thrown at us and Calvin’s bill passes.

Bliden goes on to say, “the Gov could be visiting the counties during the next weeks, which presents an opportunity to deliver. And, with a good product, we could share with the other counties to get them motivated. Something for discussion at our July 13 meeting.”

“It boggles the mind that such terms as ‘opportunity to deliver’ and ‘good product’ would be used to bamboozle Marylanders into handing over more of their hard earned money to the state,” said Pipkin.

Bliden continued, “Another good perspective would be having interested constituencies there to show their interest, e.g. the volunteer ff’ers (firefighters).”

Hmmm.  I wonder if Ken is going to call on the union here in Howard County.  He will probably pack the rooms with them.  He has probably told Mayor O’Malley that he can deliver any union the Mayor wants.  Although water meter readers at Public Works might be questionable.

Pipkin said, “I thought I was beyond shock and outrage until I read about using volunteer firefighters to help beef up the propaganda campaign to get locals to rally behind the state tax increases. The e-mail lays out an arrogant and shameless blueprint for getting locals to back tax increases. As Bliden says, the next few weeks of gubernatorial visits to the counties ‘is a good opportunity to make a case, and, even more important to convince the Governor we (the counties) are there 100% to help him help us.'”

“Absolutely shameless!” said Pipkin.

The referenced email follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen–

I just spoke to the County Executive Smith and Jan Gardner about a conversation I had with Josh White, the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Chief, about which we wanted to motivate a a response.

Josh is interested in coordinating a message for the Governor as he goes on roadtrips to the counties. He is looking for not just the property tax equivalents, but real vignettes of the county “doomsday”

budgets”… like closing libraries, reductions in deputies, larger class size, no support for volunteers firefighters. I suggested a goal of 10 examples for each county, if the proposed State “doomsday budget” comes to fruition..

The Gov could be visiting the counties during the next weeks , which presents an opportunity to deliver. And, with a good product, we could share with the other counties to get them motivated. Something for discussion at our July 13 meeting. Another good perspective would be having interested constituencies there to show their interest, e.g. the volunteer ff’ers.

This is a good opportunity to make a case and, even more important, to convince the Governor we are there 100% to help him help us.

Can you get your team motivated? We would be most willing to work with them.

Best wishes.

David

As Monoblogue put it:

I suppose my issue with this attitude is that, judging by this e-mail, counties are more interested in protecting their turf than asking the tough questions, both of themselves and of Governor O’Malley.

What would those tough questions be?  Examining our ever increasing spending  and stoping Calvin Ball’s “living wage” bill.  Despite what some people think Marylander’s are not open to having their pocket picked when Government can’t control their appetite for our money.

The Examiner picked up this story this morning.  Think it will be in The Sun?

Posted in Howard County, Maryland, O'Malley | 8 Comments »

Last Minute Sleaze

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, October 25, 2006

O’Malley Campaign: DUI Story “Last Minute Sleaze”

Anyone who reads this blog knows I can’t stand this stuff and I don’t support O’Malley. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ehrlich, Maryland, O'Malley | 29 Comments »

Washington Post Endorses Ehrlich

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Read it yourself

It isn’t all glowing but here are some highlights

The Good Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ehrlich, Maryland, Media, O'Malley | 1 Comment »

Washington Post Blasts O’Malley

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, October 20, 2006

AS THE DEMOCRATIC candidate for mayor of Baltimore in 1999, Martin O’Malley set a goal of cutting the city’s annual number of murders to 175; they were then running at more than 300 a year. He failed. Baltimore’s homicide tally looks likely to reach or surpass 270 this year, maintaining the city’s standing as one of the nation’s deadliest.

xx xx xx

* * * But progress on homicides stalled after 2002 even as other categories of violent crime fell sharply. And it speaks poorly of Mr. O’Malley’s managerial abilities that he has overseen a revolving door of four police chiefs during his nearly seven years in office — not counting three others who served on an interim basis

xx xx xx

LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn…101601217.html

Posted in Maryland, O'Malley | 1 Comment »

Ehrlich v O’Malley Debate

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 14, 2006

Watch a taped web broadcast.

http://www.thewbalchannel.com/video/10078165/index.html

Dave Wissing Commentary Here

Posted in Ehrlich, Maryland, O'Malley | 1 Comment »

Irish Festival Follow Up

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, September 4, 2006

This is the fourth time I was contacted by a reporter for something I wrote, “Irish Festival Abandons Baltimore” (the second most popular post for August) and the third time they actually wrote something as a result.  The Baltimore Sun wrote an article about the “Dualing Irish Festivals

The article mentions the intent for the heads of the two organizing committees to “get along”  It certainly would be nice if both the festivals can get along.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not calling or a boycott or anything remotely related.  I am relaying my disappointment in O’Malley’s actions.  There are scarce resources out there for Festivals and Parades and to have O’Malley set up a competing Irish Festival just makes it that much more difficult.  It probably never crossed his mind of any potential harm.  His first thought was most likely of having an Irish Festival in the City while he is Mayor campaigning for Governor. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maryland, O'Malley | 7 Comments »

O’Malley’s School System Lowers Standards For Passing

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, August 16, 2006

David Wissing beat me to the punch. 

Maryland Politics Now has commentary on this as well.

Need I say more?  Absolutely not… 

David Wissing’s report follows…

What a simple way of boosting your school system’s performance? How about lower the standards for passing. From The Baltimore Sun.

Mayor Martin O’Malley rallied Tuesday to the defense of city school board members who lowered the passing grade for key subjects taught in Baltimore’s schools, but the move drew criticism from several City Council members and a spokesman for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.During an appearance at an East Baltimore middle school, O’Malley said lowering the minimum passing grade from 70 to 60 changed the grading scale, but it did not lower standards.

So according to Martin O’Malley, lowering the grade for passing from 70% to 60% is somehow “not lowering the standards”. I see…. read more

Posted in Ehrlich, Maryland, O'Malley | Leave a Comment »