Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Few Memories from the State of State

Owings Mill, MD- With more than a third of the Maryland Legislative session done, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley appeared before a joint session and delivered the State of the State. In attendance were the cabinet and congressional leaders. (I’ll have to check my sources, but I believe this was the first time Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has every attended the event.)

The new democratic mantra seems to be “we must adapt to win.” The governor invoked President Obama’s message, “we must win the future.”

While it’s always difficult to measure a speech you know it’s not exactly going your way when you have to encourage people to clap especially when talking about Bowie State University. Parents And Colleges dot com ranked the school #1 for affordability.

There is always a laundry list of programs, activities, accomplishments and challenges. If there was any enthusiasm in the speech it came during the portion where he championed an idea to hold utilities accountable for falling to repair damaged power lines after snow storms. A bill is moving through the legislative process which would invoke fines and penalties for failing to restore power. The measure seems to be targeted at PEPCO who failed miserably during the most recent snow storm (According to some reports there are homes in the Washington Metro area that still don’t have power.) The blame was put on regulation.

Several positive points include O’Malley taking about how the state is poised to take advantage of its most promising industries, bio-medical, health, and cyber-security (being close to NSA and Washington helps).

The visionary stuff seemed centered on the Wind Turbines…especially those off Ocean City. I think we’re a little behind because Delaware is moving forward. I anticipate there will be litigation from the Sierra Club and Tourist groups.

Here are some of the more notable quotes from the guv – (with many apologies to Robert Erhlich).

“We must adapt to win.”

“87 cents of every general fund dollar we now spend allocated to public education, public health and public safety, there are no easy answers.”

(On the reliability of electric power)
“How long do you want to wait?”

“Everything has a cost…inaction had a huge cost.”

Republican Response

The Republicans were served well by Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. I’ve been a fan of Delegate for a while. Her election as Minority Whip to me was a no brainier. Her public relations background should serve the caucus well. Unlike some of her predecessors who didn’t understand television she came off as sincere. FYI, delegate Haddaway-Riccio the hand gestures did seem to sell you sincerity.

Now let’s get to the message. If the Democrats mantra is to “win the future,” the GOP’s message is to “slow the growth of government.” It works well on a national level but remind yourself this is the state that elected a Democrat over a Republican for Governor. It was the only state to do so in a Republican landslide.

The other issue the Republicans want to hang their hat is the repeal of the Healthcare Law – and no I’m not going to call it Obamacare because that’s not what the law is called.

The big push is limiting the growth of government. I found it curious there was not mention of the combining of Department of Environment and the Department of Natural Resources. No credit for this…hmmm?

Here are some of the more quotable quotes.

“The message from the election, put the politics aside get the job done, reduce spending.”

“If we must be first in the Health Exchange process let it be private.”

“We must have an eye to limited government.”

You can click Republican Response to see the full speech.


I’m often underwhelmed by these events and this one lived up to the billing on both sides. These are now no more than political theater. For the state’s utilities I’m guessing your lobbyist will be working overtime to beat back the proposal to impose penalties. Once again utilities will be seen as bogeymen. Be happy there’s not a Southwest Airline ad being run that shows an executive who doesn't have a care in the world attitude.

1 comment:

  1. I have been corrected by Reporter Alan week we will actually be a third.