The varied reaction to MOM

Obviously I have my differences with our governor, but when he misinterprets the state of the state of my birth, Ohio, well, that’s not going to stand.

For those of you who don’t know this – and I wager that’s most of you, because your backgrounds are in Maryland – Ohio was doing so-so for awhile under a pair of moderate Republican governors, George Voinovich (who went on to become a U.S. Senator) and Bob Taft. (We won’t count the 11 days Lt. Gov. Nancy Hollister was a caretaker between terms.) Unfortunately, Governor Taft was sort of like Ohio’s answer to Martin O’Malley and poisoned the well for a far superior Republican (Ken Blackwell) to succeed him in 2006. (Blackwell should have succeeded Voinovich in 1998, but the Ohio GOP is smarter than the voters, or so they seem to think. They convinced Ken it wasn’t his turn yet.)

Anyway, the upshots were these: the economy in Ohio got so bad that I moved to Maryland 8 years ago, and that 2006 wasn’t just a bad year for the GOP in Maryland but they also lost the gubernatorial election in Ohio as well, ending a 16-year GOP run. Ted Strickland became governor and promptly was even more of a disaster than Taft, which says a lot. In 2010, Strickland became the first Ohio governor to lose his re-election bid since fellow Democrat John Gilligan did in 1974.

(Trivia: John Gilligan is the father of former Kansas governor and now-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.)

Yet Martin O’Malley deigned to criticize current Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican elected in 2010, in remarks made to the Ohio delegation to the Democratic National Convention. “If there’s one place to find buyer’s remorse, it’s Ohio,” O’Malley commented.

Of course, that “ultimate thorn in O’Malley’s side” (h/t Jackie Wellfonder) known as Change Maryland did a little digging into Ohio’s job creation record and found out that Kasich’s state had created three times more jobs than Maryland did since Kasich took office (122,500 vs. 37,300) and while Ohio’s cost of doing business has plummeted from 29th to 6th best in the country, Maryland continues to rank in the bottom 10.

While Ohio has roughly twice the population of Maryland, that doesn’t cover the fact it’s creating three times the number of jobs as Maryland is – not to mention Maryland has the advantage of nearby Washington, D.C. Like certain portions of Maryland off the I-95 corridor, Ohio has to work to use its own assets and not sponge off the government.

Change Maryland also took potshots at O’Malley’s record here at home, creating a “top 10” list of O’Malley’s economic fallacies. I could go through that as well but, to be quite honest, in that battle of wits the Governor is coming up far short like that hapless mouse in the corner. I do have to quote Change Maryland head Larry Hogan’s reaction to MOM’s speech before the national Democrats:

Governor O’Malley talks a lot about ‘moving forward’ but here in Maryland his policies have slammed us into reverse and have us stuck in a ditch.


Under Martin O’Malley, Maryland lags behind our region in attracting jobs, businesses and those who pay taxes.  Make no mistake, modern investments in a modern economy is just code language for more tax-and-spend governing like we have had here in Maryland.

Not to be outdone, 2014 candidate David Craig felt compelled to criticize his would-be predecessor’s DNC performance as well:

This past Sunday, Governor Martin O’Malley, in a brief moment of candor, set aside his usual smoke and mirrors to admit that we are not better off today then we were four years ago. In a statement, which he immediately attempted to spin and retract, Governor O’Malley admitted what the people of Maryland have known as fact for years: both President Obama and Governor O’Malley have failed to curb record unemployment and revive a depressed economy. Most importantly, we know that we cannot survive 4 more years of these failed policies, which have led us down a path of endless tax hikes, ever-increasing deficits, and countless unfunded mandates.

After realizing his political mistake, Governor O’Malley proved once again that he is out of touch with the average Marylander. Governor O’Malley went on to say “…but that’s not the question of this election.”


O’Malley, a frequent surrogate for President Obama, said Tuesday evening that the President’s policies “have moved America forward.” Can Marylanders honestly trust the Governor’s opinion of the past four years, after he raised taxes on the middle class and shifted millions of dollars in unfunded mandates to local government? The reality is Maryland has suffered a double dose of failed policies under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and President Obama.

Craig is definitely in a position to know about those unfunded mandates as a County Executive.

But more importantly, the economic disaster of the last four-plus years IS the question of this election. We have had three “recovery summers” without recovery, “shovel-ready jobs” which neither needed a shovel nor were ready – because they were never created – and, despite the fact it was “all about that three-letter word: J-O-B-S,” it seems it was really all about making as many people as possible dependent on a government check.

Fellow gubernatorial hopeful Blaine Young was more succinct (and humorous):

Martin O’Malley traveled to North Carolina to ‘tell the Barack Obama story’. Naturally Governor O’Malley wouldn’t want to tell the Maryland story because as Governor, he dumped $2.4 billion in tax increases on the residents of Maryland.

With a record like that I’d want to run away and not tell the Martin O’Malley story too.

Maryland is facing unprecedented challenges, from budget issues, to unfunded pension liabilities, to increased mandates on local governments and increased regulations on businesses, and Martin O’Malley is acting like an absentee landlord – draining Maryland taxpayer resources while in North Carolina focused on his own political gains.

It’s interesting to note that O’Malley has addressed pretty much everyone else in the country except for Marylanders. I’m not interested in seeing him on the television daily from a different location in the state, but once in awhile would be nice. I’m sure Mrs. O’Malley would like to see him home on occasion too.

I’m not sure where this came from, but I’m in possession of a series of talking points presumably put out by the O’Malley administration. The very first one states “Maryland has recovered over two-thirds of the jobs lost in the Bush recession – the 11th fastest rate in the nation.” Must be nice having a thriving Washington, D.C. next door.

But read that sentence again. We have been out of the recession since sometime in 2009, but we’ve only made up 2/3 of the ground in three years (after a recession which lasted less than two years, and actually began once Democrats took over Congress.) Obviously I have no context as to which states are ahead of or behind us, but that’s not something really worth bragging about.

These talking points also claim that Maryland has the third-lowest state and local tax burden as a percentage of income and the ninth lowest state and local taxes in the country. But there’s no need to keep shooting for number one! Nor does this distinguish between fees and taxes, even though we all know “a fee is a tax.” For example, does the $60 a year “flush tax” get included in that tax burden study?

Even Dan Bongino got into the act, neatly tying his opponent Ben Cardin into O’Malley’s statement:

As Maryland continues to hemorrhage businesses and jobs, Governor Martin O’Malley finally admits, on behalf of the administration, that we are not collectively better off than we were four years ago.

Senator Ben Cardin’s blind support of the current administration’s economic policies has severely damaged our nation’s economic well-being and, as a result, too many Marylanders are struggling to survive in this brutal economic condition. Mr. Cardin’s support of the Obama administration’s — and that of the Annapolis machine’s — irresponsible fiscal policies have made it extremely difficult for businesses to thrive in our state.

And if businesses don’t thrive, jobs aren’t created, and economic prosperity is impossible to come by. Seems like a logical progression to me.

Martin O’Malley actually told the truth for once, but you’ll notice he spun away from his statement just as fast as his little words would carry him.