You know, I didn’t begin the monoblogue Accountability Project for my health. When the cycle came back around to the point where our General Assembly came up for election I wanted the actual vote tallies to tell you what our legislators are REALLY voting to do. It’s especially apt when you get a full-color mailer telling you that “Jim Mathias is one of us.” (We’ve received two in the last week; the other said he was small business-friendly.)
Before I go on, allow me to say that Norm Conway and Jim Mathias are nice guys; I can talk to them and in most cases we agree to disagree. But there comes a time to be held in account for the votes they’ve taken and I’m not going to let them get away with talking conservative in the district but voting against its interests when they are in Annapolis.
For example, how many of you like the electric rates you pay? Well, the state mandates the utilities get a portion of their electricity from “renewable” sources or fines utilities who don’t comply. In the last four years both of these Delegates voted for legislation that would charge utilities up to 45 cents per kilowatt hour if they fell short of goals.
Speaking of goals, the pair also believed the hype about greenhouse gases and foolishly signed on to a job-killing measure to reduce greenhouse gases to 75% of 2006 levels by 2020. I’m sure they’ll say that there is an “out” within the law if the economic price is too high (which there is) but why would someone agree to this pig in a poke in the first place? By that same token, these two stuck it to utilities through mandates regarding energy conservation. (This is why companies like Delmarva Power have to push their programmable thermostats.)
And thanks to them our new cars now have to be compliant with the more expensive California emissions standards.
And is it small-business friendly to vote every chance you get to empower unions? Over the last four years this dynamic duo (along with Rudy Cane in many cases) have gifted Big Labor with fees from child care providers, gifts to the teachers union, a double dose of mandated breaks (each voted for one version of the bill), binding arbitration (regardless of the cost to local governments), and making those who wish to opt out of the union still pay union dues (as Delegate Conway did in committee.) If it were a vote to amend prevailing wage or beat back the repeal of ‘living wage’, Jim Mathias – yes, Mr. Business-Friendly himself – was there.
How about fans of paperwork? Anyone? Well, these esteemed Delegates put recordkeeping mandates on business, adopting federal mandates for an unemployment bailout after Rudy Cane and Norm Conway helped put the system in a bind by making part-time workers eligible. Even the half-hearted effort to help them this year comes with a number of strings and paperwork attached.
So when these Democrats try to pull the wool over your eyes and tell you they’re business-friendly, you may want to ask them why they voted for these measures. The next installment I’ll do over the next few days looks at just how fiscally responsible these local Democrats are (insert derisive snort here.)