Accuracy in Media

Last fall when the Democrats regained the governor’s mansion in Maryland and tightened their grip on the control of both the House and Senate observers expected it to be all sweetness and light with legislation sailing through after four years of bickering with Republican Robert Ehrlich.

Now after several months in office chinks in the armor are starting to develop.  First it was a general agreement among the Democrats that legalizing slot machines was a great way to plug a projected budget deficit of $1.5 billion.  When Ehrlich was in office he pushed this idea very hard only to be stymied by the Democrats.

Next it was the large increase in utility rates that candidate Martin O’Malley blasted then Governor Ehrlich for allowing to pass even though it was a Democratically led legislature some 10 years before than had capped utility rates with the understanding that they would later be deregulated.  When O’Malley faced a similarly large increase this year he allowed it to go through when he realized that he was powerless to stop it. 

The latest fissures come from the Comptroller’s office and the Governor himself.  The newly elected Comptroller Peter Franchot wants three of his top aides designated as his deputy comptrollers and to be paid a salary of $150,000 per year.  Never mind that the previous comptroller had just one deputy whose salary was $128,000.  There is nothing like the state’s money man trying to increase his budget when the governor has asked state agencies to find $200 million in cuts to help balance the budget.

Finally we have Gov. O’Malley complaining that tax cuts enacted by a previous governor were nothing but “pandering” and cost the state treasury $1 billion a year in receipts.  Who was that governor?  It wasn’t Republican Robert Ehrlich whom O’Malley defeated last year, but Ehrlich’s predecessor Democrat Parris Glendening who backed a 10 percent cut in 1997 to stave off his Republican challenger. 

The honeymoon is over and the wheels are starting to come off the bus.  Unfortunately for Maryland residents we still have 3 ? more years of this nonsense to suffer through.

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