During his four years in office, former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich a republican never had it easy when it came to dealing with the Democratically controlled state legislature. It often appeared to many observers that the Democrats were more interested in stopping the governor’s initiatives than in doing what was best for the state.
This effort became very evident when the Maryland Senate passed two bills earlier this month. One bill prohibits the governor from using the appointments secretary from firing workers against a department head’s wishes and the other requires the state to tell government workers whether they are “at will” employees or protected merit employees.
While that may sound good, they do little to reduce the number of government workers who serve at the pleasure of the governor, which was one of the Democrat’s main goals when they started investigating the Ehrlich administrations personnel policies.
The sponsor of the bills, Sen. Thomas Middleton a Democrat said the legislation was changed at the request of the new governor Martin O’Malley also a Democrat to provide government efficiency. Middleton also called it a “fine tuning” of our personnel system. In other words, since the new governor is a Democrat there is no way that the Senate was going to prevent him from firing Ehrlich hired workers no matter how competent they may be.
Republicans were upset at the watered-down legislation and called the investigation a waste of time and money and “a political witch hunt with no substance,” but since they are vastly out numbered they couldn’t do anything to stop the bills from being passed.
For Marylanders this is just another example of what happens in a one-party state and it doesn’t bode well for the future.