All of America’s attention is focused on the massive bailouts created by the politicians in Washington, D.C. At the same time, Governor O’Malley has been engaged in state bailouts and stupid spending policies.
The Governor used $7 million in taxpayer’s money to bail out a consistent “white elephant project” in Western Maryland, known as Rocky Gap. This so-called tourist attraction has attracted nothing but debt since it was created at the request of former House of Delegates Speaker, Casper Taylor. Speaker Taylor, coincidentally represented Western Maryland.
Another puzzling bailout is the approximately $500 thousand provided to the Sports Legend Museum, located next to Camden Yards. The Governor not only provided the half million, but reduced the rent on the state owned building from $10 thousand per month down to $2 thousand per month. The proprietor of the museum is Steve Geppi. The name should sound familiar, since Mr. Geppi is the owner of Baltimore Magazine, part owner of the Baltimore Orioles, and full-time owner of a highly successful comic book company. Why the hard pressed taxpayers of Maryland should subsidize a wealthy citizen like Mr. Geppi is highly questionable.
Beyond the bailouts, during these difficult economic times, when chronic unemployment in Maryland is increasing and state employees are being furloughed, it is obvious that the Governor should engage in smart spending policies. That’s not happening. Recently, Mr.O’Malley announced his plans to spend $71 million of taxpayers’ money on land purchases in southern Maryland. There is currently $150 million in the program “Open Space Fund.” While O’Malley is energetically pursuing “ a fee for trees spending spree” he is simultaneously reducing the state education budget by at least $37 million.
I am introducing legislation that will mandate a moratorium on the purchase of land by the state of Maryland until the projected deficits are eliminated and the education budget is fully funded. My proposal will allow the transfer of the program “Open Space Funds” into the general budget to support education.
Clearly, the general economic slowdown has impacted Maryland’s revenues. However, the spending practices and new tax hikes by the Governor have largely contributed to the problem. During the Special Session, Mr. O’Malley enacted a $1.5 billion tax increase, which was accompanied by a $1.5 billion new spending increase. I voted against the tax hikes and the budget increase.
The spendaholics in Annapolis have now been forced to become “budget cutters.” This new responsibility is like force feeding raw meat to vegetarians. So far, the Governor and the legislative leaders are not digesting the situation very well.
Delegate Pat McDonough
For information, contact Delegate McDonough by calling
410-238-0025 or send an e-mail to Patmcdee@comcast.net.