Editor’s Note: To be clear. All of these people are complete and utter assholes, like all politicians. This post is NOT an endorsement of any of these candidates, and in fact it is meant to show why all of these candidates care more about business than the population of actual living and breathing Marylanders.
In over one year, Marylanders will get to vote on the next governor (see here for more details). The current Governor, Martin O’Malley, won’t be able to run again as he has already served two terms. Those declared candidates are seven, but all of them are important:
- Current Lt. Governor Anthony Brown , running with current Howard County Executive Kenneth Ulman [DEMOCRATIC PARTY]
- Ron George, current member of the House of Delegates [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
- Meyer F. Marks [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
- David R. Craig, Harford County Executive [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
- Businessman Brian Vaeth, businessman along with activist Duane “Shorty” Davis [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
- Brian Murphy [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
- Blaine Young, President of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners [REPUBLICAN PARTY]
This means that a lot of people want to be in the governor’s seat, and I can’t tell you who would get ahead because I haven’t read any polls. You might ask why the alternative parties aren’t listed. This is because according to Green Pages, “the Constitution, Green, Independent, and Libertarian Parties nominate by convention rather than by primary.”I’ll go through every of the seven candidates shown here.
Now, let me remind you about one of the candidates, Ron George. His website says he is “Pro–Business,” “Pro–Limited Government [for leading]…fights against: tax increases, increased spending, excessive regulations and mandates. Sponsored sensible tax cuts and caps,” “Pro–Veteran,” “Pro–Education,” “Pro–Family,” “Pro–Second Amendment,” and “Pro–Health.” Despite these words, George is a member of one of the task forces for the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, which pushed business-friendly bills in the last legislative session (he even admits this on his website). ALEC is “not a lobby; it is not a front group. In reality, it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators changes to laws they desire, that directly benefit their bottom line or cause” (see here). I wrote that “Delegate Ron George’s bill, HB0533…over a six year period, decreases the corporate income tax rate by 0.25% each year, had 24 sponsors. 41.6% of their sponsors being ALEC members which increases if George is incorporated into this number.” Additionally George was a sponsor of Delegate Schultz’s bill to lower the corporate tax rate, which one of many bills as part of the flurry of business-friendly bills in the last session. As Influence Explorer notes, George received thousands of dollars from the Real Estate, Commercial Banks and Home Builders industries. Additionally, Sallie Mae, the company that profits off indebted students, gave him $4,000 and the National Association of Realtors gave him $5,240. Further campaign finance data shows he has received a combined sum of $860 from Constellation Energy, Coca-Cola Enterprises, the Maryland Bankers Association and the Maryland Soft Drink Association which doesn’t include the campaign contributions he gave to himself. So please don’t support this corporate drone who is really right-wing.
Anthony Brown and Kenneth Ulman
Anthony Brown is the current Lieutenant Governor who likes promoting public-private partnerships or P3s, and is corrupt as Martin O’Malley, and is running with Howard County Executive Kenneth Ulman. The Baltimore Sun wrote recently that “Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman shook up Maryland’s 2014 gubernatorial race by announcing they will run as a ticket for the Democratic nomination in 2014. Politically and electorally, it’s a shrewd and gutsy move…For Mr. Brown, he is trying do something that hasn’t been done but is long overdue in a state with one of the largest and most affluent African-American populations in the country: become the first black Democratic nominee for governor…For Mr. Ulman, a veteran pol at the ripe old age of 39, should the Brown-Ulman ticket succeed — and maybe even if it doesn’t — he is now positioned to be next in line for the State House.” According to Influence Explorer, Real Estate, Law Firms, Business Services, and General Contractors were some of the top industries that gave to his coffers. Additionally, a number of trade unions contributed and a natural gas company named Beowulf Energy which owns 60% of of the Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline which is according to Wikipedia, “a proposed natural gas pipeline from Tobago to other eastern Caribbean islands.” According to more data, the casino Warner Gaming, which is the license holder of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, a company which had to pay a $650,000 settlement over drug trafficking going on inside the casino, gave him $4,000 dollars. If this isn’t enough, huge developer Merritt Properties LLC in the Baltimore-Washington Area, gave him $4,000 dollars. One should also note that Brown supports the Red Line which seems to be supported by big business. There isn’t anything on his website that I could find. While he may be liked by the black community, do not vote for him or support him in any way.
Meyer F. Marks
This person has sought political office before and been unsuccessful. According to influence explorer, most of her contributions have been individual ones except a group called Patton Boggs LLP. On his website, he says that people are “at risk of losing our fundamental right of democratic equality, because of one political party [the Democrats] has shut out all voices of dissent…My aim is to restore the fundamental values that our great state was founded upon, and restore a balanced approach to political debates in Annapolis…My top priority is to balance the budget.” However, as one should know, while balancing the budget is widely supported by the American population, the term is actually code word for cutting social programs to “balance” the budget which results in more despair, suffering and hurt. His policies across the board are really bad. He wants:
- more “right to work” laws, which are really anti-union right to work less laws which cut down one last organ standing up for the workers,
- a “payroll tax holiday”
- “enterprise work zones” where corporations work be given “tax incentives and other public-private incentives” to locate in areas, basically a form of corporate welfare
- to lower the corporate tax rate which he says is too high (which is preposterous)
- to privatize public transit, by allowing “private companies to finance, design, build, operate, and maintain transit lines”
- He wants to “reform” the state’s “budget process with performance based budgeting”which according to ehow is “suits companies and departments that have measurable monthly, quarterly, or yearly production goals” meaning there isn’t a good long-term focus in mind
- Public schools would be partly privatized by allowing “public-private partnership [to come up with]…the capital needed for school construction” which sounds nice but will result in closer collusion of private and public sector interests
- A hard on crime approach, saying there are “liberal sentencing guidelines”
- to be anti-immigrant by insisting on the enforcing the harsh and discriminatory “federal immigration laws, including legislation for E -Verify” which according to the ACLU would, while trying to “detect the small percentage of job seekers who are unauthorized workers, a mandatory E-Verify system creates a whole new level of intrusive government oversight of daily life.” Its so bad that even the American Enterprise Institute opposes it!
- He wants to “reform” medical malpractice which means it won’t really be a reform at all…
- He wants local communities to “administer their own Medicaid and Medicare programs” so they can reject it or not, saying the federal government should not try to reform healthcare
- He wants an Independent Redistricting Commission instead of one decided down partisan lines
- Interestingly, he supports environmental regulations in order to preserve the bay.
I ask you to NOT vote for this person as his policies will cause mass hurt and suffering for the people of Maryland as he seems to be a sort of Reagonite. Likely some of his positions will cost him support among the right-wing (like support for environmental regs.)
I honestly do not think David R. Craig, Brian Vaeth and Duane “Shorty” Davis, Brian Murphy or Blaine Young have enough of a standing to talk about at all. If this changes, I’ll write an article about them. Don’t worry. I’ll be following this for the next year.