(Annapolis, MD) – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is planning to lay the groundwork for a run as president in 2016. He says he wants to be judged by his administration and the “sum of its work.” Maybe he should pick another way to measure his character.
O’Malley appears fearful of taking a hit because of the scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center. The jail was taken over by violent gang members. Aided by correctional officers who smuggled in drugs, credit cards, and cell phones, the gangs were able to use the jail as a base for trafficking. “Even inmates have to make a living,” said a gang member at the Baltimore City Detention Center, speaking on condition of anonymity.
O’Malley is a former mayor of Baltimore.
Additionally, O’Malley is also nervous about the lasting effects of botching the state’s health insurance exchange rollout on October 1, 2013. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, suffered a disastrous debut when the Federal government’s Web site for health care exchanges barely functioned. Despite years of preparing the system and training staff, Maryland’s problems closely mirrored that of the Federal system launched the same day. And senior officials in Maryland were warned over a year before the launch date that the system was in trouble. “We just became sick about thinking about the sick,” said a state official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
No corrective action was taken.
Despite these two unfortunate incidents, O’Malley wants to be judged on the merits of his entire administration, which has been in place since 2007. Yet, in running, O’Malley would have an even bigger problem than the jail scandal or the Obamacare fiasco, and its name is Hillary Clinton.
In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton leads Vice-President Joe Biden (D-DE) by over 50 percentage points. O’Malley’s numbers are so infinitesimal that a dead Lyndon Johnson (D-TX) leads him in most polls.
But perhaps the biggest obstacle is the record O’Malley wants to run on. Some of the great things he’s done for Maryland since 2007 are:
- Raising the gas tax in 2013 for the first time in 20 years
- Raising the tolls at Maryland bridges multiple times, totaling over 50% from their 2006 rates
- Levying the first-in-the-nation tax on jars of mayonnaise
- Raising income taxes on individuals making over $100,000 and couples over $150,000, redefining the meaning of “rich” in Maryland
- Doubling the flush tax in 2012
- Raising the tax on clock and watch purchases because “we had the authority and we had the time on our hands,” said an O’Malley spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity
- Raising the vehicle titling tax from $23 to $50 in 2007
- Raising the vehicle titling tax from $50 to $100 in 2011
- Installing a “complaint” fee on all complaining E-mails and phone calls received by O’Malley’s office in order to “cut down on the whiners,” said an O’Malley staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity
- Allowing multiple rate increases for PEPCO, a company whose poor customer service has left tens of thousands of Marylanders in the dark since 2007 but always seem to keep the coffers full for its executives
- Allowing WSSC to tack on a “convenience charge” which is nothing more than a tax increase simply because WSSC can levy the tax
- Allowing multiple tuition increases at Maryland’s state universities
- Pushing policies at Maryland’s state universities to accept more and more out-of-state students so, in the word of one educator, speaking on condition of anonymity, “the administrators can replenish their coffers at the expense of deserving in-state students”