Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Anyone remember why they voted for Martin O'Malley?

As other MBAers have noted (Maryland Politics Today, Red Maryland), our governor has put in a supplemental budget request:

“As lawmakers worked yesterday to trim state spending to balance Maryland's budget for next year, Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed $18.2 million in new expenditures…” Amid budget struggle, O'Malley ups 'core' spending request

Here’s my favorite part of the new expenditure request:

“• $7.7 million more to help low-income families pay rising utility bills, with nearly half of that to come from the general fund budget and the rest from special funds.”

Rising utility bills? But I thought

Another related item in the news today sparks this visit to the archives (courtesy of fellow-MBAer, Stephanie Dray):

“The two slugged it out over Ehrlich's regulation commission and whether or not it should have done more to stop BGE from raising rates so drastically. This led to a blistering exchange between the two where Ehrlich told O'Malley that it was wrong to demonize his friends, and O'Malley shot back that it was worse to sell out the working people of the state out of loyalty to those friends.

“It was a hard hit on Ehrlich that he was unable to counter.”
Detailed Highlights of O'Malley-Ehrlich Debate Jousting for Justice

Well, now we have Martin O’Malley’s commission:

“[O’Malley appointee] Steven B. Larsen, chairman of the Public Service Commission, told state lawmakers yesterday that the regulatory body found no evidence of collusion in the 2005-2006 wholesale power auctions that caused a 72 percent price increase for households buying power from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., which is a subsidiary of Constellation.“There was no reason to believe that the rates weren't "just and reasonable," Larsen said.” Power auctions cleared

Can anyone point out one significant aspect of this whole BGE mess where Martin O'Malley was right and Bob Ehrlich was wrong?

Yea, I do. This settlement never would have happened under the utility special-interest loving slugs in the Ehrlich administration - like Kenny Schisler, who wrote a good chunk of the 1999 deregulation bill.

So you're point is that O'Malley outsmarted the dumbfounded Ehrlich is a debate? That is likely true. Ehrlich really isn't that bright.

But Ehrlich keeps saying himself - over and over again - that BGE rate hikes had nothing to do with his defeat. Nada.

Do you believe Bob, now?
Anon: Ken Schisler voted for the dereg bill but Where did you get the idea that Ken Schisler wrote a significant chunk of that bill? He wasn't even a sponsor on it. As near as I can tell, all he did was participate, as a token republican, on a Conference Committee set up to reconcile House & Senate differences. That committee also included Cap Taylor and Mike Miller (as well as Tommy "the Rainmaker" Bromwell) - not likely Mr. Schisler had much influence there.

Beyond that, exactly what difference has O'Malley's PSC made in this whole mess...I mean, beyond Steve Larsen's whopping 50+% pay raise (over what Ken Schisler was making) contributing even more to our state's budget woes.
It would never have happened under Bob Ehrlich? Oh wait, so Ehrlich didn't get a deal with BGE for them to provide $5 month credits in perpetuity?! Oh wait, but he did.

Martin O'Malley ran a campaign that said he would stop the BGE rate hikes. He didn't stop anything. Governor Martin O'Malley's hand-picked PSC rubber-stamped the massive BGE rate hikes.

Oh and Governor O'Malley passed the largest tax hike in state history. Not to mention Schliser never got a pay hike while Larsen got a $70,000 bonus just 4 months into the job. Actually more than 50% since Schliser made $118k
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