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As Long as We Remember...

January 6, 2011

And Away We Go…

Chris Cavey

A mandatory task for political pundits and alleged soothsayers of the realm is to make predictions of the future regarding Maryland’s political path. So, once again, I have spread my linen and cast the grains to predict the unknowns of Maryland’s political scene.


Healthcare reform and structure – win by confusion:


There will be so many individual bills concerning the structuring of Maryland’s integration into federal healthcare the best advice for citizens is to invest in paper products. The debate and argument will be long, boring for the average citizen, and in Maryland’s one-party dominated system the advantage will go to some large Democrat benefactor.


The final product will be a screwed up mess, due to the fact federal legislation is so complex that no one individual understands how it works. Maryland’s integration will be vague, broad and self-serving to the few who purport themselves as experts in the field. The winners will be the last lobbyists standing – not Maryland’s businesses or citizens.


Local governments get shafted:


Everything rolls downhill to the county and municipal governments. State government (meaning Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Democrat dominated legislature) unable to raise proper income without immediate and huge tax increases, will shed expenses to county and local government entities.


This political move by the Democrat leaders will place huge financial burdens on county governments which are 70% controlled by Republicans. Once the burden of half of teacher pensions and cutting of other time-honored local support hits the county level, the GOP controlled governments will either have to sharpen their pencils or be the bearers of bad news with local tax increases. Losers are the citizens who find themselves caught up in partisan politics…once again.


Gay Marriage comes to Maryland:


The players have already been selected by the Democrat leadership as committee membership for both the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. The committee vote counts are a foregone conclusion – one of the joys of single party domination.


The GOP legislators, a couple of conservative Democrats from rural areas, and a few members of the Black Caucus will fight hard and present intelligent argument but fall short as both chambers pass this legislation by a 60/40 favorable rate.


This bill will end up being petitioned to referendum by the citizens of Maryland in 2012, a year predicted with another huge Democrat turnout for the first African-American president …all part of the plan.


Tax on Alcohol will not slow legislative consumption…


…a tax which goes against the grain. Maryland’s alcohol tax has not been raised for a significant time period. All other forms of taxation have been tapped at least once. This will have little fanfare and be sold as if its turn has come. Perhaps even packaged together with sale of out-of-state wine – who knows? It is a done deal.


After all sin taxes are easy, fun and bring in much needed revenue.


Redistricting Democrats go for depth in power:


It is time for the decennial fun and games of redistricting. Maryland gained about 477,000 in population, not enough for a new congressional district, but surely enough to solidify the current Democrat stronghold of single-party dominance.


The luck of the Irish governor would have it that the shafting of the GOP can be accomplished this cycle in two separate times and two separate years; congressional re-districting late this year and legislative boundaries in another future session. (Nothing like the joy of spreading out the GOP pain and suffering.)


After the trials and tribulations of tax increases, healthcare reform and shafting of local governments, there will be a slight break. The Legislature will not look at the congressional re-districting until a Special Session is convened, likely in the fall, of course, at additional expense to the citizen.


That session will see the solidification of a six to two Democrat dominate congressional delegation. Population shifts will show that rural areas have grown more conservative and urban areas have lost the few remains of conservative fighters. Democrats will solidify their bases.


The current Democrat representatives will demand to be reconfigured to safe seats rather than risk them having to work in a tough battle. (Example: Harris/Kratovil races.) Safe is better.


Democrats who pay attention know the population shift is in their favor. To solidify what you have and to wait a cycle for the natural population migration to help you is the way to go. Maryland is turning deep Democrat blue and only patience is needed. (Example: Bob Ehrlich totals in Baltimore, Howard and Charles Counties – or the Alex Mooney loss in Frederick County.) Time is on their side.


Cavey Conclusion:


Next week the “fun” begins with Opening Day of the 2011 political season. The pre-season is wrapping up with a flurry of pre-filed bills and last minute fundraisers. Hopes are high for the rookies just elected. The seasoned veterans have been positioned into committees to maximize political dominance by the Democrat leadership. Looks like another session of business as usual – single-party dominance.


The citizens of Maryland need only await the (Democrat’s) fat lady to sing because the fix is in; while I get to check off the factuality of my 2011 predictions…found, exclusively, on!


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