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As Long as We Remember...

March 15, 2012

“One Vote Stops It All”

Blaine R. Young

I’ve been watching politics in Maryland for a long time and I can honestly say I have never felt as uneasy – and almost physically ill – as I do now watching what is going on in Annapolis.


The absolute domination of this state by one political party, which seems to know no limits to how far they are willing to exploit their monopoly of power, is taking us all for a ride that I am afraid will end up in a massive and fiery crash and burn.


The extraordinary majorities the Democrats possess in both houses of the General Assembly give them carte blanche to do as they please with our financial, moral and even physical wellbeing. And more and more of them every year seem to be more concerned with their own personal political prospects than with what is best for the State of Maryland.


In addition to all of the tax increases being tossed into the arena by our governor, we have the legislature crafting bill after bill to restrict our ability to grow our county and municipal economies, and to suck more money out of our bank accounts and send it to Annapolis so they can pass it on to their liberal constituencies and campaign contributors. The money game being played by the Democrats in Annapolis, much of which involves our money, is absolutely appalling, and shows no sign of slowing down.


It seems to me that there is very little real prospect of Republicans gaining enough seats to overturn the Democrat majority in either the House or the Senate. Their majorities are overwhelming numerically; and, with their further gerrymandering of the legislative map, it will be next to impossible to gain a significant number of seats. Our legislature is going to be Democrat, liberal and clamoring for our money for as far into the future as the eye can see.


It seems the only way to do anything about the one party monopoly in Annapolis is to do something in the Governor’s Mansion. Bob Ehrlich proved 10 years ago that although it is against long odds a Republican can win the Governor’s Mansion. This strategy, though daunting, at least from a historical prospective, is achievable with the right candidate and the right campaign that focuses on the excesses and arrogance of the one party rule in Annapolis. If voters truly are tired of being dictated to by a political monopoly, it is much easier for them to switch over to the other side of the ballot in the statewide race than to vote against their local delegates or senators, who many of them have met and may know well.


If we can see lightning strike again and put a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion, the numbers are on our side. Instead of having to overturn gigantic majorities in the House or the Senate, we only have to change one vote. A veto from the governor’s office takes care of pretty much all of the problems. The legislature can’t go anywhere without the governor signing the bill; and, with the right Republican in office, none of those confiscatory taxes, fees or growth stopping bills would ever become law.


Now, I know many are going to say that with the majority they have, the legislature can override any governor’s veto. Theoretically that is true, but a governor has a lot of power in this state. With the right horse trading, a strong resourceful governor can probably secure enough votes to stave off an override. It is much easier to get the minority necessary to override a veto than it is to get a majority to pass or kill legislation.


In my experience, and anyone please tell me if I am mistaken, I cannot remember a single instance where the Maryland Legislature overrode a governor’s veto of an increase in taxes. Therefore, when it comes to new and higher taxes and fees, one vote from the governor’s office can block them all.


This is why it is so important that the Republicans get serious about the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial campaign and start thinking about and doing what is necessary to try to win back the Governor’s Mansion. You say it’s only early 2012, and there is still plenty of time to think about an election 2½ years from now? Think again!


The Democrats are way ahead. Attorney General Doug Gansler has over $4 million in the bank, and there is no question he is going to run for governor. Comptroller Peter Franchot has raised more than $1 million. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has also raised over a $1 million, and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has raised more than $800,000. The primary election is two years from this June, and from experience I can tell you, when you are trying to raise money, that two years will go by awfully fast.


From Republicans we’ve heard some talk but haven’t seen much action. I have heard some say that they will make a decision late this year or early next year. Based on what the Democrats are doing, that will be too late. Republicans had better get serious now, and start working to raise the money which will be necessary to compete with whichever Democrat comes out of what should be a very interesting and contested primary.


Many probably know that I am considering a run for governor of Maryland as a Republican. I am going to get this going over the next few months with an exploratory committee, and open a campaign account to raise money. My message will be very simple: One Vote Stops It All. One vote from Gov. Blaine R. Young will block any and all future tax and fee increases in the State of Maryland. And I promise I will use that one vote to veto.


If I do decide to throw my hat in the ring, I will do the same thing I did in 2010 when I ran for Frederick county commissioner. I will tell you what I am going to do if I am elected and I will keep my word. I will treat the taxpayer with respect and stop treating Maryland taxpayers like walking ATM machines.


In just over a year my colleagues and I on the Board of County Commissioners have done just that. We have kept our word that we gave on the campaign trail that we would rein in wasteful spending, and because of our decisions Frederick County not only does not have a deficit but has a projected $29 million surplus for the next fiscal year.


A governor can keep his word to protect the taxpayers just like a county commissioner can. Unfortunately, it has rarely, if ever, been done by the endless parade of free spending, free taxing Democrat governors we see in this state.


It is going to take an extremely aggressive, organized and energetic campaign to compete with the well-funded career politicians on the Democrat side. If I decide to take a stab at it, you have my word right now: that is exactly the kind of campaign I will run and the kind of effort I will put forth.


At the risk of sounding repetitive, you have my word.


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