Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Red Maryland Radio: 1/30/2014

It was another big episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight on the Red Maryland Network.


Listen To Politics Conservative Internet Radio Stations with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


On tonight's show:
  • Larry Hogan kicked off his campaign for Governor last night, and announced that Boyd Rutherford would be his running mate. We were there, and we'll discuss;
  • Also this week was the State of the Union address; hear our thoughts and weather or not the speech really has become an annual speech about nothing.
  • State Senate Candidate Donald Quinn joins us as a follow-up to his apperance on last week's Red Maryland Election Focus.
  • And we'll talk about this week's Friday Red Maryland op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, which is bound to get people talking.
This is why you can't afford to miss Red Maryland Radio each and every Thursday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.

You can now also listen to Red Maryland Network Programming on Stitcher.





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House GOP puts up a fight on O'Malley's Obamacare bill

 As I predicted last week, the GOP opposition to the measure in the House of Delegates was much more strident that that put up by Republicans leaders in the state Senate.  

Tuesday's House of Delegates vote was along party lines with all but one of the House Republicans voting against a bill they considered a bailout of the O'Malley administration's bureaucratic failures. Del. Warren Miller (R-Howard) argued on his Facebook page that "the state has wasted $170,000,000 on this, the HGO chair just told us this blank check (ie bill) might cost Marylanders another $100,000,000, but isn't really sure what it will cost." Other House Republicans echoed the sentiment that the costs of the legislation were unknown and would likely only worsen what was already a fiasco.


Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-health-exchange-20140130,0,99910.story#ixzz2ruvZsbQ7


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Red Maryland on the Marc Steiner Show

I had the opportunity to join the panel discussing the President's State of the Union address on Wednesday's Marc Steiner show.  You can listen by clicking here.

On the panel, besides myself, were:

  • Lorraine Miller, interim President of the NAACP;
  • Zoe Carpenter, reporter at The Nation‘s Washington, DC, Bureau;
  • and ER Shipp, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Journalist-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Journalism at Morgan State University.


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Income Inequality Increased Under Martin O'Malley


So Governor O'Malley wants to address "income inequality."  He should look in the mirror.  From my Baltimoresun.com piece.

Here in Democratically controlled Maryland, who is the villain?
Governor O’Malley would likely blame George W. Bush. Here, six years into the Obama presidency, he's still calling it the "Bush recession." In fact, all Governor O’Malley needs to do to find the enemy is look in a mirror.

According to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, as compiled by the Washington Post, Maryland’s middle class has shrunk significantly during the O’Malley era. A Post graphic shows that the number of households earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year shrunk by nearly 38,000 between the 2007-2009 three-year period and 2010-2012.


Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-income-inequality-omalley-20140129,0,7264835.story#ixzz2ruN3ss6h


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Hillary Clinton Will Not Win the Presidential Election of 2016


 


--Richard E. Vatz

     The news is filled with reports of a Washington Post and ABC News poll which shows how far ahead of the thin Democratic Party field Hillary Clinton is in her unannounced quest to gain the presidential nomination.

     Maybe her free-fall plunge against Barack Obama for the 2008 nomination is not indicative, but it matters little.

     Former Secretary Clinton will not win the 2016 presidential election.

     Her current negatives even among Democrats are stunning (35%), and among Republicans, I speculate, are prohibitive.

     No one with such negatives wins the presidential race, unless his or her opponent has similar negatives; always look at negatives.  Even Richard Nixon was not viewed so negatively when he ran for president, and George McGovern was.

     I think she may gain the Democratic nomination; her chances for the presidency, hard as it may be to believe, however, are negligible.

    Who could disagree with this analysis?  To dissenters, I say in the immortal irresponsible words of one high-level politician: “What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what [has] happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.


Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2013)


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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

Join Greg Kline and I for another episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8 PM only on the Red Maryland Network.


On tonight's show:
  • Larry Hogan kicked off his campaign for Governor last night, and announced that Boyd Rutherford would be his running mate. We were there, and we'll discuss;
  • Also this week was the State of the Union address; hear our thoughts and weather or not the speech really has become an annual speech about nothing.
  • State Senate Candidate Donald Quinn joins us as a follow-up to his apperance on last week's Red Maryland Election Focus.
  • And we'll talk about this week's Friday Red Maryland op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, which is bound to get people talking.
All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baltimore Sun Newsmaker Forum with David Craig

Our partners at the Baltimore Sun will be holding a newsmaker forum with Harford County Executive David Craig at the Sun's offices in downtown Baltimore next Wednesday at 7 PM.

This is part of a series of forums that the Sun is conducting with all of the gubernatorial candidates. Audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A as well.

Click here if you are interested for more information and to reserve your spot.


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Another Blasé State of the Union

It's gotten to be that one of the hallmarks of the State of the Union address is its Seinfeldian nature. Every year it seems that the speech becomes a speech about nothing, as presidents throw out all sorts of grandiose ideas, policies and program proposals that never amount to a hill of beans, making me personally wish we could return to the pre-Wilsonian days of a written message.

Just last year President Barack Obama outlined seven major policy initiatives that never even got off the ground, while the rest of his proposals have a very limited track record of success.

Before the president took to the podium last night, the biggest story was about the unilateral implementation of a $10.10 minimum wage for employees working under federal contracts. It certainly is a nice handout to the administration's union allies, even if isn't nearly as much as meets the eye, but it seems pretty dubious given contracts already in place between companies and the federal government, to say nothing of the fact that such a sweeping declaration seems to be a clear violation of the separation of powers. No matter how you slice it, it's a policy proposal that detrimental to our economy given that it will cost more taxpayer dollars to implement without creating any new jobs.

The minimum wage hike for contractors as well as the president's call for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage were all a part of a central theme of the speech, income inequality. It's unfortunate because the president has made income inequality a key factor in several of State of the Union addresses, but he has often sought policy positions that promote, not decrease, income inequality. The implementation of Obamacare has hurt families across the country by forcing the cancellation of millions of health insurance policies and astronomical rate increases for millions more. The expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts took a larger and larger chunks of income directly out of the pockets of middle and working class Americans. And the expansion of the regulatory state in this administration has made it harder and harder for businesses to be in a position to create jobs and prosperity across the country.

As for the rest of the speech, there is only so much talk through rose-colored glasses and contrived opening lines that one can take before you realize how little impact these speeches have on our body politic. In fact, the only part of the speech that was both moving and memorable was the tribute to Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, a moment that provided a unanimous standing ovation and one that I wish had not waited until the tail end of the speech.
At the end of it all, today official Washington marches on as if the speech never happened at all...

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bal-state-of-the-union-an-annual-speech-about-nothing-20140129,0,4426110.story#ixzz2rpKChi1s


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State of the Union: Mercifully Unmemorable, as was the Inadequate Republican Response



 

--Richard E. Vatz

 

      We are in a country and time wherein communication has proliferated beyond what anyone would have anticipated 20 years ago, much less over 200 years ago.  To imagine that we need the president to, as the Constitution provides,  “…from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union (SOTU), and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient” is simply incorrect.  The SOTU is unnecessary except as political posturing and provides no necessary public or foreign policy information.

     Moreover, the Republican response, not of course provided by the Constitution, is theoretically politically useful to offer a counterbalance to the President’s depiction of the state of the country and his list of proposals.

     Neither will or should be long remembered.

     Some will say that the tone is important, but the tone is evanescent.  In a short time you will hear that the tone of the presidency is changing yet again.

     Substantively, both the SOTU’s specifics and tone were communicated via news reports well ahead of the speech: President Barack Obama wants to enact an agenda that he has failed to enact thus far: minimum wage reform, continued support for the chronically unemployed, immigration reform, health reform, etc.  He was not ugly in tone.  Executive actions, again well-publicized before the speech, will be coming in the form of deferring deportments of illegal immigrants and raising the minimum wage pertaining to federal contracts.  Promoting universal pre-K education should help in an America wherein two-parent families are becoming the new minority, but, of course, that very significant problem is not even mentioned in the SOTU.

     President Obama’s declaiming on the Affordable Care Act, of course, virtually ignored all of the serious issues of costs, implementation, presidential misstatements regarding keeping one’s health care and doctor, but it celebrated its selective and rare successes.

     His was optimistic, as are all presidents’ SOTUs, including the Gerald Ford SOTU which did not claim that the post-Richard M. Nixon country was strong, but indicated the country was coming back.  Intractable problems and broken promises respecting foreign policy respecting Iran and Syria and the possible horrible consequences of unleashing dangerous terrorists (redundant, of course) from Guantanamo were not even alluded to.

     The Republican response to the President’s SOTU by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State was, to be charitable, not much of a rebuttal.  It was a brief ode to America and self-reliance.  Good, but the Republicans need to substantively use the occasion to point out that the Obama Emperor has no clothes and specifically remind the public of the economic, healthcare and foreign policy failures of this administration.  Immigration and healthcare were touched on, but if you wanted a point-by-point or even overall position statement, you’ll have to go back to Marco Rubio last year, after he had a drink of water.
     Not a helpful night for anyone.  Let’s send the State of the Union message electronically next time.

Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University.


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Speed Camera Audit Should Extend to State's Maryland SafeZone Program

From my latest piece at Baltimoresun.com


The revelations of the secret audit of Xerox State and Local Solutions' operation of Baltimore’s speed camera system showing the company had error rates 40 times higher than what city officials were telling the public, should prompt a review of speed cameras in other jurisdictions, including the state.

 In June 2010, the same company, then known as ACS State and Local Solutions, won the contract to operate the pilot program for the Maryland SafeZones Program.  Xerox acquired ACS that same year.
In November 2012, Red Maryland reported the details of a negative legislative audit of the MarylandSafeZone Program. 

The audit revealed that SHA awarded the operator of the pilot system the contract for the full Maryland SafeZone Program -- it was the only bidder -- even though the company’s proposal was not in compliance with the RFP requirements.  Auditors also found that the system did not undergo an independent calibration test -- as required by law -- until nine months after it began speed monitoring operations.
 More importantly the audit also revealed several critical deficiencies in the accuracy of the program’s speed detection capabilities.


Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-speed-cameras-21040128,0,4364380.story#ixzz2rjuoZPyC


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Monday, January 27, 2014

15 Minutes: Kevin Waterman

Popular Politics Conservative Internet Radio with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


In case you missed this week's 15 Minutes, our guest was Kevin Waterman who is running for Register of Wills in Queen Anne's County. He talked about the estate tax and the inheritance tax here in Maryland...


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Are plastic bags really Baltimore's biggest problem?

Obviously Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the rest of Baltimore's city leaders have solved all of the serious issues facing the city of Baltimore, because tonight the Baltimore City Council is going to be once again taking up the idea of a 10-cent tax on plastic bags in the city of Baltimore.

There are of course several very good reasons why this is a very bad idea:

There are of course several very good reasons why this is a very bad idea:

  1. Taxes or outright bans of plastic bags don't save cities any money on litter collection. A 2013 study of such bans and taxes by the National Center for Policy Analysis "shows no evidence of a reduction in costs attributable to reduced use of plastic bags" when it comes to litter collection in city budgets. 

  2. When compared to other forms of litter, plastic bags constitute a very small portion of our litter problem, a point which has been made both by researchers and by anecdotal evidence here in Baltimore.

  3. A bag ban would have a direct negative impact on the business and job climate here in Maryland. Advance Polybag, one of the leading manufacturers of plastic bags, employs 140 Marylanders here at its plant in Elkridge. How is a plastic bag ban going to help the local economy if it means layoffs nearby?

  4. Where is the money going? Half of the revenue is slated to go the General Fund; how exactly is that going to help environmental stewardship of the city?

Sadly, this again shows that the folks who are running the city of Baltimore are in fact not serious people and would rather spend their time navel gazing and checking boxes on the agendas of liberal interest groups as opposed to tackling the major problems that the city faces...

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-bag-tax-20140127,0,7829755.story#ixzz2re6tZgIh


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The Broadside 10-27-14


A special prerecorded episode with guests Brian Griffiths and Greg Kline from Red Maryland Radio.


  • Why the Maryland House Republican Caucus has some splainin to do about "opposing" Obamacare;

  • We talk about MD Elections Chief Linda Lamone's acted without knowledge of the full elections board to give a favorable ruling to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's campaign allowing him to fundraise during the legislative session, while his opponents cannot.;

  • A business climate in Maryland only government could love;

  • News O the Weird;

  • Drunk History;

  • Super Bowl picks;

  • What you purchased through our Amazon page. 
The Broadside and all Red Maryland Network shows are available on iTunes. 



Discover Politics Conservative Internet Radio with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


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Vinny DeMarco's Dubious Claim about Columbia Mall Shooting



Here's a snippet from my latest piece at Baltimoresun.com 

A close read of this statement reveals either one of two things.  Vinny the gun grabber has no idea how the guns he banned actually work, or he is deliberately misleading the public. 
 
 DeMarco is conflating the two types of ammunition.  Shotguns don’t use magazines to hold ammunition.  That’s like saying football is played with a hockey puck. 

Furthermore, his use of the terms “AK-47” and “assault weapon” are meant to put the image of a fully automatic machine gun in the mind of the reader. 


Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-columbia-mall-shooting-20140127,0,4801051.story#ixzz2rcQxY54c


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Red Maryland Election Focus 1-25-2014

Online Politics Conservative Radio at Blog Talk Radio with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


Red Maryland's weekly show focusing on elections and those who influence them.  We interview Donald Quinn, Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 30.  We also break down the Anne Arundel County Executive's race.


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Red Maryland Radio 1-23-14


More Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


Another exciting installment of Red Maryland Radio 

- A preview of this week's Red Maryland Op-Ed in the papery blog known as the Baltimore Sun detailing the wide open race to succeed Martin O'Malley as Maryland Governor

- A discussion of taxes.  Governor O'Malley says no taxes this session while a Baltimore democrat acknowledges that the tax increases over the past 7 years have been regressive and hurt poor and working class Marylanders the most.  Not to be deterred though, noted liberal lobbyist Vinny DeMarco is pushing for yet another massive, regressive tax increase.

- An examination of the GOP leadership in the State Senate.  After almost unanimously supporting Mike Miller as President of the Senate, 8 GOP Senators, including the leadership, support a bail out of the disastrous O'Malley/Brown healthcare roll out.

- A status report on other Maryland statewide races.  Outside of Governor, Maryland Republicans don't have a lot to make them excited and plenty to give them worry.  We will have a wake-up call.


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The Rhetoric of Governor Martin O’Malley’s 2014 Final State of the State Address


 

--Richard E. Vatz

     About Gov. Martin O’Malley’s final State of the State address, a few observations about its persuasive strategies from a professor who has taught a course called Persuasion for decades:

 

1.       Like all “State of” speeches, Governor O’Malley’s State of the State (SOS) address was like the allegory of the blind men describing the elephant: what is covered is selective, and the interpretations are one-sided.  This does not make it an unusual or bad such address, but without hearing the opposite side -- and few will pay a lot of attention to Senator David R. Brinkley’s response – one cannot look at it as anything but a rose-colored perspective of the state of the State.

2.       Gov. O’Malley talks about raising the minimum wage but makes no reference to the possible effects on business, unemployment, cutting of hours of full-time employees, etc.  It seems for the State of the State that there are no downsides.

3.       Gov. O’Malley makes no mention of the unsustainability of state pensions.

4.       Gov. O’Malley makes no mention of the 40+ increases (almost $10 billion) in state taxes or the $10 billion increase in the state budget or the dependency of Maryland on federal jobs, all referenced by Sen. Brinkley in his response. 

5.       Gov. O’Malley notes that violent crime is down, but makes no mention of the horrendous murder rate that continues unabated.  This is yet another example of selective fact-citing. 

6.     Gov. O’Malley lavishes praise on the prospect of healthcare availability to those previously without it and concedes, in perhaps the only such concession in the speech, that “the healthcare website failed to perform as designed when it was launched.”  There is no mention of the problems and costs that government-created health care have -- and will have -- created for employers and those already insured, not to mention the delivery of such services.

7.       None of the foregoing points makes the SOS address uniquely deceptive; all leaders emphasize the facts that redound to their favor and spin them outrageously one-sidedly.  Look at any State of the Union, and you will find the same rhetorical strategies.

8.       One stylistic outrage: it is arguably at least highly inappropriate to cite Henry Ford positively as a model of Americanism – perspicacious and worker-friendly -- in a public speech, as he was one of the most ardent and contemptible and powerful anti-Semites of the 20th century.  If one of the Governor’s aides sneaked this into the speech, the aide should be severely reprimanded. 

9.       I did like Gov. O’Malley’s praise for his wife, my former (excellent) student at Towson.  She is indeed exceptional.

 

Professor Vatz teaches political persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2013)


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Red Maryland Radio Tonight

Another exciting installment of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8pm.  On tonight's show

- A preview of this week's Red Maryland Op-Ed in the papery blog known as the Baltimore Sun detailing the wide open race to succeed Martin O'Malley as Maryland Governor

- A discussion of taxes.  Governor O'Malley says no taxes this session while a Baltimore democrat acknowledges that the tax increases over the past 7 years have been regressive and hurt poor and working class Marylanders the most.  Not to be deterred though, noted liberal lobbyist Vinny DeMarco is pushing for yet another massive, regressive tax increase.

- An examination of the GOP leadership in the State Senate.  After almost unanimously supporting Mike Miller as President of the Senate, 8 GOP Senators, including the leadership, support a bail out of the disastrous O'Malley/Brown healthcare roll out.

- A status report on other Maryland statewide races.  Outside of Governor, Maryland Republicans don't have a lot to make them excited and plenty to give them worry.  We will have a wake-up call.

All this, your calls at 760-259-2711, and much, much more.  Tonight live at 8pm or anytime on podcast, just visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redmaryland/2014/01/24/red-maryland-radio or click here.


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

AUDIT: $96 Million Needed to Cover Deficits Incurred Through Bad Accounting


Maryland’s legislature will have to approve $96 million dollars in deficiency appropriations this year or additional spending in future years to cover unlawful budget procedures by state agencies.

According to an Office of Legislative Audits review of statebudget closeout transactions for fiscal year 2013, several state agencies closed their 2013 books with non compliant i.e., unlawful transactions totaling $95 million. 

A deficiency appropriation is unexpected state spending, which must be plugged with supplemental appropriations.  According to state budget analysts, deficiencies have averaged $145 million over the last several years.  Governor O’Malley’s budget proposal leaves only $30 million in reserve to cover deficiency appropriations.

The Developmental Disabilities Administration alone owes the federal government $24.1 million due to disallowed claims for residential services and drug rebates.

The glitch ridden Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, illegally retained $1.6 million in general fund appropriations.  Instead of canceling the appropriation, the exchange encumbered the funds to pay contractors for fiscal year 2014, even though, the auditors note, it did not have any approved contracts to support the encumbering those funds.  

The Maryland Department of Education, Department of Human Resources, Department of Aging, and Department of Veterans Affairs, could not affirm their ability to obtain federal grant fund revenues totaling $17 million to cover deficits incurred for program spending. 

These agencies recorded transactions but could not provide adequate documentation verifying the transactions to obtain federal reimbursement.


Auditors also found that five state agencies recorded $34.7 million in accounts payable even though funds were not available for those transactions.


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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Premiere of Red Maryland News Hour

Listen To Politics Conservative Internet Radio Stations with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


Our latest show, the Red Maryland News Hour, hosted by Duane Keenan, is available for your listening pleasure.

This very special interview includes an exclusive interview with Don Dwyer talking frankly about his health, his drinking and his removal from the House Way and Means Committee.  The show also covers the week that was in the General Assembly.

Please listen and share!


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Red Maryland Radio: 1/16/2014

It was another big episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight:

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with redmaryland on BlogTalkRadio


On Tonight's Show:

This is why you can't afford to miss Red Maryland Radio each and every Thursday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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New Day, Same Story

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charles Lollar's supporters often say that he is "the only candidate that can win," but his campaign finance report raises more questions than answers.

Lollar's gubernatorial campaign raised a paltry $65,329.67 during the last year, and he has only $5,731.35 available cash-on-hand according to the filings due to the Board of Elections yesterday.

That's not the interesting part.

Since September Charles Lollar has been directly paid $10,117.20 by the campaign in reimbursements. The reimbursements are often described in the filings as "meeting expenses," one every month from September through December.

Lollar's curious reimbursements harken back to his 2010 Congressional campaign, when it turns out that he was paid over $65,000 in funds from his federal account, of which $47,000 was described as salary.

Salaries paid to federal candidates are legal under federal campaign finance law, but state campaign finance law prohibits them. Just what is Lollar being reimbursed for?



Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/red-maryland-blog/bs-ed-rm-lollar-20130116,0,6670940.story#ixzz2qauIoGPN


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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

Join Greg Kline and I for another episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8 PM only on the Red Maryland Network.

On tonight's show:
  • Sarah Smith will join us to talk about the new movie Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit. (Check out the trailer below)
  • We'll have one last recap from this past weekend's Maryland Citizen Action Network Turning the Tides 2014 Conference.
  • Campaign Finance Reports were due yesterday; where does everybody stand?
  • And Mark Newgent will join us for our conference finals football picks segment.
All that and more tonight. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8, only on the Red Maryland Network.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Maryland's Gloomy Fiscal Outlook

Maryland ranks near the bottom of the nation in overall fiscal condition, according to a new report.  In State Fiscal Condition: Ranking the 50 States, researcher Sarah Arnett of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, ranks the states using several different fiscal metrics. 

Here’s how Maryland fared.

Cash solvency: 41
Budget Solvency: 43
Long-run solvency: 43
Service-level solvency: 32

The report ranked Maryland 44th overall.

According to Arnett

Each type of solvency measures a different dimension of fiscal condition.  Cash solvency concerns a government’s liquidity and its ability to pay its bills on time. Cash solvency has a short time frame—30 to 60 days—and reflects the liquidity of a state government and the effectiveness of its cash management system.  Budget solvency concerns a government’s ability to meet the current year spending obligations without causing a deficit This type of solvency has a mid-range time frame, often one fiscal year, and may reflect the fiscal institutions within a state. For example, states with stricter balanced budget requirements may be more adept at balancing their budgets and achieving better budget solvency.  Long-run solvency is a government’s ability to pay for all its costs, including those that may occur only every few years or many years into the future.  While cash and budget solvency look at short-term financial management, long-run solvency looks at a government’s management of longer-term obligations, such as meeting pension obligations to current and future retirees.  Service-level solvency is a government’s ability to provide and pay for the level and quality of services required to meet a community’s general health and welfare needs. Service-level solvency is determined by a number of factors, both current and future. For example, the size of a state’s revenue base and its political leaders’ willingness to collect revenues can impact service-level solvency.  Related to the level and quality of services, a state’s current and future decisions about which basic services to provide will impact service-level solvency. Similarly to long-run solvency, service-level solvency depends on both current and future decisions and fiscal environments.




Under Governor Martin O’Malley, who is scheduled to release his FY 2015 budget later today, Maryland has increasingly relied on debt financing to fund spending increases.  According to the Department of Legislative Services, the O’Malley administration has issued $1.4 billion in general obligation bonds to replace cash it transferred from special accounts to the general fund.  State debt payments are expected to balloon to $557 million in 2019.

Maryland’s unfunded pension and other retiree benefits are another troubling issue.  According to State Budget Solutions, Maryland is facing a $77 billion in unfunded liabilities.



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