State Ad Support Critical For Future
(The following letter was addressed to state Comptroller Peter Franchot and a copy forwarded to this paper for publication.)
As an Ocean City businessman, I would like to thank you for your recent visit to our town. To see your genuine concern for what conditions are like within the Ocean City tourism economy is encouraging as we wade through these tough times.
But during this period of such harsh economic conditions, sustained funding for tourism expenditures at the state level is of paramount importance. As you undoubtedly know, budget cuts at the state level have thus far reduced annual tourism funding to amounts not seen since 1997. Any further cuts in may result in dire consequences for the attainment of tourism-generated revenue.
The case of Colorado during the mid-1990s provides a good example of how following such a path can be so harmful. In an attempt to reduce the size of budget deficits, the state’s legislature slashed its promotional budget in 1993, resulting in an immediate plunge in leisure travel. Within four years, Colorado fell from being the most-visited summertime vacation destination in the United States to being ranked seventeenth, resulting in great declines in tourism-generated revenue. Lawmakers eventually realized their mistake and restored tourism funding in 1997 to previous levels. However, it took several years of gradual growth before visitor numbers again approached those achieved before the budget cuts.
What followed in the wake of the Colorado legislature’s tactical error is illustrative of the fact that investments in tourism must necessarily be constant and consistent in order to maintain desirable returns in revenue. We should heed warning from the Colorado experience, for there is nothing that suggests that Maryland would not suffer a similar fate if state tourism funding would continue to be trimmed. But if Maryland legislators can avoid the knee-jerk, budget-trimming reaction in relation to tourism spending, we might just be able to emerge victorious amongst our tourism competition. As neighboring states are cutting their promotional budgets, thereby constraining their own marketing efforts, holding the line on the state tourism budget could well provide Maryland with a competitive advantage over other travel and leisure destinations.
Tourism — both in Ocean City and in the state in general — has shown over time to be an essential contributor to economic development in Maryland and investing in tourism is a proven formula for achieving strong financial returns. Rest assured that Ocean City will continue to do its part to generate revenue needed at the state level. But to continue to do so to the best of its ability, Ocean City needs the support of your office to help ensure that tourism appropriations are not further decreased. As constituents of a tourism economy, we in Ocean City are happy to be on the front lines of this economic battle, but understand too that any ammunition that you can provide will greatly help our shared cause.
Joseph L. Kroart III
Let’s All Wake Up
Well, it usually takes a politician a while before they develop ,a “I know what’s good for the little people” attitude, but our own freshman Congressman Frank Kratovil has hit the ground running.
The self-proclaimed blue dog Democrat, the champion of the middle class, the proponent of small business, the fiscal watchdog who will rein in wasteful government spending, has voted in favor of the largest tax increase in American history, and in favor of unparallel levels of government control over our daily lives.
But wait, he did so to save the planet, so it’s ok that you and I will pay through the nose, it’s ok that the little industry that we have left in this country will flee America and take American jobs with it. It’s ok because, according to the fantasyland thinking of the party leaders who told Kratovil how to vote, “green” jobs will be created – yes, your children and grandchildren will work for the government, building windmills in the mountains . . . and they will be taxed at unprecedented levels, repaying the debt that this administration and its puppet congressman have shackled them with. And if they get injured at their government job, another government worker will decide when, where, what, and if any, health care they will be provided. Of course, they will have to work until the day they die, because social security will have been bankrupted by the politicians who are entrusted with it’s care.
Folks, this ‘green’ thing is just an excuse to take your green, and even more alarming it is an excuse to take your liberty. Your quality of life, your standard of living and your liberty will be forfeited on the premise/theory of man-made global warming. Al Gore, the far left and the state run media accept that theory as gospel, while scientists – - including reputable scientists working for the current administration – - who refute the global warming theory are ostracized and ignored. Politicians have declared man-made global warming to be a fact, while the scientific community has mixed reviews.
Democrats, Republicans, Independents, we are all in big trouble and it ain’t because the ice caps are melting. The prosperity of the greatest country in the history of the world is under attack from within – under the guise of saving the planet – and the apathy and gullibility of the American people is allowing it to happen.
A Salute To Granados
If you are truly fortunate, you will be blessed with the friendship of one or two remarkable people during your lifetime. Such was the case with me when I moved to Maryland in 1979 and fell under the spell of a kind, of a markable woman named Ann Granados who passed away July 5.
There are innumerable adjectives one can apply to Ann Granados, whose life on the Eastern Shore was filled with friends and activities, many centering around the Republican Party that she loved so dearly.
I was a political consultant living in Talbot County and Ann was kind enough to educate me about the people in the three southern counties of the Eastern Shore.
With her effervescent, warm and caring personality, people who met Ann knew immediately that she was the “real deal”.
Maryland now has two eloquent Republican spokespersons – Robert Ehrlich and Joyce Thomann.
“Bumbling Bob” is the former Maryland governor who declared in a radio interview that “multi-culturalism is crap.” Bob keeps Maryland’s Archie Bunkers and yuppies energized.
A yuppie is an Archie with a college degree. Archies and yuppies – white, male, straight and Euro-American – are increasingly angry that they are decreasingly dominant in our society and culture. In the 60s, African-Americans were liberated. In the 70s, women; in the 80s, gays; in the 90s, latinos; and in this decade, everyone else.
Needless to say, Ehrlich-ites say no to abortion, gay rights and latino immigration. They are apoplectic that an African-American is now president, that a latino woman will soon sit on the Supreme Court and that gays now hold many high federal and state offices.
Joyce Thomann, darling of Herbert Hoover Republicans, had called Obama “Hitler” and his recovery plans “blitzkrieg”. But, bowing to the outrage, she upgraded Obama to “socialist nanny,” exactly what Republicans called FDR for helping people during Great Depression I.
Needless to say, Thomann-ites oppose health plans, environmental protection, corporate re-regulation, labor’s needs and civil liberties. They worry that Baltimore Gas & Electric’s CEO bonus for turning off so many a poor man’s power will breed anti-corporate rage and that Al Franken’s win lets Senate Democrats stop Republican filibusters of Obama bills.
Nov. 4, 2008 was a nationwide revolution against Ehrlich-ites and Thomann-ites. We are now in a new age, an age more tolerant and inclusive, Mr. Ehrlich; and an age led by a president willing to face quality-of-life problems squarely, Ms. Thomann. Your venom betrays a primal fear that your party will be out of power a long time. You fear correctly.