No Longer Time To Celebrate For Maryland’s GOP

typewriter

On the national, regional and local front, Tuesday’s election was all about the Republican Party, which swept nearly all races of significances on many levels and particularly on the hyper-local front on the shore.

For only the second time in the last few decades, Maryland will have a Republican governor in Larry Hogan, who did what Bob Ehrlich did back in 2002. In convincing fashion, he defeated the sitting lieutenant governor, who was looking for a promotion to governor from the voters.

Hogan ran a masterful campaign, focusing on economic issues facing the state and largely staying positive and steering the call for major changes in Maryland. On occasion, he addressed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s major blackeye — the fact he was in charge of the healthcare exchange, which flopped immediately after being opened to the public after major computer malfunctions. Hogan won while spending about half the amount of money Brown did on his campaign. It was an impressive win to be certain.

While there was obvious reason to celebrate on Tuesday night, Hogan would be wise to immediately get to work on consensus building. He will surely have the support of nearly all Republicans on key issues, but he will not be able to get anything changed or accomplished in the Democrat-dominated Maryland legislature without being able to sway some on the left to his side.

Hogan must have a reasonable relationship with Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch, the two most powerful men in Maryland. Through their political might, achieved through decades of service and leadership, Miller and Busch have been able to either usher the governor’s signature legislation through committee hearings and through their chambers in quick fashion, as was the case with O’Malley’s tenure, or doom measures behind the scenes at the committee level, as happened often from 2002-2006 during former Republican Ehrlich’s term.

During the Ehrlich years, relations were not healthy between the three government leadership arenas — the House, Senate and governor’s office. The result was a dysfunctional stalemate for much of the four-year term. Most of Ehrlich’s initiatives either stalled or were so watered down after being amended they lost their initial intentions.

Hogan knows all about this as he served in Ehrlich’s administration as Secretary of Appointments. Lt. Gov.-Elect Boyd Rutherford’s experience in a high-level position with the Bush administration could also be of assistance to Hogan. All too often the lieutenant governor holds little responsibility and Hogan would be wise to utilize Rutherford in a leadership and persuasive capacity.

The calls of change were heard and endorsed by a majority of Marylanders, and now is the time for the Republican leadership to carry out what was sought during the campaign. It will not happen with heavy-handed, extreme positions. It will take a mountain of cooperation, perspective and balance to bring about true tax reform and business climate change in Maryland. The seeds need to be planted now, a couple months ahead of January’s legislative session.

 

 

General Election Endorsements

Overview The following is a look at our endorsements for a number of local contested elections. These endorsements are intended to give readers a glimpse into why we have decided to support certain candidates. We take this obligation of offering our suggestions seriously at this newspaper, and it’s important to point out these are endorsements based on our independent analysis … Continue reading

Whenever You Do It, Please Choose To Vote

Early voting started yesterday in jurisdictions across the state and will run through Thursday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. In Wicomico County, the polling site is the Civic Center and in Worcester it’s at the Gull Creek Retirement Community in Berlin. It’s our hope the recent trends with early voting – those that confirm it’s not popular among voters … Continue reading

Media Company Leading Wrong Legal Battle

To those who follow the local newspaper industry, it should come as no surprise that Gannett, the Virginia-based corporation that owns The Daily Times and several weekly papers in the area, is suing the Town of Ocean City. The company’s disconnection with the community it allegedly serves has never been more obvious than with this cold and ridiculous legal action. … Continue reading

Better To Focus Efforts On Route 90 Work

While it’s unlikely to matter in the short term, Ocean City officials are wise to pursue Route 90, rather than Route 50, as a priority infrastructure project. At last week’s County Commissioner meeting, the Maryland Department of Transportation reviewed its six-year transportation project budget with Worcester officials. Continuing the dualization phases of Route 113 remains the top priority for the … Continue reading

A New Law That Alienates Not The Answer

Rather than craft a strict ordinance that will infuriate thousands, hurt the real estate market tremendously and probably be impractical to enforce, Ocean City simply needs to determine how best to raise awareness of current laws on rental properties and craft an official policy on how to ensure there is a consistent procedure to document violations. At its most fundamental, … Continue reading