Monday, August 25, 2014

The Baltimore Sun Covers 9B

I've been sharing this everywhere, so you've probably seen it by now, but if not - please check out this great article covering the race for Delegate in District 9B.  Michael Dresser dug deep into what both campaigns are saying and how that relates to the statewide race.  It was my first experience with the political reporter for The Sun and found him to be tough and insightful, exactly what you want from the reporter dealing with elected officials.

Based on my conversation with all of you, the two biggest takeaways were taxation on pensions and flood mitigation in Ellicott City.  When this race started, I never thought I would be talking about a policy proposal that would cut 6% of state revenue without any explanation of where that money would come from.  Without such an explanation, this proposal can be viewed as nothing other than a tax shift, wherein you raise taxes on Peter to give Paul a tax cut.  And Marylanders know well enough where those tax increases fall - middle class and lower upper class households.

We have a cost of living problem in Maryland, particularly in Central Maryland.  Anything that we can do to make it more affordable for retirees to live in Maryland deserves serious consideration with all of the facts on the table.  But I am not interested in a tax shift.  I am certainly not interested in blanket tax absolution.  It is horribly irresponsible and clear campaign populism.

My comments on Ellicott City flooding are not new.  I continue to be amazed that we are now two months away from the election and I'm the only candidate talking about this clear and present threat to the continued existence of downtown Ellicott City.  It is also insulting to me that people who want to be leaders in this community continue to use juvenile terms like the "rain tax".  Not only is it inaccurate, but it causes homeowners to miss out on tax credits for stormwater management projects they've built on their properties.  Misunderstanding benefits the attacker, whereas those who are trying to deal responsibly with a federal mandate have to cut through layers of propaganda before touching on the base necessity of rehabilitating the natural and man-made infrastructure that gets gallons of rain water from our backyard to the Bay.

It is time for all of us to stand up against this kind of nonsense.  Governing is not a game. People's lives and livelihoods are at risk with every decision our leaders make.  Let's talk about improving the business climate and making it more affordable for all families to live here, but let's do it as adults, with all facts on the table.

And that's why I loved the article so much.  The talking points from the right were laid bare and, from my perspective, found lacking.

Have a great Monday doing what you love.  It's great to be back.