Diogenes Disrespected

State Comptroller Peter Franchot is rapidly becoming a combination of Diogenes and Rodney Dangerfield.

In his first encounter with the O’Malley machine over the land scams in Queen Anne County he was rolled. Now he questions the veracity of O’Malley’s secretary of labor, licensing and regulation Thomas E. Perez’s report on slots. From the Washington Post:

Franchot, speaking at a news conference in Salisbury, said he was “very disappointed” by a report released Tuesday by Thomas E. Perez, O’Malley’s secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The report said that Marylanders are contributing $150 million a year to the treasuries of West Virginia and Delaware by playing slots in those states.

“The secretary had an opportunity to take an objective, independent look at an issue that has paralyzed our state for far too many years,” Franchot, an opponent of legalizing slot machines, said in prepared remarks distributed by his staff after the event. “Rather than bringing a fresh perspective to this debate, the secretary simply reheated the talking points of the national gambling industry.”

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The Governor didn’t respond with a hearty FOAD but he might as well:

There’s more to this soap opera below the fold

“I don’t think anybody believes Tom Perez works for the gambling industry,” O’Malley said. A spokeswoman said Perez was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

At the same presser Franchot whined:

In his remarks yesterday, Franchot also questioned O’Malley’s approach to the budget deficit: “Where’s the blue ribbon commission on overhauling our tax system, modernizing it and making it fairer to all?”

Again, he got the subliminal FOAD:

Told of his comments, O’Malley shot back: “I’ve heard the comptroller say many times that there are hundreds of millions of taxes that go uncollected in Maryland. I look forward to seeing any of his recommendations about that.”

This is shaping up to be an interesting bit of theater. The big government do-gooder wing of the Democrat party, represented by Franchot, banging heads with the big government machine pols of the Democrat party, represented by O’Malley.

My money is on the machine pols but right now I’m enjoying the popcorn.

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