Senator Harris Calls For Investigation

Our colleague, Mark Newgent, wrote earlier on the grotesquely blatant use by Governor O’Malley of his authority as the state’s chief executive to strongarm state employees into supporting his egregious program of tax increases. O”Malley Watch has actual emails/memos (here | here) requiring state agencies to lobby those citizens doing business with them.

State senator Andy Harris has sent a letter to state Assistant Attorney General Robert Zarnoch requesting an investigation. Not much likely to happen there as Mr. Zarnoch is awaiting a judicial nomination from Governor O’Malley. Rule of law? Career? Rule of law? Career? We know how this decision tree ends.

Today Senator Harris went public on a story the Baltimore Sun will not pursue:

Annapolis- Today, State Senator Andy Harris brought to public light a calculated effort by the O’Malley Administration to misuse tax-payer dollars by having cabinet secretaries and their staff lobby for the largest tax increase in Maryland history. “I find this a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer dollars and an abuse of political power. Using scare tactics and leveraging their position of power on people who depend on the government for their livelihood to ask for tax increases is just plain wrong,” said Senator Harris.

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Governor O’Malley appears to have ordered his department heads and their supporting staffs to do all they can to get his huge tax increases passed. Senator Harris has obtained two emails. The first email is from the Governor’s Office and directs Cabinet Secretaries and their staff to strong-arm those over whom they have influence, to support the largest tax increase in Maryland history. The second email evidences the implementation of the plan from the Department of General Service Secretary to a private state contractor registered through EMarket Maryland.

“The effort to intimidate an EMarket Maryland contractor by the Cabinet Secretary is uncalled for, unjustified, and reprehensible. The purpose of establishing EMarket Maryland was not as a lobbying arm of the executive branch,” said Senator Harris.

On behalf of Maryland taxpayers, Senator Harris is demanding a full investigation of this practice of Governor O’Malley. Senator Harris has called on the Attorney General to investigate this unethical practice, and he has also a Freedom of Information Act request for the logs of activity mentioned in the email from the Governor’s Office to each of the departments.

“With Maryland facing a massive tax increase, I look forward to seeing how much tax-payer money was wasted on this unjustified and unethical lobbying effort.”

“Apparently when O’Malley said Monday Night that he wants Marylanders to “work together” to solve the budget deficit, what he really meant was he was going to use tax-dollars from all Marylanders’ to lobby for his radical tax-and-spend agenda,” quipped Senator Andy Harris of Baltimore and Harford Counties.

Senator Harris will be referring all of the information he has obtained to the Attorney General’s office and he is asking for a full and thorough investigation.

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