The Beclowning of Ulysses Currie

Politicians routinely say things that insult our and their intelligence. It goes with the territory. Just like the real estate guys tell you that if a seller doesn’t laugh in your face when you make an offer, you’re paying too much, so to politicians deal with a largely supine electorate in the same way.

Sometimes a politician outdoes himself.

Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you State Senator Ulysses Currie, Democrat (natch), Prince George’s County.

When asked if the proposed sales tax on landscaping services would include kids who mowed grass or removed snow, Senator Currie opined, “[P]eople who are able to bring in lawn services would be able to pay this tax.”

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Baltimore Sun columnist Jean Marabella reports:

So the gyms and the real estate management interests were prepared, and put on a successful full-court — or rather, full-lobby — effort to remain exempt from the sales tax. Meanwhile, the gardening, computer and arcade businesses were caught, well, maybe not with their pants down but without a lobbyist in tow — apparently a much more dangerous thing this time of year.

And yet, Sen. Ulysses Currie, head of the budget committee, played down the role that lobbyists had on whom the committee decided to tax, or not tax.

“Lobbyists,” Currie actually said on the Senate floor yesterday, “almost have no influence on the vote.”

This guy is a clown. He may not be the biggest clown in the General Assembly, that would be a title hotly contested by probably a dozen or so members, but yesterday he was certainly the most prominent clown.

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