My Bologna Has a First Name

Reading David Paulson’s “The Monday Day After” really is an instructive lesson on the deceptive tactics of the Maryland Democratic Party’s “press” man.

Each weekend, I’ll catch a former Republican Governor on the radio for you and provide the highlights and the corrections on Monday. Or, when I get around to it. Mr. Robert L. Ehrlich is now getting himself some attention – keeping hope alive or something like that. He’s been known to wax poetic and be very kind to himself and his record (Aren’t we all.). He’s been known to treat the facts with something less than precision. He’s been known to take swipes at people for political gain, including me on a rare occasion

This is quite rich coming from Paulson, who routinely swipes at political opponents, given that is the imperative of his day job.

In the words of Livia Soprano, “Poor You.”

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Of course, Paulson himself has problems with factual precision as well. Well its more that he plays with kernels of truth and omits other salient facts to paint a false conclusion.

In regards to his “corrections” on electricity costs Paulson conveniently omits his political paramour Martin O’Malley’s broken campaign promise to STOP the rate increase. As Paulson likes to say “we have the recording.”

He omits the fact that said paramour’s lawsuit also exacerbated the rate increase. I guess the broken promise and the lawsuit were flushed down the Orwellian memory hole at 188 Main St.?

No matter what Ehrlich and Ken Schisler did or did not do, the bulk of the blame falls on the General Assembly, which foisted the 1999 regulatory restructuring upon us. I say restructuring because it certainly wasn’t deregulation. If I remember correctly, the General Assembly was and still is dominated by Paulson’s employer.

Paulson also fails to note that in addition to failing to stop the rate increases O’Malley pushed through deceptive conservation programs funded by ratepayers. The only thing these programs will do is EmPower utilities to charge us more for using less energy. So much for “making energy more affordable.”

Then there is this Paulson’s Michael Olesker impersonation:

Mr. Redmer, what you were told to say by others (Since you were not there.) is fiction, not fact.

This is curious. How would Paulson know, what if anything, Redmer was “told” to say? If Redmer was “told” to say things, it’s a good bet Paulson was “not there” to hear them.

Perhaps Paulson and Olesker can work on their “straight face” together. They may “struggle mightily” but one day they could pull it off.

As usual, there is Paulson’s oblique non-accusation accusation:

Mr. Ehrlich took his wife to Arctic Village, Alaska for four days in August of 2001 at a cost of $9,962.60. It was a junket paid for by an unusual pro-oil drilling lobby fund – set up specifically to promote drilling in ANWR by the state of Alaska. Of all the “trips” like this funded by either side of the issue, Mr. Ehrlich’s was by far the most expensive. Also sponsoring “educational trips” at the time: The Sierra Club. Nothing here is meant to imply that Mr. Ehrlich did anything illegal but few congressmen took the free trips. Most voted against drilling.

I’m curious to Paulson’s thoughts on why Mike Miller sponsored and voted for a bill to circumvent the PSC allowing Synergics Wind Energy LLC to build wind farms on environmentally sensitive land. Synergics Wind Energy LLC is owned by Wayne Rogers. Rogers just happens to be the former chair of Paulson’s employer, and a member of O’Malley’s transition team. Of course, one of O’Malley’s self-described signature legislative victories was passing increased renewable energy portfolio standards or RPS. RPS requires utilities to procure a higher percentage of their energy from… wind farms like those owned by Rogers. So much for “standing up to lobbyists and powerful corporate interests.”

How about Paulson’s “corrections” on ANWR.

Choosing of facts is important, Dr. Vatz. Here are some you did not choose. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that when ANWR oil reaches full production it could mean a break in oil prices of a whopping 75 cents. That’s 75 cents off the $130 price of a barrel of oil, not a gallon of gas. If Congress acts this year we should see that benefit in about 10 years or so. Alaska’s Republican Sen. Ted Stevens requested the report.

Of course there are more facts Paulson chose not to use. ANWR is only one location holding sources domestic energy. There are many places we should drill to increase our own supply of energy. In his blinkered attempt to slam Vatz and Ehrlich, Paulson would have you believe ANWR is the only plank in the argument for tapping into our domestic supplies of energy.

Nothing here is meant to imply Paulson is lazy researcher, but perhaps he missed the US Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service estimate that 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be found along the U.S. outer continental shelf. Why are we not drilling there? Oh yeah his party blocked legislation that would open those sources of energy.

Perhaps Paulson overlooked the DOI estimates that some 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Oil, which represents 50 years of current imports from Saudi Arabia and an amount of natural gas large enough to supply American households for nearly 50 years.

The most laughable part of Paulson’s “corrections” is his sign off:

If you doubt what you’ve read or think the words have been edited out of context, I have it all recorded. Great care was taken to be faithful to the text and its meaning.

Please David, tell us more about how you took “great care” to maintain context.

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