Projecting Democrats Reveal Their Own Corruption and Cronyism

The Maryland Democratic Party’s attacks on presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich are somewhat peculiar. As successive polls show an unannounced Ehrlich gaining on Martin O’Malley, Democrat attacks become ever shriller, and more and more their leaders and spokesmen sound like petulant children.

In light of the facts, Democrat attacks on Ehrlich appear more like Freudian projection, a thin façade barely masking the cronyism and corruption that defines the ruling clique of this one-party state.

Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, Susan Turnbull, decried the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United v. FEC saying it would swing open the door “to limitless influence by corporations in our political system.” Yet nearly all of her party’s administrative funds come from corporations. In fact, state campaign finance records reveal that Maryland Democrats are a wholly owned subsidiary of the largest corporations and top lobbyists in the state. Eighty three percent of their administrative funds come from business entities.

Yet somehow lost in all the Washington Post Baltimore Sun coverage is the irony that Turnbull used thousands of dollars in corporate donations creating “slick ads” to paint Ehrlich as a corporate stooge.

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Want to get ahead in business in Maryland, forget about becoming an entrepreneur—Martin O’Malley is running them and their tax dollars out of the state already anyway—your best bet is to become chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

In 2007, former party chair/wind baron, Wayne Rogers and disgraced lobbyist Gerard Evans used their influence with Senate President Mike Miller (Evans is a Miller protégé) to procure sweetheart legislation. Miller rammed through a bill through the General Assembly allowing Rogers’s wind company to place turbines in Western Maryland, circumventing Public Service Commission authority. Governor O’Malley, who campaigned on appointing “independent” and “competent” PSC commissioners, dutifully signed the bill into law.

Another former Maryland Democrat party chair Michael Cryor, had no problem enriching himself through Baltimore City corruption. In 2008, at the time Cryor was serving as party chair, then-mayor Sheila Dixon announced the awarding of a $200 million city development project to a group, which included Cryor’s private firm and her boyfriend Ronald Lipscomb’s contracting company, Doracon. Dixon awared the project to Cryor/Doracon despite the fact that an independent city panel recommended the contract go to another bidder. Lipscomb and Doracon, through various LLC’s, gave the Maryland Democratic Party over $200,000, most of which came during Cryor’s tenure as party chair.

The Maryland Democratic Party is also the farm team for Annapolis lobbyists. Josh White, another Miller protégé, party’s former executive director, and O’Malley campaign manager is now a top lobbyist for Rifkin, Livingston, Levitan & Silver, the number one lobbying firm in the state. RLLS and the number two lobbying firm, Alexander and Cleaver, have given the Maryland Democratic Party nearly $100,000.

Then of course, you have Governor O’Malley himself—in the midst of a serious budget crisis—lavishly rewarding an out-of-state campaign contributor with $8.4 million in state contracts.
O’Malley also illegally used the University of Maryland System Board of Regents for fundraising in direct violation of a law Democrats passed with much fanfare to cripple Ehrlich back in 2006.

Try as they might, Maryland Democrats cannot shake the fact that THEY are the party of crony capitalism, and corruption. THEY are the entrenched special interest group, no amount of scare(d) tactics can stop the political hurricane headed their way in 2010.

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