Democrats are shrieking like banshees over “empty promises” from Bob Ehrlich. However, they should be worried about broken promises from Martin O’Malley. Especially welching on deals he made with lawmakers in his own party.
Despite the hubbub over Arizona’s illegal immigration law, the issue hasn’t taken hold as a particularly salient concern in Maryland’s 2010 gubernatorial election. Good thing for Martin O’Malley as people on both sides would be reminded of his broken promises on the matter.
While it’s true O’Malley ordered his administration to comply with REAL ID Act provisions, like slots he originally opposed making Maryland REAL ID compliant. In fact, it was O’Malley’s push for the slots referendum during the 2007 special session that reveals his perfidy.
During the special session, Red Maryland reported that O’Malley bought slots opponent Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez’s vote for the referendum in return for a two-tiered driver’s license system in Maryland.
And indeed we were correct.
In the 2006 campaign, the governor won the Hispanic vote with appearances such as one at Casa de Maryland, the immigrant advocacy group in Takoma Park, where he told reporters that “I don’t believe that at the state and local level that we should exacerbate the problem by enacting policies that put up barriers to getting a driver’s license or getting to and from work or home…”
So advocates such as Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) and Kim Propeack, Casa’s director of political action, accused O’Malley of a “betrayal” — both women used the word — when he announced last week that Maryland would no longer issue licenses to people who cannot prove they are here legally. As of 2010, when the federal Real ID law kicks into effect, even people who have long held Maryland licenses will be denied renewals.
“The governor did not keep his promise,” Gutierrez says. “This is what he promised me when he was begging for my vote for the slots referendum, which I gave him. And that is the last time I do that.”
This is what happens when you sell your vote and your integrity to the man without principles.
While we applauded O’Malley for finally flopping onto the right side of an issue, we know full well it wasn’t out of any honest concern for principle, rather the result of licking his thumb and to gauge which way the wind was blowing.
Of course, this isn’t the only instance of O’Malley’s hypocrisy—and pandering—on illegal immigration. In July O’Malley criticized Arizona’s immigration law saying, it “kicks the door open to racial profiling and detentions without real probable cause,” while completely ignoring the fact that as mayor of Baltimore he implemented and defended a zero tolerance/ mass arrest policy of citizens with no probable cause.