The Permanent State

A completely unsurprising turn of events:

A longtime aide to Gov. Martin O’Malley will become Baltimore County’s top lobbyist.

Yolanda Winkler is the new director of government affairs, replacing Frank Principe, who left to join the state Department of Transportation, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Tuesday.

Reasonably, you could argue that this is a relatively low profile personnel move of an incoming County Executive and an Administration entering its second term. However, it also goes to great lengths to show exactly why things never really change here in Maryland.

Sure, we change elected officials. County Executives, Mayors, Governors are all subject to term limits. But we have the revolving door of staffers who keep hopping from one Democratic administration to another, taking their failed policies and bad ideas from city to county to state and back again. While we elected Democrats come and go and take their out-of-touch liberal policies with them, these staffers stay.

One could argue that this becomes shared “institutional knowledge” that “makes government work effectively.” And one could also argue that this recycling of staffers among Democrats is one of the many reasons that government in Maryland shows no innovative problem solving and relies on the failed policies of higher taxes, more spending, and government-based solutions.

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This is why elections matter so much to us in Maryland, and why the rebuilding of the Republican Party is such a vital component to the future success of our state. Until we can effectively win elections and dismantle the permanent state of the staffer class, we cannot bring the changes that we need to compete economically….

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