The Enablers

One of the things that we had been talking about at Red Maryland for quite some time was about holding the line against Martin O’Malley and his gambling expansion bill during the Special Session of the General Assembly. We talked repeatedly about the need for unity, flat out asked Delegate Mike Hough if he had any reason to believe his House colleagues would support it, and even reminded folks why this legislation was a bad idea.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t one, it wasn’t two, it was TWELVE Republicans who jumped ship and supported Governor O’Malley’s foolish endeavor:
  • Senators: David Brinkley, Richard Colburn, George Edwards, Barry Glassman, Joseph Getty J.B. Jennings, Christopher Shank
  • Delegates: Wendell Beitzel,Robert Costa, Rick Impallaria, Mike McDermott, LeRoy Myers
It is thoroughly unconscionable why ANY of these Republicans would have voted to hand Martin O’Malley a key legislative victory. But let’s face it, not all of them are that surprising. Brinkley, Coburn, and Edwards have voted for O’Malley’s budgets in the past. Brinkley and Glassman voted for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. Bob Costa has been on the wrong side of any number of issues. LeRoy Myers has been in Annapolis for 10 years and is notable for 1) ousting Cas Taylor in an upset and 2) trying to ban fake testicles that hang off the back of trucks. Rick Impallaria is a McDonough hack. 
I’m grossly disappointed though in Joe Getty, J.B. Jennings, Chris Shank, and Mike McDermott. I expected better from them and was sorely disappointed.
Delegate McDermott gave an impassioned speech on the floor yesterday about how casino jobs are good jobs and that there is no dishonor in that. I believe that. However, that wasn’t the point and was certainly no excuse to vote for this bill.
What this bill is not is a jobs creation program. What this bill is not is a way out of our current fiscal hole. What this bill is not is fair to the existing casinos (who have already created good-paying jobs, for the record) and their ability to conduct business. What this bill is not is a well-thought out, reasoned measure to expand gaming.
What this bill is, however, is a handout to special interest groups. This bill creates exempted classes of businesses. This bill creates a extra-legislative commission that can alter tax rates without the approval of the Governor or the General Assembly. This bill provides an unequal playing field for gambling interests across Maryland. This bill alters how casinos obtain their machines, after three existing casinos already began leasing them from the state. This bill is the result of a process that the public was generally excluded from until after O’Malley, Busch, Miller, and gaming interests had already struck a deal. This bill is a bill that used veterans as a bargaining chip, using them in order to push a sixth casino down the throats of the General Assembly.
Really, twelve Republicans signed on for that kind of ridiculousness?
For so so, SO many years we here at Red Maryland have been discussing the importance of branding the Republican Party. The idea that the Republican Party must stand for something. That we must remain united in order to fight the onslaught of nannystatism, to fight the expansion of government, to fight unfair tax rates, and to fight the big state agenda of Governor O’Malley and his Democrat cronies. Instead of taking the fight to Governor O’Malley, TWELVE members of the General Assembly enabled him to get exactly what he wanted. And what’s even MORE damning is the fact that ONE of the House members voting no would have sunk the entire thing.
At this juncture, more than half of the Republican Senate Caucus and and smaller chunk of the House Republican Caucus cannot be counted on to do the right thing when it counts.
The people of Maryland are sick and tired of Martin O’Mallley, sick and tired of Special Sessions, sick and tired of discussing gambling, and sick and tired of a government that continues to encroach upon their wallets and their civil liberties. Instead of siding with the members of their party and the conservative principles that it stands for, these dirty dozen members of the General Assembly decided to take the side of Martin O’Malley. 
These twelve men, they are The Enablers. They deserve to be primaried.

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