Kipke’s Votes Should Raise Questions for Outside Conservative Groups
Anne Arundel County Delegate Nic Kipke, has oustedDel. Tony O’Donnell as GOP House Minority Leader. According to the Baltimore Sun, Kipke said he wanted to “emphasize building closer ties” with outside conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity, Change Maryland, and Campaign for Liberty.
Those outside groups may have some questions for Kipke given some of the votes on his record.
2007 Special Session
Kipke voted for Governor O’Malley’s Medicaid expansion during the 2007 special session. That expansion increased state spending by more than $620 million. He also voted for four of the last seven capital budgets, which added $70 billion in public debt. Maryland’s total debt is $82 billion, and bond debt has increasingly been used to augment general fund spending.
More troubling for Kipke, especially as it relates to working with outside conservative groups, is his 2012 vote for the storm water management fees, known as the rain tax. Given that vote those groups might wonder just how reliable a minority leader he would make.
A source inside the GOP House caucus confirmed that Del. Steve Schuh also from Ann Arundel County, nominated Kipke for the leadership position. Schuh like Kipke voted for the rain tax. Schuh is running for Anne Arundel County Executive.
The Anne Arundel County Council overrode current executive Laura Neuman’s veto of the council’s initial vote to implement the storm water fees. The council is considering a new version of the rain tax, which lowers the cap on commercial properties and phases in the fees for homeowners.
Neuman beat out Schuh, in a selection process run by the council, to replace former executive John Leopold, who resigned in the wake of a criminal misconduct trial.
*Kipke voted for the rain tax on third reader, but voted no on the House concurring with Senate amendments on the final enrolled bill. In other words, Kipke was for the rain tax before he was against it.