Gansler for the Win

(Originally in Red Maryland – minutes following the Democratic Gubernatorial Debate, 5/7/2014)

By Richard E. Vatz

    If this had been a three-way boxing match, I would say it was a knockout by Attorney General Gansler over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Del. Heather Mizeur.

    Gansler was the most substantive, supporting his position on tax reform by citing chapter and verse — as he did on issue after issue — on the consequences of overtaxation of Marylanders.  Brown said simply that we didn’t need more taxes going forward, but did not specifically defend his administration’s taxes or budget priorities, nor was he overly specific — and never comprehensive — on what his administration had accomplished in Maryland

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    Mizeur honestly articulated her progressive policies without much empirical support and said and repeated that the candidates should not cast blame, which, if followed, would make debates insipid, worthless, and non-substantive clashes.

    Brown came across as an attractive and intelligent man, but as a candidate he appeared far less prepared than Gansler.  He  did not discuss with any particularity most of his defenses of his administration and on the tax issued promised a blue ribbon panel to muddled through and dissect the issues at some future date.  How Maryland-typical dithering a proposal.

   The debate lacked any discussion of the causes of murders and other violent crime in the state, such as the tremendous growth and ideological support of unmarried mothers and fatherless children.  

     Brown supported the end of capital punishment with nary a qualification nor dissent.

    There was little discussion of the disproportionate small business taxation, and Mizeur referred several times to how a new millionaires’ tax would have a salutary effect without defining what that effect would be.

   Progressively biased, but within that framework a clear victor for Attorney General Gansler.


Professor Vatz teaches political persuasion at Towson University

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