A Reality Check on Sidewalks

The Democrats have lost their ever-loving minds about a new sidewalk at the Governor’s Mansion.

I wish I was kidding. But I’m not:

A heated brick walkway leading to the governor’s mansion sparked partisan criticism this week over how Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is spending money.

Workers replaced an aging brick sidewalk inside the gated grounds of the historic Government House, and installed costly heating coils beneath it so the sidewalk won’t need to be shoveled in the winter. Democrats were outraged.

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Of course Democrats are outraged, because that’s all they know how to do these days. Speaker Mike Busch was of course completely hyperbolic about it:

“It just goes to the heart of the value system this administration has,” House Speaker Michael E. Busch said. “Ninety percent of the people who go in there are the corporate donors and the fat cats. It’s a gated house. It’s not like the general public roams in and out of it.”

There of course is a catch to all of this hand-wringing about the sidewalk. Particularly Busch’s criticism of it.

You probably haven’t heard of an agency called the Government House Trust. According to their website:

The Government House Trust supervises and directs the renovation, design, and furnishing of the seven State rooms of Government House, the official residence of the Governor. The State rooms include the center hall, the conservatory, the private reception room, the State dining room, the State drawing room, the State parlor, and the State reception room. The Trust also is responsible for landscaping the grounds of Government House; conserving and restoring objects in the State rooms; and maintaining the State rooms. An inventory of furnishings in Government House is kept by the Department of General Services.

There are five voting members of the Government House Trust that would approve such a decision are the Secretary of General Services, a designee appointed by the Governor, the Director of the Maryland Historical Trust, the designee of the Senate President…..and Speaker of the House Michael Busch.

Yes, Mike Busch sits on the very body that has oversight over Government House. Governor Larry Hogan does not sit on the body, nor does his have any involvement in approving the decision. And there seems to be no record of Speaker Busch opposing the installation of the sidewalk when it came before the it happened.

Democrats are once again trying to distract taxpayers from the truth about what they are doing in Annapolis. First it was blaming Governor Hogan for taking money away from Aging Schools in a maneuver really engineered by Democrats. And now, they’re blaming the Governor for a decision on a sidewalk that Mike Busch, as far as we can tell, did not oppose when it was before him for approval.

If Maryland’s Democrats are this desperate now, imagine how desperate are the going to be come 2018?

UPDATED: There appears to be some confusion over whether or not the Government House Trust approved the project. Erin Cox from the Sun says that the project was approved by the Department of General Services.

What’s more interesting is the fact that the House Democratic Caucus agrees with that assessment but blames DGS, not Governor Hogan.

So what that means is that Mike Busch and the rest of the Democratic House Caucus blames Governor Hogan for the sidewalk. The House Democratic Caucus accounts blames DGS and exonerates Governor Hogan. None of this, however, changes the fact that Speaker Busch has a role in all of this and chose to have a public blow-up over it.

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