We often hear politicians talk about the "first 100 days" in office, and the legislation they plan to pass during that time. Regardless of party, they are usually items that are popular and have mass approval within their ideological base. Often they gain votes even from moderate lawmakers in the opposing party or parties. Not so in Rockville and Annapolis.
Bob Ehrlich went to great lengths to foster a bipartisan cooperative spirit in Annapolis directly following his election. Like the usual 100 day wish list, no such efforts have been made by Governor O'Malley or by other Democratic leaders in Annapolis.
Instead, amidst a general do-nothing atmosphere in Annapolis, the only legislation being put forward is on divisive, partisan fringe issues by the most radical Delegates and Senators in our capital city. Forced vaccinations, radical auto emission legislation that will devastate working families and small businesspeople across the state, radical new gun control laws, a hefty tax on the poor, and, yet again, early voting(!) legislation that has already been declared unconstitutional by the courts. Rockville has not fared much better. After a show trial about development, and a bluff moratorium, it's back to business as usual under the "new" Planning regime, which has yet to make any substantive change in the way the County manages development. Next on the agenda? Naming the Rockville Library. Heavy lifting indeed.
What citizens want to know is, what happened to the major issues? Affordable housing, transportation, taxes, healthcare, utilities, education, eliminating portable classrooms? Many voters stayed home in 2006 because they were tired of the partisan bickering and want politicians to solve these problems. As I warned during the campaign, and as voters are now finding out the hard way, we are in for another four years like the last four.
It is frustrating to witness District 16's delegation waste our time with a minimalist agenda of far-left issues. So far, Brian Frosh and Bill Bronrott (the only active District 16 legislators, apparently) have only supported the radical Clean Cars measure, and new taxes on the poor and middle class. Again, even their beloved-yet-flawed Geographic Index for the Thornton Plan is off their agenda. Yes, O'Malley, Frosh, Bronrott: fighting for working families. It sounds more like they are just fighting
working families. Are you a working mom with 4 or 5 kids? Do you want to pay higher taxes and stuff your kids into a tiny hybrid car? I rest my case.
Contrast this inaction and hostility with my positive, substantive agenda that was supported by the many people I met during the campaign, and who voted for me on November 7. First priority of William Bronrott: Clean Cars/Tax Increase. Robert Dyer's first priority (on video record at robertdyer.net): My Comprehensive Transportation Plan. You know, transportation - remember that? While Democratic delegates are putting radical measures forward, I would have instead been introducing bills for transportation, elimination of portable classrooms, tough anti-crime measures, and reducing taxes and utility bills. Furthermore, while much psuedo-scientific pontificating has been offered in support of the radical Clean Cars bill, the real, known environmental crisis - the Chesapeake Bay - has been utterly ignored by the Governor and his allies.
The victors in 2006 should be ashamed. It's time to get to work. If they continue this for another four years, it will be an interesting election in 2010.
Speaking of interesting, you've probably heard about the Washington Post Company's outrageous blogger, William Arkin, who wrote some of the most vile, hateful, vicious, extremist attacks I have ever heard directed at the men and women of our nation's armed forces. Men and women who are dying so that Mr. Arkin can continue to freely offer his hate speech through the Washington Post. Mr. Arkin clearly represents the opinions of the editors at the Washington Post, as evidenced by the Post's decision not to discipline him. I won't quote Arkin's blog here, because I don't want to give him any wider audience, but I will quote a damning statement by the Post's biased, ineffective, and unresponsive "ombudsman," Deborah Howell, regarding the controversy:
"Blogs are held to the same standards as any Post journalism
, [the Post's Jim Brady] said."
That comment speaks for itself. The prosecution rests.