Saturday, August 06, 2005

Business is Business and Ehrlich is Ehrlich

Governor Ehrlich was mighty pleased with himself when he announced yesterday that 13.9 percent of total state contracts in fiscal 2004 were awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses. His statement, based on the findings of a report compiled by the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, noted that the $513 million in state contracts represents an increase of more than 20 percent.

What Ehrlich failed to emphasize was that this increase is not good enough. The 13.9 percent falls far short of the state's legislatively-mandated goal of 25 percent. Even 25 percent seems far too humble a number when, according to 2000 US Census data, Maryland's population is nearly 37.9 percent non-white and about one-half of whites are female.

So while Bobby is satisfied with this poor performance, minorities continue to be underrepresented in state contracts. Not surprising from a man who once characterized race discrimination as "no big deal."

from The League: Reassembled

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