Thursday, December 14, 2006

Governor O'Malley, We're Over HERE

originally posted in slightly different form at MoCoPolitics.

Been gone for a long time -- too long. But I'm back, and ready to rant.

I got something to get off my chest on the state level, and today's Washington Post Montgomery County Extra didn't help:

Martin O'Malley did arrive at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in time to hear some requests. When asked if he would be naming anyone to a cabinet-level job from the county, O'Malley paused to think for a moment.

He then came up with the name of his chief of staff, Michael R. Enright, a longtime Baltimore City Hall aide and friend from his days at Gonzaga College High School.

Nice try, said Del. Charles E. Barkley (D-Montgomery), in a gentle jab. "We don't count that," he told O'Malley. "We want current Montgomery."

Not at all funny, Marty. Not even a little bit.

I've already been seething about this for the past two weeks. We (in this case, Montgomery and Prince George's County) put this guy in office, and all he has done so far is to name all of his frat brothers, buddies and relatives to every position that has been filled so far. EVERY ONE. Can you name one person from Montgomery County that has been named to an O'Malley Administration position? Or Prince George's County?

Now, I knew when I supported him (early, I remind his fundraisers, before Doug Duncan got out of the race) that he was from Baltimore, and that we were going to get a Baltimore-centric administration. But I was assured by all concerned, including the Mayor himself, that he was from Montgomery County and understood its importance to a Democratic administration in Maryland, and that we needn't worry.

And let's be clear, O'Malley in the quote above was asked who he was GOING to hire, not who he already has hired, for Cabinet-level positions, and he says Michael Enright, who, FYI, lives in Baltimore. Uh, Gov-elect, what about Tom Perez? Or any of the other really well-qualified people from your native county? Is EVERY job going to go to Baltimore? This was not handled well, sir.

Memo to Mr. O'Malley: after that little tee hee above, I'm past worried, I'm pissed off. You are so clearly giving every significant job to either relatives, friends or Baltimoreans that those of us who drank your Kool-Aid early on are feeling like chumps, and you're not even sworn in yet.

Yeah, yeah, I can script the retort -- we haven't filled very many jobs yet, there's a lot to do, blah blah blah blah. Here's what I've got to say to that -- the positions you are filling are the insider, power positions, the ones who are going to really get things done. And NOT ONE of those jobs has gone to Montgomery County, or Prince George's County, or honestly, anyone else other than your pals.

This is NOT how to get it done. You should be reaching out to other jurisdictions, particularly the ones that (ahem) actually put you in office, and finding good, qualified individuals to fill important executive posts. Not all of them, just some. Yes, you're entitled to hire your friends, but in the campaign, you had lots of friends from Montgomery County. Hire some of them. Now, for serious positions, not later for window dressing.

In the immortal words of Stephen Colbert, "you're on notice, pal."


Anonymous Peter said...

Which O'Malley relative has received a job????? You make an effort to mentionh it twice in your rant, so please tell us whom these relatives are?????

12/14/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the old "where are all the African Americans on the Democratic statewide ticket?" question. My answer, again to this question, is Anthony Brown -- from Prince George's County -- is going to be Lieutenant Governor. Isn't that a pretty important post? Why does O'M get no credit at all for this pick?

12/14/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger MoCoPolitics said...

Anthony Brown is an entirely different matter. That was the campaign, this is the issue of jobs.

O'Malley comes to Montgomery County, is asked about jobs, and tries to pawn off his Baltimore City chief of staff as a Montgomery County appointment because Enright went to high school here. Come on, that's ridiculous, not to mention insulting. We all know he's going to hire some people from MC -- all he had to say was "the hiring process is just beginning and there are a lot of people under consideration, including some great people from Montgomery County." Would that have been so hard?

Instead, he gave the answer he gave, which was BS. By not being able to even give a coherent and truthful answer, he gives the impression, true or not, that he really doesn't give a shit one way or the other. And that's bad.

Trust me, I'm not the only Montgomery County person who thinks this way.

As for relatives, I have no idea if he's hired any -- I do know that his campaign was entirely run by family members, and they continue to have significant influence.

12/14/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger nickshepDEM said...

Why break up a winning team?

Duncan should get an appointment, but I doubt he will. Sec of Transportation or something like that.

12/14/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mdman said...

I'm sure someone will get the nod and Duncan would be a good choice, but remember, we have 2 members of the Bd. of Public Works (Nancy Kopp and Peter Franchot) and the other constitutional officers (Franchot and Ganzler). Let's get good people in those open posts, not just political paybacks.

12/14/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger The League: Reassembled said...

Exactly, mdman. MoCo is not exactly hurting for political clout in Maryland.

12/14/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Quite an impressive rant, but really, don't you think it is about a month too early? Not a single Department head named and MontCo is not represented well enough?

And is it really true that Montgomery and PG "put this guy in office"? Compared to 4 years ago, didn't Baltimore County have a little something to do with it?

12/14/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mdman said...

You can make an argument that just about any place put him over, but if you look at the stats, PG voted the highest percentage for him and Carroll County the lowest. He needs to be governor of the whole state. One of my gripes is that the Dems have run in MD as if there is nowhere else other than Montgomery, PG and Baltimore City. That approach has to change.

Dean has called for a 50 state strategy in the U.S. and I call for a 23 county strategy in MD. I do live in Montgomery now, but I grew up in Cecil and have lived in Talbot and Carroll counties.

12/15/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger MoCoPolitics said...

I'm all for the 50 state strategy as well. It's not either/or. Right now, however, the perception from down here in the DC suburbs is that O'Malley is the governor of Baltimore City.

Put it this way: picture the outcry if Howard Dean went to California, was asked about Californians being appointed to the next presidential administration, and he said "well, there's this guy, a friend of mine, he lives in New York now, but hey, he GREW UP in California, how's that?" do you think the Californians and their 55 electoral votes might have pretty good reason to be annoyed?

Yes, O'Malley has to be governor of all of Maryland. But starting out by (1) hiring nobody but City folks so far, (2) ignoring the largest county in the state and (3) making a lame comment when asked about jobs, is not a good way to start. Regardless of the intent, the perception is that he really just doesn't care.

12/15/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am optimistic that, somehow, Jamie Raskin, Peter Franchot and Doug Gansler will work hard, overcome their pathological shyness and make the still, small voice of Montgomery County known.


12/16/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it interesting that House Speaker Mike Miller would actually request that O'Malley consider keeping some of Ehrlich's people - One in particular, State Police Superintendent Hutchins - He's the guy who replaced Norris whom Ehrlich "stole" from O'Malley's Baltimore City PD. Not to mention, none of Ehrlich's folks held up a single sign, stood on one corner passing out literature, called one voter or knocked on one door in support of the O"Malley/Brown ticket. They're all Ehrlich's people and they should go right with him.

12/16/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger michaelraia said...


This is rant is way too early. No one was surprised when Michael Enright was named Chief of Staff - he's been with O'Malley for years and the person in that position must have the full trust of the principal.

The governor's senior staff ought to be conprised of people the governor knows and trusts so inevitably, many of them will be from his Baltimore team.

Give the transition time to fill the agency positions and put together his full State House staff before flying off the edge about Montgomery being snubbed.

(Oh, and for the record, Enright technically didn't go to high school in Montgomery County. He grew up in Bethesda but went to Gonzaga, in Washington, with O'Malley...)

12/18/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Dray said...

We're having a pretty good debate about this on your blog, but I thought I'd add my two cents here:

This is a ticket that ran on _one Maryland_. They emphasized it everywhere they went, at every campaign stop. If someone from my county wrote this rant, I wouldn't be any more sympathetic. As it is, the fact that Jim Smith had to be promised a proverbial "red phone" in the Governor's mansion made me roll my eyes.

When I voted for Peter Franchot and Douglas Gansler, I didn't spend a single moment wondering what county they were from. I thought about what they would represent and do in office. I don't have a lot of patience for factionalism--not nationwide, and not on a statewide basis.

I'm sure you're not alone in your sentiments. But that doesn't make those sentiments healthy or productive when it comes to realizing our overall goals and shared values.

12/19/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know or has heard who the new Superintendent (Secretary) of the Maryland State Police will be under the O'Malley/Brown administration ?

1/02/2007 10:10:00 PM  

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