Petition Drive Exceeds Expectations
The petition to take SB 167 (which gives in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants) to referendum is picking up steam. On Tuesday, May 31 – the first deadline for turning in signatures – Delegate Neil Parrott announced that approximately 60,000 signatures had been turned in to the Board of Elections – tens of thousands more than the number required for the May deadline! This puts the effort in a great position to reach the next deadline, which is at the end of June. Members of the House Republican Caucus have been instrumental in making the petition drive successful across the state. The members have been working hard going to community events, door-to-door, and mobilizing volunteers in their districts.
While the petition drive has made a tremendous amount of progress in such a short amount of time, nothing can be taken for granted. Casa de Maryland and similar organizations have been vocal about their opposition to this effort. They know the majority of Marylanders oppose giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants and will stop at nothing to keep your voices from being heard.
The Board of Elections will throw out a percentage of signatures as invalid. Knowing this, it is important to redouble the effort and make contact with those who have not yet signed! If you would like to sign the petition, or print out petitions to circulate to others, please visit http://www.mdpetitions.com.
Governor O’Malley Goes to Asia; Ignores Issues at Home
Governor O’Malley left last week on a ten-day Asian tour visiting China, South Korea, and Vietnam. His office says this trip will benefit Maryland’s economy by building relationships with those countries. With Maryland’s private-sector job creation ranking dropping to 49th, we certainly hope this trip will reap some benefits. Given that American companies are fleeing Maryland in droves, it doesn’t seem likely that Asian companies will be clamoring to pay our outrageous corporate tax, but you never know.
The Governor seems to be taking a leaf out of President Obama’s book with this trip; both choosing to use the taxpayer dime to take vacations thinly veiled as diplomatic or economic missions. Accompanying the Governor on this trip is an entire court of lobbyists, legislators, cabinet members, university presidents, and his security entourage. That’s at least four tickets for international flights, meals, and hotels for each of the 68-member delegation, plus his security detail. A pretty steep price to pay for any good will or business that may come out of this diplomatic vacation of his.
He was expected to announce his picks for the re-districting commission, but he left without revealing who his appointments are, if any. A special session to decide redistricting will be herebefore we know it, and there’s still no commission to study
the issue? Either O’Malley has decided not to bother his head about state issues anymore because his focus is on his bigger political aspirations, or he’s trying to delay
public debate about it as long as possible. Maybe it’s both. Certainly his Democratic cronies have made no secret of their plans to disenfranchise the Maryland voter by gerrymandering the district lines.
“We will have a senator and three delegates that are cobalt blue, and they are going to be the future of this area”
- Speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch, Frederick News-Post May 13, 2011
We hope that the Governor is enjoying his summer vacation, it is a whole lot more than most Marylanders can afford right now. In fact, if the Maryland taxpayer wants to go on vacation, he had better do it soon, since the toll on the Bay Bridge is increasing to $5 by October, with the possibility of eventually reaching $8, the alcohol tax is going up just in time for the July 4th holiday, and the Democrats are expected to raise the issue of the gas tax again in this Fall’s special session.
The goal of economic development is laudable. But with the state in such financial straits, couldn’t the tech-savvy Governor use Skype and get the same results?