Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley held the first of several planned “Better Choices, Better Results” Forums. The event was held at Goucher College and focused on jobs. House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga released the following statement regarding the Governor’s comments:
“It is amazing that the Governor took this opportunity to brag about job creation when just last week we learned that Maryland lost nearly 10,000 jobs in July – the third worst job loss in the nation. Not only that, but Maryland has reported job losses in each of the last three months.
We need to call these forums what they really are, an O’Malley/Brown Kool-Aid tour to whitewash the true story of their record. If they really wanted an open and transparent dialogue, there would have been adequate notice and the Governor would take unfiltered questions directly from the public. Instead, the audience appears to be handpicked with no one there to ask the Governor tough questions.
A true dialog would allow the public to question the O’Malley/Brown spin about how they’ve “restrained spending to just 2% per year on average – the lowest in more than 30 years?” The truth is that they have increased state spending by 24.7%, more than $7.3 billion in additional state spending over his seven years in Annapolis.
If the O’Malley/Brown Administration wanted an open and honest forum to “foster an ongoing, collaborative dialogue” they would have allowed an opportunity for real citizens to weigh in on how they are affected by the 70+ taxes and fees they have raised. Instead, they missed an opportunity to hear from constituents like mine who are struggling to make ends meet under the burden of the O’Malley/Brown gas tax increase.
It looks like Governor O’Malley has orchestrated what is little more than a campaign stunt to spin the O’Malley/Brown record. Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley might be able to hide his record in this setting, but he won’t be able to hide his record from the citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire.”