Martin O'Malley and Charlie Crist -- Unholy Alliance for Florida
Around the State
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, Martin O'Malley walks into ours.
Call it Florida's "Casablanca" moment. If the Maryland governor doesn't fill Floridians with dread and empty-pockets nightmares, they don't know the man Newsweek called "America's poster child for Big Government."
Why should we care? Because on Monday, O'Malley -- 1,000 miles north of the Sunshine State -- threw his support behind Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. We're left to hope Crist accepted only his recommendation and not his advice.
My fear is, O'Malley badly wants to become president of the United States and Charlie Crist badly wants Washington -- still. You don't think the overtures of a would-be Democratic presidential candidate aren't going to reawaken that Beltway lust Crist had in 2008, when he auditioned to become John McCain's running mate?
Term-limited O'Malley, 51, a Democrat who governs a state virtually a stone's throw from the White House, a fiscal cretin by any reasonable standards, is throwing his arms around Charlie Crist. Yipes. Don't you think there's at least a possibility Crist might start listening to him?
Don't take my word for it. Take a closer look at Martin Joseph O'Malley, 61st governor of the Old Line State.
-- Since he took office in 2007, O'Malley approved 40 new and increased taxes and fees -- projected in total to cost Marylanders $9.5 billion through fiscal 2014. Read all about it here.
-- A bill cheerfully signed by O'Malley increased the gas tax 4 cents this year, to 27.5 cents per gallon. The tax will increase to 43.5 cents per gallon when fully implemented in 2016. Read all about it here.
-- O'Malley lost 26,000 manufacturing jobs. (Check out the graphic at the bottom of the page.) Says Watchdogwire.com, "Contrast the 26,000 manufacturing jobs lost since O’Malley’s inaugural, with an increase of 34,000 government jobs over that same period, and you’ll see Maryland doesn’t have a business climate so much as it has a government climate." Read all about it here.
Is it cynical to suggest maybe O'Malley and Crist could bond over how many jobs they lost while each was governor? For these guys, friendship has a head start. Florida was one of only two states, along with Maryland, to see its unemployment rate rise in August 2010, reaching 11.7 percent, compared with the 9.6 percent national rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Which brings me back to Morocco.
Rick's dread of an encounter with llsa again in a bar in Casablanca -- a story of classic destiny -- can't hold a candle to the fear and trembling Floridians should feel by this new O'Malley-Crist embrace.
In 2012, remember, Florida ranked first in the nation on personal income taxes, estate and inheritance taxes and right-to-work. Maryland hits the bricks at 50th on right-to-work and estate and inheritance taxes and was 44th on personal income taxes. While Maryland placed 34th on corporate income taxes, Florida was 13th.
Keep O'Malley's recommendation in perspective and a wary eye on this alliance.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423.