Possible Dem 2016 Hopeful Martin O'Malley Backs Crist
Around the State
Despite ranking as one of the most liberal governors in the nation, Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., is throwing his support behind former Gov. Charlie Crist, who spent most of his political career as a Republican, in his effort to defeat Gov. Rick Scott in November.
O’Malley has been actively exploring running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, despite trailing badly in the polls to the likes of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. He endorsed Crist over former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich who is also running for the nomination.
“During his 2010 campaign for governor, Rick Scott was asked live on CNN what Florida's minimum wage was,” O’Malley wrote. “He got the answer wrong. It's no wonder he's since refused to listen to the overwhelming number of Floridians -- including a majority of Republicans -- who want to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
“Fortunately, Charlie Crist is leading the fight to make that happen,” O’Malley added. “He understands that when workers make more money, businesses have more customers -- that raising the wage lifts all boats. He'll take action as Florida's next governor, but we need Congress to do the same for all Americans.”
O’Malley is leading a petition effort with Crist urging Congress to raise the minimum wage.
“No one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty. That's why, in Maryland, we worked with business owners, workers, faith leaders, and activists to raise our minimum wage to $10.10,” O’Malley insisted. “Our action will lift over 400,000 of our state's residents out of poverty. In Florida, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would directly affect over 1.2 million workers and their families.
“Doing the same nationally would create demand for new jobs and reduce government spending because fewer of our neighbors will rely on state and federal assistance to try and make ends meet," O’Malley continued. “More jobs and less spending: That should be something both Republicans and Democrats can agree on.”
Scott has been a fierce critic of O’Malley’s economic policies. In May 2013, Scott targeted businesses in the Old Line State, sending them letters urging them to relocate to Florida.
“Our pro-business attitude in Florida, along with our lower taxes, makes Florida the perfect climate for business,” Scott said at the time. “We have lowered taxes, cut burdensome regulations and paid down state debt to give job creators an economy where they can grow and succeed.”
Scott’s team pointed toward economic competitiveness surveys compiled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and conservative economist Arthur Laffer in 2012 which found Florida ranking first in the nation on personal income taxes, estate and inheritance taxes and right-to-work. Maryland placed 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.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org