In the Democrat primary race to be the party’s presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton currently leads every poll, both nationally and in state-wide polls. However, there is another candidate who I believe would be a better fit for the Democrat Party. His name is Martin O’Malley, the former governor of my home state of Maryland.
Since Elizabeth Warren has declined to run for President, O’Malley is gaining traction as a formidable challenger. He has been aggressive in campaigning in the early states, meeting early and often with donors and local leaders. With all of Clinton’s baggage, not to mention the daily barrage of new scandals, Democrat leaders are nervously looking for alternatives.
I believe Democrats must coalesce behind Martin O’Malley. Perhaps even more-so than Hillary Clinton, O’Malley epitomizes the heart of the Democrat Party.
Today O’Malley announced his campaign from Baltimore where he was mayor from 1999 to 2006. With an eye on the Governor’s mansion, O’Malley implemented a “zero tolerance” policy that sent an unprecedented amount of people to prison. In 2005 alone the Baltimore Police Department made some 108,000 arrests in a city of 640,000.
This and other leftist policies contributed to the resentment toward law enforcement we saw during the Baltimore riots. In the midst of last month’s riots, the ACLU’s David Rocah faulted O’Malley’s “hyper-aggressive and militarized policing.”
Marvin Cheatham, former President of the NAACP, agreed, saying that O’Malley “had some responsibility” in the riots. “The guy is good at talking, but a lot of us know the real story of the harm he brought to our city,” Cheatham said.
Again in 2005, Judge Joseph McCurdy Jr. asked a grand jury to determine why there was a lack of trust between Baltimore police and the public at large. The panel concluded that O’Malley’s policy of excessive arrests was at the root of the problem. The Baltimore riots seemed to stem from this lack of trust that continued under O’Malley’s tenure as governor.
John Hopkins University professor Matthew Crenson said O’Malley’s policies “created a confrontation between police and the communities they’re policing. Young black males felt continually harassed.”
Baltimore lawyer A. Dwight Pettit said, “(O’Malley’s) philosophy was, ‘Put them in jail and figure it out later,’ and that will solve the crime problem. It created a confrontational mentality with the police.”
As The Washington Post reports, “Although prosecutors declined to bring many of the cases, activists contend that those who were arrested often could not get their records expunged, making it harder for them to get jobs.”
The ACLU and NAACP filed a lawsuit on the basis that arrests were being made without probable cause, and Baltimore City eventually agreed to a settlement of $870,000. A 2013 study concluded that 9 out of 10 Baltimore residents said people in their neighborhood don’t trust the police.
When the Baltimore riots broke out, O’Malley canceled a campaign event to return to the city and walk its streets. He was repeatedly heckled.
One bystander screamed, “This is his fault!” Lifelong Baltimore resident Wayne Grady said, “He had his chance to fix this. He’s part of the frustrations that are built up in these black young men. The culture is still there, the resentments are still there.”
Protestor Adam Jackson said, “We don’t want him here.”
Baltimore’s economic struggles undoubtedly contribute to this sense of resentment. The city’s unemployment rate is higher than neighboring Washington D.C., Philadelphia, or Chicago.
“Did you see all those boarded-up houses on your way out?” one man shouted at O’Malley during his Baltimore visit. “You plan on doing anything about that?”
“I’m a citizen now,” O’Malley grinned.
“You made a lot of promises,” the man shouted back.
“And I did the best I could,” O’Malley replied.
“Not in the black community!” the man said.
On the campaign trail O’Malley frequently brags about his record of increasing taxes 40-plus times as Governor of Maryland as one of his top achievements, adding $3.1 billion a year to Marylanders’ tax burden.
The tax increases included: new fees on handguns, computer services, and cigarettes; electricity rates increases; vehicle registration surcharges; hikes in tolls; and increases in the taxes on sales and gasoline.
These tax hikes drove 31,000 taxpayers from the state in the final three years of O’Malley’s tenure, the largest exodus in the Mid-Atlantic region and the seventh-worst rate in the nation. Under his tenure, I watched in horror as manufacturing all but disappeared from my state. O’Malley may have raised taxes on the “rich” and small business owners, but he also raised taxes on everyone.
Even while O’Malley was getting high on taxes, he couldn’t control state spending. Maryland’s budget ballooned from $29 billion to $38.5 billion, and he left the state with $48 billion in debt. Maryland’s overall fiscal condition was recently ranked just 44th in the nation.
As O’Malley wrapped up his final year in office, Maryland foreclosures ranked second-highest in the nation, and he left Maryland with a worse unemployment rate than Virginia or Pennsylvania.
These statewide economic trends were so damaging that Maryland elected a Republican governor last year for only the second time in the past 48 years. Governor Larry Hogan has been aggressive in rolling back O’Malley’s tax increases, including a repeal of the infamous Rain Tax (yes, that was a thing) and slashing toll fees.
Clearly O’Malley is the candidate who properly represents today’s Democrat Party. He is an ambitious taxoholic with little regard for the people of his state. This is the current state of the Democrat Party—tax, spend, demagogue, destroy, and repeat.
Martin O’Malley 2016.