Playing Politics with the Department of Housing
Often when politicians do things for political reasons, they attempt to dress up their actions with some noble public benefit. The decision to move the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) from Anne Arundel County to Prince George’s County was a rare case when pure political payback received barely a fig leaf of “public benefit” rationale. After MPPI senior fellow Marta Mossburg raised questions about the politically-connected developer who would benefit from this move, the state has decided to seek a new request for the proposal. The public would be better off if the state’s politicians simply dropped this misguided idea.
O’Malley vs. Franchot on Energy
With only a part-time legislature, many of the decisions on how our state should be governed come from the Board of Public Works. This board, consisting of the governor, the comptroller, and the treasurer, meet twice a month to vote on various issues of importance to the state. As the invaluable Maryland Reporter notes, energy issues came up during this month’s meeting. The actions of Comptroller Peter Franchot and Governor Martin O’Malley show that one of them understands energy reality and one of them doesn’t. Want to guess which one is which?
Green Energy or Crony Capitalism?
The issue of crony capitalism is a big one these days. Bailouts for banks, subsidies for Big Business, diverting tax money to businessmen’s pockets – these things are condemned not only by Occupy Wall Street but also the Tea Party. But the practice of crony capitalism continues unabated at the federal, state, and local levels. In Maryland, the recent Clean Energy Summit provides a good example of this.