Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clearly Outspent

from the Baltimore Sun
Hefty checks from Baltimore super-lawyer Peter Angelos and casino giant MGM Entertainment helped fund the critical final days of Maryland's campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, a new report filed with the state board of elections showed.

The ballot measure -- Question 6 -- passed in Maryland by four percentage points. The first Maryland marriage certificates to gay and lesbian couples will be issued in early January.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the main group supporting Question 6, raised about $5.2 million, according to the report. They outraised - and outspent - the opponents by more than 2 to 1.

However, going into the final two weeks of the heated campaign, Marylanders for Marriage Equality had a mere $22,000 in their bank account. Angelos, who emerged this year a one of the country's most generous Democratic donors, wrote a $50,000 check four days before the Nov. 6 election.

MGM Entertainment donated $75,000 about two weeks before Election Day. The Las Vegas casino company also poured $46.7 million into a successful effort to expand gambling in Maryland. It hopes to build a resort casino in Prince George's County.

Another interesting corporate donor: E-Bay. The online auction site gave $2,000 to support same-sex marriage.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's super PAC, the O' Say Can You See PAC, contributed $1,000 -- one of the first donations from the governor's new fundraising arm.

The Maryland Marriage Alliance, the primary organization trying to defeat the ballot measure, filed papers just before midnight Tuesday showing they raised $2.3 million -- and spent nearly all of it.

They received a $100,000 check from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization that has increasingly been funding measures to defeat same-sex marriage. Another notable giver: William Lori, Baltimore's archbishop, gave $2,000.

The National Organization for Marriage gave $400,000, bringing their total to about $1.2 million.

An effort to uphold an education measure for illegal immigrants also garnered big checks in the final days of the campaign. Domino Foods gave $100,000 -- bringing the fundraising total for "Educating Maryland's Kids" to about $1.7 million.

The measure passed overwhelmingly and had no organized opposition.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RNC in Maryland Overlooks Values Voters?

An interesting article from Blue Ridge Forum:
Chart: Values and Immigration-Control Votes Exceed Romney Votes in Maryland

Take a look at our chart (click here) showing that Governor Mitt Romney’s statewide total of votes for president fell behind the statewide total of either those opposing the Maryland version of the Dream Act (Ballot Question 4) or those opposing the same-sex marriage law (Ballot Question 6) . The data comes from the Maryland Board of Elections.

The opposition to same-sex marriage vote statewide exceeded the Romney vote statewide by 28 per cent.

See how the voting fell out in your locality on the chart’s county-by-county breakdown. Note also the votes against the two questions in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Prince Georges County.

What these numbers show is the strength of Maryland grass-roots conservative constituencies.

But the data also suggest that the GOP Establishment tone of governor’s Romney’s campaign may have limited his appeal to these constituencies.

Does it also show that the Reagan model of a market-friendly and values and national or homeland-security coalition never took root in Maryland?

Opportunities lost: successfully defeating these two measures — with the Maryland GOP visibly playing a strong role – would have opened doors to two strong grass-roots constituencies, the faith community, and working class and small-business voters. Click here for more on the last.

But the the ballot ratifications of same-sex marriage and (in effect) sanctuary-state Maryland are galling defeats for many conservatives who already have their own list of grievances over what they see as the state GOP’s fecklessness.

An opportunity remaining: The Maryland GOP should weigh in against so called ‘sustainability’ or ‘smart growth’ programs – not just through symbolic General Assembly bills — but through constant public jawboning, challenging state regulations, and lobbying Congress to cut off Federal appropriations to state planners for such mischief. Carroll County commissioner Richard Rothschild has been a national voice against these schemes, putting together a world-class conference to expose them.

The GOP Fall Meeting

The Maryland GOP will have their fall meeting in Howard County on November 30-December 1, according to that County’s website (click here).

Other groups on the right-center plan to attend – Patrick McGrady’s Maryland Liberty Caucus in a November 12 email entitled “Rockin’ the MDGOP Back to Its Roots” declares –

“You and I both know that the Maryland Republican Party is run from the top-down. The Republican Establishment doesn’t stand for conservative principles. They don’t appreciate the diverse, energetic, and conservative arm of the Party.

It was so bad at the Republican Party Convention in Tampa that after the rules were changed to silence the conservative grassroots activists like you and me, Romney adviser Sununu even thanked the Maryland Republican National Committeeman, Louis Pope (who served as the Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee) for whipping the votes on the rules change. Here’s the video of that: Go to 02:27:54 in the video to see Sununu thanking Pope for helping ram through the bad rules changes.

But now that the standard-bearer has been defeated, it is time to help build a home for the Liberty voters in the Republican Party here in Maryland and nationwide. And so, the restructuring begins with us.”

At the time of the Tampa convention, we also deplored these dark dealings. (Click here and here.)

Now we learn that there is even a Facebook page entitled “NO confidence vote on all executive members of the MD GOP here!

One hopes there is wiser counsel in the state GOP, urging serious reform and policy coordination with — not just deference to and incumbency protection of — the Republican state lawmakers.

Who Wants To Join The Old Line State’s GOP?

Maryland conservatives ask us how can they recruit without some specific menu of Maryland GOP positions on exigent issues.

Many conservative voters do have somewhere else to go, as last Tuesday showed. And recall the number of votes Brian Murphy received in his 2010 primary contest with former governor Bob Ehrlich.

The Maryland GOP Establishment (party and significant law-makers) need to declare what specific policies they will (or will not) support: what will they propose about public pensions (click here), and how will they guard against public-school malpractice (click here), to name just two of many current concerns.

The right-center dissenters from the GOP Establishment come in several flavors . . . from values voices, to Tea Partiers, to homeland-security conservatives, to libertarians.

They have some differences but share many convictions, and right now the foremost may be that an unproductive state GOP leadership — whether in the Party or in the General Assembly — is toxic for the Maryland Republican Party’s future.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Delgate Glen Glass on New Super Wal-Mart

from the Harford County Dagger

Delegate Glen Glass Continues to Urge a Reconsideration of the Wal-Mart Relocation.

From the office of Del. Glen Glass:

Maryland State Delegate Glen Glass (R – Harford, District 34A), announced that he continues to oppose the proposed Wal-Mart relocation at the Plumtree Road and Route 924 intersection. Delegate Glass publicly applauded County Executive, David Craig’s assertion that Wal-Mart could expand at its current location. “I think they should consider turning the current location into a Super Wal-Mart without shutting it down, just like they were able to do in Aberdeen and a myriad of other locations. This would allow the employees in Abingdon to keep their jobs,” said Glass. “I believe the current location is convenient to residents in Joppa, Edgewood, and Abingdon. The current location is also preferred by residents in Bel Air who can stop there on their way home from work. The traffic at the Abingdon location can be improved by putting an exit onto Interstate 95, and allowing drivers to make a right turn on red at the light. The citizens in my district do not want to drive all the way to Bel Air to shop at Wal-Mart” added Glass.

Delegate Glass also believes that the heavy traffic patterns in the proposed location will represent a major health and safety risk. “If the new location is approved the heavy traffic would represent a risk to those most vulnerable among us,” Glass continued. Given that the proposed location is across from a new fire station, near Patterson Mill Middle and High School, as well as approximately a half mile from Ring Factory Elementary School, Delegate Glass fears that the increased traffic is potentially life-threatening.

“A Super Wal-Mart right in the middle of a fire station and three major schools could potentially wreak havoc” said Delegate Glass. Because of these concerns, and others, Delegate Glass continues to oppose this new location. “As the Development Advisory Board (DAC) aptly notes the increased heavy traffic could represent a real problem. The increased traffic could also hinder the abilities of emergency services to get to and from the new firehouse. As we know, every second counts when it comes to saving people’s lives,” Glass concluded.

GOP Needs a Shakeup?

from the Baltimore Sun
The top leaders of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee are seeking a resolution from the state party directing its representatives to oppose a new term for national party Chairman Reince Priebus in the aftermath of the GOP's dismal showing in the Nov. 6 election.

John Fiastro Jr., the newly elected county chairman, said the party executive committee decided Monday night to seek such a resolution at the party's state convention at Turf Valley in Howard County on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Fiastro said there was a sentiment among county party leaders that the national GOP needs new leadership in the wake of its election setbacks, which included President Barack Obama's win over Mitt Romney and the loss of seats in the U.S. Senate. Despite the reverses, Priebus has said he will seek to stay as head of the Republican National Committee.

The proposed resolution also reflects concerns over the national party's paltry investment in Maryland's Republican Party, Fiastro said. He said that while the party recognizes that Maryland is not a battleground state, it should receive enough support to mount a "credible ground game" in presidential election years to help maintain volunteer enthusiasm and help it compete better in gubernatorial elections.

"There should be a base amount of support that we get," he said.

Fiastro said the executive panel will contact members of the full central committee before the convention to seek their approval. He said he also expects to contact other county central committees to seek their support before the gathering.

Priebus ousted a Marylander, former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, in a contested election in January 2011, just two months after the GOP achieved a landslide victory in the U.S. House and in statehouses across the country.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maryland Delegation Cuts in Line for Another Federal Handout

from the Harford County Dagger
Delegation asks President Obama to support Governor O’Malley’s request for a major disaster declaration as communities across Maryland struggle to recover from Super-Storm Sandy

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) were joined by members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation today in sending a letter to President Barack Obama supporting Governor O’Malley’s request for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Maryland as a result of Super-Storm Sandy. If awarded, Maryland will become eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ensuring the state’s already strained budget is not stretched any thinner. The letter was signed by Senators Mikulski and Cardin, as well as U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Roscoe E. Barlett (R-Md.), Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.), Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.).

“Super-Storm Sandy delivered severe storms, flooding, winds, unprecedented levels of precipitation, and heavy snowfall to the State,” Team Maryland wrote. “[T]his determination is necessary to address sheltering needs, resource transportation, debris removal, and evacuation assistance in advance of this storm. This situation has the potential to negatively impact services in other areas, given an already strained state budget environment.”

The major disaster declaration would provide Individual Assistance for the counties of Dorchester, Somerset, and Worcester including Ocean City; Public Assistance for all counties within the state and the Independent City of Baltimore; and Hazard Mitigation for all counties and the Independent City of Baltimore.

Prior to the storm, Team Maryland urged President Obama to support Governor O’Malley’s request for a Pre-Disaster Declaration, which the Administration approved. That declaration ensured that Maryland became eligible for federal disaster funding from FEMA as the state prepared for potential damage. That request is available here.

Super-Storm Sandy and preparations preceding it lasted from October 25 to November 4. The storm included maximum wind speeds of 90 mph and deposited up to two inches of rain per hour from the Delmarva to the I-95 corridor. The damages experienced from this storm have ranged from severe flooding from heavy rains, high winds and significant coastal flooding in the eastern region of the State; heavy rains, high winds and significant coastal flooding along the Chesapeake Bay in the densely populated central region; and significant heavy wet snowfall and rain in the western portion of the state.

The full text of the delegation’s letter of support is as follows:
November 14, 2012
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our very strong support for Governor O’Malley’s November 8, 2012 request for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Maryland as a result of Super-Storm Sandy which initially affected Maryland beginning October 25, 2012 through November 4, 2012. Given the significant impact that this storm had on Maryland’s already thin resources, we respectfully request that you urgently approve Federal assistance.

Super-Storm Sandy delivered severe storms, flooding, winds, unprecedented levels of precipitation, and heavy snowfall to the State. Governor O’Malley took appropriate action under Maryland law, directing the execution of the State CORE Emergency Operations Plan. The Governor further declared that a State of Emergency existed within the entire state beginning October 27, 2012 and the Maryland National Guard was called into service. However, this determination is necessary to address sheltering needs, resource transportation, debris removal, and evacuation assistance in advance of this storm. This situation has the potential to negatively impact services in other areas, given an already strained state budget environment.

Maryland and its local jurisdictions have contributed a vast amount of resources in a very short period. The state continues to assess the full amount of damages and losses for this disaster, although preliminary assessments show severe damage to infrastructure and public safety needs. The assistance requested will provide vital resources to save lives and protect property. We appreciate your consideration of Maryland’s request, and look forward to continue working with you in this recovery.


Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Ben Cardin
United States Senator

Steny H. Hoyer
Member of Congress

Roscoe E. Bartlett
Member of Congress

Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress

Chris Van Hollen
Member of Congress

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Member of Congress

John P. Sarbanes
Member of Congress

Donna F. Edwards
Member of Congress

Andy Harris
Member of Congress

Cc: MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator
615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-4404

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Maryland's Health Police Are After Us, Again

from the Baltimore Sun
The same group that successfully pushed to double the state's cigarette tax in 2007 wants the General Assembly to add another dollar per pack next session.

Health Care For All, led by Annapolis stalwart Vinnie DeMarco, kicked off his push at a news conference in Annapolis today. "It works. It is good politics and good policy," DeMarco said. "We need the money for health care"

The change would increase the state's cigarette tax from $2 per pack to $3, and bring the average price to $7.29. The change would mean Maryland would have the 6th highest cigarette tax in the country, according to DeMarco. Now Maryland has the 11th highest cigarette tax.

DeMarco said the 2007 tax increase has raised $120 million a year while also contributing to reducing smoking in the state. Roughly 276 million packs were sold in Maryland in 2007. The following year, purchases dropped to 202 million, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

The increased tax revenue, he said, should be used for health care related costs like paying for Maryland's new health care exchanges, market places for health insurance required by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley, said the governor is awaiting recommendations from a committee formed earlier this year to determine funding sources for the health exchanges. The governor, she said, "will evaluate the possibilities once those recommendations are made."

The proposal will encounter resistance from some corners of the state house. House GOP leader Del. Anthony O’Donnell predicted there would be “zero” support for the tax in his 43 member caucus. “If we keep raising taxes we’ll never institute the fiscal restraint we need,” he said. “There will be another tax after this one, and another tax after that one.”
Why don't we have an abortion tax? Or make "gamblers" buy a "casino seat license? How about a "Lotto purchase permit"?

There are LOTS of things that are bad for my health, but few as "profitable" to the Nanny State Legislature as cigarette taxes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HA, ha Maryland Voters... Fooled You with Weasle Words AGAIN!

from the Baltimore Sun
Those in Howard County who want to channel the power of the ballot box to challenge local government decisions are going to have to work a bit harder to do it in elections to come, thanks to the vote Tuesday on one of five county charter changes. Whether this was the change voters wanted to make when they endorsed the change in overwhelming numbers seems to be a matter of debate.

By a margin of 73.2 percent to 26.8 percent, voters agreed to change the rules on how many signatures petitioners have to gather for a referendum to challenge local legislation, doing away with a 5,000-signature cap. Instead, petitioners will need a number of valid signatures equal to 5 percent of the vote in the previous gubernatorial election, which this year would have raised the number from 5,000 to 5,390.

It's a small change, about 8 percent, but given the difficulties petitioners have had in recent years getting enough valid signatures, some feel any shift in that direction is too much. The Charter Review Commission voted 14-1 to recommend the change, agreeing that the revision would allow the number of required signatures to reflect rising population, and put the Howard County requirements more in step with other jurisdictions.

Tom Coale was the lone vote against the change, but now that the matter is settled, he says he's satisfied at least that it was a considered decision. He has faith in local voters, he says.

"For Howard County, the presumption has to be at the beginning that the voters knew what they were doing," says Coale. He says he considers the lopsided outcome a statement "supporting certainty in the legislative process in county government. … They were looking to make sure when the County Council passes something, it has to be a high threshold" to reverse it.

Michael Davis, who served as the commission's vice chairman, says he was pleased but not surprised that the changes were adopted by such large margins. While there were some people who spoke against the petition signature change during the commission's three public hearings, it was "not a groundswell" of opposition, he says.

"The logic used to make the change was found acceptable," says Davis, adding that he thought the commission's three hearings and a meeting held before Election Day by the League of Women Voters gave people enough opportunity to understand the questions.

Russ Swatek, a Columbia resident who spoke against the change at a commission hearing, is not so sure.

"I feel a ballot doesn't really give enough information" to understand the issue, says Swatek. He thought even a 200-word description or material giving arguments for and against the measure would be helpful.

As it was, voters got 84 words summarizing the charter change, but not explaining that it would mean petitioners would have to gather more signatures.

Swatek helped lead an unsuccessful effort in 2010 to challenge by referendum a portion of the downtown Columbia redevelopment plan that called for 5,500 new homes and apartments. The petition drive ultimately failed, as the county Board of Elections ruled more than 1,000 signatures invalid because they did not match voter lists. Petitioners tried to challenge the ruling in Circuit Court, but a judge ruled that a legal memorandum was not filed on time.

That was one of four petition efforts in the past nine years to challenge local government decisions on land use and taxes that failed for a number of reasons.

Susan Gray, who helped lead a successful petition drive in 1994, says she was not happy with the charter change and does not believe that the wording of the ballot question made its effect clear.

"You would have no idea that the charter change would raise the number of signatures," says Gray, a land-use lawyer. Asked why she thought the measure was adopted in a landslide, she said, "The only thing I can think of is people had no clue as to the meaning of what the charter change was."

As lopsided as the vote on this question was, it was the closest vote of the five charter changes. All the rest were adopted by margins of 8-2 or 9-1.

The charter was also revised to bring county law in line with the Maryland Public Information Act, making clear that "any person" has the right to see government agency records, and allowing departments to charge a fee for copies.

The other three questions were technical "housekeeping" items: allowing unspent grant money in the budget to be carried over to the next year; requiring notices of pending bills and information on public hearings to be posted electronically; and correcting typographical errors, removing outdated references and making organizational changes in some passages.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Maryland's Vote

from the Baltimore Sun
Voter turnout in Maryland in 2012's general election dropped by more than 8 percentage points from 2008 but President Obama's vote percentage slipped much less than in other states, according to the State Board of Elections.

Unofficial figures show a turnout of 69.04 percent compared with the spectacular 77.63 percent registered in Obama's first election. But voting appeared to be off roughly equally among both Democrats and Republicans.

Obama's support dropped a half point from 2008 -- 61.4 percent compared with the 61.9 percent he garnered against John McCain. That's much less than his decline nationally of about 2.5 percentage points.

Obama's total vote dropped by about 95,000 from 2008 levels. Mitt Romney got about 49,000 fewer votes than McCain.

The county-by-county breakdown remained remarkably stable. Only one county flipped: Kent, from Democratic to Republican. Obama won that county by 48 votes in 2008 but lost it by 71 this year.

Obama improved on his 2008 total in only one county: Charles, where he tallied more than 3,000 additional votes in an increasingly Democratic stronghold.

Among Maryland's large counties, Anne Arundel was the closest. Romney won 49.2 percent of votes there to Obama's 48.3 percent. Ominously for Republicans in the county, the president came closer to parity with the Republican nominee there than he did in 2008, losing by only 2,254 votes. Four years earlier he trailed McCain by 4,667 votes. Demographic trends could soon turn Arundel from light red to pale blue -- at least in presidential years.

The president saw more slippage in another traditionally Republican county where Democrats have been gaining; Frederick. His 2008 deficit of 1,057 widened to 4,302.

Garrett hung onto its title as Maryland's most Republican County, giving Romney 74.7 percent of the vote to Obama's 23.4 percent. But Prince George's delivered almost 90 percent of its votes for the president -- making it one of his best counties in the nation.

The award for most improved party performance in Maryland goes to the Libertarians. Their nominee this year, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, nearly tripled the vote of his 2008 counterpart, Bob Barr. Johnson gained 27, 849 votes, or 1.1 percent, compared with Barr's 9,842, or 0.4 percent.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where Did Harford County Stand on the Election Questions?

Number of Precincts 79
Precincts Reporting 76 96.2 %
Against the Referred 68447 58.98%
For the Referred Law 47595 41.02%

Number of Precincts 79
Precincts Reporting 76 96.2 %
For the Referred Law 63180 58.07%
Against the Referred 45620 41.93%

Number of Precincts 79
Precincts Reporting 76 96.2 %
Against the Referred 65485 55.88%
For the Referred Law 51696 44.12%

Number of Precincts 79
Precincts Reporting 76 96.2 %
Against the Addition 62578 53.04%
For the Additional F 55397 46.96%

for more complete Election night returns, please go here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What About Question 6?

I know where I stand...
Do you?

One Eighth Cast Early Votes in Maryland

from the Baltimore Sun
Turnout remained strong Friday during the final day of early voting, with more long lines and waits at several centers.

By 10 p.m., 425,565 Marylanders – more than 12 percent of eligible voters – had cast their ballots during early voting.

That far exceeded the six-day standard of 219,601 set during the gubernatorial election of 2010, the state’s first experience with early voting.

Turnout Thursday was the strongest yet, with 97,750 casting their ballots. Eying the lines, at least one state lawmaker said he would file legislation to expand the number of early voting centers for future elections.

“Democracy delayed is democracy denied,” Sen. James Rosapepe, a College Park Democrat, said in a statement. “I've heard repeated complaints from my constituents about the long lines and waiting times of over two hours to vote at the small number of early voting locations available across the state.”

The state opened 46 early voting centers, including at least one in every county. Rosapepe, a member of the Senate’s election law subcommittee, said his bill would authorize local boards of elections to open as many early voting locations as they believed necessary to keep estimated maximum waiting times under 15 minutes.

“Voters, Democrats as well as Republicans and Independents, want the opportunity to exercise their right to vote without unjustified delays,” he said. “Clearly some of the delays were caused by the hurricane, but not all of them.”

Early voting had been scheduled to run from Saturday through Thursday. As Hurricane Sandy approached, Gov. Martin O’Malley ordered voting centers to close on Monday and Tuesday. But he later added another voting day on Friday, and extended the hours the polls have stayed open.

Elections officials say adding more days would not be possible because poll workers need time to transition to the regular Election Day vote next Tuesday.

Turnout has been steady throughout the early vote. The weakest day – 55,947 on Sunday, with the storm bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard – was stronger than the strongest day in 2010.

Update 11/4

More Arguments Against Question 4

from Del Pat McDonough and the Harford County Dagger
From Del. Pat McDonough:

The burden on the citizen taxpayer will never stop if the so-called Dream Act is allowed to become law. Let us put aside emotional misinformation and whip out our calculators. One illegal alien student completing a four year college program will cost the taxpayers $42,000. It breaks down to an $8,000 tuition discount for 2 years of community college and a $32,000 discount for 2 years at the University of Maryland. The advocates for the Dream Act claim that only 1% of the student body statewide will be illegal aliens. That translates into 1,500 Dream Act students per year, costing the taxpayers $63,000 annually. When all 4 classes are established and in place, taxpayers will be compelled to pay $228 million a year.

All 16 community colleges in Maryland, including Harford Community College, are currently underfunded. Most of them have increased their tuition rates at least twice during the past four years. Every time an illegal alien student assumes a slot, a reduced amount of funding is suffered by the community college. As the revenue in college decreases and the student burdens increase, the number of slots available is reduced. “Open enrollment” is based only on revenue availability. The Dream Act will create “displacement” of Maryland citizen students. Last year, about 27,000 people applied for entrance into the University of Maryland. Only 7,000 were accepted.

Presently tens of thousands of American out of state students and foreign nationals pay hundreds of millions of dollars into our education system. They must pay out-of-state tuition fees. Their contributions pay for about 25% of the operating costs of colleges, bringing relief to Maryland taxpayers. The Dream Act student, not having to pay out-of-state tuition costs if the Dream Act is enacted, will displace these out-of-state tuition students, causing a loss in revenue. This loss must be replaced by the taxpayers, tuition increases, or reduced spending.

The amazing fact is that taxpayers, at some point in time, will be paying more than $200 million a year to educate people who cannot legally work in this state or country. It is a federal felony for an employer to hire anyone who is an illegal alien. Even President Obama’s temporary deferment does not provide them with lawful presence or permanent residence. “The Obama memo” of temporary deferment for work permits probably will not survive judicial review.

The Dream Act does not require the payment of taxes. It simply mandates the filing of tax returns. In many cases, illegal aliens send part of their income back to their homelands depriving America of the cash stimulus the American economy needs. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that $32 billion dollars is funneled to Mexico alone, establishing that country’s largest revenue source.

The Dream Act claims that students will sign an affidavit promising to seek out a pathway to citizenship. Under current federal law, as illegal aliens they have no pathway to citizenship available. Therefore, the affidavit which is supposed to be a legal document is, in reality, a useless deception.

The “People’s Petition” collected more than 130,000 signatures in less than 60 days. Many of them came from Harford County. That effort was an historic achievement propelled by the people’s passion regarding the unfairness of the Dream Act. That passion will continue on November 6th Election Day when the voters will support the rule of law, citizenship, fairness, and economic justice for taxpayers and vote “No” to Question 4.

Serving the People,

Delegate Pat McDonough