Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot Says Time for Senate President Mike Miller to Go: "He's a Fanatic for Gambling"

BACKGROUND - Earlier this week, Maryland politicos witnessed a monumental meltdown in the budget process in the State House and Senate. The legislature passed an incomplete budget package due to a stalemate on gambling proposals and the scope of tax increases. In early news reports before the close of the legislative session, both House Speaker Michael Busch and Governor Martin O'Malley blamed Senate President Mike Miller for holding the budget hostage for the casino industry. Yesterday, Comptroller Peter Franchot (a presumed candidate for Governor in 2014) echoed the criticism, but took it a step further and said it was time for Mike Miller to go. Indeed, many are beginning to point the finger for the budget debacle in Miller's direction.

Tensions remain high between top Democratic leaders, as many are expecting Governor O'Malley to intervene and call for a special session. But notably, Maryland Reporter yesterday reported that Gov. O'Malley refused to commit to a special session and instead he stated, "there was 90 days to work all this out." Even still, yesterday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called on Governor O'Malley to propose a special session. She also announced her support for an expansion of gambling in Maryland and called on the legislature to push through table games and a Prince George's County casino.

PETER FRANCHOT: TIME FOR MIKE MILLER TO GO - Yesterday, WBAL Radio's C4 Show brought on Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot as their studio guest. Franchot blamed the Senate President for screwing up the budget for gambling interests and called on him to step aside. Below,  Maryland Juice clipped a couple pieces of Peter Franchot's comments into a YouTube video below. You can hear Franchot's longer remarks at WBAL's website. I've also transcribed a brief excerpt from Franchot's remarks below:
PETER FRANCHOT: The Senate President, god bless him, has been Senate President for 26 years, and it is time for him to step aside. He's a fanatic for gambling and it is getting in the way of protecting Maryland families.

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