Ocean City Today

No politics, more chuckles to follow

Apr 05, 2018



printed 04/06/18

Regardless of what anyone thinks of Maryland’s Board of Public Works, the funniest thing to come out of the General Assembly this year is the Democratic argument that stripping the board of its power to award school construction money will remove politics from the process.

As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny, right there.”

While it is true that the three-member board — the governor, the comptroller and state treasurer — has been known to humble and humiliate those who have appeared before it over the last century and a half, it is at least giggle-worthy to hear the same people who instituted some of the worst political gerrymandering in the country say they are concerned about politics.

If only they could use that line to lighten the mood as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the fairness of a state congressional districting map that appears to have been modeled after a Jackson Pollack abstract. Or an inkblot test, whichever will get the justices laughing all the way to their chambers.

Clearly, Democratic Party leaders are not amused with Comptroller Peter Franchot, who has, in their minds, betrayed his party by aligning himself with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. He also has a penchant for hyping legislation that lawmakers find significantly less than funny.

That would include his beer regulation reform measure. The General Assembly had to waste time on killing that this session, because, one, Franchot argued his case to the public instead of to legislators themselves, and two, the beneficiaries of the state’s comedic alcohol control regulations — it’s all about public health and making sure larger outfits pass their annual fiscals — hated it.

But this slicing and dicing of the Board of Public Works’ power has nothing to do with any of that.

No, really. They distinctly said they wanted to remove politics from the process of awarding school construction money. And then they said, “Have you heard the one about …”

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