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O'Malley brothers set to lead Democrats in Maryland: The blind leading the blind

Martin O'Malley
Martin O'Malley

Saturday, the Maryland Democratic Party's State Central Commitee voted unanimously to have Peter O'Malley lead the state's Democratic Party over the next few years, replacing outgoing Chairwoman Susan Turnbull. Peter, the brother of Martin O'Malley, Maryland's two-term Governor, was also the engineer of the CitiStat/StateStat data bases who also worked as Chief of Staff for former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith.

The Governor nominated his brother, his former campaign manager of his successful Mayoral bid in Baltimore City's 1999 election, which now has the O'Malley clan fully in control of Maryland Democratic politics. Martin O'Malley, who now Chairs the national Democratic Governor's Association, is said to have ensured his brother's position through political favors and promises as he has a certain "vision" for the future of Democratic rule in Maryland. As one political insider revealed to me, "He [Martin] wanted to make sure that whoever took over the Chairman post wouldn't buck his authority if he chose to step aside to take a retiring Senator Mikulski's seat in two years, and also wanted someone he trusted in making sure Jim Smith was taken care of for future Maryland political aspirations; and who better than that then his own flesh and blood, his most trusted comrade in political affairs?"

However Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney has some choice words and interesting insight into what the hiring of Peter meant for Maryland. "“It’s clear Governor O’Malley is more focused on putting members of his family to work rather than the over 200,000 unemployed Marylanders struggling to find a job.” Yet since O'Malley's November re-election bid, state Republicans say that he has been more busy traveling the country looking forward to his next gig, rather than focusing on the citizens of Maryland. In a recent blog they put up on the Maryland Senate GOP website, the minority crew suggests that:

"The State is truly in a fiscal crisis, but Governor Martin O'Malley is nowhere to be found. Unless, of course, you find him in Washington, D.C. Last Friday marked the mid-point of the 2011 Legislative Session. The only notable conclusion that can be made so far is that the State of Maryland is rudderless and the Chief Executive is missing in action. As required by the Maryland Constitution, O'Malley submitted his budget on the tenth day of the session. Then, he high-tailed it out of town. Why should a Chief Executive be bothered with such pedestrian topics as budget shortfalls when the world of national politics beckons?

As party chairman, Peter's job will almost assuredly begin with the Baltimore City elections this year, while securing the election of O'Malley crony Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake while also ensuring a democratic sweep in all 14-districts and three city-wide positions of Mayor, Council President and Comptroller. Then he will be expected to help engineer the re-elections of Democratic United States Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and President Barack Obama in 2012.

However in a city and state that are more consistently blue than that of the outside sky, he shall have no real problems with such a task. Yet he may become more a referee between the many arrogant "chosen one" Democrats who are set to challenge Cardin and possibly some congressional candidates such as J. Sarbanes in the 3rd, D. Edwards in the 4th and E. Cummings in the 7th? Even trying to keep the Mayoral elections of Baltimore down to a reasonable number of Democratic candidates this year may be a challenge Peter may not want to take on; for the O'Malley finderprints on a Rawlings-Blake lost would be a devastating blow to an incumbent Governor and former Baltimore Mayor, along with an ever-powerful newly elected Party Chair?

It's bad enough we had the Governor recently re-appoint his wife, Judge Katie O'Malley to another ten year term on the courts, now we have his brother running a Party that seems to be headed in a blistful state of legislative disappointments and egrigeous economics.

Is this nepotism? What the Baltimore City Council was investigated for in 2004? You decide here!

For more information on the new Md. Democratic Chairman and more email me here, follow me on Twitter, Friend me on Facebook or view past and future Reporters' Roundtable TV shows and services provided by GCOMM Media Co. here.


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