Doug Duncan sounds off
The words "Martin O'Malley" appear nowhere in Doug Duncan's op-ed in the Sunday Post, but you could certainly be forgiven for seeing some between-the-lines crticism of the former MoCo Exec's one-time Democratic primary rival. He mentions a few Montgomery-specific issues and none on the state level, but the critique he levies about government officials' response to the economic crisis certainly seems aimed at Annapolis as much as Rockville.
Pity the poor Maryland state or local elected officials facing reelection in 2010. Their response to the fiscal crisis has been reactive and uninspired, and voters are getting angrier by the day.
Trust and confidence in government need to be restored, and it has to start with an honest accounting about the challenges we face along with a vision of where we want to go. It's time to be truthful to the public and acknowledge that government's capabilities must be reshaped for some time to come. Can state and local elected officials get back to basics by adopting zero-based budgeting and conducting a healthy review of government's core missions and competencies? Can they decide a program is no longer affordable and then cut it entirely out of the budget? Can they get ahead of the revenue forecasts and stop changing budgets every few months? Can they redesign services to face a new economic reality?
For their reelection's sake, they better hope they can, because if they can't, the voters will replace them with others who will.
It would be tough to take out a sitting governor in a primary election, and it would naturally be reading way too much into this to infer that Doug is dipping his toe in the water, but it's not exactly a full-throated endorsement of the top Maryland Democrat either.