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November 19, 2009

O'Malley honored by magazine but title is in eye of beholder

You may have heard already: Gov. Martin O’Malley has been named a “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine. It’s a national magazine with a circulation roughly equal to the population of Columbia, Md., but the publication's praise for the governor has generated quite a buzz. Not all of it as flattering.

The governor picks up the award tonight at dinner to be held at the Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, but the news has been out there for a while. O’Malley’s campaign manager seized on the pronouncement earlier this month and sent a letter to potential donors. He wrote: “We've got some exciting news that I wanted to share with you: Gov. O'Malley has been named ‘2009 Governor of the Year’ by Governing magazine. ... I hope you're as proud as I am that Gov. O'Malley has, with your support, made Maryland a model of smart, 21st-century governing tactics.”

Not so fast, the media chided. First The Washington Post noted in a blog posting that he was actually the only governor out of eight public officials who were honored, not exactly “Governor of the Year.” The Post asked Governing Editor Alan Ehrenhalt about O’Malley’s claim to a more lofty sounding award. "We don't use that title," Ehrenhalt said. “I suppose by extrapolation ... it's functionally true.”

Not surprisingly, the conservative blog Red Maryland soon weighed in, accusing O’Malley of “fudging the truth.” The blogger, clearly not a fan of the governor’s, went on to write: “But then again we already know O’Malley likes to fudge things, then—naturally—blame others for his problems.”

Which brings us to today, when O’Malley’s press office put out a notice about the honor.

The press shop is pretty clear about the matter: “Governor O'Malley will be officially honored tonight as Governing magazine's ‘Public Official of the Year’ for 2009. Governor O’Malley is one of eight individuals nationwide being honored, but is the only Governor to receive the award. The Governor is featured on the cover of the magazine’s November 2009 issue.”

To read the magazine story, which touts O’Malley’s data-driven approach to governing, and an extensive Q&A, click here.

This is what the magazine had to say about the governor/public official: "Everyone knows Martin O'Malley is a numbers guy. The data-driven approach to policy and administration that he created as mayor of Baltimore, known as "CitiStat," has been copied by cities across the country. Now, as governor of Maryland, O'Malley is showing that states, too, can improve performance by measuring what they do and relentlessly monitoring their progress."

Posted by Laura Smitherman at 3:05 PM | | Comments (12)


One wonders why the Republicans of Maryland can't seem to win elections when this is the stuff they focus on.

One wonders how O'Malley remains popular after cutting K-12 education, cutting higher education, cutting Bay funding, firing hard working state employees, increasing taxes, and increasing unemployment. Must be morons like Scott.

There is an award for fiscal mismanagement!

i think the head of the Republican Governors Association won the award last year. We never won it when we were in office.

O'Malley LIED on his website. He used the Gov of the year label.

One wonders how someone can blame the Governor for the global economic crisis.

Seriously, what choice does he have? Maryland law Requires that the budget be balanced. Ergo, he was required by law to cut $1.2 billion from this year's budget after it was passed. Does the commenter 'Suzanne' have an idea of how to do that without cutting any jobs, cutting any funding, or increasing taxes???

You hit the nail on the head.
this is the stuff that will get O'Malley re-elected...

leave'em to it. LOL.

RC the answer is simple.
Curtail spending.
In 2007 OMalley passed the largest tax increase in Maryland's history and increased spending to top it off. All of this while we were in the economic downturn. Annapolis needs sound fiscal management for Maryland to succeed. As the 4th highest taxed state in the country how much more do the citizens of Maryland have left in thier wallet/purse to be taxed on?

O'Mally also accepted the stimulus funds which INCREASED the bottom line once the money runs out and the programs need to continue without Obamoney.

Suzanne - you're welcome to your opinion, not your own facts. Not one penny cut in K-12 education. Not one cent. In fact, historic increases in K-12 education. Get your facts straight.

On higher ed, O'Malley froze tuition for four straight years and kicked in the difference to keep funding the schools.

Bay funding - record Open Space investments, created CHespeake Bay 2010 Trust Fund.

Increased taxes to close a structural deficit left by Ehrlich.

And if you're going to blame unemployment rising on O'Malley, then you'll also have to blame every Republican Governor for record unemployment in the 36 states with higher rates than Maryland.

jay - are you aware the spending is at it's lowest levels in decades under this administration? Spending now is actually lower than it was four years ago under Ehrlich and that's never happened in our history. TO say that the problem is spending is a fundamental misunderstanding of reality.

Ehrlich's last budget increased spending by 12%, which was MORE than the legislature's affordability guidelines. O'Malley has never exceeded those guidelines. Ehrlich increased spending 22% in four years, and O'Malley has lowered spending below 2007 levels.

So please explain to me your logic that SPENDING is what got us here.

Just like evrything in this administration all data is fudged, so why should this make any difference

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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