Md. Democrats, Va. Republicans exchange barbs
"Bob McDonnell and Virginia Republicans tout their accomplishments but – as often with the GOP - the facts tell another story," said Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director David Sloan in a statement. "Rather than investing in Virginia’s future, McDonnell has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from schools, colleges and universities, and cut funding by a third for EMTs, police officers and firefighters. "
The cross-border bickering bubbles up about a week after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell became the head of the Republican Governors Association, an arrangement that sets up a natural rivalry with O'Malley, who heads the Democratic Governors Association.
The two men faced off over the weekend on CNN's State of the Union -- but O'Malley has gone out of his way to downplay any enhanced competition. On WTOP Monday, O'Malley said that McDonnell is a "skilled communicator" and said he can understand why McDonnell would be an "attractive" GOP candidate for higher office.
In the past McDonnell has also played nice -- he came to Annapolis for O'Malley's inauguration in January. Speaking to reporters in the statehouse, McDonnell said O'Malley "obviously had a record of accomplishments during his first four years" and added: "He's a very smart guy."
The National Review piece ignored that Maryland also is expected to also close FY2011 a hefty surplus (in the hundreds of millions) due mostly to better than expected tax returns.
Also, the piece is silent on Virgina's budget projections for FY2013.
Thankfully, we had our own crafty way of finding them (see page 26). The document is two years old (much has changed since that time), but Virginia's budget writers were projecting modest surpluses for FY2012 and FY2013. And by FY20016 projected surpluses grow to about $300 million.
Maryland's budget picture is based on more recent information and not so rosy, with a row of deficits projected in coming years. Warren Deschenaux, the legislature's top fiscal analyst however, stressed that Maryland has historically always balanced its budget and will do it again this year.