Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Tax Man

Growing up in Maryland the office of Comptroller of Maryland and Louis Goldstein were synonymous. Governors came and went but the comptroller stayed the same. When he died in 1998 he had served in the office for 39 years. As further evidence of the stature of this office, his predessor was William Donald Schaefer who was elected comptroller after serving two terms as governor. Many expected that Schaefer would also live out his years as Maryland’s CFO.

Except perhaps Peter Franchot that is. In 2006 Peter became the 34th comptroller in Marylands history after defeating Schaefer and former AA Co county executive Janet Owens in the Democratic primary. He was reelected last year.

Peter is a skilled politico in the ways of Annapolis, having served for 11 years in the House of Delegates representing the 20th legislative district in MoCo.

He is also one of those stealth candidates for governor in 2014. He sees himself as “fiscally conservative and socially progressive.”

On the podcast he shared his views of the challenges facing Marylands state budget and his efforts to involve the private sector in making state government more efficient. The first time I met Peter was at a Courtney Watson fundraiser and I know he campaigned with her in the last election. On Friday however, the loco politico that he singled out was Calvin Ball for his efforts to improve financial literacy in the public schools.

When we got into a discussion about the recent dust up over using proceeds from the new alcohol tax to fund artificial turf fields at a couple of HoCo high schools he called out the Balto Co county executive for his amazing lack of politico subtlety. In testimony before the public works board Kevin Kamenetz openly admitted that he was directing his counties share of these proceeds to districts where the delegates supported the tax. 

The only time we threw off this seasoned politico was when we asked him how the Jeffs were doing this year. It took him a second to register that we were referring to his D3 alma mater. Actually the Lord Jeffs had a pretty good day yesterday defeating Wesleyan 24-10.

You can listen to the latest episode of “and then there’s that…” here.
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