Miller calls GOP delegates ‘Neanderthals’ over gas tax opposition

Senate President Mike Miller

Senate President Mike Miller

Responding to Republican assertions at a Tuesday morning news conference that a gas tax hike he proposed is unnecessary, Senate President Mike Miller said, “These people are Neanderthals.”

Miller suggested that Republicans were towing the party line even though many of their districts would benefit from the passage of the tax bill.

“Everyone of them wants revenue and every one of them knows we need to pay for it but they don’t have the political courage, guts, or fortitude to vote for it,” Miller said. “It’s as simple as that. They’re afraid of losing the primaries. They’re putting their political careers ahead of the state.”

House Republican Leader Tony O’Donnell had said, “We are appalled that Democratic leaders would again ask taxpayers to pay more when they have done nothing to curb spending and responsibly steward existing transportation revenue.” The GOP delegates said no tax hikes were needed if current revenues were used properly.

Later, Republicans responded to Miller’s criticism.

“We were disappointed in the remarks made by Senate President Miller earlier today,” O’Donnell and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said in a statement. “We simply disagree on a fundamental philosophical issue – that is hardly a reason to resort to name calling. However, his remarks are indicative of the lack of civil discourse that prevents good public policy from moving forward in Maryland.”

Both Miller and the Republicans spoke of a need for bipartisan cooperation. But that dialogue has yet to take place, and Miller fears that it may be unlikely in the near future.

–Becca Heller

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. abby_adams

    Let’s see how kindly taxpayers will take to another hike in taxation. 24 revenue hikes & counting yet under the stewardship of the Dems in Annapolis they desire even more $$ to spend or “invest” with little accountability.

  2. hungrypirana

    Mike Miller contends Republicans are 25 – 35,000 years behind Democrats. He was around back then and should know.

    I, however, remain skeptical.

  3. JGwen

    As a Maryland gas, sales, property tax payer I would have to say that the current “Gas Tax increase, “Gas Sales Tax,” ‘Property Tax ” particularly as added to all the overt and covert financial bleeds being imposed this year and in coming years by Maryland’s “Politicians” represent “ill-mannered, coarse and contemptible demands.” We are all well aware that moneys received by the “Transportation Trust Fund” have been appropriated for other than development of needed and maintenance of existing Maryland Roads and Bridges. I don’t recall seeing any information on the economic merits for a Statewide Mass Transportation (particularly light rail as compared to other solutions relating to commutes into DC and Baltimore) financing. Maryland citizens should receive an full scope accounting of ALL the direct and indirect (example – Wind Bill, significantly increased State, County and Municipality electric costs that tax/rate payers will end up paying for in addition to their overt $1.50/mo) financial bleeds imposed by/proposed during the full tenure of the current Administration. Maryland residents are already “enjoying” Paying the Ninth-Largest tax burden in the country. One might wonder whether we aren’t promoting our joining the “Death Spiral States” (California, New York and Illinois) levels of taxation.