Some Democrats say they ‘got the message’ from Hogan’s election

Some Democrats say they ‘got the message’ from Hogan’s election

Above: Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, Dels.-elect Terri Hill, Trent Kittleman, Clarence Lam

By Len Lazarick

New Democratic legislators from Howard County said they “got the message” on spending and taxes from the election of Republican Larry Hogan Jr. as governor.

“I think we got the message,” Del.-elect Clarence Lam told a Howard County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Tuesday. “We understand folks want to move in a different direction.”

Lam is one of two physicians elected to the House of Delegates from District 12 in a Democrat-leaning county that not only went with Hogan but also elected Republican Sen. Allan Kittleman as county executive.

“Maryland sent a message with the election of this governor,” said Democratic Del.-elect Vanessa Atterbeary, a lawyer elected in District 13. “Both sides have to be committed to working together.”

The message wasn’t lost on veteran Democratic leaders either.

A positive thing

Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Ed Kasemeyer said: “My perspective, along with many of my colleagues, we view this as a positive thing that the people have made a statement about the things we have been doing.”

“We look forward to a very positive relationship” with Hogan, Kasemeyer said, with more compromise and less of the confrontation that happened with the last Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich, for whom Hogan was appointments secretary.

Kasemeyer pointed out that Maryland’s looming budget deficits were not unique, with Pennsylvania and Virginia both experiencing shortfalls in their budgets.

Legislative analysts said last week there is a $300 million deficit projected in Maryland’s budget this year and a $600 million shortfall next year,

“This is a new reality,” Kasemeyer said. “Certainly the federal government has really screwed the deal for Maryland,” with cutbacks in federal spending.

Miller Atterbeary Turner Bates 2

Del. Warren Miller, Del.-elect Vanessa Atterbeary, Del. Frank Turner, Sen.-elect Gail Bates, moderator Dick Story

Doubts about tax cuts

“We need to hold down spending,” conceded Del. Frank Turner, District 13, vice-chair of the House Ways & Means Committee that handles tax legislation. “We need to keep within spending affordability guidelines.”

While Turner saw the need for keeping a lid on spending, he was dubious about Hogan’s push for tax cuts.

“You’ve got to have revenues from somewhere,” Turner said. “I don’t see any major reductions” in taxes this year.

Republicans were more optimistic.

“We have a governor who is committed to controlling spending,” said Sen.-elect Gail Bates, a delegate elected to fill Kittleman’s seat. The structural deficits in years ahead represent “things that we would like to do. That assumes we continue to do what we have done before.”

Republican Del. Warren Miller said the state budget was “a target-rich environment.”

In door knocking in his western Howard County district he found many people ready to move out of the state, and he said there were too many “Maryland license plates in front of all those big office parks” in northern Virginia.

“We have a lot of work to do … to be a competitive state again,” Miller said.

Lam suggested that tax credits given to targeted businesses, such as the coal mine credit, would be a good place to look for tax changes.


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. karl john

    thank GOD that the Democrats still have the power to keep Hogan from being a complete nutbag TeaBagger.

    • fupid stuck

      still have power. for now. but people are tired of the failed liberal policies of tax everything and spend more. with any luck we can eventually get rid of the true nutbags ruining this state… hoyer mikulski cardin cummings.

  2. ksteve

    I don’t blame people for being unhappy about the tax system. It’s too regressive and should be based on ability to pay. But does anyone really think the Republicans are more likely to provide such a tax structure? No, they’d rather look for tax cuts that primarily benefit corporations and the rich (the people in THEIR tax bracket).

    One of the lessons I learned from the past election is that the Democratic candidate for governor excited almost no one and defeated two more exciting candidates in the primary who hailed from Montgomery County (a jurisdiction that had an appalling low turnout in the general election). There are also always going to be some potential voters who don’t seem to realize that elections matter and, if you don’t vote, someone else controls your life. Through action or inaction. I believe the majority of the people get the government they deserve.

  3. Robert H Cooper

    A Fact…..O’Mally condemed Eurlick over a Structural Defidiet of about 1.1 billon dolars. Declared he would correct that if elected. Instead, the state is in Big financial trouble and that debt was NOT reduced, but was swelled by the democraps who control Annapolis. Illegals and welfare spending lead the list of out of control expenses. And O’mally’s response was to solicite more illegal into the sate and grow the debt even more. And CASA of Maryland is given control of large amounts of Tax payers money used to defend illegals hiding out in Maryland. The new gov needs to start right here to finds moneies he can chop from and reduce the state’s tax burden on it people.

  4. MDPatriot

    HA! Dems got the message?? Message to the Reps in Annapolis: DO NOT trust any of them!!!

  5. joe

    Where were these Democrats for the last eight years of Governor O’Malley’s drunken “tax and spend” binge?

  6. MD observer

    Kasemeyer said. “Certainly the federal government has really screwed the deal for
    Maryland,” with cutbacks in federal spending.

    No, Mr. Kasemeyer. The state knew the riskiness of relying on the Federally-driven portion of its economy. You did nothing to manage that risk. Whose fault is that?

  7. 33949485857676100--100

    all your money comes from us. the taxpayer. I have no issue with paying some taxes. keyword here is “some”. we are taxed on anything that moves here now. its a system that’s been abused for years. its out of control. government keeps demanding and getting more money from us… we have less and less in our paychecks to live on and pay our bills… I cant even find decent paying full time work. I’m working 2 part time jobs 7 days/week, and I’m still struggling financially (see if you can live on min wage)… everything here is so expensive, taxes are high. cost of living is high… yes, i’m working 7 days/week. I have no benefits… no paid days off or holidays… government workers get 15 paid holidays or more? not to mention lots of paid vacation and sick leave… all paid for by us, the taxpayer. it’s ironic that I pay for all government workers benefits and “perks”, but my employer won’t offer me any… in fact both jobs keep me under 29 hours week to avoid having to give me benefits (thanks Obamacare and Johnathan Gruber).

    I’m one major car repair from being broke… my car is 13 yrs old… one more big repair wipes out my budget… I will be unable to fix it… then I can’t drive to work….

    that is the reality of my financial situation… and many other people I’m sure.

    lowering taxes and fees can help the people out some… but it means taking from government workers… which I’m sure they won’t like that.

    • DemWhiners

      YOU want to penalize all government workers because you’re broke? You think that my wife whom [works for the government] went to law school,obtained her law degree, obtained her master’s degree, works her butt off 10-12 hours a day doesn’t deserve to have paid holidays? You sure sound like a democrat; woe is me, I want a hand-out.

      • abby_adams

        And I’m sure you wife is well compensated for her work. Additionally, she has protections not available to those in private industry. The argument isn’t about your wife or any other gov worker. It is strictly about the largess extended by those in power in a one party state. We all pay yet not all get any voice in how those tax dollars are spent. More $$ in taxpayer’s pockets helps boost the economy no matter who your employer happens to be.

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