The Other Side Of The Integrity Report

Governor's office calls report that gave Maryland a D for transparency "sketchy," "very flawed," and "flat out wrong."

A report released Monday by the State Integrity Investigation project drew some scathing remarks from a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley.

I by the non-profit here on this blog yesterday and included several links to the review of all 50 states. The post wasn't intended to be a comprehensive report as much as an effort to let readers know it existed and show them where it could be found.

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for the governor, cried foul and sent an email detailing what the O'Malley administration sees as problems with the report. I'm presenting her email here unedited:

Hey: I can't believe you guys put this up on your website without contacting us. The whole thing is very sketchy. The "reporter" who called me about this we found out actually works for the organization. He wanted reaction to our grade but wouldn't send us a copy of the report or give us any specifics. The report is very flawed. Makes very sweeping statements without any evidence of its findings. Also, MD has been recognized by numerous recognized and accredited organizations for its transparency. Here are just a few examples of where the study is just flat out wrong:

THEIR CLAIM: Redistricting

Public meetings to solicit input on new district maps were not held for the latest redistricting round, or were so limited or generalized as to render them meaningless.

FACT:  The Maryland Constitution requires that the Governor conduct public hearings, which means at least two.  During the last redistricting cycle, the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee conducted 12 public meetings across the State before the Committee submitted a proposed plan to the Governor.  The Governor then scheduled an additional public meeting in Annapolis to hear comments on the proposed plan.

THEIR CLAIM:  Public plans were not allowed for consideration by the redistricting policy making body, and/or were given such discriminatory treatment at the hands of government actors, rendering them meaningless in the overall process.

FACT: The Redistricting Committee welcomed the submission of third party plans and posted clear guidelines on how to do so.  See http://planning.maryland.gov/redistricting/2010/3rdpartyplans.shtml.

Numerous third party plans were posted on the Department of Planning’s website and were reviewed by the Committee.  Improvements in technology and the widespread availability of redistricting software allowed for the most open and transparent redistricting process in the history of the State.

THEIR CLAIM: State Budget Process

Citizens cannot access itemized budget allocations due to secrecy, prohibitive barriers or government inefficiency.

FACT:  On the Department of Budget and Management’s website, all of the operating budget documents are available for the current proposed budget, current operating budget and past enacted budgets. This information is broken down by agency, itemized and is also searchable online. Capital budget information is also itemized and available on the website. http://www.dbm.maryland.gov

THEIR CLAIM: The governor does not publish a mid-year review for the first six months of the budget year to discuss any changes in economic assumptions that would affect approved budget policies.

FACT:  Due to the timing of the legislative session (January – April), a thorough analysis of the current budget is performed by the non-partisan Department of Legislative Services every year. The reports that are published by DLS are available for anyone to see on the DLS website.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Purple Elephant Politics March 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM
It's interesting to me that the State would defend its redistricting plan, when it's clear to us that public input and third party plans had little to no effect on the outcome of the legislative (and congressional for that matter) redistricting plan. The latest round was used more as a pawn in the Governor's game of political posturing and strong arming his agenda through Annapolis. To say that this plan was somehow transparent is an absolute ridiculous absurdity. Where was the transparency when one of the Governor's appointed Redistricting Board members, Richard Stewart, was convicted of tax evasion? Would the Governor come out and be transparent with how they targeted Senators Brochin and Jacobs? Would they be transparent about how in the congressional redistricting, they carved out District 6 especially for Rob Garigiola? Just because you follow the letter of the law doesn't make you a transparent state of integrity.
Tim March 21, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The misinformation campaign from the Owe'Malley administration continues... all of their 'facts' don't actually reconcile the claims at all - or only marginally do so.
Mari March 21, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Aw, did Martin and his minions get their feelings hurt? This isn't going to help him with his presidential run in 2016. They can say what they want, but they don't make any changes based on input from the public or the "opposition". Having Miller and Busch on the redistricting committee ensured that the process was entirely political and aimed at punishing and rewarding those who opposed or agreed with them, respectively. Frankl.y, I'm surprised we ranked as high as 40th.
Buzz Beeler March 21, 2012 at 05:59 PM
And to think the leader of this - FREE - state has his eye set on the WH where it will be truly the land of the FREE. Bryan love it when all of your ducks are lined up and theirs are all wet.
Meg O'Hare March 21, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I guess that the only studies that are not flawed are those engineered by the O'Malley administration. In my opinion, Maryland is not known for transparency or letting citizen input count for anything.
Able Baker March 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM
So apparently not getting what I want = corruption to the right wing crybabies.
1ke March 21, 2012 at 07:01 PM
So, what's the problem? Is the spoils system getting the crowd riled up? The man is just carrying on a Maryland political tradition. He hasn't been indicted or convicted like Agnew, Anderson, Orlinsky, Mandel (later exonerated), Bromwell, sundry Mitchells, Johnson, Currie, Bauman or Leopold so leave him alone.
Dunk March 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Mari March 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Actually, it's NO ONE getting what they want unless what they want is what Marty and His Minions want. Marty and His Minions - I think I just found a name for his new musical group.
Mari March 21, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Dunk is correct - give it time...
Buzz Beeler March 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Dunk, you beat me to it. Looking over your shoulder gives you a kink in the neck.
Buzz Beeler March 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Mr. Baker, you seem to be good at using labels that have nothing written on them. Those on the right pick up the tab for those on the left - out!
1ke March 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
How do you like power politics? Kind of makes you all get all hopeful and twitchy. Lord have mercy, don't forget to vote on April 1.
Brian March 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM
The O'Malley Clan is too busy "protecting Maryland's PRIORITIES" to give weight to any opposition. Too bad the working ,car driving, home owners are not part of their "priorities". It is quite evident given the ridiculous budget plan and tax rape he is bestowing upon us. "Us" being the 55% having to pay for the rest of Marylanders.
Karl March 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Not to condone the redistricing process, this fiasco has been pollitically postured and strong armed for decades. (I'm 70. I know.) Like a fool, I went to a redistricing meeting ten years ago at Towson State University. What a waste of time. The boundaries had already been drawn behind closed doors before any of the public input meetings were scheduled. Needless to say, I didn't bother to attend this year.
Dale March 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM
This is what happens when a good governor has to deal with closed minded individuals who don't want to see progress. Assumptions are not facts, just assumptions...thank you Governor O'Malley for keeping Maryland a great place to live and raise families.
1ke March 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Hold on a minute, Brian. The old "normal" has changed with a global recession, the export of factory jobs, accelerated technological change, and the international competition for scarce resources. People made decisions based on the cheap gas, counted on constantly increasing housing prices, cashed out on home equity lines of credit, and failed to invest in education. Now, they have fallen and can't get up. They happen to be your fellow citizens. Either you are one of those people or you are complaining about the fact that you are extending a helping hand--whether you like it or not. I'd sure love to see the Insane Whiner Plan, you know, the one that never gets put forward.
Mari March 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
No, Dale, this is what happens when the state government takes control of everything in the state and tolerates NO opposition to its plans.
Able Baker March 22, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Nope, sorry. Only in conservative fantasyland. Here in the United States, most red states are net recipients of federal tax dollars, whereas most blue states are net contributors. Maryland, one of the bluest states, also has the highest median income. The ten poorest states in the union are all solidly Republican controlled. http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/14/the-redblue-paradox One of the worst offenders? Those rugged individualists in Alaska, despite their massive oil wealth.
Tim March 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Of course the blue states contribute most, look at who's been left in charge, taxing the living crap out of us.
Gary Staab March 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Even though he is a Liberal, do you think OWE'Malley has a chance at the White House with his record of antics with Commissioner Kelley, running back and forth to NY with the ladies?
Buzz Beeler March 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Gary, at that level he will be under the intense scrutiny of a the national media and not the local outlets. You can bet his opposition will take a close look at everything and not stone or documents will go unturned.
Able Baker March 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
It was still true when the Republicans ran the country. Sorry your political philosophy doesn't lead to the results you think it does.
Joe McCarthy March 23, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Let em turn ! The fox nazi news outlets are scared. They wont put him on cause he trashes their politicos every time.He's Mandel with personality,he's agnew with a brain,and he keeps mopping the floor with his critics and challangers(erlich was next big thing before he tangled with Marty).No love him or hate him he's stomped everyone thats got in his way, But I digress this "report" has no specifics when I read it so true or not they need more info. It ranks CA near the top and they are going broke,and NJ #1. I want to see more info.
kevin March 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM
The fox network won't him on becausehe trashes there politicos everytime. My God does that mean Marty is equal to Bin Laden? Direct records that the Seals found in Bin Laden's headquarters told his followers to stay off Fox and use the other networks. fox would not be receptive to our ideals. Great thunderraoach keep putting down Fox and support the Networks of Bin Laden. Although I must credit CNN because they came forward with these reports it was dropped within 24 hours but it was CNN who reported it. Bin Laden was trying to promote a ten year 9/11 terrorist attack across the USA and he his advice was use the media except Fox. Are you a terrorist ? I mean every time you and the union and liberals scream Fox narrow minds and false reporting is it from your heart or your leader Bin Laden?
Arbutus Town Crier May 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century: 1. Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; 2. Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; 3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; 4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; 5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; 6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.” Pick one , Most educated lawyers, Career politicians,etc...control Majority of the American blue collar or whats left of us, WE everyday people can't absorb the language, they bills or too long to read. If the Declaration of Independence was written today clauses, sub section, small print, disclaimers! This is one way to keep America Misinformed and loose there Freedom, I can see it here that the misinformed believing in top to bottom indoctrination, when the design is intended bottom to top so grass root Americans so don't loose their Liberty. We cant read and understand documents. We do know if it quacks like a duck its a duck!


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