The biggest thing Peter Franchot has done as Comptroller was to make the office about everything but being the Comptroller
You might be surprised to know some of the things that Delegate Brooke Lierman intends to do if elected Comptroller:
Comptroller candidate and state Del. Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City) thinks being the state’s top fiscal watchdog should also mean preparing for climate change and combating racial inequality.
“I think the comptroller’s office is going to be central to ensuring that we don’t just ‘get back to normal,’ but that we actually create a more equitable and prosperous state moving forward,” she said in an interview.
Lierman wants to create an equity officer position within the comptroller’s office to look at tackling the racial wealth gap by promoting homeownership and closing the “appraisal gap,” or the difference in the cost of building or renovating a home to the potential sale price, in historically redlined neighborhoods….
…On the comptroller’s role in fighting climate change, Lierman said the comptroller needs to be analyzing how climate change could affect the state’s budget, like renovating public buildings located in growing flood zones. She said she expects climate change to be “enormously expensive” for the state, and that identifying risk areas now will help the state manage and combat climate change.
What do those things have to do with tax collection or any of the other roles of the Comptroller? Absolutely nothing.
That’s not to say that Lierman is focusing only on issues that are irrelevant to the office of the Comptroller. But if you look at her policy agenda, Lierman’s policy agenda meanders around from things that the Comptroller has to do to anything but:
Supporting Fair, Competitive, and Transparent Tax Administration
Modernizing the Office of Comptroller & Deploying Data
Transparent & Open Government for All
Tackling the Racial Wealth Gap
Strong, Stable & Connected Communities
A Government for All Marylanders
Thriving Small Businesses & Great Jobs
Harnessing the Power of Procurement
Supporting Our Rural Counties
An Excellent Education for Every Student
A Green, Clean Future
21st-Century, Connected Transportation Systems
Her primary opponent, Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, isn’t much better. His page lists three broad priorities:
Well, one outta three ain’t bad.
Though both Adams and Lierman appear to want to focus on anything but the job of the Comptroller, they’re just taking a page out of Peter Franchot’s book.
Most of the issues that Franchot discusses as his "issues" have little to do with the Comptroller's office and more to do with Democratic Party primary politics. On the issues of guns, health care spending, the budget, and equal rights, he will have less power to influence those as Comptroller than he does as a senior legislator.
What this tells me is that Delegate Franchot's main reason for running against Comptroller Schaefer has little do with Schaefer's performance as Comptroller, and more to do with Schaefer's more moderate politics. To be fair, Franchot has been very candid with that fact. But it seems to me that Peter Franchot is more concerned with being a Democrat than he does with being Comptroller. And given the list of issues that he has presented as being important to him in this election, I am not sure that Delegate Franchot understands the job that the Office of the Comptroller does.
A lot of what I said, truthfully, came to fruition. Though Franchot has, in his sixteen years, reformed the Comptroller’s office. He has spent a lot of his time on other issue that are unrelated to the office of the Comptroller. Remember his attack on Alabama’s abortion laws?
While Tim Adams and Brooke Lierman may be currently seeking the office of Comptroller by making promises unrelated to the job they’re seeking, they’re merely following the blueprint created by Peter Franchot. It may make for effective campaigning, but it hardly brings us effective fiscal management.