Peter Franchot's Big Brother Government

Gubernatorial Candidate wants to expand Maryland State Government in unsustainable and unnecessary ways

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is starting to lay out his campaign for Governor. And from Franchot shared with Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters, it is a frightening thing to contemplate.

First, Franchot’s so-called “elevator speech” shows a frightening amount of state government intrusion combined with confusion about the roles of government in Maryland:

“I’m running for governor to give equal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for every Marylander,” Franchot says.

“In the first six months as governor, I will fix every pothole in the state, pick up all the trash, and have every state agency answer the phone within 30 seconds, with a live friendly state employee who will help you and will understand your frustration.”

This is a comical set of goals and expectations.

Fixing all the potholes? Is he talking about state roads? County roads? City roads? The idea that the Franchot could ensure that all of the potholes on state roads are fixed in six months is fanciful. And those are the only roads that the State Government has jurisdiction over. How exactly does Franchot plan to fix roads in Baltimore City, which is virtually independent of state maintenance? Or county roads?

Franchot also misunderstands the direction of services in modern America. Being an out-of-touch politician with 30 years in government will do that to you. But more and more people every day expected services to be available online, not by making a phone call. In worrying about phone coverage, Franchot is already showing that he is living in the past.

This doesn’t even get into the fact that the state has no responsibility for local trash pickup.

None of this will surprise longtime Franchot watchers. I wrote way back in 2005 when Franchot was running for Comptroller for the first time that he may not entirely understand the office he was running for and was instead prioritizing Democratic Party talking points over anything else.

Then, Franchot talks about all he will reform state funding:

“After six months I will implement a series of fundamental reforms to state funding of the transportation sector, the health sector, the education sector, the environmental sector, and the public safety sector,” he said.

This is code for “tax increases.” Because no matter what Franchot says he is going to do, the end result of his “reforms” are going to call for more money to be spent in all of those areas. Especially when you talk about this gem:

In addition to his six-month blitz on potholes and highway litter, and his state spending reforms, Franchot said he will propose a new approach to cleaning the Chesapeake Bay, which he will call the Blue New Deal — “where we actually take what we’ve been doing, in partnership with Virginia and Pennsylvania, and reform it. And make Maryland the key player as far as restoring oysters to the bay, restoring rockfish to the bay, restoring oxygen to the dead zones in the bay.”

Franchot did not learn the political lessons of the Green New Deal, which is a political loser even in heavily Democratic areas. Of course, any “new approach” to cleaning the Bay is likely to include massive tax increases and huge increases in the size of state government.

The irony is that DePuyt highlights the concept that “Franchot’s long alliance with Hogan is a key part of his centrist, pro-business image.” But that idea gets immediately blown up by the fact that Franchot has clearly indicated his preference to rapidly expand the state government, intrude into the lives of citizens, create jobs primarily for public sector unions, and exponentially raise taxes on working people.

Finally, I want to highlight this gem:

As he prepares for the 2022 race, Franchot said he will run on the reforms he brought to the comptroller’s office (speedier tax refunds, phones that get answered, unclaimed property that gets returned to its owners) and his vision for the state.

“People are going to say, ‘gosh, the guy’s competent. He’s already shown that he can accomplish things. And he’s got some ideas that we make progress in the state of Maryland.'”

That’s interesting:

Some kind of competence.

Peter Franchot’s platform sounds like the rotten fish of typical left-wing statism typical of his 30-year career in government wrapped up in centrist newspaper. It is an unsustainable overreach of state government that will