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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.

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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