An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Veto Bob

Yesterday Bob Ehrlich decided to shed the façade of good-natured moderation he so assiduously cultivated during the 2002 race for governor, deciding instead to side wholeheartedly with his long-time friends in corporate America and the religious right. In case you missed front page articles in today’s papers, you know that the Governor vetoed laws to raise the Maryland minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 an hour and to give minimal medical, funeral, and property rights to domestic partners, among other important and useful measures.

Democrats across the state received a key tool with which to rally their base and a broad swathe of Maryland for next year’s elections. With the Governor’s rejection of these measures, as well as efforts to reform transportation, juvenile justice, and voting problems, pretty much every group outside of large corporations and religious fundamentalists will be offended and will recognize that it does matter who holds sway in Annapolis.

For all kinds of citizens as well as activists who must decide how to budget time, energies, and alliances, it is no longer a question of being able to work with moderates who say they share our concerns. More than ever voters must understand that their votes matter, that who they elect matters. Just like in 2004, it is crystal clear that we have to be stand up, and more importatly, organize. What makes real substantive change is each of us working for it. Anyway, enough of my ranting about walking the walk.