Posted by: Ann Corcoran | October 26, 2012

Mossburg: Steele and Scott, two reasons why Republicans lose in Maryland

Rallying the troops for crony capitalism!

Did you get the letter?  I did and it was infuriating.  Using their former status as Republican leaders in the state, Michael Steele and Audrey Scott apparently obtained a mailing list for registered Maryland Republicans and told us why we should support O’Malley and his crony gambling buddies on ballot Question #7.

I’m glad to see someone has the guts to challenge them!  Marta Mossburg of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, writing at the Baltimore Sun, zings them in her column earlier this week.  (emphasis mine, hat tip: Judy)

Republicans in Maryland often wonder why they lose. The letter sent last week by Michael Steele and Audrey Scott to Maryland Republicans urging them to vote for expanded gambling is a perfect example of how the party solidifies its minority status.

In it, the former Republican National Committee chairman and lieutenant governor and a former Maryland GOP chairwoman rally the troops for crony capitalism as if they were wearing Halloween masks of Senate President Mike Miller and Gov. Martin O’Malley.

They repeat the Democratic Party lie that a new casino at National Harbor in Prince George’s County will “provide hundreds of millions in new revenue for education each year, without raising taxes.”

Gambling revenue will replace money going to public schools from other sources, but nowhere does the law say public schools will get millions in “new revenue.”

Dismissing reality, they also say that Question 7 will “steer millions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of jobs into Western Maryland [via the gaming facility at Rocky Gap] and the Eastern Shore [via gaming facilities at Ocean Downs and Perryville].” They know that the Maryland Live casino in Anne Arundel, which opened in June, is siphoning revenue from Hollywood Casino Perryville. Revenue is down about 35 percent year over year there. (Revenue at Ocean Downs is up about 5 percent from a year ago.) And Penn National Gaming, Hollywood’s owner and the money behind the opposition to Question 7, recently asked the state to remove some slot machines so that the place doesn’t look empty. So how is adding another casino to increase jobs and money to those locations a sure thing, even with table games?

Did they get paid for their endorsement?

Laughably, Mr. Steele and Ms. Scott also note, “Partisan politics should not interfere with economic development and the creation of jobs.”

Mr. Steele and Ms. Scott’s letter was sent on behalf of the pro-Question 7 organization For Maryland Jobs & Schools. A spokeswoman for the group could not immediately say whether the pair was paid for their effort.

With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

Mr. Steele and Ms. Scott say that their main motivation is to do gambling “right” and capture as much money for the state as possible. But Question 7 is really about doing MGM Resorts International right, not Maryland taxpayers.


For Mr. Steele and Ms. Scott to add to Maryland’s reputation as a place that hands out favors to the politically connected makes a joke of their party label. With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

Mossburg gives us some very good economic reasons (read it all) why you should vote ‘against’ on Question 7, but here are two reasons I oppose the expansion of gambling in Maryland….

I grew up near Atlantic City (was actually born there!) and it’s a crime-ridden hell hole that recently had to be taken over by the state of NJ to get the crime under control.  And, I now live not far from Charlestown Race Track.  Did you ever go by there and note who is gambling?—-the people who can least afford to be throwing their money away!  It is taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich gambling industry.

Addendum:  Long time readers know it was this same tainted pair—Steele and Scott—who brought us the Rule 11 debacle that ripped the party apart during the Murphy v. Ehrlich primary in 2010.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Bob Ehrlich is in on this too, but as chairman for the Romney campaign in Maryland he likely needs to keep his fingerprints off this one.



  1. Typical of the usual suspects with predictable patterns of special interests. These voices represent the old ways and they are dying; losing power. They will not come back, because new voices of sane, rational government are taking hold in the Republican party in Maryland.
    Steele, as national GOP chairman, has been exposed nationally, and others will be exposed as well. The truth drives out the old, dirty ways of politics of self-destruction of the past.
    The new GOP in Maryland is changing to become committed to principles of liberty and limited, constitutional government; honest and honorable service to the wellbeing of ALL; free marketplace and individual liberty. This is the winning message that is heard louder all the time. Let’s keep the focus on this new, growing positive message of change in the party. As decent, honorable, liberty-oriented, candidates rise to become elected, the misguided leadership of the past will become a distant memory. The times they are a-changin’. The train has already left the station… we’re moving forward. Don’t look back. You may turn to stone.

  2. The rule 11 debacle sealed my longtime growing fury with and distrust of the Republican party. It enraged me so much that I was inspired to work on Brian Murphy’s campaign with zeal. I knew that he would not win but the message needed to be sent to the party elites. Obviously, they did not get it! Look at the corruption that went on in Tampa and how Romney got nominated.

    As I worked on the 2010 campaign I was constantly amazed that more Republicans were not on board and did not seem to care about the corruption in the party at that time. Hopefully, this despicable behavior from Audrey Scott and Michael Steele will open more eyes. I’ve already said “I told you so” to a few friends.

    I believe that the voters will shoot down question 7 (barring any vote tampering). Do we need the U.N. observers here?

    I’m glad for once, that I live in Maryland (which is locked up for Obama) so I can vote my conscience. I wanted Ron Paul but it looks like I’ll be sending another message to the Republicans and voting for Gary Johnson.

  3. More information on how Republicans were for it when Erlich was in office and Dems were against, see/saw see saw.  Think “unpolitically”  about how or how not this can affect Maryland. Ask yourself why w.VA and PA and DE are paying for ads against the plan. Ask why, one of the most conservative Delegates in MD voted for the plan, over objections of Reps, when he realized that it was good for business in MD> Think about it and answer with reasonable responses to the nagative if there are any. Thanks

  4. Why should I vote for that stupid Question 7. Former Lt Governor Steele and former MD GOP chairwoman who helped mailed that stupid ad is getting laughed at and not going to be taken seriously right after O’Malley went on TV being the pompus sexist for who he is saying we need to vote yes on 7. We must vote no on 7,6,5,4,3,2,and 1

  5. Ann,
    You got one thing wrong on this one. I received the letter from Steele and Scott and I am not, nor ever have been, enrolled as a republican. About a year ago I changed my party affiliation from democrat to unaffilliated. I am on no Republican mailing list. I do not know where Steele got the addresses that he sent to, but I doubt that it was a republican party address list, since I am not on any of those. Which, of course, brings up an interesting question: How did I get on his list?

    A note of interest is that my wife is a registered republican, and she did NOT receive a letter from Steele. I am an independant, and I did receive the letter. I think further evidence that this wasn’t a borrowed republican party mailing list. I don’t know where the mailing list came from, but I question whether it was a republican party list.

    Just my two cents.

    • That is amazing, so whose list did they acquire????

  6. […] told you about Steele and Scott here recently as well in a post that might have been titled—with Republicans like these who needs […]

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