“[W]hen Gustavo Torres calls, I generally get in my car and go over and ask him what he wants,” says Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. It is rather startling that an elected official would admit to that level of obsequiousness to an organization dedicated to serving a particular ethnic group. And not just any ethnic advocacy group, but one that in addition to generous support from the State of Maryland has received funding from Venezuelan strongman, Hugo Chavez.
Franchot’s comment further highlights the betrayal of Maryland’s citizens by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and his allies in the state legislature when they rammed through Maryland’s own DREAM Act, putting the agenda of Casa de Maryland ahead of Maryland voters.
Fawning devotion to their political agenda is not all Casa receives from the Maryland government. As the Washington Post reports, “half of Casa’s $6 million budget comes from local, state and federal appropriations, and that Casa uses a significant portion of that money to help illegal immigrants.” Franchot made these remarks at a fete at Casa’s Maryland’s headquarters, a colonial mansion that the organization bought for $1 and spent $13.8 million renovating, “also partly funded with public money.”
So, how does the Post deal with the fact Casa’s great legislative victory will likely be short-lived as Maryland voters, i.e., citizens, appear ready to overturn the law by referendum in 2012? By labeling it a “populist backlash.” Torres shouldn’t worry too much, though; O’Malley and Franchot have keys in hand and are only a short car ride away next time they are summoned.