Maryland Gets a Financial Blessing on Inauguration Day
Lucky me, I happened to be in Annapolis yesterday covering not Martin O'Malley's Inauguration but a much more important legislative event: CPA Day with the Maryland Association of CPAs.
The Baltimore Sun has an excellent take on the event I missed while I was chasing CPAs through legislators' offices:
Gov. Martin O'Malley's second inauguration was much warmer than his first, and not just because of the absence of an outgoing Republican administration in the crowd. January temperatures in the 40s brought out signs of something not much in evidence in the state capital recently: optimism. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, introducing the governor before his speech on the sunny steps of the State House, quipped, "Remember the weather forecast? Stormy weather. O'Malley changed that. Remember the economic forecast? Stormy weather. O'Malley's going to change that, too."
Still, there was no escaping the fact that not everything at the second inauguration went as Mr. O'Malley might have wished. He probably did not intend for the awkward, minute-long pause after Chief Judge Robert Bell administered the ceremonial oath of office when the governor stood on the dais by himself, silent and waiting for a 19-gun salute and military fly-over. Nor, as he stood on the spot four years ago, did he likely anticipate what a slog he would face during his first term, or the difficult situation he confronts today as he finalizes a plan to close the state's $1.6 billion budget shortfall.
True, it was warm. I'm sure the accountants apologize if there was any awkwardness in Annapolis yesterday, that happens sometimes when you get too many of them together in one small area.
Two days earlier, the gun lobby stormed Richmond. Are 150 CPAs in Annapolis more dangerous than 200 gun owners in Richmond? I would be pretty frightened to see 150 financial professionals coming at me asking about a gross receipts tax.
Gun-toting activists wearing black and orange stickers stating "Guns Save Lives" and red, white and blue stickers saying "Freedom is not a Loophole," roamed the halls of the General Assembly Building on Capitol Square in Richmond before assembly near the Capitol Bell Tower for a late-morning rally sponsored by the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League.
"This is one of the safest places in Richmond right now," said VCDL president Phil Van Cleave, who estimated that more than 200 firearms were present.
For now, Bill Sheridan talks about why 150 CPAs are way more dangerous than 200 guns but I need a few days to recover before I can begin to describe that sort of power in front of me. Let Martin O'Malley consider it a blessing that 150 financial professionals appeared on the first day of his second term and brought the sun.