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Democratic Gov. O’Malley travels to SC to boost national profile

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Betsi Fores
The Daily Caller News Foundation

Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley will travel to South Carolina Monday to help state Sen.Vincent Sheheen in his potential bid to be Palmetto State governor.

“I was proud to ask Governor O’Malley to join the SCDP [South Carolina Democratic Party] for the annual Issues Conference, and we are excited to welcome him,” a release said, before praising the Maryland Democrat’s economic policies. “That is the kind of leadership we are lacking in South Carolina’s statehouse and his presence will bring valuable insight and experience to our discussions.”

“Governor O’Malley has gotten results,” Sheheen has said.

Some of the positive statements made about O’Malley’s track record as governor, however, have drawn criticism from conservative groups in both South Carolina and Maryland.

“There are two events going on in South Carolina just days apart that illustrate vast differences of the priorities of two governors.   One is a partisan political cheerleader event intended to help politicians.  The other is an economic development forum to increase jobs and employment,” Change Maryland chairman Larry Hogan said in a statement.

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal called O’Malley’s fiscal record a “bust” last September, questioning the governor’s claims to have cut spending.

Change Maryland has been consistently critical of Governor O’Malley’s tax policies.

“Maryland has just three Fortune 500 companies, while neighboring states Pennsylvania and Virginia each have eight times that many.  We have lost 6500 small businesses since 2007 — the second worst decline in our region,” Hogan continued.

Change Maryland contends O’Malley’s tax policies have pushed both business and high earners out of the state to neighboring Virginia and Pennsylvania.

An earlier study found that between 2007 and 2010, more than 31,000 Marylanders left the state.

“Virginia is now home to 11,455 former Marylanders, taking $390 million from the tax rolls during this three-year period,” the group said in a statement.

The high taxes have also been accompanied by an increase in the unemployment rate.

“Maryland’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent when O’Malley was sworn into office in January 2007 …the unemployment rate had more than doubled to 7.4 percent when he was sworn into his second term in January 2011,” the South Carolina GOP claims on its website, citing numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“In today’s world of extreme social and career mobility, the federal government shield won’t last forever and those with means will seek asylum elsewhere. It’s happening in California. If Annapolis continues on its current fiscal path, it will happen in Maryland as well,” Dave Schwartz, the Maryland state director for Americans for Prosperity, wrote in an op-ed.

O’Malley drew attention at the Democratic National Convention this past fall and is considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate. There are reports that his fundraising has lagged, however.

“O’Malley’s O’Say Can You See political action committee took in $47,390 in December after the busy campaign season, and it has $28,550 in the bank,” the Washington Examiner reported.

Alternatively, Hillary Clinton, “who has not committed to a 2016 run, … raised $233,871 in December and formed a new PAC last week,” the Examiner added.

Money problems aside, a poll finds that most Marylanders don’t think the two-term governor should run for president.

A Gonzales Research poll of 801 Maryland residents found respondents opposed an O’Malley presidential big by a margin of 58 percent to 25 percent.

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