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Wed Jul 1, 2015, 09:05 AM

Martin O'Malley and the Poetry of Greater Purpose

By Jay Surdukowski for the Concord Monitor

____The buses stop at a house on a river where Gov. Martin O’Malley is having dinner with the friends of a long career. Green plastic tablecloths and cheap fold-up chairs crowd under a tent. Rain stops. Martin joyfully anticipates the fight ahead; gives thanks. Then he surprises with a poem, “These Chesapeake Men” – about fishers who selflessly brave the storm-tossed sea for those they love.

Shades of Robert Kennedy; politics and grace. With Martin, there is a poetry of greater purpose. Just the day prior, Martin gave a landmark foreign policy address, then joined the marriage celebration at the steps of the Supreme Court. A day of boldness of heart and leadership; to which he is no stranger. Passing marriage equality. Defending it at the ballot box. Fifteen years of hands-on executive experience. Data-driven governance. A Maryland DREAM Act. In a phrase, New Leadership.

Martin doesn’t need to “evolve” – he has led; never has that been more clear. On equality, terrorism, gun violence, racism, immigration, climate change, rebuilding our cities, economic rebirth – O’Malley comes out swinging.

There are big ideas and there are those who achieve them.

A man of his time...

I ask how he is holding up. His shoulders slacken, his kind green eyes scan the sliver of gold daylight left on the horizon. He speaks of the awesome burden and joy of his decision. He concedes there are mornings of doubt. But he centers himself. He prays. Martin says he could not look himself in the mirror if he didn’t dare to try. We look out over the water one last time in thoughtful silence. His tall form reflected in the ripples, an image forms in my mind of a president walking shirt-sleeved in the poorest streets of Baltimore or forcefully addressing the United Nations, addressing the United Nations, equally at home in both settings; a rebuilder of cities and a champion of new leadership – on these shores, and in the world beyond...

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Reply Martin O'Malley and the Poetry of Greater Purpose (Original post)
bigtree Jul 2015 OP
FSogol Jul 2015 #1
Bluenorthwest Jul 2015 #2
bigtree Jul 2015 #3
Bluenorthwest Jul 2015 #6
bigtree Jul 2015 #7
FSogol Jul 2015 #5
bigtree Jul 2015 #4
elleng Jul 2015 #8
Koinos Jul 2015 #9
bigtree Jul 2015 #11
Koinos Jul 2015 #12
JustAnotherGen Jul 2015 #10
bigtree Jul 2015 #14
hedgehog Jul 2015 #13

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 09:12 AM

1. K & R. n/t

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 10:05 AM

2. Wow, in reality, in 2006 O'Malley was talking 'one man and one woman' just like


the rest of them.
“I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a fundamental issue of the state’s public policy, and a decision that ultimately should not be made by a single trial court judge.”

I also remember his letter with Harold Ford Jr in 2007:

Our Chance to Capture the Center
By Martin O'Malley and Harold Ford Jr.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

With President Bush and the Republican Party on the rocks, many Democrats think the 2008 election will be, to borrow a favorite GOP phrase, a cakewalk. Some liberals are so confident about Democratic prospects that they contend the centrism that vaulted Democrats to victory in the 1990s no longer matters.

The temptation to ignore the vital center is nothing new. Every four years, in the heat of the nominating process, liberals and conservatives alike dream of a world in which swing voters don't exist. Some on the left would love to pretend that groups such as the Democratic Leadership Council, the party's leading centrist voice, aren't needed anymore.

But for Democrats, taking the center for granted next year would be a greater mistake than ever before.

So while his positions are currently just fine, to affect that he has always been some leader on LGBT issues is a great exaggeration, to claim he is not a centrist is to ignore his own words.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 10:24 AM

3. disgusting smear

...what a hateful place this is sometimes.

I was also raised, as O'Malley was by his religious upbringing ,to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman. That had little bearing on how I viewed that issue as an adult. It's the same for Martin O'Malley

You cite that clipped quote, as the author of that biased article has done, to make it appear that was how he viewed the issue as an adult. It's a disgustingly slippery politics you're practicing here which isn't serving anything except some craven political argument you think is important in this campaign. Tell me what purpose it serves the LGBT community to distort his beliefs in this way. Tell me how this is helping ANYTHING attempting to knock O'Malley down on his support for the LGBT community.

I hope people here see through this nastiness for the political smear it is.

His history of support in Md. for leading his state to be the eighth in the nation to provide a legal basis for marriage equality and other protections for the LGBT community speaks for itself. The thousands of lives he has made an actual difference in trump all of the rhetoric (and politically-driven) distortions you or anyone else with an agenda can conjure up.

At school, where he was elected president of the student government, O'Malley went to mass daily and took theology classes.

Brockman said that the nuns and teachers at Our Lady of Lourdes, aside from committing their students to public service and faith, encouraged children to speak out about what they believed in. "They were challenged and taught to think on their feet, and I think you still see that in Martin," she said.

Daniel M. Kerns, Jr., O'Malley's eighth grade teacher, recalls that O'Malley was even in middle school a class leader, gregarious and "very comfortable" in taking a prominent role in class discussions.

The young O'Malley, Kerns said, was not afraid to take positions that ran contrary to what might have been the standard.

Indeed, in his present political life, O'Malley has not hesitated to take positions that run contrary to Catholic doctrine. He is pro-choice on abortion; he supports embryonic stem cell research, and he has vowed to uphold the state's laws on the death penalty.

Hari Sevugan, O'Malley's campaign spokesman, said the mayor's faith informs his positions, but does not dictate them.


and you call him a centrist???!

This is no 'centrist' record of accomplishment.

1. Ended death penalty in Maryland
2. Prevented fracking in Maryland and put regulations in the way to prevent next GOP Gov Hogan from easily allowing fracking.
3. Provided health insurance for 380,000
4. Reduced infant mortality to an all time low.
5. Provided meals to thousands of hungry children and moved toward a goal for eradicating childhood hunger.
6. Enacted a $10.10 living wage and a $11. minimum wage for State workers.
7. Supporter the Dream Act
8. Cut income taxes for 86% of Marylanders (raised taxes on the rich).
9. Reformed Maryland’s tax code to make it more progressive.
10. Enacted some of the nation’s most comprehensive reforms to protect homeowners from foreclosure.

Mother Jones magazine called him the best candidate on environmental issues.
Article here:

Invested in the Next Generation

Led the Nation in Public Education
Under Governor O’Malley, Maryland’s public schools ranked #1 in America five years in a row, according to Education Week. Even in the height of the recession, while many states were cutting education spending, O’Malley invested record amounts in Maryland’s public schools, increasing funding by 37%.

Made College More Affordable
Governor O’Malley made higher education a budget priority and froze tuition for four years in a row. Under his leadership, Maryland did better than every state but one in keeping down college costs, according to the College Board.

Expanded Pre-Kindergarten
Governor O’Malley expanded pre-kindergarten to 1,600 more children in Maryland and laid the groundwork for a further statewide expansion.

Built an Economy that Works for Everyone

Strengthened Maryland’s Economy
Under Governor O’Malley Maryland ranked #1 for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years in a row, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Maryland also ranked as one of the top three states for economic mobility based on workers’ ability to move up the earnings ladder, according to the Pew Center on the States. And Maryland achieved a faster rate of job creation than its neighbors Virginia or Pennsylvania, who tried to cut their way to prosperity.

Raised Maryland’s Minimum Wage to $10.10
Governor O’Malley brought people together, forged consensus, and raised Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10. Hundreds of thousands of Maryland workers will receive a raise, creating stronger customers for local businesses and good-paying, family-supporting jobs.

Protected Working Families
Governor O’Malley twice led the effort to expand Maryland’s refundable earned income credit, which puts more money in the pockets of working families. He also made Maryland the first state in America to pass a “living wage” for contractors working on state contracts.

Made the Tax Code More Progressive
In the midst of the worst economic downturn in history, Governor O’Malley reformed Maryland’s income tax. Today, 86% of Marylanders pay less in state income taxes than they did before Governor O’Malley took office.

Gun Control Reform

With the governor's signature Thursday, Maryland will become the first state in almost 20 years to require fingerprints to be submitted to state police. Only five other states have a similar requirement: Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey

Friday, July 25, 2014

Maryland's gun laws are now among the strictest in the nation.

Governor Martin O'Malley signed the sweeping gun control measure Thursday. Under the new legislation, which the governor helped push through the General Assembly, anyone buying a handgun will have to submit fingerprints to obtain a license. The bill also bans 45 types of assault weapons, but those who own the weapons before the law goes into effect will be allowed to keep them.

Gun magazines will be limited to 10 bullets, gun ownership by people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility will be banned, and Maryland State Police will be able to suspend the licenses of gun dealers who fail to comply with recordkeeping obligations.

He was the only Dem candidate who turned their logo orange on twitter yesterday, to acknowledge gun violence.

Secured Marriage Equality
Governor O’Malley led the successful effort to pass marriage equality in the Maryland General Assembly. Then when the issue went to a statewide referendum, he led the campaign, helping Maryland become the first state in the nation ever to defend marriage equality at the ballot box.

Protecting the Rights of Individuals–Regardless of Gender Identity
Citing the need to create “an open, respectful, inclusive world we want for all of our children,” Governor O’Malley signed into law a bill banning discrimination against transgender Marylanders. Maryland was just the 17th state to add gender identity and expression to its anti-discrimination laws.

Fought for New Americans
Governor O’Malley welcomed New Americans to Maryland. He passed the DREAM Act. He signed legislation granting undocumented workers drivers licenses to make Maryland roads safer, and stood up for the rights of unaccompanied children at the border – Maryland housed more unaccompanied minors per capita than any other state. He ordered the state to stop automatically honoring federal detention requests, and for the federal government to house children with their families.

“It’s contrary to who we are as a people to hold children in camps… . Setting aside for a fact any concerns you have or any feeling you have towards these refugee kids, think about the sort of country we want to leave to our children. We are not a country that should send children away and send them back to certain death.” — Martin O’Malley at NGA

Expanded Voting Rights
While other states around the nation push stricter voter ID laws designed to limit people’s ability to exercise the right to vote, Governor O’Malley made it easier to vote in Maryland by expanding early voting and same-day voter registration.

Ended the Death Penalty
Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland repealed the death penalty and replaced it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As governor, O'Malley signed a bill allowing young immigrants illegally in the U.S. to pay in-state college tuition and to a bill to get driver's licenses.

He was the first governor to meet with Latino leaders last year and sign up to push House Republicans to bring immigration reform legislation to a vote, which they never did

He has shown respect that many in the immigrant community say is lacking in debates on immigration by using the term new Americans to refer to immigrants, whether here legally or not. He also established a state council to focus on integrating immigrants.

He opposed White House proposals to return young Central American children and families who crossed the U.S-Mexico border last summer, saying they would face "certain death."

On deportations - an issue that still vexes the current administration - O'Malley stopped Baltimore's City Detention Center from holding immigrants without criminal records for deportation by the federal government.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:36 PM

6. I'm quoting him and the LGBT press. Insulting me does not chage the facts, bigtree.


The OP you foist here says he did not 'evolve' on marriage equality but he did. It's that simple. Bernie has always been with us, Marty is a centrist advocate who evolved on the issue.
Nothing really wrong with evolving, Obama did it, Clinton did it. What is wrong to to claim brave stands that were not take and to make contrasts with other candidates that do not in fact exist.

It is you who is making the false claim that O'Malley was for equality all along and never evolved. Your harsh personal attack at me does not change the facts.

Brevity is the soul of wit, walls of words are for those who don't really have a point to make.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 01:42 PM

7. that article from decades ago doesn't expressely say he was in favor of marriage equality

...over civil unions.

I think it's some slippery politics to knock O'Malley around for 'evolving' when Sanders' home state of Vermont adopted civil unions before they moved to full marriage equality.

from his website:

In Vermont, Sanders supported the state’s 2000 civil unions law and the 2009 law legalizing gay marriage.

The only daylight you have is an out-of-context quote from O'Malley. Otherwise, their positions were exactly the same. Both supported civil unions and both supported the eventual enactment of same-sex marriage rights in their states.

The difference being, O'Malley was actually at the forefront fighting for the changes and successfully saw them through in legislation and a voter referendum.

Aside from rejecting DOMA, Sanders has never taken personal responsibility for enacting either change in his state.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:33 PM

5. O'Malley expended political capital to help gay marriage pass in MD. He also

added gender identity and expression to Maryland's anti-discrimination laws. Not many states have done that.

Additionally, if you read O'Malley and Ford's op ed, you get a left leaning Democrat (O'Malley) and a Centrist Democrat (Ford) encouraging the party not to ignore any part of the party. Where is the problem in that?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:18 PM

4. 'Martin doesn’t need to “evolve” – he has led'

"The birthplace of Frederick Douglas; the great abolitionist, is near here. “You can paddle out to it,” Martin explains. Yet, there is no ruin to see where he was born into slavery, no great monument – just a marker in the dirt, amid rustling reeds. A reminder, our time on Earth is short. Our window for progress is fleeting. When the calling comes, answer it. Dare to try."

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 02:43 PM

8. A GOOD one, the Poetry of Greater Purpose

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 06:19 PM

9. An amazing essay about an amazing candidate!

O'Malley is not just a "list of positions"; he is a human being with a heart informed and shaped by experience.

I'm proud of him x1000.

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Response to Koinos (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 07:39 AM

11. well said, Koinos

"O'Malley is not just a "list of positions"; he is a human being with a heart informed and shaped by experience."

I was thinking along the same lines at work last night. He wears his humanity on his sleeve. An appealing trait for anyone...

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Response to bigtree (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 08:47 AM

12. As his friends have pointed out, he is genuinely saddened by the suffering of others.

Also, it is not a matter of how long he has believed the "same things"; it is a matter of what he has done with those beliefs.

There are so many things that go into a complete human being and a great candidate.

I am thinking also of O'Malley's persistence and courage. I wish I had more of that myself.

He walked the streets of Baltimore with community leaders. He is not a quitter.

If he is elected president, you will see him showing up where there is trouble.

ETA one more thing:

O'Malley is incurably optimistic and upbeat about the better sides of human nature ("our better angels". He sees climate change as an opportunity for people to work together and make this a better world. For O'Malley, there are silver linings everywhere. He sees the same "gloom and doom" trends (economic, environmental, and social) that others see, but he also sees these trends as opportunities for the human species to make a new beginning and to grow.

I believe he even thinks we can convince some of the 1% to listen to their "better angels" and to see the wisdom of working for the common good of all humanity and finding solutions to save our planet. His inclusive rather than exclusive approach is heartening to me. I don't think a social war would turn out well in the end for all of us.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 06:48 PM

10. Dare to try n/t

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM

14. that's a striking sentiment

...one that reflects well on his generation - and should inspire the next.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 09:28 AM

13. kick

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