DO NOT KEEP VOTING FOR THESE THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS....RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!
Speaking more about the looting of America's public assets to enrich the few and the impoverishing of American citizens I want to look locally at what is happening in all Third Way corporate democratic states. Johns Hopkins as I said is trying to boot everyone out of the health care system that will cut health industry profits and now they are doing it to their own employees by making the lowest paid health care workers pay for their own health insurance. As happens in Maryland in all labor deals involving negotiation over pensions and wages a small wage increase is followed by handing benefit costs that take more of the worker's check than the raise gives thus lowering their incomes even further. Now, with all this 'people need to be responsible for some of their own health care costs mantra' that is Third Way democrat and republican speak that 80% of Americans will not access health care, we all know that paying a co-pay on expensive treatments like surgery or cancer treatments bankrupt average families right away. These co-pay policies are designed to allow the 80% of American's access to only preventative care....all those lab tests and x-rays that allow lots of medical fraud. JOHNS HOPKINS IS MAKING THEIR EMPLOYEES MAKE LABOR CHANGES THAT WILL ESSENTIALLY BANKRUPT OR END ACCESS TO CARE. Remember, Hopkins has received trillions of dollars in taxpayer money over decades, it had copious land deals that have real estate quasi-public and tax-free, it is known to be a part of the massive fraud of entitlements.....HOPKINS IS A HEALTH INSTITUTION OWNED BY THE PUBLIC SO NEEDS TO SIMPLY GIVE ALL HEALTH CARE FREE TO ALL.
Below you see where this issue stood 2 years ago and Hopkins is moving to make this worse. Think about how a state like Maryland gains headlines in mainstream media as having successes in health care reform and getting people covered. Then look at how many people have been pushed into coverage that will keep them from access. DO YOU REALLY THINK O'MALLEY, LT GOV ANTHONY BROWN, AND MARYLAND ASSEMBLY ARE REALLY MOVING HEALTH ISSUES FORWARD FOR THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND?
Health care workers rally for better pay, more rights Many said they are currently barely making poverty wages and are unable to afford the health care benefits they provide for other patients.
Brew Editors June 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm Story Link 2
The crowd at Thursday’s 1199 rally.
Photo by: Elizabeth Suman
Around 400 people, joined by actor and activist Danny Glover and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, crowded Mt. Vernon Square yesterday afternoon for 1199SEIU’s “The Heart of Baltimore” rally to demand that all health care institutions allow workers to freely, without employer intimidation, vote on union representation.
Many area hospitals and nursing homes employ union-represented health care workers, with Johns Hopkins Medicine being the first to do so over fifty years ago. But many more, including the University of Maryland Medical Center and St. Agnes Hospital, are largely not unionized. Participants in the rally said some employers discourage their employees from pursuing unionization with fear campaigns and punishment.
“How much do I like my job?” Gary Miller, a technician at St. Agnes Hospital Emergency Department mused out loud, before deciding to answer why he supports unionization.
“St. Agnes Hospital is not yet unionized and we’re letting the union make the first move, otherwise we [workers] could get in big trouble.”
Gary Miller, a technician in the St. Agnes Hospital Emergency Department and a home nurse at the North Nursing Home (Photo by Elizabeth Suman)
Wade Hilton, a physical trainer who worked in a hospital for many years, shared similar sentiments, saying that some workers “are afraid it’s going to affect their jobs” if they demand unionization. They may not lose their job, Hilton said, but they could be demoted to a lower-paying one.
Why take that risk?
The crowd of nurse’s aides, technicians and laundry, food service and other workers — many of them still wearing their scrubs and carrying stethoscopes, all of them enduring the blistering heat — said they need to organize to improve their sector’s chronic problem of low pay and poor working conditions.
Many said they are currently barely making poverty wages and are unable to afford the health care benefits they provide for other patients. Organizers said the problem is disproportionately worse in Baltimore and that nurse’s aides here make less than their counterparts in every other major East Coast city.
They are two-and-a-half times more likely than other Maryland workers to be on food stamps, and more than half of them make so little, their children qualify for the state’s low-income health insurance plan, according to the union.
Since one in every five Baltimoreans works in the health care, the union argues that its campaign will not only improve workers’ lives by raising wages and guaranteeing health care benefits, but, in effect, heal the ailing Baltimore economy as well.
“It is about strengthening the economy for the entire city,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said to the crowd, a sea of people in purple shirts waving yellow inflatable batons. “When health care workers have a voice, we all win.”
Workers with a sense of ownership, control and say over their environment perform better Miller said: “With the union, when we voice our concerns we will have much better of a chance of controlling what will be implemented, which is good not only for us but for the patients too.”
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Photo by Elizabeth Suman)
Rawlings-Blake echoed that sentiment, saying that every health care worker deserves a voice on the job and that when they do, “you can assure that every patient gets the right care.”
Less than 10 percent of Maryland health care workers belong to unions. Some institutions have a portion of their workforce represented by a union. The University of Maryland Medical Center, for example, has about 6,800 employees (not including 1,000 faculty physicians) and, of that group, the only union members are about 400 employees in housekeeping and food service, according to director of public affairs, Ellen Beth Levitt.
Levitt said the idea that hospital employees are intimidated or discouraged from seeking union representation is “ridiculous” and “couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“There are always going to be some exaggerations and false accusations,” Levitt said. “Truly, our employees are happy.”
Annie Henry, an instrument processor with Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been a member of the union for 41 years and said she joined in order to battle racism sees in the work place. Henry said that after working for Hopkins for only six months she was ready to walk out the door and that it was joining the union that gave her a “voice without retaliation.”
Since then she said the union’s strength increased but that subtle bias persists even in workplaces like hers where the union is allowed. When she was applying for a position a few years ago, she said, she was rejected on the basis of being a union member.
Annie Henry, an instrument processor at Johns Hopkins (Photo by Elizabeth Suman)
Still the benefits outweigh the setbacks. Laura Pugh, a cook and delegate also with Johns Hopkins Medicine, joined the union in 1970 and says she did so because she “wanted to see change.” She describes how at the time she could only go in one door because she was black and that she was afraid to speak back to white employees. But “we have gotten better” Pugh stated, “better wages, better health benefits, we got a pension.”
Despite successes, the campaign is far from over. The local Baltimore union, which had been in existence since 1969, merged with the regional 1199SEIU (Service Employees International Union) five years ago, launching the campaign for free and fair union election. Last fall the campaign got a show of support frmo government when the Baltimore City Council and Baltimore County Council passed resolutions calling on all health care institutions and health care providers to free and fair union election. .
Enthusiastic tambourine shaker (Photo by Elizabeth Suman)
Thus the rally, advertisements in magazines and newspapers, radio support and other forms of publicity are needed, organizers said, to raise awareness about the Heart of Baltimore campaign and put pressure on health care CEOs to adopt a free and fair union election code of conduct.
“We have now learned that change is possible and we have to make [employers] realize that we are a partnership,” Pugh said. “We’re trying to get everyone involved because everybody should have health insurance.”
Henry explained that she urges health care workers to join the campaign for unionization because there is safety in numbers. “At some point in time everybody is going to want to make more money and why wouldn’t you want to pay workers to make a decent living?” she demanded.
People registering for 1199 (Photo by Elizabeth Suman)
John Reid, the Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Maryland/D.C. invigorated the crowd declaring that Baltimore health care workers have long suffered in comparison with their fellow counterparts just down the road in D.C.
Reid addressed the audience urging health care workers to stand up and assert their rights saying “we are ready to make our voice heard because we are the heart of Baltimore.”
THIS IS A CURRENT ARTICLE THAT SHOWS EMPLOYEES ARE IN THE SAME POSITION AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. THEY ARE PROBABLY STILL MAKING CLOSE TO THAT $7-8 AN HOUR WAGE. THIS SITUATION IS MADE HARDER WHEN THE IMMIGRANT LABOR IS BROUGHT IN HAVING NO RIGHTS BY LAW.
Tuesday Mar 12, 2013 6:59 pm
For Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Is A ‘Company Town’
By Bruce Vail
Johns Hopkins' new $1.1 billion medical center, the biggest new investment in urban Baltimore in decades, is a potent symbol of Hopkins' wealth and power in the city. (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System)
BALTIMORE—Unionized workers at Johns Hopkins Hospital finalized a new labor contract this week in an episode that highlights the stark economic power of wealthy Hopkins in a city badly wounded by industrial decline and municipal neglect.
Late last week, members of 1199SEIU—the East Coast healthcare division of the Service Employees International Union—voted to approve a one-year contract covering maintenance workers, kitchen staff, nurse aides and other workers, says Armeta Dixon, an 1199SEIU vice president with experience dealing with Hopkins and other hospitals in the area.
Though it provides a welcome 2.25 percent wage increase without any big concessions, the contract is problematic in that it also defers for a year the resolution of a difficult issue that could prove very damaging to union members; Hopkins wants to impose a new health insurance system that “would be an economic hardship” on members, Dixon says, and there appears to be little room for agreement between the union and hospital managers on how to handle the issue.
In an interview with Working In These Times, Dixon was reluctant to discuss the economics of the Hopkins proposal, but an earlier estimate from the union had pegged the additional cost at $1,800 a year for each member. If imposed by the hospital at that level, the new health care costs will eat up all the gains from the wage increase, and will actually reduce the take-home pay of the largely low-paid union workers.
The one-year contract, Dixon indicates, is essentially a stalling tactic that provides a little breathing room for further negotiation. Normally, Hopkins and two other Baltimore hospitals sign three-year contracts at about the same time, with similar wage and benefit provisions. But that pattern has now gone by the wayside, and the union faces an especially challenging year ahead.
Les Bayless, a Baltimore union activist who has worked for SEIU and other unions in the area, says that while the healthcare union has some real strengths, it is badly overmatched in its contest with Hopkins. As the second largest single employer in Baltimore—the university itself is the first—Johns Hopkins Medicine is a huge presence in the city. Unionized employees make up only a small portion of Hopkins Hospital employees, and the union has made no inroads at all into the well-paid technical and professional vocations that have made it famous at the national and international level.
Further, the hospital and its associated organizations have invested billions in medical facilities here in an era when industrial and commercial businesses have fled the city. Within the last year, the nearby Sparrows Point steel mill was closed permanently, and the city’s largest private corporation, Constellation Energy, was gobbled up by a Chicago-based conglomerate. In contrast, Hopkins Hospital opened a gleaming $1.1 billion medical complex in an economically depressed section of the city. Hopkins’ wealth and influence are unmatched in the region, Bayless says, and even the largest and strongest unions would be overpowered.
But Dixon says that this reality is not going to prevent 1199SEIU from fighting Hopkins over next year’s contract. Members are already “overburdened” with high heath care costs, she says, and have already begun mobilizing for a new contract fight.
All of this comes at a time when 1199SEIU is developing its “Heart of Baltimore” campaign, a long-term effort to increase membership with new organizing initiatives at non-union hospitals and other health care facilities.
The campaign was launched in 2010 with a low-intensity effort to build political support at the grassroots level. Among other things, the union wants local politicians and public institutions to support a “Free and Fair” code of conduct for healthcare employers that would prohibit aggressive anti-union campaigns. It has some backing from influential politicians, such as Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
A focus for organizing is the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), another large hospital that has long been in the union’s sights. UMMC spokeswoman Mary Lynn Carver confirmed that 1199SEIU organizers have been active recently at the Center’s facilities but declined any further comment. New organizing is never easy, Bayless observes, and it will be difficult for 1199SEIU to mount an effective UMMC effort with the Hopkins contract issue casting a shadow over developments.
But, Dixon says, the immediate next step for 1199SEIU is to reach new agreements with the two other Baltimore hospitals with union contracts, Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Sinai Hospital. Existing contracts have expired with both hospitals and temporary extensions are in place, says Dixon, adding that negotiations have already started but there is no target date for completion of the new agreements.
Anyone who knows Maryland and especially Baltimore construction know of Whiting - Turner. They receive almost all of the areas development business and they are very clear.....they don't do hire union contractors or labor. Now you look at Hopkins and their stance with unions and their employees and you see how regressive the Baltimore labor market is.
Not only does this show the relationship between the movers of labor and development in the city....it shows the absolute pay to play environment as Hopkins decides development and uses that power to get all kinds of private donations. This entire school of engineering for massive future contracts seems to make a scratch donation.
IF WE ARE TO END THIS CRONY CAPITALISM IT IS THIS LOCAL GRAFT THAT LEADS US TO THE POLITICIANS WHO CLIMB THE POLITICAL LADDER.....O'MALLEY AND NOW RAWLINGS-BLAKE FEEDS THIS CULTURE!!!
Originally known as the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering building, Maryland Hall was renamed in 1931 to recognize the Maryland General Assembly's role in establishing the School of Engineering.
Engineering at Johns Hopkins was originally created in 1913 as an educational program that included exposure to liberal arts and scientific inquiry. In 1919, the engineering department became a separate school, known as the School of Engineering. By 1937, over 1,000 students had graduated with engineering degrees. By 1946 the school had six departments.
In 1961, the School of Engineering changed its name to the School of Engineering Sciences and, in 1966, merged with the Faculty of Philosophy to become part of the School of Arts and Sciences. In 1979, the engineering programs were organized into a separate academic division that was named the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. The school's named benefactor is George William Carlyle Whiting, co-founder of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.
Several departments at the school have been nationally and historically recognized. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is recognized as the top-ranked program in the nation. The Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering has consistently ranked as one of the top 5 programs nationally by US News and World Report  in recent years.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering is well-known for it's fundamental and historic contributions to the study of mechanics and turbulence. Although it has always been very small, a great number of famous scientists have been associated with it over the years. These include Clifford Truesdell, James Bell, Stanley Corrsin, Robert Kraichnan, John L. Lumley, Leslie Kovasznay, Walter Noll, K. R. Sreenivasan, Hugh Dryden, Shiyi Chen, Andrea Prosperetti, Fazle Hussein, Harry Swinney, Stephen H. Davis, and Mohamed Gad-el-Hak. Many of the landmark papers in the field of fluid mechanics (turbulence in particular) were written using data from the Corrsin Wind Tunnel Laboratory. The wind tunnel is still in operation today. The department was also home to the school of rational mechanics. It was recently ranked as one of the top 5 departments in the nation for research activity by the National Research Council (the department was ranked 13th by the generic US News and World Report rankings).
MEANWHILE, LOOK AT CYPRUS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION AS WORKERS WITH GOOD LABOR BENEFITS SEE THE 1% PULLING THEIR RETIREMENTS AND BENEFITS APART UNDER THE GUISE OF GOVERNMENT DEBT.
THEY ARE DOING THE SAME THING IN PRIVATE BUSINESS. THIS IS NOT DRIVEN BY NEED......IT IS DRIVEN BY GREED.
As regards this article:
Do you know who these bondholders are? That's right......public sector municipal bonds, public/private pensions, and insurance investments. The rich have totally exited bank investments and the public are the only ones taking these loses. The exact situation exists in all Western countries.....especially the US. The big banks in the US have been declared crony and criminal very publicly by sophisticated investors who would not place their money in this system.....yet for some reason pension funds, municipal bond funds, and insurance investments prop the whole banking system. Do you hear the emphasis on Russian money launderers and none on who the shareholders are? In Europe they do not have their retirements in Trusts separate from the banks and that is what the TROIKA are eliminating when they bring down these public banks. See why Third Way and Republicans want Social Security and Entitlements in the banking system and not in Trusts?
THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS = THIRD WORLD POLICIES.....RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!
Cyprus reaches last-minute deal on 10 billion euro bailout
By Jan Strupczewski and Michele Kambas | Reuters – 39 mins ago
BRUSSELS/NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders to shut down its second-largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians, in return for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout.
The agreement came hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system in fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Without a deal, Cyprus's banking system would have collapsed and the country could have become the first to crash out of the European single currency.
Swiftly backed by euro zone finance ministers, the plan will spare the Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down the largely state-owned Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a "good bank".
Deposits above 100,000 euros in both banks, which are not guaranteed under EU law, will be frozen and used to resolve Laiki's debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus through a deposit/equity conversion.
The raid on uninsured Laiki depositors is expected to raise 4.2 billion euros, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijssebloem said.
Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses. Officials said senior bondholders in Laiki would be wiped out and those in Bank of Cyprus would have to make a contribution.
An EU spokesman said no across-the-board levy or tax would be imposed on deposits in Cypriot banks, although the hit on large account holders in the two biggest banks is likely to be far greater than initially planned. A first attempt at a deal last week collapsed when the Cypriot parliament rejected a proposed levy on all deposits.
Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides said: "We averted a disorderly bankruptcy which would have led to an exit of Cyprus from the euro zone with unforeseeable consequences."
Asked about the level of losses on uninsured depositors in Bank of Cyprus, he told state radio: "The assessment is that it will be under or around 30 percent."
The Cyprus central bank said the agreement had also avoided the disorderly default of Laiki Bank.
Among Cypriots, there was a mood of wariness about the deal.
"How long will it last?" asked Georgia Xenophontos, 23, a hotel receptionist in Nicosia. "Why should anyone believe anything this government says?"
But many in the capital appeared intent on enjoying a sunny holiday morning, drinking coffee at pavement cafes and watching camera crews filming people drawing money from bank machines.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Cypriot lawmakers would not need to vote on the new scheme, since they had already enacted a law on procedures for bank resolution.
At a news conference in Berlin, Schaeuble said the agreement was "much better" from Germany's perspective than the deal last week that would have hit small depositors and was rejected by the Cypriot parliament.
The new deal offers the country the best chance of getting back on its feet, Schaeuble said.
Anastasiades is expected to make a statement at some point after his return to Cyprus at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Lefteris Christoforou, vice-chairman of the ruling Democratic Rally party, said it was important that Cyprus had avoided a chaotic bankruptcy. "It is a bad deal, but the extreme scenario we had to contend with was worse."
A senior source in the Brussels talks said Anastasiades threatened to resign at one stage on Sunday if pushed too far.
The Conservative leader, barely a month in office and wrestling with Cyprus's worst crisis since a 1974 invasion by Turkish forces split the island in two, was forced to abandon his efforts to shield big account holders.
Diplomats said the president had fought hard to preserve the country's business model as an offshore financial center drawing huge sums from wealthy Russians and Britons but had lost.
The EU and IMF required that Cyprus raise 5.8 billion euros from its banking sector towards its own financial rescue in return for 10 billion euros in international loans. The head of the EU rescue fund said Cyprus should receive the first emergency funds in May.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the agreement was "a comprehensive and credible plan" that addresses the core problem of the banking system.
"This agreement provides the basis for restoring trust in the banking system, which is key to supporting growth," she said in a statement.
With banks closed for the last week, the Central Bank of Cyprus imposed a 100-euro daily limit on withdrawals from cash machines at the two biggest banks to avert a run.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici rejected charges that the EU had brought Cypriots to their knees, saying it was the island's offshore business model that had failed.
"To all those who say that we are strangling an entire people ... Cyprus is a casino economy that was on the brink of bankruptcy," he said.
The euro gained against the dollar on the news in early Asian trading.
Analysts had said failure to clinch a deal could have caused a financial market sell-off, but some said the island's small size - it accounts for just 0.2 percent of the euro zone's economic output - would have limited contagion.
Cyprus's banking sector, with assets eight times the size of the economy, has been crippled by exposure to Greece, where private bondholders suffered a 75 percent "haircut" last year. Those bondholders again not the rich.....the public and their retirements!!
Without a deal by the end of Monday, the ECB said it would have cut off emergency funds to the banks, spelling certain collapse and potentially pushing the country out of the euro.
Under the bailout agreement, Laiki's ECB funds will pass to Bank of Cyprus, and the central bank will "provide liquidity to BoC in line with applicable rules".
Anticipating a run when banks reopen on Tuesday, parliament has given the government powers to impose capital controls.
On Tuesday, the 56-seat parliament had rejected a levy on depositors, big and small. Finance Minister Michael Sarris then spent three fruitless days in Moscow trying to win help from Russia, whose citizens and companies have billions of euros at stake in Cypriot banks.
The tottering banks held 68 billion euros in deposits, including 38 billion in accounts of more than 100,000 euros - enormous sums for an island of 1.1 million people that could never sustain such a big financial system on its own.
PEOPLE IN MARYLAND UNDERSTAND THE CRONY AND CORRUPT POLITICS OF MARYLAND AND THE DAMAGE DONE TO THE AVERAGE CITIZENS BY POLICY THAT IS NEVER ENFORCED AND OVERSIGHT THAT ALLOWS FOR THE WORST OF EXPLOITATION.
LOOK AT HOW THE PRESS WILL MAKE O'MALLEY SEEM PERFECT. NOW IS THE TIME TO WRITE ALL LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO LET THEM KNOW WHERE O'MALLEY STANDS.
South Carolina Democrats see O'Malley 'rising' Governor is keynote speaker at state party event
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun 9:48 p.m. EDT, March 23, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C.— — Gov. Martin O'Malley took the stage Saturday at a high school in this early presidential primary state, telling an auditorium of South Carolina Democrats that his principles worked in Maryland — and they'd work elsewhere.
"We're investing more to improve public education, to hold down college tuition, to spur innovation and job creation," O'Malley said to a crowd of 150 party faithful. But he also said Maryland has "cut state spending big time," casting himself as a pragmatist who makes tough choices.
In a 20-minute speech focused largely on South Carolina's politics, O'Malley did not mention liberal social policies he has pushed, such as legalizing same-sex marriage and repealing Maryland's death penalty. Party officials here said that in a state with a Republican governor, the point was to showcase a successful Democrat who can boast of No. 1 ranked schools and an unemployment rate below the national average.
"We've been following him," George Temple, former chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party, said after he stopped O'Malley to shake his hand. "He's a rising star who is obviously on his way to bigger and better things, we hope."
O'Malley, who is considering a 2016 bid for the White House, was stumping for a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate as he delivered an address that both sharply criticized South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and proclaimed "the threshold of a new era of American progress."
As the keynote speaker at this conference for the South Carolina Democratic Party, O'Malley had a dual purpose, experts said: rallying Democrats in a state dominated by Republicans and introducing himself and his message.
"What Martin O'Malley is doing now is exactly the thing he needs to do," said political consultant Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who works in Charleston.
"You can go out here on the street in front of my office and ask 20 people who Martin O'Malley is," Fowler said before Saturday's event. "Someone will probably tell you he plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nobody knows him, so he's working from a clean slate."
Charlie Cook of the "Cook Political Report" considers O'Malley one of four likely candidates for the 2016 nomination. The list is topped by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. Alongside O'Malley on the second tier, Cook said, is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. IF YOU LIKE THE DIRECTION THE COUNTRY IS HEADING THESE THIRD WAY WILL CONTINUE THESE POLICIES!!
"Nobody outside of Maryland knows O'Malley's record. There is no impression" of him, Cook said. "We're talking about blank pieces of paper."
Cook called the records of O'Malley and Cuomo virtually identical. "You'd need a microscope to see the difference," he said.
In South Carolina, hours before O'Malley arrived at the event, college seniors Keegan Smith and Bryan Carter relied on Google to introduce them to Maryland's governor.
"The media is telling me he's the new up-and-coming Democrat, but that's all I know," said Smith, a political science major at the College of Charleston, the same university O'Malley's daughter Tara attends.
"He was mayor of Baltimore, right?" asked Carter.
After the speech, both young Democrats said they liked what they heard. "I see the charisma," Carter said. "I think his achievements in Maryland could really help in South Carolina."
The Maryland Republican Party's executive director took issue with the achievements O'Malley cited. David Ferguson drove his truck down to Charleston to stage an event outside the West Ashley High School where O'Malley spoke, giving local Republicans a playbook to attack him. Ferguson's talking points include enumerating the thousands of businesses that have left Maryland and the unemployment level.
"Just like Barack Obama was unknown in 2004, Martin O'Malley is unknown in 2016," Ferguson said. "He's able to invent whatever he wants to say, and someone needs to be around to tell the truth. … If you can't find a job when you graduate, what does it matter to keep the cost of college down?"
The Maryland General Assembly, which ends its annual session in two weeks, has been working toward giving O'Malley another set of accomplishments that appeal to a Democratic base. Lawmakers have already voted to repeal Maryland's death penalty and provide a subsidy for the development of offshore wind power.
He's also expected to get new gas taxes to pay for mass transit and highway projects, as well as some if not all of his gun control proposals. His past victories include legalizing same-sex marriage and extending in-state tuition rates to some illegal immigrants — issues that political consultants say appeal to most Democratic primary voters in any state, including South Carolina.