Franchot to deliver address on 'State of the Treasury'

The Baltimore Sun

A week before the governor delivers his "State of the State" address in the ornate Maryland House of Delegates chamber, the state's tax collector will today orate on the "State of the Treasury" in a Bethesda bank building.

It will be the first such address in recent memory by a state comptroller -- and one sure to raise eyebrows about Peter Franchot's political aspirations.

He says he's just following the law of the land.

"It's very specific in the state constitution," said Franchot, a Montgomery County Democrat. "There's a directive that the comptroller shall give, within 10 days of the legislature meeting, a report of the treasury."

Franchot's speech this morning will highlight his accomplishments during his first term of office but also outline his differences of opinion with other state leaders.

He will lambaste the legislature for the way it recently "rammed through" a tax on computer services and express his profound frustration with Maryland's "divisive and time-consuming obsession with slot machines," according to a draft of the speech provided to The Sun.

Franchot will also take some shots at Annapolis' political culture, "where partisanship and patronage often outweigh the merits of persuasive argument."

"My view is that people elected me to be an independent, objective advocate for fiscal policies," he said yesterday. "And that's what I'm doing."

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