Some folks were none too amused when Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican whose candidacy for president went nowhere but back to the Lone Star State in 2012, took a few shots at Maryland’s image as being a — how can we say this delicately — challenging place for businesses.
In a radio spot airing this week, Perry says, “When you grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dime out of your business, think Texas, where we’ve created more jobs than all the other states combined.”
Perry, who may run for the White House again in 2016, also blames Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat eyeing his own 2016 presidential run, for implementing a “rain tax” on many property owners, “a tax even New York doesn’t have.”
O’Malley fired back in a statement, lauding the state’s public schools as tops in the nation for five consecutive years and Maryland for being tops in median income. He also noted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had named Maryland as the No. 1 state for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Instead of engaging in PR stunts, Gov. Perry should come to Maryland to see firsthand the better choices that have led to these better results,” O’Malley said.
Of course, O’Malley didn’t mention that the number of jobs in Maryland has grown only 3.3 percent in the past three years, below the national average growth rate in that period of 4.6 percent, according to federal labor figures. Meanwhile, Texas has seen job growth of 8.1 percent in the past three years.
— Kevin James Shay
In July, Honest Tea conducted an interesting national experiment that informally gauged Americans’ honesty, giving fuel to those who believe that Washington, D.C., is the most dishonest state or district in the country.
This month, the Bethesda beverage company is trying to give Giant Food shoppers more incentive to recycle by bringing 12-foot tall recycling bins to stores and rewarding participants for recycling empty beverage containers.
The program, called “The Great Recycle Tour,” starts Friday at the Wheaton Giant on University Blvd. and Saturday at the Bethesda Giant on Westbard Avenue. The bins will be there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and recyclers can get items such as a T-shirt for 20 bottles, a $25 Giant gift card for 75 bottles, a mountain bike for 500 beverage containers, a signed Redskins, Nationals or Orioles item for 650 bottles and an iPad Mini for 700 bottles.
The containers can be glass, plastic, aluminum or drink pouches. The tour will be at Giant stores in Virginia and D.C. as well, along with Potomac on Sept. 23, Rockville on Oct. 13 and Burtonsville on Oct. 14.
For those who missed the results of the honesty test, where employees set up kiosks with beverages in public places in all 50 states and D.C. and hid to tabulate how many passersby followed a sign’s directions and paid $1 for the drinks in well-marked boxes, D.C. scored least honest at 80 percent paying.
Maryland was also in the bottom 20 percent of states at 89 percent. Alabama and Hawaii were most honest at 100 percent. In Boston, one man in a suit set a record by grabbing 13 drinks without paying in a single day.
To add insult to Maryland’s rating, Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman even had his bicycle, which was locked outside the Bethesda Metro station, stolen as he commuted to D.C. via Metro to conduct the experiment there.
— Kevin James Shay