O’Malley declines to answer

Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports for us on the appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa as the Iowa caucuses approach. Yesterday afternoon Dave attended the appearance of Democrat Martin O’Malley in Council Bluffs. Omaha’s KETV 7’s report is here. Dave’s report is below, with Dave’s newsworthy question at the top. Today’s New York Post carries a brief editorial bearing on the question that O’Malley declines to answer:

I asked Governor O’Malley the following question: Over 1,200 of Secretary Clinton’s emails contained classified information. The FBI has said it would make a decision on a criminal referral to the Justice Department by the end of 2015. Should the FBI disclose to the public its decision?

I caught him off guard. He paused for a long time. He then said, ” Do I have to answer every question?” The crowd laughed. He added: “I will leave that to Secretary Clinton and her lawyers to answer.”

Note that I asked him about what the FBI should disclose. I didn’t ask him what the target of the criminal investigation should say. He dodged the question.

O’Malley is angling to join Hillary’s ticket or keeping himself available for the nomination in the event Hillary is indicted. By answering my question the way he did he preserved his viability with the Clinton base. When it comes to promoting his own interests, anyway, O’Malley is no dope.

O’Malley gave a version of his summer stump speech. He is a former Blue State governor promoting the Blue State model. If he deserves credit for anything, it would be for paving the way for Republican Larry Hogan to succeed him. That’s quite an accomplishment in a state as massively Democratic as Maryland.

O’Malley wants to strengthen Social Security and unions. He advocates big spending on public education and public works projects. He wants to raise wages but don’t ask him how other than increasing the minimum wage. He was onto something when he noted that renewable energy “is a great business opportunity” but he omitted the higher costs to consumers and taxpayers. And forget about the sunk investments in oil, natural gas and coal. Solar is simply magic! He wants a 100 percent Green grid in short order.

He thinks that putting illegal aliens “on the books” will add to FICA payments but he skipped over the wage suppression and unemployment of American workers. He courted the youth vote with a debt-free college plan.

He said Donald Trump was “overtly fascist” and that Trump is calling for identity cards listing one’s religion. Really? I don’t think so.

O’Malley said he spent a lot of time fighting “mass incarceration.” Translated into politically incorrect English, that means he opposed law enforcement in minority communities. Fred Siegel doesn’t see it that way. The Washington Post’s Paul Schwartzman and John Wagner don’t see it that way either. The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Rodrick doesn’t see it that way either. In a sane party, O’Malley might be able to offer a relatively straightforward defense of his record.