Frederick News Post: Petty politics will cost Marylanders

As the Maryland General Assembly session slowly grinds to a close, political pettiness reached its peak this week. Bills to create an alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel commission passed both chambers, removing Comptroller Peter Franchot’s regulatory authority over those industries. This bill does little more than spite Franchot for, he says, backing craft breweries over big beer producers. It’s true that Franchot has been a supporter of the craft beer industry — he routinely makes stops in Frederick to visit with brewers and has worked to loosen restrictions to allow them to expand their business. It’s also true that Franchot, a Democrat who garnered more than 1.6 million votes in the 2018 ele

WAMU: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot Gearing Up For Possible Legal Fight With General Assembly

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says the Field Enforcement Division of his office isn’t going anywhere. Franchot, a Democrat, made his comments Friday after the House of Delegates moved to override a governor’s veto of a bill that would strip the enforcement division from the comptroller’s office and create a new regulatory agency for alcohol, tobacco and gasoline. The new agency will be comprised of five governor-appointed members. Franchot is an elected official. “It’s a solution in search of a problem,” Republican Governor Larry Hogan said when he vetoed the bill Thursday. “It’s not necessary, serves no purpose, will waste taxpayers’ money, and disrupts a well-ordered and completely f

MYMCMEDIA: ‘ETHICAL ROT’: FRANCHOT DECRIES BILL THAT STRIPS HIM OF ALCOHOL REGULATION

Comptroller Peter Franchot said Friday his 60-member enforcement division will not be switched to a new commission that will oversee alcohol regulation in Maryland. “I can emphatically state that is not going to happen,” Franchot said in an interview with MyMCMedia. Franchot hinted that he could pursue the matter in court, but beyond that he was not specific. “We’re considering different options right now,” said Franchot, a Democrat. “It’s an unfortunate intrusion into the powers of the tax agency.” The switch is part of a bill the Democratic-majority General Assembly passed and Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed. On Thursday, the legislature overturned Hogan’s veto. One of the chief proponents of the

WFMD: Comptroller Franchot Says Bill To Separate Functions From His Office ‘Poorly Written,’ ‘Deeply

He says it’s political payback against him by Md.’s legislative leadership. Annapolis, Md (KM) The fight has begun. On Thursday, both houses of the Maryland Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto of a bill to transfer regulatory authority over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from the Comptroller’s Office to a new commission. “I’m very grateful to Governor Hogan for doing the right thing and vetoing the bill,” says Comptroller Peter Franchot. “It’s a terrible bill. It’s done just for punitive reasons to retaliate against me for my advocacy for micro-breweries and small craft breweries.” He says those seeking retribution against him are a “small number of people” who consider themselves “above

WMAR: Proposed law aims to take Comptroller Franchot's power to regulate alcohol, taxation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A proposed law is aiming to take away Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot's power to regulate alcohol sales and taxation in the state. Franchot's current division is made up largely of law enforcement officers who frequently arrest suspects with ties to organized crime or on terrorist watch lists. And the proposed law in the General Assembly wants to change who oversees the enforcement division. "These handful of political bosses don't like me because I'm an advocate of craft brewers. They want to curry favor with the big beer companies," said Comptroller Peter Franchot. In the past, Franchot has had public arguments with the Speaker of the House Mike Busch and particularly

New York Times: A Children’s Book Is Causing a Political Scandal in Baltimore. It’s Quite a Tale.

What has become a full-blown political scandal in Baltimore started innocently enough. In fact, it began with a children’s book. Mayor Catherine Pugh, a fitness fanatic, said that about a decade ago, she was inspired to encourage children to pursue healthy lifestyles, and so she created the “Healthy Holly” series of books, about a little girl devoted to self-improvement and the betterment of those around her. At the time, Ms. Pugh, a Democrat, was a state senator who sat on the board of one of the state’s largest nonprofit health care companies. In what seemed like a happy ending, she struck a deal to sell 100,000 copies of the books to the company for $500,000. But now, the arrangement has

Times Record: Franchot honors Nich's Coffee Shop owner

DENTON — Comptroller Peter Franchot honored Nich’s Coffee Shop owner Melanie Koski Thursday, Feb. 28, by presenting the Denton business owner with a proclamation to celebrate her first anniversary. Local officials and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st., also joined Franchot for the visit. “Congratulations for creating something special,” Franchot said. “People are eager to get together with each other. They can enjoy your food and products, and come together to connect rather than just stare at their phones. Thank you for having the instinct to do this. This is a great spot. Best wishes for continued growth, success and prosperity. “Thank you for serving Rise Up Coffee,” he said. “I personall

The Star Democrat: Franchot discusses hospital's future, state issues

CHESTERTOWN — Following a pair of ceremonies honoring the achievements of Kent County residents, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot sat down for an interview March 4 to discuss state and local issues, including preserving services at the hospital in Chestertown. Franchot was in town last week to hand out commendations and awards to the Historical Society of Kent County and Barbara Reed, former owner of Loving Touch Home Health Care LLC. He peppered those presentations by stating his support for maintaining University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Many in the community are concerned about keeping the inpatient services at the hospital, especially after it was revealed that

Eye on Annapolis: Maryland Surpasses 1 million tax returns so far

Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced that his office has processed more than one million individual income tax returns for tax year 2018. The one-millionth electronic return was submitted by a Frederick County tax filer. As of Thursday morning, more than 1.1 million electronic and paper returns have been processed, with almost 95 percent of those being electronically filed. Comptroller Franchot has long encouraged Marylanders to e-file because it’s the most secure and efficient way to submit a tax return. Most Marylanders who file electronically receive their state refunds within three business days. “The hardworking staff in the Comptroller’s Office processes thousands of state tax retu

The Maryland Independent: Franchot blocks tax returns from suspicious preparers

Comptroller Peter Franchot announced in a press release Monday, March 11, that the agency has stopped processing electronic tax returns from 24 tax preparers at locations in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The immediate suspensions were due to a high volume of questionable returns received. During the 2018 tax filing season, 74 tax preparers at 78 locations were flagged, according to the release. Since 2016, 215 tax preparation firms at 228 locations have been suspended due to highly-suspicious tax returns. The complete list of previously blocked preparers is available online at www.marylandtaxes.gov. “Our Questionable Returns Detection Team vigilantly monitors tax filings an

Bay Weekly: Concerned Black Women of Calvert Earn Helping People Award

Improving the Calvert County community one student at a time has earned Concerned Black Women of Calvert County the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. The annual award honors individuals and organizations in each Maryland county and Baltimore City exemplifying the former mayor, governor and comptroller’s lifelong commitment to service. "Like Gov. Schaefer, the Concerned Black Women of Calvert County are committed to helping vulnerable communities and empowering others to lead productive lives,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who created the award to honor his predecessor in office. The group’s signature outreach is scholarships in support of its mission: to build a bett

WUSA9: Banned tax preparer busted collecting money from unaware clients

HYATTSVILLE, Md. — At least one of the 24 tax preparers blocked from filing returns in Maryland due to questionable refund claims was still open for business Tuesday, despite the state sanction. Kang Solutions LLC in Hyattsville had an office full of clients Tuesday, where WUSA9 observed a preparer working behind a computer next to a desk stacked with completed returns and what appeared to be cash payments next to his keyboard. A man who identified himself as "Mr. Kang" would not allow WUSA9 to interview clients or take video inside the business. Mr. Kang said he was unaware that he had been suspended from filing returns on behalf of clients in Maryland. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot a

The Capital Gazette: Peter Franchot: Proposal to strip comptroller's powers is reckless, costly

For decades, the Office of the Maryland Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division has been enforcing and regulating the state’s alcohol, motor fuel and tobacco industries. More than 60 women and men work in the division, many of which are sworn law enforcement officers. By all accounts, this division is doing outstanding work serving and protecting Marylanders from contraband alcohol and tobacco products and ensuring the safety of our fuel. In addition, the Field Enforcement Division has been going after tax fraud and identity theft scofflaws that seek to compromise the financial security of hardworking Marylanders. Now, without any logical justification, the political leaders of the Annapoli

WCBC: Comptroller Franchot Continues Fighting Measure That Would Strip Him Of Certain Regulatory

Maryland's comptroller continues to fight a measure proposed by a fellow Democrat that would strip regulatory powers over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from his office, describing the bill as "the very darkest motivations of the Annapolis machine." Although Franchot is a Democrat, he has been at odds with the Democratic leadership that controls the General Assembly. Franchot believes his advocacy for reforming the state's alcohol laws in support of craft brewers and small businesses has brought "petty retribution" from lawmakers who support big corporations. On Thursday, Franchot’s chief of staff Len Foxwell met with owners of craft brewery operations and wineries during the regular meeting

The Bay Times and Record Observer: Dick's Autohaus recognized for 53 years in business

QUEENSTOWN — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and Congressman Andy Harris visited Dick’s Autohaus Thursday afternoon, Feb. 28, to congratulate Dick Potter and present him with a Certificate of Recognition for 53 years in the Volkswagen maintenance and repair business in Queen Anne’s County. For the occasion, Franchot, Harris and their entourage gathered in the garage with Potter, his wife Kaye, their daughters and his loyal mechanics. Queen Anne’s County Register of Wills Laura Nan Cook and Clerk of Court Katherine Hager also attended. Franchot told Potter he had heard many good things about his business and his standing in the community, mentioning he learned of the business from Len

The Kent County News: Franchot honors Reed, historical society

CHESTERTOWN — Women's History Month played a central role in Comptroller Peter Franchot's visit Monday to Chestertown, where, at separate stops, he recognized the work of former home health care provider Barbara Reed and viewed an exhibit at the Bordley History Story commemorating women architects in Maryland. Previously the owner and operator of Loving Touch Home Care LLC, Reed received the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award from Franchot at a ceremony held in the Gibson Center for the Arts at her alma mater Washington College. Attendees at the ceremony included the college's president Kurt Landgraf and other members of the administration; Mike Arentz, a representative from Co

The Baltimore Sun: After years of feuding with fellow Democrats, Maryland Comptroller Franchot at ri

The highest vote-getter ever in a Maryland election, Comptroller Peter Franchot may be the most popular and successful Democrat in statewide politics. But after repeatedly bashing fellow top Democrats for years with criticism they view as bombastic and unfair, he is a man with increasingly few allies in Annapolis. On the opening day of this year’s legislative session in January, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller mocked Franchot from the dais, implying he is a closeted Republican. Recently, when Franchot tried to introduce what he considers an important bill, he said legislative leaders in the 188-member General Assembly refused to file it for him. Now, members of his own party are m

WAMU: Booze! Causing Political Fights In Maryland For 100 Years

There’s a war raging between Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and State Sen. Ben Kramer (D-District 19). It’s over a bill currently under consideration in the General Assembly that would move regulation of alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from the comptroller’s office to a new state agency. To understand why Maryland’s tax collector is the person responsible for alcohol regulation in the state, you have to go back 100 years to that period in American history known as Prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect in January 1920. It prohibited the production, importation, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors. “It doesn’t outlaw consumption privately,

The Star Democrat: Preston Automotive Group first recipient of Cornerstone Award

HURLOCK — Preston Automotive Group and its founders became the first recipient of Comptroller Peter Franchot's new Cornerstone Award, recognizing local business excellence. Franchot visited the Ford showroom at the Preston Autoplex on Thursday, Feb. 28, to present the award to the Wilson family for 44 years of not only contributing to the local economy, but also giving back to the community through philanthropy. "We love the big businesses, but I've never seen a Little League team with Amazon on the back," Franchot said. "That's why the local businesses we're starting to celebrate today, around the state, are so critical to our state's economy, but more importantly, to our state's streng

The Star Democrat: Franchot presents WDS Helping People Award to Men for Change organization

FEDERALSBURG — Men for Change, a faith-based youth mentoring nonprofit in Federalsburg, is Caroline County’s 2018 winner of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. Comptroller Peter Franchot annually recognizes one winner in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions with the award he established in 2012 in honor of former governor and comptroller Schaefer’s 50-year legacy of service to others. Franchot presented the award Thursday, Feb. 28, at Park Lane Church of God in Federalsburg to Men for Change founders and brothers, the Rev. Stanford and David Ricks. “Hats off to Men For Change for exemplifying the mentality Gov. Schafer had and recognizing the challenges your community face

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