Reported in the Post and Sun among other venues – breadth of coverage which makes clear that someone wants the world to know he is holding up his end of a bargain – Ken Ulman’s consulting firm has been selected to “transform College Park into a Silicon Valley-like hub filled with incubators and start-up companies.”
Ulman of course was the Democrat’s lieutenant governor candidate behind Anthony Brown’s unsuccessful election bid – or reelection bid, if you believe critics’ view that he would have been no more than a continuation of the O’Malley administration. The loss stunned all the O’Malley fans, which apparently consisted of the minority of voters who neither pay a lot of taxes, appreciate public safety or want efficiency in government. Thus the new career path for Ulman stands up in four short weeks, with his first customer being the university – or one of its Foundations, since the budget deficits run up by Ulman’s team members have resulted in freezes in the spending from state accounts. That’s a state tradition: going from a balanced budget to a huge deficit over election night.
If selecting losers to champion campus interests seems odd, especially since someone in this role will presumably need to interact with officials in a new administration he once bad mouthed while running against them, then it will all make sense when you remember that this campus has another rich tradition: providing gainful employment for failed politicians who are briefly in a holding pattern between public offices. Democratic party leaders are careful to take care that their people get a soft landing. This is not altruistic (never mind that the idea of taking care of their people with our tax money is hardly altruistic.) Keeping former candidates on the dole also keeps them on the hook, at least until they say something against the orthodoxy, in which case they are dropped immediately, as demonstrated with Doug Duncan – another failed candidate who had been hired to bring about change in our surrounding community and to promote the campus.