Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the leader of the city’s delegation to the House of Delegates share a common interest in Charm City’s well-being.
But Rawlings-Blake and Del. Curtis S. Anderson, both Democrats, apparently aren’t sharing much else these days.
While the mayor flanked Gov. Martin O’Malley as he announced a special session of the General Assembly in which table games could be legalized at state casinos and another could be authorized in Prince George’s County, Anderson said he was “disappointed” the special session was called.
He added that he didn’t understand why Rawlings-Blake was so willing to support the expansion of casino gambling.
“I wish I knew, I wish she’d tell me,” Anderson said. “I’m the chairman of the delegation and I haven’t spoken to her since I saw her at a baseball game about three weeks ago.”
Ryan O’Doherty, the mayor’s spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that Anderson and other members of the delegation did indeed speak with Rawlings-Blake when O’Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, met with city lawmakers in a closed meeting on July 18.
O’Doherty added that the mayor had been in contact with legislators “often” in the last two weeks.
But Anderson maintains that he wasn’t on the mayor’s call list.
“She hasn’t called me, I haven’t called her,” he said.
Rawlings-Blake supports expanding the state’s casino gambling program because the legalization of table games would bring additional jobs, and potentially more tax revenue, to a city casino. A Caesars Entertainment Corp.-led group could be awarded Baltimore’s slots license on Tuesday.
Anderson, though, wants additional sweeteners for Baltimore, like the ability for the city to borrow more money for school construction and improvements.
The city delegation’s chairman said he doesn’t understand why the mayor wouldn’t leverage her support to get more goodies for Baltimore.
“If she’s on board, I don’t know why she thinks we’d just jump on board,” Anderson said. “Why would you give away an important position like this?”