Martin O'Malley

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Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley was born in Washington, D.C. on January 18, 1963. He graduated from The Catholic University of America and earned his J.D. at the School of Law of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. O'Malley served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 and the Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. On May 30, 2015, O'Malley publicly announced his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election.


Martin O'Malley sets his vision in his "15 Goals to Rebuild the American Dream." (MOW)

Tax Reform

O'Malley's Tax Reform (section page)

Although Martin O'Malley has not yet released a formal tax plan, he supports the creation of a financial transactions tax. (TPC) He has also suggested creating a new tax bracket for people earning over $1,000,000 and taxing capital gains at ordinary marginal income tax rates. (DD3)

While governor of Maryland, O'Malley used tax increases to fund many government programs. (PBS) He made the Maryland tax code more progressive by increasing taxes on the wealthy. He believes in funding Social Security benefits by lifting the cap on Social Security taxes. (TPC)

Jobs and Business Policy

O'Malley's Jobs and Business Policy (section page)


  • Reach wage growth of 4% annually by 2018 (MOW-1)
  • Increase number of families with adequate retirement savings by 50% within 8 years (MOW-1)
  • Cut the pay gap between full-time men and women workers in half by 2025 through paycheck fairness laws, strong family leave policies, and expanded access to quality, affordable healthcare (MOW-1)
  • Increase the minimum wage and protect rights of all workers to organize and collectively bargain for better wages (OTI)


  • Cut the unemployment rate among young people in half within 3 years (MOW-1)
  • Reach full employment for American veterans by 2020 (MOW-4)
  • Extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless (OTI)

Wall Street Reform

  • Require banks to separate commercial and speculative banking within 5 years (MOW-FR)
  • Ensure key political appointees are independent of Wall Street (MOW-FR)
  • Close the regulator/prosecutor revolving door (MOW-FR)
    • Institute a three-year revolving door ban
    • Institute an additional three-year mandatory disclosure rule
  • Immediately double funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (MOW-FR)
  • Elevate focus on economic crimes at the Department of Justice (MOW-FR)
    • Create a standalone Economic Crimes Division
  • Immediately reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act and end "too big to fail" (MOW-FR)
  • Implement a financial transaction tax to limit high-frequency trading (MOW-FR)

Competition and Anti-trust

  • Restore competition and anti-trust laws, taking action within one year in office (MOW-14)

Health Policy

O'Malley's Health Policy (section page)


  • Encourage states to adopt comprehensive payment reform and consider options like hospital global budgeting, patient-centered medical homes, and accountable care organizations (MOW-HC)
    • Supports an "all-payer" system (PBS)
  • Improve the value of Medicare (MOW-HC)
    • Launch a "Medicare Essential" program to provide comprehensive benefits (hospital, physician, prescription drug, supplemental coverage) in one opt-in plan
  • Increase support for primary care and promote widespread adoption of medical homes (MOW-HC)
  • Require clarity in healthcare billing and fairness for the uninsured (MOW-HC)
  • Enforce anti-trust law to counter dramatic price increases (MOW-HC)
  • Fight against corporate tax inversions (MOW-HC)
  • Ban price gouging for prescription drugs (MOW-HC)
  • Use the government's purchasing power to ensure reasonable drug prices (MOW-HC)
  • Invest in health information exchanges (MOW-HC)
  • Expand patients' access to their own health data (MOW-HC)
  • Prioritize data security in the transition to electronic medical records (MOW-HC)

Expanded Access to Care

  • Build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (MOW-HC)
    • Ensure access to affordable healthcare for immigrants
    • Work with states to close the "coverage gap"
    • Extend access for working families and their children
    • Treat multi-employer and high-cost plans fairly
    • Address high deductibles by covering critical services
  • Support universal access to reproductive care (MOW-HC)
    • Promote universal access to prenatal care and family planning
    • Believes abortions should be legal without any intrusion or interference from the government (OTI)
  • Set a goal for universal access to primary, behavioral, and oral health care, supported by renewed investment in community health centers (MOW-HC)
  • Eradicate lead poisoning by restoring funding for state programs and creating an interagency task force to find solutions to keep children healthy (MOW-HC)
  • Reduce diseases and premature deaths caused by air pollution (MOW-HC)
  • Mobilize communities to address the cause of health disparities (MOW-HC)
  • Expand the National Health Service Corps and Area Health Education Centers and invest in the next generation of the health care workforce (MOW-HC)
  • Task the Department of Health and Human Services with developing the basis for states, health systems, and health care providers for progress in health equity (MOW-HC)

Cures and Healthier Lives

  • Invest in NIH and FDA research (MOW-HC)
  • Support promising therapies at every step of development (MOW-HC)
  • Release clinical trial data to advance scientific discovery (MOW-HC)
  • Invest in early childhood health (MOW-HC)
    • Provide stable funding for the ACA's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program
  • Build on the ACA (MOW-HC)
    • Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund
  • Renew focus on preventing and treating infectious diseases (MOW-HC)
    • Set goals for disease prevalence for diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis
  • Reauthorize and fully fund the Older Americans Act (MOW-HC)
  • Require Medicare and Medicaid programs to create a consistent set of incentives to encourage community-based care (MOW-HC)
  • Encourage physicians to speak with their patients regarding end of life care and support the implementation of patient wishes (MOW-HC)

Mental Health and Addiction

  • Invest in strong community health systems (MOW-HC)
  • Integrate behavioral health and physical health care (MOW-HC)
    • Introduce new incentives through Medicare and Medicaid to increase ease of access to behavioral health care
  • Stop the criminalization of mental illness (MOW-HC)

Drug Policy

O'Malley's Drug Policy (section page)

Drug Overdose and Addiction

  • Reduce deaths from drug overdose by 25% by 2020 (MOW-AT)
  • Establish a national dashboard to monitor the overdose and addiction problem, track nationwide responses, and target resources to increase access to critical services (MOW-AT)
    • Create and adopt a national strategy to reduce addiction to fentanyl (a deadly narcotic laced into heroin) within 100 days of taking office
  • Stop the over-prescription of pain medications (MOW-AT)
    • Require physician training on pain prescribing
    • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs
    • Support patient education on pain
  • Expand access to treatment (MOW-AT)
    • Expand access to Naloxone (a reversal drug used to treat overdoses from heroin and prescription opioids)
    • Equip all first responders with Naloxone and ensure all hospitals and first responders can quickly direct patients to effective addiction treatment options
    • Increase funding for effective therapies
    • Expand coverage of proven treatments under Medicare and Medicaid
    • Assure every veteran access to treatment within 12 hours
  • Invest in community resources for recovery (MOW-AT)
    • Implement a public health response to addiction
    • Support community services
    • Launch a national campaign to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction


  • Supports the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana (DP)
  • Supports the legalization of medical marijuana (DP)
  • Wants to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug (DP)

Middle East

O'Malley's Middle East (section page)

Foreign Policy

  • Adapt national security institutions to better anticipate fast-emerging threats (MOW-FP)
  • "Engage with a new generation of leaders from different walks of life—often in hostile environments where we lack historic ties; where we lack relationships" (MOW-FP)]
  • Create a more far-sighted and proactive foreign policy based on engagement and collaboration (MOW-FP)]


  • "Negotiations are the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon" (MOW-FP)]
    • Supports a verifiable, enforceable, tightly-monitored nuclear deal


  • "Containing, degrading, and defeating ISIS will require an integrated approach" (MOW-FP)]
    • Focus on both military power and political solutions
    • Amplify credible, local voices in the region and counter ISIS propaganda
    • Encourage the Iraqi government to govern more inclusively


  • Supports a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine (PBS)


  • Opposes a no-fly zone over Syria (CNN)
  • Believes that the U.S. should accept 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016 (CNN)


O'Malley's Trade (section page)

Trade Agreements

Martin O'Malley is critical of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and rejects any deals negotiated in secret. (CBS)

O'Malley will support and negotiate trade agreements only if they: (MOW-TP)

  • Reject secret trade agreements and democratize trade negotiations
  • Prohibit currency manipulation
  • Prevent corporate power grabs
    • Oppose investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)
    • Put public interests first
  • Lift labor standards
    • Protect core labor rights
    • Set and enforce meaningful labor standards
  • Improve environmental protection
  • Uphold strong financial regulations
  • Provide fair access to markets
  • Protect access to affordable medicines
  • Support investment in the U.S. Economy
    • Ensure that U.S. corporations are taxed fairly, including on their global activities


O'Malley's Immigration (section page)

Comprehensive Reform

  • Immediately extend executive action to protect at least 9 million immigrants from deportation (MOW-5)
  • Provide deferred action to the greatest possible number of immigrants (MOW-IR)
  • Grant broad waivers to the three- or ten-year bar and work with Congress to achieve a permanent repeal (MOW-IR)
  • Expand parole-in-place to benefit all spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (MOW-IR)
  • Undertake significant outreach and educational programs to promote naturalization (MOW-IR)
  • Rescind the regulations restricting health care for deferred action recipients (MOW-IR)
  • Limit detention to only those who pose a clear threat to public safety (MOW-IR)
  • Close inhumane detention facilities (MOW-IR)
  • Expand due process protections in the detention and immigration system (MOW-IR)
  • Prevent racial and religious profiling (MOW-IR)
  • Disentangle public safety and local law enforcement from immigration enforcement (MOW-IR)
  • Ensure a secure border through the strategic use of personnel and technology, extensive training and support for immigration officers, and policies that address the root causes of migration (MOW-IR)
  • Focus on priority cases that advance national security, address violent crime or financial fraud, and protect the most vulnerable members of society (MOW-IR)


O'Malley's Environmental (section page)

Renewable Energy

  • Create a Clean Energy Jobs Corps to partner with communities to become more energy efficient, create new green spaces, and restore and expand forests (MOW-CEF)
  • Generate 100% of American electricity with renewable energy by 2050 (MOW-CEF)
  • Federal legislation that caps on carbon emissions from all sources, proceeds from permits returned to low- and middle-class families and invested in job transition assistance and Clean Energy Jobs Corps (MOW-CEF)
  • Reject projects like Keystone XL and deny new permits for drilling in Alaska, the arctic, and off the coast (MOW-CEF)
  • Increase royalties and emissions fees for fossil fuel companies currently drilling on federal land and invest proceeds in jobs and skills training (MOW-CEF)

Carbon Emissions

  • Caps or taxes on carbon emissions from all sources, proceeds from permits returned to low- and middle-class families and invested in job transition assistance and Clean Energy Jobs Corps (MOW-CEF)
  • Fully implement Clean Power Plan (Ballotpedia)
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy for methane leaks from current oil and gas production (Ballotpedia)

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

O'Malley's Entrepreneurship and Innovation (section page)

During Martin O'Malley's time as governor of Maryland, Maryland ranked #1 for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years in a row, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (MOW)

In 2015, O'Malley hosted a series of pitch contests for civic tech entrepreneurs. O'Malley used a more data-driven approach to governing, pioneering programs like CitiStat and StateStat, which tried to make performance measurement part of governance, and opening up more government data. (HP)

Small Businesses

  • "I have spent most of my life in the private sector, running a small business in a state that, at times, seemed openly hostile to people like me. There is much more for us to do, but as a first step, I'm proposing cutting personal property taxes for small businesses. This burdensome tax and bureaucratic paperwork discourages the creation of new business, and drives small businesses and jobs elsewhere. This legislation would create a tax exemption on the first $10,000 in personal property, entirely eliminating this tax for more than 70,000 small business owners -- or one-half of all Maryland's businesses." (OTIC)

Innovation: The Key to Progress in Health

  • Build on Affordable Care Act's success by "driving innovation in health across new technologies, new therapies, new sources of data, and new community health initiatives." (MOWHC)
  • Innovation in paying for health care
    • Encourage states to adopt comprehensive payment reform
    • Improve value of medicare
  • Reduce waste and empower patients through data and technology
    • Invest in health information exchanges
    • Give patients more freedom to use their own healthcare data
    • Prioritize data security in the transition to electronic medical records
  • Invest in the next generation of breakthroughs
    • Invest in NIH and FDA research
    • Support promising therapies at every step of development


  • “Not only were we (Maryland) the first state in the nation to pass a living wage. We were the first to pass a minimum wage. And the U.S. chamber of commerce, which hardly ever says nice things about Democratic governors anywhere, named our state number one for innovation and entrepreneurship. “ (DD2)
  • In regards to how tech companies are responsible for the encryption technology to protect personal data, but the government wants a back door into that information:
    • “So we're a collaborative people. We need collaborative leadership here with Silicon Valley and other bright people in my own state of Maryland and around the NSA that can actually figure this out.But there are certain immutable principles that will not become antique things in our country so long as we defend our country and its values and its freedoms. And one of those things is our right to be secure in our homes, and our right to expect that our federal government should have to get a warrant.” (DD4)


MOW = Martin O'Malley's website [1]

MOW-1 = Goal 1 [2]

MOW-4 = Goal 4 [3]

MOW-5 = Goal 5 [4]

MOW-14 = Goal 14 [5]

MOW-FR = Financial Reform [6]

MOW-HC = Health Care [7]

MOW-AT = Addiction Treatment [8]

MOW-FP = Foreign Policy [9]

MOW-TP = Trade Policy [10]

MOW-IR = Immigration Reform [11]

MOW-CEF = Clean Energy Future [12]

TPC = Tax Policy Center [13]

DD3 = 3rd Democratic Debate [14]

PBS [15]

OTI = On The Issues [16]

DP = Denver Post [17]

CNN [18] [19]

CBS [20]

Ballotpedia [21]

HP = Huffington Post [22]