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Muldowney acccuses Donoghue of voting against money for schools

October 25, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - A local candidate spoke out Tuesday about a vote his opponent made four years ago, claiming it diverted money away from school construction funding in the county.

Paul Muldowney, a Republican candidate in the Subdistrict 2C race, said Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, voted in favor of a lavish building in Annapolis instead of more than $30 million in school construction. The funding was part of the fiscal year 2004 budget.

Donoghue said the vote was a Republican ploy designed to factor in an election-year stunt, like the one his opponent pulled Tuesday.

Muldowney held the press conference at Pangborn Elementary School, a site he said could have benefited from the money his opponent voted to spend on the state house building annex in Annapolis.

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An amendment was proposed to the state budget for fiscal year 2004 that would take money from the building annex and divert that money to school construction.

Donoghue voted against the amendment, along with 84 others in the House of Delegates, and the amendment failed.

"That particular vote was a political maneuver designed to make people look bad, but had no effect on school construction money," Donoghue said. "They knew that the two pots of money were completely separate. The amendment couldn't have happened."

A vote on the state budget that included funding for the building annex passed with no opposition.

Muldowney said Tuesday that Donoghue voted for a building with stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings instead of for his constituents in Washington County, who need new school construction and renovation. He said that Pangborn Elementary has no air conditioning and its 11 portable classrooms have no windows.

"(This is) the deplorable situation in which children are expected to learn," Muldowney said.

Donoghue said that while he has represented Washington County, the school system has received record funds for construction.

"For 16 years, I have worked every year on the budget with my colleagues and brought back school construction money to Washington County," Donoghue said. "I think it's a shame that my opponent is resorting to these types of tactics."

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