8th Congressional District

7 Democrats running for Van Hollen’s 8th District seat

A seventh candidate entered the crowded Democratic race for Maryland’s 8th congressional district Monday, as the contest to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the House seat continues to heat up. All are from Montgomery County, which has the most population but the smallest land area of the district which now stretches north into heavily Republican Carroll and Frederick counties up to the Pennsylvania border.

Heroin needles from an exchange program. By Liza Morales fotografiawith Flickr Creative Commons License

Deaths mount in Maryland’s heroin epidemic: an interactive map

Heroin deaths have increased across age groups, races and gender, and in all regions of the state. In early 2015, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and created a task force to investigate the epidemic and bolster the state's response. Here, a series of graphics based on data from the Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force's 2014 interim report illustrate the heroin crisis in Maryland.

Baltimore at night taken from the international space station

What to do about Baltimore’s high taxes

What to do about Baltimore's high taxes? It is an old question perplexing Maryland political leaders, but with new urgency. And there have been precious few new answers. Some ideas were floated at a recent policy debate.

Photo by IowaPolitics.com with Flickr Creative Commons License.

Marylanders give Obama, Clinton thumbs up, Congress thumbs down; mixed views on immigration

President Obama’s job approval ratings among Marylanders have remained consistent during his last two years in office, a new Goucher Poll finds. Fifty-three percent (53%) of Maryland residents approve of the job he is doing, while 38% disapprove. Marylanders continue to express their disapproval with Congress; 83 percent disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.

Lu Pierson of the League of Women Voters at microphone testifies to Gov. Hogan's Redistricting Reform Commission as Sen. Jim Brochin and Jennifer Bevan-Dangel of Common Cause wait to speak.

Rascovar: Gerrymandering is here to stay

Good intentions and wishful thinking will not get advocates of redistricting reform very far. They fail to grasp that the process is 100 percent political. The sweeping changes they seek won’t happen. Reporters, editors and editorialists are strongly on the side of the reformers. So are political science academics and supporters of “good government.” None of that matters one iota.

Art Baselice on the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Photo by Len Lazarick, MarylandReporter.com

First Friday devotion: Child abusers, their victims and Pope Francis

In an old Catholic observance, First Fridays of the month were set aside for special devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the last 10 years, Art Baselice, an ex-cop, First Fridays of the month have been set aside for another devotion.

From noon to 1 p.m., as he plans to do this Friday, he stands outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia with a poster that says "Victim of Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse." The poster has a picture of his late son Arthur and the Franciscan priest and brother that abused him.

Maryland 2011 congressional districts

Redistricting should restore representative democracy

A critique of Maryland's gerrymandered districts should not be viewed as an attack on the Democratic Party. It’s not. It is an attack on a process that encourages both parties to substitute their needs and their agenda for those of the people and the voters. It’s an attack on a process that subverts the very nature of representative government by allowing those in office to choose their voters instead of allowing voters to choose those who will serve in office.