Montgomery County Candidates List for local, state, federal office 9/15/2017

This is an updated list of candidates for local, state and federal office in Montgomery County, updated on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Candidates for county executive and County Council are listed first, followed by state legislature, Congress and then statewide office. This week we added the courthouse offices, candidates for comptroller and U.S. Senate, and fixed a few errors and omissions.

Rascovar: Hogan strong arms his own state school board

Gov. Larry Hogan is trying to sabotage his own school board. A state school board made up almost exclusively of Hogan appointees is scheduled today to submit to federal officials a plan for turning around under-performing schools.  Yet the governor is intent on blowing up his school board’s plan before it arrives in Washington. 

Scientist navigated Bay’s stormier days, helped put cleanup on course

When Donald Boesch came to Maryland 27 years ago, the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort was struggling to make real progress. The research institution he’d come to lead faced challenges, too, just to survive intact. Now, as Boesch prepares to step down this month as president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the Bay’s health appears to be improving, though it’s far from saved. And his institution has not only survived, but generated a growing body of research that’s helped guide the recovery.

Maryland State Board of Elections

Legislators consider improving Md. election security after hearing with state elections board

Legislators learned last week that Maryland’s electronic balloting system may need better security measures to protect voters’ information and that the lawmakers must be the ones to add those protections. The State Board of Elections told lawmakers Sept. 6 that they are powerless to make those changes, and that any security changes must directly come from the legislature.

Ocean City businesses fear losing 4,000 seasonal workers if J-1 visa program is cut

As the summer tourism season comes to a close in Ocean City, Maryland, many businesses fear they may soon lose much of their seasonal workforce if the Trump administration cancels the J-1 visa program. The White House may be considering reducing the J-1 visa exchange visitor program, which brings in more than 100,000 students from foreign countries to the U.S. each summer, often to work in tourist destinations like Ocean City

Gavel by FaderUri

Rascovar: The truth about truth in sentencing

Gov. Larry Hogan can’t make up his mind. Last year he was a gung-ho advocate of “soft-on-criminals” reforms aimed at cutting Maryland’s prison population by 1,000 and putting more resources into helping low-level offenders avoid a life of crime. This time, though, Hogan is sporting his “tough on criminals” campaign button, calling for “truth-in-sentencing” as part of a crime-fighting package he’ll introduce in the next legislative session. 

Report highlights farm manure pollution flowing into Bay from 4 Pa. counties

With Pennsylvania lagging badly in helping to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, a new report by an environmental group highlights the role that intensive livestock farming plays in the state’s shortcoming. Four south-central Pennsylvania counties where animal manure is heavily used to fertilize crops “contribute disproportionately” to the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution fouling local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, according to the report by the Environmental Integrity Project.

Howard County’s interim superintendent puts mark on school system

There’s a reason the local school superintendent is the highest paid local official in Maryland’s counties. It’s the toughest job in the county, heading the institutions where taxpayers spend the most money and that touch the most lives. The fierce competition for the top talent also drives up the salaries, and the average superintendent of large urban and suburban school system lasts only about four years in the job.

$100 bills.

Several MoCo lawmakers choose traditional campaign financing over public funding

Several candidates who voted to support public campaign financing in local elections are opting not to use the funding mechanism for their own campaigns, as they run for local office in Montgomery County. Public campaign financing can be used for the first time in 2018 when Montgomery County voters go to the polls to elect a new county executive and a new nine-member County Council.

Rascovar: Standstill at State Center

Every so often, the prospective developer of the long-stalled State Center re-do in Baltimore stirs the waters and agitates community groups to denounce Gov. Larry Hogan for not giving the A-OK to its $1.5 billion project. That economic scheme might have worked in 2004 under Ehrlich, when the economy was roaring and there were sufficient resources to support such a heavily subsidized undertaking. But the Great Recession rendered the original plan unworkable. The initial developer withdrew and a new team started lobbying O’Malley for a new deal, which turned out to be even better for the builder.