The New York Times building by alextorrenegra with Flickr Creative Commons License

Collins: Mainstream media may be in a death spiral

The chaos of this national election has many people wondering if we are seeing the death of the Republican Party. That may be possible, but political parties reinvent themselves periodically. What we may be witnessing, however, is the death spiral of the Fourth Estate, the mainstream media.

Rendering of proposed Prince George's County Regional Medical Center.

Rascovar: PG hospital approval begins cure for county’s ailments

It took over three years to surmount the bureaucratic, regulatory and political hurdles but it finally looks like a half-billion-dollar, state-of-the-art regional medical center will rise slowly in populous Prince George’s County. It’s way overdue. For a county of 900,000 people, Prince George’s lacks a premier hospital. No wonder so many local residents go outside the county for their medical care.

Rascovar: For Hogan, business comes first, education second

He’s at it again! Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. issued another executive order that makes it even clearer he intends to usurp the powers of the Maryland State Board of Education and every local school system in the state. So far, no one is challenging Hogan’s decree setting the start of the school year statewide after Labor Day and the last school day no later than June 15. Nor is any school system threatening to defy his order, which screams “overreach.” There is no valid education reason for Hogan’s action.

This is the home page of a group opposing Question A in Howard County that provides for public financing of local election campaigns.

Howard exec Kittleman opposes campaign financing question on county ballot

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman told he opposes the public campaign financing charter amendment on county ballots this year because it would force him to use taxpayer dollars to fund candidates. “There’s no question I support public financing of local campaigns,” Kittleman said, but only if it comes from voluntary contributions, not tax dollars. Under the charter amendment known as Question A, “the county executive must put in the budget what this unelected commission says,” Kittleman said. “This is clearly taxpayer funded campaigns. This is wrong.”

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announces resignation of Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald.

Howard County’s mini-constitutional crisis is over as sheriff departs

Howard County elected officials of both parties are mightily relieved that Democrat Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald finally succumbed to intense political pressure from all sides and all levels and has agreed to retire. The sheriff was accused by the county’s Office of Human Rights of bullying and harassing employees, using racial and ethnic slurs in the process, and creating a hostile work environment. But when Sheriff Fitzgerald dug in his heels last week and refused to step down, other elected officials were not left with many legal options under Maryland’s constitution.


Opinion: Absentee ballots are weak links in voting integrity

The Maryland State Board of Elections wants to move forward with a scheme to allow voters to request absentee ballots on-line. This is a bad idea that should be stopped. The Board’s proposal would allow a voters to request absentee ballot on-line, print and hand mark it, and then mail it to election officials. The system also will have an on-line marking tool to assist voters with disabilities.