Speaker Busch makes major leadership changes, presuming his own re-election

House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch announced major changes in the House leadership Tuesday that presumes he and many of his Democratic appointees will be re-elected against Republican opponents and he himself will be re-elected speaker to an unprecedented fifth term. The most dramatic change is the generational shift in the House Judiciary Committee where Del. Luke Clippinger, 45, of Baltimore City becomes chairman and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary of Howard County, 43, becomes vice-chair, the only first-term legislator to hold such a key role in a major standing committee.

Photo Gallery: Politicos work the Tawes crab feast

The crowds seemed a little thinner this year around the corporate tents of the 42nd annual Tawes crab feast in Crisfield, although they did bunch up around Gov. Larry Hogan as he worked the event for three hours, posing with all comers. The day was cooler than usual, in the mid-80s with lower humidity and nice breeze from the northwest.

Franchot opponent claims ethics violation over comptroller coins

Comptroller Peter Franchot’s little known Republican opponent, Anjali Reed Phukan, said she plans to file an ethics complaint this week against the three-term incumbent for passing out embossed medallions that bear the authority line of his campaign committee. Franchot has been passing out the coins to thousands of people for at least five years, reviving a tradition started by the late Comptroller Louie Goldstein.

Amid rising waters, Smith Island puts faith in jetties, God

Only on Smith Island would someone get choked up about a jetty, a constructed wall of stones that functions like a bulwark against waves and water currents. Since 2015, federal, state and local sources have invested about $18.3 million in three separate projects on and around Smith Island, adding about two miles of reconstructed shoreline, several acres of newly planted salt marshes and hundreds of feet of jetties to preserve the island that is slipping away into the Chesapeake Bay.

Opinion: The death penalty should be revived

All sides in the debate over capital punishment claim to “know,” as one of my correspondents claimed, that death penalty is or is not a deterrent.  For it to be a deterrent for capital crime, murderers would have to think that they might be caught and that the venue in which they are caught will effect the ultimate punishment.  Further, they need to be convinced that such a penalty is not infinitely delayable.  In states that it takes a decade or more from conviction to execution and/or those in which capital punishment is rare to nonexistent, there can be no deterrent from the death penalty.

Democratic primary voters move to the left, with Jealous at the top

Democratic primary voters in Maryland moved their party to the left on Tuesday. Younger, more progressive candidates beat older establishment liberals in key races, led by the energetic performance of former NAACP president Ben Jealous, who will face Republican Gov. Larry Hogan as their nominee in the fall. The strong showing by Jealous, carrying all but two counties against an underfunded Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, may have been a key factor in progressive victories down the ballot, particularly in the Baltimore region. Jealous got almost 40% of the vote statewide against eight opponents.