Columnist Barry Rascovar, who's been covering Maryland politics longer than anyone still in the game -- 42 years -- is continuing the tradition with his own website, politicalmaryland.com. Rascovar's column was one of the casualties of the downsizing of the Gazette of Politics and Business, which dropped the politics, along with some staff and columns.
In an email, Rascovar said, “My plan is to post new columns once or twice a week and contribute shorter commentaries on politicalmaryland.com.”
In his first column, Rascovar gives his read on the governor's race, giving an edge to U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, who he says is better known than Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and AG Doug Gansler. (Maybe just in the Baltimore area?)
We'll be linking to Rascovar's work in roundup, as we did when he wrote for the Gazette. Speaking of the Gazette, the remaining Annapolis writer, Holly Nunn, has been hired as an O'Malley speechwriter, and Daniel Leaderman is back until he heads to China in July. The only Gazette staff with substantial Annapolis experience are editors Doug Tallman and Andy Schotz. All the Frederick staff has been let go as the company shutters that paper, and a few in Prince George's County were laid off.
Laslo Boyd, another Gazette columnist, has migrated to Center Maryland.
Our annual stories on six-figure state salaries, by associate editor Meg Tully, formerly of the Frederick News-Post, are always popular, but Monday's blog on first lady Katie O'Malley's fashion spread drove a lot of traffic as well. Perhaps it was the subject line of the daily newsletter, “Katie O'Malley cover girl,” that made more people open that newsletter than any other this year. But the story on $100,000 salaries won hands-down on Facebook, reaching 8,200 people, and the most popular stories of the past month are those on the “rain tax.”