By Rick Williams
I’m sick and tired of Barry Rascovar tearing down Gov. Hogan on MarylandReporter.com. Last week’s column was the last straw.
“He’s at it again,” says Rascovar. It’s Rascovar that’s at it again, not Hogan. Talk about your “phony story line” and “hot air lacking factual back-up.” That’s your Democrat columnist for sure.
Rascovar says the governor should go through the motions of following this new lame scoring system to make his decisions more transparent, and then just disregard it, because it doesn’t really force him to do anything. That’s why it’s “scare tactics” to say the new law will make him kill projects. Where’s the list of projects that will be killed? Rascovar screams.
At least Maryland Reporter linked to an analysis of the new law by former transportation secretary Bob Flanagan. That shows the new scoring system is totally biased in favor of mass transit and the biggest Democrat counties.
What’s worse, this new scoring system is tacked onto to the system we’ve been using for years to determine transportation projects.
Counting population three times
So if you follow the new law you actually count population three times. Once under the old system, twice under one of the new nine categories, and then after you come up with this bogus score, you multiply it again by a factor that favors the most populous and most densely populated counties over everybody else.
The people who came up with this scoring system want every place in Maryland to look like Baltimore or Silver Spring. We don’t want to live that way.
People like Rascovar, and Dan Rodricks in the Sun or Josh Kurtz at Center Maryland — all people I read in MarylandReporter.com’s daily State Roundup — are still pissed off that Hogan killed that stupid Red Line in Baltimore.
The ridership numbers were ginned up, and the cost of that big tunnel was low balled. Why would this four–mile tunnel costs less than replacing a one-mile Howard Street tunnel?
That’s the real fiction here. Baltimore missed the boat 90 years ago when other cities old East Coast cities were building mass transit; in the 1950s and 1960s, the city even tore up its old trolley lines.
It’s all fiction, like the idea that the Red Line would somehow cure problems in West Baltimore and create a Baltimore transit system.
I’d like Len Lazarick, editor of a site I otherwise like very much, explain why he continues to print this trash from Rascovar.
Rick Williams can be reached at RickWilliams7476@gmail.com.
Editor Len Lazarick responds:
I’ve gotten a number of comments like this over the past year, though few as long.
We’ve been running Rascovar’s columns for almost three years now, soon after he started his own blog. Barry has been writing about Maryland government and politics for 45 years, several years longer than me, first for The Sun and then for the Montgomery Gazette. Barry writes well and provocatively, with a background and knowledge few can match.
Lately, his columns have been hard on Gov. Larry Hogan; some make me wince. But when you agree to run a columnist on a weekly basis, you either run all of the stuff he produces or you stop running him altogether. You can’t run the ones you like and trash the one you don’t
Why doesn’t MarylandReporter.com drop Rascovar? Because he’s well read and often has interesting things to say, even when I disagree. Even if we stopped running his column, he’d still be publishing them on his own blog and sending them out by email. We’d likely link to those in the daily State Roundup as we did for years when he was writing for the defunct Gazette in Montgomery County.
Instead, for almost a year, we’ve been trying to recruit more conservative and libertarian columnists to balance Rascovar’s views. We’re still in the market for views from all shades of the political spectrum.
But few writers are as consistent, as reliable, as well informed or write with as much verve and polish as Rascovar. Some people we’ve approached want to write about national politics, but that’s not our niche. We do state government and politics.
So if you’d like to balance Rascovar, please contact me at Len@MarylandReporter.com. The pay is nonexistent, but the audience is large and sophisticated.