STATE HOUSE TANEY STATUE TAKEN DOWN: Under the cover of night, a work crew removed the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney from the grounds of the State House, ending the monument’s 145-year perch on the prominent spot in Annapolis, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun.
- Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said his revulsion at what happened in Charlottesville — at a demonstration purportedly in defense of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — prompted him to change his mind about the Taney statute and push for its removal, an act long sought by civil rights groups, reports the Post’s Josh Hicks.
MILLER CRITICIZES E-VOTE ON TANEY: Senate President Mike Miller is criticizing the Maryland State House Trust for voting by email to remove the statue of Roger B. Taney from the State House lawn in Annapolis. Miller says a public meeting should have been held instead on a matter of such importance. The State House Trust rarely meets in person, often casting votes by email for matters such as approving new plantings on the grounds or giving the go-ahead for performances in the building, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun.
HOGAN, OTHERS BLAST TRUMP: Maryland’s popular Republican governor further distanced himself from President Trump on Thursday, saying that the president has not shown the kind of leadership the country needs following the deadly violence in Charlottesville, the Post’s Ovetta Wiggins is reporting. “I thought he did a really bad job responding to it,” Gov. Larry Hogan said of Trump’s comments in recent days. “It wasn’t presidential.”
- Amanda Yeager of the Annapolis Capital writes that U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown and others in the Maryland congressional delegation criticized President Trump’s response to events in Charlottesville, shows he is “unfit for office” and called on Republicans in Congress “to take meaningful action to rein in this administration.”
BATTLEFIELD MONUMENTS TO REMAIN: The superintendent of the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg said Wednesday that the park has no plans to remove its Confederate monuments, including a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. And no Maryland Department of Natural Resources lands have monuments or memorials dedicated to the Confederacy, spokesman Gregg Bortz wrote in an email to Herald-Mail Media, reports Julie Greene for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
CITY STATUES UNDER COVER: The Confederate monuments taken down in Baltimore remained out of sight Thursday, relegated to a city-owned lot under tarps and police protection, but not out of mind for many, particularly President Donald J. Trump. Meanwhile, writes Jean Marbella and Colin Campbell in the Sun, the push to take down Confederate monuments received unexpected support from descendants of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson. Writing to the mayor of Richmond, Va., two great-great-grandsons of Jackson called the monuments “overt symbols of racism and white supremacy” that should have been taken down long ago.
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES EXPECTED FOR CANNABIS INDUSTRY: Maryland’s fledgling medical cannabis industry could open the door to entrepreneurs who would cater to highly regulated growers processors and dispensers, according to the chair of the Department of Business Management at Anne Arundel County Community College. As the state edges closer to serving its first medical cannabis patient perhaps later this year, the Daily Record’s Bryan Sears reports that experts say the industry will create a “green rush” of jobs not only for highly regulated businesses but for nearly unregulated ancillary businesses.
NO HARFORD RX POT LICENSES, YET: No licenses have been issued for medical marijuana dispensaries, growers or processors based in Harford County, but the state’s licensing process is beginning to pick up steam with final approvals granted for a handful of licenses earlier this week during a meeting of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission in Bel Air, David Anderson of the Aegis writes.
MARYLAND ISLANDS FOR SALE: No man is an island. But, for less than $175,000, a man (or woman) could buy three of them in the Potomac River — if he or she acts fast. Real estate agent Buzz Mackintosh said the islands, about seven miles upstream of Williamsport, Md., have garnered interest from a handful of prospective buyers, writes the Bay Journal’s Whitney Pipkin in MarylandReporter.com. Now, the state of Maryland, which already owns and manages several nearby islands, is weighing purchasing them.
TRUMP A SHADOW ON HOGAN: Gov. Larry Hogan will walk the Ocean City boardwalk on Friday, and he’s sure to receive a hero’s welcome: Hogan, after all, expended significant political capital last year to delay the beginning of the Maryland school year in the name of boosting the state’s tourist economy. But Hogan may have an unseen and unwanted weight on his shoulders as he soaks up the rock star treatment on the boardwalk: President Trump, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.
ARMY VET SEEKS DELEGATE SEAT: An Army veteran who works in cybersecurity is the second Democrat to file for a seat in the House of Delegates’ District 32, Amanda Yeager writes in the Annapolis Capital. Hanover resident Derek Kent filed as a candidate for the three-member district in July. The 34-year-old District 32 Democratic Club board member is running on a progressive platform that includes support for national issues such as universal health care and publicly funded elections.
JEALOUS CAMP WALKS BACK ENDORSEMENT CLAIM: The gubernatorial campaign of Ben Jealous is walking back his earlier statement that he would be receiving the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, reports Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat.
DEFENDING VIGNARAJAH: Attorney Charles Scheeler, in an op-ed for Maryland Matters, lays out some legal arguments to defend Krish Vignarajah, the highly educated and very talented woman who has announced that she is running for governor. Almost immediately after the announcement, she began to receive criticism for voting in D.C. while working for the Obama administration. But does the criticism pass legal muster.
MO CO’s PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING: With less than one year before the 2018 primary, nearly two dozen candidates for the Montgomery County Council have declared their interest in qualifying for matching public funds by collecting a certain number of individual donations that are between $5 and $150, writes Rachel Siegel for the Post.
DELAUTER DEFENDS STATEMENT: Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter (R) said Thursday that his Facebook comments this week had been blown out of proportion — and that he could have been more clear in what he was trying to say. Danielle Gaines of the Frederick News-Post writes that after racial violence in Charlottesville, over the weekend and subsequent calls to remove monuments with racial overtones, Delauter, a candidate for county executive, posted this message on Tuesday: “Growing up I never really understood how Americans could fight each other in a civil war … I’m starting to understand how that happened … and how close we are to repeating history.”