Rascovar: ‘Free’ tuition isn’t free

Talk on the far left about “free” college tuition got a boost last week from an acolyte of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the foremost proponent of this marvelous-sounding idea. Benjamin Jealous, former head of the NAACP who is running for governor, told a group of college students and progressive activists, to no one’s surprise, that his gubernatorial pitch includes free education for Marylanders at the state’s public colleges and universities.

Rascovar: Warning to voters: Beware of polls 

Too many Americans look upon polls as Gospel, the definitive word on how elections will come out. Wrong. Polls can be useful at times but only as an indicator of the shifting winds of public sentiment. They cannot predict accurately the outcome because polling is an art, not a science.

Rascovar: Hogan, king of the road(s)

Gov. Larry Hogan never met a highway project he didn’t like. He’s a 1950s type of politician – solve all the state’s transportation gridlock and congestion by paving the countryside with lanes of new concrete. 

Rascovar: Hogan strong arms his own state school board

Gov. Larry Hogan is trying to sabotage his own school board. A state school board made up almost exclusively of Hogan appointees is scheduled today to submit to federal officials a plan for turning around under-performing schools.  Yet the governor is intent on blowing up his school board’s plan before it arrives in Washington. 

Gavel by FaderUri

Rascovar: The truth about truth in sentencing

Gov. Larry Hogan can’t make up his mind. Last year he was a gung-ho advocate of “soft-on-criminals” reforms aimed at cutting Maryland’s prison population by 1,000 and putting more resources into helping low-level offenders avoid a life of crime. This time, though, Hogan is sporting his “tough on criminals” campaign button, calling for “truth-in-sentencing” as part of a crime-fighting package he’ll introduce in the next legislative session. 

Rascovar: Standstill at State Center

Every so often, the prospective developer of the long-stalled State Center re-do in Baltimore stirs the waters and agitates community groups to denounce Gov. Larry Hogan for not giving the A-OK to its $1.5 billion project. That economic scheme might have worked in 2004 under Ehrlich, when the economy was roaring and there were sufficient resources to support such a heavily subsidized undertaking. But the Great Recession rendered the original plan unworkable. The initial developer withdrew and a new team started lobbying O’Malley for a new deal, which turned out to be even better for the builder. 

Rascovar finds Hogan’s Trumpian tendencies

There’s a little bit of Donald Trump in Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.  Demands of obedience from the co-equal branches of government. His pandering to the far-right of the Republican Party. His refusal to compromise and blame others when things go wrong. His recent descent into the political gutter by giving credence to “fake news.” 

Rascovar: Hogan and Pugh did what was right

In this seminal period of American history, it is important for elected officials to display moral courage and leadership rather than more fashionable politics of survival – and a craven pandering to people’s baser instincts. Both Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh took the high road last week, doing what was right even if it proved controversial. The two leaders acted quickly to remove Civil War-era statues that inflamed public debate.

Rascovar: John Delaney for president? Really? 

Donald Trump may have started an unwelcome trend. An outsider who started as a joke rather than a serious contender in the wide-open GOP presidential primaries last year, Trump pulled off America’s biggest upset. Today he’s president and now just about anyone thinks he, or she, can do the same thing. Exhibit A is Maryland Congressman John Delaney. He thinks he should be president.

Rascovar: James Madison, John McCain and Larry Hogan

Washington’s embarrassing health care debacle should not come as a surprise. Two hundred thirty years ago, James Madison warned of just such an appalling spectacle in Federalist Paper No. 10. He pinpointed the cause, as did Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Arizona Sen. John McCain in the past week.