Rascovar: ‘Honest Prince George’ continues decades of corruption

Back when I was a naïve and newbie political reporter covering the Maryland General Assembly in the early 1970s, I was baffled when legislators joked in lounges and hallways about “Honest Prince George.” I found out soon enough it was a jovial but derogatory reference to the questionable “pay for play” politics practiced by some leaders of Prince George’s County. Now “Honest Prince George’s” has surfaced again.

Rascovar: Maryland’s demeaning ‘Begathon’ continues

Here we go again. In a few weeks, school superintendents will trek, en masse, to the second floor of the Maryland State House to grovel before the Board of Public Works for additional school construction funds. It is a demeaning “begathon” that long ago outlived its usefulness and turned into a political circus allowing the governor and comptroller to praise and reward their friends in the counties and humiliate their enemies.

Rascovar: Re-imagining State Center

As an early New Year’s gift to Maryland taxpayers, Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. delivered the final blow to an outrageously priced scheme aimed at turning over to private investors the 28-acre State Center complex in Baltimore for redevelopment.

Hogan’s predecessor, Gov. Martin O’Malley, had pushed hard for the State Center deal in a way that benefited the developers but left the state with unconscionably high rental payments for the next half-century – beginning at $30 million-plus per year, escalating by 15 percent every five years.

Rascovar: Hogan’s holiday hoax — the ‘road kill bill’

You’ve got to hand it to Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. What a prankster he is!

He’s pulled off one of the great holiday hoaxes of recent times in Maryland. He’s got everyone convinced he is willing to kill 66 major highway projects in Maryland in order to get the legislature to repeal a law requiring a transparent advisory evaluation and ranking of big road, bridge and transit proposals.

Rascovar: What Hogan, Pugh & Mikulski have in common

Some politicians are adjusting to Donald Trump’s victory while others are wailing like it’s the end of democracy, organizing pointless protests a full five weeks before he even takes office. In Maryland both kinds of politicos – the realists and the hopeless idealists – have been on display recently. Count Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. and new Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh among the pragmatists. They want to deal with reality on the ground.

Rascovar: Corporate welfare works in Maryland and Indiana

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. may not have supported or voted for President-elect Donald Trump but they agree on one thing: Corporate welfare works. Throwing money and tax breaks at Northrop Grumman, Marriott International and United Technologies did the trick this past week – along with a good deal of loud, Trumpian threats in the case of UT’s subsidiary, Carrier Corp., in Indiana.

Rascovar: Advising Hogan himself to ‘take a deep breath’

Leave it to Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. to make a positive, pro-active announcement and then gum up the works with snide, partisan remarks and a political snub that won’t be forgotten. Here’s the good news: Hogan reversed course on what to do about the narrow, aging and dangerous Harry W. Nice Memorial Potomac River Bridge in Southern Maryland. He unveiled a $765 million plan to erect a new, wider and safer bridge nearby in just six years. Here’s the bad news: Republican Hogan refuses to work with Democrats on this important construction project.

Rascovar: Buckle your election seatbelts!

Okay, so Maryland’s votes don’t really matter in tomorrow’s tumultuous climax to an unpredictable, deeply divisive political campaign for president. We already know the outcome in heavily Democratic Maryland. The record-breaking flood of Democrats during early voting is a clear sign it could be another wipeout for Republicans running statewide. The two GOP candidates, Donald Trump (for president) and Kathy Szeliga (for U.S. Senate) need a miracle-and-a-half to win in the Free State this year.