Rascovar: For Hogan, business comes first, education second

He’s at it again! Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. issued another executive order that makes it even clearer he intends to usurp the powers of the Maryland State Board of Education and every local school system in the state. So far, no one is challenging Hogan’s decree setting the start of the school year statewide after Labor Day and the last school day no later than June 15. Nor is any school system threatening to defy his order, which screams “overreach.” There is no valid education reason for Hogan’s action.

This is the home page of a group opposing Question A in Howard County that provides for public financing of local election campaigns.

Howard exec Kittleman opposes campaign financing question on county ballot

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman told MarylandReporter.com he opposes the public campaign financing charter amendment on county ballots this year because it would force him to use taxpayer dollars to fund candidates. “There’s no question I support public financing of local campaigns,” Kittleman said, but only if it comes from voluntary contributions, not tax dollars. Under the charter amendment known as Question A, “the county executive must put in the budget what this unelected commission says,” Kittleman said. “This is clearly taxpayer funded campaigns. This is wrong.”

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announces resignation of Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald.

Howard County’s mini-constitutional crisis is over as sheriff departs

Howard County elected officials of both parties are mightily relieved that Democrat Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald finally succumbed to intense political pressure from all sides and all levels and has agreed to retire. The sheriff was accused by the county’s Office of Human Rights of bullying and harassing employees, using racial and ethnic slurs in the process, and creating a hostile work environment. But when Sheriff Fitzgerald dug in his heels last week and refused to step down, other elected officials were not left with many legal options under Maryland’s constitution.

Senate candidates Margaret Flowers, Kathy Szeliga and Chris Van Hollen

3 Senate candidates together for first forum and maybe last time

They are equal on the November ballot, but the three candidates for U.S. Senate sat together on the same stage for the first and possibly last time Saturday at a forum in Columbia sponsored by an African American coalition. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a physician representing the Green Party, appeared with Republican nominee Kathy Szeliga, the House of Delegates minority whip, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Democratic nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in second debate at Washington University in St. Louis. PBS screenshot.

Lazarick: Nasty campaign lives down to expectations in debate

We knew back in late May, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were wrapping up their party nominations, that the coming campaign was going to be one of the most god-awful nasty races in modern history. We also knew the debates between the two would be among the most watched since they began in 1960. Little did we know that the campaigns would be at their nastiest during these debates.

Opinion: Congress should back up the Bay Blueprint

With so much progress on the Chesapeake Bay, now is the time to build on our success with the three decades old federal Bay program –to increase our efforts, not relax them. That’s why it was so discouraging this summer to see the House of Representatives add to its Interior appropriations bill a provision to bar funding for EPA “backstops,” a unique element of the Blueprint that gives each state certainty that the others will fulfill their commitments to reduce pollution and improve water quality.

Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream fame and Zach Weinstein of U.S. PIRG supporting Question A for public funding of local campaigns in Columbia last week.

Public funding of county campaigns on the Howard ballot

Question A on the Howard County ballot is actually getting statewide attention and even some national notice, as it seeks to establish public funding of campaigns for local offices. Ben Cohen, the Ben of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, was in Columbia last week to promote a cause he embraced years ago.