Gov. Larry Hogan endorsed Del. Kathy Szeliga for U.S. Senate Tuesday. Both are skipping the Cleveland GOP convention. Screen shot from video on Szeliga's Facebook page.

Rascovar: More reasons for Marylanders to vote

This year’s apparently one-sided presidential election in Maryland may encourage some people to consider not voting. Polls consistently have Democrat Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican Donald Trump by a whopping 30 percentage points. There are plenty of other reasons to show up at the polls or cast an absentee ballot. This is especially true for Republicans who may have had enough of Trump. The worst thing they could do would be to take a pass on voting.

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.

Advocates seek immunity for young victims of sex trafficking, but police object

A state workgroup is recommending that juvenile victims of human trafficking will not be prosecuted for sex crimes in Maryland, despite objections from law enforcement. From 2012 to October of this year, 82 girls in Maryland were confirmed as victims of human trafficking. Police say youth victims of human trafficking are usually recovered in areas near airports with higher population density, and often come from low-income families with a history of neglect and substance abuse.

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.

Maryland Business for Responsive Government chair Scott Dorsey of Merritt Properties, economist Steve Moore and MBRG President Duane Carey.

Trump adviser says Maryland should be more like Texas

A senior Trump economic adviser told a Maryland business group Tuesday that Maryland should become more like Texas, cutting taxes and regulations to spur economic growth. Economist Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation told a breakfast meeting of the conservative Maryland Business for Responsive Government that Donald Trump would win the national election, perhaps even win Maryland, and cause a major realignment of the Republican Party.

Illustrations in a  fundraising email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Desperate House Democrats plead for donations

Do desperate campaign fundraising appeals work? The folks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee apparently think so, and have been doing it for years, according to published accounts. In just the past week, as the Sept. 30 report filing deadline approached, I got over 40 emails from the DCCC with subject lines that included “We’re BEGGING,” “We’re losing,” “Trump WINS,” “TRUMP.WINS.EVERYTHING” and “throw in the towel.”

Gov. Larry Hogan explains his budget proposal at a Jan. 7 press conference. Left is Lt. Gov Boyd Rutherford, on the right is Budget Secretary David Brinkley and fiscal advisor Bob Neall.

Rascovar on Maryland budget myths, with a counterpoint

Maryland is dealing with another revenue shortfall and a budget that must be trimmed to make the state’s books balance. Yet to hear Gov. Larry Hogan tell it there’s no revenue problem –only “a spending problem” caused by Democrats in the General Assembly. Let’s get the facts straight on this one: If there’s a problem with spending the buck stops on Hogan’s gubernatorial desk, writes columnist Barry Rascovar. Editor Len Lazarick offers a counterpoint on four key issues.

State House at Sunset. Photo by

New Maryland laws take effect Oct. 1: drunk driving, police conduct, equal pay

This Saturday, many of the laws passed during this year’s General Assembly session go into effect. Some key new laws Oct. 1 include measures to : require ignition interlocks for drunk driving and increase penalties for killing people while driving drunk; to
make drivers carry cards showing current insurance coverage; to expand protections for equal pay for equal work and employees discussing their salaries; to improve public oversight of the police; to encourage more reporting of child abuse and neglect; and
withhold tax refunds for people with outstanding arrest warrants;. Other new laws deal with solar hookups, pesticides that kill bees, freedom of the press for students, and gambling on card games and mahjong at home (no kidding).