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Advocates of public financing of local campaigns in Howard outspent opponents 10-1

Howard County voters approved setting up a system of public financing for people running for County Council and executive with a safe 7,500-vote margin, though the measure actually lost among people who voted on Election Day by 2,000 votes. Question A proponents — a coalition of good government and progressive groups outspent the organized opponents — mostly Republicans — at least 10 to 1 if in-kind support from progressive organizations is counted.

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Major overhaul of state contracting proposed, along with hundreds of changes to regulations

The Hogan administration has unveiled a major overhaul of how billions in state contracts are bid and awarded, along with a revamping of hundreds of regulations designed to making doing business in Maryland easier. Few of the changes have broad impact on the public at large, but they impact hundreds of state contractors and thousands of professionals, such as a real estate agents and mortgage brokers.

Downtown Columbia on the shores of Lake Kittamaqundi at 11 a.m. July 2, 2016. Photo by Len Lazarick

Part 5 Columbia at 50 POLITICS: The Shifting Weight of Columbia Power

This is the fifth part in a series of 12 monthly essays over the next year leading up to Columbia’s 50th birthday celebration next June. This month Len Lazarick looks at the shifting dynamics of political power in Howard County because of the presence of Columbia and its largely Democratic voters. Links to the previous four parts are at the bottom of the essay.

Artists's conception  of Frederick Hotel and Conference Center.

State funding for Frederick conference center hotel voted down

The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) bowed out of the $84 million downtown Hotel and Conference Center project in Frederick last week, withdrawing $18 million in state support. Gov. Larry Hogan said in an interview Nov. 3 that no state money would be going toward the project. This could spell the end for a controversial project to use taxpayers dollars to subsidize a hotel in competition with privately owned hotels.

Maryland grows more politically polarized, like rest of U.S.

While Maryland voted for the Democratic candidate in 2016 for the seventh straight presidential election, a deepening Republican loyalty in more rural areas of the state indicates increased polarization throughout Maryland. While liberal-leaning urban areas helped Hillary Clinton secure Maryland’s 10 electoral votes and Democratic candidates won all but one U.S. House seat Tuesday, the state’s liberal base didn’t perform according to expectations.

Delaney strikes bipartisan tone in victory speech

Democratic Rep. John Delaney struck a bipartisan tone Tuesday evening as he thanked volunteers, supporters and family for helping him win a third term in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. Delaney handily defeated Republican candidate Amie Hoeber 55% to 41%. Delaney spent $1.4 million on the race, and Hoeber spent close to $1 million, plus independent spending by a super PAC funded by her husband.