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’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.

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.

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.