HOGAN CRITICIZES TRUMP REMARKS: Gov. Larry Hogan criticized President Donald J. Trump’s comments on the conflict between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., when the president blamed both sides for the violence, writes Pamela Wood in the Sun. “I think he made a terrible mistake,” Hogan told reporters in Annapolis after a Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday.
TANEY STATEHOUSE STATUE TO GO: Maryland’s State House Trust on Wednesday approved plans to remove from the capitol grounds a statue of former U.S. chief justice Roger B. Taney, who authored the majority opinion in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that said African Americans cannot be U.S. citizens, Josh Hicks of the Post reports.
- In a vote taken by e-mail, three members of the four-member State House Trust voted in favor of removing the statue of Taney. It was not immediately clear when Taney’s bronze likeness would be moved from its perch overlooking the front lawn of the State House, or what would happen to the statue afterward, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record writes that the statue was placed on the front lawn of the State House on Dec. 11, 1872. There have been a number of unsuccessful efforts by legislators to have it removed. Former Prince George’s County Democratic Del. Jolene Ivey advocated for its removal and wrote on her Facebook account that Taney’s statue “sits like a turd in front of Maryland’s State House.”
- Even though the statue remains, many in Anne Arundel County and in Annapolis in particular are now pondering what to replace it with, writes Amanda Yeager for the Annapolis Capital.
CITY STATUES: Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, after overseeing the removal of four Confederate monuments in Baltimore, again expressed frustration her predecessor, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, did not resolve the issue herself before leaving office, Luke Broadwater of the Sun writes.
- Sun columnist Dan Rodricks speaks with Sun reporter Luke Broadwater and Sun editorial board member Peter Jensen about the surprise removal of four Confederate statues in Baltimore City.
- Baltimore City isn’t the only municipality removing – or at least considering removing – Confederate statues. Read this Post article to find out about some others who agree it is the right thing to do.
- Here’s a Sun timeline on how Baltimore came to the decision to remove the statues.
OPINIONS ON REMOVALS: In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Charles Lane writes about replacing the Confederate statues in Maryland that have been or will be brought down. He of course brings up Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman but then goes into detail about an abolitionist that has pretty much been wiped from the history books – Hugh Lennox Bond.
- The editorial board of the Sun also praises Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh for acting quickly to remove the statues, writing that their removal “in the dead of night does not erase the legacy of racism they represented, but it does reflect our rejection of it.”
HOGAN SUMMONS SCHOOL SYSTEMS: Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he plans to summon local school systems to Annapolis in October to explain their requests for construction money — a significant change from the way the money has been awarded in the past, writes Pamela Wood for the Sun. Hogan said this “much-needed change” is an adjustment that will improve transparency and help top officials get a handle on school funding requests earlier in the process. But some worried that the move would increase the politicization of the process instead.
- State Treasurer Nancy Kopp said she would support any effort that would allow more input from school systems and the public, but she raised concerns about the possibility of making the process political. “We have made an effort, that I hope we will not fall back on, over the years to try to make school construction as non-political a process as possible,” Kopp said.
PRISON GUARDS NEEDED: Maryland’s state corrections system is looking for a few hundred good prison guards. The fact that it can’t find them is a problem that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and lawmakers in Annapolis need to address sooner rather than later opines the editorial board for the Post. In 2009, 752 guards were hired from an applicant pool of more than 7,700 candidates. Last year, only 63 applicants made the cut from a drastically diminished pool of just 2,400 applicants. In most of the about 30 corrections facilities around the state, scores of officers’ jobs are unfilled.
IN PRAISE OF DESCHENAUX: The editorial board of the Sun gives a well-deserved shout-out to Warren Deschenaux, long the chief fiscal analyst in the Department of Legislative Services, and more recently that agency’s director, who will retire on Dec. 1. The board writes that Annapolis is about to get a lot less droll. His departure leaves Maryland’s capital without something it badly needs: someone who can wryly deflate the nonsense spouted so often by governors and legislators of both parties when it comes to the state’s taxes, spending and debt.
OPEN MEETINGS BOARD MULLS TRAINING: The Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board considered both potential legislation and training issues at its recent annual meeting. It also reviewed several reports required by 2017 legislation including the tracking and recording of new training requirements, Conduit Street reports.
RISING COSTS OF RUNNING: In a column for the Annapolis Capital, Common Cause’s Jennifer Bevan-Dangel writes about the rising cost of running for election in Maryland, saying that from 2011-2014, Senate candidates received an average of $290,070 in contributions and delegate candidates an average of $79,878. When Common Cause Maryland last did this analysis in the early 2000s, Senate candidates raised an average of $90,000 and delegates raised an average of $70,000.
JEALOUS CAPITALIZES ON ARREST: Ben Jealous, a Maryland Democratic candidate for governor, was among 27 arrested Tuesday at an immigration protest near the White House. Ryan Miner of a Miner Detail blog writes that the Bernie Sanders-backed candidate is now marketing his arrest in an unusual way. Jealous’s gubernatorial campaign released an email blast today titled “Arrested for standing up.”
CASCADE OF POLITICAL POSSIBILITIES: Allegany County Register of Wills Rebecca Drew resigned on Tuesday, opening a cascade of political possibilities spread across two counties. Del. Mike McKay announced last month that he is not seeking re-election to the Maryland House in District 1C and will instead run for the Register of Wills job in the next election, Ryan Miner of A Miner Detail blog writes.
MO CO CANDIDATES LIST: Beginning today, MarylandReporter.com and its Montgomery Reporter edition runs a list of candidates for local, state and federal office in Montgomery County as best as we could determine on Aug. 15, 2017 . It will be updated at least once a week until the filing deadline of Feb. 27, 2018. There are close to 100 candidates already, including 20 for the four at-large seats on the County Council.
- What is Montgomery Reporter anyway? Montgomery Reporter is the edition of MarylandReporter.com devoted to news about Montgomery County government and politics.
JOBS LOSS SURVEY FLAWED: The study that projected massive job losses in Montgomery County if the hourly minimum wage increased to $15 is flawed, according to the consulting group that conducted the survey, Rachel Chason of the Post is reporting.