GROUPS SEEK TO END TOWN’s AT-LARGE ELECTIONS, CITING DISCRIMINATION: The Caroline County NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union and the Caucus of African American Leaders – Eastern Shore are seeking to work with Federalsburg’s elected officials to address what they call a “racially discriminatory and unlawful election system.” “The Town’s longstanding at-large election system has diminished and diluted the influence of Black voters such that no Black candidate in all Federalsburg history has been elected to the Town Council, despite burgeoning growth of the Black population to nearly half of Federalsburg’s population,” ACLU representatives wrote in an Aug. 24 letter to Federalsburg Mayor Kim Abner. Angela Price/The Easton Star Democrat.
HARRIS-MIZEUR DEBATE HITS A 3rd PARTY SNAG: Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris and Democratic challenger Heather Mizeur agreed to a debate in their 1st Congressional District race, but planning stalled when Harris suggested he wouldn’t participate unless Libertarian Party candidate Daniel Thibeault was invited. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
PITTMAN-HAIRE DEBATE SET: Anne Arundel County executive candidates Steuart Pittman and Jessica Haire will debate the county’s biggest issues Oct. 18 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
OPINION: STATE-FUNDED MPT SHOULDN’T DECIDE WHO DEBATES: Earlier this month it was announced that Maryland Public Television would be hosting a debate on Oct. 12 between the major party candidates for governor. The debate would be held in conjunction with The Baltimore Sun and WBAL TV. The problem of who gets to show up creates complications for what ultimately is a state agency. But why is Maryland Public Television, a state-funded agency, deciding who gets to participate at all? MPT should reverse course and allow David Lashar, Nancy Wallace, and David Harding into the debates. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
UPGRADING B’MORE WATER SYSTEM NO EASY TASK: Baltimore officials say that billions in federal money to upgrade water services nationwide could help the city replace the network of pipes and valves that feed residents’ faucets, an aging system that may be implicated in the E. coli contamination of last week. But nationwide demand, and the city’s vast infrastructure challenges, means whatever funding Baltimore receives from the federal infrastructure program will likely cover only a fraction of its needs. Sophie Kasakove and Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
PANDEMIC ALTERED DEL. COX’s TRAJECTORY: Long before Donald Trump elevated his primary bid for governor, Del. Dan Cox was a polite backbencher in the Republican super-minority, building his reputation in Annapolis as a thoughtful yet inflexible lawyer whose legislation rarely passed. Then the pandemic fueled Cox’s political trajectory. Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.
OPINION: ‘LOCAL CONTROL’ AND EDUCATION’s FUTURE: Once upon a time, the legendary U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill proclaimed “all politics is local.” Nowhere was this truer than in K-12 classrooms. Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1974: “No single tradition in public education is more deeply rooted than local control over the operation of schools.” Those days are long gone. Still, local control remains an incendiary problem in education policy and politics, and could endanger successful implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Kalman Hettleman/Maryland Matters.
PROFILE: TOMLINSON WANTS TO BE A DELEGATE WHO GETS THINGS DONE: Christopher Tomlinson, a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates with a clear path to a seat in Annapolis, said he wants to be a lawmaker who gets things done, rather than throws bombs and makes a lot of noise. “I really want to go down and actually get the job done,” Tomlinson said. “I want to pass meaningful legislation that can help my constituents, but also bring some positive reform to the state.” Angela Roberts/The Frederick News Post.
TRANSIT OFFICIALS SEEK PUBLIC INPUT ON B’MORE NORTH-SOUTH PROPOSALS: State transportation officials are asking for public input on seven proposed transit routes that would connect Towson to downtown Baltimore. The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration unveiled seven options for a new north-to-south transit line connecting Baltimore County to Baltimore City by light rail, bus or subway. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.
EVAN GLASS POISED FOR BIGGER ROLE IN MONTGOMERY: The top vote-getter designation in the Montgomery County Council at-large Democratic primary race confers a certain unspoken status on whomever gets it. For Evan Glass, the timing couldn’t be better: He’s poised to play an even bigger role in county government, as the next council president, at a time when the council is going to grow and change thanks to legislation he sponsored to expand the council, which was eventually approved by voters in 2020. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
FRANCHOT PORTRAIT TO BE PLACED IN STATE TREASURY BUILDING: Maryland’s 33rd comptroller may have only a few months left in his term, but his image will endure. Peter Franchot, elected in 2006, made an early effort to collect and display photos and portraits of all of Maryland’s chief tax collectors. Those works are displayed in the Assembly room in the state Treasury Building. As early as next year, Franchot’s portrait will take its place alongside his predecessors. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.