Monthly Archives: February 2015

In miniature, Feb. 22

  • Gov. Hogan is right about business exodus from Maryland [Metro Business Media]
  • Purple Line panel debate Mar. 2 in Silver Spring: my Cato colleague Randal O’Toole, Pete Rahn, Rich Parsons [Maryland Public Policy Institute]
  • “The question is whether you are willing to fund a system that makes it illegal, fosters a black market, and puts people in jail.” [Tom Coale, HoCo Rising on marijuana law, my two cents]
  • “Instead of Railing Against Hogan’s Budget, Assembly Democrats Should Focus Efforts on Reforming the Process” [Todd Eberly]
  • Many conclusions I agree with in this John Judis National Journal piece analyzing the late election, with much Maryland content [earlier]
  • (Updated): I’ll be taking a break for personal reasons (surgery, which was successful) and posting will be slow in the next month.
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An Edward Glaeser idea on regulation

From a December Cato paper, one-stop permitting. An idea for the new Hogan administration?

Another step forward is to embrace one-stop permitting. There are effectively two variants on this idea. One variant, the Devens model (named after Devens, MA, which has successfully used this approach for years), involves a public official who is literally empowered to license any new business. The second involves a public interface who then connects with myriad regulators. The first option is far more powerful, since the official can be held accountable for permitting times. One approach that I have suggested is to begin with one-stop permitting within an entrepreneurship zone in a higher poverty area. This should make this more politically palatable. Then, ideally, if the system proves a success, it can be expanded city- or statewide.

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Environmental cronyism: not just an Oregon phenomenon

Green-barrel insiderism brought down Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, but as close observers of Maryland policy know, Portlandia’s not the only place with these problems.

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In which Montgomery County ages before your eyes

“Watch the region get older as young people cluster around stuff to do” [Dan Reed, Greater Greater Washington]

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In miniature, February 13

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Governor’s State of the State speech

The text of Gov. Hogan’s State of the State is here, including a warning that we “face an $18.7 billion unfunded pension liability” among other serious fiscal and economic challenges, which apparently was not what some incumbent lawmakers wanted to hear. Richard Vatz gives the speech high marks. Middle-of-the-road political analyst Todd Eberly, while liking the substance, thinks Gov. Hogan should have led off with a more conciliatory tone, but says what’s “downright ridiculous” is the overwrought reaction of leading Maryland Democrats and their allies, which “really shows how coddled the establishment has been in this state.”

Part of that ridiculous reaction: Senate Democrats, including Sen. Nathaniel McFadden (D-Baltimore) and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring), are showing their displeasure by holding up uncontroversial cabinet nominees just because they can. So mature of them!

P.S. I’m not the only one who thinks leading Democrats overplayed their hand in their reaction to the speech. The editorialists at the Baltimore Sun think so too.

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“The worst thing I’ve ever been through, by far”

Following a report by a pizza delivery person that persons who looked underage were drinking beer at a party there, Montgomery County police raided the home of Damascus family George and Cathy Magas. According to the family, police not only dragged and handcuffed the elder Magas but tased both father and son. Police disputed their account but the family, which has a video taken that evening, won in court:

Circuit Court Judge Steven Salant sided entirely with the Magas family. In a 23-page ruling, he called the police’s version of what happened “doubtful,” that the family had “an expectation of privacy,” called the raid an “unlawful invasion,” and that evidence was unlawfully obtained.

After the judge dropped criminal charges against the couple and their son Eric, WTTG/Channel 5 interviewed the Magases. I can’t embed it, but you can watch the clip here and it is highly recommended. More coverage in the Sentinel of the raid itself and the county police’s underage drinking task force, and in the Post.

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