Monthly Archives: July 2018

Maryland public employees’ Janus rights

If you’re a public employee, the Supreme Court has ruled that you have a First Amendment right to decide for yourself whether to pay agency fees to a union. You might decide, for example, that the union’s bargaining objectives do not reflect your own wishes and priorities, or that the union’s presence is simply not worth the cost to you in fees. The My Pay My Say website helps you exercise your Janus rights and assist other employees in exercising theirs.

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“Why Does Maryland Hate Airbnb?”

“A bill given serious consideration in Annapolis this spring would require platforms like Airbnb to collect detailed information about hosts and guests, retain it for up to four years, and turn it over to the state government if requested. Failure to comply with any of the rules would result in $500 fines for individual hosts, with each further violation adding another $500 to the tab. Critics say the privacy concerns and escalating fines are clearly meant to deter would-be hosts from renting out their spaces. The bill’s sponsor, Del. William Frick (D–Montgomery County), hails from the district that not-so-coincidentally contains Marriott’s new, state-subsidized corporate headquarters.” [Eric Boehm, Reason]

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In miniature, July 4

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State Democrats meddle — to no avail — in District 3 primary

My June 18 letter to the editor in the Frederick News-Post urged county political leadership to condemn the deceitful mailer series launched by state Democrats seeking to meddle in the District 3 Senate primary. I was responding to the first mailer in what turned out to be a series of six, ostensibly critical of councilmember Billy Shreve as being too close to President Trump but in fact sent to Republicans in the apparent hope of boosting Shreve’s chances of being the GOP nominee.

Sen. Michael Hough, Republican senator for adjacent District 4, went on Jennifer Charlton’s WFMD radio show to explain (at 13:45 in this clip) how the “Todd Akin” gambit works. At 16:20 he says:

The Democrats are going to drop about fifty thousand bucks into this primary on behalf of Billy Shreve. And the part that really is outrageous? Billy Shreve went on a radio show and laughed about it and said, “I share a lot of common interests with them. I like these guys.” He thinks it’s great. To me, I find it totally outrageous and it would be very destructive, quite frankly, if they’re allowed to get away with this.

The next week I was a guest on Jennifer’s show and had a chance to discuss the issue myself.

I can report that the series of six expensive mailers appears to have been an almost complete waste of the Democrats’ money: Craig Giangrande won in a blowout, 77 to 23 percent.

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