Category Archives: Roundups

In miniature, January 21

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In miniature, January 1

  • Recommended: Geoff Kabaservice’s interview with pollster Mileah Kromer ranges among topics like Larry Hogan’s highly successful use of Change Maryland as a vehicle, the salience of property taxes as a issue with suburban black voters, and why private colleges like Goucher are home to so many influential polls [Vital Center podcast]
  • Dan Cox’s 32-point loss, in which he received only half as many votes as Larry Hogan had in 2018, decimated the Maryland GOP in close races as well as the Republican bench [Brian Griffiths, Duckpin, more, yet more]
  • Gee, who’d have predicted that? Crank AG nominee Michael Peroutka, who lost to Anthony Brown by 20 points as of election night and 30 points in the final count, wasn’t inclined to concede [more from Griffiths, see also]
  • It’s not a great idea for vacancies that open up in the Assembly to be filled by party central committees, especially not if the committee members can appoint themselves. A revolt against the idea among some Montgomery Democrats was quickly put down, though [Adam Pagnucco]
  • Metro’s glaring operational and safety deficiencies can be traced to its weak management structure [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Jack Hogan interviewed a dozen people for this retrospective on Jan Gardner’s eight years as Frederick County Executive, and included my two cents [Frederick News Post]

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In miniature, December 12

  • From early this year but I didn’t note it here at the time: guess who made “The Duckpin 100” in Maryland politics and government? [Brian Griffiths, The Duckpin]
  • Catching up again after the fact, but on June 3, 2021 I spoke before the Wicomico County Charter Review Commission to share some lessons from our work at the Frederick County Charter Review Commission. If you’re interested in the work of these commissions — test-tube constitutionalism, as I’ve called it — do give it a watch. [YouTube]
  • And catching up from even further back: “If conservatives do not stand completely against the mob that stormed the Capitol, then we have let the mob hijack our values.” – State Sen. Michael Hough in the Frederick News Post, Jan. 14, 2021. Hough just lost a super-close race for Frederick County Executive to Jessica Fitzwater, but he is someone who should (and, I fearlessly predict, will) return to public service in the future.
  • Now you’re not cooking with gas: Montgomery council follows through and passes ill-advised new law requiring buildings to be all-electric [Adam Pagnucco, earlier]
  • Del. Gabriel Acevero, notable as a profile in courage on two different issues (LEOBR and redistricting) survives an effort to purge him from the Montgomery County delegation by de-slating [Pagnucco again]
  • See you at the MACo winter conference in Cambridge, first time I’ll be attending the Winter one after a couple of times at the Summer.

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In miniature, November 22

  • The week in blame-shifting: Baltimore files lawsuit against tobacco companies seeking to recoup the cost of dealing with cigarette butt litter [CBS News]
  • A lot of people warned at the time that Maryland’s first-in-the-nation digital ad tax was unconstitutionally drawn, and now Judge Alison Asti has struck it down [Callan Tansill-Suddath, DCist; an earlier instance in which courts struck down a media law after the General Assembly ignored warnings of likely unconstitutionality]
  • Montgomery County will make a costly mistake if it goes forward with plans to ban most gas hookups in new buildings [Adam Pagnucco, Montgomery Perspective, more]
  • To my list of favorite Maryland place names I can now add Tippity Wichity Island in St. Mary’s County [Baltimore Banner, more, it’s for sale]
  • Frederick Magazine profiles Landmarks Foundation of Frederick County, which just had its biggest attendance ever for Oktoberfest at Schifferstadt [Kate Poindexter]
  • Baltimore needs to change, part 783: Bridgeport, Newark, Detroit, and Baltimore in that order are the cities that place the highest tax burdens on households, and that’s true both at $75K and $150K/year household income levels. Among the lowest: Las Vegas, Houston, Jacksonville, Fla. and Manchester, N.H. [Chris Edwards, Cato]

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In miniature, January 29

  • I’m honored to have joined the board of the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation, one of my favorite local organizations, which maintains historic buildings such as Schifferstadt and runs the wonderful annual Barnstormers Tour.
  • Howard Gorrell: More hypocrisy on Maryland redistricting [Maryland Reporter] LRAC’s legislative maps, unlike MCRC’s, split the city of Gaithersburg. Might that decision be vulnerable to a legal challenge? [David Lublin, The Seventh State] To help pry open the closed shop that is Maryland politics, try open primaries [Colin Alter, same]
  • Reminder: Del. Dan Cox’s many baseless election-theft claims include insinuations of “rampant” poll fraud in four GOP-heavy Maryland counties that did not return the sort of margins for Trump he expected a year ago: Frederick, Carroll, Anne Arundel, and Harford. [Brian Griffiths, The Duckpin] Numbers on county shifts here; note that while these four suburban counties all swung hard against Trump (10-13 points), as did more Democratic suburban jurisdictions like Howard (10) and Baltimore County (11), many counties that are partially suburban in character swung a lot too, such as Calvert and Talbot with 11-point swings, Washington 9, Wicomico and St. Mary’s with 8, and Queen Anne’s with 7.
  • The redistricting season has now wrapped up with the legislature choosing gerrymanders over our commission’s fair maps for both Congressional and legislative elections. Some clips: Henry Olsen/Washington Post, WTOP, Star-Democrat (Easton). And I’m quoted in this Frederick News-Post piece by Jack Hogan on the implications of the legislative maps for Frederick County.
  • Maryland ranks near the cellar in business tax climate and Andrew Macloughlin of the Free State Foundation explains why. [Maryland Reporter]

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In miniature, January 22

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In miniature, November 12

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In miniature, August 21

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In miniature, July 6

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In miniature, May 29

  • My law blog Overlawyered ceases publication this weekend after nearly 21 years, you can read its Maryland archives here;
  • How about “no.” Does “no” work for you? “Baltimore Wants To Sue Gun Makers Over Gang Violence” [Cam Edwards, Bearing Arms]
  • The environmental group fretted that suspending the bag tax will leave “the public with a false sense of security in encouraging single-use plastic shopping bags” which “are difficult to clean.” Yo, Sierra Club! That’s why they’re called “single-use” bags [Jim Bovard, American Conservative; Josh Kurtz, Maryland Matters]
  • Precinct-level reporting, confidentiality, ballots returned without signatures: the details of vote-by-mail (VBM) Maryland still needs to work out [Cheryl Kagan, Howard Lee Gorrell]
  • Some good ideas in here for your county or municipality, too: “D.C., Maryland Jurisdictions Start Deferring Taxes, Fees and Regulations” [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
  • Montgomery County development politics analyzed along the lines of the classic Bootleggers and Baptists model [Arnold Kling]

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