Rascovar: For Hogan, business comes first, education second

He’s at it again! Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. issued another executive order that makes it even clearer he intends to usurp the powers of the Maryland State Board of Education and every local school system in the state. So far, no one is challenging Hogan’s decree setting the start of the school year statewide after Labor Day and the last school day no later than June 15. Nor is any school system threatening to defy his order, which screams “overreach.” There is no valid education reason for Hogan’s action.

This is the home page of a group opposing Question A in Howard County that provides for public financing of local election campaigns.

Howard exec Kittleman opposes campaign financing question on county ballot

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman told MarylandReporter.com he opposes the public campaign financing charter amendment on county ballots this year because it would force him to use taxpayer dollars to fund candidates. “There’s no question I support public financing of local campaigns,” Kittleman said, but only if it comes from voluntary contributions, not tax dollars. Under the charter amendment known as Question A, “the county executive must put in the budget what this unelected commission says,” Kittleman said. “This is clearly taxpayer funded campaigns. This is wrong.”

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announces resignation of Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald.

Howard County’s mini-constitutional crisis is over as sheriff departs

Howard County elected officials of both parties are mightily relieved that Democrat Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald finally succumbed to intense political pressure from all sides and all levels and has agreed to retire. The sheriff was accused by the county’s Office of Human Rights of bullying and harassing employees, using racial and ethnic slurs in the process, and creating a hostile work environment. But when Sheriff Fitzgerald dug in his heels last week and refused to step down, other elected officials were not left with many legal options under Maryland’s constitution.


Opinion: Absentee ballots are weak links in voting integrity

The Maryland State Board of Elections wants to move forward with a scheme to allow voters to request absentee ballots on-line. This is a bad idea that should be stopped. The Board’s proposal would allow a voters to request absentee ballot on-line, print and hand mark it, and then mail it to election officials. The system also will have an on-line marking tool to assist voters with disabilities.

Gov. Larry Hogan endorsed Del. Kathy Szeliga for U.S. Senate Tuesday. Both are skipping the Cleveland GOP convention. Screen shot from video on Szeliga's Facebook page.

Rascovar: More reasons for Marylanders to vote

This year’s apparently one-sided presidential election in Maryland may encourage some people to consider not voting. Polls consistently have Democrat Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican Donald Trump by a whopping 30 percentage points. There are plenty of other reasons to show up at the polls or cast an absentee ballot. This is especially true for Republicans who may have had enough of Trump. The worst thing they could do would be to take a pass on voting.

Senate candidates Margaret Flowers, Kathy Szeliga and Chris Van Hollen

3 Senate candidates together for first forum and maybe last time

They are equal on the November ballot, but the three candidates for U.S. Senate sat together on the same stage for the first and possibly last time Saturday at a forum in Columbia sponsored by an African American coalition. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a physician representing the Green Party, appeared with Republican nominee Kathy Szeliga, the House of Delegates minority whip, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Democratic nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.