Who does the House of Delegates represent?

The chamber of MD’s House of Delegates

There have been images that have outlined the wealth of congressmembers, concluding that they are (mostly) in the top 10% of the income scale. There are not adequate resources do this, unfortunately, for the 188 members of the General Assembly, so it is better to make a post showing which legislators serve which moneyed interests.

Here are the members of Maryland’s House of Delegates, using data from Influence Explorer, which groups delegates who have the said companies, either through individual or PAC contributions, that are their top nine campaign contributors:

This chart, with all its wonderful colors and whistles shows there are three major lobbying forces affecting the House of Delegates: the National Association of Realtors which the lobbying group for the real estate industry, the trade unions, and Constellation Energy, now owned by Mideast power company, Exelon. The Health Policy Leadership Alliance, part of the Maryland Hospital Association which represents the state’s hospitals, that has an official purpose to ultimately “foster improvements in health care for the citizens of Maryland,” but what it really should say is that it represents the interests of the state’s hospitals, whatever that may be. There are thirty delegates who serve an “other” interest, which means that either they are self-funded, or the interest they serve is not one that corresponds with the categories on this chart (small business, business lobbying groups, etc…)

In a simplified version of the above chart, I broke the numbers down even further, showing the influence of certain groups on the legislature itself:

This breakdown reveals a number of aspects: the powerful influence of the National Association of Realtors, the trade unions, and multinational corporations, with 62-63% of them being energy corporations. Additionally, it reveals the power of Constellation Energy and the Health Policy Leadership Alliance as well.

Beyond these findings, which should surprise no one, are a number of industry and pressure groups I did not include. One of these is the Restaurant Association of Maryland originally opposed the wage increase in 2013 because it would make restaurants pay more to their workers (which would only get paid 70% of the minimum wage). But then, in 2014, they praised the minimum wage bill, because it didn’t really help out tipped workers since “he tipped workers’ pay was not tied to…the hike in minimum wage.” Thompson, the spokesperson for the Association said after the bill passed that “we,” referring to the association and possibly the industry, “were very happy that legislators understood our business and the tipped wage issue.” I still remember a Maryland Delegate at a conference I’ll leave unnamed which I went to, warning of this and saying it would benefit the restaurant industry, telling them to vote against the bill. The legislature seemed to not care, and even failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Delegate Heather Mizeur who supported the rise in the wages of tipped workers by 70%, who I’m not fond of, voted for this bill.

Another group I did not mention is the Maryland Bankers Association, which is a sub-group of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Individuals from the Association give mostly to Democrats and somewhat to Republicans. The Association on its website declares that it “is strong, steadfast and the leading advocate in creating sustainable value and success for our members, their employees and Maryland banking.” In the past, the Association has argued against a state-run bank, like the successful one in North Dakota, saying it would have “an unfair advantage” over commercial banks “because it would not pay taxes.” This is no surprise since the association represents, in the words of the staff of the Washington Business Journal, “the interests of Maryland’s banking industry before federal and state lawmakers and regulators and promote[s] the industry with the public.”  On the eve of the FDIC taking over and bailing out two Maryland banks in 2012, the association said the state’s banking industry was “strong.” That same year, they also seemed to grumble about new consumer finance regulations. The Association’s former CEO, Kathleen Murphy, has also, not surprisingly, been hostile toward credit unions in the state (also see here). This position is consistent with their opposition to a bill that would allow small banks and big banks to compete against one another. Murphy was even concerned with how banks could be held liable for lead paint in Baltimore City. There are many more positions that the Association takes, but it is clear that they support the interests of the state’s banking community.

There is one more group. That is the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association which has given, mostly through individual contributions, almost a million dollars to candidates who are almost exclusively Democrats, including a $26,000 PAC contribution to the Democratic Party. The Association is now called the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ), and it is officially dedicated to “improving the civil justice system through legislative advocacy and the professional development of attorneys who represent the injured,” which it does through a list of business-friendly sponsors and publications like The Daily Record. MAJ, as you may have guessed, has a PAC, which it uses to “track and monitor legislation bills of interest to the trial bar” and fights to “hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligent actions.” Now, what does this mean? In a December 2013 article in the Baltimore Sun, they noted that Attorney Daniel Clements, who chairs MAJ’s PAC which is “one of the state;s largest political donors,” filed a suit to “prevent Democrat Anthony G. Brown’s running mate from accepting campaign donations during the legislative session.” The article goes on to note that Clemons has given thousands of dollars in contributions to President Barack Obama, Doug Gansler for Governor, Ken Ulman who is Anthony Brown’s running mate, and others. The Association is only mentioned in four other articles in the Baltimore Sun and in none of them is its political activity focused on. Even without any further information, it is clear that MAJ is a powerful force on the state level.

There is one industry I did not include in my analysis and that is the newly formed casino industry in Maryland. In an article published in the Washington Post yesterday, John Wagner wrote about how even though it is illegal for casino owners “to make donations to political candidates,” owners such as William M. Rickman Jr. of an Ocean Downs casino through companies he owned instead of the casino itself. Rickman’s thousands upon thousands of dollars in contributions, which are of possible legality, have gone mainly to Anthony Brown, Mike Miller, and Ken Ulman, along with “several lawmakers who sit on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over gambling and racing legislation.” Rickman is not the only one to go around the ban on political contributions by casino owners, and that is why some have said that this shows the porous nature of the law.

While this article only covers the Maryland House of Delegates, next the Maryland Senate will be analyzed in a similar way, as well the big funders of the state’s political parties. Hopefully, this article shines a light on who the delegates really represent (many represent certain business interests) and make one question the House of Delegates itself, realizing that the House does not, seem to represent the interests of the populace.

Posted in 2017, Annapolis, April, Maryland | Leave a comment

Moving forward: the “death” of $15 an hour in Charm City?

Reposted from our sister blog on Tumblr, with a few link changes.

After Mayor Catherine Pugh of Charm City (Baltimore, MD) vetoed the $15 an hour minimum wage increase by 2024 (sort of a “living wage”) to appease the Charm City Capitalist Class, and considering the bourgeoisie outside the city, it seems that the measure, which had popular support but not of the Baltimore Sun, does not have the votes necessary to override her veto. Such a circumstance seems like a temporary defeat, which should put in context since wages are in and of themselves are a paltry amount compared to the wealth generated from labor itself. Anyway, an article in the independent (and progressive) news outlet, Baltimore Brew, wrote on this very subject, which will be covered in the first half of this post.

The Brew’s article, by Fern Shen, is worth noting. Supporters of the wage increase, in a conference with the lead sponsor, Charm City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said that she “could not muster the 10 votes she needed…to force Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young to hold a special meeting to permit a vote on overriding the mayor’s veto.” Despite this, Clarke said that the effort would continue, voting to continue on behalf of the 98,000 (at least) city residents who are “underwater: the working poor in poverty,” saying that “I don’t know what the next act is, but there has to be a next act. I ain’t stopping – it’s just so wrong for people to work and work and still be poor” and even calling for a possible “petition drive to have the city-wide minimum wage hike put before voters by referendum in the 2018 election” which she said “It would have to be judge proof.” Beyond this, when asked about this defeat, she said “I’m angry. We had this taken away from us, after an overwhelming majority said they wanted it.” While the measure passed by a 11-3 majority, with Councilman Brandon Scott, “said to be a bill supporter but out of the country,” there was enough to override the veto, with only council members Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, Eric T. Costello and Leon Pinkett voting against it. However, the only people to sign the letter were six council members: Shannon Sneed, Zeke Cohen, Ryan Dorsey, Kristerfer Burnett, Bill Henry and John Bullock, with councilmembers Ed Reisinger, Sharon Green Middleton, Robert Stokes, and Brandon Scott not supporting the veto, along with Council President Young. No doubt, all of these members who didn’t support the measure should be shamed and even more directly, voted out of office. Such individuals who voted against the wage increase originally are class traitors, along with Reisinger, Middleton, Stokes, Scott, and Young who refused to support the veto override.

Ty Hullinger, a high ranking member of the Catholic Archdioceses in Charm City, reminded people last week, before this press conference, that Pugh “said, ‘I didn’t put my hand on the Bible’…[and] said Let your ‘yes’ be a ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be a ‘no.’ Fulfill your promise you made… to vote for the bill” and called for the council to act, quoting the Bible’s prophet Jeremiah: “Woe to you who build your home by unrighteousness, who make your neighbor work for nothing.” Shen’s article went on to quote Clarke’s speech to the council of Charm City, arguing in favor of the wage increase: “This injustice remains and it tears our city apart and it keeps us in shreds. I don’t know where to turn next, but there is always a way.”

No one should be surprised from this result. Looking at filed reports to the MD State Board of Elections, one finds that some of her top contributors for her Mayoral campaign included the petty bourgeoisie firm Banneker Ventures ($1000), the Maryland BankPAC ($3000) representing the state’s banking industry, a certain David Owens who is definitely the same person who owns a house worth more than $669,000 and Vice-President of the Edison Institute ($1300). That’s just from her “Campaign Finance Report Summary Sheet” filed in January 2017. This is the same report that shows that her campaign spent $11,230.84 on online advertising (and some on website development) on Facebook and elsewhere. Other contributors show where her interest lies:

Here’s a bit more about Chickie Grayson, now the CEO of a Real Estate firm, who was previously written about in the Sun, Tradepoint Atlantic, and the Baltimore Parking Association.

The labor aristocracy gave her money too, with unions of machinists, carpenters, roofers, plumbers, the AFL-CIO affiliates, and others, forking over money to someone so beholden to the Charm City Capitalist Class!

Some of what I noted above was pointed out by the Baltimore Brew to an extent months ago, when they wrote the following:

“Pugh’s average contribution exceeded $1,200…[with contributors incuding] Thomas Bozzuto, a waterfront developer, and from $9,000 by Gannett Fleming and its top management, an “on call” water consultant for the Department of Public Works…$6,000 from McGuire Woods, the city’s bond counsel for Harbor Point and Port Covington, and $4,500 from Tradepoint Atlantic, whose general counsel is Pugh confidant and ex-Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr….Other players could be seen shifting their allegiance to Pugh…more members of the Paterakis family ($6,000 from Venice Paterakis, the legal maximum in Maryland, and $6,000 from her son, F.G. Smith). Also $3,000 from M. Luis Construction, currently the city’s biggest street paver who held a well-attended fundraiser for Dixon last January…Then there is the case of “Demolition King” Jones, who has had a lock on the city’s emergency demolition contracts for over a decade…Over the summer, Jones handed $6,000 over to Pugh through his P&J Contracting Co., then added $6,000 in his own name.”

The next step from here is to fight back, contribute to support the proletariat of Charm City, with this initiative and others, perhaps create a worker’s party in the city (which excludes traitorous Trotskyists) rather than “depending” on the socially democratic Green Party in the city to “save” the day. There was a workingman’s party in the 1880s, so why not have one again? Sure, electoral politics will not bring a socialist revolution, but they can provide better representation in the meantime and serve as a stop gap measure. If such a party is not a possibility, then electoral politics should be abandoned in favor of strikes, labor actions, and other movements that energize the proletariat to take action to become free of the shackles of their oppressors within Charm City, whether white capitalists or bourgeois black politicians who follow their lead.

Posted in 2017, April, Baltimore, Baltimore Sun, big capitalists, business, Charm City, Charm City Capitalist Class, Maryland, Monthly, petty bourgeoisie, small capitalists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Baltimore Sun sides with Charm City’s capitalist class

Front of Baltimore Sun group building in 2013

The Baltimore Sun recently declared blatantly that it was not on the side of the city’s proletariat (the working class), which is concentrated in healthcare and social assistance, education services, food services, scientific & technical services, and many more sectors. In a front page story below the fold by Lorraine Mirabella, the Sun‘s business reporter, titled “increased minimum wage worries city businesses” (and “businesses bulk at Baltimore’s minimum wage bill” online) attacked the $15 an hour minimum wage, almost a living wage for a family of three, with two adults (one working part-time) and a child, which passed the Baltimore City Council 12-3 and sits at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s desk. Mirabella’s article quotes three complaining, pathetic small business people, small capitalists or more accurately called the petty bourgeoisie, who say that the wage increase will result in them losing money: Russ Causey of CMD Outsourcing Solutions Inc., CEO Jay Steinmetz of Barcoding Inc., and Ann Costlow of Sofi’s Crepes. For Ms. Costlow, she shouldn’t even be included since the legislation, if signed, wouldn’t take effect until July 1, 2022, affecting businesses with 50 or more employees, and those with less than 50 workers in 2016. Hence, Castlow’s business, which employs 30 workers, wouldn’t be effected until 2026, giving her NINE years to adapt! So, why is she complaining?

It gets worse. Even the economist quoted in the article, Stephen K. Walters, who focuses on declines of American cities apparently, complains about the wage increase hurting the “healthy city economy,” a classic right-wing canard pushed by the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, and American Enterprise Institute, among others. The $15 wage is arguably only given fair treatment in 4 paragraphs of the article, not including a part of a paragraph about the bill, quoting Mary Pat Clarke as saying that the bill will help low-wage workers by tackling outstanding inequality and some businesses  who are part of the petty bourgeoisie applauded the move, such as Andrew Buerger‘s B’More Organic and others who are part of Business for A Fair Wage, a nationwide group that supports higher minimum wages. The rest of the article quotes the complaining and rabid sect of the petty bourgeoisie who hate the wage increase, even claiming (without evidence?) that Mayor Pugh had said that the bill would force “her to close her clothing boutique another day each week.” The horrendous article is only the start.

In an editorial by the Baltimore Sun‘s editorial board, in an editorial right above another focused on the good-for-nothing “Russia conspiracy”/”Trump-Russia connection,” they denounce a higher minimum wage. In a horribly argued editorial, titled “Veto $15 an hour,” they argue that because the city is facing an “economic crisis,” Pugh should “take a stand and veto this bill,” which seems veto-proof. They go on to claim that the bill doesn’t make the city “competitive” and discourages service jobs. Seriously, that’s the economic model they want for Charm City? Yikes! Anyway, after going through a couple more paragraphs about other efforts to raise the wage across the state, the Sun declares that Pugh should use her budget to expand “economic opportunities in Baltimore, not put…[the city] at a competitive disadvantage.” They seriously sound like business conservatives and taking the same line as the Charm City Capitalist Class, which could be called the CCCC for short.

Some may be wondering why the “progressive” Baltimore Sun would do this. Let us not forget that the Sun‘s “editorial policies and business practices” determined the city’s racial development, as they supported the first racial segregation law in the United States in 1910, albeit while liking the “romantically planned” all-white Roland Park suburb. Beyond this, the Sun‘s editor, Charles H. Grasty, was the “godfather” of Roland Park, with the paper running an editorial in 1910 supporting white racial domination, along with ignoring “important but uncomfortable stories” during the Civil War when the city was under occupation of the Union Army and anti-Semitism permeating the paper from the 1910s to the 1940s.

Some may easily dismiss this as past history and say that “the Sun isn’t like that anymore.” That may be true. However, let us not forget what the Sun has done in the past. It had an article honoring women of Charm City (and Maryland’s) political and entertainment scene as “women worth watching” despite their varied problems. It spun a story on Maryland’s healthcare and it ignored a story that “one of Baltimore’s biggest owners of video gambling machines is the subject of a wide-spreading investigation.” Apart from the corporate parent of the Sun, Tronc, having their own business-friendly interests of course, they dropped Bill Griffth’s Zippy and Sun reporters complained when people criticized them for coverage of Sheila Dixon’s trial, perhaps rightly. While some may defend the actions of the Sun, it is worth noting that apart from the “massive layoffs of veteran staffers” in 2009 and 2010 by former Sun editor J. Montgomery “Monty” Cook, the same person who said that the Sun is “no longer a newspaper company.” Additionally, any form of protest among Sun staffers, when it was proposed that the paper be sold to the Koch Brothers in 2013, seemed to be non-existent according to Sun reporter, Lorraine Mirabella (yet again!) on the scene of the protest outside the Sun‘s building.

Admittedly this is only some of the highlights of the reporting of the Baltimore Brew, an independent Baltimore media outlet, meaning that they could be missing something. Looking at the editorial page now, nothing sticks out that is apart from a bourgeois progressive/liberal viewpoint, including defending city schools, criticizing President Trump, talking about segregation in Baltimore County, and immigration raids, among other subjects. They even argued for redistricting reform on a progressive basis!

The Sun seems to be going down a dark path with this editorial slamming the $15 minimum wage, showing that they are on the same side as annoyed petty bourgeoisie, the Greater Baltimore Committee, and other business interests. Maybe the Sun likes those on their “business and civic hall of fame” and annoyed Baltimore area residents, as noted in letters here and here, more than those that care about justice.

It is shameful that the Baltimore Sun wrote this editorial and an effectively one-sided anti-wage raise article, siding with the staunch conservative interests of Charm City’s capitalist class (big capitalists) and petty bourgeoisie represented by small businesses. Instead of waiting for the Sun to do better, we should support better media outlets and create our own news outlets that promote the proletariat.

Posted in 2017, Baltimore, Baltimore Sun, big capitalists, business, Charm City, Charm City Capitalist Class, justice, March, Maryland, small capitalists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Marylanders think of Hogan and happenings in Maryland

As you may know, Goucher released a new poll asking Marylanders for their opinion. It is very revealing and may have positive effects for those who care about justice in Baltimore (called by the name of Charm City in the rest of this post) and other cities across this state. Since the specific details of the poll and how it is conducted are relatively boring except to a small, select group of people, I think it is better to focus on the results. For that, it is best to chart the results of the poll. Some of the charts may not add up to 100% due to weighting and rounding.

Progressive viewpoints

The poll shows a number of progressive, or left-leaning viewpoints of the populace, which is a good sign. When it comes to education, 2/3 of the populace thinks too little is spent on education in the state, basically meaning they want MORE to be spent on the state’s schools, an opinion which opposes Governor Hogan’s austerity efforts, coupled with those of President Trump of course:

The same is the case when it comes to marijuana legalization. Despite 36% of the populace opposing it, 58% support making marijuana legal in the state. This is definitely a step forward from years ago this opinion would be laughed out of the room. Likely many see the “war on drugs” as flawed and failed, thinking of a new approach to be found, apart from stogy liberals who balk at proposals for free education and marijuana legalization:

The trend is the same when it comes to sick leave as well. A whopping 82% of the populace wither strongly supports or supports the state giving sick leave to businesses which have 15 or more employees. This is definitely promising to say the least, with only 15% of the population opposing the measure, likely for “conservative” reasons:

When it comes to the minimum wage, the populace also has progressive viewpoints. Even with 32% of the populace thinking that individual cities shouldn’t be able to set their minimum wage higher than the minimum of the state at-large, 63% of the populace agree or strongly agree that such cities should be able to have a higher wage. This is also definitely something to be glad about:

The same is also the case when it comes to raising the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour, which is approximately the living wage for two adults and a child in the state, from the current and pitiful $8.25. Again, there is 38% of the populace that supports this, maybe because they cry about “small businesses” but 60% of the populace supports raising the minimum wage. Again, this should be applauded:

Positive opinions

When it comes to redistricting in Maryland, the populace has good opinions to say the least. While I’ve heard that redistricting would benefit the Republicans in the state, which is why they would support it, but I can’t confirm this, having an independent commission rather than the state’s elected officials determine district lines, could, hopefully, reduce gerrymandering. If that did ultimately benefit Republicans, but gave fairer representation, then so be it. Having a state with such gerrymandering is a miscarriage of justice and anti-democratic in some many ways, to say the least:

Unfortunate circumstances

There are a number of opinions which are unfortunate for pushing forward for justice which are held by the Maryland populace.

When it comes to transportation in the state, only 35% support improving public transit, and 59% support improving roads and highways. This undoubtedly supports Hogan’s position on the cancellation of the Red Line across Charm City and redirection of the money to a BusLink program and roads and highways. At the same time, perhaps this opinion is held because so few people use public transit that they are used to commuting in their cars to work. Whatever the reason, for those who want a better public transit system across the state, especially one that connects Charm City, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C., this is deeply unfortunate:

The same opinions are reflected in a question asking if Charm City is the “economic engine” of the state. According to 2016 census estimates, about 10.3 percent of the Maryland population (over 6.1 million) lives in Charm City. This could be part of the reason that 58% do not see Charm City as the “economic engine” in the state, while 33% do see it as such an “engine.” While there isn’t a precise definition for “economic engine,” it seems to mean the heart of an economy, the mainstay. I’m not sure that those who answered the question had the same definition as those who formulated the survey:

While these results could mean it is harder to rouse sympathy, and fight back, for those in Charm City across the state if they are punished by Hogan, there is another reason that this breakdown could have occurred: different occupations in Charm City.

The number of utilities and entertainment industries were given an average amount for this chart, as one specific number was not specified in the original data. This chart shows that the top seven industries in Charm City, covering most of the employees: healthcare and social assistance (#1), education services (#2), accommodation and food services (#3), scientific & technical services (#4), retail trade (#5), finance & insurance (#6), and administrative & waste services (#7).

While the results of the previous poll may not be a surprise to some, the approval of Hogan statewide is the most discouraging. For being someone who is “Trump-lite” (but not really since he is actually more conservative), the fact that 71% of the populace approves or strongly approves of Hogan puts a damper on the progressive attitudes of the populace as noted earlier. Still, with 17% who disapprove of him, and 20% who don’t know, that is a sizable amount. Such approval could be because of his cancer, that he is “pro-business” and that he seems moderate due to the fact he says very little and makes few public statements. Whatever the reason, the results are not promising:

The same sort of analysis applies to the results from a question asking if the state is going in the right direction or wrong direction. Sadly, many say it is going in the right direction even as many of their progressive views (higher minimum wage and sick leave for instance as noted earlier) are not fulfilled. Hence, it would be more accurate to say Maryland is going in the wrong direction due to gambling being approved, fracking seeming on the horizon and a Republican governor at the helm even with a Democratic state legislature:

Most unfortunate of all are the views on fracking. I say this because the views are very divided. As a person who strongly opposes fracking (hydraulic fracturing) since I care about the environment, the health of those in the state, possibility of earthquakes, and increased tax burdens in the future as a result of paying for damage from the fracking, to name one of the many factors. Basically, 36% of the populace supports fracking, 40% opposes it, and 24% has no opinion presumably. That leaves a lot of possible wiggle room. Many of the sentiments may have to do with not-in-my-backyard mentality with Marylanders not caring about it because the fracking seems to be focused on Western Maryland despite the fact that there are gas fields in Southern Maryland that could be tapped as well. Another factor could be those who feel it makes “business sense” to support fracking. Of course, this is ridiculous in so many ways as it not only denies the effects on humans but also the general natural environment as the harmful chemicals used in fracking will undoubtedly make it into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (which goes deep into Western Maryland) and then into the Chesapeake Bay itself. Perhaps those in certain parts of the state don’t care about that at all:

A mixed bag

Marylanders can’t unite on one issue when it comes to issues facing the state currently. Education, jobs/unemployment, taxes, crime/criminal justice/police, and economy/economic growth top the list. These are, as I’d say, typical concerns. Others, that are as important, like the environment, transportation, healthcare, and housing have little pull among the populace. Perhaps this can be used to advocate for any sort of justice in the state, but it seems that is unlikely:

The mixed bag is also clear when it comes to approval or disapproval of the job of the Maryland General Assembly. 24% approve of the current direction, while 42% approve, and 33% have no opinion (“don’t know”). So, this doesn’t say much of anything either. Perhaps other issues in the assembly will spark people’s ire or attention, but this could just indicate that Marylanders are indifferent to the assembly:

When it comes to Governor Hogan and the Maryland Democrats, there is no agreement among the populace if either one of them have better policies for economic growth and development. Hogan garners 36% support and the Democrats got 27% support. On the same token, 7% said that both have good policies and the same percentage said neither have good policies while 23% had no opinion (“don’t know” and “refused”). Hence, this could be another case of political indifference on the mind of the populace or perhaps it may be something else entirely:

We then get to the top reasons for approval among Hogan’s supporters. These results are obvious. People like his leadership, his personal qualities, and economic policies. That shouldn’t surprise anyone too much. Luckily for Maryland, probably not as many people hold these positive opinions of Hogan expressed in the chart:

Then we get to he main reasons that people approve of Hogan. On top of the list is people saying that Hogan hasn’t done enough or the right things. Again, this is very bland and doesn’t really offer many specifics. The focus on educational issues and issues related to Trump provides more of a solid reason for their disapproval. Like the last chart, this doesn’t really give much encouragement:


In ending this post, a number of aspects are evident. Marylanders have broadly progressive opinions when it comes to minimum wage, education funding, sick leave, and marijuana legalization. However, there are also positive opinions such as support of an independent commission to do state redistricting instead of districts drawn by partisan political officials. At the same time, there are a number of unfortunate circumstances such as high approval of Hogan by the populace, divided opinions on fracking, and low support for more money spent on public transit, instead supporting money from roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, and other transportation infrastructure of the same nature. In the end, if there is something good that comes out of these results, it is that Marylanders have a progressive streak, something which should not forgotten.

Posted in 2017, Baltimore, environment, justice, March, Maryland, polls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The results are in!

So, the results of my recent poll on what I’m going to write about are in. There is more more I could go into detail such as this, people saying there is no urgency when it comes to affordable housing, a recent Goucher College Poll, forced closure of encampments in the city, the corrupted Baltimore police department, and cutbacks in Balt. City schools. Without further adieu, here are the results of the poll, with 16 voters, showing JHU not paying prop taxes with 75%, Hogan attacking Bmore with 13%, Bruiser Kevin Kamenetz with 6%, and Racist Bmore police with 6%:

On the issue of JHU and non-profits, I got these tweets:

Brian Gaither, whose account is locked, told me that “Hopkins thing is interesting but they’re a nonprofit and laws exempt them from prop taxes…their private transit, however…”

That’s all for now folks. Not sure why the Tweets aren’t showing up the way they usually do. I’ll have to look into that.

Posted in Baltimore, justice, March, Maryland, Twitter | Leave a comment

Welcome everybody!


A message that easily applies to “Charm City.”

With a small legion of followers on twitter and the fact that I don’t check that account as much as I should, I am creating this blog in hopes of writing about Maryland and Baltimore politics at least once a month. That is all for now. Bye now!

Posted in 2017, Baltimore, February, history, justice, Maryland, Monthly, Twitter | Leave a comment