Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for October 31

Cash bail discussed Tuesday a.m. on the radio show; early voting, both good and scary (Question D) experiences; All out for Question A in Howard County; and links to the recent blog posts...

Welcome to the Weekly Memo for Oct. 31 from Progressive Maryland.

We are not going to make Hallowe’en jokes here because it needs no supernatural intrusions to make this a somewhat scary time.

TOMORROW ON THE RADIO: On the Tuesday edition of WPFW-FM 89.3’s “Community Watch and Comment” at 11 a.m. Larry Stafford, the Executive Director of Progressive Maryland, co-hosts with Dave Rabin and they range across the D.C. and Maryland issues.  Tomorrow, Nov. 1, Larry hosts Caryn York of the Job Opportunities Task Force. The topic: cash bail in Maryland, how it discriminates against poor and working people and minorities, and why the Attorney General, Brian Frosh, has officially opined that it is unconstitutional. Powerful forces favor cash bail, including legislators, so the fight to send it packing will take all of us.

Early voting is under way and CONTINUES THROUGH THIS THURSDAY, Nov. 3. That’s not scary; that’s an opportunity to avoid last-minute hassles Nov. 8 (boss makes you work late etc.) that could keep you from voting. Play the odds right, vote as soon as you can. Remember you can register to vote or change your voting address at early voting sites.

Here’s what’s scary. Poll workers at some Prince George’s County polling places are passing out “Democratic Sample Ballots” that don’t express the preferences of the party, but of the people who printed them up (expensive-looking full-color items they are, too) because they had the money to print them up. That may be a clue as to how much their choices might benefit you, if you followed their lead when voting. Quick answer: Not. At. All.

Some of these “sample ballots” have chosen school board members for you, even though school board seats are nonpartisan by law.

And many of them have told you to vote for Question D, which would put your political fate in the hands of rich developers and insure the county’s leadership would continue to settle for second-best, taking the developers’ leavings instead of demanding quality communities.

Opponents of Question D, which include Progressive Maryland and numerous community associations, are working the polls with information about this collaborative scam between the developers and their pet Council members, who could evade term limits by running for the new at-large Council seats the charter change would create. It would cost Prince George’s taxpayers nearly a million dollars a year to continue to support these Council members in the style to which they have become accustomed.

You can help. When you go to vote you can contribute your time to better democracy as well, working the polls at early voting or on Nov. 8, Election Day – whenever you have time. If you are going to vote – and how can you not? –  set aside a little extra time to make democracy work, too. CONTACT INFO.

On a cheerier note, Howard County progressives are working hard to pass Question A, which would bring limited public financing to local races and start getting big money out of local politics. Check for details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1119104511499769/

And stay tuned for details on an upcoming Question A “Text-a-thon” to bring the word to many  Howard voters.

READING THE PM BLOGSreaders and fans of the PM BlogSpace can get a copy of the Weekly Memo delivered directly to their email inbox. It includes an update on the week ahead as well as links to the blogs that have appeared in recent weeks. Never miss a blog post. Sign up at http://www.progressivemaryland.org/blog_signup

For example, we recently posted the following:

October 29, 2016 Question D looks just as bogus to our next-door neighbors

The Howard County Times' editorial on Prince George's County's Question D shows that Maryland's neighboring counties know a flim-flam when they see one. Question D on the Prince George's ballot is a ruse that evades term limits without saying so.

October 28, 2016 Jamie Raskin: Powered by Love with a Passion for Justice

An advocate for candidate Raskin argues that he will have singular progressive impact even in a Blue-state House delegation.

October 26, 2016 Rascovar: Approval of new PG hospital ends health system saga marred by cronyism and corruption
Commentator Barry Rascovar observes that "Dimensions Health Corp. has been a disaster for the county over the past quarter-century. Political hacks and cronies filled management posts. The quality of health care suffered." A guest post from Maryland Reporter.

October 25, 2016 Longer public comment period urged for Prince George's zoning rewrite section

Progressive Prince George's and the county Sierra Club group urge extension of comment period from two months to four, citing critical factors affecting community input into neighborhood change and development.

October 24, 2016 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo Oct. 24 -- MD economy on the air; Question D shenanigans and more

A more diverse and sustainable Maryland economy is discussed on WPFW-FM Tuesday; stealth attack on term limits in Prince George's; fair voting in Howard and elsewhere; Early voting starts Thursday and more in this Weekly Memo.

Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace since June 2015 are all available with descriptions and links here.