Purchase card episode proves Anne Arundel needs a more robust auditor

County Executive Steve Schuh has long fought with the county auditor, casting the office as an unreasonable check on his authority. When Teresa Sutherland, now the Annapolis City manager, held the office, Schuh lambasted her as an unelected member of the County Council. When her successor, Jodee Dicksonson, decided to join Sutherland and take a position as city finance director, the Schuh administration responded with petty vengeance, stripping her of her job and shoving her out the door in a single day. About the same time, Schuh worked to kill resolutions by Councilman Jerry Walker — a longtime nemesis — that would have given the auditor broader powers to investigate reports of fraud and theft within county government. (Capital)

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September 11 // Rep. Cummings: Trump administration turns back the clock on health care reform

Last week, a federal court in Texas heard oral arguments in yet another lawsuit attacking the Affordable Care Act. The difference this time is that the Trump administration refused to defend the law — choosing instead to jeopardize the health care and financial well-being of tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing health conditions. Back in 2010, before we passed the Affordable Care Act, one of the most devastating experiences for Americans with pre-existing conditions was being denied coverage by insurance companies or having to pay exorbitantly higher premiums just because they had gotten sick. (Balt. Sun)

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Who lost the Md. gubernatorial debate? The voters.

Gov. Larry Hogan publicly announced he wanted two televised debates before the November election. Democrat Ben Jealous, who is challenging him, demanded five. So they compromised … on one. After more than a month of negotiations, the campaigns of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous agreed to participate in a single, hourlong televised debate on Sept. 24, the two camps announced jointly Thursday. There’s a lot of back and forth between the two campaigns about how things got to this point and whose fault it is that we’ll have the fewest opportunities to see the two major parties’ candidates debate since 2002. (Balt. Sun)

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What do Trump, Jealous and Hogan have in common? They'd all love to talk about free community college for undocumented immigrants.

The ironies of President Donald Trump’s dig at Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous’ promise to provide free community college for undocumented immigrants are thick. Mr. Jealous was over the moon at being singled out for criticism by a president whose disapproval ratings in Maryland rival those of sea lice. Gov. Larry Hogan, the Republican incumbent who was probably wondering what he could do to get criticized by the president, was quick to point out that he has already signed legislation that would provide free community college tuition to some undocumented immigrants, and that he wants to go further and let them transfer to a four-year school for free, too. (Balt. Sun)

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Julia K. Baez: Violence at Baltimore murder victim's vigil shakes attendees

Many of us can ignore the violence that plagues our city or at least separate ourselves from it. It happens in other neighborhoods to people we don’t know. This week, it became impossible for me to remove myself after the death of one of the students in our Grads2Careers program. He was shot and killed while walking down North Broadway, just a few blocks from Hopkins Hospital. He was left to die on the concrete in the shadow of new development and fancy buildings. He was as close as you can be, but still miles away from the opportunities those spaces provide. (Balt. Sun)

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Amie Hoeber: Combating the opioid epidemic

My opponent, David Trone, is wrong on how best to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating families here in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. On his website and in social media, Mr. Trone embraces a recent Washington Post column lauding a Canadian experiment using publicly funded “overdose prevention sites” where addicts can “safely” shoot up under the supervision of a medic. Really? Facilitate drug abuse with public funds? What kind of message does that send? Not only do such “supervised consumption sites” attract criminals, drug dealers and other trouble, they confuse what the addict wants with what the addict needs. (News-Post)

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September 10 // Sen. Michael Hough: Jealous' plan not right for Maryland

Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee for Governor, has released outlandish spending plans for Maryland. Jealous’ universal healthcare plan will cost an estimated $24 billion annually, which is more than the State’s entire $18 billion operating budget. Even more preposterous than his spending plan, is how Jealous plans to fund it. One funding mechanism is cutting our current prison population by 30 percent, which is irresponsible, arbitrary, and frankly downright dangerous. (News-Post)

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Marc Schindler and Vincent Schiraldi - Jealous plan to further reduce Md. prison population: sound strategy

In 2016, Maryland followed the path of more than half of the states during the last decade by undertaking important criminal justice reforms intended to reverse decades of runaway prison growth and address long-standing inequities in the justice system. Maryland’s Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) is expected to cut the state’s prison population by nearly 1,200 people and save $80 million over the next decade. So, why, at a time when Maryland appears to have already taken steps to curb mass incarceration, would a candidate for governor put forth a proposal to cut incarceration by another 30 percent? Because that might be the state’s best strategy for safer neighborhoods and stronger communities. (Balt. Sun)

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