Donald Fry: The downside of Maryland’s federal dependence

Maryland’s economy is beginning to feel some of the downside impact of what many have warned us about over the years -- the state economy’s overdependence on federal government spending. Last month, Maryland’s Board of Revenue Estimates made a $61.9 million reduction in its forecast of overall revenue the state’s government will receive this fiscal year, attributing the write-down largely to the potential economic effect on our state of fiscal turmoil in Washington, D.C.

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Common Core and Maryland's Classrooms

Maryland State Education Association Vice President Cheryl Bost discusses what parents, students, and the public need to know about all the changes taking place in Maryland’s classrooms, including Common Core, shifting student assessments, new teacher and principal evaluations, and the role of the arts and reading.

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Josh Kurtz -- AG’s Race: Viva La Difference(s)!

Whenever the four candidates for attorney general are together on stage, the old “Sesame Street” song “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other” comes instantly to mind. And you can split them up any number of ways: One candidate is a woman, three are men. One candidate is African-American, three are white. One candidate is eligible for Social Security, the others are considerably younger. The former has more legislative experience in Annapolis – 27 years and counting – than the latter three combined. And on it goes, beyond surface differences.

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Attorney General Candidates – Jon Cardin -- VIDEO

Each Monday over next two months, Center Maryland will be sharing a series of in-depth conversations with the leading Democratic candidates for Attorney General. Today is the first part of our interview with Del. Jon Cardin, in which he talks about his qualifications, his legislative successes and some of his agenda if elected.

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Donald Fry: Two words that set the stage for government gridlock

Like most fiscal power struggles, there are many factors and nuances shaping the current one on Capitol Hill that has prompted the federal government shutdown and the accompanying blame-fest, both of which are aggravating to at least two-thirds of the American public. However, a major driver of debilitating brinkmanship and failure to compromise that is surfacing in Congress can be summed up in two words: “safe seats.”

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Laslo Boyd: Why are you still a Republican?

The Republican Party is dead.  Sometime in the recent past, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan morphed into an ideological movement.   Republicans evidence less and less interest in the traditional objectives of political parties such as governing or winning elections.   Their formal leaders — John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and that guy who ran for president in 2012 — have relatively little influence over large segments of what remains of the party. Instead, Republicans seem primarily concerned with imposing their narrow values-driven agenda on everyone else regardless of any small obstacles that they might encounter, such as the rules of our system of government. What I’ve described up to now is playing out largely on the national scene, but it has direct relevance to politics and elections in Maryland.

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Inside Maryland's New Gun Law -- VIDEO

President of Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence Vincent DeMarco discusses core elements of Maryland's new gun law, how it is unique from previous measures, and what the public perception of the bill has been. The new law went into effect Oct. 1.

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Josh Kurtz: History Lesson

A 40-something woman legislator from Montgomery County, buoyed by the strong showing of high-profile women candidates in the previous election cycle, wages a long-shot bid for governor against a sitting lieutenant governor and other prominent Democrats. Supporters hail her drive and independence, and her attempt to shatter the glass ceiling. But in Annapolis, people whisper that she’s a loner, a self-promoter, not much of a team player, and surely not experienced enough to be governor. "People's idea about teamwork is you sit there with your mouth shut and never come to an independent idea," the candidate feels compelled to tell the Baltimore Sun. "Because I'm female and I've challenged the system, I make people uncomfortable." Is this Heather Mizeur talking in 2013? Nope – it was Mary Boergers in 1994.

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