Josh Kurtz: Turning Pro

 

Capitol Strategies LLC, one of the top lobbying firms in Annapolis, announced last week that it had hired Sally Wingo, the state director for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), as a senior adviser. It’s a good addition for the Three Amigos – Rob Johnson, David Carroll and Sushant Sidh – who run the firm. Having worked for Mikulski in government and political roles over the past decade, for Baltimore icons like Perry Sfikas and Mary Pat Clarke, and in the state bureaucracy, Wingo knows her way around the Maryland political scene. She’ll fill some gaps at the firm and should help the partners broaden their influence around the state. Wingo’s pick-up is just one of several noteworthy developments in the Annapolis lobbying corps in the last year or so.

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Donald Fry: Futile Western Maryland effort reflects perceptions of imbalance in Annapolis

A news report this week detailed a fledgling effort by Scott Strzelczyk, a New Windsor software consultant, to gain support for separating five Western Maryland counties from the “liberal” Free State. His proposal is extreme, but Strzelczyk’s frustration reflects a feeling among many, including a number of business leaders, that an imbalance exists in Maryland’s governing process.

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Dallas Dance discusses his vision for Baltimore County schools -- Part 1

S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of the Baltimore County Public Schools, visits Center Maryland to talk about different aspects of the school system's Blueprint 2.0 initiative, a five-year strategic plan. In this first of three segments, Dr. Dance discusses competing globally, planning and resources, technology standards, school audits, and infrastructure investments.

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Baltimore's Residential Rebirth -- VIDEO

Kirby Fowler, President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, joins Brett Griffith, Principal and Co-Founder of Baybridge Properties, LLC, to discuss residential demand in downtown Baltimore and initiatives that are helping to make Baltimore’s residential rebirth a reality. They also talk about a new $20 million residential development project in the heart of Baltimore's business district.

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Josh Kurtz: 5 Races to Watch – Out of Town Edition

It’s a big day in Maryland politics. Frederick voters go to the polls to choose their nominees for mayor and the Board of Aldermen. And tonight, the Montgomery County Democratic Central is almost certain to recommend that Del. Brian Feldman (D) is appointed to the state Senate, despite an effort by some of the county’s minority leaders to have a person of color named to the seat. But my eyes will be riveted on New York City, where there are primaries today for mayor and other city offices. I haven’t been this excited about a mayoral primary in my home town since Sept. 11, 2001.

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Clayton Mitchell: If You think America Lacks Credibility, Just Pull on Superman’s Cape

Notwithstanding his recent statements and the Administration’s copious literature of protest, on August 20, 2012, President Obama affirmatively declared, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.” It seems to me, after more than a decade of war on two fronts and six years of domestic financial destruction, that America needs a direct, necessitous and compelling reason to invest more blood and treasure in another Middle East military adventure.

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Donald Fry: Maryland needs a shared vision between government and private sector

In its new report detailing priorities for a more competitive business climate in Maryland, why did the Greater Baltimore Committee title it “A Compact for Competitiveness?” The reason is basic.  Over the years, Maryland lawmakers and business advocates have tended to talk past each other on key operational and fiscal issues that relate directly to competitiveness. Private-sector leaders who participated in the recent 2013 GBC Chesapeake Conference of CEOs unanimously agreed that an articulated shared vision by business and government – a “compact’ if you will – is the key element to strengthening Maryland’s competitiveness for economic growth and job creation.

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Laslo Boyd: Is It September Already?

The summer political rituals — Fourth of July parades, the Tawes Swelterfest in Crisfield, the MACo conference in Ocean City — have all come and gone. This year, we also had a number of candidates announcing for state and local positions for 2014 and many of what the historian Daniel Boorstein so brilliantly labeled as “pseudo-events.” With the exception of campaign fund raising, none of that matters much for next year’s elections. Pre-season is now officially over.

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