As Council President Scott rolls out campaign for Baltimore mayor, potential rivals take aim

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott had barely finished announcing his run for mayor Friday when his potential rivals took aim. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon branded him an “opportunist.” Former state Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah blamed him for helping to install a police commissioner who ended up in jail. And Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young smiled and responded dismissively. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Montgomery program shows value of publicly funded elections

Advocates of publicly financed political campaigns in Maryland say they are encouraged by the initial results of a small-donor fund in Montgomery County. The program, used for the first time in the 2018 election, is credited with opening the doors for a number of candidates who otherwise might have considered fundraising too much of a barrier, according to a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan MaryPirg Foundation. Emily Scarr, state director for MaryPIRG, said initial results point to a successful first election cycle. (Daily Record)

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At Baltimore Republican retreat, Pence goes where Trump did not, extends olive branch to U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings

Vice President Mike Pence urged U.S. House Republicans in Baltimore Friday to “make it clear” that the GOP is prepared to work with Democrats — including Elijah Cummings, the Baltimore congressman sharply and repeatedly criticized by President Donald Trump. Speaking at a House Republican retreat, Pence went where Trump — who addressed the lawmakers Thursday night — did not by appearing to extend an olive branch to Cummings. (Balt. Sun)

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'Racism that is still respectable': Biden attacked over 'record player' remark about black parents

For many Americans watching the Democratic debate on Thursday night, Joe Biden's "record player" comment was yet another sign of his age. But to others, his suggestion that black parents "don't know quite what to do" with their children was a worrying instance of the former vice president being tone-deaf on race. In a question on racism in the United States, moderator Linsey David asked Biden, 76: "In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, ‘I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.'" (Wash. Examiner)

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Key takeaways from the 2020 Democratic candidates' debate

Democratic debate night No. 3: Attacks and counter-attacks. Love for one former president, loathing for the current one. A 76-year-old front-runner essentially got called old, and he turned around and called another rival a "socialist." But will it change the fundamentals of a nominating fight that remains remarkably stable at the top with five months until voting begins? (Times-News)

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An Obama-era rule to collect worker pay data is headed for the chopping block

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday it plans to shelve an Obama-era rule to collect pay data in what Democratic lawmakers and advocates said was a setback to efforts to achieve equal pay for women and people of color. The decision — yet another twist in the years-long fight to get employers to share more data about how they pay their employees — marks another win for the business community and the Trump administration’s deregulation agenda. (Wash. Post)

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City Council President Brandon Scott enters race for Baltimore mayor, heating up 2020 race

City Council President Brandon Scott has entered the race for Baltimore mayor, with the young Democrat saying he wants to bring “transformational” change to a city struggling with high rates of gun violence and poverty. The 35-year-old Scott is the first elected official to get into the 2020 race, a move that heats up the contest and puts pressure on Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young to decide whether he wants to seek the office in his own right after taking over from Catherine Pugh. She resigned amid scandal in May and is the subject of a criminal investigation into her business dealings. (Balt. Sun)


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Trump maligned Baltimore. Residents welcomed his visit with protests.

House Republicans selected Baltimore as the location for their three-day conference long before the president’s attack on the city, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10 to 1. Well before the White House announced that Trump would attend the conference, a coalition of advocacy groups calling themselves the Baltimore Welcoming Committee had planned days of rallies to protest GOP policies on immigration, climate change and other topics. There was to be a singalong, a light show and a dance party. Organizer Sharon Black said Trump’s scheduled appearance “upped the ante.” “This is about the remarks about Baltimore and his policies. You can’t really separate the two,” she said. (Wash. Post)

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