Just a list… Is the BDC incompetent or is it something else?

An Op/Ed For LocalInitiatives.org
Sunday, August 8, 2021

For some time now, I’ve been arguing that city government urgently needs to encourage significant investments in all-inclusive neighborhood economic development. As part of that effort, I’ve been wondering if the city has, for decades, squandered huge amounts of financial and political capital on downtown projects – precious resources that should have been spent in other ways in parts of the city where families are struggling to get by.

To clarify matters, the economist in me filed an MPIA (Maryland Public Information Act) request on March 25 with the MPIA contact at Keep reading

The Nearsightedness of Baltimore City Government

An Op/Ed For LocalInitiatives.org
Thursday, July 1, 2021

If you’re like me, you watch one of the local Baltimore news stations when you’re putting on your jammies at the end a long day. With luck and cool sheets, you’ll be asleep before you hear the lead stories about murder and mayhem in the big city. Forget about all the wonderful and impressive things the people of Baltimore do every day. Crime is the lead story. No matter where you live in Maryland, if you watch the evening news on one of these stations, crime is last thing you hear about Keep reading

The family that is Maryland.

An Op/Ed For LocalInitiatives.org
March 20, 2021

Have you ever walked into a room and something doesn’t feel right? When there is a palpable sense that something is off, but you’re not sure exactly what? That there’s a subtext to what you are watching that you can’t quite make out?

Politically, for example, there has been a lot of talk about a profound change in the underlying philosophy of the Republican Party. It’s drifted – “fallen off a cliff” is more like it – from legitimate conservativism to power-mongering and survivalism. Even after the screen door of a second impeachment Keep reading

President Superfluous

Don’t you think that we have enough anxiety in our lives already? I do. And so, to improve the quality of my life I’ve decided to cut back on something that I’m certain isn’t good for me. “Fewer Oreos?” Don’t be ridiculous. No. I’ve decided to stop paying any attention to President Trump. And I will not be any worse off for doing so. Not in the least.

Yes, I watch entirely too much CNN and other news. I like to stay well-informed, but Donald is everywhere, so I’m going to work and do other stuff more and watch President Keep reading

Brandon Scott – Laundering Campaign Contributions

Brandon Scott
Councilman for District 2, Now President of the City Council
Candidate for Mayor of Baltimore
Launderer of Contributions to Circumvent Campaign Financing Law

We all have an interest in improving election law to reduce the influence of money on primary and general elections.

In the course of figuring out what changes to advocate for campaign financing law, we’ve been looking at contributions received by the five leading candidates for Mayor of Baltimore. In
alphabetical order, they are Sheila Dixon, Mary Miller, Brandon Scott, Thiru Vignarajah and Jack Young. Contributions data are readily available at the Maryland Board of Keep reading

Phylicia Porter – Problematic Campaign Financing

Phylicia Porter
District 10 Democrat candidate for Baltimore City Council.
Problematic campaign financing.

Maryland-based Local Initiatives is committed to encouraging campaign finance reform in order to reduce the influence of money on the outcome of primary and general elections. In pursuit of this objective, we have been studying the campaign contributions made to candidates in selected races, most recently, for the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.

This article is about the Council race for the Democratic Party nominee to City Council from Baltimore’s 10th district. District 10 runs between the harbor and the southwest border of the city. It’s Keep reading

“Testing. 1, 2, 3. Testing.”

If only it were that easy. Throw a switch in the control room and the economy is back on.

There’s an ongoing debate about how we can relax restrictions protecting public health to restart our economy. It’s a disagreement between doctors and scientists on one hand and the President and other Trumpy-Republicans on the other.

There’s an election coming in just six months and the President can’t wait for a vaccine. He needs his rallies, his campaign hoopla. He’d rather risk people’s lives than not be re-elected. And then there are the very real, long-term costs of having pulled the Keep reading

Breaking News: Does nothing good ever happen in Baltimore?

First of all, a confession. I live in Howard County. Full employment. High income. My wife and I have given up long ago trying to find a neighborhood kid to do yard work. My guess is they’re too busy washing the hand-me-down BMWs and Subarus their parents give them. When I grew up, I saved my lawn mowing and snow shoveling money to buy an old two-door Ford Falcon with three gears on the column and a bench seat. Girls you were dating would sit next to you back in those days.

Howard County has a very low crime rate. Keep reading

Sign of the Times

The screenshot below is from yesterday’s Sun article about the billboard. Whether or not it is related to Mayor Pugh’s scandalous behavior and the FBI’s investigation, it marks an extraordinary moment in the continuing downward spiral of Baltimore’s public image.

Not surprisingly, some contributors to the Mayor’s $1 million campaign war chest are asking for their money back. These contributors can feign shock and disappointment all they want. The truth is that they put up their money to buy accessibility and influence once Mayor Pugh was re-elected. Now that the Mayor’s political future is toast, larger dollar contributors can’t Keep reading