Ex-Maryland Governor says he wrongly denied early release

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A former Maryland governor says he was wrong to deny early release to prisoners sentenced to life. Democrat Parris N. Glendening denounced his 1995 declaration and called for the governor to be removed from the parole process. The Washington Post reports Maryland is one of three states that require governors to sign off on parole for inmates sentenced to life. No Maryland governor has signed off on a parole board’s recommendation to release a lifer who committed a crime before 18 years old since Glendening’s declaration. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says the decision should be left to someone directly accountable to Maryland citizens, not the parole board. The ACLU has challenged Maryland’s parole system, and the state General Assembly is considering legislation to take the responsibility away from the governor. ___ Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed. Continue Reading

Candidates for Maryland governor are picking running mates. Should voters care?

One by one, the Democrats running for Maryland governor rolled out their lieutenant governor picks this month, each heralding their choices as offering crucial balance to their tickets — a woman running with a man, black with white, young with old, straight with gay, Washington suburban leaders with Baltimore’s best.But do running mates really matter? The position of lieutenant governor, after all, has no formal powers except to succeed a governor who dies or leaves office.“There’s no political science research showing that anyone bases their vote on a lieutenant governor pick,” said Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington College.“Symbolically, though, it might matter.”In a crowded seven-way race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, candidates are searching for any advantage they can get.Running mates, at their best, are a symbol of the type of inclusion and diversity candidates for governor hope to bring to the office, experts say. The choices can also reveal raw political calculations meant to limit competition, court key constituencies or tap donor bases.The choices of the six candidates who have announced them so far demonstrate an awareness of the current political climate related to abuses against women by men in power, political analysts say.All of the candidates have sought diversity in their running mates, and all but one of the six men running to be Maryland’s next Democratic governor picked women.“We are in the middle of the #MeToo movement, and we are a fairly Democratic state,” Deckman said. “Democratic voters are embarrassed at not having women at a statewide level.”Maryland has no women elected to Congress right now, and none hold the four statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller and attorney general.Taken together, the selections add five women to the Democrat Continue Reading

Maryland Gov. Hogan seizes popular political causes, frustrating Democrats

When Gov. Larry Hogan held a news conference this week to announce a plan to protect some $4 billion in casino revenues for public education, Del. Eric Luedtke could no longer hold his tongue — or rather, his thumbs.“This is old hat by now,” the Montgomery County Democrat tweeted Thursday. “Hogan often 1. Holds press conference to announce a GREAT IDEA that happens to have already been introduced by a legislator. 2. Introduces a duplicative bill. 3. Does literally no work to get the bill passed. 4. Takes credit when the other bill passes.”The delegate’s rant channeled the frustration of many Democrats toward a Republican governor who has shown a penchant — some might say genius — for seizing on popular ideas from the majority party and slapping his brand on them. Sometimes the governor shares credit, sometimes not.Luedtke said Hogan applied the same strategy to backing a manufacturing tax credit and income tax breaks for first responders without crediting the Democratic lawmakers who had long championed those policies.“Dude’s willing to walk over anyone to get attention,” Luedtke later tweeted.Hogan and his team are unsympathetic with the Democratic complaints. They say the governor’s willingness to adopt ideas championed by the opposition party is a sign of his commitment to bipartisanship and one of the reasons for Hogan’s lofty approval ratings as he seeks re-election in November.“The last thing Marylanders care about are legislators complaining about who’s getting credit for what idea,” said Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer. “They just want the best ideas to move forward — something the governor has said repeatedly since he took office.”The governor frequently shares credit with lawmakers who had championed ideas before him, in some cases for years before Hogan took office in 2015, Mayer said.Melissa Deckman, who chairs the political science department at Continue Reading

Maryland Governor shows off scars after cancer surgery

Updated 3:29 pm, Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Photo: Gov. Larry Hogan, AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 In this Feb. 7, 2018 photo released by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, hogan poses for a selfie in Annapolis, Md. Hogan, who says he remains in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, announced Thursday he has been diagnosed with "very non-serious skin cancer." (Gov. Larry Hogan, via AP) less In this Feb. 7, 2018 photo released by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, hogan poses for a selfie in Annapolis, Md. Hogan, who says he remains in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, announced Thursday he has been ... more Photo: Gov. Larry Hogan, AP Maryland Governor shows off scars after cancer surgery 1 / 1 Back to Gallery ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is showing off his battle scars in what he says is his second successful fight against cancer. The governor sent out a selfie Wednesday on Twitter showing two surgical scars on his forehead. The accompanying text read "Larry 2, Cancer 0." Hogan, a Republican, announced last month that he had two patches of basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancer on his face. He characterized the cancer as non-serious, and noted that it wasn't melanoma, which can be more aggressive. The governor said the cancer was the result of sun damage from a youth as a lifeguard. It's not his first battle with cancer. In 2015, his first year in office, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which he says has been successfully treated as well. Continue Reading

Maryland governor announces he has ‘non-serious skin cancer’

Brian Witte, Associated Press Updated 1:08 pm, Thursday, February 1, 2018 Photo: Brian Witte, AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who says he remains in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, announces he has been diagnosed with "non-serious skin cancer" during a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. Hogan also says the skin cancer is "totally unrelated to the other cancer." less Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who says he remains in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, announces he has been diagnosed with "non-serious skin cancer" during a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in ... more Photo: Brian Witte, AP Maryland governor announces he has 'non-serious skin cancer' 1 / 1 Back to Gallery ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who says he remains in remission from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, announced Thursday he has been diagnosed with "very non-serious skin cancer." Hogan had some skin removed last month from his forehead as part of regular trips he makes to the dermatologist. The governor said it turned out to be basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancer, but not melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer. "I had a couple of things taken off of my forehead. They did turn out to be a very non-serious skin cancer," Hogan said at a news conference. He added he is scheduled to have a medical procedure Saturday, but won't miss a day of work. LATEST SFGATE VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing Camera thief at a house near Dolores Park LotsOfRobots / YouTube Lodi couple marry in 'suspended' wedding ceremony — 400 feet above a Utah canyon Courtesy of Ryan Jenks and Kim Weglin / Video by Scott Rogers from Wingate Motion SF Interim Mayor Mark Farrell meets with Chronicle editorial board San Continue Reading

Governor Hogan says term limits will cure Annapolis; experience in other states says they won’t

Gov. Larry Hogan says instituting term limits for legislators will reduce partisanship, prevent gerrymandering, stifle corruption, increase accountability and return Annapolis to the founders’ vision of democracy. He didn’t specifically mention it, but we suppose it will also lead to fresher breath, whiter whites and peace in the Middle East. Term limits are not a new idea; more than 20 states have adopted them at one point or another, mostly starting in the 1990s. But they have fallen out of favor in recent years for a simple reason: They don’t accomplish any of the things Governor Hogan or other backers of the idea promise, and they come with some unexpected and unwelcome side effects. A variety of studies of states that have instituted term limits find that the policy may change the faces in the legislature’s seats, but it doesn’t much change the sorts of people who fill them in terms of background, profession, political orientation or (with some exceptions) race and gender. And it has not transformed those legislatures into models of representative democracy. California, for example, has had term limits since 1990, and its legislature was famously dysfunctional for most of that time. Though term limits are sold as a means to make legislators more independent of special interests and partisan agendas, they have accomplished precisely the opposite. Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit spent a dozen years examining the impact of Michigan’s term limits on the behavior of lawmakers there, and they found that as experience and institutional knowledge among legislators disappeared, the influence of lobbyists increased. Lobbyists became a more important source of information about policy issues and, despite the fact that they weren’t able to develop long-term relationships with term limited lawmakers, they wielded more influence than before. Meanwhile, a Public Policy Institute of California study found that special Continue Reading

Maya Rockeymoore, wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings, considering run for Maryland governor

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the head of a public policy firm in Washington who is married to Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, said Tuesday that she is considering a run for Maryland governor. Rockeymoore Cummings said she plans to make a decision by early fall. She’s been seeking advice, commissioning polls and conducting focus groups. She said said she’s been pondering the idea of running for a couple of years — first, after being disappointed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s election in 2014, then by Republican President Donald J. Trump’s victory last year. “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and I want to step up and consider a bid for Maryland governor,” she said. Rockeymoore Cummings, 46, is president of Global Policy Solutions, which is described as “a social change strategy firm dedicated to making policy work for people and their environments.” She also has held positions at the National Urban League and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and worked for Democratic congressmen, according to her biography on her company’s website. She has a doctoral degree in political science. If she runs, Rockeymoore Cummings would be the first woman to enter the race to unseat Hogan. Several Democrats already have launched campaigns, including Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, state Sen. Richard Madaleno, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and Jim Shea, former chair of the Venable law firm. Other Democrats who are considering a run include Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, U.S. Rep. John Delaney and Douglas F. Gansler, the former attorney general who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014. Rockeymoore Cummings said Republicans, both in Annapolis and Washington, “are not speaking to our issues,” those that are important to women, including accessible health care, affordable child care, safe Continue Reading

Rockeymoore Cummings drops out of Maryland governor’s race

HANDOUT - Maya Rockeymoore Cummings announced Friday that she is suspending her gubernatorial bid in Maryland. (Rockeymoore Cummings campaign ) (Nate Pesce/Rockeymoore Cummings campaign) Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant who is married to U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), is dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor, citing “personal considerations.” Cummings, the second woman and the last of eight candidates to enter the crowded race, launched her campagin three months ago. “Making a positive and direct contribution to the state of Mayland and to our nation was my greatest motivating factor for stepping into the public arena,” Cummings said in a statement. “Unfortunately due to personal considerations, I am suspending my bid for governor of Maryland.” A spokesman for her campaign did not immediately return a call seeking comment. The announcement comes just weeks before candidates must file reports on fundraising, which will provide a strong indication of how well they might fare against popular and well-financed Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is seeing a second term.Rockeymoore Cummings had difficulty getting her campaign off the ground despite receiving a key endorsement from Emily’s List, a political action committee that pushes to elect Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights. Before she launched her bid, nine percent of voters in a Goucher Poll, taken in September, said they would consider voting for her. Rockeymoore Cummings has worked in politics as a staffer on Capitol Hill and for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, but was not widely known in Maryland politics. The bid for governor was her first run for public office. As a small business owner, Rockeymoore focused her campaign on addressing economic inequality. Her decision leaves just one woman, Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy aide to Michelle Obama, remaining in the Continue Reading

Maya Cummings withdraws from Maryland governor’s race

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maya Rockeymoore Cummings suspended her campaign for Maryland governor Friday, citing "personal considerations." Cummings, the wife of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, has a political background in Washington, though she had never run for office. "Making a positive and direct contribution to the state of Maryland and to our nation was my greatest motivating factor for stepping into the public arena," Cumming said in a statement. "Unfortunately, due to personal considerations, I am suspending my bid for governor of Maryland." Cummings entered the race in October, declaring that Maryland is "punching below its fighting weight." She said too many families are struggling economically and public schools don't have enough resources. She also cited escalating violent crime. "I thank all of the people across the country who have supported my campaign and those whom I have met on the campaign trail who also fervently believe that we can and must do better for the people of Maryland," she said in her statement. Her announcement narrows the crowded Maryland Democratic primary for governor from eight to seven candidates. They include Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and former NAACP president Ben Jealous. State Sen. Richard Madaleno and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz also are candidates as well as Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy aide to Michelle Obama, and attorney Jim Shea and businessman Alec Ross. In a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, they are vying to run against popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is seeking to become the first Republican governor to be re-elected in Maryland since 1954. The primary is June 26. Cummings is president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a Washington-based consulting firm she founded in 2005. She served as a congressional aide and as chief of staff to New York Rep. Charles Rangel. She also worked for the National Urban League and the Continue Reading

Ex-NAACP chief Ben Jealous to run for Maryland governor

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former NAACP President Ben Jealous said on Wednesday he would seek the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor next year, charging that the Republican incumbent lacked the courage to stand up to President Donald Trump. Jealous, an ally of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, said incumbent Larry Hogan had failed to oppose Trump policies that would weaken healthcare and education as well as environmental protection of the Chesapeake Bay. Jealous, making his first bid for elected office, is the latest Democrat to try to link an opponent to the Republican president. Approval ratings have sagged for Trump, who has been embroiled in controversy since his May 9 firing of FBI Director James Comey who was overseeing an investigation into possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. "It seems like every week our governor becomes a little more like the lion in 'The Wizard of Oz,' all strength and no political courage," Jealous, 44, said as he declared his candidacy outside a cousin's flower shop in Baltimore. Hogan, who did not endorse Trump in the 2016 election, has not said if he will seek re-election. A spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won Maryland by 26 percentage points in last November's election. Jealous led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the biggest U.S. civil rights group, from 2008 to 2013. He is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy ahead of Maryland's June 2018 primary, joining entrepreneur and author Alec Ross. Jealous, if elected, would be Maryland's first black governor. Jealous, who spearheaded the NAACP's successful campaign to overturn Maryland's death penalty in 2012, said he backed raising the minimum wage to $15 a hour from the current $8.75, improving teacher quality, expanding mass transit and improving training Continue Reading