Only 1/3 of HoCo Delegation Bills Appear Set to be Passed

With the abbreviated General Assembly Session ending sine die on Wednesday, it appears that only 2 of the 6 Howard County Delegation Bills appear set to be passed.

Howard County Delegation Bill Summary

HB1454 Howard County – Transfer Tax – Rate Increase Authorization Ho. Co. 26-20 and HB1510 Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Rental Subsidy Under the Howard County “Live Where You Work” Program Ho. Co. 20-20 have passed the House and are scheduled for second reading in the Senate on Tuesday.

The three bills dealing with school redistricting and advertising of school districts have not been moved out of the House committees. These bills are HB0826 Howard County – Residential Property and New Home Construction Advertisements – School District Information Ho. Co. 02–20; HB1511 Howard County – Board of Education – Redetermination of Geographic Attendance Areas Ho. Co. 01–20; and HB1521 Howard County – Sales of Residential Real Property – Notice of School District Boundary Changes Ho. Co. 04-20.

In addition, HB1509 Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Alcoholic Beverages Inspectors Ho. Co. 32-20 has not come to the House floor for second reading.

Hill Restaurant Group Must Never Come to Howard County

While many eateries have announced plans to come to Columbia, with the new economic situation, I doubt that they will all follow through with their original intention.

However, should the Hill Restaurant Group of Washington, DC ever desire to come to Howard County, the answer must be NO!!!

This is their response to the coronavirus closing order in DC:

Hill Restaurant Group operates Finn’s, Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Tortuga, Lola’s, Willie’s, Ophella’s Fish House, and Orchid.

Hill Restaurant Group and their owners should never come to Downtown Columbia. They should never be granted a liquor license in Howard County

Neither should their ownership of William Sport, Tom Johnson, and Rene Jean.

UPDATE: Reply from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser

Where in the World is District 4 Candidate Daniel J. Margolis?

Daniel J. Margolis has filed as a candidate for Board of Education in District 4.

However, nobody seems to know who he is. He apparently has not responded to invitations for candidate events and surveys.

Scott Ewart says that no one has heard from him.

Is this the same Daniel J. Margolis that sued Sandy Spring Bank in a class action alleging violations of the Consumer Protection Act?

Circuit Court of Maryland Margolis Case Search

Anybody know about Daniel J. Margolis? Why is he running for the Board of Education?

Maryland General Assembly Must Extend Session

The Maryland General Assembly needs to extend its 90-day session. Like an athlete playing through injury, the General Assembly likes to plow through, literally, during blizzards while the rest of the state stays home. Now with coronavirus, it must like the rest of us take a break. The Constitution provides that the 90 days may be nonconsecutive; so an emergency law can be passed to pause the session and pick up when the health situation improves.

Alternatively, the session can be extended 30 days, and hopefully things will be better in May to finish the session.

SEC. 15. (1) The General Assembly may continue its session so long as in its judgment the public interest may require, for a period not longer than ninety days in each year. The ninety days shall be consecutive unless otherwise provided by law. The General Assembly may extend its session beyond ninety days, but not exceeding an additional thirty days, by resolution concurred in by a three-fifths vote of the membership in each House.

And the Band Played On

And the band played on. Everybody read the COVID-19 update from CA? Well, of course you have not yet.* The Board did not begin to discuss closings and disruptions until 10:30 pm Thursday–3.5 hours into their regular meeting. And then they only discussed it as part of the president’s report.

EVERYTHING Milton Matthews admitted was to be determined Friday. After school care. Kids at CA facilities. Group classes. Contact with children and swim instructors. Paying lifeguards if the pools are closed. Extending memberships. Employees working at home.

The effect of the Governor’s closing order. The closing of the schools. The County Executive’s scheduled announcement Friday.

Board members also raised questions about CA elections. Making the villages vote by mail.

For the prior 3.5 hours the band played on. Changes in swim center schedules. Temperatures of pools. Columbia Clippers. Waterslide usage. Lap swimming. Standards of care for outdoor facilities. Neighborhood centers and a schedule for the villages to respond so that action can be taken in April. Whether to oppose a redline development at the Planning Board on March 19. Precedent of allowing drive-through additions to get a reduction in parking requirements. Landscaping. Berms. Where to locate dumpsters. No concerns that the Planning Board meeting might be cancelled. No concern that CA’s meetings themselves will be cancelled.

And all this was after a presentation by Greg Fitchitt of Howard Hughes on Downtown Columbia. The same presentation he would have made 3 weeks ago. No concern of the coming bankruptcies in the retail and hospitality sector. I will be very surprised if all of the announced restaurants and businesses come to Columbia after the economic disruption that we are in.

And the band played on. I asked questions whether the open house on Saturday will be cancelled, not the Board. I asked about the schedule of future meetings, not the Board. I told Milton Mathews that the CA website was one of the few large entities that I have seen that does not have a COVID-19 update on the main webpage. The response. The usual arrogant silence that is to be expected from MM.

I hope that CA takes action before the stern of the ship begins to rise from the water.

* UPDATE – The Columbia Association sent out its COVID-19 email at 7:47 PM on March 13, 2020. This blog was posted around 4:40 am March 13, 2020.

Dems Must Understand Why Bernie Cannot Win Against Trump

Author Ezra Klein explained in an interview with Fareed Zakaria in February the politics involved in presidential election. He explains why Democrats must win center white voters–the ones in the suburban counties of Pennsylvania and Michigan–the ones who helped elect the 40 new Democratic Congressman who flipped the House–the ones that want to have nothing to do with Bernie Sanders and his 1970s version of democratic socialism.


Aired February 2, 2020 

ZAKARIA: The two takeaways that are very immediate that I got from the book are the Democrats need to understand when they try to appeal to people particularly potentially undecided voters a lot of it is not a matter of facts and policy announced.

They’ve got to figure out a way to make those people feel like that they belong, that they trust them that there is a kind of identity of affinity of some kind. And secondly the Democrats have a much harder task, because geographically the way the country’s Electoral Colleges works, they have to move to the center. The Republicans don’t.

KLEIN: Those are crucial takeaways. A lot of it what we’ve been talking here the psychological tip roots and foundations of polarization but a lot of the book is about its interaction with the political institution and our particular political system.

And as you say Democrats have a particularly have a hard task here. One is that they need to see identity as a layer of politics. Democrats really like to talk about policy. And you know me and my background, I am a policy reporter, I come into this because I needed a better explanation for how policy debates move from their positives on beginnings were people can imagine a lot of different ways of solving a problem into collapsing into to these all out zero sum partisan wars.

So Democrats are often not very good at thinking symbolically about policy. In 2016, Hillary Clinton has about 50 policies on her side none of which people really know and none of which say that much about her was.

Donald Trump had seven none of them makes all that much internal sense in terms of how they’re constructed? But they say a lot about him a symbolic policy communications. And a lot of politics is symbolic communication.

But the other point he make is well taken as well. Republicans can win and are winning in the Senate right now and in the White House without the Supreme Court with a minority of the population in each of those places in relevant elections they’ve got fewer votes than Democrats.

Democrats if they do not win center white voters, they do not win power. If they got to 46 percent of the vote that Donald Trump got in 2016, they would not be President. They would be wiped out in the Electoral College.

So Democrats are not able to follow the same strategic incentives as Republicans because Republicans due to their over representation in rural areas that are amplified in our political system they have a path to power that is not require so much of the popular vote which by the way is a bad thing for our political system. It is good for parties both of them to be disciplined by democracy itself. And right now the Republican Party is not being disciplined by it.