Tag Archives: Maryland Senate

After protest in his district, Miller says he regrets offering his ‘historical perspective’ about Justice Taney

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Kayan Morgan, 4, stands among a coalition of pastors and civil rights activists in front of B.K. Miller’s Meats and Liquors in Clinton, Md., on Monday. The group is protesting Miller’s opposition to the removal of former chief justice Roger B. Taney’s statue from the State House grounds. (Allison Shelley/For The Washington Post)

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., under fire for opposing the removal of a statue of former Supreme Court chief justice Roger B. Taney from the State House grounds, said Monday that he did not intend to cause division by defending the author of the Dred Scott decision.

“As a student of history, I intended to respectfully state my preference for education about our flawed history and the greater historical context of Justice Taney,” Miller (D-Calvert) said in a statement. “I do regret that sharing my historical perspective has distracted from the larger issue we must face together as a nation and from my role to bring unity and fight for a better Maryland.”

Miller’s comments came shortly after a dozen African American ministers and community activists staged a protest against him in a section of Prince George’s County that is part of the district Miller has represented for more than 40 years.

Standing on the street in Clinton, Md., where Miller’s family owns a liquor store and he operates a law firm, the demonstrators carried handwritten signs that read “No Bigotry, No Racism” and “Black Lives Matter” and chanted “Miller and Taney, both the same.”

They said Miller’s support for Taney, known for his defense of slavery, was a show of disrespect to voters in his district and patrons who support his family’s businesses.

“Our state senator, who we’ve supported overwhelming with black votes, with Democratic votes, chose to throw egg on the face of every one of his supporters by supporting Roger Taney,” said the Rev. Bruce Branch, executive director of the Maryland Business Clergy Partnership and a candidate for Prince George’s County Council in 2018. “The electorate has to wonder, whose side is our Senate president on?”

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) called for the removal of the Taney statue this month, in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville that followed a rally in support of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Miller, the longest-serving senate president in the country, then sent a letter to Hogan defending Taney’s character and describing him as a man with a “complex” past and a long history of public service.He credited Taney for “anti-slavery words and actions,” saying that “unlike George Washington who freed his slaves upon his death, Taney freed his slaves early in his life.”

In his statement Monday, Miller publicly addressed the violence in Charlottesville for the first time, calling it “horrific and reprehensible . . . the unspeakable acts of racists” and reiterated his past criticism of the “wrongheaded” Dred Scott ruling, which said black people could never be citizens, whether slaves or free.

The protesters said they supported calls by state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), to censure Miller and are seeking to meet with Miller to discuss racial and social justice and an elimination of pre-formed Democratic slates in Prince George’s County primaries.

Miller spokesman, Jake Weissmann, declined to comment on the protesters’ statements. He said Miller’s office had not received a request for a meeting.

Via Washington Post

Read more >>> Lawmaker wants to censure Md. Senate President Mike Miller for Bad leadership

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Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote. Under Miller, institutional racism has been very high especially within state agencies and the court system in Maryland. Senator Miller also owns a number of liquor stores which are open 7 days a week in the county to benefit him personally. 

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Md. Senate backs resolution allowing AG to sue federal government

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ANNAPOLIS, MD – JANUARY, 6: Attorney General Brian Frosh (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

After a nearly two-hour debate, the Maryland Senate approved a resolution late last week that gives the attorney general authority to take legal action against the federal government without having to first get permission from the governor.

The measure, which is on a legislative fast track, now goes to the House. The Senate’s 29-to-17 vote came more than a week after Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said he asked Gov. Larry Hogan (R) but did not receive clearance to move forward to sue the Trump administration.

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Frosh, said Friday that the attorney general sent a letter to the governor on Feb. 1 asking for permission to take legal action against President Trump’s controversial entry ban but never received an answer.

“He has not said yea or nay,” Coombs said.

During a media event in Baltimore on Friday, Hogan was asked about the resolution and whether he responded to Frosh. He said the two had gone “back and forth” over the issue.

“He is an independently elected constitutional officer and he does what he wants to do, and now the legislature has given him more power,” Hogan said.

Senate Democrats moved the resolution quickly, to the chagrin of Republicans, who said the measure was a partisan attack against Hogan in an attempt to tie him to Trump.

But Democrats balked at the notion, saying 41 other attorneys general can bypass the governor and legislature to sue the federal government.

Sen. Dolores Kelly (D-Baltimore County) said the state attorney general should be able to respond to the actions being taken by the Trump administration on immigration, health care, consumer protections and the environment.

“Time is of the essence,” she said. “So many threats and actions are in fact impacting states’ rights.”

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who has expressed his concerns about the future of the Chesapeake Bay, told his Republican colleagues that the resolution was “aimed at Capitol Hill” and had “absolutely nothing” to do with Hogan.

On Thursday, the majority of the Republican caucus walked out in protest after trying unsuccessfully to delay an initial vote on the resolution.

In other business Friday, lawmakers in the House approved a bill that would prohibit firearms on Maryland’s public college campuses. The legislation, which moves to the Senate for consideration, passed 84 to 49, with no Republicans supporting it and four Democrats voting against it.

Advocates say the bill would improve campus safety, but Republicans said it would strip individuals of their constitutional right to bear arms and their ability to protect themselves.

“This bill doesn’t create safe spaces. It creates target zones,” said Del. Robin L. Grammer Jr. (R-Baltimore County).

Del. Pam Queen (D-Montgomery), an assistant professor at Morgan State University, said guns on campus could cause fear and stifle intellectual debate, potentially cause minor altercations to escalate into deadly violence, and create anxiety among faculty over posting grades.

“College campuses are a special place — a special place to foster education, to be devoid of physical intimidation, to have a right to an education in a safe environment, to have an exchange of ideas from various people,” she said.

Republicans failed to win support for several amendments to the bill, including language that would have required colleges to arm their security forces and provided an exemption for cases in which state police have determined that an individual’s life is in danger.

The bill would require colleges to notify the public of the firearm ban with signs posted in prominent locations, including at campus entrances.

The House passed similar legislation last year, but the Senate never voted on it.

Via Washington Post

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In this file photo, a Maryland State Trooper stands guard at the doors to the Maryland State Senate chamber in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, the first day of the 2017 legislative session. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) **FILE**

The Maryland Senate voted 29-17 Friday for the resolution. All of the Senate’s 14 Republicans and three Democrats voted against it.

Supporters cited concerns about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and worries about lax enforcement of regulations to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Democrats also noted economic concerns relating to possible reductions in the federal workforce, because Maryland has a large number of federal workers. They say their constituents are scared about what may happen next in Washington.

Maryland Attorney General misconduct in the State of Maryland is terrifying:

However, the real reasons Maryland legislature voted for Maryland Attorney General to have more powers was something else – and they’re terrifying. We will be highlighting this shortly in this blog including interference of state courts by the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland in conspiracy with the Maryland Democratic party regime. Stay tuned. 

It is utterly depressing to have to accept the fact that so many legislators in Maryland voted to give more power to the Attorney General who is engaged in misconduct, if only by proxy, colluding in their own subjugation, but to understand why it has happened is incredibly important.

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The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous…. While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst. 

—Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson

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Independent Inspector General & Audit for Park & Planning and WSSC:

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Del. Ben Kramer Democrat, District 19, Montgomery County introduced the bill to establish independent Inspector General for  M-NCPPC and WSSC

The bill to establish an independent Inspector General for M-NCPPC and WSSC is long overdue. It was introduced by Del. Ben Kramer (District 19) and was voted out of committee, although three of our representatives, Kumar Barve (District 17), Anne Kaiser (District 14), and Charles Barkley (District 39), voted no and did not want to see it get out of committee.

Recently, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III appointed Ms. M. Andree Green – as the new Director for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). She gas no formal training or professional experience in planning to serve as the director of the Prince George’s County Planning Department. No other jurisdiction in the Washington region has made such a choice, and for good reason: such a decision defies common sense, and it likely contravenes Maryland law.

Attorney M. Andree Green (Checkley), of Upper Marlboro, began her tenure as Planning Director on January 18. She replaces Dr. Fern V. Piret, who retired after serving 26 years in that position. For the past six years, Green worked as the County Attorney for Prince George’s. Before that, she worked for approximately eleven years in the legal department of M-NCPPC, the quasi-independent state agency responsible for planning, zoning, parks, and recreation in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

It is our understanding both agencies are opposed to the new bill which is meant to create an independent Inspector General and they are not interested at some control and transparency. They are working either to kill the bill or water it down. Members of the County Planning Board have stated their difficulty with this effort at transparency, so MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD IN ANNAPOLIS!

The bill information is here. The bill is MC/PG 110-17.

Please contact your House and Senate representatives and tell them we need a strong independent Inspector General for these agencies and independent audits. At the moment there is no oversight and little transparency at these organizations.

Finally please contact Senator Mike Miller, President of the state senate has the ultimate say on whether a bill passes in the Maryland General assembly or not. He and others as part of the democratic regime in Maryland are in  control of many things including the manipulation of the state court system. His email is: thomas.v.mike.miller@senate.state.md.us.

To find your representative, go here.

Because local government matters too.

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Senator Mike Miller, President of the Maryland state senate has the final and ultimate say on whether a bill passes in the Maryland general assembly or not.

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Mr. Rushern Baker III appointed Ms. M. Andree Green – Prince George’s New Planning Director

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Ms. M. Andree Green – Prince George’s New Planning Director Is Not Actually a Planner. She began her tenure as Planning Director on January 18. She replaces Dr. Fern V. Piret, who retired after serving 26 years in that position.

>>> Read more Prince George’s New Planning Director Is Not Actually a Planner

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In Annapolis, Democrats prepare for a fight — worry about corruption

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Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III (D) and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Anne Arundel) talk at a pre-session Democratic legislative luncheon in Annapolis. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Maryland Democrats gathered Tuesday for what was supposed to be an energetic pre­legislative-session lunch featuring top elected officials and rising stars railing against ­President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Washington.

Hanging over them, however, was the specter of a growing federal corruption investigation in Prince George’s County that has expanded to the State House in Annapolis.

Minutes before the doors to the hotel ballroom opened, federal prosecutors announced that former state delegate William A. Campos (D-Prince George’s) had pleaded guilty to accepting bribes stemming from his time on the County Council.

Prosecutors say that more than one lawmaker remains under investigation in the case and that at least one more will be charged.

While Democrats cheered on luncheon speeches calling for protecting the federal health-care law and standing up for the working class, they also were checking their phones for updates on allegations that have muddied their party’s name.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez speaks at a pre-session Democratic legislative luncheon in Annapolis, Md. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)
Some Democratic lawmakers privately vented their disbelief that a colleague would accept bribes, and expressed fears that the investigation would expand beyond the current and former lawmaker alluded to in federal charging documents.

The 90-day legislative session starts Wednesday.

“The first day of session is just like Opening Day of baseball. There’s always optimism,” said Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s). “When you come in with this sort of pall cast over the session, it definitely puts a damper on it.”

Del. Jay Walker (D), who chairs the Prince George’s delegation, was huddling with other lawmakers and officials throughout the afternoon. He said his phone had been blowing up with messages about Campos’s plea. He declined to comment on the case, referring instead to an earlier statement in which he said that the federal corruption allegations do not reflect the behavior of other lawmakers from Prince George’s.

In a separate embarrassment, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) canceled plans Tuesday to swear in a Baltimore Democrat who had been appointed to a vacant House seat after that nominee was charged with making illegal campaign contributions to then-state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh’s successful campaign for Baltimore mayor.

The appointment to the House seat has been rescinded.

In a brief interview after the lunch, Busch said the public should still have faith in the legislative body.

“The vast majority of people come down here and take their oath of office very seriously and understand what their job is,” Busch said. “Unfortunately, like every other area of human life, some people try to take advantage of the system, and they end up getting caught.”

In a prepared statement released later Tuesday, Busch said he was “ painfully disappointed that any member of the House of Delegates would compromise this institution and the public trust.”

“There is no room for this type of behavior in the House of Delegates,” the statement said. “Each of us needs to redouble our efforts to rebuild the trust with our constituents that has been compromised by the actions announced today.”

Campos’s guilty plea follows charges announced Thursday against David Dae Sok Son, 40, the director of the Prince George’s liquor board; Anuj Sud, 39, a liquor board commissioner who resigned Friday; Young Jung Paig, 62, owner of Central Avenue Restaurant & Liquor Store; and Shin Ja Lee, 55, owner of Palmer Liquor Store.

State lawmakers from Prince George’s with close ties to some of the defendants did not attend the Democratic lunch. They include Alonzo Washington, Campos’s former chief of staff; Sen. Victor R. Ramirez, a longtime mentor to and ally of Campos; and Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, who hired Son as a liaison for the county delegation in 2015.

Washington, Ramirez and Peters did not return calls for comment on the federal probe.

[Trump presidency, 2018 election hangs over Annapolis statehouse]

Those Democrats who did attend the lunch heard speeches from U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and legislative leaders, who urged them to fight hard for progressive causes as a bulwark against a Republican-controlled Washington.

Maryland is one of the few states where Democrats control veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the legislature, although Republican Larry Hogan is governor.

The outgoing U.S. labor secretary, Thomas Perez, who is running to lead the Democratic National Committee, told lawmakers that they will be the “tip of the spear” in representing Democratic values and helping topple Republicans, including Hogan, in 2018.

“It’s one thing for this governor to say he didn’t vote for Donald Trump. We need governors in this state who will lead the fight against Donald Trump,” Perez said. “We need to make sure as Democrats that we fight back, and we fight back often, and we understand that you don’t take a spoon to a knife fight.”

But Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore), who heads the Legislative Black Caucus, worried that the corruption case could damage the Democratic brand for future elections for the General Assembly and for governor.

“We have to do a much better job if we expect to take back some seats in 2018,” she said. “We have to show the people that we are serious about representing them, not just our personal agendas. When people act the wrong way and we have all these Republicans elected, it’s devastating. If we don’t take back the governorship in 2018, we’re facing redistricting, and we can lose our veto-proof majority.”

Via Washington Post Annapolis-State-House-MD-flag

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Pr. George’s liquor commissioner accused of bribery resigns –

img_7911A Prince George’s County liquor commissioner accused of accepting bribes resigned from his post Friday, and Gov. Larry Hogan called for the reform of Maryland’s system of regulating alcohol sales, which he called “antiquated” and “without oversight.”

Commissioner Anuj Sud was one of four people charged Thursday in a long-running federal corruption investigation. The others were two business owners and the administrator of the liquor board.

Sud, 39, is accused of taking money from a lawyer representing restaurants and liquor stores with business before the Prince George’s Board of License Commissioners.

In court filings, law enforcement authorities indicated that they expect to charge more people in connection with the case, including a former elected official and a state lawmaker, whose names have not been released.

Liquor board members are appointed by the governor. They wield significant regulatory power over about 600 business outlets in the county — authorizing alcohol sales, imposing fines for infractions and suspending or revoking licenses in response to serious violations.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, shown through a video camera viewfinder, speaks to news organizations at the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post) 

In an interview Friday, Hogan (R) described the case involving the liquor board as a “real mess” and said he had accepted Sud’s resignation.

The governor said he is bound by tradition to appoint to liquor boards people who are nominated by state lawmakers and party officials from the specific counties. He also said the state government does not have the power to oversee the actions of liquor boards.

“Maybe that is something we can talk to the legislature about: How do we revamp the system? . . . It’s the last vestiges of the patronage system,” Hogan said. “We could have problems in other places, and this may be the tip of the iceberg, but certainly this is the worst case I’ve ever heard of.”

Maryland law requires governors to appoint local liquor board members from a list drawn up by party officials from the particular county. But it also allows the governor to reject those choices and demand new options.

In Sud’s case, state officials say, his appointment was not confirmed by the state Senate during the 2016 legislative session for reasons that remained unclear Friday.

A Hogan spokesman said the governor reappointed Sud, a College Park lawyer, to the board after the legislative session and after consulting with the office of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert).

Miller could not be reached Friday to comment on Sud’s resignation.

FBI investigators were monitoring the commissioner as he met with a lawyer representing liquor sellers in September 2015, according to the charging documents. Sud allegedly promised that he could “make s— happen” on the county liquor board and asked how he could “start getting paid.”

The lawyer — who was cooperating with the FBI as an informant — offered to charge his clients an extra $1,000 that he would steer to Sud in exchange for favorable votes, the charging documents state.

In the months that followed, prosecutors say, illicit payments greased the wheels of routine liquor motions made by Sud, such as a restaurant’s request for a new liquor license and permission to sell alcohol on Sundays right before Christmas 2015.

According to minutes from that meeting, a representative for the restaurant promised that proceeds from some of those alcohol sales would help children through donations to St. Jude’s Hospital and soccer jerseys for local schools. Sud made a motion to grant the request, which was unanimously approved.

Two weeks later, Sud got into the lawyer’s car outside a restaurant, took $1,000 from the lawyer and put it into his left pocket, authorities say.

Almost a year later, charging documents and meeting minutes state, the lawyer greeted Sud at his office to thank him for helping a client with a drive-through sales application and offered a “wedding gift” — another $1,000.

Sud made a brief court appearance Thursday and was released until his next hearing.

In his legal practice, Sud has represented a company that federal and state agencies say violated the law by taking advantage of victims of lead-paint poisoning, many of whom are mentally impaired. The company made millions of dollars by persuading lead-poisoning victims to sell “structured settlements” from personal-injury suits for lump-sum payments worth a fraction of the settlements’ many incremental payments.

Sud’s resignation on Friday follows the December resignation of the liquor board chairman, Charles Caldwell, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving while leaving the grand opening of the MGM National Harbor casino.

David Son, who became the board’s chief inspector in 2015 after serving nearly a decade as a commissioner, was also arrested Thursday.

Authorities accuse him of facilitating three bribes to an elected official between 2012 and 2014 — while Son was a commissioner — and arranging bribes from a liquor store owner to that official and a state lawmaker in 2015 and 2016 for their work on legislation expanding alcohol sales.

Kenneth Miles, one of the three remaining Prince George’s liquor commissioners, welcomed Sud’s resignation and the governor’s call for changing oversight of liquor boards.

“They should monitor us,” said Miles, a former part-time liquor inspector and local Democratic Party official. “This should have never happened.”

But he disputed that local liquor regulation and politics were closely intertwined, saying he never hears from elected officials under normal circumstances.

Earl Howard, another commissioner, said the governor was overreacting by calling for an overhaul of liquor boards.

“You can get a bad apple in any barrel,” said Howard, who is the husband of Del. Carolyn Howard (D-Prince George’s).

“It can happen at the state level, it can happen at the county level, it can happen at the federal level.

“And it does happen.”

Via Washington Post

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Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). controls parts of Prince George’s county and influential leader for liquor 

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Del. Carolyn Howard (D-Prince George’s) is married to one of the liquor  Board commissioners. 

Ulysses Currie

Sen. Ulysses Currie  (Seen here) In 2012, The ethics panel urged Maryland senators to strip Sen. Ulysses Currie of all but one committee assignment and to bar him from any role in House-Senate negotiations to resolve differences over bills due to his rampant corruption which became too much until he got arrested by the FBI >>> Read more

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To enable the eating to proceed smoothly, institutions like the Ethics and Anti-Corruption offices got crippled largely through appointment of user-friendly top brass. County Executive Rushern Baker III should not pretend he was not aware of these violations. He has enabled corruption to flourish in many ways including to the schools. 

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Md. Senate delays vote on state super selection

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The Maryland Senate will decide next week whether it should have a say in who is chosen as the next state superintendent of schools.

The Senate was scheduled on Friday to vote on a bill that would change the selection process of the state superintendent. Instead, it delayed action after questions were raised about whether the Senate has the legal authority to confirm the head of the state’s school system.

The Senate plans to ask for an opinion from the state Attorney General’s office on whether the legislation infringes on separation of powers. The bill is scheduled to be taken up on Tuesday.

The decision to delay the vote came after a lengthy debate about why Democratic legislative leaders were trying to change a system that has been in place for 100 years. Under the current process, the Senate confirms the members of the state Board of Education, who are appointed by the governor. The board then makes the selection of the school superintendent.

“It’s not broken,” said Sen. George C. Edwards (R-Washington), noting that there have only been seven superintendents in the past century. “I think it’s worked over the last 100 years.”

Republican senators repeatedly asked why the Senate wanted to change the process now.

Some see it as a power grab by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), the bill sponsor, said the measure is designed to provide oversight.

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), called the argument “utter rubbish.”

“This bill would radically change 100 years of progressive policy, and add a duplicative and unnecessary political layer to what is already a well-functioning process,” Mayer said. “In terms of policy, process, and politics, this is a flawed and poorly considered piece of legislation that would endanger the very nature of the state’s educational system.”

But Sen. William C. Ferguson (D-Baltimore) said the policy-making power that the state superintendent has is “enormous.” Those powers will only increase, he said, under the new federal law that gives state’s more authority over education policy.

“It makes absolute rational sense to do this now,” Ferguson said.

The state Board of Education plans to name a new superintendent later this year. The current position is held by Interim Superintendent Jack Smith, who took over when Lillian Lowery resigned in September. He was recently chosen as the new Montgomery County superintendent.

Hogan has pushed some education policies that have not been received well by the Democratic-controlled legislature, including a measure last year to give charter schools greater authority and a proposal this year to provide tax credits to businesses that donate to schools. The tax credit is expected to help non-public schools more than public schools.

via Washington Post MarylandMap2

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Kudos to the MD General Assembly for reform efforts.

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We are Prince George’s County Public School District (PGCPS) observers in 15th and 32nd year, and we support the current bill HB 1107 and any related bill in the Maryland General Assembly. What has really gotten stuck in our craw most has been the imperial, patronizing manner in which the PGCPS leadership led by Ms. Verjeana Jacobs has been conducting its business.

Even if these members have been defeated for the superintendent position, they still pose a “clear and present danger”. They should never be allowed near the school board leadership in any capacity of authority or influence. The Prince George’s County Board leadership is a disgrace. We should make ensure that there is no way they can weasel their way into the board leadership ever again. The new Superintendent should do everything in his or her power to be the true new broom and sweep out the mess. The facts about ruthless and unethical board aspirants is detailed below. Every parent and concerned citizen of this county should ensure that the past never repeats itself. We owe our children at least that much. Vigilance starts with proactive action.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Alvin L. Crawley arrived seven months ago spouting transparency and community engagement, but what we’ve mostly gotten has been something far less. Several students have died, corruption continues as usual and He does not communicate properly. His first thing on the job was to block communication with PG parents tweeter feed unprovoked. (See Attachment) His tweeter feed only tweets on occasion and he lacks proper communication skills, yet he wanted to be the next superintendent.

Prince George’s County Public School District Chairperson Ms. Verjeana Jacobs and the Board members set the stage by surreptitiously hiring lobbyists to lobby the state Legislature to defeat several House Bills including HB 1107 introduced in Annapolis recently because corruption, nepotism and professional misconduct within the schools. This way, the current situation remains the same. Their effort to defeat the bills fell flat and became a public embarrassment.

In response, however, Board Chairperson Verjeana Jacobs and several Board members said Monday that the board would reopen the search for a new superintendent if that would fend off a proposed takeover plan under consideration in Annapolis. “We are still ready and willing to look at this superintendent process again, “Jacobs told a joint hearing of the Prince George’s House and Senate delegations. “Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room.” (See the story here)

“It was the first concession that Jacobs has made in the battle over County Executive Rushern L. Baker’s III plan to take over the school system. The unexpected announcement comes after school officials were closing in on picking the county’s next superintendent, which would be the eighth in 14 years”. As reported by Washington post. We support the bill and we hope to see changes as soon as possible.

Up to this point in PGCPS, we have seen what has become a pattern: there is an insular, preordained agenda going forward, and whenever there is sound pushback, if not a firestorm of public disapproval and outrage, the PGCPS leadership delivers measured comments to mollify the malcontents no matter how incongruous the rationale. Verjeana Jacobs’s notion “to reopen the superintendent search process, improve the quality of teachers’ experiences” is in stark contrast to the ominous proposals that will more likely discourage longevity. Dr. Alvin L. Crawley and Ms. Verjeana Jacobs appears willing to see teachers scrounge, beg and go out-of-pocket, or do without chairs, desks, books, paper, tape and sundry other necessities often taken for granted. Also, if they accepts the premise that there needs to be a stronger principal pipeline, then how do you give them such power to wield without safeguards, such as due process? And, too, wouldn’t their justification for non-union raises also apply to teachers, among others? How about interfering with hearing examiner by bribing and other incentives?  It is that arbitrariness that all employees dread.

The Board of Education (BOE) members and the PGCPS Union leadership and their cohorts are like a junta ruling by fiat, disconnected from the community denizens. They are not fooling anyone with their placating, after-the-fact patchwork rationales that diametrically contradict their own actions. The only transparency that has come to light is that they think that teachers, support staff, parents and the public are that gullible, or just not as smart as a third-grader. In the process, they appear disingenuous and are only losing credibility and fomenting distrust. Every keen observer is aware what has been going on behind the scenes at Sasscer (PGCPS HQ).

To our distinguished veteran colleagues, don’t let the door hit you on the way out as you defend the dysfunctional status quo.

To all involved parents that currently have children enrolled in Prince George’s County Public Schools, our voices were heard. Thank you for sending your concerns to those that have the power to vote our voice.

For the first time in a very long time, our PGCPS teachers, administrators and staff will receive classroom resources they need, our children will be provided additional assistance, albeit transportation/ELL resources, and systemic academic opportunities.

Ms. Verjeana Jacob’s continuation as a Board Chair and continuing the corruption is a perpetuation of a culture of impunity. We must demand an end to that and new leadership led by the County Executive Rushen Baker .

Kudos to the Prince George’s delegation in Annapolis who have decided to endorse changes within our County. We give the County Executive and the new Superintendent our total support and wish him or her well. However, we will hold him or her accountable and will not repeat the blind and unchecked support of years part. This has been actually lesson learnt at the expense of our children’s lives and reputation of the schools which languish at the bottom of all schools in Maryland.

We have one  fugitive former superintendent  hiding as a refugee superintendent in Philadelphia where his fortunes are beginning to unravel. Let us bring him back to justice and make him answer for his well documented crimes of neglect and malice.

It is a Sad day for the lobbyists in Annapolis and the Board lawyers involved in “NO Bid contracts” against the state law!!! BOOHOO!

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