Howard County Maryland Blog

Convention of States in Maryland

Archive for October, 2006

Merdon Tax Cut Passes Council

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Story

It is interesting that Larry Carson sought a quote from Grover G. Norquist.  He doesn’t like targeted tax cuts, but Grover is a strict conservative and I would not expect him to like this.

Regardless, other taxpayer organizations liked this a lot.  Montgomery County is looking at similiar legislation.

Some of the “policy experts” echoed sentiments on the blogs about how it is poor public policy to create targeted tax cuts.  It happens all the time folks.  Aren’t 501c’s a forum of targeted tax cuts?  You know what I mean.

Anyway, these seniors need help.  We need them to stay in Howard County.

The council’s majority Democrats – including Ken Ulman, the Democratic nominee for county executive – tabled the bill Oct. 3 and drew up amendments to limit the benefit to lower-income people, but he backed off yesterday for fear amendments might kill the popular bill.

Calvin Ball sent me a copy of his amendments on October 27th.  If you are on his Council distribution list then you did too.

  • His amendments pegged eligible income to 80% of the median income in Howard County.  A difference of only approximated $2,000 per year in income.
  • It stepped in the tax cut to a full 100%  when a Senior’s income was 20% or less of the median (I didn’t hear the commission on aging comment on that).
  • It would institute an income test

The only significant difference was the stepped in tax cut up to a 100% property tax credit.

This bill passed because it is one week before the election and because it is good policy.

Ulman said that if he is elected executive, he would take another look at the measure.

For what purpose?  Can he please clarify?  If he doesn’t like it in its current form then he should have voted against it.  Don’t accuse Merdon of playing election year politics if you don’t have the courage to vote against a bill and only do so in order to avoid Senior backlash at the polls.

Today is Tuesday, October 31st.  Have you seen any negative campaigning today?

Posted in County Council, Howard County | 42 Comments »

Columbia Association Code of Conduct (updated)

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

The Code of Conduct

Does anyone here see any reason that Cindy Coyle, Barbara Russell, or Rebecca Johnson violated the Code of Conduct when they endorsed Chris Merdon?

Are they not permitted to

“speak publicly as an individual board member on issues that affect those we serve”?

Would bringing them (or threatening to bring them) to the Columbia Association Board of Directors Ethics Committee be an act of intimidation and a violation of their first amendment rights?  Would it be an act of retribution?

Your thoughts.

UPDATE: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Howard County | 10 Comments »

Chutzpah Follow Up

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

Remember this quote?  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Executive, Howard County, Ulman | 1 Comment »

Open Thread

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

Keep it clean and talk about anything you want.

Suggested topics:

  1. Does it matter if Ken Ulman’s father is helping him to launch a political career? 
  2. What are your impressions of Chris Merdon’s “Horatio Alger” story?
  3. How negative do you think this last week of electioneering will become?
  4. Do you think that Jim Robey’s attacks on Sandy Schrader’s support on women issues is meant to distract people from his tax issues?
  5. Is Frank Turner siding with developers or is this more negative campaigning?

Posted in General | 21 Comments »

Independent and Demcorats and Republicans!

Posted by David Keelan on Monday, October 30, 2006

Talk about committment.

Mary Catherine Cochran, President of Howard County Preservation, continues her very public support of Chris Merdon for Howard County Executive.

She has announced that she will be holding an open house in her home for those who have not made up their mind on the County Executive race.

Saturday, November 4th between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m.

  • affordable housing
  • agricultural preservation
  • historic preservation
  • environmental issues
  • education
  • development and zoning

Post a comment here and I will forward to the host.

On another note I spent Sunday afteroon repairing GOP campaign sigs that blew down during the wind storms.  We were pretty lucky in that most survived.  I didn’t see many Democratic signs being repaired.

Merdon has updated his 4X8s as Dave Wissing pointed out.

Posted in County Executive, Democrats, Howard County, Merdon | 4 Comments »

You could call it passion…

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 28, 2006

…I supposed.  Maybe it was inexperience. 

Remember this article in the Howard County Times from October 2003? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Executive, Howard County, Ulman | 2 Comments »

Merdon Rakes It In…

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 28, 2006

From the Washington Post

Who would have thunk?  In the beginning I didn’t imagine that it would be possible for a Republican to sweep all the major endorsements.  I also thought Merdon would outraise Ken based on the extra four years on the council.  I didn’t count on Lou Ulman.  Whether it means anything remains to be seen.  In my mind it demonstrates Merdon’s appeal across a broad spectrum of the County residents and interests.

In the beginning, Republican Christopher J. Merdon ‘s bid to become county executive looked as if it was facing tough odds in a predominantly Democratic county, with Republicans across the nation crouching defensively. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Executive, Howard County, Merdon | 14 Comments »

Howard County Register of Wills

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 28, 2006

This office is among the most respected of the Register of Wills offices in the State of Maryland because Kay Hartleb has made it that way.

Mr. Lawrence Blickman has stated that he wants to make it a more visible office and bring it out of the dark corners of the court house where it has been “tucked away”.  I don’t know if that is allegorical or literal.  The office is located just inside the security check point, and is well lit, very visible, and is well appointed.  It must be allegorical. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Howard County | 1 Comment »

The Smear Tactics Continue

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, October 28, 2006

I think that the following candidates should distance themselves from and make it clear they do not endorse the tactics of the Howard County Issues organization.  This organization is attacking the character and defaming two individuals who have served the community very well over that past eight years.

Kevin Zeese, Steve Wallis, Don Dunn and Donna Thewes, have all been endoresed by this “independent” organization.  Please tell the voters that you repudiate these tactics and do not support organizations that use unfounded allegations to assassinate the reputation of another..

The Unaffiliated/Independent Voters at (find a link on the right side of this blog under Howard County Blogs) has posted the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in County Council, County Executive, Howard County | 5 Comments »

Post Election Withdrawl

Posted by David Keelan on Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh yeah.  It is coming.  For some of us it will be a real crash and burn.  What are we going to do about it?  Start making some post election plans.  I am and I am looking forward to the Real Baltimore Irish Festival.

November 10 – 12th at the Timonium Fair Grounds.

Maybe Martin O’Malley will show up.  He isn’t on the agenda now, but win or lose he will probably make an appearance.

Download a printable flyer here

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »