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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gazette endorses the status quo; rejects change in Annapolis

Securing state leadership; General Assembly elections will play large role in county's ability to overcome economic downturn.
Gazette, 26 Aug 2010 (Editorial).
The tight economy has put an increased focus on the General Assembly, with Prince George's County lawmakers trying to address critical problems such as the record rate of housing foreclosures and seeking additional state funding to lessen the impact of county budget shortages that are affecting everything from education to public safety.

The ongoing dire financial situation makes selection of the county's state representatives more critical than ever. The following candidates represent those who are best qualified to make the most of available resources, collaborate to effect needed changes and possess sound strategies to improve the county.

The Gazette did not endorse in Senate Districts 21, 22, 25 and 27 or in Delegate Districts 21 and 22 where seats are uncontested.
[Note: But they DID endorse in Delegate District 21 beginning in the very next paragraph]
[Full text of the endorsements]
The Gazette editorial endorsed  24 General Assembly candidates, 18 of them incumbents of the office sought.  In two cases the Gazette endorsed incumbent delegates seeking to unseat incumbent senators.  In only one case did the Gazette support a newcomer over a current member of the General Assembly. 

The Gazette praised some accomplishments of almost every incumbent, but virtually ignored their failures.  For example, there was no mention of how the incumbents have contributed to the state's financial problems despite raising taxes or little concern for how problems related to Prince George's Hospital remain unresolved despite many years of promises and posturing by incumbent elected officials. 

In almost every case, the Gazette's "reason" for rejecting newcomers was a knee-jerk statement "lacks the necessary experience", or "lacks legislative experience" or "lacks leadership experience."

In the few cases where the Gazette endorsed a newcomer for an open seat, and the one case where the Gazette rejected an incumbent--Kris Valderrama (D-26)--the favored newcomers' records of experience don't seem much different from those of many challengers in other races who were judged as lacking experience. 

Finally, I can't help wondering why the Gazette mentioned the names of the two Republican candidates for delegate in District 27A, but completely ignored the Republicans running for delegate in Districts 21, 23A, 26, and 47, as wells as the Republican running for senator in District 27--carelessness or bias?

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