First-timers enjoy their time in Philadelphia during Democratic Convention

MP1 9323Democratic nominees Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in Philadelphia.   PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

Maryland State Delegate Shane Robinson, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, said attending the Democratic National Convention reminded him that he is proud to be a Democrat.

Robinson said he watched the Republican National Convention on television last week and then was struck by a contrast in tone when he attended the Democratic National Convention. While speakers and Presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to him to be encouraging citizens to be fearful of refugees and potential terrorists, Robinson said the speakers in the Democratic convention conveyed hope and zeal.

“The difference in tone and in positive enthusiasm was striking,” said Robinson. “I’m so proud to be a member of the Democratic Party right now.”


Democratic vets mull convention changes

MP1 8953President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER The role and scope of women participating in the Democratic National Convention changed considerably from the time state Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-17) first attended in 1980.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) capped that change as the dean of the Senate women formally nominated Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee, the first woman to lead a major party presidential ticket.

“Every convention is different and every convention is exciting and truly a privilege to experience and be a part of history,” said Kagan last week during a phone call from Philadelphia.


Critics say terror watch list isn't solving the problem

ROCKVILLE – In the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks around the world, counterterrorism has become a major topic of political discussion.

On the presidential campaign, both major party candidates have weighed in with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) calling for expanding the watch list program while real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) supports restricting firearms sales to those already placed on the list.

Gadeir Abbas, an attorney who represents individuals who have been placed on the list, said the government’s watch list program “has been an utter debacle from the start.”


Maryland in DNC spotlight

Mikulski nominates Hillary Clinton while Sanders supporters rant and rave

Barbara Mikulski at DNCSenator Barbara Mikulski nominated Hillary Clinton for President at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER


PHILADEPLIA – The "little general in pearls," as Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) has been called, is ending her political career with a flourish.

Tuesday she nominated her friend and former Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party in American history.

The five-term, retiring senator from Maryland had nothing but praise for her Senate colleague.

“So on behalf of all the women who have broken down barriers for others and with an eye toward the barriers ahead, I proudly raise Hillary Clinton’s name in nomination to be the next President,” said Mikulski.


Maryland delegation takes on Democratic convention in upheaval


13680785 1299385890079454 1255167274195815338 nSen. Bernie Sanders spoke about party unity at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. PHOTO BY PAUL SCHWARTZ 

PHILADELPHIA – While Democrats planned on sending out a message of hope and unity during their convention, it was anything but, as loud boos echoed out through the conventional hall signaling that the party is still reeling from upheaval.

On the Friday before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published about 20,000 emails from the Democratic Party that showed the key party leaders – including the Democratic Party Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz – favored former Secretary State Hillary Clinton over rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for the presidential nomination.

After the revelations that members of the Democratic Party favored Hillary Clinton, Wasserman-Schultz resigned as chair, but that did not stop ardent Sanders supporters from holding up signs in protest and booing speakers.


MVA switches to snail mail to issue all drivers licenses


MVA logo

Starting July 11, Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicles Administration began issuing all learner’s permits, driver’s licenses and identification cards through the mail, further increasing security measures against identity theft and fraud.

On June 20, the MVA started giving new cards for learner’s permits, ID cards and licenses renewed online that were more secure, according to MVA Administrator Christine Nizer. Everyone received new cards starting Monday.

There are several different features compared to the old driver’s license, which had not been updated since 2003, and the cards are printed from a “high-security MVA facility,” according to a June 16 release from MVA Organization Relations contact Buel Young.


'There's a Convention?'

Hogan skips GOP national convention to address MoCo traffic problems

Larry Hogan sunglasses 7-20-16Governor Larry Hogan       PHOTO BY NEAL EARLEY

POTOMAC – Calling Interstate 270 the “most congested, plagued corridor in all of Maryland,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced the state government will spend $229.6 million to alleviate traffic on the highway.

Flanked by a Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Council members Nancy Floreen (D-At large), Roger Berliner (D-1) and George Leventhal (D-At large) near I-270 in Potomac, Hogan said Maryland had the worst traffic in the nation.

“We inherited a state infrastructure that for eight years had been largely ignored and severely underfunded,” Hogan said.

“A billion dollars has been siphoned from the transportation trust fund and was spent on things totally unrelated to transportation. As a result we had crumbling roads and bridges and the worst traffic in the nation.”


State Democrats and Republicans clash over congressional gun violence sit-in

After nine of Maryland’s 10 congressional members participated in the June 22 Democratic sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives, some Republicans decried the move as a “stunt.”

The three Republican candidates running for the House districts that include Montgomery County all said they opposed the sit-in, though they varied on what to do to prevent future mass shootings.

Democrats, led by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), protested Republican leaders not calling for a vote on any gun control bills after four of those bills died in the Senate.

Local Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-8), John Delaney (D-6) and John Sarbanes (D-3) all joined their Democratic colleagues on the House floor last week, along with Sens. Ben Cardin (D) and Barbara Mikulski (D).


Hogan decides to just say "NO" to Trump

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday he will not vote for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to the Washington Post.

“No, I don’t plan to,” Hogan told the Post on whether he would vote for Trump. “I guess when I get behind the curtain I’ll have to figure it out. Maybe write someone in. I’m not sure.”