Thursday, August 31, 2006

Patuxent endorsements...

Patuxent Publishing released endorsements for primary races today. I can’t say if the list is surprising or not, but here are a few of the company’s more noteworthy choices:

House of Delegates District 13
(vote for three)
Democrats: Shane Pendergrass, Neil Quinter, Frank Turner
Quinter exacts some revenge for being left off the hat. But how much of an impact does this endorsement have in a race that’s comprised of pretty well-known folks, aside from Nina Basu, who probably deserves to be more well-known (oh, right, only when it’s her turn)? Also, Guzzone's got way more money than everyone else, and as David Keelan says: "Don't county him out."
County Council District 4
Democrat: Mary Kay Sigaty
I’m not sure if this is her first endorsement, but Sigaty’s generally been passed over by the traditional Democratic endorsees (unions, environmentalists, etc.). Rather than adding clarity, this endorsement confuses things. Will regular voters focus more on the paper’s endorsements or will they align themselves with an interest group of their choice? Or, will they actually learn about candidates and make their own decisions? What about you? Do you have a trusted source for candidate information?

On to some Republican races:
County Council District 5
Republican: Greg Fox
Whoa! The Davids (one and two) are happy. Or, wait, does an endorsement from the liberal media count against you as a Republican? My head hurts.
House of Delegates District 9A
(vote for two)
Republicans: Gail Bates, Warren Miller
And the incumbents take it! This one is actually a little confusing, considering that I think Patuxent generally takes a “slow-growth” stance on things and a story from today included these ideas on growth from the three candidates gunning for 9A:
To ensure that the west does not become overdeveloped, Covolesky would oppose efforts to increase housing density in the district or to extend public water and sewer service west of Route 32, she said.

Miller said he would advocate Howard's use of transferable credits that allow developers to buy land in the western county but develop the housing units that would normally be built on the parcel in areas of the county that already are more fully developed.

Bates said she is developing a bill that would allow farmers who put their land into the state's farmland preservation program 25 years ago to sell parts of their property to developers as the parcels come up for review.

Allowing the farmers to sell portions of their property would ensure that farmers have enough income to keep farming the majority of their land, she said.
Although in terms of pleasing farmers (potential voters) Bates’ suggestion is surely the best, it’s really the worst for Howard County, especially the parts of Howard County that don’t like more growth. What do we have left if we open preserved farmland to more development? Can’t we find ways (more ag preservation money, transferable development rights) that supply farmers with the income needed to continue farming (and preserving) all of their land. If we head down the path of allowing a little bit of additional development here, and a little bit more there, eventually we’ll get to a point where we won’t be able to turn around.

Anyway, read the rest of the endorsements and let me know what you think. I’m also interested in hearing how much stock you put into what a newspaper tells you about who to vote for.


FreeMarket said...

Am I missing something? Shouldn’t farmers be getting their income from farming, by definition? I think the word “farmer” should be replaced with “wealthy landowner” in Bates’ proposal.

mary smith said...

On first glance at the Pat Pub list, I couldn’t determine if it was a warning regarding who to avoid voting for, or an actual endorsement. Reminded me of Intel’s first years.

A trusted source for candidate info is the Sierra Club. Unfortunately for MK Sigaty, the political chair of the Sierra Club ran an opinion that was quite unfavorable in a year when voters are looking for trust in a big way. The League of Women Voters was another source of good info on candidates, but no more.

Switch to Lichtman. There are worse ways to handle the type of frustration he faces, but there are better ways as well.

Hayduke said...

Mary: I take it you saw the letter to the editor from the Sierra Club political chair taking Mary Kay to task for misusing a quote from him. Interesting, huh?

And that Lichtman thing yesterday was crazy.

Free Market: While I mostly agree with you, I think there are valid reasons for supporting farmers who want to preserve their land and continue farming. Farmland preservation is under-valued in the market, despite the numerous benefits it produces. Ag preservation programs help capture that value, but ag preservation that simultaneously allows for development is really, as you say, a handout to wealthy landowners.

mary smith said...

Lee Walker Oxenham is a woman.

Hayduke said...


mary smith said...

Sierra Club endorsements:

US Congress Dist 3: Paula Hollinger
Atty General: Tom Perez
Comptroller: Peter Franchot
MD Delegate Dist 12B: Liz Bobo
MD Delegate Dist 13: Frank Turner
MD Delegate Dist 13: Neil Quinter
MD Delegate Dist 13: Shane Pendergrass
MD Delegate Dist 4: Joshua Feldmark

There were a couple of typos in the notice from the Patuxent Voice Howard County chapter, hope they weren't carried forward here.

The scorecard is also interesting. Some highlights are posted below from the Summer newsletter.

Percent overall pro-environment voting:

Kittleman: 11%
Kasemeyer: 82%
Bates: 0%
Miller: 0%
Malone: 90%
Bobo: 100%
Turner: 100%