Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

League of Women Voters' State Legislative Candidates Forum Tonight

League of Women Voters' State Legislative Candidates Forum is Tuesday night (i.e. tonight). It will be in the Tyson Room, George Howard Building, 7 PM. If you go in person you can submit a question for the candidates, but you can also watch live at 7 pm on Cable Channel 70 (G-TV) or watch the rebroadcast.

Rebroadcast on Gtv, Cable Channel 70 as follows:
Wed. through Mon. - August 16 through August 21 at 12:30 p.m.
Wed. - August 16 at 8 p.m.
Fri. - August 18 at 9 p.m.
Sat. and Sun. - August 19 and August 20 at 10 p.m.

As a reminder there will be a Bloggers Candidates Forum after the primary. If you questions for the candidates that you want to suggest we ask feel free to post them in the comments or email them to me.

Use the comments section as an open thread to discuss the state legislature elections and your favorite candidates. What are the issues that matter to you? How do candidates stand on those issues? Have you met a candidate on the campaign trail? If so, that was the experience like? What are you hearing from your neighbors on the race? Please use a consistent pseudonym or your real name so we can have a good conversation. Please also provide links to your source if appropriate.


Anonymous nina basu said...

While I realize it's the primary, not the general, it would be nice to have a forum with more of a "debate" format. Tonight's forum was interesting to see issues - but besides the Senator's statements, each subset seemed to basically agree with each other. I know there are substantial differences within each group, but it was hard to see.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I totally agree. I thought the questions were really lacking substance. I didn't do as well as I would have liked because I prepared by actually focusing on our issues...
Did you guys get the same questions we did? It didn't seem that any of the questions were directed to our particular district (Except maybe the BGE one, Warren worked on that bill so I;m thinking he wrote the question? :-)

10:15 PM  
Anonymous nina basu said...

Questions were different - though somewhat similar. Legislative priorities, verified voting, election of circuit court judges, growth, and one question about encouraging homeschooling. Nothing really District 13 centric - and there are a lot of interesting district specific issues out there.

I should have stacked the question deck :)

I wasn't thrilled with my performance, since I wish I could have gone in depth on issues and policy rather than a broader answer. The TV cameras and lights took some getting used to!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Again, I agree - the cameras/lights did seem to throw me also - wasn't sure where to look, or when the camera was on...
Oh well - as least in the west end, cable really isn't in every home (Many still can't get it, have to get sattelite.) Maybe they won't see it.
I tivod the forum, I'll take a look at yours and let know what I think...I'm sure you did well.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

I attended the League of Women Voters' pre-primary forum for state senate and delegate candidates. Most of the candidates did show,
because it's the League and it'll be on local cable TV. However, Senator Allan Kittleman of LD9 was announced as having to be absent because of a death in the family. Delegate Shane Pendergrass of LD13 was at a conference somewhere. Albert Nalley (the newer of the GOP candidates for Delegate 12A against incumbents Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone) skipped it for undisclosed reasons.
The other GOP challenger in this district (Joe Hooe) said nothing all that conservative and came across as an earnest young man who just wanted to have a hand in the workings of government. You couldn't tell he was a Republican from anything he said. He pointed out that he lost by 2% last time and wanted to give it another shot. He could have been running for president of an improvement association.
Since the League is also doing post-primary forums, it gave those legislators with no primary contest a free two minutes to say their thing and go without questions. What that meant was that only the three GOP candidates for delegate in 9A and the four Democratic candidates (minus the absent Shane Pendergrass) for delegate in 13 were subjected to questions (written on cards for the moderator) from the audience. I got in a question to the first group asking whether they favored including aid to non-public schools in the budget bill. Delegate Gail Bates said yes, Melissa Covoleskie at least mentioned the constitutional problem but also seemed to be saying yes (since she's reading this blog she can clarify if she chooses), and Delegate Warren Miller went so far as to say how much he favored vouchers. Bates and Miller seem to operate on the premise that religious schools are just helping us out by being there, so we should help them out. (I thoroughly disagree with that premise and that conclusion.) In general, Covoleskie stressed her military police background and suggested she could be helpful with regard to anti-terrorism or anti-gang bills. But she's clearly more moderate than her two hard right opponents.
The LD13 delegate forum seemed to show little to no ideological difference between the Democrats running for that office. There will surely be some when the primary winners get on the same stage with the three Republicans at the post-primary forum at the Smith Theater on Oct. 18. That should be more interesting and none of the candidates will then be off the hook as regards questions.
Since I follow state legislation and voting records very closely, I could have asked a ton of questions all by myself. But that probably wouldn't be of much interest to anyone but me.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Ken, first Covolesky with a Y. Second, yes, I do think funding non-public schools walks a tight line. But not all non-public schools are religious, so I wasn't sure in what direction the question was to be answered in 1 minute! Textbook purchase, especially so we can make sure all students are getting a good foundation of secular information is OK, and I think important. We need to keep a common identity in our nation and our teachings are a good place to embed our identity. Hope that makes sense. But here in HOCO, I am not a supporter of vouchers. If parents want to send their children to other schools, that's their option, if they meet the requirements by the state for accred. or homeschooling. But since the school system here is so robust and valuable, I can't see pulling money from it. I don't have the same answer for other schools in MD or the US. We need to educate children properly, not just keep public schools open for the sake of a union who doesn't want to lose jobs. the function of the school is to educate our children to be good citizens, not just to employ teachers.

I am still undecided about who should take over failing schools. I tend to think for-profit schools have interests other than the childs education. As business has a fiduciary duty to the shareholders of a business and sometimes that bottom line might conflict with the mission. Still working through this one - I need to see numbers from schools that have been in operation for a period of time.

Glad you attended and asked a question. Melissa

9:31 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Sorry about messing up your name, Melissa. Good luck in the primary.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

I just wanted to drop by and congratulate you on your blog; I read today of the efforts of Howard County bloggers to cover local elections in an organized online candidates forum.

As for me, I blog from Crablaw Maryland Weekly about state and local issues, and am connected with both liberal and conservative bloggers.

I admire your foresightedness re your transit plan for Columbia for last month. I may be your competitor for biggest transit fan in the state.

8:08 PM  

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