Endorsements 2012: Ballot questions, PG and Howard school boards

Endorsements 2012: Ballot questions, PG and Howard school boards

Laurel is embroiled in a number of hot-button issues this election season. Check out our picks for both Prince George's and Howard County school boards, our thoughts on the "Dream Act," Question 7, same-sex marriage and whether voters should or shouldn't endorse the state's redistricting maps.

9:52 AM EDT, October 17, 2012

School board elections: Our choices for PG, Howard counties

In this year's election, Laurel voters in Prince George's County will help decide some transforming issues, such as whether to expand gambling in the state and, important locally, whether to allow a sixth casino in Prince George's. Just as important, county residents who live in District 1 will decide who takes over the school board seat from retiring Rosalind Johnson, a decision that comes at a time of transition and instability as the school board is searching for a new superintendent. Two other immediate concerns facing the Prince George's County Board of Education are a budget that needs to be stretched to cover a multitude of physical plant improvements throughout the county and student achievement at graduation time

9:47 AM EDT, October 17, 2012

For Question 4: Dream Act is a good investment for Maryland

Maryland's Dream Act, which allows some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, has drawn attention far out of proportion to its actual impact. Only a few hundred students are likely to be eligible for the benefit in any given year, but because it touches on the issue of who should be in this country and how we treat them, it has led to vocal and passionate campaigns on both sides. But there's a practical component to the issue, too. The Dream Act is a good investment for Maryland taxpayers, and for that reason, voters should support Question 4 on November's ballot.

<i>Against Question 5</i>: Voters should pick their elected representatives, not the other way around

9:49 AM EDT, October 17, 2012

Against Question 5: Voters should pick their elected representatives, not the other way around

Maryland's congressional maps are a product of the politicians, for the politicians, by the politicians. They were born of the two competing desires of the state's Democratic Party bosses: to give incumbent Democrats the precincts they want to make their re-election efforts easier and to put one of the state's two Republican congressional seats at risk. They achieved their goals — Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is facing his first serious challenge in years, and none of the incumbent Democrats is breaking a sweat. But they did so by producing an ink splotch of a map that joins together communities that have nothing in common.

10:00 AM EDT, October 26, 2012

For Question 6: Marriage equality strengthens our society

The case for Question 6, which would affirm Maryland's law authorizing same-sex marriage, is simple. It affirms the principle that the law should treat everyone the same. Marriage is both a religious and a civil institution. Churches, synagogues and mosques have always set their own rules about which marriages they recognize, and this law does not change that fact.

Against Question 7: Gambling expansion is a bad deal for Maryland taxpayers

10:45 AM EDT, October 26, 2012

Against Question 7: Gambling expansion is a bad deal for Maryland taxpayers

We support Maryland's slot machine gambling program, and we think it would be wise to eventually expand it to include table games, which would attract additional economic development and create more jobs. It might even be a good idea one day to allow a sixth casino in Prince George's County to take better advantage of the tourist and convention trade in nearby Washington, D.C. But we oppose Question 7, the gambling expansion measure on November's ballot, because it's a bad deal for Maryland's taxpayers.

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