Tag Archives: Maryland

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your day.

If you are not making dinner, go to a church or homeless shelter to volunteer to serve others. It will remind you of your blessings and good fortune. Former President Obama helped prepare food bags for those in need in Chicago

The spirit of giving is contagious.

When we think of those to whom we are thankful, we Think first of family and loved ones.

We think of you, who take time from your day to read what we write.

We think of the teachers in Maryland, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, and Arizona who taught the nation a lesson.

We think of all those who work tirelessly for others to make our communities better places to live.

Despite our woes in Maryland and in Prince George’s county in particular, we have much to be thankful for.

Reform Sasscer Movement’s secretariat.

Md. Gov. Hogan vetoes school construction bill, warns against override

A92D4634-6075-440E-8A3B-CBCFFE13E59FGovernor Hogan VETOED House Bill 1783 – the now-infamous Backroom Bill, which would take Maryland’s Public School Construciton Program away from the Board of Public Works and give it to an unelected body of political insiders who meet in virtual privacy.

To demonstrate bipartisan solidarity, Comptroller Franchot added his name to the veto, signing it “Peter Franchot – For the People.” Now hoping against hope that the Senate will do the right thing and allow this veto to stand. #ClassroomsNotBackrooms #ForThePeople

Read more >>> WTOP

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THE MARYLAND STATE SENATE HAS A METOO PROBLEM

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The greatest harasser in the capital: the Senate President Mike Miller.

By Jeffrey Peters, PhD

The Maryland Senate has a MeToo problem. For years, State Senators have treated staff, interns, reporters, and lobbyists as their play toys, saying and acting in inappropriate ways without any fear of reprisal. Hypocritically, Democrat State Senators are willing to name lobbyists as possible harassers, but not one has bothered to name, or demand the resignation, of the greatest harasser in the capital: the Senate President.

The Senate President’s inappropriate comments and behavior has been well-known for over a decade. Bringing up the topic to even new legislators is met with knowing nods and tight smiles, mostly due to everyone knowing that the king has no clothes but all thinking that nothing can be done about it. But the culture of harassment is damaging to all in the State House.

For all their talk about women’s rights, the Maryland Democrats have done nothing to protect female staffers, interns, and lobbyists in Annapolis. I worked as a staffer in the Maryland House of Delegates for 4 session under two female Delegates, and there was plenty of harassment towards myself and other male staff during that time. Legislators treated young staff, regardless of their gender, as playtoys. The most innocent limit themselves to trying to set staff up with other staff, playing matchmaking games. Others would not limit themselves. I don’t have to try too hard to imagine how worse it would have been if I were a woman.

The culture of sex and harassment is a well-worn topic among staff and legislators, but it is mostly treated with bemusement. From my first day working in Delegate Nancy Stocksdale’s office, I began to hear the stories: various officials who would try to pressure others into having sex with them and their levels of success. Some staffers told me first-hand accounts of catching various willing individuals acting inappropriately in stairwells or backrooms, and others walking in just at the right moment to ensure a preyed upon individual could escape. It seemed that more politicians cared about “getting laid” than doing their job.

It did not take long until I started seeing the behavior, and I found it deeply unsettling. I worked with my former office mate to turn our office into a safe space. We offered actual help and advice to interns and young staff regardless of gender and party without asking for anything in return. Quickly, we became a hub on the third floor, a safe haven. This led to more direct exposure of the harassment.

I will not name them to protect their privacy, two female staff members from very different backgrounds and positions came to me for help. One, a Democrat, would ask that I accompany her in the hall way to help protect her from the harassment of various legislators, especially one still represents the DC/Southern Maryland region. On multiple occasions, I witnessed inappropriate comments, including unwanted “flirtation” that clearly made her uncomfortable. He was not the only one, but he was the most consistent offender. I notified various Democrat members of the House of Delegates who were on the floor and I worked with before. Most shrugged the behavior off or said they would do something and never did. The behavior never stopped.

The other staffer was constantly pursued by a then State Senator. The Senator’s advances were more physical and forceful. He tried to convince her that she was his property and to do whatever sexual act he wanted. She was not the only one he was pursuing, and his behavior was not even limited to young, powerless staffers like her. During Sine Die after she left, the staff was busy trying to ensure that he was unable to be in the same room with an older, married staffer that he was desperate to have. It was obscene and disturbing to many, yet complaints were met with silence by the leadership.

While he still pursued staff, the State Senator would brag about the sexual activity of the State Senate. He, from the Eastern Shore, would tell those he pursued about how common sex with staff was. He bragged that he was constantly talking with a then Senator from Western Maryland, a then Senator from Montgomery County, and the Senate President about their various conquests. They would sit in the Senate Cloak Room and discuss which staff was attractive and which were easy. They would also swap pills and discuss best ways to get laid. It was a frat house of the worse kind.

It may seem like the former Senator could have lied, but the affairs and inappropriate actions by the other two Senators became well-known during their campaigns in 2014. All three lost their positions due to their sexual impropriety. The only one that is still there, of his group of friends, is the Senate President.

Even if the Senate President did not harass anyone on his own (which anecdotal conversations suggest otherwise), he stood by and did nothing as his Senators were using their positions of power to force staff into sexual relationships with them. The current State Senate knows of this issues, and the only ones wanting to do anything refuse to take direct action. Instead, they want more committees and more hearings, yet not one bothered to contact any of the well-known staff who were harassed because they know it would force them to take direct action against certain people in power.

The Maryland State Senate has a MeToo problem, and that wont change until the culture of harassment is purged from Annapolis. That requires the Senate President and most of the Democratic leadership to step down due to their standing by as harassment happens or actively participating in that harassment.

via News and times.com

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Major Breakfast to dupe parents hosted at TGI Friday’s in Forestville, Maryland

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Democratic at-large council candidate Calvin Hawkins (right) and Delegate Mr. Darryl Barnes (left)  Mr. Hawkins is a well known sexual predator and robber who made the county to get sued in Federal court for his sexual misconduct. Mr. Hawkins is also involved in violating rights of other minorities in Prince George’s County. He needs to suspend his campaign and go home. The County residents must demand the withdraw of this candidate for a better future. On the other hand, Delegate Mr. Darryl Barnes activities are controlled by Delegate Dereck Davis, Calvin Hawkins and others to derail the agenda for the county. Both must go home by electing new leaders who mean well for the county.

Following our exposé about Sexual Predator and Convicted Robber Mr. Calvin Hawkins who is running for public office in PG County, a major plan has been organized to bribe key parents and leaders in Prince George’s county for the purposes of facilitating certain key facilities and organizations using unethical means to win fraudulently in 2018 election.

Among the key facilitators are Delegate Mr. Darryl Barnes and other delegates running for public office in PG County starting with the Chairman of the delegation Delegate Jay Walker and Delegate Dereck Davis (chairman of economic matters in Maryland).  According to people spoken to by Reform Sasscer Movement Secretariat,  there are plans to facilitate short underhanded methods to stay in power by key delegates involved in public corruption by calling shots from Annapolis. This comes after this blog exposed key players involved in the current fiasco in Prince George’s County.

Earlier this morning, delegate Barnes and others exposed in a wide ranging scheme decided to buy breakfast as part of the wider scheme to facilitated public campaign corruption in Maryland at TGI Friday’s in Forestville and to involve other organization.  Already one person who is familiar with the illegal plans has been threatened by persons associated with Delegate Barnes, Delegate Dereck Davis and Mr. Calvin Hawkins.

This morning breakfast at Forestville comes after Senator Antony Muse accused  Delegate Jay Walker of …..” not letting school board repeal bill out for a vote. This is wrong. This is politics at its worst. Yes all need to join in and put pressure on him from our district and County to return it to an all elected school board as my bill demands”, stated senator Muse.

HB 1107 law was supposed to be revealed this year but it is being blocked in a wide ranging scheme facilitated by key public officials in Maryland to maintain the status quo.   Read more >>Fiasco in the Maryland legislature<<<

In the meantime, Darrell Andre’ Miller whom we exposed in this blog a few months ago as being unfit to run for public office has withdrawn his candidature. This is good news for Prince George’s County and Maryland in general. We recommend Mr. Miller for soul searching and for doing the right thing.

There is no question these issues are so fraught, so weighted with unattended baggage that discussions about the legitimate concerns and frustrations of others and the double-standards and the limits on liberty faced by African Americans, and black males in particular, are never sustained, if not outright avoided.

Yes, we’ll move on from this, too. But we will be better people in a better place because of it.

More to come.

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Delegate Dereck Davis (chairman of economic matters in Maryland) is said to be the force behind the scenes to derail progress in PGCPS so that his wife can benefit from the fiasco and derailment for personal gain. Davis must go home from the Maryland legislature by electing new leaders to replace him. Dereck Davis is married to Deputy Superintendent Monique Davis

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Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County school leaders face tough questioning from Maryland lawmakers

EB8BAF82-B4AA-42D0-9DFE-2F7C595729D6ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A confrontation played out in Annapolis between Prince George’s County leaders over the school system and how it is being run.

On Tuesday, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell and School Board chair Dr. Segun Eubanks faced tough questions from Prince George’s County state lawmakers who are considering changing the structure of the school system after a host of problems.

Several years ago, lawmakers voted to allow Baker extraordinary control over the school system after a high turnover of superintendents. It allowed Baker to select the superintendent as well as part of the school board. In most districts, an all-elected board chooses the superintendent.

Maryland State Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), the co-chair of the Prince George’s County House Delegation, asked about accountability.

“Who do we hold accountable for fraudulent graduation rates? Walker asked. “Who do we hold accountable for nepotism in the school system? Who do we hold accountable for graduates crying on their graduation day? Who do we held accountable for sexual predators taking advantage of our kids in our school system?”

In response, Baker said he is responsible. He didn’t point to his choice for head of schools and said he still stands behind Dr. Maxwell.

FOX 5 asked Baker what he says to those who believe the experiment to give him greater control over the school system has failed.

PGCPS CEO Maxwell to meet with lawmakers next week
“I would tell them to look at the progress we’ve made in Prince George’s County,” Baker said. “I think the number of people putting their children back in our school system, you look at the scholarships the children are getting, look at the programs that we’re coming up with.”

Walker said he has seen no evidence this system of governance benefits students.

“I asked [Baker] time and time again to show me something that has been better and there has been no indicators here,” Walker said. “It hasn’t been test scores, it hasn’t been attendance, it hasn’t been college readiness. So we need to find accountability.”

When asked if he had faith in Dr. Maxwell as head of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Walker responded, “Absolutely not.”

The process to potentially take away the county executive’s control of the school system is just beginning, with efforts underway to make it a reality this legislation session.

Baker is running for Maryland governor, so he is definitely leaving his county post later this year, but he said he will still fight for this governance structure of the school system because he believes it is best for the county.

via Fox5DC

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Meeting scheduled for December 3rd, 2017. Please Make Plans to Attend.

1455397056443Join (PG Parents for Education – Action group) for a major meeting at Wegmans in Largo.

Woodmore Towne Centre
9001 McHugh Dr, Lanham, MD 20706
When: On Sunday December 3rd, 2017
Time: from 3pm to 4:30pm

Topics for Discussion

  1. More Ways for staying involved within the county.
    Advocating for youth, teachers/staff, parents and special education needs referenc
  2. Ways to Fund raise for cases already in litigation.
  3. preparation for input during December 5th, 2017 Prince George’s county delegation 2018 legislation public hearing.
  4. Better Ways for fight against corruption in Maryland. (Grade change scandal, physical and sexual abuse, mistreatment of children, and other issues done by Administration).
  5. ways to assist victims of crime in the county.
  6. Promoting Good leaders for 2018 election cycle.
  7. Other issues.

We hope to see you all…

Cost: free

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#MovingForwardTogether #MajorMeeting #ParentsSummit #PGCPS #PGPARENTS #BetterSchoolsIntiative #FightCorruption #HeadsOn #ReduceCorruption
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*If Congress won’t fix corruption. Together, we can.*

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Governor Hogan refuses to sign off on Maryland education plan

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan poses with a bill during a bill signing ceremony in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, April 12, 2016, the day after the closing of the 2016 legislative session. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gov. Larry Hogan is refusing to endorse the Maryland school board’s plan for helping low-performing schools, saying state board members were hamstrung by a new law limiting what the plan can include.

The General Assembly passed legislation this year that limits ways the state can try to reform its lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5 percent. The Republican governor vetoed that bill, but the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode him.

In a letter sent this week to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Hogan wrote that the state board could not craft a sufficient plan under the “impossible circumstances” imposed by the state law. All states must submit plans for improving low-performing schools to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Hogan’s signature is not required for state education officials to send the plan to the federal government for review. They still intend to submit the plan Monday, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education said.

The Protect Our Schools Act passed by the Assembly this year prohibits the state school board from requiring test scores to count for more than 65 percent of a school’s performance ranking. And it would prevent the state from taking several actions to improve those schools, including converting them to charter schools, bringing in private management, giving the students vouchers to attend private schools or putting the schools into a special statewide “recovery” school district.

In a letter to state school board President Andy Smarick, Hogan wrote that the legislation resulted in a plan that will preserve “the status quo in failing schools.”

But some education advocates were quick to criticize the governor for not backing the school board’s plan.

By not supporting the plan, Hogan is disregarding months of feedback from parents and nonprofit organizations, said Sean Johnson, legislative director of the Maryland State Education Association, the union for public school teachers.

Maryland board approves new rating system for schools
“I hope the strong support from all of those stakeholders makes clear that Maryland is really committed to meaningful and positive education reforms — even if it’s not the privatization and test-and-punish approach that I guess Larry Hogan would rather champion,” Johnson said.

Some state school board members, nearly all of whom were appointed by Hogan, have chafed at the legislation and supported Hogan’s veto. Some members had suggested using more radical measures to reform failing schools, including turning them over to charter school operators.

Smarick said although members disagreed with the Protect Our Schools Act, they “had to follow the letter of the state and federal law. That was our job.”

Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings said the state law unfairly limits options for improving struggling schools.

“The Democratic leadership pushed through a horrible piece of legislation that, in my mind, didn’t put kids first. It put special interests first,” said Jennings, a Republican who represents parts of Harford and Baltimore counties.

The U.S. Department of Education reviews each state’s plan for improving struggling schools and can recommend changes. Though Hogan’s signature is not required on the document, its absence will signal to federal officials that he doesn’t support it.

Hogan vetoes bill limiting Maryland school reforms
Gov. Larry Hogan visited Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys to announce his veto of legislation that would limit some school reforms. (Baltimore Sun video)
“I worry that he’s, in a sense, encouraging Betsy DeVos to reject the plan, which puts $250 million worth of federal funding at risk,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, a lead sponsor of the Protect Our Schools Act. He’s also a former public school teacher.

DeVos has been a champion of offering families alternatives to traditional neighborhood public schools, such as charter schools and vouchers that allow students to attend private schools.

The federal government so far has not rejected any state plans, but has suggested changes to some.

“More fundamentally, he’s kind of doubling down on this right-wing school reform agenda,” said Luedtke, a Montgomery County Democrat. “I think somebody needs to explain to the governor there are more ways to improve schools than privatization.”

Sen. Craig Zucker, another sponsor of Protect Our Schools, suggested that the governor is favoring politics over schoolchildren.

“This has always been about Maryland educators and Maryland students. This isn’t about the governor. This is about the future of our children,” said Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat. “This was a well-thought-out piece of legislation where Maryland can be a leader in terms of education reform.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker similarly refused to sign his state’s plan for low-performing schools.

“Your bureaucratic proposal does little to challenge the status quo for the benefit of Wisconsin’s students,” Walker wrote to state superintendent Tony Evers. Evers is one of several Democrats running for Wisconsin governor in 2018 against Walker, a Republican.

via Baltimore Sun

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Lawmaker wants to censure Md. Senate President Mike Miller for Bad leadership.

An African American state senator from Maryland wants to censure Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. for his defense of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week.

Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), who is running for county executive in 2018 and would give up his Senate seat if he won, said the legislative chamber needs to send “an unequivocal message” to Miller (D-Calvert) that it does not agree with his support of Taney. The justice’s 1857 opinion said blacks could not be U.S. citizens and had no rights other than those given by whites.

“In light of the tragic and violent events in Charlottesville and concerns about promoting and inciting a climate of racial hatred and division in our nation, I would hope that the majority of my colleagues will join me in strongly rebuking the senate president’s remarks as well as those expressed by President Trump and others who would defend what Justice Taney stood for,” Muse, who introduced a measure to remove the statue last year, said in a statement.

Jake Weissman, a spokesman for Miller, declined to comment.

Miller, the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote.

He sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) arguing that the panel, which traditionally votes by email, should have held a public meeting to discuss removing the statue.

Miller, an avid reader of history, also defended Taney’s character, describing him as a man with a “complex” past.

“Unlike George Washington who freed his slaves upon his death, Taney freed his slaves early in his life,” the letter said.

“Roger Brooke Taney was not a Confederate officer and he remained loyal to the Union until his death in 1864,” Miller wrote. “Many historians have debated the conflicting anti-slavery words and works of Roger Brooke Taney.”

Miller said he agreed with an 1864 editorial in the New York Times that Taney’s decision, “wrong as it was, did not spring from a corrupt or malignant heart.”

Via Washington Post 

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Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has been changing Maryland for the better. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week, the removal of the statue is the step in the right directions.

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Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote. Under Miller, institutional racism has been very high especially within state agencies.

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