Christopher Summers: Are tax cuts in Maryland's future?

To paraphrase the British author Samuel Johnson, nothing focuses the mind like an imminent election. After raising billions in new taxes during Gov. Martin O'Malley's tenure, state legislators have begun focusing their minds on next year's election and how best to retain their jobs. Judging from recent public comments, top lawmakers have decided the best way is to cut taxes just before voters go to the polls. (Balt. Sun)

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Blair Lee: The Laura Neuman Story

Last week’s column pointed out that, despite its ultra-liberal impulses, Maryland has yet to elect a woman governor. Twenty-six other states, including unenlightened Alabama, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina and Louisiana, have done so, and the nation may elect a woman president long before Maryland elects a woman governor. Maryland Republicans should take note. In order to win a statewide race in Maryland the GOP needs a pair of lightning strikes. First, the Democrats need to screw up and, second, the Republicans need a legitimate “crossover” candidate who can attract dissident Democratic voters. (Gazette)

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City jail probe widens

Investigators looking into alleged corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center appear to have made a major breakthrough this week when Black Guerrilla Family prison gang leader Tavon White, the inmate accused of masterminding a drug- and contraband-smuggling ring inside the jail, agreed to name additional staffers who participated in the scheme beyond the 13 female guards already charged. Now that Mr. White is talking to prosecutors, we can hope that more indictments will follow and give a much more complete picture of the wrongdoing at the facility. (Balt. Sun)

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A green light for Perez 

With members of the U.S. Senate reaching a compromise to allow confirmation votes for presidential appointees, thereby avoiding the much-discussed nuclear option of eliminating a 60-vote threshold for some decisions, Tom Perez will become the country’s next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. (Daily Record)

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Davin Hong: Building schools, building communities

The $1.2 billion approved by the Maryland General Assembly for city school construction is a historic opportunity for transformation in Baltimore. But if, after 10 years, the outcome is just new schools, we will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to affect not only schools but entire neighborhoods. (Balt. Sun)

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Jolene Ivey -- Trayvon Martin’s death: Could something similar happen to my son, too?

I remember when you were just born and how surprised I was that, indeed, there’d been a baby in me only moments before. So perfect and beautiful. Somehow you learned to turn over and roll faster than I expected, and you fell off my bed and we both cried. When you turned 1, I was amazed that somehow I’d kept you from serious harm. My confidence in my mothering skills had a lot of growing to do. Now you’re growing up into what we all call a Fine Young Man. Your gifts and talents are different, and you’re following a path that will take you to many wonderful places. But I hate the fact that part of what makes you who you are — being African American and male — also means carrying centuries of racism on your back. It is so much harder to soar when our “post-racial” society still fears you. (Wash. Post)

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C. Fraser Smith: We’re not ‘there’ yet on race in America 

Attorney General Eric Holder says we need a national conversation about race. He wants to seize the moment provided by the death of Trayvon Martin and by the trial of George Zimmerman. As matters stand, it is widely reported, Holder’s department would have difficulty making a civil rights case. The Justice Department would have to prove Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin from the start. So the burden shifts to us — as it must. (Daily Record)

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Smith Stays

At Monday’s Anne Arundel County Council meeting, Councilman Pete Smith announced he will be keeping his seat for the time being, at least until court proceedings involving his predecessor, Daryl Jones, are resolved. It was the right decision. (Capital)

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