EDITORIAL: With the state budget ailing from COVID-19, Maryland’s comptroller is about to get his mettle tested

There is no drive-through testing to determine candidates’ fitness for office. No swab or temperature that can be taken to figure out what’s going on inside. And it doesn’t take a physician to recognize that such individuals are unreliable at self-diagnosis: Politicians make all kinds of promises in the fever of campaigns that fade once they are tucked away in some comfortable public office. So it’s worth observing when a valid screening suddenly presents itself, a seemingly foolproof way to determine exactly where a candidate stands, what that person believes, what his core values may be. (Balt Sun)

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King: The change we really need will happen at the ballot box

Among the top 10 items on my list of Urgent Things to Do, toppling Andrew Jackson’s statue in Lafayette Square is not to be found. Neither is changing the names of military installations named for Confederate generals. Those things can, and will, occur in due course. My chief interest is the defeat of President Trump, who, among other sins, is keeping the Confederacy’s legacy alive, lauding the most offensive era in our nation’s history as “an American heritage.” Trump insists all memorials must stand, and declares he would “not even consider” changing the forts’ names. (Wash Post)

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Harrison: Commissioner focused on transforming Baltimore Police Department into one ‘community wants, needs, deserves’

Shortly after the brutal killing of George Floyd, I got a call from my daughter. As a child of a cop, the magnitude of these moments is never lost on her, but she just wanted to talk to her dad while also lamenting the death of yet another Black person at the hands of law enforcement. After expressing my support for her wish to protest against police brutality and social injustices, I took a moment to reflect on my career in law enforcement and how that journey has brought me to Baltimore. (Balt Sun)

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Hiatt: Trump’s articles of impeachment — updated

As they acquitted President Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors nearly five months ago, several Republican senators cheerfully assured us that impeachment would chasten him. “I believe that the president has learned from this case,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told CBS News. “The president has been impeached. That’s a pretty big lesson.” (Wash Post)

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Editorial: Shelve Maryland’s toxic state song now

For years, we have been calling on the Maryland General Assembly to retire the state song as an embarrassment that has been tolerated far too long. We were wrong. It’s really much worse than that. It’s a love letter to secessionists describing Abraham Lincoln as a “despot” and northerners as “scum.” In the context of the 1861 poem on which it is based, “Maryland, My Maryland” might offer insight into what white Southern sympathizers were thinking 159 years ago, but elevated to the position of anthem, it represents a wholly inappropriate endorsement of slavery and oppression. (Balt Sun)

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Bickel: Decades-old bad cop database underused, underfunded

In the wake of the killings by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia, politicians are scrambling to find ways to address the problem of unjustified uses of deadly force by police, particularly on Black victims. Media personalities and talking heads are calling for a wide range of “new” measures to hold officers accountable and prevent the hiring of those who are unfit to wear the badge, especially those previously fired by a law enforcement agency. One of the “new” ideas bandied about is a database tracking problem officers who move from one department to another after having had issues — commonly referred to as “gypsy cops.” (Balt Sun)

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Deschenaux: Maryland budget cuts must not harm vulnerable residents

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for Marylanders in many ways. Now, state and local governments are feeling the pain, putting at risk the essential public services that keep our communities going, everything from public health and education to transportation and help for our most vulnerable. Actions necessary to curtail the pandemic have damaged the state’s economy, and that has hurt state and local revenues. As a measure of how sudden and severe the effect has been, the state lost more than 500,000 jobs to date. While many of these jobs will eventually come back, how many and at what pace is unknown. (Balt Sun)

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Our Say: Annapolis must do more than freeze rents. It has to bring landlords, tenants to the table

The Annapolis City Council is moving ahead with a proposal to freeze rents for homes and small businesses through the state of emergency declared under the coronavirus. That currently means a few weeks, unless the state of emergency is extended beyond the middle of next month. It may not be enough. Instead, Annapolis leaders should be pushing commercial and residential landlords to renegotiate rents during the crisis to reflect the economic reality that small businesses are struggling and unemployment is high. (Cap Gazette)

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