Laslo Boyd

Laslo Boyd

Laslo Boyd's professional experience includes serving as education advisor to the Governor of Maryland, Acting Secretary of Higher Education, senior administrator in several higher education institutions and university professor.  His work in political campaigns has involved strategic communications, public opinion polling, and development of position papers.  Dr. Boyd has consulted for a wide range of clients in higher education, government, and business.  He has provided political commentary and analysis in both print and electronic media.

Laslo Boyd: A red card for Ken Holt

Last week at MACO, Secretary Ken Holt committed a major foul. Amazingly, Holt is still Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.   Considering his world-class screw up last week, you actually have to wonder how he got the job in the first place. What happened is clear and undisputed.  Holt, in prepared remarks to a panel at the Maryland Association of Counties’ annual meeting, asserted that a mother could just put a lead fishing weight in her child’s mouth, then take the child in for testing and make a landlord liable for providing the child with housing until the age of 18.  The Housing Secretary used that hypothetical as part of his case for the need to reduce state regulations, including lessening the liability for landlords in lead paint cases. However you look at his statement, it’s a stunning combination of irresponsibility, incompetence and stupidity.  How could a... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: On the trail of Butch & Sundance

There’s nothing quite like a trip to the incredible national parks in the Southwest region of this country to provide a bit of perspective on contemporary public affairs and politics.  So much that grabs the headlines on a daily basis is really small and insignificant compared to canyons and peaks that have been forming over millions of years.  Actually, when you stop to think about it, much of it is small and insignificant regardless of the comparison. While I still have the benefit of the state of Zen that the trip produced, let me offer comments on a few “news” stories that appeared while I was away.  My first example is one that makes the point so easily that it’s the proverbial slam-dunk.  Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich announced that he would not, after careful consideration, run for the Republican nomination for president.  Wow, talk about breaking news.  The gaggle of... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Back away from your television

It’s almost August, a traditional time for vacations, the absence of anything important in the news, and an opportunity to give your electronic devices a rest.  Even though most of us won’t take up that opportunity, you can be pretty certain that you won’t have missed much if you do. I know, I know, how could you possibly not watch the Republican Presidential debate on August 6?  The appeal is a bit like watching a NASCAR race and waiting for a crash.   First, there will be the edge of the seat suspense about who gets to participate.  Think about that for a minute.  Does it really matter which of the candidates doesn’t get into the televised debate?  Would you really think it was a more enlightening evening if Bobby Jindal were there? And for the lucky 10 who are anointed by Fox as debate worthy, do you actually expect a... Continue reading
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Lalso Boyd: It's Party Time

Maryland Democrats are planning to organize a party.  In the hope that it will turn out better than the 2014 version, they’ve picked two wild and crazy guys to make sure that people show up and all dance to the same tune.  Okay, maybe no one has ever called them wild and crazy, but Bruce Poole and Pat Murray certainly have the credentials to put together a party.  And Maryland Democrats definitely need a new party.  This need arises from a mix of one-time problems and long-term structural challenges. It might be tempting to say that the 2014 state election was disastrous for the Dems entirely because they had a not-ready-for prime time candidate who ran a dreadful campaign.  While that does have more than a little truth to it, the party’s problems go beyond Anthony Brown’s missteps last year. Looking back over more than two decades of elections, Democrats, despite... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Who'll Stop the Rain

The last few months have been particularly stormy in Baltimore.   It’s almost as if the death of Freddie Gray in police custody followed by rioting in the streets tore a scab off the City’s psyche.  The fundamental problems that have been caught in a bright spotlight in recent weeks are far from new and the solutions are far from evident.  Even if we could agree on the correct public policies and were willing to commit the necessary resources—two propositions that are shaky at best—finding the political will to move forward would remain an enormous challenge. Crime that often seems out of control, public schools that have some bright sides but fail far too many students, and a sluggish economy that leaves too many residents without jobs or a means of achieving self-sufficiency are the very visible problems that have lingered for decades without solution.  But, in a sense, these problems are... Continue reading
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