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: May was a bad month

You’ve read the stories.  More murders took place in Baltimore this past month than in any month since 1970. That’s the headline that comes close on the heels of the murder of Freddie Gray and the subsequent riots.  It’s hard to imagine a worse branding campaign for Maryland’s largest city than the cumulative image of this last month. Why has the murder rate spiked again now? Have the police, in response to the indictments of six officers for the death of Freddie Gray and widespread criticism of patterns of interaction with the minority community, pulled back from active enforcement?  Is the violence a byproduct of the lawless atmosphere that prevailed during the riots? Does Baltimore have some particular combination of poverty, drugs, and bad actors that make it especially susceptible to sprees of violence? It there some other unrelated explanation? Let’s start with a few facts we know, along with the... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Spoiler Alert

On Saturday, May 30, Martin O’Malley will announce that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.  Oh, you already knew that?  In fact, you’ve known for quite a while.  So much for breaking news. In that case, let’s move directly to the question of whether O’Malley’s candidacy is credible.  In some Maryland circles, it’s fashionable to be cynical about O’Malley running for higher office and to dismiss his effort as having no chance.  That conclusion is too glib and too easy.  In fact, the former governor has done a remarkable job of positioning himself as part of the national discussion about the 2016 Election.  Maryland has not historically been a cradle of presidential candidates but O’Malley with hard work and smart strategic choices has gotten himself on a very short list. To understand what he has accomplished up to now and to put his candidacy in the right... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Becoming Governor Hogan

Larry Hogan was elected governor last November and inaugurated in January.  As of May, however, it’s begun to look as though he hasn’t quite figured out the job. That’s really not surprising nor is it actually a criticism.  Most people take a while to become familiar with a new position.  Any of last year’s candidates would have needed some on-the-job training and a learning curve. In Hogan’s case, almost all his professional experience was in the private sector.  He’s finding out that governing the State of Maryland is quite different from running a real estate business.  He’s also discovering, sometimes reluctantly, that the State Constitution provides him with partners, including a state legislature which is very protective of its prerogatives.  That body also often has very different views from those of the occupant of the Second Floor of the Statehouse. Hogan’s first few months in office were characterized by a number... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Will it be different this time?

By Laslo BoydWhen bad things happen, we want to believe that people will make changes to prevent a recurrence of the particular problem.  You’ve heard the assertion “This changes everything” on numerous occasions.   The aftermath of 9/11 certainly led to dramatic changes in the way we lead our lives in this country even if some of them, such as monitoring our phone calls, were not what we might have expected.  Similarly, the Dodd-Frank law enacted after the financial meltdown of 2008 may not have broken up giant banking enterprises, but it did create new regulations for how they operate. In the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody last month and the rioting that followed, there have been wide-ranging conversations, analyses, and commentary about just what happened and what needs to change.   Much of the discussion has focused on long-term concentrated poverty in Baltimore City as the fundamental... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Image and reality after Freddie Gray

By Laslo Boyd Baltimore City, its residents and its elected officials have been on a roller coaster for the past couple of weeks.  The first event was a tragedy, the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.  What started as protests against police handling of his arrest and the deadly ride that ended his life morphed into a second tragedy: rioting and violence. These events have been blanketed by national media coverage, endless commentary and analysis, and a remarkable display of resilience by many Baltimoreans.  Some of the reactions have been entirely predictable, but there have also been a few major surprises.   Baltimore has, as a result of the national spotlight focused on it, become a metaphor for many of the unresolved issues of poverty, racial tensions, and police-community relations in this country.  Even with order apparently restored, putting these events into clear perspective is not easy.  Some have suggested that... Continue reading
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