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: The Alternative Universe of Republican Presidential Candidates

The only way to have a chance of understanding the strange dynamics of the Republican process for selecting a presidential nominee is to remember who votes in the early primaries.  Candidates are pitching their appeals to a group that isn’t close to the mainstream of American politics.  The crazy positions they take today are likely to make the eventual winner unelectable in the November 2016 General Election. Consider also that the two current frontrunners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, must be astonished that they are still being taken seriously.  Neither really believes he can win the nomination, so each of them lacks the normal constraints of someone trying to establish a broad based coalition of supporters.  Neither Trump nor Carson is a serious candidate in that neither has put in the hard work needed to understand the issues facing the country and develop coherent responses to those issues. Trump is a... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Is Hogan’s Baltimore bus plan a serious proposal?

Last week, in a well-orchestrated press event, Governor Larry Hogan announced his solution to Baltimore’s transportation infrastructure needs.  Promising to “blow up” the current system, widely regarded as inadequate, Hogan outlined a series of steps for the next two years that he called transformational.  Responses to the announcement broke into three segments.  There were some, including several mayoral candidates, who welcomed the Administration’s initiative as a positive step that would move the City forward.  There were others who criticized the plan as a pale shadow of the cancelled Red Line and saw it as primarily a public relations maneuver.  A final group noted that the proposal is a concept devoid of detail and that any evaluation needs to wait until much more is known about the specifics. Do we know enough at this point to offer a fair assessment?  There are certainly a lot of unanswered questions that will have a... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: A bit of Alabama, fleetingly, in Montgomery County

Of all the ways you might distinguish between America’s two major political parties, one of the most dramatic is their differing attitudes on the question of eligibility to vote.  Although it is an article of faith, explicit in our laws, that voting is the most basic of all rights in a democracy, Republicans and Democrats fundamentally disagree how easy or difficult it should be to exercise that right. The difference between the parties is not a close call.  All the states that have instituted voter ID laws in this country are ones with Republican governors and Republican majorities in their legislatures.   In a large number of instances, courts have nullified those laws as unconstitutional obstacles to basic rights, but Republicans keep looking for new ways to get around those decisions. As many have noted, voter ID laws are a solution searching for a problem.  The number of documented cases of in-person... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Fireworks at the Board of Public Works

Maryland’s Board of Public Works, composed of the Governor, Comptroller and State Treasurer, is one of the most powerful if not necessarily best-known agencies of government.   The BPW has the final authority on all state contracts, major procurement decisions, and budget authority when the Maryland General Assembly is not in session. For those who follow state government closely, it’s a particularly good vantage point for tracking what’s on the current Governor’s mind as well as identifying potentially news worthy issues.  For example, since the start of 2015, Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot have both used the BPW as a forum to express displeasure with the way some state agencies carry out their procurement activities.  Over the years, it’s also been a platform for its members to opine on a variety of issues, not always limited to those on the formal agenda.  It’s been a particularly inviting venue for Comptroller... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Blood on all our hands

We have seen this movie before.  The words are so predictable, familiar even before they are uttered.  It’s as if everyone, from shocked survivors to grieving parents to on-the-scene law enforcement officials to the Comforter-in-Chief President, is working from a well-worn script.  There are always a few “never again” comments, some “this time has to be different” pleas as well as “guns don’t kill people” and “it’s really a mental health problem” responses. And then we wait for the next time, which will come as surely as the rising of the sun, the next mass shooting that will shock and dismay us, but not for long.  The epidemic of gun violence is certainly a public health disaster of the first order.  Sadly, it is the single clearest evidence to the rest of the world of “American exceptionalism.” Do we, as some Second Amendment extremists have argued, just have to accept the... Continue reading
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