Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Watchdog Wire Maryland

I am proud to introduce Watchdog Wire Maryland.  Watchdog Wire MD is the Maryland site for Watchdog Wire, a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.  Watchdog Wire is an outlet for citizen journalists and information activists who write and work to hold their state and local governments accountable.
The Franklin Center’s mission is to produce reporting that uncovers waste fraud and abuse in local government and focuses on core questions of what a story means to taxpayers and will it advance or restrict individual freedom.
That will be my mission as editor of Watchdog Wire Maryland. 
At Watchdog Wire Maryland, citizen journalists will report on stories, like Governor Martin O’Malley violating state procurement law for a development project that benefitted his cronies and campaign contributors.  A story Maryland’s papers of record The Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post won’t cover.
Maryland-based writers have already been writing for Watchdog Wire and will continue to be featured on the Maryland site.  
Here's a taste of what you will find on Watchdog Wire Maryland
Former U.S. Senate Candidate, Dan Bongino argues for a trade with President Obama and O'Malley on the minimum wage.
"Sending a bold, pro-growth legislative package to the President and Maryland’s Governor, including tax-code reform which eliminates loopholes in exchange for lower marginal rates, dramatic cuts in our confiscatory corporate and our investment-hindering capital gains tax rates, and regulatory reforms which encourage energy production for our abundant natural resources, and offering it as fair trade for our support of a minimum-wage hike is an economic victory for the country and my home state."
JackieLynn Wellfonder from Raging Against the Rhetoric chronicled Rep. Andy Harris' lively town hall meeting in Ocean City on gun control.  
The hotel had to take down a partition wall to allow more people to filter in and several seats were added. It was a cold day with snow pending in the afternoon, but that didn’t stop folks from turning out to see what Harris had to say regarding the Second Amendment and the current gun control debate.
Michael Swartz of Monoblogue enlightens us on the O'Malley administration's attempt to sidestep the referendum process in its push to repeal the death penalty.
After seeing several of their other pet issues derailed for months due to spirited referendum efforts by opponents, those who wish to rescind the death penalty in Maryland are trying to take advantage of a provision in the Maryland Constitution to protect a bill to repeal the state’s little-used death penalty from having its fate decided by voters. Polling numbers suggest they have cause to be worried: last month’s Maryland Poll by Gonzales Research pegged support for the death penalty from 49% of those polled, with 44% in opposition.
J. Doug Gill the Maryland State House Examiner for Examiner.com writes on legislative attempts to make the referendum process even more burdensome, and allow legislators use public resources to support or oppose referendum efforts. 
To Maryland legislators, that pesky Constitution has proved quite the roadblock for Maryland’s ruling class. As a result, lawmakers have opted to play fast and loose with ethics rules, or, as is the case with House Bill 867, attempt to overturn current laws they deem obstructionist.
Matthew Newman of Old Line Elephant will be contributing his Waste of the Week.  
The Garrett-Jacobs Mansion is a historic building in Baltimore City built in the nineteenth century. It is a beautiful older building, but it seems Senator Jones-Rodwell always wants to send them money. In 2011, Jones-Rodwell wanted $500,000 to help the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, in fact it was a “Waste of the Week” then. In 2011, the Senate and  House of Delegates merged their bond bills into one super waste of money. Jones-Rodwell’s$500,000 was dropped to $25,000. Apparently funding this old building was not a priority then. It should not be a priority now.

We are always looking to add more citizen journalists to the team to cover not only Annapolis, but your county and local government as well. In the near future we will be organizing citizen journalism training workshops throughout the state. 
If you want to join us and contribute  at Watchdog Wire Maryland email me at Maryland@watchdogwire.com

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