An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Coming Out Swinging

So what should be the role of blogs in Maryland elections this year? Should it just be to ask the standard questions to candidates (yeah, I know, like in the Raskin interview I did)? I'm looking for something more, but trying to get more than the stump speech out of a candidate when they're on the record is like pulling teeth. Maybe I should let them know ahead of time that if they've already put it on their site or it's been in another local forum I'm going to ignore it. I could ask the hard questions and then refuse to print the pablum.

Now sometimes candidates give you something substantive, yet lively. In a release just in, Marc Elrich, at-large candidate for Montgomery County Council (a teacher and member of the Takoma Park City Council) lit into some members of the current Council saying that in terms of infrastructure keeping up with development "Our situation is getting worse, not better." He suggested a connection between contributions from developers to some council members and our declining transportation, education, and other infrastructure (you know what he's talking about), calling the county's development priorities "badly skewed."

Elrich said “You shouldn't be able to buy influence. I'll talk to anyone, I'll welcome them in my office and I'll listen to their ideas. I'll support them when I think it's good for the County, and stand up to them when it's not. No one should have to write a check in order to be heard. I listen for free – to everyone."

Anyway, I'll ask what you want to read about Maryland politics over the next four months? Do you just want the opinions of local pundits (yours truly included)? Do you want to know about upcoming events to decide for yourself? Do you want interviews to hear straight from the candidates?