Here I go boosting the Sun's web-page again. In today's paper there is an article on the front page of the website discussing Howard County races. Now before I lose all of my county outsiders, I want you to think "why would the Sun put po-dunk county races on the front page?" The reasons are two-fold:
First, the Baltimore Sun has already decided that Ken Ulman is their huckleberry. They love him. They have posted more articles about his programs than any other county exec (not a scientific study, but I dare you to prove me wrong) and he is rarely portrayed in a negative light (even when he pays $100,000 for a "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors" campaign [of which I saw my first patronizing sign on Sunday while running around Centennial Lake]).
Second, it is well recognized that as Howard County goes, so goes the state. That is why former Governor Ehrlich will be speaking tonight at the Howard County Republican Club meeting (I'll be there and report back). Extending back to 1986, 1994 was the only time a Candidate for governor won Howard County, but lost the Gubernatorial.
As for the article, I was admittedly disappointed that the reporter didn't mention Anthony's candidacy in light of the fact that they reviewed the other county seats, but I also understand that their concentration was former Ehrlich aides. I was very surprised that Trent is considering a run at County Executive. She is a wonderful woman that is as connected as they come. If someone matters in Howard County politics, Trent knows them or can get in touch with them easily. I really can't say what she will bring as far as policies, but then again, a non-candidate is not forced to present issues of contention just yet.
The article seemed fair. The reporter almost had to catch himself before falling head over heels for Ulman at the end. I can almost see him waving his face and saying "I think I'm gettin' the vapors."
These local races also matter state-wide, but you're going to have to work with me on why. First and foremost, Healthy Howard was on NPR. "Um...so?" The reason is because Howard County is acting like a laboratory for democracy, which is good, but it is coming at our expense, which is bad. Not to be overly dramatic, but if paternalistic interventionist government has a battleground, it is here. The ever expanding universe of "what government can do" is being tested every day a new light-bulb appears over Executive Ulman's head. The only way these ideas can truly be tested is through the metal-working task of opposition and negotiation. Otherwise, we are all just an ever-winning set of scratch-off tickets.