EDITORIAL: Survey of Baltimore police officers uncovers suspicion and distrust

Say what you will about the recent anonymous survey of Baltimore police officers that got only one out of 10 officers to fill out the form — the effort was revealing, just not in the way its creators had envisioned. That roughly 90% of the city’s 2,800 sworn officers declined to fill out the anonymous form speaks volumes of the level of distrust and suspicion surrounding recent efforts to root out misconduct. Blame it on management, blame it on nationwide concerns about racial discrimination and police brutality, or blame it on how the volatile issue has been made all the more inflamed by a presidential election where there’s a self-described “law and order” candidate in deep denial over racism. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Question 2: Maryland needs more information to embrace sports betting; vote 'no’

There’s little doubt that legalized sports betting will eventually make its way to Maryland. Washington, D.C., and nearly two dozen states — including neighboring Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia — have approved it already, after a 2018 Supreme Court ruling made the move possible. And results from a February Goucher poll revealed that 45% of Marylanders supported such a gambling expansion and the revenue it might bring, even before the pandemic had devastated the country and the state’s earning potential. (Balt Sun)

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Roberts: The ‘nothing matters’ mentality is a trap

“Nothing matters.” This bleak sense that Donald Trump could not be stopped became a refrain for battered progressives when he was first elected four years ago. Now, with the next election a month away and long-buried tax returns unearthed by the New York Times, the phrase is undergoing a worrisome revival. The returns reveal the president as a failure and a possible fraud, yet few people seem to believe in the power of this revelation to provoke any meaningful reaction. (Wash Post)

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Lee: Repeal Hyde Amendment and expand federal funding of abortions

As an obstetrician and gynecologist, I believe that all people should be able to access the health care they need. Though large strides have been made in health care equity in Maryland, people’s ability to get quality health care in our state and across the country still depends largely on where they live, how much money they make, and the resources available to them, all of which are influenced by systemic racism. (Balt Sun)

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Foley: Three easy steps to help prevent a calamitous election failure

The window has closed for some changes to this year’s election procedures that would have been desirable, especially those involving how votes are cast. But it’s not too late to take steps to improve how votes are counted — changes that could significantly bolster confidence in the outcome of the election. The bad news: Installing secure drop boxes, as an alternative way to return absentee ballots rather than relying on the U.S. Postal Service, is a proven success in some states. (Wash Post)

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Kristiansen: Don’t be an idiot, vote without fear in America

There you are, in ancient Athens, in front of the bronze jar, holding your ostracon, a pottery shard on which you have incised the name of the person you wish to exile from the city. If the person gets a majority of votes against him he will be exiled for 10 years. There has been a great deal of argument and even shoving in the agora about the demerits of the man facing the verdict of the citizens. And you are about to vote. (Capital)

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Johnny O: Bipartisan reform will make ’policing in our county more accountable, equitable and just’

Times of crisis present opportunities for leadership. In 2020, we are facing twin crises: A global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, and nationwide demonstrations fueled by generations of unfair treatment of Black men and women by law enforcement. Our nation’s leaders are missing these opportunities. The White House is managing a chaotic and ineffectual response to the pandemic, and the U.S. Senate has failed to act on police reform. In both cases, we see politicians choosing partisanship and political gridlock over meaningful progress. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland’s alcohol industry should not have to bear the burden of increased taxes

As the owner of a craft distillery and the president of the Maryland Distiller’s Guild, I know how devastating an increase in alcohol taxes can be for small businesses like mine — especially as we are one of the hardest hit industries during COVID-19. While headlines have focused on increased sales at liquor stores as people sheltered at home, this does not accurately portray the severe impact of the pandemic on the overwhelming majority of the hospitality industry — particularly as it relates to small-batch, locally-made alcohol. (Balt Sun)

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