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Winners and Losers

A few winners and losers this week in Maryland politics:


State Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick: What a difference a week makes. Grasmick looked like a loser just a week ago, when Democrats in the General Assembly were poised to consider a bill that would in effect have rescinded her new term. But on Monday, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced detente in his long cold war with Grasmick. He asked for the bill to be withdrawn, and said he would work with her to pass education measures -- apprently to avoid a long unproductive fight over an issue that would likely end in court. A big win for Grasmick.

Prince George's Council member Samuel H. Dean: Dean (D-Mitchellville) succeeds David C. Harrington (D) as council chairman, as Harrington moves up to the State Senate. The council voted unanimously to elevate Dean, 72, who was elected to the council in 2002 and then reelected in 2006. He previously served a one-year chairmanship in 2005.


Affordable housing seekers: The Post's Miranda S. Spivack reported this week that Montgeomery County's affordable housing program, long touted by county officials as one of their highest priorities, leaves much to be desired. Case in point: A seven-year wait for 12 affordable units to be built on a block in Bethesda. In the meantime, more than 80 market-price units have been built in the same project.

By Anne Bartlett  |  February 8, 2008; 7:21 AM ET
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Each week in Montgomery County there are more than 150 foreclosure actions filed. The majority appear to have minority surnames. I know that often you cannot tell by somebody's surname whether or not they are a minority, but I have met many of these people personally and they are minorities. I have posted weekly lists of these people at, but the editors erase the lists as soon as they find them even though the lists come from public records. I've done it because making the issue personal, putting a face on it, can illustrate the problem better. SAVE OUR HOMES!

The Post-Leggett-Knapp tax increase team is about to seize our Pelosi rebate checks and give us a great big property tax increase. This action will drve hundreds more into foreclosure and price thousands more out of the Montgomery County housing market. The rationale of the Post-Leggett-Knapp tax increase team is that they want to give the school system 5% raises plus 3.5% step increases which equals 8.5% to 9% raises while social security recipients will get 2.3% increases in 2008. Plus the tax increase team wants to allow Mr. Weast to add lots of non-teaching positions to his budget.

Post-Leggett-Knapp doesn't give a hoot that the school system just got a multi-million dollar cash Thornton cash infusion. They don't care that we have just gotten sales, computer, car, corporate and income tax increases and Metro, water and electricity fee hikes. They just want to give their greedy supporters and cronies more money. They don't care that lots of Montgomery Countians, 51,000 in the past few years including my brother who lived his life here, have voted with their feet and moved out in past few years.

We have a ballot question on the county ballot in November, which the Post refuses to write about, which will make it more difficult to exceed the county property tax hike. And there will be a special election in council district 4 shortly where we can elect the first council member who looks for waste in the county budget. These articles decrying the lack of affordable housing are just baloney. It is the tax increase policies of the Post-Leggett-Knapp tax increase team that have made homes unaffordable. SAVE OUR HOMES!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 8, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with your Reagan-esque Free Market economy now, eh Robin?

Posted by: Fickered-Out | February 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ike, the Dow is down to 12,120 today. How low will it have to go for you to rule out a tax increase? A. We shall have a tax increase regardless of the Dow. B. 11,000. C. 10,000 D. 12,120.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 8, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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