Category Archives: Homepage Headlines

Proposed TikTok ban for kids fails in Virginia’s Legislature

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A GOP legislative effort to prevent Virginia children from using the popular video-sharing app TikTok — an idea backed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin — died this week in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Republican Del. Jay Leftwich of Chesapeake, was left in a House of Delegates committee after…Read more

Senate passes a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel, but fate in the House is uncertain

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, is escorted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as he comes to the Capitol in Washington to issue a plea for Congress to break its deadlock and approve continued wartime funding for Ukraine, Dec. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)…Read more

Biden and Trump: How the two classified documents investigations came to different endings

Classified documents were found in a damaged cardboard box in President Joe Biden’s cluttered Delaware garage, near where golf clubs hung on the wall. A photo in former President Donald Trump’s indictment, meanwhile, shows stacks of boxes filled with documents under a chandelier in an ornate Mar-a-Lago bathroom. In Biden’s case, special counsel Robert Hur,…Read more

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is running for the US Senate

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. The former Maryland Governor announced Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, he will run for U.S. Senate, giving Republicans a prominent candidate who is well-positioned to run a competitive campaign for the GOP in a state that hasn’t had a Republican…Read more

Special counsel: Biden ‘willfully’ disclosed classified materials, but no criminal charges warranted

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden “willfully” retained and disclosed highly classified materials when he was a private citizen, including documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan and other sensitive national security matters, according to a Justice Department report that nonetheless says no criminal charges are warranted for him or anyone else. The report from special counsel Robert Hur,…Read more

Virginia Democrats are sending gun-control bills to a skeptical Gov. Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin delivers his State of the Commonwealth address before a joing session of the Virginia General Assembly, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber), File) RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dozens of pieces of gun-related legislation that advocates say will bolster public safety are winding their way…Read more

State Senate committee rejects northern Virginia casino bill

The Senate Finance and Appropriations committee voted 13-2 against a bill that would have allowed Fairfax County to hold a referendum on building a casino and conference center in Tysons Corner, a neighborhood that is currently home to high-end retail and office development. The committee vote effectively kills the bill for this year’s legislative session…Read more

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Category Archives: Homepage Headlines

Abortion rights could complicate Republican Larry Hogan’s Senate bid in deep blue Maryland

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023 in Annapolis, Md. Republicans hoping to pick up an open U.S. Senate seat in deep blue Maryland have the most competitive candidate they’ve had in decades. But Hogan will need more than GOP support at a time when Democrats’ outrage remains high about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down constitutional protections for abortion. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Republicans hoping to pick up an open U.S. Senate seat in deep blue Maryland have the most competitive candidate they’ve fielded for decades. But former Gov. Larry Hogan will need more than GOP support to overcome sustained outrage about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down constitutional protections for abortion.

With Maryland voters set to decide whether to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution in November, it may be harder for Hogan to reassemble the bipartisan coalition that elected him to the governor’s office in 2014 and kept him there four years later.

His task was laid out vividly by Lynn Johnson Langer, a Democrat walking to lunch in downtown Annapolis several days after Hogan announced his Senate bid. Hogan is likable enough to have won her vote in his second campaign for governor, but the stakes are too high for her to support handing Republicans another win in a closely divided Senate.

“We need more Democrats, so, sorry Hogan,” Langer said. ”I don’t think he’s a bad guy. Like I said, I don’t always agree with him. In fact, a lot I don’t agree with him.”

Hogan’s decision to veto legislation to expand abortion access in Maryland in 2022 lingers with voters like Langer. She supports abortion rights unequivocally and said she probably will back a candidate who doesn’t hedge.

Hogan has said he does not support taking abortion rights away, even though he personally opposes abortion. However, as governor, he vetoed legislation to end a restriction that only physicians provide abortions. When his veto was overridden by Democrats who control the Legislature, he used the power of his office to block funding set aside to support training non-physicians to perform them.

Abortion already is protected in Maryland law, but Democrats who control the Legislature voted last year to put a state constitutional amendment before voters. In doing so they were following a proven political formula used successfully by several states in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision.

“This is an issue the Democrats care about, and this is a big thing about Maryland: It doesn’t matter how popular you are with your base, and it doesn’t matter how popular you are among independents, the path to the Senate in Maryland goes through the Democratic Party,” said Mileah Kromer, an associate professor of political science at Goucher College, who has written a book about Hogan. “You need Democratic votes to win, and that’s just the math of the state.”

Hogan attracted national attention during his tenure as governor as one of the rare Republicans willing to criticize Donald Trump, who appointed three conservative justices that created the Supreme Court’s conservative majority that voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022. Now, Hogan could be on the same ballot as the former president, who is favored to win the Republican nomination but is deeply unpopular in Maryland.

Mary Kfoury, a Democrat who lives in Edgewater, Maryland, praised Hogan for speaking out against Trump, though that’s not enough to get her vote.

“I really don’t think we can afford to have a Republican,” Kfoury said. “I want to keep Maryland as blue as possible, especially with things as close as they are, but I think if we had to have a Republican in the Senate he would be a terrific person to have, because he truly states what he thinks and he’s for more traditional Republican values and has bravely spoken against Trump.”

Hogan focused his governorship on pocketbook concerns, largely avoiding social issues and maintaining civility with the Legislature. In a video announcing his candidacy, he highlighted that aspect of his tenure.

“For eight years, we proved that the toxic politics that divide our nation need not divide our state,” Hogan said. “We overcame unprecedented challenges, cut taxes eight years in a row, balanced the budget, and created a record surplus. And we did it all by finding common ground for the common good.”

While Kromer describes Hogan’s Senate candidacy as “an uphill battle,” she said it would be wrong to dismiss a candidate who consistently maintained high approval ratings during his eight years as governor, despite the 2-1 advantage Democrats hold over Republicans in the state.

“For me, it’s not just that Hogan was popular, it was that Hogan was persistently popular for eight years,” said Kromer, who wrote “Blue State Republican: How Larry Hogan Won Where Republicans Lose and Lessons for a Future GOP.”

Democrats running to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin pounced on concerns about abortion rights, after Hogan announced his surprise Senate bid just hours before the state’s filing deadline.

“We know what’s at stake in this election — our fundamental freedoms over our bodies,” said Angela Alsobrooks, the chief executive in Prince George’s County, the state’s second-largest jurisdiction in the suburbs of the nation’s capital.

Alsobrooks, who could make history as Maryland’s first Black U.S. senator, is running in the Democratic primary against U.S. Rep David Trone, the wealthy founder of Total Wine and More who has invested more than $23 million in his own campaign.

Hogan, speaking publicly for the first time since announcing his candidacy last week, told CNN on Wednesday that “I would not vote to support a national abortion ban.”

He also said that while he understands “why this is such an important and emotional issue for women across Maryland and across the country,” he doesn’t believe the constitutional amendment in Maryland is necessary, because abortion rights already are protected in state law.

The state approved legislation in 1991 to protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court were to allow abortion to be restricted. Voters showed their support for the law the following year, when 62% backed it in a referendum.

“I think Democrats put this on the ballot to try to make it a political issue, and voters can make their decision on whether they think it’s important or not, but it’s not going to change anything in our state,” Hogan told CNN.

Alsobrooks said Hogan’s comments echoed years of Republican rhetoric asserting that public policy on abortion had been “settled law.”

“That’s what they told us right up until the day they overturned Roe v. Wade and took away a 50-year precedent that had protected our rights,” Alsobrooks said in a statement.

The Maryland legislation approved in 2022 to expand abortion access was passed after supporters contended the measure was needed because the state didn’t have enough providers. They also said the state needed to be prepared to respond to a growing number of women coming to Maryland for abortions after bans in other states.

After his veto was overridden, Hogan, who is Catholic, refused to release $3.5 million in the state budget to help fund training. One of Democratic Gov. Wes Moore’s first actions as governor last year was to release the money that Hogan had withheld.

Hogan entered a GOP primary with seven other candidates, none as well known politically as the former governor. One of the candidates, Robin Ficker, garnered national attention years ago as an acid-tongued sports heckler at basketball games for Washington’s NBA team when it played in Landover, Maryland.

A Republican has not won a U.S. Senate election in Maryland since 1980.

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Proposed TikTok ban for kids fails in Virginia’s Legislature

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A GOP legislative effort to prevent Virginia children from using the popular video-sharing app TikTok — an idea backed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin — died this week in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Republican Del. Jay Leftwich of Chesapeake, was left in a House of Delegates committee after…Continue Reading

Senate passes a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel, but fate in the House is uncertain

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, is escorted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as he comes to the Capitol in Washington to issue a plea for Congress to break its deadlock and approve continued wartime funding for Ukraine, Dec. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)…Continue Reading

Leading Virginia Senate Democrat deals major setback for Washington sports arena bill

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A leading Democratic Virginia legislator said Monday that proposed legislation to help pave the way for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals to relocate to northern Virginia is dead, as far as she’s concerned. Sen. L. Louise Lucas, who holds great sway in the General Assembly as chair of…Continue Reading

Biden and Trump: How the two classified documents investigations came to different endings

Classified documents were found in a damaged cardboard box in President Joe Biden’s cluttered Delaware garage, near where golf clubs hung on the wall. A photo in former President Donald Trump’s indictment, meanwhile, shows stacks of boxes filled with documents under a chandelier in an ornate Mar-a-Lago bathroom. In Biden’s case, special counsel Robert Hur,…Continue Reading

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is running for the US Senate

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. The former Maryland Governor announced Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, he will run for U.S. Senate, giving Republicans a prominent candidate who is well-positioned to run a competitive campaign for the GOP in a state that hasn’t had a Republican…Continue Reading

Special counsel: Biden ‘willfully’ disclosed classified materials, but no criminal charges warranted

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden “willfully” retained and disclosed highly classified materials when he was a private citizen, including documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan and other sensitive national security matters, according to a Justice Department report that nonetheless says no criminal charges are warranted for him or anyone else. The report from special counsel Robert Hur,…Continue Reading

Virginia Democrats are sending gun-control bills to a skeptical Gov. Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin delivers his State of the Commonwealth address before a joing session of the Virginia General Assembly, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber), File) RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Dozens of pieces of gun-related legislation that advocates say will bolster public safety are winding their way…Continue Reading

Maryland’s Gov. Moore says state has been ‘leaving too much potential on the table’ in speech

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore delivers his State of the State address in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark) ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Wes Moore said during his second State of the State speech Wednesday that Maryland has boundless opportunities but is “leaving too much potential on the table” as he charts…Continue Reading

State Senate committee rejects northern Virginia casino bill

The Senate Finance and Appropriations committee voted 13-2 against a bill that would have allowed Fairfax County to hold a referendum on building a casino and conference center in Tysons Corner, a neighborhood that is currently home to high-end retail and office development. The committee vote effectively kills the bill for this year’s legislative session…Continue Reading

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