Monday, January 21, 2008

Review of Free State Politics

Free State Politics

Maryland's online progressive community

Tip" O'Neil's now famous statement “All politics is local" has been repeated so often by commentators and pundits that it has become trite. Even so, like most bromides it contains a great deal of truth. With this in mind, the blog performs a valuable service for those who like to follow local Maryland politics. Living near our nation's capital has distinct advantages however, one of the major drawbacks is that the news from the “Capital of the Free World" has a tendency to overshadow the important local political news and events.

In a perfect world the members of the 4th Estate who inhabit these environs would strive to cover the wide range of political events on the state and local level and truth be told, on many occasions they succeed in accomplishing this goal. But there are only so many column inches in a traditional newspaper (and they are growing fewer by the day) and even in the days before the information revolution when newspapers ruled the roost, the so called papers of record often did a poor job of getting local political news out to the public (i.e. It was the Washington Post and not the Baltimore Sun that broke most of the stories regarding the former Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel).

Into the breach steps I discovered this blog when I was looking for news about my local delegate and since that time I have used the blog to get the local political news “that the big media outlets won’t cover."

In many respects, the blog serves as a more progressive (as in politics) refined and credible version of the Drudge report for people interested in local Maryland politics. Virtually all of the links one needs to learn about what is going on in Annapolis are listed on the site and like most traditional blogs it is updated daily. Its most important feature is that it succeeds on a regular basis in drilling down to the political levels ( state delegates, county council persons) that rarely receive the attention they deserve. In addition, it is independent, professionally written and fun to read.

Maryland politics is anything but dull. The House of Delegates currently has any number of members who bear watching. Among them are kooks like Delegate Dwyer of Glen Burnie who would like to send the gays back where they came from (wherever that is) to more serious representatives like Senate President Mike Miller, who despite claiming to be a progressive seems to be intent on raising the tuition of our state colleges and universities to astronomical levels.

Information in a democracy is critical. This is true on the national level but even more critical on the local level. The important issues previously described do receive some coverage but to find out what is really going on and to discover the story behind the story it is vital to have depositories of information such as For these reasons and others I love this blog.


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