Political news

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The Rev. Jamal Bryant could be in position to lead a change in Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District, which includes parts of Baltimore City as well as areas of Baltimore and Howard counties. 

But political observers say the person occupying that seat now, Congressman Elijah Cummings, holds all the cards. And he hasn’t made it clear yet what his plans are for 2016. He said Monday that it is “definitely premature” to assume he will not run for re-election, leaving open the possibility he could become the Baltimore candidate in the race to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Northwest Baltimore, announced Monday that he is running for the 7th District congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Bryant, a Democrat, made the announcement in front of the Freddie Gray Youth Empowerment Center in Bolton Hill surrounded by supporters.

He said he is “not opposing anyone” but “proposing new ideas.”

  When police officers are accused of misconduct – whether it’s excessive use of force or other lesser abuses – the internal police investigations are governed by the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. The rules were written into law in 1974 to protect the due process rights of accused officers, but they’ve become a flashpoint for activists who argue they impede transparency and accountability from their police departments. Yesterday, a panel of state lawmakers took up the question of reforming the so-called LEOBR.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR


Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is forming a commission to study legislative redistricting reform in Maryland.

Hogan signed an executive order on Thursday to create the panel.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Lawmakers in Maryland charged with exploring potential policing reform measures heard from the public in Annapolis on Thursday. More than a dozen activists from a broad coalition of labor, civil rights and faith groups turned out to call for major changes to make law enforcement more accountable, transparent and community-oriented.

Fraser Smith and WYPR's Christopher Connelly discuss the Hogan administration's--and others'--claims about business, bond ratings and so forth.  

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

After South Carolina lawmakers voted to take down the confederate battle flag flying over the state capitol, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday said it’s a fine line to figure out whether the state’s historical monuments are symbols of oppression or of history.

Hogan, speaking with reporters in Annapolis, said the state is no longer making Sons of the Confederacy license plates, and that he thinks the flag in South Carolina should come down. But he said that the Civil War is part of the state’s history, and going much further verges on “political correctness run amok.”

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Ben Cardin was in Baltimore yesterday talking up federal legislation he introduced in the wake of the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. Cardin’s so-called BALTIMORE Act, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, is a push to improve police-community relations.

This is one of those bills where you can really see how far politicians are willing to stretch to make an acronym that works. It’s the Building And Lifting Trust In order to Multiply Opportunities and Racial Equality Act – the BALTIMORE Act.

Md. Democratic Party Facebook Page

The Maryland Democratic Party has named a new interim executive director.

D. Bruce Poole, the party chairman, announced in an email Friday that Pat Murray has been chosen to work on an interim basis.

A former candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates has been indicted on felony theft, perjury and other charges relating to campaign spending.

State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt announced the 38-count indictment Friday against Steven Wyatt.

The indictment alleges Wyatt made unauthorized ATM withdrawals from the North County High School Athletic Boosters Association's bank account to benefit his campaign. In one case, he allegedly charged $1,300 on an association debit card at a restaurant. Wyatt had been president of the association.