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My home state of Maryland has gotten almost no attention this election season. Barack Obama will win the state's 10 electoral votes by upwards of 20 points. Ben Cardin will be reelected as our Senator. And only one of the state's 8 House races will be competitive (thanks to some clever redistricting, the one competitive seat will likely switch from GOP to Dem). When it comes to ballot initiatives, though, Maryland could be on the cusp of enacting some historic progressive change.

Question 4 would allow for undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public universities as long as they meet basic requirements (like graduating high school, enrolling in the selective service etc). Not only is this a moral initiative, but it is also a wise investment in the state's human capital. A recent Washington Post poll showed the initiative leading by 24 points among likely voters. While versions of this bill have passed in other states (even Rick Perry's Texas!), Maryland would be the first state to ratify this change through a statewide vote.

Question 6 would certify the state's new law allowing same-sex marriage. The same Post poll showed Question 6 leading by about 9. This margin is a bit too close for comfort. In previous elections, the anti-same sex marriage side has outperformed the polls on election day. Nevertheless, I'd rather be on our side than theirs, and if we are successful, Maryland will be the first state to ratify marriage equality by popular referendum.

These exciting developments would not be happening without enormous grassroots support. The the Maryland General Assembly is strongly Democratic, neither of these initiatives sailed through the legislature. The Senate President is sort of a stubborn old hack, despite his D label, so he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to get these laws through.

If we are successful on November 6th, Maryland can show the country what progressive change looks like. We will be leading the way in expanding opportunity and freedom for all of our citizens. While these initiatives transcend politics in many ways, they will sure look good on Governor O'Malley's resume if he chooses to seek the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Originally posted to Barnaby Tucker on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.


Do you think Maryland will enact the Dream Act and Same Sex Marriage by referendum on November 6th?

9%2 votes
4%1 votes
81%18 votes
4%1 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The grassroots effort on same sex marriage.... (0+ / 0-)

    has been nothing short of miraculous. A lot of folks in the AA community attend church regularly and many have been getting an earful from their ministers against gay marriage. Much of this was based less on Bible, but more on out of state funding. Fortunately, there has been a number of brave community, local political, and even other ministers who have eschewed the bigots and are fighting for marriage equality. the most recent polling I saw showed amazing switched in attitudes by Marylanders.

    THIS is how it gets done. Maryland was ahead of Obama on this. good for them! (I say this as a Nova resident who is hoping we get there one day as well.)

  •  What about Question 5, the redistricting issue? (0+ / 0-)

    One has to choose between being pro-democracy and pro-Democratic.  

  •  Don't forget question 7! (0+ / 0-)

    I received a robocall yesterday (who knows it may have been on my voicemail longer than that) from Oscar DeLa Hoya telling me to vote for question 7.

    •  I'm leaning no on that one... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanetT in MD

      ...any one have a good progressive argument for Question 7?

      •  Yes. Because most of the betting now (0+ / 0-)

        is placed at the tracks and I support horse racing and its parent agriculture industry.

        Money is fungible. I don't get the argument that schools might not get the money. Nothing is permanent. Legislatures pass laws, they change laws, they repeal laws.

        I don't see any reason to not allow it.

      •  Every progressive group I know in MD (0+ / 0-)

        ... is advising NO on 7.  

        Because they always promise the money will go to schools, but somehow it never does -- and the tax incentives given to the developers/investors in this kind of thing end up costing the state.   And most of the jobs it would create in the long run are not high-paying ones. (construction jobs, are, of course, by their very nature temporary....)

        We'd do better to focus on growing our economy and investing in more long-term growth through high tech, medical research, green jobs, etc.  

  •  O'Malley needs some spolight (0+ / 0-)

    on the national stage.  I think he'd be a good candidate in 2016 but outside of Maryland NO ONE knows this guy.  (and I say this as a native Marylander myself... though now living in DC)

    At least Obama got the springboard of his legendary key-note address and then a few years in the Senate.

    My wife was just asking me who the Dems had in the wings to run in 2016 if Hillary doesn't step into the race.  I mentioned O'Malley but couldn't think of other viable national candidates.  Corey Booker maybe?  I doubt it though....

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:30:19 PM PDT

  •  Maryland's the best state there is. (0+ / 0-)

    Hawaii and WV are pretty great too, but Maryland is the best.

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