The Baltimore Sun Editorial Page Remains Hot Garbage

The names may change, but the dumb hot takes stay the same from the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board.

In an editorial, the Board decides to take on Governor Larry Hogan for deciding to spend “dark money” on fighting against the Kirwan Commission tax hikes:

According to the Washington Post, Gov. Larry Hogan is seeking to raise $2 million in unregulated funds, potentially from undisclosed donors, in part to prevent the state from giving all Maryland children the education they need to succeed. Just let that sink in for a minute. Mr. Hogan is soliciting big checks from people with who knows what motives to stop a once in a generation effort to fix our wildly inequitable and overall mediocre system of K-12 education.

That’s not the only terrible thing about Mr. Hogan’s plan to ramp up issue advocacy through his Change Maryland organization and a new super PAC, the Change Maryland Action Fund. The guy who said he would stand up to the Democratic machine and push good government policies like non-partisan redistricting is now, ironically enough, planning to advance that idea through the horrible government tool of dark money. He also wants to push his plans for adding express toll lanes to the Washington Beltway and I-270, a proposal we had reservations about even before he turned it into an opportunity for deep pocketed special interests to buy his favor. Surely no highway contractors would have any interest in cutting the governor’s advocacy organizations undisclosed, unlimited checks, right?

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Look, I understand that the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board has engaged in a long-standing war against dark money. So in that one way they are being ideologically consistent. But it’s appalling albeit unsurprising that the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board remains silent on the existence of Strong Schools Maryland.

Oh, you haven’t heard of Strong Schools Maryland? Well, it’s an organization that is raising dark money to push for the Kirwin Commission recommendations, including $6,000 tax hikes on every Maryland family.

Heck, you can’t even go to their website without them first begging you for money.

So who constitutes the Strong Schools Maryland group? Well, that information is a little sketchy, at least in regards to who is funding them and who organized them:

Strong Schools Maryland is leading the statewide, grassroots campaign in Maryland to create a world-class education system for every student, especially those who are disproportionately affected by policies because of race, poverty, language, and disability.

The Kirwan Commission adopted bold recommendations for building a world-class education system. Strong Schools Maryland is organizing to turn the recommendations into policy ensuring an education system that provides a world-class experience for all learners. When we are successful, Maryland’s graduates will be world competitive as a result of our investment in early childhood education, high quality and diverse teachers and leaders, college and career readiness pathways, more resources for at-risk students, and governance and accountability.

Strong Schools Maryland recruits individuals and organizations from around the state to form “teams”. Teams meet monthly to learn about the current education landscape in Maryland and to take action using Strong Schools Maryland created materials mailed to the leader. All materials needed to host a meeting are provided by Strong Schools Maryland; team leaders just need to bring the people. Currently, Strong Schools Maryland has all types of teams. They include groups of friends, neighbors, schools, civic organizations, religious institutions and many others.​

So if you’re keeping score, this group is raising money specifically to create a “grassroots” campaign that is funded by donors who are at no point actually identified. This is dark money, except the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board doesn’t have the ideological consistency to call out groups like Strong Schools Maryland for raising dark money because the ivory tower leftists that make up the Editorial Board happen to agree with their ideological principles so that makes it ok.

In addition to this dark money organization, there was an affiliated campaign finance entity called “Strong Schools Maryland Action” that was created as a “Ballot Issue Committee” though there was no ballot issue to organize for.

There are some serious questions about Strong Schools Maryland. Who is paying for this organization? How much have they raised? How are they able to have three members of their staff? Who is paying for their materials? Who is paying for this? Who is writing the big checks to facilitate a massive tax increase of $6,000 for every Maryland family, one that is being decided by Democrats behind closed doors? The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board seems unconcerned by these questions while simultaneously running around screaming about Governor Hogan like there’s a building on fire.

The rest of the editorial is typical Baltimore Sun Editorial Page fodder, nonsense points, lamenting that Governor Hogan won in the first place, and whining about the Governor not being pro-tax enough.

If you were ever wondering why people hold the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board in such contempt, here it is. The Editorial Board doesn’t even have the ideological consistency to be consistent on the issue of dark money. Their position remains that if conservatives do something it is bad and shady and evil, even as they turn a blind eye to Democrats who agree with their political position doing the same thing.

The Editorial Board may be under new temporary leadership, but their hot takes remain hot garbage.

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