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Volume 16, Issue 5 - January 31 - February 6, 2008


Maryland’s Voice in the Potomac Primary

It didn’t look like it would happen, but it seems now that Maryland will have a say in who gets nominated for president, given the likelihood that the game won’t end on Feb. 5 when 22 states vote in the closest we’ve seen yet to a national primary. Alas, the withdrawal of John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani effectively ends prospects for brokered conventions, which would have been highly entertaining.

The Feb. 12 Potomac Primary — including Maryland Virginia and the District of Columbia —will serve up a batch of coveted delegates to candidates struggling to close the deal. Maryland alone will elect 99 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver and 37 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

Who, as president, would be best for Chesapeake Bay?

Democrats have been more environmentally friendly in recent years, but with a special case like the Bay, in such close proximity to Washington, you can’t be sure. The Clinton administration in the 1990s wasn’t known for being especially green, and Hillary Clinton’s most recent League of Conservation Voters rating was a middling 71.

Obama scored a perfect 100 percent LCV rating last year, and he’s been progressive in many ways. He’s also gotten heavy donations from the Illinois-based nuclear industry, which might or might not give you pause given the move afoot for a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.

McCain has modest pro-conservation ratings, but he stood apart from his party in acknowledging the dangers of climate change. His distaste for earmarks could spell trouble for Marylanders in Congress seeking back-door funds for Bay restoration.

Romney was praised in Massachusetts for his clean-air initiatives. But he has changed his tune as a presidential aspirant, warning of the costs to America of combating global warming and raising the prospect of rolling back hard-won new fuel-efficiency standards.

What’s most appealing to us is the opportunity to question these White House hopefuls on vital issues. If this campaign stays close a little longer, we might get to do just that.

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