Friday, April 16, 2010

Top Blog Posts, March 2010

Here are the most-viewed blog posts on MPW in March 2010.

1. MPW Poll: Gaithersburg West
2. Rank and File Teachers Fight Back Against the Post
3. Madaleno Rocks MoCo on Teacher Pensions
4. Baker Slate Chairman Employed by Anti-Worker Company
5. Top Snow Totals in Maryland
6. MCPS Prepares to Cut Positions, Increase Class Size
7. Rushern Baker on the Spot, Part Five
8 (tie). Maryland’s Twenty-First Century Prohibition
8 (tie). Hutchins Gets Started in District 19
10. Team Baker Responds to MPW

MPW polls are becoming regular entrants to our most-viewed lists. Everyone says they don’t matter. But invariably, people with a stake in them try to rally votes for their side of the argument. So it was with both supporters and opponents of the Gaithersburg West Master Plan. As of this writing, here are the results:

Don’t pass it – we don’t need the traffic: 319 votes (55.6%)
Pass it – we need the jobs: 145 votes (25.4%)
Pick a density number in the middle and compromise: 109 votes (19.0%)
Total voters: 574

The rank-and-file teachers post benefited from strong traffic from the MCPS domain. Apparently, it was broadly circulated among MCEA members.

The Rushern Baker campaign finance stories are a good case study of blog-mainstream media cooperation. The Post first reported on Baker’s secret slate contributions. Then this blog revealed his six-digit backing from real estate owner David Hillman. Then we traced the source of the secret slate contributions back to Hillman and the Post confirmed it. So this story bounced back and forth between the blogosphere and the MSM and gained both new content and amplification at every step. Left unanswered is why Hillman would contribute and loan Baker nearly a million dollars over ten years. That’s a question worth examining.

The teacher pension story is a big one with huge ramifications for Montgomery and other counties. It also has political consequences for Senator Rich Madaleno (D-18). It is rather unusual in Montgomery’s political culture for institutions of stature like MCEA and the Board of Education to call out influential office holders with good records like Madaleno in the way that they have done. Onlookers in Annapolis need to be aware of the price that the Senator has paid and bear in mind that there is a limit to what the county will tolerate.

District 19 Delegate candidate Jay Hutchins has passed his first test: he has successfully publicized a generally supportive blog post introducing his candidacy. Anyone running in a crowded field needs to take advantage of any positive publicity he or she can get in order to stand out.

We’ll have more of your picks next month.