George Derek Musgrove, History, in The Philadelphia Tribune

An article published September 7 in The Philadelphia Tribune discusses the case of U.S. Rep. Chakka Fattah, a ten term representative from Philadelphia who is facing corruption allegations, charges and guilty pleas surrounding his family. George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, is quoted in the article and discusses the case of Fattah Sr. and his son, Fattah Jr., explaining that children of Black political families often go into businesses connected to their parents’ political power.

Derek Musgrove“There is a much higher percentage of white political families that produce their wealth from non-government related private businesses than there are Black ones,” Musgrove told The Tribune. “The children of many Black political families reproduce their class position by going into business[es] that are somehow connected to their parents’ political power. This may make them more susceptible to investigators looking for influence peddling.”

Musgrove added: “These young men grow up with the privileges associated with their parents’ status and take them for granted. Their children did not necessarily have an organic connection to these communities and that can sometimes lead them to use these communities for their own gain. They tend to have the same opportunities for graft afforded their white peers but not the same political protections.”

To read the full article in The Philadelphia Tribune titled, “Fattah not the first Black political family with money troubles,” click here.

Dennis Coates, Economics, in The Baltimore Sun

After the nonprofit Washington 2024, an organization that is supporting bringing the 2024 Summer Olympics to Washington, D.C., recently launched its website, The Baltimore Sun published an article examining what Maryland’s role would be in hosting the Olympics, which still remains largely undefined.

Economics Professor Dennis Coates was quoted in the story and said in order for D.C. to manage hosting the Olympics, it would need to host events in Maryland.

“I think there is no way D.C. can manage it if they don’t get a buy-in from Maryland,” said Coates. “They’re probably going to use facilities at FedEx [Field].” He added: “The problem I would have as the governor is, ‘You want us to contribute but what are we getting in return?’ When people look at this, it won’t be the Maryland Olympics. It will be the Washington Olympics.”

Staging the Olympics “probably doesn’t make sense financially,” Coates said. “But if it makes sense anywhere, this is as likely a place as any. I say that because we have lots of stadiums in place and basketball arenas that can be used for gymnastics competitions. We also have pretty good roads, a good Metro system and excellent airports. In that regard, we would have lower costs. We wouldn’t have to build all those things.”

To read the full article in The Baltimore Sun, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Christian Post

Research by Laura Hussey, an associate professor of political science, and Geoffrey Layman, a professor of political science at University of Notre Dame, was the focus of a recent article published in The Christian Post about voting habits of Catholics. In their research, Hussey and Layman found that a minority of Catholics were both pro-life and pro-welfare, and those that were showed little ambivalence in their vote choice.

Laura HusseyThe following is an excerpt from the article which explains the reasoning for this that Hussey found from her research: “One reason, Hussey and Laymen found, is that PW/PL Catholics incorrectly assume that the Democratic candidates they vote for are pro-life. Forty-three percent of PW/PL Catholics believed a pro-choice Democratic candidate was pro-life, which was much higher than the rate of misperception among other Catholics. Hussey described the misperception as a psychological coping strategy to deal with the cognitive dissonance that results from being PW/PL.”

“Pro-life, pro-welfare Catholics generally seem to deal with this dissonance by projecting their church’s [views on abortion], which also happens to be their own view … onto their candidate of choice,” Hussey said during a recent panel presentation in which she presented her research. These Catholics are “not agonizing” about their vote choice, she added, because their “policy knowledge of politicians is pretty inaccurate.”

To read more about Hussey’s research and to read the full article titled, “Why Do Many Pro-Life Catholics Vote Democrat?” click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in The Baltimore Sun

As Election Day in November nears, Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris has been in the news analyzing statewide races in Maryland. Norris was recently quoted in two articles in The Baltimore Sun about primary campaign spending and candidates hitting the road to visit other states.

Donald Norris UMBC

On August 27, The Baltimore Sun published an article on June’s gubernatorial primary campaign spending, which was a record of almost $25 million. Norris noted the primaries were competitive with viable candidates in both parties and spending continues to mount: “The competitive primary helps explain part of it,” Norris said. “The rest of it is it costs more every time there’s an election.”

In an article published September 1, Norris commented on campaign visits to other states by lawmakers such as Reps. Elijah Cummings and Steny Hoyer and how they can have an impact on a close contest, especially when it comes to sending a signal to voters that the party takes the candidate seriously: “It shows that the party cares enough to send some big names, whether or not voters know who they are,” Norris said.

You can read both articles by clicking below:
Primary campaigns cost almost $25 million (Baltimore Sun)
Md. lawmakers hitting the road for the midterms (Baltimore Sun)

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun

In the wake of Horseshoe Casino opening in Baltimore last week, The Washington Post ran an article on September 3 focusing on Governor Martin O’Malley’s ambivalence toward Maryland’s slow embrace of casino gambling. Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller was interviewed for the story and commented on what the state’s soon-to-be ­$1 billion-a-year casino industry could mean for the governor as he considers a run for the White House.

Tom Schaller“It may not be something he wants to tout, but it’s absolutely part of his résumé,” said Schaller. “Maryland held out for a long time, and it’s now become a real player in the casino industry.”

Schaller also offered insight on what O’Malley’s ties to the casino industry could mean politically as he makes appearances in other states: “It’s hard to project an image as a progressive when you know that this will bankrupt some people and put a dent into some working-class families,” said Schaller. “It’s nice to have the tax revenue, but you wonder who’s picking up the tab.”

You can read the full story in The Washington Post titled, “Governor O’Malley brought casinos to Maryland, but that doesn’t mean he likes them,” here.

In his latest column published in The Baltimore Sun on September 2, Schaller wrote about his view that Maryland’s Republican party has been lacking a charismatic candidate since former Governor Bob Ehrlich left office. You can read the full column titled, “The GOP needs another Ehrlich,” here.

Pres. Hrabowski Discusses Degree to Career Pathways in The Washington Post

Many in the U.S. see focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education as a way to encourage innovation and improve American competitiveness. However, a recent study found that most STEM graduates work in other fields. This has fueled discussion around whether there is a shortage or surplus of STEM workers.

President Hrabowski commented on the debate, saying that the report ignores the realities of the job market. He emphasized the importance of looking at how STEM graduates use their degrees in various fields, stating that many UMBC students receive job offers before graduation because of shortages in fields like information technology, and that, ultimately, we must focus on teaching students across all majors how to find patterns, learn scientifically and collaborate with one another.

Click here to read “Policymakers hail STEM education as a strong foundation, pushing innovation” in The Washington Post.

Dr. Hrabowski was also mentioned an article about the value of  universities in America. Click here to read “On the Immense Good Fortune of Higher Education” in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Performing Arts and Humanities Building in The Baltimore Sun

Photo: Ken Wyner

Photo: Ken Wyner

“The just-completed Performing Arts and Humanities Building atop the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,” says fine arts critic Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun, “makes quite a statement from almost every angle — the sun-reflecting, stainless-steel-wrapped Concert Hall; the glass-enclosed Dance Cube jutting from the structure; views of the downtown Baltimore skyline from upper floors.”

Smith’s feature, accompanied by photographs by Barbara Haddock Taylor, ran in The Sun on Sunday, August 31, and includes an interview with Scott Casper, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Click here to read the full article and here to see the photo gallery.