Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun

Tom SchallerIn his latest column in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller wrote about two major developments that have the potential to revolutionize collegiate athletics: an NCAA ruling that gave five major conferences greater autonomy and a federal judge ruling that stated the NCAA violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by profiting from the images of student-athletes without compensating them.

When referring to the ruling in the federal case O’Bannon v. NCAA, Schaller wrote, “legal experts further believe that because the O’Bannon ruling vacates the NCAA’s long-cherished amateurism exception, a series of follow-up rulings may follow, including the resolution of a key case (Jenkins v. NCAA) that threatens to upend the NCAA’s current economic model.”

To read Schaller’s complete column published August 19 in The Baltimore Sun titled, “Getting their due,” click here.

Governor’s Summer Internship Program Holds Closing Ceremony Celebration

O'Malley with students 2

Gov. O’Malley meets with GSIP students after their presentations.

Another successful summer for the Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) came to a close with a celebration at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Thursday, August 7. Student interns who participated in the program presented policy papers on significant issues in Maryland government to Governor Martin O’Malley and received feedback from the governor and his staff.

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government. Interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies doing substantive tasks ranging from drafting speeches and correspondence to researching policy options and assisting with constituent case work. The program is led by the Shriver Center in partnership with the Office of the Governor.

O'Malley with Hannah, Michele and Roy

Gov. O’Malley with UMBC’s Roy Meyers, Hannah Schmitz and Michele Wolff

Colby “Ricci” Conley, a political science major, represented UMBC in the program and worked at the Maryland State Department of Education in the Division of Academic Policy and Innovation. At the closing ceremony, his team presented a policy paper that advocated for use of multi-tiered systems of support to address the emotional and psychological needs of students in Maryland. Other presentations from program participants included incentivizing energy efficiency in state buildings, bringing awareness to labor trafficking, improving secondary land use leasing contracts, and local growth for sustainability. UMBC Political Science Professor Roy Meyers worked with the students to develop their policy papers.

Other Shriver Center Public Service Scholars Programs came to a close at the beginning of August, including the Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program, which offers summer internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector to college juniors, seniors and graduate students attending Maryland institutions.

Several UMBC students were participants in this year’s programs. For a complete list of UMBC students and their mentors, click here. You can learn more about the Shriver Center Scholars Programs by clicking here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun

In his latest column in The Baltimore Sun titled, “The GOP chamber puzzle,” Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller writes about how the Republican party holding a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives but not in the Senate is an historical anomaly.

Tom Schaller

“As I explain in ‘The Stronghold,’ my forthcoming book from Yale University Press, Republicans have been a stronger presence in the Senate in the past half century party because more of the small-population states lean Republican. Therefore, the GOP has consistently held a higher share of Senate seats than the population contained in the states the party’s senators represent,” Schaller writes.

He adds that with the Republicans’ built-in small state advantage, it is puzzling that they control the House but not the Senate and that it should be the inverse. In the column, he does offer an explanation for why this is the case.

“The short answer, of course, is gerrymandering. Thanks to a strong 2010 election cycle in which the GOP posted significant gubernatorial and state legislative wins, Republican state leaders were able to draw favorable U.S. House lines in many states. (Solidly Democratic Maryland was an exception.)”

To read the full column published on August 5, click here.

Roy Meyers, Political Science, on

In an op-ed published July 24 on, Political Science Professor Roy Meyers writes about a proposed bill that would allow U.S. corporations to avoid taxes when they repatriate profits that are now booked overseas, if they purchase bonds that would be used to build infrastructure.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)

In his column, Meyers writes that the bill deserves scrutiny, noting: “[the bill] would create the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and capitalize it with up to $50 billion. That money would be used to finance infrastructure projects that pass benefit-cost tests.”

He adds, “the projects would be expected to pay the AIF back, meaning that the infrastructure projects most likely to be financed through the AIF would be those where it would easy to charge tolls. The AIF is thus somewhat duplicative of the existing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, and like various proposals to create an ‘infrastructure bank.’ Assuming that the bank would spend $10 billion a year for five years, it would add a small amount of funding for federal investment.”

To read Meyer’s full column on, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun

Tom SchallerIn his latest column in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller writes about American small businesses competing against multinational corporations. In his column titled, “A fairer (small) business environment,” Schaller argues that small businesses face a competitive disadvantage because they are “politically overmatched against multinational corporate giants.”

He adds, “the Democrats’ strong union ties tend to complicate their relationship with business generally, even if the party is increasingly dependent upon corporate campaign donations. And if the Democrats might be described as a partially-owned subsidiary of corporate America, consider the Republicans a wholly-owned franchise.”

To read the full article published July 22 in The Baltimore Sun, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in Politico Magazine and The Baltimore Sun

An article published July 8 in Politico Magazine discusses recent election strategies used by Democrats in Southern states. Thomas Schaller, a political science professor and author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, was interviewed for the article and offered analysis on how Democratic candidates in recent presidential elections have built coalitions of support in the South.

Tom Schaller

“When you look at the last two Democratic presidents, both of them won non-Southern Electoral College majorities,” Schaller said. “They both had 270 votes outside the South. Their coalitions were a little different in terms of Southern support. Clinton got more ‘bubba’ support in Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. Obama didn’t win any of those states except for Florida but he won Virginia twice and North Carolina once.”

Schaller added that even with President Obama’s wins in the South, “those states have very high, among the three or four highest, populations of non-Southern people … Democrats are winning in the South but not with native Southerners.”

Schaller also published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun on July 8 about the dramatic shift in corporate taxation in recent decades. You can read both articles by clicking on the links below.

Do Democrats Need a Bubba Strategy? (Politico Magazine)
Not Taxing U.S. Corporations Gives a Pass to Foreigners (Baltimore Sun)

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Baltimore Sun and The Herald-Mail

In a Baltimore Sun article analyzing the Maryland District 12 race for state delegate, Political Science Assistant Professor Laura Hussey provided insight on the early campaigning in the race. Ten Democrats and three Republicans are competing for three open seats.

Laura Hussey

“Candidates got a huge jump on this race,” said Hussey. “I think there was just a huge rush to get in on it once we knew that there would be three open seats in the race.” She added what’s happening in District 12 is similar to what is taking place across the country: “Campaigns are lasting longer and starting earlier. Everyone is trying to get a jump. We’ve been talking about the 2016 [presidential] election for a good, long time now, and we’re not even halfway there,” Hussey said.

Hussey was also interviewed for an article in The Herald-Mail in which she commented on NRA ratings and how they can impact local elections, such as the Maryland state delegate race in Subdistrict 1C. She said the NRA ratings could be a major factor, especially since there isn’t much information about the candidates available to voters.

“This is also a primary. So there is not a R (Republican) candidate running against a D (Democratic) candidate. So, the candidates might be close to one another in terms of their positions,” Hussey said.

You can read, “Observations of District 12 race by UMBC professor,” in The Baltimore Sun here. To read, “NRA ratings play role in GOP primary race in Washington County,” in The Herald-Mail, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Herald-Mail

Maryland’s race for governor has received most of the attention, but the attorney general’s race is also seeing a competitive primary. An article published in The Herald-Mail on June 11 examines the duties and responsibilities of the attorney general and sheds light on the importance of the office.

Laura Hussey

Laura Hussey, an assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for the article and shared that the office is important because of political and policy issues. Below is an excerpt from the story:

“The attorney general advises the governor on legal matters, [Hussey] said. It was Doug Gansler — the current attorney general who is running for governor — who decided in 2010 that Maryland would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, according to Hussey. The Maryland attorney general is one of a very small number of statewide offices. The person in that position could be a “counter-weight” to the governor if he or she decided to do so, Hussey said.”

To read the full article in The Herald-Mail, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-ed in The Baltimore Sun

A recent Baltimore Sun poll shows Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has the support of 41 percent of likely Democratic voters in the gubernatorial primary. That number gives him a lead of 2 to 1 over Attorney General Doug Gansler (20 percent) and a 3 to 1 advantage over Del. Heather Mizeur (15 percent).

Tom Schaller

In his latest column in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller offers an explanation for why Brown is so far ahead in the race, but also why he has yet to put a lock on the job.

“The first observation is that the key party players, including Gov. Martin O’Malley and many of the state’s key unions, consolidated very early behind Mr. Brown. A second, equally obvious observation is that Mr. Gansler’s candidacy has imploded, thanks to his mostly self-inflicted wounds in the trooper and teen drinking episodes,” Schaller writes.

He observes that criticism from Gansler against Brown over management of the failed health exchange hasn’t gained momentum but likely would have if Gansler were a Republican candidate running in a red or even purple state.

Even with a big lead in the polls, Schaller writes Brown will need to think long-term and come up with a clear vision for how he wants to govern the state should he win the nomination: “Gubernatorial candidates should clearly articulate what the state will look like under their stewardship four or even eight years hence. Perhaps Mr. Brown is saving his grander designs for the general election phase, after he secures the nomination,” he adds.

You can read the full column in The Baltimore Sun by clicking here.

Nathan Rehr ’13, Political Science, on Humanities Connection

National History Day is set to take place next month at the University of Maryland, College Park. The competition is an exciting experience for students in grades six through twelve to learn about ideas, events and people in history and apply what they learn through original projects.

Nathan Rehr ’13, political science, participated in National History Day as a high school student. For his project, he decided to research Sargent Shriver and as part of his research he interviewed Joby Taylor, Director of the Shriver Peaceworker Program. He credits Taylor with helping him guide his choice of where to go for college and recently shared his story on WYPR’s Humanities Connection.

“For me, History Day helped me determine a few of the next steps in my life,” Rehr said. By interviewing Taylor, Rehr said, “I learned more about UMBC’s social and academic atmosphere, and I decided to start college there the following fall.”

Rehr is currently serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal working as a Preventive Health Educator to help improve the health and well-being of the community he is serving. To listen to the full segment on Humanities Connection, click here.