Donald Norris, Public Policy, on WJZ 13 and in the Baltimore Sun

Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was in the news this past week analyzing the race for Maryland governor. As the campaign gains steam, Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and the Baltimore Sun.

Donald Norris UMBC

As more negative campaign ads emerge between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican opponent Larry Hogan, Norris told WJZ that, “attack ads we know three or four things about. One of them is they work, which is why candidates and their campaigns use them,” said Norris. He also discussed the ads as a potential way to drive more voter turnout: “I know that both camps are trying to get as much turnout as they can. Whether they’re going to be successful or not, I don’t know,” Norris said.

Norris was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun about Larry Hogan accusing Anthony Brown of “blatant lies” and “disgraceful” attack ads, saying Hogan’s complaints could backfire: “Anthony Brown is a real likable guy,” said Norris. “Calling him a liar can just inflame his supporters, and that means higher turnout. It also makes [Hogan] look awfully thin-skinned. Politics, after all, is a combat sport.”

In a Baltimore Sun article focusing on differences on transportation issues between the two candidates, Norris said Brown and Hogan are “polar opposites” on transportation issues as they vie for the support of Maryland voters. Their divergent views matter because Maryland’s governor has the budgetary authority to decide whether a major transportation project goes forward — or not. “Voters have got a really, really clear choice in this election,” Norris said.

Complete coverage can be found below:
Attack Ads Continue as Election Day Nears (WJZ)
Hogan accuses Brown of ‘blatant lies’ and ‘disgraceful’ attack ads (Baltimore Sun)
Governor candidates are on separate tracks (Baltimore Sun)

Social Sciences Forum: The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today (9/17)

Rogers SmithOn Wednesday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, Dr. Rogers Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Social Sciences Forum, “The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today.”

The author of seven books on citizenship and equality in the United States, including one that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History, Dr. Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will address why America’s political leaders avoid discussing racial policies, even as many forms of racial inequality persist and deepen. Smith argues that the United States is profoundly divided between two rival conceptions of civic equality–but that common ground may be found in the bold views of the Constitution’s purposes advanced by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This is a Constitution and Citizenship Day Lecture, co-sponsored with the Departments of Political Science, Africana Studies, American Studies, Philosophy and Public Policy, and the Office of Student Life. For more information, 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)

Public Policy Information Session (9/17)

Interested in getting a graduate degree at UMBC? Learn about the UMBC Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) at an information session on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 pm in Public Policy Room 438. Enjoy a light dinner and talk with faculty and current students about the field of public policy, career opportunities and how to apply to our MPP and combined BA/MPP program. Those interested in the PhD are also invited to the session.

This event is open to prospective students on and off campus. To register, e-mail your name, year, and major to Sally Helms (

John Rennie Short, Public Policy, to Present Lecture at National Heritage Museum

The National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts contains exhibitions, collections and programs based on American history, traditions and culture. It contains the Van Gorden-Williams Library, a research library specializing in American Freemasonry.

John Rennie ShortAs part of the museum’s series on its collection of historic maps, Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short will present an upcoming lecture entitled, “Cartographic Encounters: Native Americans in the Exploration and Mapping of North America.” Short, an expert on the history of cartography, will discuss how Native Americans were an essential element in the European and American exploration and mapping of North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He will use diaries and official reports in describing the role of indigenous people in mapping and exploration. Specifically, Short will focus on Native Americans’ roles as guides, informants and mapmakers.

The lecture is scheduled for Saturday, October 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the National Heritage Museum. For more information, click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in The Baltimore Sun and on FOX 45

As the race for Maryland governor picks up in intensity in the coming weeks heading into the fall, Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was in the news this past week providing analysis on the state of the campaign.

Donald Norris UMBC“It’s clearly Anthony’s to lose,” said Norris in an August 14 article in The Baltimore Sun when referring to Democratic candidate Anthony Brown’s chances of winning the election. In a separate article, Norris commented on an event held at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) Convention in which Brown and Republican candidate Larry Hogan appeared separately to avoid face-to-face confrontation.

“There’s no reason for the front-runner to give the challenger any more opportunity to interact than necessary,” he said. “It’s not in the interest of the front-runner to do that.” Norris added history shows that the leader does not pay a political price for avoiding an opponent.

In an August 22 article, Norris commented on the messaging that Brown used with some of his policies to raise the minimum wage, to provide prekindergarten for children and to lower the cost of college in his first general election campaign television ad which aired recently in the Baltimore market: “I think this will be a campaign theme, and I expect we’ll see a lot more of it,” he said. “He’s going to be aiming that message at important subgroups within the Democratic Party in Maryland.”

In a story that aired on FOX 45 Baltimore, Norris was interviewed at the MACO Convention, where he was promoting UMBC’s Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research: “We do research for local government so we want to be here to show them what we do,” Norris said, noting that the conference is all about learning and networking. “It’s where local government officials and state government officials get together, share information, share knowledge, and discuss solutions to problems,” Norris added.

You can read the complete coverage by clicking below:

Brown to strike first on airwaves (Baltimore Sun)
Pundits have advice for Brown, Hogan in governor’s race (Baltimore Sun)
Brown, Hogan make pitches to county officials (Baltimore Sun)
MACO Conference taking place during peak season in Ocean City (FOX 45)

Tim Brennan FCC Appointment Extended

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the appointment of UMBC public policy and economics professor Tim Brennan as chief economist through December 31, 2014.

Dr. Brennan’s appointment is part of an FCC program that brings in scholars from academia to provide outside perspectives and advice on challenging issues. Dr. Brennan has held the position of FCC chief economist since January, 2014.