Community College of Baltimore County sued for religious discrimination

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The ACLJ reports that they have sued the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) on behalf of Brandon Jenkins. Jenkins was denied admission to CCBC’s radiation therapy program.

 As one faculty member explained to Brandon, on behalf of CCBC, the “field [of radiation therapy] is not the place for religion.”

Brandon first applied for admission to the Radiation Therapy Program in April 2013. He met the standards of a competitive candidate and scored the maximum points allowed during his observation. During the interview process, college officials asked Brandon, “What is the most important thing to you.” Brandon answered simply, “My God.”

The ACLJ report notes that Jenkins received the following response from Adrienne Dougherty, the program director, about the denial of admission to the program:

I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion. We have many patients who come to us for treatment from many different religions and some who believe in nothing at all. If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.

Dougherty also apparently works at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) on the Radiation Oncology Team.

According to the ACLJ report, Jenkins attempted to address those issues and was rebuffed. Additionally:

In response to a letter from the ACLJ outlining CCBC’s retaliation, CCBC defended Director Dougherty’s comments to Mr. Jenkins suggesting that such comments were merely intended to advise Brandon that “he not wear them [his religious beliefs] on his sleeve,” and “[s]tated bluntly, that is not bad advice.”

More on the details:

Nonetheless, despite persistent denial by CCBC of unfair treatment, CCBC acknowledges that Brandon lost points during the interview process because Brandon allegedly stated that he was pursuing a career in radiation therapy at the behest of God. This, CCBC asserts, was not “the best answer.” CCBC further stated, “[c]andidates who describe thoughtful considerations about what the candidate will contribute as an individual to patients and the advancement of care make far better therapists than those who are told by others [God] to pursue the field. . . the fact is that in any secular job or program interview it is better to have a concrete reason for wanting to undertake the training at hand than to say only that God directed one to do it.”

The ACLJ filed the suit in federal court and they are seeking an injunction to require CCBC to admit Jenkins to the program. The suit, which names multiple CCBC officials as defendants, “requests the court to declare that the actions taken by CCBC officials violated Brandon’s First Amendment rights and that defendants be prohibited from further retaliating and/or discriminating against Brandon based on his religious views and/or his expressions thereof.”

It might be good advice to not advertise your religious beliefs so overtly in a situation like this where you might face discrimination. However, it’s also dumb for the school officials to so openly point out that they appeared to be discriminating against him because he expressed those beliefs.

Could Heather Mizeur get an upset win in the primary?

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Brian Griffiths writes about the possibility:

And all of this makes me wonder if this is Heather Mizeur’s race to lose. Like her and her ideas or not, her and her campaign have stayed above the fray when it comes to the negative campaigning and her focus has solely been on drawing attention to her campaign and drawing attention to her issues. Those issues put her very much in line with the hardcore Democratic base, the voters who are most likely to show up on June 24th. She has been performing ably at the various debates and forums and, by taking the public financing option, she’ll at least be able to raise enough money to do some mass media ads closer to the election, at probably the exact time that Democratic primary voters will have had enough of the Brown and Gansler pissing contest and will be looking at something new.

Some of you are probably thinking it is far-fetched to think of Mizeur as something of a front-runner, but is it? This gubernatorial primary is shaping up a lot like the 2006 Democratic Comptroller primary was. Recall that the race, at the time, was between incumbent Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens. And the Schaefer-Owens fight kept getting nastier and nastier as we got closer to the primary. Everybody assumed (wrongly) that one of those two were going to survive the primary. However it was the third candidate, the far-left candidate from Takoma Park, that won with only 36.5% of the vote. And that’s how Peter Franchot became Comptroller.

The similarity between the two elections are very real, and so far it seems like Mizeur’s campaign has been following that playbook.

Griffiths is right about her beliefs being right in the mainstream of the hardcore leftist activists who vote in a primary.

It is not inconceivable that this could happen, but, for right now, it’s not too much of a limb for me to go out on to say I don’t see it happening. It would make things easier for whoever the Republican nominee ended up being.

Dan Bongino weighs in on the Bundy Ranch situation

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Dan Bongino, candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 6th District, weighed in on the Bundy Ranch situation in an email to his supporters:

Regarding the Bundy family in Nevada:

First, this is not a question of law, but the process by which laws are enforced and the methods used to enforce them. Sadly, many Americans are questioning if the process is fair, equal and apolitical in application?

Many patriotic and previously apolitical Americans are frustrated and are questioning if it is a more accurate expression of fidelity to our Constitution, and the rule of law, by violating the law in support of a larger principle?

When the administration consistently ignores clearly written laws, yet expects you to vigorously follow the letter of the law in an alphabet they no longer use, are we in a society of laws or just laws that apply to you?

I hope some of the DC elites read this because we are a country of genuinely good and law-abiding people who just want to know that their voice is heard and that the process is not rigged. Labeling Americans who speak out, and are frustrated at a process that seems to only apply to them and not the connected few, racists, terrorists and other terrible names, is not leadership or courageous.

Maybe when their voices and their access to the process stops being drowned out by the voices of the cronyists and politically connected we can reach a place where a land-use disagreement such as the situation in Nevada doesn’t escalate as it did.

Other Maryland candidates have discussed this matter as well.

Brown publicizes Republican support

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If you read John Wagner’s story in WaPo on the reaction to yesterday’s comments on Anthony Brown’s military service made by Doug Gansler you’d see Republican Delegate Robert Costa quoted but no context on where the statement came from:

Among those rallying to Brown’s defense Monday was Del. Robert A. Costa (R-Anne Arundel), who said he found Gansler’s comments “appalling.”

“Lt. Gov. Brown and I may belong to different political parties, but as a fellow soldier, I appreciate his service to our country in Baghdad during wartime,” Costa said. “To say it’s anything less than a ‘real job’ is insulting.”

Of course, it looks like Costa himself talked to the reporter in that context. However, if you had read the version of the story by Bryan Sears in The Daily Record you’d notice this:

As part of the response to Gansler’s comment, the emailed statement from the Brown campaign also included a note about an additional comment from “a Republican who doesn’t support us reached out with this statement if you’d like to use it.” [emphasis added]

The statement from Del. Robert A. Costa, R-Anne Arundel said:

“Lt. Gov. Brown and I may belong to different political parties but as a fellow soldier, I appreciate his service to our country in Baghdad during wartime. To say it’s anything less than a ‘real job’ is insulting.”

According to his biography, Costa served in the U.S. Army from 1981-1985.

While Costa may not openly support Brown for Governor, he certainly coordinated things with the Brown campaign to give them this statement to put out as part of their press statements. Where did the coordination with Brown come from and how do we know who actually made contact first?

When Costa flipped from opposition to gay marriage to voting for it (after a claim of being undecided for a bit), there were rumors and speculation at what the O’Malley-Brown machine might have promised him for his vote. The coordination with the Brown campaign on this matter by Costa could help add fuel to the fire of that speculation.

Otherwise, why would Costa even get involved in a Democratic primary? Why interfere when the other side is in the middle of self-destructing? Especially when you consider that Costa was lending cover and support to the likely Democratic nominee who was already panicking about polling gains from his nearest opponent.

If we only had gotten the version of events from John Wagner and others, we never would have known that the Brown campaign was responsible for shopping that Costa statement to the press.

Another note:  Costa only got a 58% rating on the Legislative Scorecard put out by conservative site MDPetitions.com. Some of the votes he made that disagreed with their positions included voting for the Rain Tax and voting for gay marriage.

What was Ron George’s press secretary thinking?

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Tommy Rodriguez, Ron George’s deputy campaign manager and press secretary, sent out a press release today. Rodriguez is yet another gubernatorial campaign press guy who is hostile to bloggers so I didn’t get it directly from the campaign, but I did manage to get it nonetheless.

Here’s the release:

For Immediate Release
April 22, 2014
Media Contacts: Tommy Rodriguez – (410) 544-3128
press@voterongeorge.com

FINDING HUMOR IN THE MIDST OF PARTISANSHIP

Annapolis, Md. – Ron George, Republican candidate for Governor of Maryland, has released the following statement:

“Governor O’Malley invited legislators on the final day of session to a reception at the Governor’s House. So, never missing an opportunity to invoke humor in the midst of what could be an awkward moment, I brought a tape measurer and began measuring the curtains. When the Governor came over asking what I was doing, I asked him if he would not mind holding the other end. I thanked him for seeing the humor in the situation. The whole room burst into laughter. The two pictures below tell the story.”

The pictures referred to in the statement include the one I used at the top of this post and the one I’ve included at the bottom of this post.

These pictures were taken the day of Sine Die, which was April 7. Even if this release might have been newsworthy in the days immediately following Sine Die, it’s extremely stale for a press release 15 days later on April 22. With that being said, I really don’t think it was newsworthy enough for a press release even when it wasn’t old. Too many campaigns are under the mistaken perception that just sending it out as a release makes it newsworthy. They should ask a reporter or editor about this notion sometime if that’s what they think.

Of course, I’m trying to figure out what a tape “measurer” is as opposed to a tape measure. It’s hard to tell if that’s a typo or a mistaken idea of what the term really is. Additionally, the proper name (denoted by capitalized words normally) of the house the governor and his family reside in is Government House, not the “Governor’s House.”  Granted, you could say the “governor’s house” in that instance but not the capitalized form of it, if you wanted to be correct.

The pictures themselves aren’t particularly visually appealing (that could be a result of the camera or photographer used) and I’m not sure how appealing to bipartisanship and your cordial relationship with Martin O’Malley helps in a GOP primary situation.  All in all, this seems like an incredibly misguided press release that will likely get little or no coverage and plenty of mocking.

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