My reply comment and the comment to which it replied (see below) were deleted immediately after my comment was submitted at 1:07 am on July 27, 2017.  After waiting some 15 hours to see if the comment would reappear, I called the Capital‘s editor, Rick Hutzell, who responded that the Capital didn’t delete it and that there was nothing in my comment or the comment to which I replied that would cause the Capital to delete it. He therefore said it had to be the commenter to whom I replied that caused the deletion.  Hutzell’s reply seems plausible.  I should also applaud Hutzell for being more thick skinned than some of his predecessors during the past decade.

As for a recent Anne Arundel Nominating Commission applicant pool that was larger, in early January 2015 twenty-seven candidates applied for an open, at-large seat.  I would consider January 2015–just two-and-a-half years ago–to be reasonably recent for a public body that generally only has one round of elections per year.

Capital Article

Yeager, Amanda, Anne Arundel school board appointment commission kicks off candidate interviews, July 24, 2017.

Snider Comment

“officials say is the largest pool of applicants for a Board of Education vacancy in recent memory.”

Yes, for officials and reporters who have the memory of a mosquito and cannot rely on public records because AACPS has deleted them from its public website. When there has been an at-large opening with no incumbent running, more than 20 candidates have applied on multiple occasions in recent memory.

“Appointment commission chair Susannah Kipke said the wave of candidates was likely due to recent attention on the school board selection process. State lawmakers created the commission this spring as part of a bill establishing an elected school board for Anne Arundel County.  ‘With the law changing, it’s given us a higher profile,’ Kipke said.”

Sounds like a plausible theory, but it is factually incorrect.  The number of candidates tends to be proportional to the LACK of publicity, as the lack of publicity gives candidates the hope that there will be less competition.  Uncertainty about the process also increases the applicant pool, as uncertainty tends to lead candidates to think they have greater odds than they in fact do.  Usually, after candidates get a chance to size up the other candidates, some will drop out–something that rarely occurs when the candidate pool is small.

“The 23 school board candidates are:”

These bios are taken from what the candidates have presented about themselves and should not be confused with independent reporting.

Reply Comment to Snider

@JH_Sinder: Why, in your judgment, is the new School Board Appointment Commission, “much more corrupt”? I agree the commission doesn’t become politically irrelevant after 2018, but it does become irrelevant in 11/2020. Is that what you meant by “it ain’t so, and the public should be told why”? Sometimes your comments are hard for me to decipher.

Snider’s Reply

On the corruption issue, six of the eleven previous commissioners were appointed by elected officials. That was a majority of the School Board Nominating Commission. This time it is only two of thirteen. That’s 15% of the School Board Appointment Commission. The American system of democracy is not to delegate elections to private organizations. It’s fine for unelected stakeholders to be on advisory committees. But it’s taboo for them to control electoral bodies. That’s a very important red line to cross, and this body crosses it with abandon. That’s the democratic theory answer to your question.

There is also a legal theory that is ultimately derived from such democratic norms. I believe that if it was in someone’s interest to sue about this appointment system, there would be a high probability that courts would view it as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (the principle of one-person, one-vote) and possibly a clause in Maryland’s Constitution. But it’s in no powerful organization’s self-interest to bring such a suit, so it won’t happen. For details, see my extended discussion on of the Baker v. Carr line of U.S. Supreme Court Cases implementing the Equal Protection Clause beginning in the early 1960s.

Three additional points: First, the previous system by statute only required a majority for nomination. This time a supermajority (8 of 13) are statutorily required, giving a minority veto power over election to a general purpose public body (school boards have traditionally been considered a general purpose public body). I know of no other electoral body in Maryland where a minority is statutorily empowered to control the election to a general purpose public body–but I could be wrong about that. Second, in the previous system the commission only had nominating power; this time it has appointment power–a big enhancement in its power. Third, previous appointments were subject to a retention election at the next general election; that requirement has been removed. On the other hand, the new commission won’t control the entire school board’s selection.

Sorry, I don’t have time to answer any more questions.