Baltimore’s (and Maryland’s) Power Clashes of 2014

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For both Baltimore and Maryland, 2014 was loaded with power clashes. Here are a few.

Hogan's acceptance speech (via WJZ-TV)
Hogan’s acceptance speech (via WJZ-TV)

Larry Hogan vs. Probability

When Republican Larry Hogan won Maryland’s gubernatorial race, he didn’t just beat Democratic opponent Anthony Brown, he beat the odds. Nate Silver’s statistics website FiveThirtyEight — famous for its solid election predictions — gave Hogan 16-to-1 odds. Hogan’s victory left FiveThirtyEight with some explaining to do. In the end, can we blame it on the rain?

Mike Rowe
via Facebook.

City Paper vs. Mike Rowe vs. David Simon

Mike Rowe (of television shows Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It) decided he would undo the damage done to Baltimore’s reputation by shows like Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire. City Paper’s Baynard Woods took issue with Rowe’s implication, as did Homicide and Wire creator David Simon. Rowe took issue with their issues. Simon took issue with that.

Baltimore looks into equipping police with body cameras

SRB vs. the City Council

The Baltimore City Council approves a ban on plastic bags and body cameras for all police. The Mayor vetoes both measures.

Martin O'Malley, Michael Busch

Martin O’Malley vs. the Environment

As one of his final acts as governor, O’Malley is opening the door to fracking in Maryland, despite environmental and public health effects. But we always knew he would.

Congress delays legal pot
Rep. Andy Harris

Andy Harris vs. D.C.

Call him “Rep. Buzzkill.” The Eastern Shore congressman has been instrumental in blocking D.C.’s marijuana legalization.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson vs. “slavery,” “communism,” and Jeb Bush

He first made his name as a brilliant neurosurgeon, but retired Hopkins doc has been firing up conservatives with his hyperbolic views on Obamacare and gay marriage. (And turning off others for the same reasons.) As a 2016 presidential candidate, he’s polling second to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.


John Oliver vs. The Helmand

This one was pretty surreal. To get revenge on former Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his America-dissing farewell address, the comedian read negative Yelp reviews of The Helmand, Baltimore’s favorite Afghani restaurant, owned by Karzai’s brother.

Young Moose

Young Moose’s Music vs. Young Moose

In a controversial move, Baltimore Det. Daniel Hersl cited the rap lyrics and music videos of Kevron Evans (aka Young Moose) to obtain a warrant to search the rapper’s East Baltimore home. After two months in jail, a circuit court judge deemed his confinement without bail “cruel and unusual.”

A still from surveillance footage showing a Baltimore police officer assaulting a man on North Ave.
A still from surveillance footage showing a Baltimore police officer assaulting a man on North Ave.

The Baltimore Sun vs. Police Brutality

An investigative piece in the Baltimore Sun revealed that police brutality complaints have cost the city $11.5 million over the just the past four years. It was a wake-up call.. Officials were variously wringing their hands, claiming ignorance, and downplaying the lack of transparency and reprisals for officers with excessive force complaints against them. The city scrambled to put together a plan to reduce police violence.

Ocean City "Pole Doll" Chelsea Plymale
Photo via People of the Ocean City Boardwalk Facebook page

Ocean City vs. Pole Dancing

Ocean City was up in arms this summer when Chelsea Plymale, dressed in a bikini, set up a portable pole on the boardwalk and danced for tips. But there was little that they could do legally. The city had received an injunction in 2012 to leave street performers alone. Plymale’s pole dancing got national coverage, and the woman branded herself “OC’s only pole doll.”

Landslide swallows cars on 26th Street
via Fox 45

26th Street vs. Gravity

In April, much of a block of East 26th Street, including several cars but thankfully no people, fell onto railroad tracks Residents were displaced for months. And the city blamed the landslide on unqualified maintenance crews.

Bengies Drive-In
Bengies, circa 1998, obviously.

Bengies vs. Royal Farms

After two years of litigation, it was finally decided that the Royal Farms across the way from Bengies Drive-In did not owe the outdoor theater an $838,000, 800-foot-long light-blocking fence. The favorable ruling was set aside by a Baltimore circuit court judge. In August, the theater’s appeal was denied. That denial was affirmed in November.


Israel vs. Palestine

It doesn’t sound very local. But for at least one day, it was.


Hershey vs. Hershey

State Sen. Stephen Hershey Jr. was finally forced to quit it with the campaign signs that look like chocolate bar wrappers.

Creation Museum

Michael Peroutka vs. Evolution

The Anne Arundel county councilman helped prevent a valuable dinosaur fossil from falling into the hands of people who might learn anything from it.



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