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By JACK GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER | January 11, 1995
WASHINGTON -- One of the more puzzling facts of American political life is that neither party ever seems to learn anything from the opposition. There is no clearer example than the decision by some Republican state party organizations to conduct straw votes on preferences for the party's presidential nomination in 1996.The first of this campaign was held in Louisiana at a party convention in Baton Rouge last week. And the big winner in this "test" was Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, who personally called delegates -- a few even on Christmas Day, according to reports from the convention -- to seek their support and came away with 72 percent of the vote.
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NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | February 19, 2006
The Columbia Association is likely this week to lower the cap on the annual charge that property owners pay and approve increases in fees that Columbia residents pay to use association sports and fitness facilities. The association board will give final approval Wednesday to the fiscal 2007 budget. Last week, the board, on a 5-3 straw vote, agreed to lower the cap applied to its annual charge from 5 percent to 4 percent. The charge is the tax-like fee the association imposes on Columbia property owners based on property value.
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NEWS
By Jack Germond & Jules Witcover | November 15, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The Florida straw vote just ahead is both a totally meaningless and a potentially determinative political exercise. Only in politics is such an anomaly possible.On the one hand, the poll of the 3,400 Republicans who will gather at Orlando has absolutely nothing to do with the choice of Florida's delegates to the national convention next year. They will be chosen in a primary in March.But the result could be significant because leading contenders for the nomination have chosen to make it the vehicle for establishing a pecking order among the candidates that should endure at least until the first delegate selection begins in Louisiana in February.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | January 29, 2004
After a rambling discussion yesterday morning in Annapolis, Howard County's legislators tentatively voted to kill the contentious real estate transfer tax option for raising more school construction money. However, the legislators formally approved a bill that would enlarge the county school board to seven at-large members by 2006, after rejecting an amendment to have five members elected from County Council districts and two members at large. "I think the transfer tax is probably dead," said Democrat Frank S. Turner, the House delegation chairman, after a straw vote in which only he and Del. Neil F. Quinter supported the concept that County Executive James N. Robey has been promoting for two years.
NEWS
By Consella Lee and Consella Lee,SUN STAFF | June 17, 1997
Anne Arundel's teachers have sent their union representatives a strong message in favor of ratifying a contract that calls for a raise -- but not until early next year.By 4 p.m. yesterday, union officials had counted the ballots in a straw vote taken early last week at 96 work sites. They reported that 91 percent were in favor of the contract.John R. Kurpjuweit, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, said the vote reflected a belief by the membership that union negotiators "got the most they could get under this contract."
NEWS
February 11, 1993
The Columbia Council has finally asserted itself by voting in favor of an 18-hole golf course spanning the villages of Wilde Lake and Town Center. Now the question is: Will it stick by that decision?The council, not especially known for courage or consistency, conducted what it called a straw vote during a budget work session last week. After years of debate and bickering over the issue, the vote was 5-3 favoring construction of the $5.2 million golf course project. That doesn't mean, however, that the town council can't change its mind before a final vote is taken next month.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | February 26, 1993
The Columbia Council plans to re-evaluate its rate structure for memberships to the town's wide variety of recreational facilities -- but not this budget year.The council approved changing its policy on daily admissions to Columbia Association facilities in a straw vote at a work session last night on the fiscal year 1994 budget. But the council agreed to leave more complicated issues concerning annual membership rates for further study next year.The council is scheduled to vote formally Monday night on the proposed $30.7 million budget, which would take effect May 1, as would the other issues the council acted on last night.
NEWS
By TYRONE RICHARDSON and TYRONE RICHARDSON,SUN REPORTER | February 19, 2006
The Columbia Association is likely this week to lower the cap on the annual charge that property owners pay and approve increases in fees that Columbia residents pay to use association sports and fitness facilities. The association board will give final approval Wednesday to the fiscal 2007 budget. Last week, the board, on a 5-3 straw vote, agreed to lower the cap applied to its annual charge from 5 percent to 4 percent. The charge is the tax-like fee the association imposes on Columbia property owners based on property value.
NEWS
By Elaine Tassy and Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF | June 15, 1997
Anne Arundel's teachers union has reached a tentative agreement with the county school board on a contract offering its members a complicated 2.5 percent "midyear raise."The figures in the one-year contract's raises were based on a new 90-step scale proposed by the school board, and their delayed implementation would result in salary increases of more than 2.5 percent, union President John R. Kurpjuweit said.Even so, he said, pay will not catch up with the increases in the cost of living since the county's approximately 4,000 teachers last received a contract with a 4 percent boost at the start of the 1994-1995 school year.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond and Jack W. Germond,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 2, 1998
BILOXI, Miss. -- Gov. George W. Bush of Texas won a straw vote among Republican activists here this weekend as their first choice for the party's presidential nomination in 2000.Bush carried the day although he was the only one of the leading contenders for the nomination who did not attend the Southern Regional Leadership Conference that attracted more than 1,600 delegates from 13 states.The Texas governor received 18 percent of the 1,106 ballots counted, followed by millionaire publisher Steve Forbes, 15 percent; former Vice President Dan Quayle, 12 percent; Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, 10 percent; Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri, 9 percent; former Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, 8 percent; and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 6 percent.
NEWS
By Paul West and Paul West,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 7, 2003
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Democrats will cast ballots next weekend in the first straw poll of the presidential campaign. But the state's governor already knows what the results will be. "Meaningless," said Gov. James E. Doyle, who lost a similar vote last year at the same event, the state Democratic convention, then went on to sweep the primary and general elections. Unscientific straw polls are often poor predictors because convention delegates are a far less diverse group than the wider electorate.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF | May 21, 2003
In a 3-to-2 straw vote yesterday following party lines, Howard County Council Democrats promised the Board of Education $310.6 million in operating budget funds for the coming fiscal year - $20 million less than school officials requested, but $5.6 million more than council Republicans proposed. The move was the only bottom-line decision to come out of the council's final budget work session yesterday morning. Traditionally, tentative totals are set for all county agencies at that point, not just the school system.
NEWS
August 17, 1999
A SMALL number of voters, some paid by candidates, trooped to Ames, Iowa, over the weekend to vote in a nearly meaningless first step toward selecting a Republican presidential nominee for the year 2000.The so-called straw poll proved a number of well-accepted truths: Political reporters need something to occupy them during the summer of nonelection years.Texas Gov. George W. Bush is the party's front-runner.Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander is a slow learner, having finished sixth after campaigning in Iowa for six years.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover and Jules Witcover,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | August 16, 1999
AMES, Iowa -- Gov. George W. Bush was back home in Texas yesterday, his claim on the 2000 Republican presidential nomination strengthened by his clear victory in Saturday's Iowa GOP straw vote, despite the efforts of runner-up Steve Forbes to take the luster off it.The time may have come for others in the field who fared poorly to consider whether they should continue in the race, Bush hinted. "I think everybody's going to have to reassess their positions and find out whether or not they can stay competitive," he said.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover | June 9, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain has told GOP leaders in Iowa that he won't participate in the straw poll on presidential preference the party is sponsoring Aug. 14.By taking that position, the Arizona Republican may be risking the ire of some party functionaries in the state that will hold the first precinct caucuses next Feb. 7. But he is also demonstrating that he knows the difference between a meaningless media event and serious politics.There are some lessons that politicians never seem to learn, and the folly of straw polls is one of them.
NEWS
By Candus Thomson and Gady A. Epstein and Candus Thomson and Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF | February 20, 1999
COLLEGE PARK -- The group studying alternatives to a much-debated intercounty connector between Montgomery and Prince George's counties says it could support an east-west toll road.The 8-4 straw vote by the Transportation Solutions Group is the first indication of what will be recommended to Gov. Parris N. Glendening in July.Glendening created the working group last year after backing off from 15 years of solid support for an intercounty connector.The road, which would ease east-west travel, is also considered by officials at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to be essential to keeping BWI competitive with Dulles and Reagan National airports.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,Staff Writer | November 16, 1993
Crofton's psychological counseling position narrowly survived last night, as the civic association once again debated whether the community needs the specialized service that cost $53,000 a year, including the counselor's salary.Board members tied 5-5 on a straw vote on an amendment to cut the community counselor from a full-time to a part-time position, in effect killing the motion. The board then tied on a straw vote to fund the full budgeted amount of $53,000.But the second tie, which came on a vote on the original proposal to fund the counseling service, was broken by Edwin F. Dosek, the civic association president, who voted to fund the full budgeted amount.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond and Jack W. Germond,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 2, 1998
BILOXI, Miss. -- Gov. George W. Bush of Texas won a straw vote among Republican activists here this weekend as their first choice for the party's presidential nomination in 2000.Bush carried the day although he was the only one of the leading contenders for the nomination who did not attend the Southern Regional Leadership Conference that attracted more than 1,600 delegates from 13 states.The Texas governor received 18 percent of the 1,106 ballots counted, followed by millionaire publisher Steve Forbes, 15 percent; former Vice President Dan Quayle, 12 percent; Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, 10 percent; Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri, 9 percent; former Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, 8 percent; and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 6 percent.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | February 11, 1998
Frustrated by government regulation and a perceived lack of respect from big-city "bullies," a pair of Eastern Shore senators is pushing for a regionwide straw ballot on secession from Maryland.A bill introduced this week by Republican Sens. Richard F. Colburn and J. Lowell Stoltzfus would let residents of the nine Eastern Shore counties cast votes in this fall's election on whether they want to leave the Free State and become the 51st state.The secessionist senators recounted a long list of grievances against the regime in Annapolis, ranging from gun control to wetlands preservation laws to former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's infamous 1991 description of the Shore as a less-than-polite term for outhouse.
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