February Pundit honors go to new voice from Maryland, defending champ from Florida
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February Pundit honors go to new voice from Maryland, defending champ from Florida

San Francisco : CA : USA | Mar 05, 2013 at 2:16 PM PST
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Feb. 18-28 American Pundit Winners

The results are in from the first segment of The American Pundit political writing contest for 2013, with a fresh voice from Maryland and the defending champion from Florida claiming the two $250 prizes.

The on-topic prize goes to msarzo of Glenn Dale, Md., for “New priorities for 2013 and beyond,” published Feb. 18 as his response to the Feb. 18-28 writing assignment:

President Obama laid out a broad agenda in his State of the Union address, including tax increases, immigration reform, gun control and more. What area(s) do you think he should focus on going forward, and how should Republicans respond?

Msarzo took a big-picture approach, spelling out some of the issues the president mentioned in the State of the Union and sharing his personal opinions while also acknowledging the viewpoints often advanced by both parties.

He concludes with advice that leaders from yesteryear, such as former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan, seemed to know inherently without pundits needing to remind them: “Rather than simply rejecting proposals made by one side of the aisle,” msarzo wrote, “working together to find middle ground and even realizing that neither party will be completely happy with the result may well lead us back to the days when people who disagreed on politics weren’t each other’s enemy.”

Msarzo joined Allvocies Feb. 10, 2009, but only began publishing reports this year. In addition to the $250 bonus, he earns a promotion to Anchor with his win, meaning he is eligible to submit reports to the Select Media program. In addition, he is eligible to compete for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded in December.

The general subject category featured at least half a dozen top-notch entries that merited serious consideration for the prize money, but defending champion Maryann Tobin, a longtime Anchor for Allvoices, edged out the competition with “Why do red states have more poverty?” In her fact-packed report, Tobin looked at US states with long histories of voting Republican and found discouraging numbers when it comes to quality of life and education issues.

She got right to the point with a hard-hitting, matter-of-fact opening sentence: “Americans do not have to guess what the country would be like if the small-government, conservative economic agenda were implemented on a national scale.” She follows it up with a rhetorical punch line of sorts, pointing out that so-called “red states,” states that tend to vote Republican, can serve as examples of how Republican economic policies shake out when put into practice over long periods. She backs up her own opinion with solid facts and statistics throughout the rest of the report.

Tobin, who has been writing for Allvoices since Aug. 19, 2010, advances to the next round of the contest and is eligible to compete for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded in December.

As with most of the contest segments last year, Allvoices received more entries in the open topic category then in the writing assignment. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that you may enter both categories as many times as you would like in a given segment. Not only will you increase your chances of winning by responding to the writing assignment, you may find that you have a lot more to say about that issue than you thought once the words start flowing.

The next deadline for entries is at 11:59 p.m. on March 15. Two additional winners will be selected from the entrants in that time period, with at least one chosen from entries on the assigned topic:

Identify at least one area in which you think federal spending should be reduced and/or at least one additional means for the federal government to raise revenue. Explain your reasoning.

Keep up with fresh perspectives on American politics by visiting www.theamericanpundit.com daily for punditry and citizen journalism at its finest. If you’d like to add your voice to the mix, head to http://www.allvoices.com/write_now to sign up!

The American Pundit on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmericanPundits

Allvoices on Twitter: https://twitter.com/allvoices

Allvoices on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freelance.journalism

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American Pundit Winners for Feb. 18-28
Allvoices announces Feb. 18-28 American Pundit winners.
The American Pundit Contest is based in San Francisco, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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